Each week, theScore looks at the teams, players, and units trending upward and those taking a step back.
? Joey Bosa
Bosa’s stat sheet will show he had but a singular tackle. But do not be mistaken, he was a force in Thursday’s game between the Chargers and Broncos.
The rookie registered six quarterback pressures and his one tackle was on Trevor Siemian as the quarterback tried to flee the pocket. Bosa did all of this after dislocating a finger on his right hand on the Chargers’ second defensive play of the game. The third overall pick in this year’s draft is doing his best to earn his teammates’ respect.
? Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are off to a 2-4 start. The last time they had such a record after six games was in 2010 – the last year they missed the playoffs.
Cincinnati beat the Jets by one point and dropped the Dolphins, but they lost every one of their tests against contenders (Patriots, Steelers, Broncos, and Cowboys). The Bengals sit third in the AFC North, trailing the hated Steelers and Ravens. It’s a poor start in a year the Bengals desperately need a playoff win.
? Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have to be the most unassuming one-loss team in the league. After defeating the also-one-loss Falcons on Sunday, Seattle is a game-and-a-half clear of the competition in the NFC West and will have a chance to widen the gap between themselves and the Cardinals on Sunday night.
Seattle’s lone loss came in a field-goal fest against the Rams, a team it annually has trouble with. Week 2 seems like a long time ago though after they’ve rattled off three straight wins.
? Todd Gurley
The league’s defending Rookie of the Year has just 346 yards through six games. He has yet to reach 100 rushing yards in a game this year and he’s on pace to fall short of a 1,000-yard season. That’s almost unheard of for a player many projected as one of the top three running backs in the NFL. Sophomore slump indeed.
Gurley was expected to face tough odds, with teams loading up the box against him and forcing the Rams to beat them through the air, but Case Keenum threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns Sunday and Gurley still couldn’t bring anything to the table, gaining just 58 yards on 14 carries. These are alarming signs for a man plastered on billboards throughout L.A. ahead of the season.
? Marcus Peters
In 13 career games, the Kansas City Chiefs cornerback has 13 interceptions to his name. He picked off eight passes last year and took home the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Six weeks into this season, Peters already has five picks.
Peters recorded two-pick games off Brock Osweiler and Ryan Fitzpatrick and added an interception off Raiders QB Derek Carr on Sunday. The pick immediately led to a score that tied the game, a game the Chiefs would go on to win over their division rival.
? Eagles’ offensive line
The impact of Lane Johnson’s absence was felt on Sunday. The veteran tackle began a 10-game suspension this week, and his fill-in, fifth-round draft pick Halapoulivaati Vaitai, was clearly out of his element.
The Redskins sacked rookie quarterback Carson Wentz five times Sunday. He was dropped for a sack and had his jersey torn on the very first play of the game. Then Ryan Kerrigan bull-rushed Vaitai for a second sack on the same drive. Vaitai then allowed Chris Baker to rush Wentz unimpeded on the first play of the next drive. The quarterback was under siege all day.
The Eagles also gained just 94 yards on the ground. They’ve come back down to earth to some degree with two consecutive losses and the rested Vikings up next.