NFL 2023 Week 6: Biggest questions, risers and takeaways

ByNFL Nation ESPN logo
Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Week 6 of the NFL season started Thursday night with the Kansas City Chiefs'defense holdingDenver BroncosquarterbackRussell Wilsonto under 100 yards passing.

On Sunday, in the season's final game from London, theBaltimore Ravensheld off the Tennessee Titansas kicker Justin Tucker matched his career high with six field goals. The Cleveland Browns' defense showed up in a big way in a win over the previously undefeated San Francisco 49ers, while the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins had no problem finding the end zone.

The Philadelphia Eagles,facing the New York Jets,suffered their first loss of the season, the New England Patriots fell to 1-5 while the Detroit Lions' stifled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterbackBaker Mayfield.

On Sunday night, the Buffalo Bills overcame a scoreless first half to edge the New York Giants and spoil coach Brian Daboll homecoming.

Wrapping up the week on "Monday Night Football," clutch defensive plays by the Dallas Cowboys sealed a win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Our NFL Nation reporters reacted to all the action, answering lingering questions coming out of each game and picking out who -- or what -- is rising and falling for every team. Let's get to it.

Jump to a matchup:





Dallas 20, L.A. Chargers 17


How important was it to get to 4-2? So big that Dak Prescott called the Chargers game a must-win even though 11 games remain in the season. The Cowboys showed resiliency a week after they were bludgeoned by San Francisco, even if they had to overcome themselves at times. Not everything is fixed, but the Cowboys needed to get a win in any possible way. "4-2 and 3-3, that's a huge difference," Prescott said. Especially with six games remaining against teams with a winning record.

Stock up after the win: Markquese Bell was asked to help replace Leighton Vander Esch and in 33 snaps he was credited with seven tackles, including a tackle for loss and a goal-line stop. He entered his second season as a safety, but the Cowboys moved him to linebacker because of depth issues. He is not particularly big -- 6-foot-2, 218 pounds -- but he is fast and can beat blockers to the spot.

Stock down after the win:Michael Gallup had three catches on a team-high 10 targets. He was missed by Prescott on a touchdown pass in the first half but did not do his quarterback a favor in the second half on a seam ball that should have been a touchdown. For the offense to get going, Gallup needs to be more consistent.

Next game:vs. Rams (Oct. 29, 1 p.m. ET)


Can the Chargers fix their rushing offense?When the Chargers rushed for 233 yards in Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins, it seemed that new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore had found a way to succeed in an area where this team has historically struggled. But it hasn't been the same since. In Austin Ekeler's first game back on Monday, running backs totaled just 35 yards. When the Chargers hired Moore to be their offensive coordinator after firing Joe Lombardi after last season, Moore was expected to elevate the Chargers' offense among the best in the league. So far, Moore has done that for the passing offense, but the Chargers' trouble running the ball has remained.

Stock up after the loss: DEMorgan Fox. Fox entered the Chargers locker room with a cowboy hat, boots, leather pants and a leather jacket, almost as if he were playing for their opponent. Either way, the outfit might have given Fox an added boost as he secured two sacks, moving him up to five on the season, which is second on the team.

Stock down after the loss: SDerwin James. James had his third unnecessary roughness penalty in the four games he's played this year, setting up the Cowboys for a field goal at the end of the first half. In his sixth season, these are mistakes he shouldn't be making this frequently. --Kris Rhim

Next game:at Chiefs (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

Buffalo 14, N.Y. Giants 9


What does the Bills' offense need to correct? After scoring 37-plus points in three straight games earlier this season, the Bills have been held to 20 points or fewer in two straight. There isn't just one problem to fix. While Sunday's second half was a big improvement (quarterback Josh Allen completed all but one of his second-half passes), the first half was a mess as Allen struggled with pressure (0-of-4 under duress) and going downfield (1-of-6 for 28 yards and an interception on throws with 15 or more air yards). Buffalo also needs to get more players involved. ReceiverStefon Diggs had 16 targets, and everyone else combined had 12.

