Neil Reynolds: Reasons for Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans to be concerned, Josh Allen produces MVP performance | NFL News


Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has just eight touchdown passes through the first six weeks of the season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has just eight touchdown passes through the first six weeks of the season

It was another fascinating week in the NFL. Six weeks in the book, we’re starting to see things take shape and get a better idea of some of these teams, who are the contenders for this season…

An MVP performance from Allen

It was an outstanding performance from Josh Allen, in the Buffalo Bills’ win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, not just in the way he threw the ball, but also his timely runs.

Highlights of the Buffalo Bills against the Kansas City Chiefs from Week Six of the NFL season

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Highlights of the Buffalo Bills against the Kansas City Chiefs from Week Six of the NFL season

Highlights of the Buffalo Bills against the Kansas City Chiefs from Week Six of the NFL season

He put his team on his back and took them to victory in a massive game, in a hostile environment.

Another observation from that game: This was precisely why the Bills went and got Von Miller and paid him a lot of money. He had a couple of sacks of Patrick Mahomes and a key pressure on the last play.

That’s what was different to the divisional round classic in the playoffs last year; there was some defense on show, and Buffalo look much the better for having Miller in their side.

Mahomes not at fault | Chiefs-Bills will meet again

Mahomes had some amazing moments in this game as well, some amazing plays. And I think everyone expects these two quarterbacks, these two teams to meet further down the road in the playoffs again.

Kansas City Chiefs' JuJu Smith-Schuster bounced off and spun away from three Buffalo Bills players as the wide receiver went on to score a brilliant touchdown

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Kansas City Chiefs’ JuJu Smith-Schuster bounced off and spun away from three Buffalo Bills players as the wide receiver went on to score a brilliant touchdown

Kansas City Chiefs’ JuJu Smith-Schuster bounced off and spun away from three Buffalo Bills players as the wide receiver went on to score a brilliant touchdown

Mahomes did get pressured into a mistake late in the game, and the first of his two interceptions was a result of the pressure to try to score touchdowns and not field goals. He could have thrown that ball away and settled for three points – but he knew that would likely not be enough against Allen and the Bills.

This new wave of quarterbacks in the NFL is not ‘arriving’ anymore. They have arrived. Allen and Mahomes are the new Tom Brady-Peyton Manning rivalry.

That rivalry was very cerebral. This one is going to be athletic, in your face and full of highlight plays. It’s going to be sensational to watch these two go head to head for the next decade.

Giants pull off yet another upset

The New York Giants had another come-from-behind win on Sunday, against the Baltimore Ravens. It is becoming quite a habit for them this season – that’s three of their five games won when trailing by more than 10 at one point.

Highlights of the Baltimore Ravens against the New York Giants from Week Six of the NFL season

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Highlights of the Baltimore Ravens against the New York Giants from Week Six of the NFL season

Highlights of the Baltimore Ravens against the New York Giants from Week Six of the NFL season

The Baltimore Ravens, meanwhile, are the flip side to the Giants. They’ve had three losses where they’ve blown leads of 10 points or more. They’ve got to find a way to close games out.

If you look across the board, the numbers weren’t great for the Giants: Saquon Barkley didn’t have a big day, Daniel Jones played efficiently but nothing more. But the defense stepped up and made key plays down the stretch.

This team are a legitimate 5-1 team, and I think one of the storylines of this season will continue to be about how this Giants team have emerged.

Big concerns about the Bucs offense

Tom Brady has now had five games out of six this season where he has thrown only one touchdown pass or fewer. He has just eight across the first six games of the season – they are not Brady numbers!

Highlights of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Pittsburgh Steelers from Week Six of the NFL season

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Highlights of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Pittsburgh Steelers from Week Six of the NFL season

Highlights of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Pittsburgh Steelers from Week Six of the NFL season

This is a guy who threw for over 5,000 yards and had 43 touchdowns last season to lead the NFL in both categories.

It’s actually stunning how poor this team have been on offense in recent weeks. And I don’t think we can just use the injury excuse, because every team is dealing with something, somewhere.

It just doesn’t look right down in Tampa Bay. Even Brady said this week, “football is hard.” And their head coach, Todd Bowles, was very strong in saying there was still a Super Bowl hangover – from a season and a half ago!

