NFL Week 6: Odell Beckham Jr. blows up; Panthers' playoff hopes almost gone

NFL Week 6

Top Story Lines | Injury News
Fantasy Football | ATS Betting Tips/Picks

[Looking for Redskins coverage? Click here.]

Just as Week 5 focused on the return of Tom Brady, Week 6 focuses on the return of a pair of quarterbacks.

Colin Kaepernick reclaimed the starting job for the San Francisco 49ers this week. Prior to Sunday’s game, Kaepernick had not thrown an regular season pass since Week 9 of 2015. The quarterback missed time due to shoulder surgery, but his own poor play also contributed to the Niners handing the starting job to Blaine Gabbert until this week.

While benched, Kaepernick had been anything but irrelevant this season. Hoping to draw attention to the killings of unarmed African Americans by police officers, Kaepernick refused to stand for the playing of the national anthem during the preseason. As the regular season began, he continued his protest, dropping to one knee. He has been joined by other players, protesting in various manners, whether by kneeling like Kaepernick or raising a fist.

Buffalo fans preceded the protest with chants of “U-S-A!” according to ESPN reporter Mike Rodak.

For the first time since the protests began, Kaepernick’s on-field performance will figure into the larger discussion — though not much.

The Bills offense ran over the Niners defense behind three touchdowns from LeSean McCoy in Buffalo.

An early tailgate scene proved really predictive of how the game would go for the Niners.

The Bills blew it open late in the game, winning 45-16.

Kaepernick was not the only high-profile quarterback making an anticipated start this week. Cam Newton cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol after sitting out Week 5 and returned to lead the Carolina Panthers against the New Orleans Saints in a high-scoring thriller.

The Saints led 21-0 before the Panthers could get on the scoreboard, but Carolina closed strong in the second half and could have tied it with an extra point following Jonathan Stewart’s second touchdown of the day, but Graham Gano pushed it wide. Even then, the Panthers pushed on. After a Saints touchdown pushed the margin to 38-30, the Panthers rallied with a Cam Newton rushing touchdown and two-point conversion to Devin Funchess to knot the score with three minutes remaining.

Following a go-ahead field goal by the Saints, Newton couldn’t muster a final drive and the Panthers fell to 1-5 after advancing to the Super Bowl a season ago.

Elsewhere in the NFL, the Giants received a big injury scare when Odell Beckham Jr. landed awkwardly after stretching for an incomplete pass in the first half. It may have just shaken off the rust from a sluggish start to the season The star receiver returned to the game after being diagnosed with a hip pointer and subsequently scoring a 75-yard touchdown and another 66-yarder that proved to be the game-winner. The receiver finished the game with 222 yards receiving on the day.

Tom Brady made his Foxboro debut against the Cincinnati Bengals. They posed a much sturdier test than the Browns, the Patriots’ opponents in Week 5 when Brady made his 2016 debut after serving a four-game suspension for his involvement in Deflategate, but couldn’t halt Brady’s revenge tour. Predictably, New England fans were enthusiastic in their welcome.

Though the Bengals proved superior to their in-state AFC North counterparts in one regard, holding the Patriots to an opening-drive field goal, instead of three straight touchdowns, the Patriots cruised in the second half to a 35-17 win.

Another AFC contender avoided some significant bad news, but couldn’t avoid a surprising defeat. Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger walked to the locker room after throwing a second-quarter interception with an apparent left knee injury. He returned to start the second half, but the Steelers ultimately fell to the Dolphins 30-15.

While he is not ready to return quite yet, Tony Romo looms large over Week 6’s proceedings in a different way. Long regarded as the franchise quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Romo has missed all of this season after breaking his back in the first quarter of the Cowboys’ first preseason game. That provided an opening for rookie Dak Prescott to seize upon the starting job and he has done precisely that.

Under Prescott, the Cowboys sit in first-place in the NFC East. His rapid success has led to speculation that Romo may not reclaim his  starting job once he’s able to rejoin the team, possibly as soon as Oct. 30 after the Cowboys’ Week 7 bye. Others believe Romo’s first game back will be Nov. 6 against the Cleveland Browns. Prescott has stated that this is Romo’s team and will continue to be going forward, but not everyone might agree after the rookie’s impressive six-week audition.

