NFL Week 6 Stories to Watch: Brock Purdy’s Defense vs. Brown; Lions-Bucs QB battle

NFL Week 6 kicks off with another international contest, as the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans face off in London.

From there, 14 more games will be played on Sunday and Monday. The list has a little bit of everything: Teams desperate for wins, like the Bears and Minnesota Vikings, meeting in Chicago hoping to improve on their 1-4 records. Or the Washington Commanders, who travel to Atlanta desperate for a win to help soothe the hot seat coach Ron Rivera finds himself on after last week’s debacle.

There are reunions, like Josh McDaniels and the Raiders welcoming Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots to Las Vegas, and Kellen Moore and the Chargers preparing for a shootout with the Dallas Cowboys in Los Angeles on Monday night. And there are many.

Here are five of the most interesting storylines to follow. (Find the NFL Week 6 schedule here.)

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He and his San Francisco 49ers teammates shredded the Cowboys’ vaunted defense to improve to 5-0. But now the young Purdy (10-0 as a starter in the regular season) faces another formidable foe.

The Cleveland Browns boast the top-ranked defense in the league, which has held teams to 196.8 yards per game and is led by Myles Garrett, who has 5 1/2 sacks this season and since 2021 boasts an NFL-high 37 1/2 sacks. A big part of the 49ers’ success includes their reliance on the running game to ensure balance. San Francisco is averaging 156.4 yards per game. Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL with 510 yards and seven touchdowns. However, Cleveland has one of the best run defenses and has held opponents to just 71.8 yards per game.

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This strong support for the running game has helped Purdy continue to rise. He leads the league in both passer rating and EPA quarterback rating while averaging 254.2 yards per game to go along with nine TDs and no interceptions. However, Cleveland has the top pass defense in the league as well (125.0 yards per game) and has given up an average of just 15 points per game (also leading). Who wins in this classic, unstoppable match between power and the immovable? (49ers at Brown, 1 p.m. ET Sunday.)

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Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill has another strong performance against the winless Carolina Panthers. Hill is coming off an eight-catch, 181-yard showing, which was his third 150-plus yard game this season. No player has ever recorded four 150-plus rushing yards in the first six games of a season, but Hill — with 11 career games under his belt — could accomplish that historic feat.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins, who are averaging 513.6 yards and 36.2 points per game, need 432 yards to become only the second team in NFL history (joining the 2000 St. Louis Rams) to reach the 3,000-yard mark in just six games. . Coach Mike McDaniel I got a snarky He downplayed such an achievement when asked about it earlier this week. However, due to the rarity and the impressive style in which his team executes, the Dolphins are must-see television every time he steps on the field. (Panthers at Dolphins, 1 p.m. ET Sunday.)

The No. 2 pick looks to continue his impressive start to his career as he and the 2-3 Houston Texans host the 3-2 New Orleans Saints. The Ohio State product has made a smooth transition to the NFL and ranks fourth in the league with 1,461 rushing yards. Averaging 292.2 yards per game, Stroud has seven touchdown passes and no interceptions (Purdy is the only other full-time player without a pick). The Saints pose a tough challenge, as they boast one of the best pass defenses in the league and have seven interceptions (tied for third). Stroud and Texas have won two of their last three games. (Saints at Texas, 1 p.m. ET Sunday.)

Winners of two of their last three games, the Cincinnati Bengals are hoping they have finally turned the corner after their slow start to the season.

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Joe Burrow reports that his strained calf is nearing full strength, and as a result, he’s starting to look like his old self. Last week, he had a season-best performance with 317 yards and three touchdowns while completing 78.3 percent of his passes. It was Burrow’s first 300-yard day of the season and only his second with a touchdown pass.

The Bengals (2-3) still have a long way to go. But a win on Sunday as they enter their bye would go a long way toward putting them back in contention for the AFC North Championship, which includes the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2), Baltimore Ravens (3-2) and Browns (2-3). ), in that order. But the Seattle Seahawks, coming off a bye and aiming to build on their 3-1 start, are no slouch. They have won three straight, including two away from home, and boast a defense that ranks among the league leaders (16). (Seahawks at Bengals, 1 p.m. ET.)

5. Lions-Bucs: Potential playoff preview?

The 4-1 Detroit Lions put their three-game winning streak on the line when they travel to Tampa Bay to take on the 3-1 Buccaneers, who have surprised some around the league with what looks like a quick rebound after retooling this season.

With both teams sitting at the top of the Premier League standings, Sunday’s match could be an early glimpse of a future playoff. The Lions have one of the best offenses in the league, averaging 384.4 yards and 29.6 points per game, but they also have a top-10 defense. That could give the Bucs some problems (301.5 yards, 21.0 points).

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This game is also a showdown between the former No. 1 draft picks. Jared Goff (first in 2016) has established himself with the Lions after falling out of favor with the Los Angeles Rams. He’s helped bring stability and improvement to Detroit, and that’s exactly what Baker Mayfield (first overall in 2018) hopes to do for Tampa Bay as he and the Buccaneers write new chapters. (Lions at Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m. ET.)

(Photos by Baker Mayfield, Brock Purdy, Jared Goff: Dustin Satloff, Harry Howe, Nick Antaya/Getty Images)

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