Week 6 NFL takeaways: Are the Chiefs, Browns and Cowboys in trouble?

Clark: No more excuses for Cowboys after third straight loss (1:23)

Ryan Clark says it showed that the Cowboys did not come prepared to face the Jets, and they are not playing like a team expected to show up in the playoffs. (1:23)

The Chiefs and Browns come out of Week 6 on losing streaks, and the Redskins finally got their first win. Minnesota's passing game clicked against Philadelphia, and Baltimore's Lamar Jackson was historic against Cincinnati. In the afternoon, the Niners made a statement and the Cowboys were upset by the Jets.

All that and more in Week 6's biggest takeaways from NFL Nation.

Jump to a matchup:

Green Bay Packers 23, Detroit Lions 22

So you can turn the ball over three times and win. It's not the formula the Packers would like to follow but thanks to some timely catches by previously unknown receiver Allen Lazard and a game-winning field goal by Mason Crosby -- the same kicker who missed five times last year in Detroit -- the Packers have control of the NFC North and might have helped solidify their position as one of the teams to beat in the entire NFC. Who would've expected that from a team with a first-year head coach? -- Rob Demovsky

Next game: vs. Oakland (1 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

The Lions still can't win a game that matters. They've seen this over and over again throughout the last decade or so -- more so throughout the past five years when the Lions have flirted again and again with picking up a program-changing win. And then they've seen Aaron Rodgers, mustache and all, looking back at them as a giant tease and the quarterback that, when it matters, they just cannot vanquish. They saw it in 2014 and 2015, then again in 2016 and again Monday night. It showed that, yes, Detroit can play with anyone -- but it still can't win the big game that matters in the end. Not yet. Even though this time they were really, really, really, really close. -- Michael Rothstein

Next game: vs. Minnesota (1 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Los Angeles Chargers 17

The Steelers' run game finally came together for its best performance of the season. It started up front, with the offensive line doing a solid job to pave the way for big days from James Conner and Benny Snell Jr. Conner, who rushed for 41 yards on 16 carries to go with seven catches for 78 yards, had a receiving touchdown and a rushing touchdown in a game for the first time in his career. Snell, who had 30 career rushing yards going into the game, led the team with 75 yards on 17 attempts. The Steelers knew that establishing the run game was crucial to setting rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges up for success in his first career start. They did just that by feeding Conner the ball early and milking the clock through the first three quarters to dominate time of possession. -- Brooke Pryor

Next game: vs. Miami (8:15 p.m. ET Oct. 28)

A slow start doomed the Chargers for the second game in a row. In the previous two games, the Chargers have been outscored 38-0 in the first half. Philip Rivers turned it over twice in the first half, both times leading to a score for the Steelers. Rivers has turned it over seven times through six games after having 13 turnovers all of last season. At 2-4, the Chargers are two games behind the AFC West-leading Chiefs. However, the Bolts have back-to-back road games against the Titans and Bears before returning home to host the Packers. They could be out of playoff contention by then. -- Eric Williams

Next game: at Tennessee (1 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

San Francisco 49ers 20, Los Angeles Rams 7

The 49ers are for real, and it's time for the NFL to take notice. Through four games, the Niners' detractors offered every reason the team shouldn't be taken seriously. But on a day when San Francisco was without its two starting offensive tackles, its fullback and a cornerback, the team leaned on a defense that has been nothing short of dominant to bully the two-time defending NFC West champion Rams all over their home field. Message sent. "This is the win right here," defensive end Nick Bosa said. "This is the opportunity we've been waiting for to make a statement in our division. We're in the driver's seat now." -- Nick Wagoner

Next game: at Washington (1 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

For the first time under coach Sean McVay, the Rams have lost three straight. Once again, the offense failed to establish a rhythm or consistency, as quarterback Jared Goff passed for a career-low 78 yards and was sacked four times. "It's a gut check," Goff said. The Rams (3-3) must find a way to solve their issues on the road as they prepare for a month away from the Coliseum to face the Falcons, the Bengals in London and the Steelers. -- Lindsey Thiry

