By Hannah Brewitt, CNN
(CNN) — Week 6 of the NFL season kicked off on Thursday with the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory over the Denver Broncos (and, yes, apparent good luck charm Taylor Swift was in attendance).
The action continues through the weekend with a slate of great matchups across the league.
Here’s what to look for in Week 6 of the 2023 season.
San Francisco 49ers @ Cleveland Browns, Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET on Fox
Sunday afternoon features a showdown between two of the league’s top-ranked defenses: the Cleveland Browns and the undefeated San Francisco 49ers.
Statistically speaking, these defenses are neck-and-neck. The Browns lead the league in yards allowed per game while the 49ers rank third. The 49ers lead the league in scoring defense, while the Browns are tied for second.
Earlier this week, 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy referenced the similarities between the two defensive units.
“You can see the similarities with how [defensive line coach Kris] Kocurek coaches the guys up here,” Purdy said. “At camp, we obviously go against that every single day, and it was a great challenge for us. So, when we watch the film it’s like, ‘alright, yeah, we got another great challenge in front of us this week with these guys.’”
While taking on the Browns defense is no easy task, Purdy might be the perfect foil to their bend-but-don’t-break style of play.
The 23-year-old former Mr. Irrelevant leads the league in passer rating, all while completing 72.1% of passes with nine TD passes and no interceptions. He’s 10-0 in regular season starts and is undefeated in games in which he’s played at least three quarters.
Ahead of Sunday’s matchup, multiple members of the Browns organization have remarked on the young signal-caller’s impressive skill set.
“Purdy is an extremely accurate passer. He’s got a quick release and he anticipates very well, and he works the ball around,” Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz told reporters. “He’s finding the open guy. He’s getting rid of the ball quick. He’s putting the ball in position for guys to be able to run after the catch.”
As for the Browns’ quarterback situation, backup P. J. Walker will play in place of an injured Deshaun Watson. Watson has been sidelined since Sept. 24 with a bruise on the rotator cuff in his right throwing shoulder.
Facing a high-caliber opponent without your starting quarterback can be challenging, but according to Browns star wide receiver Amari Cooper it’s just “part of the game.”
“This is my ninth year. I played with a multitude of different quarterbacks, been in situations similar to this before, so it’s not anything that surprising. You have to be very adaptable in these types of situations,” Cooper said.
“As far as a challenge, I don’t really see much of a challenge. I mean, obviously, communicating with a new quarterback who I haven’t played in a game with before. But this is just the same. I go out there, I create separation, I catch the ball, I do my job.”
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Jets, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET on Fox
The late afternoon slate features the Zach Wilson-led New York Jets and the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles.
Both teams enter the matchup fresh off Week 5 wins. Running back Breece Hall powered the Jets to victory over the Broncos with 22 carries for 177 yards, while the Eagles defeated the Los Angeles Rams behind 303 passing yards from quarterback Jalen Hurts.
The Jets are certainly riding high from the emotional “Hackett Bowl” win, but they’ll need a lot more than momentum to knock down the Eagles.
Offensively, Philadelphia rank fifth in the league in points and second in yardage. They’ve won 22 of their last 23 games started by Hurts, including his past 11 starts on the road. It’s also worth noting that the Eagles and Jets have met 12 times – and the Eagles won all 12.
When asked what stands out about this Eagles team, Jets head coach Robert Salah described their talent at every position.
“It’s almost like you’re playing the Peyton Manning of offensive line. You can hit them once, but I promise you they’re going to make the adjustment and fix it and they know how to,” Salah said. “Then you got to deal with the outside guys. It feels like they’ve got Pro Bowl players at every position, and [quarterback Jalen Hurts] is a special young man. So they’re a challenge, there’s a reason why they’re the NFC champs.”
While the Eagles are undefeated, they are certainly not impenetrable. Though they allow the fewest rushing yards per game, they also allow the 25th most passing yards per game. This means Jets quarterback Zach Wilson can expose the team’s weak pass defense by keeping the ball off the ground and in the air.
Earlier this week, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni noted that Wilson has done a “good job managing the game” since taking over for an injured Aaron Rodgers.
“I thought he had a really good game last game,” Sirianni said. ”I see a guy that’s getting better. Again, the weapons around him, they play good complementary football with their defense on the other side of the ball as well.”
It’s a tall order for Wilson to take down the undefeated reigning NFC champions, however anything is possible when these teams take the field on Sunday.
Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Chargers, Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN, ABC
Week 6 wraps up with a Monday Night battle between the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers, and there’s more at stake than just an early season victory.
Bragging rights are up for grabs as an important member of the Bolts’ coaching staff returns to Dallas for the very first time.
Chargers offensive coordinator Kellen Moore spent eight seasons with the Cowboys firstly as a quarterback and then as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator. Mike McCarthy became head coach in 2020 and Moore stayed on as offensive coordinator, but not for long with the sides parting ways in the offseason.
On Monday, in his first season as the Bolts’ play caller, Moore will face his former team for the first time.
“It’s obviously fun,” Moore told reporters. “I spent eight years there so there’s a lot of relationships you love and appreciate there, a lot of people you’re close to and you’ll be close to for a long time. It’ll be fun to see all those people.”
While Moore expressed his excitement surrounding the game, he insisted that there is no extra pressure to win against Dallas.
“Obviously we’re at 2-2, we’ve got an awesome game right here against a really good team that’s played some really good football,” Moore said. “Obviously, it’s fun to see people that you spent a lot of time within Dallas, but after that aspect of it you’ve just got to get to a football game.”
Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans, 9:30 a.m. ET
Carolina Panthers @ Miami Dolphins, 1:00 p.m. ET
New Orleans Saints @ Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m. ET
Washington Commanders @ Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m. ET
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 p.m. ET
Seattle Seahawks @ Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 p.m. ET
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m. ET
San Francisco 49ers @ Cleveland Browns, 1:00 p.m. ET
New England Patriots @ Las Vegas Raiders, 4:05 p.m. ET
Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m. ET
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. ET
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Jets, 4:25 p.m. ET
New York Giants @ Buffalo Bills, 8:20 p.m. ET
Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Chargers, 8:15 p.m. ET
How to watch
Here’s how to catch these teams in action, from wherever you are.
Australia: NFL+, ESPN, 7Plus
Brazil: NFL+, ESPN
Canada: NFL+, CTV, TSN, RDS
Germany: NFL+, ProSieben MAXX, DAZN
Mexico: NFL+, TUDN, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports
UK: NFL+, Sky Sports, ITV, Channel 5
US: NFL+, CBS, NBC, FOX, ESPN, Amazon Prime
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