Stock up after the win: Red zone defense. The Giants' offense had multiple opportunities to build a big lead, but Buffalo's defense stepped up when it was needed most and held the Giants 0-for-4 on trips to the red zone.

Stock down after the win: The offense, especially early in games. Slow starts are becoming a problem for Buffalo as the offense was held scoreless through three quarters for the first time since Allen's rookie season (2018 vs. the Packers).The Bills' franchise-best streak of 60 straight halves with points was snapped just a week after scoring only seven points in the first three quarters against the Jaguars. -- Alaina Getzenberg

Next game: at Patriots (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Can the Giants build off this performance? The Giants led into the fourth quarter and would've been in a commanding position had they not botched the end of the first half. But at least this team showed some fight. The Giants' defense also has played well. In this game, it shut out the Bills in the first half. We'll also see a healthier Giants team in the upcoming weeks. Running back Saquon Barkley flashed in the second half, quarterback Daniel Jones has a chance to return next week from a neck injury and left tackle Andrew Thomas might be only a few weeks off. The schedule also gets a bit easier (vs. Washington, vs. Jets, at Raiders).

Stock up after the loss: LB Bobby Okereke. He was all over the field Sunday night, making 11 tackles, forcing a fumble and tipping a pass that was intercepted by linebacker Micah McFadden. He's the one free-agent acquisition who has been an unequivocal hit for this regime.

Stock down after the loss:Game management. With 13 seconds left in the first half, the Giants ran the ball from the Bills' 1-yard line but were stopped short with no timeouts. They came away without points, which falls on veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor and coach Brian Daboll. -- Jordan Raanan

Next game: vs. Commanders (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

New York Jets 20, Philadelphia 14


Is it time to take the Jets seriously after their upset of the Eagles? The Jets, left for dead after quarterbackAaron Rodgers' season-ending Achilles injury, improved to 3-3 and have three winnable games after their Week 7 bye -- Giants, Chargers and Raiders. They have a shot to contend because of their defense, which forced four turnovers and absolutely befuddled quarterbackJalen Hurts. Without starting cornerbacks Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed (both out with concussions), the Jets made three interceptions and shut down A.J. Brown in the second half. If they can solve their red zone issues on offense, the Jets could be a surprise team in the AFC playoff race.

Stock up after the win: S Tony Adams. He made his first career interception with 1:50 to play, setting up RBBreece Hall's game-winning touchdown.

Stock down after the win: Red zone offense. It finished 1-for-4 after going 0-for-5 last week. Too many wasted opportunities. -- Rich Cimini

Next game: at Giants (Sunday, Oct. 29, 1 p.m. ET)


Are the Eagles ready for the most challenging part of their schedule? The Eagles were dealt a shocking loss at the hands of the Jets, and to make matters worse they suffered a number of injuries. They lost Lane Johnson to an ankle injury, while an already banged-up secondary saw Reed Blankenship, Bradley Roby and Eli Ricks exit early. Now they must turn around and face the Dolphins to kick-start a stretch that also includes tough tests against the Cowboys, Bills, Chiefs and 49ers.

Stock up after the loss: EdgeHaason Reddick. Hampered early by a thumb injury that required him to wear a cast, Reddick was shut out the first three games of the season. But he has caught fire since. A pair ofZach Wilson takedowns Sunday marked his second straight multi-sack performance.

Stock down after the loss: QB Jalen Hurts. He threw three interceptions, including a massive one late to STony Adams to set up a Jets go-ahead score. He now has seven interceptions on the year after throwing six all of last season. His connection with WRA.J. Brown, meanwhile, remains red-hot. Brown went over 125 passing yards for the fourth consecutive game -- the first to do so since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014. -- Tim McManus

Next game: vs. Dolphins (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)

Detroit 20, Tampa Bay 6


Can the Lions continue to get WRJameson Williams involved? Williams caught a 45-yarddime from QBJared Goff on his fifth career reception in the third quarter. After serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's gambling policy, Williams displayed his ability to be a deep threat in his second game back. Williams can stretch the field and generate yards after the catch with his blazing speed and playmaking, but the Lions will continue to ease him back slowly.