Prescott passed for three touchdowns Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, outplaying Aaron Rodgers in his own backyard. Dallas’s defense did it’s part, too, forcing four turnovers in the 30-16 win at Lambeau Field, while Prescott threw for 247 yards on an 18-for-27 passing performance. He did throw the first interception of his career, however, after 176 pass attempts — an NFL record, previously held by Tom Brady (162). Safety Morgan Burnett made the interception in the third quarter.

Out west, Russell Wilson led a fourth-quarter rally to send the Seattle Seahawks (4-1) past the high-flying Atlanta Falcons (4-2), 26-24. Wilson orchestrated a 70-yard touchdown drive that made it a one-point game with 4:47 left, and after an interception off a Richard Sherman-tipped ball thrown by Matt Ryan, Wilson got Seattle in field goal range with 2:07 remaining. Steven Hauschka split the uprights from 44-yards away to give the Seahawks the lead for good.

This story will be updated throughout the day. Refresh for the latest updates.

Top Story Lines

Dak Prescott can’t do anything more to convince the Cowboys to stick with him

The rookie quarterback has made a convincing case to remain as Dallas’s starter. (Read More)

For Carson Wentz and the Eagles, the early-season magic has run out

Philadelphia couldn’t manage an offensive touchdown in Sunday’s loss. (Read More)

The Panthers are running out of excuses and time

It’s getting late early for the defending NFC champions. (Read More)

Cam Newton pouts way through brief post-loss news conference

The Panthers’ quarterback was in Super Bowl form Sunday. (Read More)

Fancy Stats: The Panthers’ playoff hopes are almost shot

Not even Cam Newton can save them with this defense. (Read More)

Colin Kaepernick was relevant after the anthem. But he wasn’t good.

The Bills positively crushed the 49ers in the quarterback’s first start in almost a year. (Read More)

The Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger stumble on a bad Sunday

But it could have been much, much worse. (Read More)

Americans disapprove of anthem protests, poll finds

But the poll breaks down very much along racial lines. (Read More)

Inspirational Jets player, Dennis Byrd, dies in highway crash

After a scary hit, the Jets player overcame on-field paralysis after breaking his neck in 1992. (Read More)

Andrew Luck blames himself for Colts’ lackluster offense. He’s wrong. 

The QB thinks he’s holding the ball too long, but it’s the same time to pass from his sterling 2013 season. (Read More)

The Browns are going to lose a lot more before they win

It’s going to be another long season in Cleveland. What else is new? (Read More)

The likely leading causes behind the NFL’s big ratings drop

It probably isn’t just one factor contributing to the decline. (Read More)

Injury News

Latest updates: 10:45 p.m.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left the Steelers’ game against the Dolphins in the second quarter after a hit from behind. He was scheduled to get an MRI exam Sunday night and it was reported that he had torn the meniscus in his left knee and will undergo surgery Monday.

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs suffered a torn right biceps against the Giants.

Fantasy Football

Check back later for a full rundown of the day’s top fantasy developments from John Romero, but in the meantime here are some tips to help you set your lineup.

Week 6 start/sit advice: Yeah, you should bench Ezekiel Elliott

Well, if you have a better option. But don’t expect a big day against a Green Bay line that has erased opposing running games. (Read More)

Podcast: Let’s make a deal

With waiver wires pretty much picked clean, a trade is the best way to help your squad right now. But what players should you target? (Read More)

PFF: The best and worst matchups for Week 6

Breakout time for Jamaal Charles? (Read More)

The critical situations to monitor in Week 6

Will Colin Kaepernick have any fantasy utility and can the Saints offense get back on track? (Read More)

ATS Betting Tips/Picks

Week 6 NFL ATS picks

The Falcons are dogs again. That’s interesting. (Read More)

Fancy Stats: Week 6 picks

Here’s how Week 6 should play out according to the numbers. (Read More)

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