Later today, the 2017 NFL regular season will enter its seventh week when the Oakland Raiders host the Kansas City Chiefs. Before we start focusing on what is ahead – a Super Bowl rematch, for example – we take one final look back at week number six. Not only did it see the New England Patriots take the AFC East lead with their victory over the New York Jets, it also saw some other big developments. Let's take a look.
1. Sans Aaron Rodgers, the Packers might be in trouble: Losing 23-10 against the Vikings hurts the Packers in the race for the NFC North title but it pales in comparison to losing Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone. Even if he would be able to return later during the year – a big if considering the injury –, the team will have a hard time earning a playoff spot behind backup quarterback Brett Hundley, who threw three interceptions against Minnesota.
2. Atlanta probably does not like the AFC East: Thanks to the Dolphins 20-17 come-from-behind victory, the Falcons have now lost the three straight games versus AFC East opponents. Since Matt Ryan joined Atlanta in 2008, the team has gone only 4-7 against the Patriots' division – and will face the team responsible for three of those seven losses this upcoming week: New England.
3. The AFC East is one of the NFL's top divisions right now: Prior to the season, the AFC East was not regarded as an overly strong division outside of New England. However, six week into the season, it has proven its doubters wrongs and now is the lone division in the NFL where every team is .500 or above.
4. Parity is the name of the game: On Sunday, the previously undefeated Chiefs have lost their first game of the season against the visiting Steelers – a team coming straight off a blowout loss against the Jaguars. Jacksonville, of course, was blown out by the Titans, who were blown out by the Texans who themselves suffered lopsided losses at the hands of the aforementioned Jaguars and Chiefs. Any given Sunday.
5. Deshaun Watson is challenging Kareem Hunt for rookie of the year: The Chiefs running back, who had his sixth straight game with more than 100 yards from scrimmage, should still be considered the favorite – but don't count out Watson. Not only does Houston's quarterback play a more prominent position, he has also already thrown 15 touchdown passes this year, tying his team's total from the 2016 season.
6. The 49ers are probably cursed: The 0-6 49ers, who have made a change at quarterback on Sunday by replacing Brain Hoyer with C.J. Beathard, are tied for the worst record in the NFL. However, apart from a 20-point loss on opening day, the team has come awfully close every single game: San Francisco has lost each of its last five games by a field goal or less.
7. The Raiders are not playing good football right now: One of the AFC's preseason favorites, the Raiders are currently struggling – the low point coming on Sunday with a 17-16 loss against the previously 1-4 Chargers. Now, both teams have the same record and Oakland faces an uphill climb to reach the playoffs for the second straight year; something that has not happened since the early 2000s.
8. Apparently, Adrian Peterson still knows how to football: Peterson entered week six having rushed for only 81 yards this season, all as a member of the Saints. Now with the Cardinals, the veteran looked rejuvenated as he carried the football 26 times for 134 yards and a pair of scores. How things can change in only two weeks.
9. Rams vs Jaguars is a marquee matchup in the 2017 NFL: Speaking of things changing fast: The Rams and Jaguars are two of the major surprises of this season so far. Prior to the two team's week six meeting, they were both 3-2 and fighting for the lead in their division. While the two squads had a lot of talent entering the year, them being this successful was certainly not to be expected.
10. The Lions and Saints played one weird game: 90 points, 12 touchdowns, eight turnovers, five non-offensive scores – the Saints' 52-38 victory over the Lions was a wild game that saw one highlight after the other. An entertaining affair but not exactly one that falls under the category of “good game”.