There is still some question about how good the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can be. The Baker Mayfield revitalization project has seen promising returns early on. But how will he fare once the defenses around the league adjust to him? Tampa Bay will get a good idea of where it is at in Week 6.
The Buccaneers are coming off a bye and riding the momentum of a strong 3-1 start to the season. Tampa Bay will now face one of the hot up-and-coming NFL teams. The Lions have transformed into an offensive juggernaut. Detroit put up more than 40 points in a win over Carolina last week.
For the first time since Barry Sanders retired, the Lions look like a legitimate contender to win the division title. Now, all Detroit needs to do is prove it can handle success. Tampa Bay was expected to struggle this season but surprised many with a hot start. Current sports news has the Lions as the odds-on favorite to win the NFC North. Now Detroit has to finish the job. Beating the Buccaneers would be another important step toward that goal.
Ravens Need Offensive Reset against Tennessee
Baltimore needs to spend some time doing some self-reflection. The receiving corps especially struggled against rival Pittsburgh last Sunday. The Ravens dropped two passes in the end zone and several others that stunted their offense in a seven-point loss on the road.
The AFC North Division has four flawed teams in it this season. But Baltimore can’t turn in another sloppy performance like it did last Sunday against Tennessee this week. The Ravens and Titans, old division rivals before realignment in the early 2000s, will meet in London this Sunday morning.
Tennessee, like Baltimore, has needed help with being consistent. The Titans surprised the league in Week 4 by beating Cincinnati 27-3. However, Tennessee followed that up with a 23-16 loss to the Colts. The Titans need to get their star running back Derrick Henry going.
Lacking a solid passing game, Tennessee hasn’t been able to open up consistent running lanes for Henry. He only has one 100-yard game this season. The Ravens will want to find a way to get their receivers going to help Lamar Jackson out before it gets too late on the NFL schedule.
Baltimore does have some good news to hang its hat on. The Ravens are still tied for first place in the division but have taken two tough losses to the Steelers and Colts. Baltimore must be more consistent moving forward.
Is Burrow Back to Form?
Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness to start this season. But a trip to the desert may have helped fix Burrow’s confidence. Finally getting back on the right page with receiver Ja’Marr Chase may have helped.
The Bengals benefited from the renewed chemistry. Burrow bypassed for 317 yards and threw three touchdown passes to Chase. Chase finished with a season-high 192 receiving yards, according to Black sports news. The Bengals will want to take advantage of that renewed confidence against Seattle on Sunday.
The Seahawks are off to an excellent start again. Seattle won three straight games entering its bye week last week. The Seahawks will likely be looking to open things up in the passing game. While Seattle quarterback Geno Smith has running back Kenneth Walker III to support him, Smith needs to be better in the pass game.
Smith has been limited to 112 or fewer passing yards in two of his four starts so far. Pittsburgh’s win over Baltimore will spur on Cincinnati. The Bengals are now just one game away back in the division race.
Jaguars Need to Put Hammer Down
Jacksonville is 3-2 and set to take on Indianapolis for first place in the AFC South Division this weekend. The Jaguars feel like they are in a must-win kind of spot. While Jacksonville could lose the game and not see their playoff prospects change much, the Jaguars have already been tripped up in a division game by the Houston Texans.
Jacksonville can’t afford another loss like that. The Colts have also had a difficult time keeping rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson on the field. Richardson, though performing solidly while healthy, has been plagued by a number of different injuries.
Jacksonville’s offense looked dynamic in London against the Bills. The Jaguars had Travis Etienne go over 100 rushing yards, according to Black sports news. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence also passed for more than 300 yards. Jacksonville can’t waste riding the waves of that success with a home loss to the Colts.
Refreshed Chargers Welcome Downtrodden Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys couldn’t feel worse after getting beaten by 32 points by rival San Francisco. Dallas will stay on the West Coast and try to ground the high-flying Chargers. Los Angeles’ major issue is that they make enough mistakes to take themselves out of games.
The Chargers are 2-2 this season and have a penchant for playing in heart-stopping games. Los Angeles has seen all four of its games get decided by seven points or less. The Chargers are also coming off a bye, so they should be well rested.
Dallas is trying to face off against its worst fears. Quarterback Dak Prescott struggled against a strong 49ers’ defense last week. Prescott was intercepted three times and wasn’t able to find his rhythm during a big loss. Dallas needs to show something in this game to prove that it is the Super Bowl contender many thought it would be.
Los Angeles is in a similar boat. The Chargers were thought to be championship contenders but appear to be the same mistake-ridden team they have been over the past few seasons.
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