Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said quarterback Baker Mayfield has to make "better decisions" following the team's loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

The Browns dropped to 2-4 for the NFL season after going down 32-28 to the Seahawks on Sunday, and Mayfield has continued to struggle in 2019.

Mayfield gave up three interceptions to Seattle, and first-year Brows boss Kitchens told reporters on Monday that he would like the QB to make smarter choices.

"I think each and every interception kind of has its own story," Kitchens said. "To simply answer your question, I want Baker to continue to work to make better decisions and then we need to work around him to make sure that we are where we are supposed to be, how we are supposed to be there, catching balls and all those things.

"I have said it from the beginning that quarterback play is dictated so much by the people around him, being on the same page, being where you are supposed to be, how you are supposed to get there and things like that. We need to make sure that Baker is continuing to get better with his eyes, his reads and his throws."

Mayfield leads the league in interceptions with a total of 11 through Week 6 and has completed a lowly 56.6 per cent of his passes in 2019.

Kitchens is taking some of the blame for Mayfield's lack of production though, and wants to give the quarterback more quality opportunities. 

"I have to continue to do a better job of continuing to put him in a better situation," Kitchens said. "We have to do a better job around him in protection, in where we are supposed to be and then catching the ball."

Mayfield has an elite receiving corps that includes Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry at his disposal. But the two wideouts have combined for 875 yards and one score in 2019 and have not quite lived up to expectations. 

The Browns – who have not made the postseason since 2002 – have a bye this week and will get a chance to sort out their problems before facing the undefeated New England Patriots (6-0) on October 27. 

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is optimistic as he progresses through rehab following thumb surgery.

Brees sustained a torn ligament in his thumb and had surgery on September 18 after consulting with two doctors and speaking to other professional athletes who had a similar injury, including Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul.

The 40-year-old star said after the Saints' Week 2 loss to the Los Angeles Rams that he originally hurt his thumb on a pass attempt to Jared Cook before later hitting it on Aaron Donald.

Brees provided an update on his recovery following the Saints' 13-6 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

"Absolutely, absolutely," Brees told Cox Sports Television, when asked whether he noticed any progress in his recovery over the last week. "I think [there's progress] just the way that it feels. The way that it functions. level of strength, level of flexibility, and stability.

"We're just getting to ramp up the throwing, throwing an NFL ball. I feel good doing that but there’s more to it. [I] can't just stand still and throw a ball and say 'I'm ready to go'.

"There's a lot more that goes into it, just taking it one step a time."

Brees was seen without a thumb brace at the team's practice on Friday and he threw some routes.

He stands firm on the idea he can return before the six- to eight-week timeline he was initially given.

"I'm still ahead. My expectations are maybe a bit aggressive," Brees said. "There's certainly been those days when you didn't quite make it as far as you had expected in your mind, in regards to progress. Then I'm reminded by those around me, this is still really, really good for all things considered."

The Saints have gone 4-0 in Brees' absence ahead of Sunday's clash with the Chicago Bears in Week 7.

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky returned to practice on Monday and was throwing the football around without a pitch count, though he is no certainty to play in Week 7.

Trubisky has been sidelined since dislocating his non-throwing left shoulder in the Week 4 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

The 25-year-old returned to the training field after the weekend, however, his status for Sunday's NFL matchup against the New Orleans Saints remains uncertain.

"It's seeing exactly where he's at with the pain," Bears head coach Matt Nagy. "Just all of us collaborating to see where he is so we can make a decision as to which way we want to go for this week.

"I thought he looked good. But we'll see as the week goes exactly how he feels and where he's at."

Trubisky still has not been cleared by the team's medical staff to play in a game, but returning to practice was a step in the right direction.

However, the Bears are taking no chances, Nagy said, noting that Trubisky must be able to take hits.

"If he's able to play, then he plays," Nagy said. "You can't tell somebody to play a game and not get hit. You can't do it. If you're OK to play a game, then you're OK to get hit. It's pretty simple. For me it is."

Trubisky had 588 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions through the first three games.

Many NFL fans probably expected the New England Patriots to be one of the remaining undefeated teams as this season went on, but it is unlikely many guessed the San Francisco 49ers would join them.

The Carolina Panthers are another surprise success story, while the Dallas Cowboys have taken a turn for the worse over the last few weeks.

Here we look back at the biggest headlines from Week 6 and the impact they will have heading into Week 7.

 

Are quarterback changes coming to NFC South?

Jameis Winston threw five interceptions and fumbled twice in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' loss to the Panthers as they dropped to 2-4, but head coach Bruce Arians made it clear the team are not considering replacing him — yet.

