Professional Football

Week 6 NFL Preview

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Week 5 of the NFL season was filled with exciting come-from-behind victories and three overtime thrillers. Eleven games were won by a team that trailed at some point during the contest, including four teams who overcame a double-digit deficit.

“Sometimes a win like this means more than just one win,” says Cleveland quarterback JOSH MC COWN, who passed for a franchise-record 457 yards as the Browns overcame a 12-point deficit to win 33-30 in overtime. “I think this win speaks volumes. We talked about being a team that responded. I think we are all in agreement that was a pretty good response.”

Seven teams – Atlanta, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, Buffalo, the New York Giants and Pittsburgh – were victorious in Week 5 after trailing in the fourth quarter. The Bengals (17 points) and Bears (11) both overcame double-digit deficits in the fourth quarter.

“It’s a huge win for us and shows the character of this team,” says Cincinnati quarterback ANDY DALTON, who passed for two touchdowns and rushed for a score as the Bengals overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat Seattle 27-24 in overtime. “It shows the fight of this team. And for us to do that against a really, really good team, to come back in the fourth quarter and win it in overtime, it was huge. It was big for us and I’m so proud of our guys.”

Cincinnati’s comeback was only the third victory in NFL history in which a team erased a fourth-quarter deficit of at least 17 points against a club that played in the previous season’s Super Bowl.

“The game is not over until it’s over,” says Atlanta cornerback ROBERT ALFORD, who returned an interception 59 yards for the game-winning touchdown in the team’s overtime victory over Washington. “This team that we have and the coaches that we have, we are always going to grind until the end.”

The Falcons are the first team in NFL history to start a season 5-0 with four of those wins coming after trailing at some point in the fourth quarter.

Atlanta and Cincinnati are two of the four teams currently sitting atop the NFL with 5-0 records – Atlanta, Cincinnati, Denver and Green Bay. Two other clubs have 4-0 records – Carolina and New England. The NFL record for the most 5-0 teams in a single season is five, which was set in 2009.

“Being 5-0 is just a real clear demonstration of how hard the guys all want to play for one another,” says Falcons head coach DAN QUINN. “We try to stay in the present moment as often as we can so we’ll get right back to work. I think it shows a lot of the character and the toughness of the men in the room. We feel like we’ve got a long way to go in terms of how good we’ll get. It’s still early and we recognize that.”

Next up for the Falcons are the division-rival New Orleans Saints on Thursday night (8:25 PM ET, CBS/NFLN) as the two teams will kick off Week 6. Atlanta running back DEVONTA FREEMAN leads the NFL with eight touchdowns and last week became the first player in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to rush for at least seven touchdowns in a player’s first three career starts. New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES has won seven of his nine career home starts against the Falcons since joining the Saints in 2006. Some of the key games on the NFL schedule in Week 6:

CINCINNATI BENGALS (5-0) at BUFFALO BILLS (3-2) (Sunday, CBS, 1:00 PM ET)

The Bengals remain one of the league’s unbeatens as they stormed back from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks in overtime 27-24. Cincinnati quarterback ANDY DALTON threw two touchdown passes – both to tight end TYLER EIFERT – and rushed for one score to lead the comeback.

“It puts us at 5-0,” says Dalton about the win. “We want to stay undefeated. This win shows that we’ve done it in so many different ways. However you can win, that’s what we’ve done so far this year.”

Buffalo trailed by as many as 10 points in its come-from-behind 14-13 win at Tennessee in Week 5. Bills quarterback TYROD TAYLOR rallied the team back as he rushed for a touchdown and threw the game-winning score to wide receiver CHRIS HOGAN with 5:25 remaining in the contest.

“Our quarterback has the biggest heart,” says Buffalo head coach REX RYAN about Taylor. “He’s tough. He’s courageous. He has guts. At the end of the day, he’s the reason we won the game.”

DENVER BRONCOS (5-0) at CLEVELAND BROWNS (2-3) (Sunday, CBS, 1:00 PM ET)

Denver’s defense had four sacks and forced three turnovers, including a key 74-yard interception-return touchdown by cornerback CHRIS HARRIS JR. in the fourth quarter, as the Broncos won at Oakland 16-10 and improved to 5-0.

“We know somebody is going to make a play,” says Denver safety T.J. WARD about the defense’s mindset. “We’re just racing to be the first one to do it. That’s what happens when you’ve got a lot of guys out there itching to make a play.”

The Browns, who trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half, defeated Baltimore 33-30 in overtime last week. Cleveland quarterback JOSH MC COWN set a club record with 457 passing yards and accounted for three touchdowns – two passing and one rushing.

“Sometimes you get wins that define things for you, that become a turning point,” says Browns head coach MIKE PETTINE. “We’re hoping that was this for us. To find a way to win a game like that, with everything on the line, I can’t tell you how satisfying that is.”

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (4-0) at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3-2) (Sunday, NBC, 8:30 PM ET)

The Patriots and Colts will meet in a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game which New England won 45-7 en route to a victory in Super Bowl XLIX.

Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY leads the NFL with a 121.5 passer rating as he has guided New England to a 4-0 start. Last week, he passed for 275 yards and two touchdowns, including a 59-yard score to wide receiver JULIAN EDELMAN, as the Patriots won 30-6 at Dallas.

“That was a big win for us,” says Brady. “Going on the road is never easy. We’ve got to keep it going. It’s a long season. We are four games into it and we’ve got to keep moving forward.”

The Colts have won three in a row, including last week’s 27-20 win at Houston on Thursday night. In that contest, Indianapolis quarterback MATT HASSELBECK, filling in for ANDREW LUCK, connected with wide receiver ANDRE JOHNSON on two touchdown passes and running back FRANK GORE rushed for 98 yards with a TD.

“We’ve just got to go out there and execute,” says Gore about the upcoming matchup with New England. “We’ve got to just be one and go play for each other.”

NEW YORK GIANTS (3-2) at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (2-3) (Monday, ESPN, 8:30 PM ET)

The Giants have won three in a row after an 0-2 start and now sit atop the NFC East. In last week’s 30-27 come-from-behind win over San Francisco on Sunday night, quarterback ELI MANNING had a franchise-record 41 completions and passed for 441 yards with three touchdowns, including the game-winning score to tight end LARRY DONNELL with 21 seconds remaining.

“I am proud of the way that we have fought,” says Manning about the team rebounding from an 0-2 start. “I am proud of the way that we didn’t get down, didn’t get frustrated and we wanted to change it. We were committed to fixing it and we knew what we had to do. We were playing well, we were doing good things, but we had to play better in the fourth quarter. We had to play our best football at those times and these past three weeks, we’ve been able to do that. We’ve been able to finish games and that’s what you have to do in this league – you have to be able to finish games and play your best football at the end.”

Philadelphia defeated New Orleans 39-17 in Week 5 as the Eagles got two passing touchdowns from quarterback SAM BRADFORD and rushing scores from running backs DE MARCO MURRAY and RYAN MATHEWS.

“Obviously, getting this win is nice,” says Bradford about the victory over New Orleans. “I think the big thing for us and this team is just to build on this. By no means are we where we want to be as a team. But I think this was a step in the right direction. And if we can continue to build on this, hopefully in the upcoming weeks we will be in a better position than we are now.”