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Around the NFL: What we learned in Week 6

We have a two-for-one special, since it was hard to pick between the Houston Texans and the Jacksonville Jaguars as the Worst Team in the League This Week. It was an epic battle to see who wanted to lose the least. Here's what else we learned in week 6.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
It was a good weekend to start with zero or one win.

Entering the week, nine teams had no more than one victory. Five of them won in week six: the 49ers, Saints, Texans and Dolphins all got their second wins of the season, and the Lions finally got rid of their goose egg in the wins column. Most impressive of all was Miami, who found themselves coachless on Monday and winning by 28 six days later.

Give me the scrappy underdog over the elite offense any day.

I love a prolific offense. They are fun to watch. But when push comes to shove, I want the underdogs with little chance to win who show a lot of grit. I want the team that has to find unexpected ways to win. Sure, I'll take Ben Roethlisberger and 40 points over all else, but I'll take a pissed-off defense and a written-off quarterback over Bruce Arians' win-cute style, no matter what odds Vegas is giving. And it's not just in Pittsburgh. The Dolphins, as I already mentioned, didn't even have a coach, let alone a game plan, six days before they utterly destroyed the Titans. Okay, that's no large feat, but how about Colin Kaepernick thoroughly outplaying Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco? Or a much-maligned Drew Brees and crew putting the previously undefeated Falcons to bed early? Underdogs are still dogs. And dogs bite when cornered.

It was a tough week to be in the AFC South. But most weeks are.

Aside from Andrew Luck's record against his own division, there isn't much positive to talk about in the AFC South. Outside the division, Luck is now 20-20 in his career. The rest of the division is that much worse. In fact, not one of the four teams -- the Colts, Texans, Jaguars and Titans -- has scored more points than they have given up. Their collective points differential this season is an absurdly awful -128. The next-worst is the AFC West at -37. You'd think the defenses aren't even on the field. I'm thinking that strategy may be an improvement.

If you need 592 words (Rule 8, Article 3) to define what constitutes a catch, you can't define what constitutes a catch.

The Bears would be the latest team to agree with me.

Almost everyone who has ever watched a football game can tell you if a catch is a catch. Everyone, that is, except the folks who make the NFL rules and the folks who enforce them. It used to be simple: if you had possession of the ball with two feet down in-bounds, it was a catch. Then, suddenly, you had to make a "football move" -- ten bucks to anyone who can define that in a way that would stand up in a court of law. Now you have to maintain possession going to the ground, or it's incomplete. So, let's make this simple:

  1. It is a catch if you secure the ball and get two feet down.
  2. If you complete number one and are shoved or dragged to the ground by a player of the opposite team and the ball pops out, it's a catch and a tackle. You are down.
  3. If you complete number one and fall to the ground without being acted upon by a player of the opposite team and the ball pops out, it's a fumble.
  4. The rules are applied the same, no matter where you are on the field.
There, NFL. Ninety-one words. Fixed it for ya.

The Colts attempted the worst-designed play in history. It went predictably.
First, have a look. Then continue reading.

Let's count the number of things wrong with this. We'll start the counting at 11, because that's the number of players who should have looked at the coaching staff and said, "you're out of your friggin' minds."

Now, let's add 10, because that's the number of seconds the Colts stood around in this ridiculous formation, evidently trying to decide if it would be better to run the play and take the ensuing loss, or to revolt and get cut on Monday.

Add 53, because that's how many New England Patriots players were not fooled. That puts us at 74, and we aren't done yet.

Add 10 more, one for each Patriot who was within 5 yards of the ball carrier when he was tackled.

Multiply the number of seconds this play took to blow up by 1,000. Given that the Patriots had both Colts who touched the ball on the ground in roughly a millisecond, that gives us 1. On second thought, multiply it by 10,000 so we can at least see an appreciable difference in the count. Now we are at 94.

Finally, multiply that 94 by platypus and divide it by the square root of bread. Because that's the equation Colts coach Chuck Pagano was clearly trying to solve when he came up with this pile of donkey scat.

College Football Bonus! Michigan State didn't lead for a single second on Saturday, and won anyway.
Saturday's matchup between Michigan and Michigan state was either tied, or Michigan led, for all 60 minutes on the game clock. The game did not go to overtime, and still Michigan State won. If you bet on that, you probably bet on the Cubs to win the 2015 World Series, too. If that's you, please say hello to Biff Tannen for me.

And finally...Landry Jones does not suck.
Back in August, no matter how much I wanted to believe in Jones -- and believe me, I really, really wanted to -- even I wasn't terribly optimistic. I wasn't nearly as down on him as other folks, but I wasn't certain he had much of a pro career ahead of him.

Well, let's not start fitting him for his gold jacket just yet, but the kid certainly redeemed himself Sunday, and he completely validated the fourth-round pick the team used on him. He thoroughly outplayed Mike Vick. Of course, by halftime, you literally had more passing yards than Mike Vick.  But Jones wasn't simply the lesser of two evils. He actually played remarkably well. If Ben Roethlisberger isn't ready to go next Sunday, there is no excuse whatsoever for not starting Jones in his stead.