Stock up after the win:WRAmon-Ra St. Brown. The Pro Bowl receiver was held out last week with an abdominal injurybut returned with 12 receptions for 124 yards and a second-quarter touchdown -- including a season-high 50 yards after the catch.

Stock down after the win: Ground attack. Veteran RBDavid Montgomery was ruled out after injuring his ribs in the first half, and No. 12 overall pick Jahmyr Gibbs missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury, which hurt a group that posted a season-low 40 rushing yards. -- Eric Woodyard

Next game: at Ravens (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Are the Bucs' struggles vs. the Lions fixable? Not only could the Bucs not get the ground game going -- a recurring theme through the first quarter of the season -- but the screen game struggled. QuarterbackBaker Mayfielddidn't complete a pass toMike Evans until the second half and was 4-of-10 targeting the receiver. He was also 0-for-3 in connecting with receiverTrey Palmer on the deep ball and 2-for-7 with him overall. The most troubling thing from this game might actually be coach Todd Bowles' decision to punt on fourth-and-2 down by 14 points with 10:37 to go from the Tampa Bay 33.

Stock up after the loss: ILBLavonte David. The only current Buccaneer to have worn a Creamsicle uniform when the team previously used them in 2012 had a terrific pass breakup on a throw intended for tight end Sam LaPorta, a sack on quarterbackJared Goff for an 8-yard loss and two tackles for a loss.

Stock down after the loss: Third-and-long defense. The Bucs surrendered three third-and-longs onGoff's second touchdown drive alone in the third quarter, which was capped off by a 45-yard touchdown to Jameson Williams. -- Jenna Laine

Next game: vs. Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

L.A. Rams 26, Arizona 9


Can the Rams' offense put two halves together? Before Sunday's victory over the Cardinals, the Rams' offense had dropped off from the first half to the second, including in Week 5 against the Eagles. But on Sunday it was the opposite, with a season-low 123 yards in the first half and a second half when they scored 20 points. It won't get any easier next week against the Steelers, who came into the week ranked ninth in defensive DVOA.

Stock up after the win: WR Cooper Kupp. With seven catches for 148 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, Kupp hit the 100-yard receiving mark for the 18th time in the past three seasons, trailing only Minnesota's Justin Jefferson in that span.

Stock down after the win: Austin Trammell. Although the second-year receiver has been strong on special teams this season, he muffed a punt in the first half that led to a Cardinals field goal. -- Sarah Barshop

Next game: vs. Steelers (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)


How do the Cardinals fix their red zone issues? Fixing their red zone struggles while running back James Conner is out with a knee injury means Arizona will have to take a long look at execution and playcalling. Once the offense got inside the 20, it stopped producing. Instead of coming through with even a single touchdown, Arizona kicked two field goals and threw an interception in the red zone.

Stock up after the loss: Third-down pass rush. Arizona got to Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford on third down for two of its three sacks, and the Cardinals' defense was able to limit Los Angeles to 4-of-11 on third downs.

Stock down after the loss:CBKei'Trel Clark. The rookie had a tough day, giving up completions on all five of the targets thrown his way, which resulted in 113 yards and a touchdown for the Rams. -- Josh Weinfuss

Next game: at Seahawks (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)

Las Vegas 21, New England 17


Who should start at quarterback in Chicago next week if Jimmy Garoppolo (back) can't play?Well, rookieAidan O'Connellalready got his shot against the Chargers in Week 4 and acquitted himself well in the loss. And Brian Hoyer, in his 15th NFL season, kept the Raiders' offense going with a pair of field goal drives. The 38-year-old Hoyer's 48-yard pass to rookie Tre Tucker was the longest play from scrimmage for the Raiders his season. Hoyer deserves the shot for now, as O'Connell's time will come if Garoppolo is out after suffering the back injury in the first half and leaving Allegiant Stadium by ambulance.

