Doesn't that just feel dirty to say? Week 6 is a wrap for everybody but our San Francisco 49ers and the St. Louis Rams, and the 49ers benefited from a Dallas Cowboys victory. I really didn't see it happening, but the Cowboys knocked off the Seattle Seahawks at the CLink. Seattle lost a home game to Arizona last December, and prior to that had last lost a home game in December 2011 to the 49ers. Maybe their home field advantage is declining a little bit!
NFC West roundup
The Arizona Cardinals are back in sole possession of first place in the NFC West. They defeated Washington 30-20 in the return of quarterback Carson Palmer. The Cardinals best win was a home win over the 49ers, so they're not a fraud by any means, but I'm still not entirely sure what to make of them. They travel this week to face an Oakland Raiders team that gave the San Diego Chargers all they could handle. We'll see if the Raiders are legitimately going to be more than awful, or if that was a quick post-bye surge under their new coach.
And yes, the Seahawks lost. With the 49ers having the day off, I spent yesterday at a friend's birthday. I checked the Cowboys-Seahawks score a couple times in the first quarter when it was 10-7 Seahawks, and then checked out for a couple hours. I turn it back on just after the PM games ended and I see that the Seahawks were run over by DeMarco Murray, losing 30-23. The Cowboys running back is having a monster season, averaging 131 yards a game.
Even though Seattle jumped out to a 10-0 lead, they seemed to abandon their basic identity. Marshawn Lynch finished the game with 10 carries for 61 yards (6.1 ypc!), and yet he had only two carries in the second half. That sounds suspiciously familiar! Were the Seahawks just trying to get cute, or what? I didn't watch the game, so if anybody caught the action, please let me know what happened.
Whatever the case, this is an opportunity for the 49ers to sort of get back to even with the Seahawks. A 49ers win over the Rams would put them a half game up on the Seahawks, with Seattle one back in the win column due to their bye. Both teams now have one home loss and one road loss, so things have sort of reset for the moment. Of course, both remain behind the Cardinals for now, so we'll see what comes of that.
One of my friends at the birthday party is a Carolina Panthers fan. He arrived for the party as overtime was winding down, so he stayed in his car listening to the game on the radio before coming up. Needless to say, I don't think he's ever been so excited for a tie. The Panthers and Bengals went back and forth all game, before heading into overtime. They exchanged field goals and then the Bengals were lined up for a 36-yard field goal to end it in a 37-37 tie. Mike Nugent pushed it right and we had a tie. As Phil Dawson said, the kicking business lives one kick at a time, and that was a big one to miss.
The Panthers now how hold a game lead on the Saints, and a game and a half lead on the Falcons. Atlanta dropped a 27-13 decision. They had their chances throughout but Chicago came on strong late in the third quarter and into the fourth quarter.
NFC North cleaning up a little bit
Speaking of the Bears, their win kept them steady in the NFC North where both first place teams also won. The Detroit Lions did not have much trouble en route to a 17-3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. The Green Bay Packers had to rally late to beat the Miami Dolphins 27-24.
Miami had a 24-17 lead with 9:13 to go in the game. They gave up a field goal with 4:09 left, but then got a couple first downs that forced Green Bay to burn its final two timeouts. After a 1st and 10 run by Lamar Miller gained 1 yard, the Dolphins decided to throw a pass, which went incomplete to stop the clock. The Dolphins ran once more for a yard, to set up a punt back to the Packers. A 17-yard punt return set up Green Bay at their own 40 with 2:04 to go. Aaron Rodgers rolled them down the field, and the Packers scored the go-ahead touchdown with 6 seconds left. Game, set and match.
Getting ready for next week
The 49ers have their business to handle Monday night, but their Week 7 opponent shook off a game New York Jets squad. The Denver Broncos defeated the Jets 31-17 in a game that was a little closer than Broncos fans probably expected. The Jets jumped on top 7-3, and held that lead into the middle of the second quarter. The Broncos finally figured out they were playing the Jets and scored 21 straight points. However, the Jets would not go away, scoring ten points to cut the Broncos lead to seven with 7:56 to go. The Jets actually managed a three and out on the Broncos, but had their own three and out. Denver was able to run four minutes off the clock before the Jets got the ball back with 56 seconds left. On 3rd and 14 at his own 1, Geno Smith threw a pick six and that ended it.
It was an up and down game for the Broncos, but I don't think that tells us much as we eventually move toward Week 7. The Broncos are a better team at home, and sometimes they will play down to weaker opponents. They will often blow out teams, but once in a while it gets interesting. Next Sunday will be kind of a big one!