Week 6 is usually the point in the year where everything settles down, we know what most teams are and the story of the season starts to take shape. Well obviously the Cowboys, Browns, Panthers, Bengals, Eagles and Ravens are reading from a different playbook, because the surprises keep on coming! The 2014 season is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing in a long time, and the NFL Ireland Team of the Week is here to lavish honour and praise upon those who keep us guessing! So without further ado, here’s the Week 6 Team of the Week!
Offense | Defense
Quarterback: Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens
Flacco spent most of last season underperforming. This year, behind a vastly improved offensive line, he has resumed Super Bowl Flacco form. No QB since the AFL/NFL merger in 1970 has passed for 5 touchdowns quicker than Flacco did against the Bucs on Sunday, and he finished the game with 21 completions from 29 attempts, a passer rating of 146.0 and 306 yards through the air. The Buccaneers are in all sorts of trouble, but Flacco put them to the sword on Sunday and the Ravens are looking up.
Running Back: LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles
Shady’s back. McCoy routed the hapless Giants defense in the NFC East clash on Sunday, carrying the rock 22 times for 149 yards. He had long runs to set up a touchdown and to convert a crucial 3rd down in the first half, as the league’s leading rusher from last year showed the patience and determination we all expect from him. The Eagles are on a bye next week, but with confidence and a rest behind him, I wouldn’t count against a repeat performance against the Cardinals in Week 8.
Tight End: Julius Thomas – Denver Broncos
He didn’t have the complete performance of weeks past, but Thomas hauled in another two touchdown passes against the Jets on Sunday. As he rightly pointed out, it was ‘so f***ing easy’ to get in for his second score of the day, and the stats monster now has nine touchdowns through just five games. That is scary, and that is why he’s in this team once more.
Wide Receiver: T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
Hilton took over on Thursday Night Football against the Texans. The wideout pulled in 9 passes for 223 yards – just one yard shy of the Colts single-game franchise record – and a touchdown. Andrew Luck’s team are the highest-scoring outfit in football so far this season, and with Hilton on this form, it’s easy to see why.
Wide Receiver: Andre Holmes – Oakland Raiders
It’s probably not often that you’ll see a Raiders player end up on these pages in 2014. Holmes has emerged as a big-play threat in their last two games however. On Sunday against the Chargers he only had four receptions, but he took two of them to the house, ending up with 121 total receivng yards on the day. Interim Head Coach Tony Sparano might end up with the job full time if Holmes can continue this excellent form.
Offensive Line: Cleveland Browns
For the second week in a row the Browns are our offensive line. They were again dominant against a Steelers side who have traditionally dominated in this AFC North rivalry, but the most impressive facet of this performance was how well they coped with the departure of star centre Alex Mack. He may well be the best centre in the league, but the Browns marshaled the trenches and allowed Ben Tate and Isiah Crowell to combine for 165 rushing yards and 3 rushing TDs.
Defense | Offense
Defensive Line: Detroit Lions
The rotating carousel of punishment that was the Detroit Lines defensive line combined for 7 sacks last weekend as Minnesota’s rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater was afforded no time to get set or more the football in a convincing NFC North victory. The run game was stuffed and the passing game non-existant, as the Lions cemented their place as the best defense in football this year. The front line is a big reason for their place atop the pile.
Linebackers: Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles front seven was dominant against a New York Giants offensive line which had been among the best in football in recent weeks. In a shutout win at home to hated division rivals, the Eagles linebackers Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham and Trent Cole combined for 12 tackles, 5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles, causing havoc in the Giants’ backfield and keeping Eli Manning off his feet and under pressure. A great performance from an improving unit.
Cornerback: Vontae Davis – Indianapolis Colts
Davis is very much the star in this backfield, and the cornerback was solid against a resurgent Texans side. He added a forced fumble and a pass breakup to a four-tackle performance, continuing his improvement as the Colts progressed to 4-2 on the season.
Cornerback: Jason Verrett – San Diego Chargers
If it’s not one Chargers cornerback, it’s the other. The rookie Verrett was excellent in coverage against the Raiders, allowing just 36 yards into his area while also grabbing the game-icing interception to seal a surprisingly close victory in this AFC West matchup. If he continues to improve, Verrett and Flowers make a scary secondary for opposition offenses.
Free Safety: Devin McCourty – New England Patriots
McCourty went into Orchard Park against the Bills and helped himself to five tackles while also forcing a fumble. It was a controlled and intelligent performance from a player who should now be leading the Patriots backfield, and the Bills offense had no answer for it.
Strong Safety: Donte Whitner – Cleveland Browns
Whitner continued to earn his free agent money in Cleveland, contributing in both coverage and against the run to a dominant victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has quickly established himself as a capable replacement for T.J. Ward, and the Browns improving defense is reaping the benefits.