Stock up after the win: Interior defensive line. Most of the Raiders' sacks have come from Maxx Crosby on the edge. So defensive tackles Adam Butler and John Jenkins both getting home portends good things for the pass rush going forward.

Stock down after the win: Red zone offense. The Raiders had six trips inside the Patriots' 20-yard line and came up with just one touchdown and four field goals, plus an interception on a ball that bounced off WRDavante Adams when he was crushed on a slant pass. Not good. -- Paul Gutierrez

Next game: at Bears (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Should the Patriots trade away players before the Oct. 31 deadline? They are 1-5 with upcoming games against the Bills and Dolphins, having dug themselves a major hole while playing a disjointed brand of football that doesn't spark much hope for the remainder of the season. The deadline has usually been a time when the Patriots are looking to supplement their roster for the stretch run under Bill Belichick. This year, the season has slipped away so early -- to the point that attempting to stockpile draft picks and shed salary could be prudent.

Stock up after the loss:SJabrill Peppers. The seventh-year veteran plays with intensity, and his jarring hit on Adams led to the ball popping up into the air and being intercepted by LB Jahlani Tavai for the team's third takeaway of the season.

Stock down after the loss:DeVante Parker. The veteran wide receiver had a chance to haul in a deep pass from Mac Jones that could have helped set up a game-winning field-goal attempt but had it go through his fingertips.-- Mike Reiss

Next game: vs. Bills (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Cleveland 19, San Francisco 17


Do the Browns have the NFL's best defense? They have as strong a case as anyone. The 49ers had scored 30 or more points in eight straight games and came in as the second-highest-scoring team (33.4). San Francisco, which had been averaging 402.6 yards of offense, gained 215 Sunday. This defense has strengths at every level, with no obvious weaknesses. The Browns' offense still has questions to answer, but the Cleveland defense, which already ranked No. 1 in efficiency coming into the weekend, has proved to be Super Bowl-caliber.

Stock up after the win: WR Amari Cooper. He had two big sideline catches (58 and 26 yards) leading to Cleveland's first 10 points; he continues to be a constant for a banged-up and inconsistent Browns offense.

Stock down after the win:Turnover margin. The Browns, who had an interception, have lost the turnover margin in every game this year, though Sunday they remarkably overcame it after throwing two interceptions of their own. -- Jake Trotter

Next game: at Colts (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


What did we learn from the 49ers' first loss? Through the first five weeks, the Niners looked invincible, but they proved to be mortal for the first time Sunday as their 15-game regular-season winning streak ended. Not much went right in this one. Cleveland's defense dominated the line of scrimmage, handing quarterback Brock Purdyeasily his worst game as a pro. The Niners lost multiple key players to injury and the defense committed costly penalties that led to the Browns' game-winning drive. It's rare that the Niners were the less physical team, but they were, and others who want to beat them will have to try to follow Cleveland's blueprint.

Stock up after the loss: PMitch Wishnowsky. Wishnowsky was been excellent in a field-position-dependent game in which the Niners needed his help; he averaged 52.3 yards a punt and dropped two inside Cleveland's 20.

Stock down after the loss: RB Christian McCaffrey and WR Deebo Samuel. The Niners had been relatively healthy through the first five weeks, but that luck turned for the worse Sunday as Samuel (shoulder) and McCaffrey (oblique) departed and did not return, while left tackle Trent Williams played the bulk of the game with an injured right ankle. -- Nick Wagoner

Next game: at Vikings (Monday, Oct. 23, 8:15 p.m. ET)

Houston 20, New Orleans 13


Is the Texans' running game back on track? Coming into this game, the Saints were allowing 91.6 rushing yards per game (ranked eighth in the NFL), and the Texans were averaging 82.6 yards per game (27th). But in Week 6, the Texans' rushing attack was effective against the Saints as it churned out 120 yards, led by running back Devin Singletary, who had 58.

