by Trevor Fik (Staff Writer)
With the October 19 trade deadline happening on the cusp of week six, NFL action was reduced to background noise as talk between football pundits and analysts intensified over whether any big deals would be made in the coming 48 hours.
Leading up to week six, some potentially season changing trades had been made by teams desperate for a quick fix, as game results spiraled quickly out of control. The biggest trade of the week came in the form of a winless squad shipping away one of their most promising players in exchange for a chance at better fortunes in years to come. With running back Marshawn Lynch heading to the Seattle Seahawks from the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in 2011, and a conditional pick in 2012, it is clear the Bills have said goodbye to this year and are content to focus on next year’s squad.
Lynch, who has proven to be as much of a problem off the field as a star on it, made his presence felt in the Seahawks game against Chicago on Sunday. Lynch ran for 44 yards on 17 carries in the Seahawks 23-20 win at Solider Field in Chicago, adding a touchdown in a game that saw him reunited with Justin Forsett, his roommate at the University of California.
In other NFL action, the team that turned the league upside down last week with its acquisition of Randy Moss took to the field against a desperate-to-win Dallas Cowboys squad at the Metrodome in Minnesota on Sunday. The Vikings, fresh off a devastating loss to the New York Jets the week before, relied primarily on their defensive efforts and a Percy Harvin 95-yard kick-off return touchdown to go up 24-21.
With all hope of a playoff appearance dwindling after a 1-4 start, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has confirmed that he will not make any midseason personnel changes. However, he noted the “discipline problems” stemmed from a lack of firm leadership, shifting the blame to head coach Wade Phillips.
The Cowboys are easily the train wreck story of the season. The problem comes back to discipline, and the mounting penalties that the team racks up each game. They are not short on talent at any position; all the Cowboys need to do to really get back into the season is to cut down on the number of yards lost to stupid calls and emotional reactions.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, the New York Jets appear to be unstoppable, capping off a 24-20 win against the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. Down 20-17 with just over a minute to play in the game, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez threw up a pass that saw Jets’ receiver Santonio Holmes and Denver cornerback Renaldo Hill scramble for the ball near the two yard line. Termed the “Rock Mountain Miracle” by ESPN writer Rich Cimini, the pass interference call on Hill that followed allowed the Jets to get into a great field position and for LaDainian Tomlinson to pound in his second touchdown run of the game for the Jets to go 5-1 on the season.
Other notable action around the league saw a couple of teams squeeze out overtime victories in both New England and Green Bay.
Considered the best team in the NFL by many around the league, the Baltimore Ravens played like future Super Bowl champions, going up 20-10 and holding on to the lead until late in the fourth quarter. It was then that Brady took over, reunited with wide receiver Deion Branch and equipped with his now famous flowing locks of hair, Brady got the Patriots within field goal range on two occasions to allow for a couple of late field goals and an overtime victory of 23-20. With this win, Tom Brady has won 23 straight home field victories, two shy of Brett Favre’s 25-win record.
In Green Bay, the Packers were unable to mount a comeback at Lambeau Field, despite a late Aaron Rodgers touchdown run, losing to the Miami Dolphins 23-20. In a game that saw the Packers defence decimated by injuries, Dolphins wideout Brandon Marshall had a standout game grabbing 10 catches for 127 yards.
The Packers will have to rebound quickly from the loss, as they head in to an always emotional match against Brett Favre and the Vikings next Sunday, in what is sure to be the game to watch in week seven.