THE TOP STORYLINES:
The Upstart 49ers Hand The Lions Their First Loss & A Post-Game Skirmish Between Jim Harbaugh & Jim Schwartz
The surging San Francisco 49ers prevailed in an emotional, hard-hitting and penalty-filled contest, knocking the Detroit Lions from the ranks of the unbeaten by a final of 25-19. After struggling most of the game, Alex Smith (125-1-1) tossed a touchdown pass with 1:51 remaining, and David Akers nailed a 37-yard field goal with 1:01 left to secure the win. Frank Gore paced San Francisco with 15-141-1 and Michael Crabtree compiled 9-77-0. The 49ers’ defense also notched five sacks on the afternoon. For the Lions, Matthew Stafford posted 293-2-0, while Calvin Johnson accumulated 7-113-0 and Brandon Pettigrew amassed 8-42-1.
The NFL is planning to review the post-game confrontation between San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh and Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz. In case you missed it, Harbaugh used his right hand to shake hands with Schwartz and slapped him on the back with his other hand. Claiming to have been shoved and claiming to have heard some “colorful language” directed at him, Schwartz charged Harbaugh as the teams ran into the tunnels, but the two were separated by a host of players and team officials during a very emotionally charged scene.
What if Detroit and San Francisco have to face each other in playoffs? Even if they don’t, I think a rivalry has been born.
And Now There Is Just One 6-0 Team
The Green Bay Packers dispatched the struggling St. Louis Rams 24-3 at Lambeau Field to notch their sixth win of the season against no defeats. Aaron Rodgers passed for 310-3-1, which was just another day at the office for him. Greg Jennings (6-82-0) and Jordy Nelson (2-104-1) led the potent-as-usual Green Bay passing attack. Donald Driver and James Jones each hauled in a touchdown pass.
After coming within one victory of winning the NFC West last season, the 0-5 Rams have been a huge disappointment. The team did not add any proven offensive playmakers to help young Sam Bradford, and the defense has inexplicably regressed quite a bit. Tabbed by some as a high-end No. 2 fantasy quarterback during the preseason, Bradford has notched two 300-yard passing games but has tossed just three touchdown passes in five games, which barely makes him a fantasy starter. The loss of Danny Amendola (elbow) obviously has been an issue, although the Rams are hoping that injury-prone Danario Alexander (6-91-0 against the Packers) can fill that void.
The So-Called “Dream Team” Finally Showed Up
Remember that mega-talented Super-Bowl bound Philadelphia Eagles team that we heard so much about during the preseason? That group finally made a long-overdue appearance, snapping a four-game losing streak with a 20-13 triumph over the Washington Redskins. What had been a porous and badly underachieving Eagles’ defense picked Rex Grossman four times (three by safety Kurt Coleman). Philadelphia also finally figured out how to stop the run, holding the vaunted Washington rushing attack to just 12 carries for 28 yards (not counting backup quarterback John Beck’s two rushes for 14 yards and a score). LeSean McCoy led the Philadelphia offense with 28-126-1 and 2-13-0 receiving. Michael Vick passed for 237-1-1 and compiled 7-54-0 on the ground. Jeremy Maclin led all Eagles with 5-101-0.
The Washington Redskins looked surprisingly flat coming off their bye week. After a week of wild speculation about whether Ryan Torain or Tim Hightower would start, Torain received the nod. However he rushed just 10 times for 22 yards, and Hightower did not touch the ball. Roy Helu also carried two times for six yards. The struggling Grossman was replaced by Beck, but he was unable to lift the offense. Beck passed for a respectable 117 yards with no interceptions. Fred Davis led all Washington pass-catchers with 6-95-0.
A Last-Minute Touchdown Lifts the Patriots over the Cowboys
In the marquee matchup of Week 6, Tom Brady tossed an eight-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez with 22 seconds left in the game to upend the Dallas Cowboys 20-16 in what was a very physical, hard-fought contest. The victory lifts New England to 5-1 while Dallas falls to 2-3. By the way, all of the tough luck Cowboys’ loses have been by four points or less. Brady led the Patriots with 289-2-2, while Wes Welker contributed 6-45-1, which was one of his quietest games of the season. Hernandez (8-68-1) and Rob Gronkowski (7-74-0) continued to produce impressive fantasy numbers. For the Cowboys, Romo compiled 317-1-1 with his only touchdown pass of the game going to Jason Witten (4-48-1). Miles Austin returned after missing two games with a hamstring injury to contribute 7-74-0.
The Buccaneers Rebound With a Surprising Win Over New Orleans &
Sean Payton Suffers a Broken Leg During The Game
Following a 45-point drubbing at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers two weeks ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers bounced back with a hard-fought 26-20 win over the turnover-prone New Orleans Saints to move into a first-place tie with the Saints in the NFC South. Josh Freeman propelled the surprisingly effective Buccaneers’ offense, amassing 303-2-0, while Earnest Graham compiled 17-109-0 while filling in for the injured LeGarrette Blount. For New Orleans, Drew Brees accumulated 383-1-3 while Jimmy Graham (7-124-0) and Marques Colston (7-118-1) led all Saints’ pass-catchers.
During the first quarter, New Orleans’ head coach Sean Payton suffered a broken left leg and a torn left medial collateral ligament (MCL) when Graham, who was being tackled, slammed into him on the sideline. Payton was not on the sideline during the second half. He is expected to undergo surgery sometime Monday, and his availability for Week 7 is unknown.