Stock up after the win: The defensive line. They controlled the line of scrimmage, holding the Saints to 89 yards and sacking Derek Carr twice while pressuring him on 48% of dropbacks.

Stock down after the win: The pass coverage. Despite CB Steven Nelson nabbing an interception to seal the win, the Texans allowed Carr to throw for a season-high 353 yards with a touchdown. -- DJ Bien-Aime

Next game: at Panthers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


How can the Saints get their offense on the same page? The Saints' offense has been erratic all season. There's been miscommunication between the receivers and quarterback Derek Carr, protection issues and a failure to score touchdowns in the red zone. There were some big plays by Rashid Shaheed and Chris Olave, but the Saints haven't been a cohesive unit yet this season, and it cost them against the Texans.

Stock up after the loss: Olave. He was one of the bright spots of the offense after two down weeks, catching seven passes for 96 yards despite working through a toe injury.

Stock down after the loss: K Blake Grupe. The Saints struggled in the red zone and Grupe was off as well, missing two field goal attempts one game after a performance that earned him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. -- Katherine Terrell

Next game: vs. Jaguars (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

Washington 24, Atlanta 16


How did Washington go from ugly home loss to quality road win? Washington finally made big plays and gave its offense two short fields Sunday. Punt returner Jamison Crowder changed the game with a 61-yard punt return to the Atlanta 11-yard line to set up one touchdown for a 10-7 lead, while corner Kendall Fuller set up Washington's lone second-half touchdown with an interception return to the Atlanta 27. Linebacker Jamin Davis sealed the win with a final-minute interception.

Stock up after the win:Goal-line defense. In the fourth quarter, Washington stopped a two-point conversion. On Atlanta's next possession, corner Benjamin St-Juste intercepted quarterback Desmond Ridder in the end zone on third-and-goal from the 7.

Stock down after the win:Pass protectors. Sam Howell was sacked five more times (Atlanta doubled its season total), increasing his league-high total to 34. The season-long issues continue to remain: Either Howell holds onto the ball too long or he doesn't get the protection he needs from the offensive line. -- John Keim

Next game: at Giants (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Why did Falcons coach Arthur Smith go for two in the fourth quarter? It was an odd decision for Smith to go for two after the Falcons scored to cut the Commanders' lead to 24-16 early in the fourth quarter. His defense had been playing well and had Atlanta kicked the PAT, then tied the game later, it would have had all the momentum. Smith has shown he has no problem being aggressive -- it helped the Falcons beat the Packers earlier this season -- but this one was curious.

Stock up after the loss: The pass rush. A couple of weeks ago, Atlanta defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen said he believed as long as the Falcons kept their pressure coming on opposing quarterbacks, the sacks would come. On Sunday, he was right. Atlanta had five sacks -- including defensive end Calais Campbell's career 100th sack -- and 10 quarterback hits on a day the franchise desperately needed it.

Stock down after the loss:QB Desmond Ridder. A week after the best game of his young career, the Falcons quarterback threw three interceptions -- including a brutal one in the end zone in the fourth quarter. He went 28-for-47 for 307 yards with two touchdowns. -- Michael Rothstein

Next game: at Buccaneers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Cincinnati 17, Seattle 13


Can the offense be more consistent? The Bengals started hot with touchdowns on their first two drives. Joe Burrow completed 11 of his first 13 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns. But then things fizzled out. Cincinnati's offense had three more points and relied on the defense to keep Seattle at bay. The Bengals' D came through and stopped the Seahawks' late drive at their own 9-yard line, but if Cincinnati wants to truly make a deep postseason run, it must do a better job of sustaining drives throughout the game to reduce the margin for error.

Stock up after the win: The pass defense. CB Cam Taylor-Britt had his second interception in as many weeks as Cincinnati flustered Seattle QB Geno Smith for most of the day, picking him off twice, sacking him four times and giving up zero touchdown passes.