I’m going to keep an eye on the Bucs, because they’ve gone 1-3 after a 2-0 start to the season. Very worrying.

Bengals fight and claw their way to win

It was their trusted two that got the job done for the Cincinnati Bengals against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday: Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase. And that’s how it’s going to have to be the whole season for the Bengals to be competitive.

Cincinnati Bengals' QB and receiver combo of Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase enjoyed their homecoming in Louisiana, combining for two TDs against the New Orleans Saints

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Cincinnati Bengals’ QB and receiver combo of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase enjoyed their homecoming in Louisiana, combining for two TDs against the New Orleans Saints

Cincinnati Bengals’ QB and receiver combo of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase enjoyed their homecoming in Louisiana, combining for two TDs against the New Orleans Saints

They still have problems on the offensive line, they still can’t run the ball very well, but as long as they have Burrow and Chase, Cincinnati are going to be competitive.

They’ve lost some tight games this season, but I think their 3-3 record is a fair reflection of their season so far. And that’s still good enough right now to top the AFC North.

If you asked me who is coming out of that division by the end of the season, I’m still going to say the Bengals.

Player of the Week: Quinnen Williams

This is a player who is performing at an All-Pro level right now. He is a complete defender.

New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams has been playing at an All-Pro level this season

New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams has been playing at an All-Pro level this season

Williams harried and harassed Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers all day long. Defense was very much at the heart of that victory for the New York Jets.

We’ve talked before about the impressive crop of rookies on this team, well Williams hasn’t been around that long either. He is going to be there for another eight years or so too.

The Jets are intriguing. They have got my interest.

Play of the Week: Josh Allen

It has to be Allen’s box-jump of an NFL defender, about six feet into the air!

What was so impressive about that was the context of the game at the time. He had already picked up a first down on fourth-and-inches himself, he’d completed a couple of key passes to Stefon Diggs, and then he leaps over a defender for another first down – an incredible athletic play.

And then he followed all of that up with an absolute laser of a touchdown pass to Dawson Knox for the go-ahead touchdown.

Josh Allen finds Dawson Knox in the endzone for a TD before Patrick Mahomes throws an interception late in the fourth quarter

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Josh Allen finds Dawson Knox in the endzone for a TD before Patrick Mahomes throws an interception late in the fourth quarter

Josh Allen finds Dawson Knox in the endzone for a TD before Patrick Mahomes throws an interception late in the fourth quarter

Coach of the Week: Mike Tomlin

The Pittsburgh Steelers came off their worst loss of the Tomlin era the previous week, a 38-3 hammering to the Bills in which they gave up 552 yards of offense, and are then going up against Brady and the Buccaneers.

But all we got was yet another reminder as to why Tomlin has still yet to have a losing season as head coach of the Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season before with the team

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season before with the team

Pittsburgh shut down Brady. Tampa Bay didn’t score a touchdown until their 10th and final drive, and even then the Steelers defense closed the door on the game-tying two-point conversion attempt.

We should no longer be surprised by it. Tomlin is always going to turn out competitive teams, it’s just who he is. And while we talk about a new wave of quarterbacks, there is still very much an old guard of head coaches.

Not everyone needs to be a Sean McVay or a Matt LaFleur. Tomlin, Andy Reid, Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll – we’re seeing there’s definitely still a place for those guys to succeed and succeed often in the NFL.

On my Radar: Jameis Winston

I’m going to monitor over the next few weeks whether Jameis Winston makes it back into the lineup as quarterback for the Saints.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston was active for Sunday's game but didn't see action at quarterback

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston was active for Sunday’s game but didn’t see action at quarterback

I think it’s significant, because I think the Saints are still a pretty decent 2-4 team and if they get through their injuries, I can see them competing in a wide-open NFC.

Winston was ‘active’ on Sunday against Cincinnati, but they went with Andy Dalton at QB. We don’t know exactly just how healthy Winston was, but Dalton doesn’t turn the ball over as much and they ran the ball well on Sunday and played good defense on the whole.

There’s a formula there for head coach Dennis Allen; I’m interested to see if Winston fits into that or whether there will be a soft benching of him for Dalton.

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