"No. I look at the reasons why. What happened?" Arians told reporters, noting the team's battered line was partly to blame for the ugly outing. "If it happens again, yeah, it'll concern the hell out of me."

Similarly, the Panthers may not be looking to put Cam Newton back in and bench Kyle Allen after the second-year quarterback helped pull the Panthers out of their 0-2 hole to start the season. In fact, Allen could keep the starting job as long as he keeps winning, though coach Ron Rivera remained tight-lipped on the subject Sunday. 

"I'm not going to worry about it," Rivera said. "I'm not going to speculate on anything until I have to address that. So until then, we're going to stay in the now, stay in the focus of what we're doing right now. As far as I'm concerned, we're not going to deal with the question until it is time. And when the time comes, I will address it."

An ESPN report on Monday said Newton is almost ready to resume practicing. Both Carolina and Tampa Bay will be on their bye in Week 6, so stay tuned.

Mariota era could be winding down in Nashville

Quarterback controversy struck Tennessee as the Titans pulled the second draft pick of 2015 in the team's shut-out loss to the Denver Broncos for veteran backup Ryan Tannehill. Marcus Mariota was sacked three times and completed just seven of 18 passes for 63 yards with two interceptions before getting the hook. Tannehill was better, completing 13 of 16 passes for 144 yards with a pick.

As for who will start Week 6 against the Los Angeles Chargers, the team expect to have an answer by Tuesday.

"I think a decision will be made this evening, or tomorrow, and we’ll let everybody know — we’ll let the players involved know, and let the team know and then let you guys know," coach Mike Vrabel told reporters. "I just want to make sure we are going through everything that we need to go through and what we are doing offensively, and not use the emotion of the game to make a decision."

Can 49ers make statement by extending win streak?

With the Patriots on a bye, the Niners have a chance to match their perfect 6-0 record after dismantling defending NFC champions the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The 49ers held Los Angeles to 3.3 yards per play, which is the lowest average in Rams franchise history, and quarterback Jared Goff had his worst performance to date as he completed 13 of 24 for a career-low 78 yards.

San Francisco have shined as arguably the most surprising team this year after the 49ers managed just four wins all last season. Now 5-0 for the first time since 1990, the Niners may only gain momentum with matchups against the Washington Redskins, Panthers and Arizona Cardinals looming.

Falcons giving Quinn until bye week to turn things around

Atlanta will host the Rams and Seattle Seahawks in back-to-back games before getting some rest Week 9, and after a 1-5 start just two and a half years removed from their trip to Super Bowl LI, the team are running short of patience.

NFL Media reported that Falcons owner Arthur Blank wants to see progress over the next couple of weeks "or changes could come," with the fifth-year coach as one of them. Dan Quinn already fired all three of his co-ordinators before the season started, so the blame would have to fall on him.

Jay Gruden may have been the first coach to get the axe, but he certainly will not be the last, and it appears Quinn has two weeks to save his job.

Amari Cooper's potential absence could have big implications

Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper's status for Week 6 reportedly "is in serious question" after he was diagnosed with a bruised thigh suffered in Sunday's loss to the Jets. Dallas coach Jason Garrett said the team are taking his injury day by day, but could not guarantee his availability.

The ailment could not come at a worse time considering Dallas have dropped three straight games and face a key game in Week 6 against NFC East rivals the Philadelphia Eagles. A fourth consecutive loss could officially put Garrett on the hot seat, though Cowboys owner Jerry Jones insisted it has not come to that yet.

"I haven't even glanced there in my mind about long-term future," Jones told reporters. "The big thing I want to say is it's not just him. This is across the board, and that had a lot of input out here tonight to get in that spot."

Garrett, who is entering the final year of his contract, reiterated that getting the team to the top of the NFC East is his main concern.

"I'm focused on doing my job as well as I can do it," Garrett said, per The Athletic.

Change does not appear to be looming in Tampa Bay.

But we take a look at the adjustments to come with the latest injury updates around the league in this edition of NFL news and notes.

 

Three things that matter

Winston's job appears safe... for now

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not ready to throw in the towel just yet, as head coach Bruce Arians confirmed the team are not looking to make any changes under center at this time.

"No. I look at the reasons why. What happened?" Arians told reporters. "If it happens again, yeah, it'll concern the hell out of me."

Jameis Winston, who is in the final year of his rookie contract after his fifth-year option was picked up, threw five interceptions and had two fumbles against the Carolina Panthers, though Arians admitted the team's battered line was partly to blame.

"I think when you get hit — I don't care if you're Tom Brady — when you get hit early in games, it's different," Arians said. "And we got him hit early in the game, excluding the first play. We got him hit too much early in the game."

