Time for some Stock Up/Stock Down action to get ready for Week 7:
STOCK UP: Derrick Henry
Derrick Henry, my god. A week after stiff-arming Josh Norman into orbit, Henry galloped for a 94-yard score. Not only does he leave a linebacker in his dust, he outran a damn safety. Justin Reid took two steps for every one of Henry's and had no hope of catching him. I mean, look at this sh!t:
P.S.: If I heard the stat right, the Titans were the first team to have a 350-yard passer (Tannehill) and a 200-yard rusher in the same game.
STOCK UP: Pittsburgh Steelers
Guys, I think the Steelers are good now. Sunday's game (against the Titans!!!!!) should be epic.
STOCK DOWN: Teams we thought were good.
Cleveland and Green Bay got boat-raced on Sunday, and the Rams and Bills didn't look so hot either. But this is the NFL, and all four of these teams could look like world-beaters this week. Who knows, right?
STOCK UP AND DOWN: Two teams that had been 0-5.
The Giants and Falcons both got into the win column this season. Congrats to both! Problem is, that's not going to cut it in the Losing for Lawrence sweepstakes, especially when the Jets show absolutely no sign of winning anything this year, not even the bye week.
Speaking of the Jets, this is an ELITE sack-taking.
STOCK DOWN: Trevor Lawrence's pro career prospects
If I'm a Clemson fan, I'm taking all that IPTAY money and reviving the AAF just so Trevor Lawrence doesn't have to play for the Jets. And if I'm Trevor Lawrence, I'm exploring grad transfer options. I bet he's good enough to play D1 basketball somewhere, and pretty much every college offers an MBA. (He's a marketing major, which I discovered by scrolling waaaaaay down here.)
STOCK UP: Lavonte David
Everyone's tuning in to watch TB12 and then going WHO IS THAT MANIAC ON DEFENSE? David has been an elite LB for years — he's an absolute monster from sideline to sideline — but the Bucs have been bad for much of his time in Tampa, and he was only the second-best LB in the division until LUUUUUKE retired. But David's numbers are largely on par with Kuechly's (more sacks and forced fumbles, almost as many tackles). And as much as I don't like the Bucs for divisional reasons, I'm glad to see David getting a little love.
STOCK DOWN: Kyle Allen
Allen was brought to DC because he knows the system, which appears to include giving up the sack-fumble and throwing a 2-point conversion into the dirt. Alex Smith must really be near death, and the Riverboat must really hate Dwayne Haskins.
STOCK UP: Jacksonville's kicker
Congrats to Jon Brown, the fifth Jaguars kicker of the season (because their starter is hurt), who made his first field goal Sunday. When I say "first field goal" I don't just mean Brown converted his first kick of the game or his first kick of the season, though both are accurate. I mean the first field goal of his life that actually counted for something. For more on Brown, go here and scroll down a ways.
By the way, this isn't really a feel-good story. Brown promptly Jag'd his second field goal Sunday, and the Jags Jag'd to the Lions.
STOCK DOWN: Cam vs the Broncos
Superman had his Kryptonite, and Super-Cam has the Goddamn Denver Broncos. Cam is now 0-for-4 against Denver, including that loss in the Super Bowl that still makes me take back every nice thing I've ever said about Terrell Davis and Christian McCaffrey's dad. Anyhoo, at least Cam hopped right on that fumble this time, right? If you want more on why the Patriots were so sorry this weekend (and most of it was Cam's fault), the Boston Globe and Football Outsiders dive deep.
My favorite FO passage spoiler'd for length:
"Meanwhile, the Patriots just never fixed the wide receiver position. Damiere Byrd — (a former Carolina Panther) with 44 career receptions prior to this season — has played 93% of the snaps. Julian Edelman is getting load-managed. Harry played 89% of the offensive snaps in this game and was targeted twice, catching neither ball. Not only has this team not replaced Rob Gronkowski, they haven't even replaced what Antonio Brown was supposed to be for them. The Mohamed Sanu trade was a disaster and the Harry selection is trending towards going right up there with former Belichick draft flubs such as Chad Jackson." Ouch.
Now for some numbers:
First stat of the week: Second-year pro QB Kyler Murray is 7-0 lifetime at AT&T Stadium. The seven: five wins in high school (including three Texas state titles at Allen HS north of Dallas), a Big 12 title game win at Oklahoma and Monday night's whuppin' of the Cowboys. (source)
Second stat of the week: I thought the Cowboys might be not bad with Andy Dalton coming in for Dak. But then I saw Dalton play and was reminded of why Cincy cut him loose. Anyhoo, the stat: The Cowboys haven't been to a conference championship game since nineteen-freakin'-ninety-five. Twenty five years! For a team that has won five Super Bowls (the last in 1995) and dominated the mid-'60s to the mid-'80s and again in the early 1990s, that's a stunning (to me) comedown.
To put that in context, 21 of the NFL's 32 teams have been to a conference championship game at least once this decade (since 2010). Three more teams (Raiders, Chargers, Bucs) were last in a conference title game in the first decade of the 21st century.
Only six teams haven't gone to a conference championship game since the Cowboys last went: Bengals (last appeared in 1988), Browns (1989), Lions (1991), Football Team (1991), Dolphins (1992) and Bills (1993). The Texans have never gone.
WEEK 7 SCHEDULE
Get ready for a pretty good week except for Thursday.
Thursday: Giants vs Eagles, or Biden-Trump II, or go to bed early. (I'm going with rugby replays because rugby is awesome.)
Sunday early: Steelers-Titans is a must-watch (and it's on in most of the country); Browns-Bengals and Panthers-Saints might be mildly amusing.
Sunday late: Either Niners-Patriots (the coasts) or KC-Denver (flyover country) or Jax-Chargers (LA and north Florida/south Georgia, you poor poor bastards) or Raiders-Bucs
Oh, the coverage maps are here so you can see which games and announcing teams you get stuck with.
Sunday night: Seahawks-Cardinals (moved from 4 p.m. Sunday slot because Covid on the Raiders)
Monday night: Just one game this week (as of now), and it's Bears-Rams. Too bad Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack are both on defense and won't face each other.
Edit: Spelling of Lavonte David's first name.
Edit: Updated schedule
PS, Thursday: Sorry for the embed issue w the Derrick Henry vid at the top. GWJ doesn't allow embeds, and I don't know how to make GIFs (willing to learn!), so I guess you'll just have to click through.