NFL risers and fallers Week 6

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Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) carries the ball against Houston Texans cornerback Lonnie Johnson (32) in overtime of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans won 42-36. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

It’s Tua time! After starting the season 3-3 under Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Miami Dolphins have decided to make a change in quarterback, naming No. 3 overall pick Tua Tagovailoa the starter. This was an inevitable change, though it was still surprising considering the success Fitz has had this season. It makes sense though; Miami clearly thinks they can make a playoff push, so they’re going to go with who they deem the better quarterback at this point in time. I’m not sure I agree, but hey, I’m not an NFL coach (if you would believe that). 

Aside from Tua and the Dolphins, here were some of the other big storylines from this past week of football. 

Riser: Tennessee Titans 

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) carries the ball against Houston Texans cornerback Lonnie Johnson (32) in overtime of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans won 42-36. Photo by Wade Payne/AP

I will say, I was very hesitant to buy into the Titans for one reason and one reason alone — Ryan Tannehill. After watching all of his years in Miami, it’s hard to really believe he’s good. But finally, I’m sold, and now I’m all in on Ryan Tannehill and the Tennessee Titans. Tannehill looks good, Derrick Henry is the best running back in the NFL and their defense, while it hasn’t looked incredible, still has some playmakers. 

They’re also 5-0, one of just three remaining undefeated teams, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks. With an unstoppable force like Henry and an apparently top-10 quarterback in Tannehill, I think they can beat any team in the NFL. 

Faller: Dallas Cowboys 

Last week I said I wasn’t going to put the Cowboys in as a faller because the Dak injury was completely out of their control, but after this week, I have to. It’s not even because of their play. Like yes, it was really, really bad, but the team seems to be absolutely falling apart from the inside. Tuesday, some of the internal frustrations started making it to the public, as Jane Slater of NFL Network reported. 

Slater reported that one player said the coaching staff is “totally unprepared. They don’t teach. They don’t have any sense of adjusting on the fly,” and another player said “they just aren’t good at their jobs.” 

I had thought the Cowboys could still cruise to a division title even after the Dak injury, but after getting this peak at the locker room, I’m not so sure anymore. I think the division winner will come from this week’s Thursday night game between the Eagles and Giants, and that’s just sad. This whole division is a joke, and the Cowboys are the biggest one of all. 

Riser: Matt Peart 

UConn fans, guess who made the first start of his NFL career on Sunday? That’s right! After the Giants’ first-round pick Andrew Thomas was benched late due to disciplinary reasons, Peart made the spot-start — and he shined. Although he ended up splitting the game with Thomas, making 26 of the 48 total offensive snaps while Thomas made the other 22, he performed extremely well for a third-round rookie just being thrown in at left tackle. 

Pro Football Focus graded Peart the highest of any player on the Giants offense who played at least 25 snaps. He was great by veteran standards, much less for someone making his NFL debut. 

Faller: Josh Allen 

After a phenomenal first couple games, Josh Allen has finally come back down to Earth. I’ve never been an Allen fan, I think he’s just a flat out bad quarterback and more of a product of his team. But even I couldn’t deny his start to the season. It was great. But all throughout, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, and it has. 

I know Aaron Rodgers had a worse week, but he has a track record that Allen just doesn’t have. Aside from the first four games of this season, he has never proven himself to be a good QB at the NFL level. Now, with back-to-back stinkers under his belt, he’s starting to get back to the Josh Allen we all know and love — the one that tries a no-look lateral mid-tackle in a playoff game. Listen, I’m not saying we should just ignore his first couple weeks of work, but his name was being brought up in MVP conversations when he just flat out isn’t close to that. At best, he’s a slightly above average QB. At worst, he’s singlehandedly losing the Bills games due to his poor decision making. I believe he’s more of the latter, but only time will tell. 

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