Cooper diagnosed with thigh bruise

Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper suffered the injury in Sunday's loss to the New York Jets, though one report suggested there is "no indication of long-term damage." Cooper could, however, be dealing with the "horribly painful" ailment at a time when Dallas faces a must-win scenario in Week 6 against NFC East rivals the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cooper, who has 32 catches for 512 yards and five touchdowns this season, also battled foot and ankle injuries earlier this season.

Barkley ramps up workout after tweeting he'll "be back soon"

The New York Giants got a little healthier as the star running back was joined by fellow back Wayne Gallman (concussion), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) and tight end Evan Engram (knee), who all missed Thursday's loss to the New England Patriots. Each player took part in individual drills during the team's light practice.

Saquon Barkley has missed the last three games with a high ankle sprain, but all signs point to him returning ahead of schedule, possibly this week against the Arizona Cardinals. The Giants do not want to rush him, but the hype video he tweeted this weekend indicates he is itching to get back on the field.

Two things that don't matter

Rudolph eyeing Week 8 return

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph entered the concussion protocol last week after being knocked out by Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas in Week 5. However, he practiced just three days after taking the hit, a positive sign that he should be back after the ransacked Steelers get some much-needed rest on their bye.

The team had a morale-boosting win in primetime on Sunday with third-string quarterback Devlin Hodges at the helm, thanks in large part to a stout performance by running back James Conner, though he did suffer a game-ending quad injury in the third quarter. His status will also be closely monitored before the Steelers return to action against the Miami Dolphins.

Brady won't lure Gronkowski out of retirement

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is happy to see his former team-mate thriving in life after football and does not want to disrupt that peace.

"I'm so happy that he's enjoying his time, his life. He seems to really be doing a lot of great things. He knows how I feel about him. I want what's best for him. He's the only person that can make those decisions. I don't lobby for those things," Brady said on Monday morning in his weekly appearance on WEEI, a Boston sports radio station.

Rob Gronkowski retired in March and started work last week as an NFL analyst on Fox, where he said that he will always leave the door open to unretire. But it appears unlikely to happen any time soon.

"He's given a hell of a lot to our team already over a long period of time, and I think people should be very appreciative for what he's brought to the team and what he's brought to the region," Brady said. "I think he's just a very special guy. He's at a different phase of his life."

One video you have to see

Not only were the Los Angeles Chargers embarrassed on Sunday Night Football, Steelers fans also took over their stadium.

Monday's tweet of the day

Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson is pumped to be back after serving a six-game suspension for PEDs.

Doug Pederson stated the Philadelphia Eagles are "going to win" when they come up against the Dallas Cowboys in a crucial NFC East showdown.

The two teams both hold 3-3 records following road defeats in Week 6, the Eagles going down to the Minnesota Vikings while the Cowboys surprisingly slipped up on the road against the New York Jets, meaning they have lost three on the spin.

In an appearance on WIP radio, Philadelphia head coach Pederson acknowledged the need to overcome their rivals so they can control their own destiny in a tight division.

"Anytime Dallas loses it helps, because here's the thing - I know the sky is falling outside," Pederson said. "It's falling and I get that and the fans are real.

"We're going down to Dallas, our guys are gonna be ready to play. And we're going to win that football game and when we do we're in first place in the NFC East, we control our own destiny, we're right where we need to be.

"Has it been perfect or beautiful or all of that? No. But all we need to do is try to be 1-0 this week, beat the Dallas Cowboys, we're in first place.

"Listen, they're reeling too. They're struggling too. They dropped their last three games so this will be an exciting football game."

When 'Morning Show"' host Angelo Cataldi noted his confidence, Pederson said he had to remain upbeat for "the guys in the locker room".

"I have to be. I am," Pederson said. "I see - when I watch the tape, I put the tape on and I go, 'okay, there are coachable moments, there are teachable moments on the tape that we can get better at as an offense and as a defense'.

"I'm also optimistic that some of our injured players in the secondary will make a return this week, and we'll see. But I've got to stay positive not only for myself but for the guys in the locker room."

Tom Brady will not attempt to persuade former New England Patriots team-mate Rob Gronkowski to come out of retirement.

Tight end Gronkowski retired during the offseason and has since moved into the media, starting work as an NFL analyst for Fox.

Ahead of the game between his old team and the New York Giants last Thursday, the 30-year-old said on television he would need to be "feeling it big time" to make a playing comeback.

In his absence, tight ends Ryan Izzo and Matt Lacosse have combined for only nine receptions for 169 yards and one touchdown for the Pats, but quarterback Brady feels Gronkowski is now "at a different phase of his life".

