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Week 6: New-School Cowboys in Foxboro, Old-School Browns in a Bad Way I NFL Deep Dive

The sixth Sunday of the NFL season brought the extremes, with a number of weird and wild games sprinkled in with some absolute blowouts.

Jenny, Conor and Gary start with the Cowboys’ rollercoaster ride in New England, where they overcame a ton of penalties, a ton of third-down struggles, and a late, long Mac Jones touchdown pass to beat the Patriots in overtime. What does it say about Dallas as a potential Super Bowl contender? And what does it say about the Patriots and their rookie QB?

Then, a look at the things that went very wrong for the Browns in a lopsided home loss to the Cardinals, and how the Ravens are overcoming plenty during their current winning streak.

Also, T.J. Watt takes over overtime on Sunday night (a difficult thing for a pro-Geno Smith podcast to admit), the post-Gruden Raiders get off to a great start, the Chiefs prove that—at least for one day—some sloppy turnovers can be easily overcome, a closer examination of Aaron Rodgers’s claim that he owns the Bears, Kirk Cousins gets it done in Carolina, what’s next for the Giants after a meltdown against the Rams, and much more.

Have a question for the show? Email themmqb@gmail.com or tweet at @GGramling_SI, @JennyVrentas or @ConorOrr

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) makes the catch and runs the ball for the game winning touchdown against New England Patriots cornerback Jalen Mills (2) in overtime at Gillette Stadium.

The following transcript is an excerpt from The MMQB NFL Podcast. Listen to the full episode on podcast players everywhere or on SI.com.

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Gary Gramling: We are through the week six Sunday slate here, and we had a day of some blowouts, some games that were not particularly close, not particularly interesting. And that's just the way it goes sometimes. But we had a couple of overtime games, we had a couple of absolute thrillers here. So, while we normally start with the Sunday night game, we're going to hold off on that one for a little bit. And we are going to start with what ended up being one of the most thrilling games I can remember seeing in the regular season. So let's start off with Cowboys-Patriots. 

So I was jotting down notes for this game, as it was sort of midway through the fourth quarter, kind of wrapping up and I'd written down, what a Bill Belichick-type of win, sort of out-manned here, but they win through situational football, the third-down defense just a real classic Patriot sort of overachieving type of victory. And then everything just went completely haywire in the last three minutes of regulation and overtime here. 

Jenny Vrentas: Yeah, it was a crazy finish to the game, particularly the sequence in which Trevon Diggs gets the interception, returns it for a touchdown. And then Mac Jones turns around and throws a 75-yard touchdown pass. It was a wild swing of events. Obviously, for the Cowboys, it was a really big win to be able to go into Foxborough, even if it's a diminished version of the Patriots and extend their winning streak. But I also thought it was a good game for the Patriots and that sequence we just described, showed exactly what you want in a quarterback for a rookie quarterback, like Jones, to be able to make that kind of turnaround and to throw a touchdown pass, to not be scared to throw in that situation. Clearly, there were some coverage issues on that play by the Cowboys that allowed for the score to happen. But Jones showed confidence throughout the game. And I thought this was yet another encouraging performance in a loss like the Bucks game was. 

Conor Orr: Yeah, it really should have been a win for the Patriots. And interestingly enough, Jones probably wouldn't have had to throw the football at all for that first pick-six, had they not had that delay of game penalty before that, that pushed them back to second and 15 and forced the pass to begin with. And so, you know, while it was obviously still technically a play that eventually cost them the game. I do think if you're the Patriots, you have to feel good about Mac Jones. I think he was five of six on all passes beyond 10 yards. So he hit almost all of his deep shots. His average yards per attempt are going up every week over the last three weeks and I think it was over 10 yards in attempts this week, which is three and a half yards better than his previous high. All these are non-rookie plotting things. Like these are good average quarterbacks, moving the ball kinds of things. And so I think you have to be happy for the Patriots. And in two, out of the last three weeks, you hung with two of the best three teams in football. And with an undermanned roster, there's no other way to say it. And so I think you have to feel pretty good about it and nobody's running away with the AFC east right now. So I dunno, I think not all is lost for this year, but certainly not in the grand scheme of things for the Patriots either.

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