Next game: at Atlanta (1 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

Arizona Cardinals 34, Atlanta Falcons 33

The Cardinals have a two-game win streak. Yes, you read that correctly. Sure, the Cardinals beat up on the lowly Falcons for the majority of the game, only to see their 17-point lead erased. But Arizona's offense finally found its stride as rookie quarterback Kyler Murray looked as comfortable as he has been in the offense, which ran as smoothly as it has all season. Next up for Arizona is another bad football team in the Giants, but it'll be another chance for the Cardinals to work out issues with their offense and a chance to even their record at 3-3-1 before the toughest part of their schedule begins. -- Josh Weinfuss

Next game: at New York Giants (1 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

The defense gave up 34 points and couldn't generate pressure on the QB. Yes, Matt Bryant missed an extra point that could have tied the game late, but don't put the loss all on him. The defense tightened up in the second half but gave up 300 yards and 20 points in the first half, which was too much to overcome. Arizona's Murray looked like a seasoned veteran in throwing for 340 yards and three touchdowns without getting sacked -- and he had a game-sealing 5-yard run late. "I think we're trying," defensive end Vic Beasley Jr. said of getting sacks. "That joker [Murray] is just as fast as lightning. You've got to give him respect when it's due." The 1-5 Falcons have to figure out a way to create pressure with Jared Goff, Russell Wilson and possibly Drew Brees as the next three quarterbacks on the schedule, or they can forget about turning the season around. -- Vaughn McClure

Next game: vs. Los Angeles Rams (1 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

Denver Broncos 16, Tennessee Titans 0

Things are starting to turn around in Denver. Von Miller has two sacks this season; the Broncos are riddled with injuries at cornerback; and there have been significant growing pains in coach Vic Fangio's defense, which failed to record a sack or force a turnover in the first three games. Yet the Broncos pitched their first shutout since 2017 and first seven-sack game since their Super Bowl-winning season of 2015. As their comfort level has grown in Fangio's system -- they've surrendered 74 yards rushing in the past two games, both wins -- they get a chance to test it against the Chiefs on Thursday. A victory could snap the Broncos' season back on track. -- Jeff Legwold

Next game: vs. Kansas City (8:20 p.m. ET Oct. 17)

The Titans' offense continues to struggle. They've scored one touchdown in two games. Now they have a quarterback situation on their hands, after coach Mike Vrabel inserted Ryan Tannehill into the game in place of Marcus Mariota. Despite the change, it was the same result. This offense is lifeless and can't find a rhythm. The Titans need to figure out a way to move the football and finish in the end zone if they plan to salvage what is becoming an elite but wasted defense. -- Turron Davenport

Next game: vs. Los Angeles Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

New York Jets 24, Dallas Cowboys 22

What a difference a quarterback makes. With Sam Darnold back in the lineup, the Jets resembled an actual NFL offense. They scored three touchdowns, one more than their output in the first four games combined. Darnold's ability to slide in the pocket allowed his receivers to get open, especially on deep routes. He didn't solve all the problems, but his presence galvanized a team that might have been on the verge of splintering. -- Rich Cimini

Next game: vs. New England (8:15 p.m. ET Oct. 21)

The Cowboys turned their attention to the Eagles almost immediately. Both teams are 3-3, but the Cowboys are coming in with three consecutive losses. It's the third losing streak of at least three games under Jason Garrett since 2015. A year ago, the Cowboys were 3-5 at the midway point before turning their season around. "It's a clean slate. We're 0-0 right now," Dak Prescott said. "We've got a huge game next week. It's for first in our division, and we've got to figure out a way to turn this page and focus on exactly that: How do we become a better offense? How do we become a better team? How do we play better complementary [football]? But everything, as crazy as it is, is still ahead of us." -- Todd Archer

Next game: vs. Philadelphia (8:20 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

Houston Texans 31, Kansas City Chiefs 24

For the second consecutive week, the Texans' offense is clicking. Houston rode the running game, finishing with 192 yards and three touchdowns (one from Carlos Hyde and two from Deshaun Watson) on 41 carries. "When the offense is clicking like that, it's hard to stop us," Hyde said after the game. Houston hopes to continue its offensive success in Week 7 against the Colts, a team allowing an average of 355.2 yards per game. -- Sarah Barshop

Next game: at Indianapolis (1 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

The Chiefs will continue to struggle until they improve on defense. They had their lowest time of possession (20:12) ever for a home game on Sunday and ran 47 plays compared with 83 for the Texans. That's putting too much pressure on quarterback Patrick Mahomes and an offense that is having problems of its own. The Chiefs have needed to be perfect of late on offense, and they haven't been close. -- Adam Teicher

