The Check-down Check-up (2020): Week Six

NFC North

Green Bay Packers

Does the city of Tampa Bay just have it out for Aaron Rodgers or something?Rodgers has thrown three pick-sixes in his entire career, and two of them have come inside Raymond James Stadium. The Packers allowed 38 unanswered points in this one. Not a great look for “quietly one of the NFL’s best” like I said last week. Let’s see if they can bounce back this Sunday against the Texans.

Verdict: 8/10, Check Up

Chicago Bears

This team just keeps winning, and you know what? I’m calling myself out. I need to start giving the Chicago Bears some respect. Da Bears are under Da Lights this week on Monday Night Football against the Rams, and this would be a perfect time for Chicago to show me why I should consider them a true contender.

Verdict: 7.5/10, Check Up

Detroit Lions

I think this win says more about the Jaguars than it does the Lions. This Lions team is, let’s be honest with ourselves, pretty awful. And yet, they thrashed the Jaguars around for four quarters, and they could very well do so again this week when they face the Falcons. If the Lions salvage this season and keep Matt Patricia again, I will continue to say that they are just digging their own grave. But let’s see what happens.

Verdict: 5/10, Check Back Next Week

Minnesota Vikings

How did the Vikings go from nearly stealing one against the Seahawks to getting trashed by a winless Falcons team? The world may never know. What we do know is that this defensive unit is horrible, and seemingly getting worse by the week. Which begs the question, what’s going to happen when this team gets a vengeful Aaron Rodgers in week seven? I shudder to think about it.

Verdict: 3.5/10, Check Down

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys just don’t have the same fourth quarter comeback superpowers without Dak Prescott at the helm. Andy Dalton is serviceable, but he has stood as the NFL’s mark of mediocre quarterbacks for so many years for a reason. This Cowboys team will still probably win the division, because the NFC East is awful, but I still wouldn’t call them a good team, especially on defense.

Verdict: 3.5/10, Check Down

Philadelphia Eagles

Could you imagine if the Eagles actually pulled that one off? The Eagles almost upset the reigning MVP. The one-win Eagles. Well, “almost” doesn’t really do it in the NFL. But fortunately, Philly now gets to see the Giants in a putridly bad divisional matchup. Am I really supposed to pick one of these teams to win?

Verdict: 2.75/10, Check Down

Washington Football Team

I’m done having faith in the Football Team. I love the Alex Smith comeback story too, but this team is dreadful. Do you know how awful you have to be to lose to the Giants? Apparently, Washington does. This team was down double digits in the first quarter. Now they have to face the Cowboys, a team with actual offensive firepower at their disposal. I want to like this team. And they just keep proving me wrong.

Verdict: 2.5/10, Check Down

New York Giants

A team from New York City finally won. It might have been a one-point win over a division rival who was already 1-4, but a win is a win, and the Giants should be commended for it. Maybe this was what the Giants needed to finally kick into gear under Joe Judge. Probably not, but it’s nice to see them finally get a win in week six. I guess I like them to keep it going against the Eagles, but I’m really not sure.

Verdict: 2/10, Check Down

NFC South

New Orleans Saints

I feel as though the Saints needed this bye very badly. New Orleans has been shaky through the first month of the season, and especially without Michael Thomas on offense, they needed a week to collect themselves. Now, they have to host a surprisingly competent Carolina Panthers team who, ironically, are also missing their best offensive talent. I think the Saints roll here, though I do think the Panthers have a chance.

Verdict: 7.5/10, Check Up

Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta finally flexed their offensive muscles against the Vikings this week. It looks like they may have gotten the “let’s play well for the new coach” adrenaline shot, but it remains to be seen just how long that will continue. For now, though, the Falcons get another easy NFC North opponent in the Detroit Lions. I think I like Matt Ryan to keep it rolling here, if only because the Lions have been awful this year.

Verdict: 3.25/10, Check Down

Carolina Panthers

Despite the loss to Chicago this week, one thing is clear: Matt Rhule was the right guy for this football team. Without Christian McCaffrey in the backfield, the Panthers are playing tight, well-controlled football and treading water at 3-3. Against the Saints, though, I don’t think well-controlled football is enough. I think this could be a tough one for Carolina. There are just too many pieces to the puzzle for Rhule to account for.

Verdict: 5/10, Check Back Next Week

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This game was not nearly as fun to watch as I was expecting it to be. If anything, it was an indication. A broadcast to the world of how downright terrifyingly good this Tampa Bay Buccaneers team can be. I expect them to roll against the Raiders in week seven, but Kansas City’s loss to those same Raiders just won’t get out of my head. Maybe Vegas does have a chance.

Verdict: 9/10, Check Up

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson didn’t get a chance to bolster his MVP campaign this week, as the Seahawks were on their bye. That being said, Wilson and the ‘Hawks should be more than calmed down and ready to go after their nail-biter last week, and I think they have a great chance to take a commanding lead in the NFC West over the Cardinals in week seven.

Verdict: 9/10, Check Up

Los Angeles Rams

I like this Rams team, but I don’t love them. Despite being 4-2 and in second place behind the undefeated Seahawks, I feel like Los Angeles is always on the brink of collapse. The Rams showcased that against the 49ers on Sunday night, and got soundly beat. Now, they have to face a Bears team who just will not go down. I don’t like this for the Rams. But we will have to see.

Verdict: 6.5/10, Check Back Next Week

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers got back on track after being smacked around by the Dolphins in week five. Kyle Shanahan seems to have figured out how to keep this team moving, despite the injuries and the very clear indications that they are not as good as they were last year. But a week seven contest against a Patriots team that desperately needs to get their act together worries me.

Verdict: 4.5/10, Check Back Next Week

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals moved to 4-2 this week following a complete demolition of a Dak-less Cowboys team. Dallas took away Arizona’s best weapon in DeAndre Hopkins, and the Cardinals responded by ripping their defense apart in other ways. Defensively, Budda Baker is a fantastic safety, and the Cards will need everything and more from him against the unbeaten Seahawks in week seven.

Verdict: 8.5/10, Check Up

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