Stock down after the win: RB Joe Mixon. Mixon didn't have an overly productive day -- 12 carries for 38 yards. He has rushed for fewer than 70 yards in five of six games this season. -- Ben Baby

Next game: at 49ers (Sunday, Oct. 29, 4:25 p.m. ET)


What happened to Seattle's offense after the opening drive? Geno Smith & Co. began the game by methodically marching 75 yards on 11 plays for a touchdown -- and then basically disappeared. Their other 10 possessions yielded six points, a huge disappointment given how stout their defense was after allowing touchdowns on the Bengals' first two possessions. Smith (27-of-41, 323 yards, zero touchdown passes) committed an uncharacteristic mistake in the red zone on his first of two interceptions. He may not have been at fault on his second pick, but this was not one of his finer games.

Stock up after the loss: The run defense. The Seahawks entered Week 6 allowing the fewest yards per carry in the NFL (3.2), a massive turnaround from last season. That continued to be a strength against the Bengals, who managed just 46 yards on 15 attempts. Seattle stuffed Mixon on a third-and-1 rush to force a punt at the start of the fourth quarter, but then the offense gave it right back via Smith's second interception.

Stock down after the loss: WR DK Metcalf. To be fair, Metcalf led Seattle with four passes for 69 yards and briefly left the game with a hip injury. But he committed another costly 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness when he shoved a defender at the end of a play -- some 30 yards away from the action. He was also the intended target on what turned out to be Smith's second interception, but he stopped his route. -- Brady Henderson

Next game: vs. Cardinals (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)

Jacksonville 37, Indianapolis 20


Is RB Travis EtienneJr.the offense's most important player? Etienne ran for 52 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. It was the second week in a row he has rushed for multiple touchdowns, tying a franchise record for consecutive games with multiple rushing touchdowns, but the offense stalled out in the fourth quarter when the Jaguars were trying to run clock and seal the game. The Colts wouldn't let Etienne get free. He had five carries for zero yards, and the Jaguars had minus-2 yards on 12 plays. The inability to run clock late may be a one-game thing, but the Jaguars have to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Stock up after the win: Turnover defense. The Jaguars have forced 15 turnovers on the season after getting four Sunday. They've forced at least two in five of six games and have eight in their past three. That has kept the team in games while the offense has struggled to find rhythm.

Stock down after the win: Depth. Right guard Brandon Scherff (ankle) and cornerback Tyson Campbell (hamstring) were hurt Sunday and didn't return. Wide receiver Zay Jones (knee) and left guard Walker Little (knee) missed the Colts game, so the Jaguars could potentially be down four starters on a short week at New Orleans on Thursday night. -- Mike DiRocco

Next game: at Saints (Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET)


Can the Colts compete long-term with QBGardner Minshew in the lineup? The ongoing issue with Anthony Richardson's shoulder means the Colts might need to get comfortable with Minshew under center. That will obviously change the look of the offense and -- based on Sunday -- will also change its expectations. Minshew has performed best this season when coming off the bench in relief of Richardson. But in the two games he started, when opponents had a chance to prepare for him, he has struggled. Baltimore limited him to a 61.4% completion rate in Week 3 and the Jaguars picked Minshew off three times. Richardson is going to miss at least three more games, depending on the team's decision regarding surgery.

Stock up after the loss: RB Jonathan Taylor. The Colts did not enjoy much rushing success Sunday, but there was a flash of the potential Taylor possesses when he caught a short pass on a drag route and turned it into a 40-yard gain in the second quarter.

Stock down after the loss: CB JuJu Brents. The rookie did register his first career interception in the game, but what was concerning was how the Jaguars appeared to consistently target the receivers lined up on his side of the field. -- Stephen Holder

Next game: vs. Browns (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Minnesota 19, Chicago 13


Should we feel any better about the Vikings after their second win of the year? No. If not for two turnovers by Bears backup quarterback Tyson Bagent, the Vikings were well on their way to losing this game. Their offense without receiver Justin Jefferson was punchless, managing a season-low 220 yards against a Bears defense that had allowed the NFL's eighth-most yards per game this season. It marked their lowest yardage and points totals in a win since managing to beat the Bears with 193 total yards in 2021. The Vikings' two victories have come against the Bears and Panthers, who are a combined 1-11, and they have at least three more games left to play before Jefferson returns.