Next game: at Denver (8:20 p.m. ET Oct. 17)

Minnesota Vikings 38, Philadelphia Eagles 20

The Vikings beat a good team with a good defense using a potent passing attack. This is the formula they'll need against opponents of the same caliber moving forward. Kirk Cousins was electric with the deep ball and play-action, two elements that have been building within this offense the past two weeks after a slow start. Minnesota's formula for winning relies on its top playmakers to make a big impact. Despite perceived frustrations in recent weeks, Stefon Diggs' three-touchdown day proves how important he is in this scheme and that he can string together performances like this regularly if he gets the opportunity. -- Courtney Cronin

Next game: at Detroit (1 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

The Eagles need to figure out their cornerback issues. Eagles linebacker Zach Brown called his former teammate, Kirk Cousins, "probably the weakest part" of the Vikings' offense. But it was the Eagles' biggest weakness -- their cornerback play -- that got exposed. It's an area of vulnerability that could torpedo Philadelphia's season. Jalen Mills (foot) is eligible to come off the physically unable to perform list this week and is hopeful to return to practice immediately. The Eagles need a stabilizing force, or at least a helping hand, as they head to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. -- Tim McManus

Next game: at Dallas (8:20 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

New Orleans Saints 13, Jacksonville Jaguars 6

Drew Brees' absence has led to some inspired football by the Saints' defense. For the second time in three weeks, New Orleans' defense carried the team to a slugfest win. It silenced Minshew Mania and Leonard Fournette, who had been the NFL's hottest running back over the past two weeks. It was absolutely necessary on a hot afternoon in Jacksonville, when the Saints' offense was ice cold for much of the day. And they'll probably need more of the same next week against another top defense at Chicago. -- Mike Triplett

Next game: at Chicago (4:25 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

Gardner Minshew II looked like a rookie quarterback for the first time this season. The sixth-round pick, who had been so good in relief of Nick Foles, had his worst day of the season. He looked jittery in the pocket, misfired on throws and seemed out of rhythm. The first five weeks, he was decisive and getting the ball out quickly. He wasn't able to do that as much against the Saints, who did a good job of taking away the downfield throws to DJ Chark Jr. and sacked Minshew twice. This kind of game was bound to happen, as defenses got more tape on Minshew and concentrated on stopping Chark. Can Minshew bounce back next week at Cincinnati? -- Mike DiRocco

Next game: at Cincinnati (1 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

Seattle Seahawks 32, Cleveland Browns 28

Will Dissly's injury is a huge loss. And assuming the Seahawks' second-year tight end did tear his Achilles, that puts a damper on what coach Pete Carroll called a "character-building" road win. If it wasn't clear already, it should be now that the Seahawks are never out of any game, even if they start as miserably as they did in this one, falling behind 20-6 in the first half. Anything seems possible for the Seahawks with quarterback Russell Wilson continuing to play like an MVP. They're 5-1 for the third time in franchise history. The last time was the 2013 season, when they won Super Bowl XLVIII. -- Brady Henderson

Next game: vs. Baltimore (4:25 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

Once again, the Browns self-destructed. As a result, they'll head into their much-needed bye week searching for answers after falling to 2-4, including 0-3 at FirstEnergy Stadium. Despite the mounting miscues -- four turnovers, a turnover on downs, nine penalties and having a punt blocked -- the Browns played well and had an opportunity to defeat a quality opponent. Instead, their potential game-winning drive began with a holding penalty and ended with Baker Mayfield's pass bouncing off the hands of running back Dontrell Hilliard for a game-sealing interception. Mayfield declared afterward that if the Browns can somehow eliminate their "self-inflicted" mistakes, they "can be a great football team." If they can't, this season could really turn ugly for an already desperate team. -- Jake Trotter

Next game: at New England (4:25 p.m. ET Oct. 27)

Baltimore Ravens 23, Cincinnati Bengals 17

Lamar Jackson became the first player in the Super Bowl era to produce more than 200 yards passing and 150 yards rushing in a regular-season game. "It's cool, I guess," Jackson said. Jackson's 152 yards rushing and 236 yards passing helped Baltimore overcome mistakes on defense and special teams, as well as avoid an upset loss. His 388 total yards were more than what the Bengals' offense produced (250). Jackson and the first-place Ravens can extend their lead in the AFC North to 2.5 games over the Browns if they win in Seattle on Sunday. -- Jamison Hensley

