Date Posted: October 21, 2011
Print Edition: October 19, 2011
Prior to the start of the 2011/2012 NFL season, no one would have believed that going into week six the Packers and the Lions would be the only two undefeated teams in the League. The defending Super Bowl Champions, The Green Bay Packers, were expected to continue their success coming into the season as their core stayed intact. The Detroit Lions, however, are the big surprise story of the season. Sunday morning, both teams were atop the standings with a 5-0 record.
The Detroit Lions hosted the San Francisco 49ers in what was a great seesaw battle; it was a game in which tempers flared, not only between the players, but also the coaches. Both teams exchanged the lead, but it was Alex Smith’s touchdown pass to Delanie Walker with less than two minutes left in the game which gave the 49ers the go-ahead score. The Lions got the ball back but were unable to generate a first down as the 49ers defence disguised blitz packages and attack Lions quarterback (QB) Matthew Stafford. Following the game, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was overly excited as he made his way across the field to shake hands with Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. Harbaugh, while leaping, shook Schwartz’s hand really hard followed by an exaggerated pat on the back. Words were exchanged which fired up the Lions head coach as he chased down Harbaugh and bumped into him while returning words. The two had to be separated by officials and players.
The Green Bay Packers hosted the winless St. Louis Rams which, realistically speaking, was a “give me” game for the now 6-0 Packers. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers finished the game having completed 17 passes for 310 yards, three touchdown passes and one interception. On the other side, Rams QB Sam Bradford completed 28 passes for 321 yards and no touchdowns, but did throw one interception. One of Rodgers three touchdown passes was a new career long as he dropped the ball off to WR Jordy Nelson who shook off two tackles and ran it for 93 yards.
In other news: The Philadelphia Eagles ended their streak of four straight losses as they barely escaped out of Washington with a 20-13 win over the Redskins. Eagles QB Michael Vick completed 18 passes for 237 yards, one touchdown and one interception, but the bigger story for all the wrong reasons was Redskins QB Rex Grossman. Through three quarters, Grossman was only able to complete nine of 22 passes for 143 yards and an astounding four interceptions. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan had seen enough and benched Grossman for the fourth QB. Back up QB John Beck, who hadn’t played a snap since 2007, entered the game and led Washington on its only touchdown drive. Perhaps if Beck had started the Eagles may have suffered their fifth straight loss. The Indianapolis Colts fall to 0-6, as the Bengals beat them and improve to 4-2 on the season. It’s proven that the Colts are nothing without sure-fire QB Peyton Manning, who is out indefinitely following off-season surgery. Many question the depth of the Colts after falling to 0-6 on the season, especially compared to the Patriots in 2007, when they lost QB Tom Brady for the season. That season, the Patriots went on to a 12-4 record without Brady, but the Colts can’t seem to do anything right. The Colts may want to look into drafting a QB in the early rounds of next year’s NFL draft.