Stock up after the win: PK Greg Joseph. The margin of victory in this game was six points, aided greatly by Joseph hitting two long field goals of 51 and 53 yards, his first two field goals of more than 50 yards this season.

Stock down after the win:The running game. In a game in which the Vikings could have really used a strong running game to offset the loss of Jefferson, they instead netted only 46 yards on 22 carries. -- Kevin Seifert

Next game: vs. 49ers (Monday, Oct. 23, 8:15 p.m. ET)


How will the Bears' offense adjust without Justin Fields? Fields injured his throwing hand in the third quarter when he was sacked and was ruled out of the game. He was replaced by rookie Tyson Bagent(a former Division II QB for Shepherd University), who was strip-sacked on his second play from scrimmage, and the fumble was returned for a touchdown. Bagent did lead a touchdown drive and had completed seven throws before underthrowing a pass that was intercepted late in the fourth quarter that sealed the Bears' fate. Depending on how long Fields is sidelined, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy will need to get creative in tailoring the offense to Bagent's strengths.

Stock up after the loss:LBT.J. Edwards. The Bears linebacker got home on a second-quarter blitz to hit Kirk Cousins' arm and caused an interception that was recovered by Tremaine Edmunds. Edwards almost had a fumble recovery earlier in the game but was ruled out of bounds.

Stock down after the loss:The passing game. Chicago didn't have positive passing net yardage until its fourth drive of the game. The struggles to protect up front against the most aggressive blitz in football limited the Bears effectiveness through the air (113 yards passing). -- Courtney Cronin

Next game: vs. Raiders (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Miami 42, Carolina 21


With the Eagles up next, how concerning was the Dolphins' start to Sunday's game? The Panthers took a 14-0 lead, but the Dolphins responded with 35 unanswered points and 428 total yards. Coach Mike McDaniel loves seeing his team in adverse situations, so perhaps Sunday was a reminder not to overlook any opponent. Slow starts are atypical of the NFL's most explosive offense, which has compiled the second-most yards through six games in NFL history. Considering how the Dolphins finished the game, it's probably safe to place the glass cover back over the panic button.

Stock up after the win: RB Raheem Mostert. The Dolphins' running game didn't skip a beat without De'Von Achane, Mostert had three touchdowns and ran for 115 yards on 17 carries.

Stock down after the win:CBEli Apple. Injured cornerJalen Ramsey is reportedly looking to play within the next month, but for now, the Dolphins have struggled at cornerback opposite Xavien Howard. Apple rebounded to end the game but allowed 77 yards on four catches as the nearest defender. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

Next game: at Eagles (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)


After a positive offensive showing, is therehope for a mini-run after the Panthers' bye? Yes, and not just because ofBryce Young. The Panthers had a running game for the first time since the opener, and that took pressure off Young -- until Miami erased Carolina's 14-0 lead. Young also didn't have the big turnovers that have led to points, completing 23 of 38 pass attempts for 217 yards and a touchdown. This consistency is what Carolina needs after its bye, with winnable home games against Houston and Indianapolis followed by a Thursday night game at Chicago.

Stock up after the loss:RBChuba Hubbard. Replacing starting running back Miles Sanders (shoulder), Hubbard's 88 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries gave some life to a running game that had been almost nonexistent and earned him the right to keep the job.