Next game: at Seattle (4:25 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

For the third consecutive week, Cincinnati didn't have an offensive touchdown through the first three quarters of the game. The issue is a major reason the Bengals are winless after Week 6. Coach Zac Taylor acknowledged the bevy of statistics that show why the offense is failing to produce when games are still in doubt. "We're not scoring points," Taylor said. "We're not scoring touchdowns. Our red zone efficiency is terrible." All of those things are true. And after multiple weeks of the same issues, it appears the Bengals don't have a solution. -- Ben Baby

Next game: vs. Jacksonville (1 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

Washington Redskins 17, Miami Dolphins 16

The Redskins did just enough to beat a potentially historically bad team by one point. It feels better than a loss, but much work remains. For the Redskins to truly turn it around, quarterback Case Keenum, who will continue to start, must be better. The defense must do a better job against decent quarterbacks and maintain a consistent pass rush. But they can use this as a launching point thanks to the rushing attack. It'll be a while before the Redskins will know whether the coaching change (Bill Callahan in for Jay Gruden) makes a difference on the field, as a win at Miami doesn't provide enough proof.-- John Keim

Next game: vs. San Francisco (1 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

Miami played a complete 60-minute game for the first time this season. The Dolphins' valiant 14-point comeback attempt, and coach Brian Flores' willingness to go for the two-point conversion (and the win), show how much fight they still have left. Yes, Miami is the early favorite to have the No. 1 pick, but players and coaches are still fighting to win and haven't quit on the season, despite the 0-5 record. -- Cameron Wolfe

Next game: at Buffalo (1 p.m. ET Oct. 20)

Carolina Panthers 37, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26

Sunday's victory came, in large part, because of a defense that had seven sacks, five interceptions and a fumble recovery. Yes, there are some holes in the secondary, but coach Ron Rivera's playcalling is causing havoc for opposing quarterbacks, who have been sacked 23 times in the past four games and an NFL-best 27 times on the season. Quarterback Kyle Allen doesn't have to be great when you're doing that defensively, and Cam Newton doesn't have to rush back when Allen isn't doing anything to hurt the team. -- David Newton

Next game: at San Francisco (4:05 p.m. ET Oct. 27)

Quarterback Jameis Winston threw five interceptions and lost one of two fumbles, digging Tampa Bay into a hole. The Panthers sacked Winston seven times and scored 17 points off Winston's turnovers. Now at 2-4 and in third place in the NFC South, the Bucs enter the bye week needing to hit the reset button to avoid a lost season under first-year coach Bruce Arians. It doesn't get much easier, with road games at Tennessee and Seattle after the bye. Since 1990, just 4.5% of teams that were below .500 midway through the season have reached the playoffs. -- Jenna Laine

Next game: at Tennessee (1 p.m. ET Oct. 27)

New England Patriots 35, New York Giants 14

The Patriots' offense, led by quarterback Tom Brady, still isn't clicking. Thankfully, the defense and special teams make game-changing plays that continue to buy the short-handed attack more time. A blocked punt returned for a touchdown and a fumble recovery brought back for a score supplemented an offense that was hurt by two of Brady's mistakes (interception, strip sack returned for touchdown). But in fairness to Brady, several of the options around him have been lost to injuries. Both he and Bill Belichick noted how unusual it was that they were limited to one personnel grouping in the second half of the game. The Patriots have benefited from a soft schedule, but things get much more challenging in November with back-to-back road games at Baltimore and Philadelphia. -- Mike Reiss

Next game: at N.Y. Jets (8:15 p.m. ET Oct. 21)

Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones had a learning experience. The Giants were overmatched Thursday night with a short-handed offense and a talent-deficient defense. But it wasn't the defense that was the primary problem this week. It stopped the Patriots on six of their first seven drives and even scored a defensive touchdown. That was progress for a struggling unit. "They gave us a chance to win," coach Pat Shurmur said. But Jones didn't while working with insufficient weapons who couldn't get open. He struggled against the league's top defense and threw three interceptions. -- Jordan Raanan

Next game: vs. Arizona (1 p.m. ET Oct. 20)