Stock down after the loss:CBDonte Jackson. Carolina's most experienced starting corner was beaten deep on a go-rout by wide receiver Tyreek Hill for a 41-yard touchdown and whiffed on a tackle on another big play. While Jackson wasn't totally responsible for Hill on the day, the receiver had more than 150 yards receiving. -- David Newton

Next game: vs. Texans (Sunday, Oct. 29, 1 p.m. ET)

Baltimore 24, Tennessee 16


What has happened to the Ravens' offense? Baltimore has scored only one touchdown in its past seven quarters and went a frustrating 1-for-6 in the red zone. The Ravens entered this game as the third-most efficient red zone offense and would have put the game away earlier if they had punched the ball into the end zone. The biggest issue is the ineffectiveness of the running game and not allowing quarterback Lamar Jackson to throw more inside the 20-yard line. The Ravens didn't score a touchdown on 13 runs in the red zone, but Jackson was 2-for-3, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Zay Flowers.

Stock up after the win: K Justin Tucker. Tucker bailed out the Ravens with six field goals (41, 28, 23, 29, 20 and 36 yards) for the second time of his career. He's the only kicker in franchise history to kick six. Tucker did have an extra point blocked, though.

Stock down after the win: S Kyle Hamilton. The 2022 first-round pick delivered a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit on Titans wide receiver Chris Moore in the third quarter, becoming the third player this year to get ejected. On the next play, the Titans scored their only touchdown -- a 15-yard run by Derrick Henry. -- Jamison Hensley

Next game: vs. Lions (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Who will be the Titans' QB after the bye week? Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill didn't return after throwing an interception late in the third quarter, aggravating an ankle injury that he had been fighting through. Second-year quarterback Malik Willis finished the game, but the Titans traded up in April to select Will Levis with the second pick in the second round. Levis has served as the No. 3 quarterback in the first six games, but Tennessee will have some time to evaluate Tannehill, and to sort out their backup situation as well, with a bye in Week 7.

Stock up after the loss:The red zone defense. It held the Ravens to one touchdown on six trips inside the 20, even though Baltimore entered the week having scored on 72% of its trips inside the red zone this season. The Ravens' five field goals from the red zone were the most by any team since the Panthers in 2020.

Stock down after the loss: WR Kyle Philips. The Titans returner muffed a punt at Tennessee's 11-yard line just before the end of the first half to give the Ravens the ball and set up a 29-yard field goal. -- Turron Davenport

Next game: vs. Falcons (Sunday, Oct. 29, 1 p.m. ET)


Kansas City 19, Denver 8


Can the Chiefs sustain the way they're playing defense? Yes. It's no longer a small sample size. Through six games, the Chiefs were allowing the second-fewest points (14.7) per game and fifth-fewest yards (284) coming into Sunday. They will get challenged over the next few weeks with upcoming games against the Chargers, Dolphins and Eagles, but the Chiefs have shown they are capable of holding their own.

Stock up after the win: WR Rashee Rice. The rookie had four catches for 72 yards, and for the season, he leads the Chiefs' wide receivers in receptions, yards and touchdowns.

Stock down after the win: Other than Rice, the wide receivers are failing the Chiefs. The group had five catches for 31 yards Thursday, and the season stats aren't much more inspiring. -- Adam Teicher

Next game: vs. Chargers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


Did the Broncos' defense actually find some mojo despite loss? Talk about extremes. The Broncos' defense, the same one that surrendered 70 points in Week 3, was flying all over Thursday. The Broncos hit and pressured quarterback Patrick Mahomes just enough, and they held Kansas City to one touchdown. No, Denver didn't win, but it showed a new wrinkle or two, including a 4-3 look with rookie linebacker Drew Sanders in the mix, and it won the battles in the red zone. For a group that came into the week ranked last (or near last) in almost every major statistical category, it was at least something to build on.

Stock up after the loss: RB Javonte Williams. His numbers won't cause much excitement -- he finished with 52 yards on 10 carries -- but he looked the closest to his tackle-breaking form before a knee injury last season, and he finished runs with purpose.

Stock down after the loss: WR Jerry Jeudy. Despite one of the worst days of quarterbackRussell Wilson's career -- 95 yards passing and two interceptions -- the Broncos need significantly more from Jeudy -- two receptions for 14 yards against the Chiefs. -- Jeff Legwold

Next game: vs. Packers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

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