"I'm so happy that he's enjoying his time, his life. He seems to really be doing a lot of great things," Brady said during his weekly appearance on WEEI, a Boston sports radio station.

"He knows how I feel about him. I want what's best for him. He's the only person that can make those decisions. I don't lobby for those things.

"He's given a hell of a lot to our team already over a long period of time, and I think people should be very appreciative for what he's brought to the team and what he's brought to the region.

"I think he's just a very special guy. He's at a different phase of his life."

Patriots owner Robert Kraft sparked speculation over a return recently when he said Gronkowski had yet to file his retirement papers. Kraft added that he would "pray and hope" that the three-time Super Bowl champion may yet play again.

New England are 6-0 this season and sit first in the AFC East. They make the trip to divisional rivals the New York Jets in Week 7.

An emotional Efe Obada was able to savour a special moment in his career after helping the Carolina Panthers to victory on home soil in London.

The second-year defensive end – who was born in Nigeria but trafficked to the English capital from the Netherlands at the age of 10 – was named honorary captain for the Week 6 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Obada appreciated the opportunity to mark the occasion, with members of his family inside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to see him in action following his rapid rise.

Despite being listed as the away team, the Panthers had plenty of support inside the new home of Premier League team Spurs, with the local favourite loudly cheered as he blew kisses to the crowd while leaving the field after a 37-26 triumph on Sunday.

Asked in his post-match news conference if the day was everything he had dreamed it would be, he replied: "Everything and more, honestly. Everything and more.

"I had family in the stands - most of them don't even understand what I'm doing, but they believe in me, have been supporting me for years.

"For me to be in London, just show them, it was really special."

Obada spent time on the practice squads with the Dallas Cowboys, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons before eventually getting the opportunity to play in Carolina.

The first player from the International Pathway program to make a 53-man NFL roster, the 27-year-old featured in 10 games in the 2018 season and has been an ever-present member of the defense so far in this campaign.

Rivera revealed he opted to make Obada captain after discussing the idea with some of Carolina's players.

"I wasn't even expecting that," Obada admitted. "I had the number jersey on in the beginning. I came in, everybody was waiting for me for pre-game rituals.

"He [Rivera] pulled out the jersey with the 'C' on it. I still have it - I'm not giving it back, either!"

Carolina's head coach described the trip to London as a "cool experience", having told his squad to make the most of the opportunity to travel overseas.

"One of the things we talked to our guys about was embracing it," Rivera said.

"I've been around players and coaches who really don't embrace coming over. I think that's a huge mistake because this really is a neat atmosphere. The fans, first of all, they come cheer to appreciate the athleticism. That's probably the biggest thing.

"When you get a group of your own fans that come in droves like they did, not just to enjoy the UK, but to enjoy an opportunity to watch a football game. That was pretty cool, very special.

"This is my third time here as a player, coach and now as a head coach. It's been a cool experience, it really has."

The Pittsburgh Steelers overcame the Los Angeles Chargers 24-17 in Week 6 of the NFL on Sunday.

The Steelers (2-4) shocked many with a solid performance as they posted just their second win of the season.

After a scary hit knocked Steelers' quarterback Mason Rudolph out of last week's game, Pittsburgh were forced to turn to Devlin Hodges to line up under center.

The undrafted rookie out of Samford performed admirably, completing 15 of 20 throws for 132 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

With the loss, the Chargers fell to 2-4 and are off to a disappointing start after many experts pegged them as contenders in the AFC before the start of the season.

Pittsburgh head into their bye week, while the Chargers travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans (2-4) in Week 7.

 

Three takeaways from the Steelers' win over the Chargers

Chargers' early miscues cost them

After the two teams traded punts to start the game, things got off the rails for Los Angeles.

A backward pass from Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers went over the head of running back Melvin Gordon. That is when Steelers linebacker Devin Bush scooped up the live ball and took it to the house to get Pittsburgh on the board just under four minutes into the game. 

Four plays later, it was Bush again who intercepted a tipped pass from Rivers that set up another touchdown by the Steelers' offense on the ensuing drive. 

At the end of the first quarter, Pittsburgh were ahead 14-0 and they never looked back.

Steelers' defense was relentless

While Bush was all over the Chargers early forcing two turnovers, the Steelers' defensive unit were stifling all night.

Pittsburgh's defense held LA's offense to two punts, a fumble, an interception and a missed field goal on their first five drives of the night. The Chargers' rushing attack were also non-existent as the Steelers allowed just 32 yards on the ground. 

It was not until the fourth quarter when the Chargers managed to put their first points on the board on a 38-yard field goal by kicker Chase McLaughlin. The defense then sealed the win after intercepting Rivers with 41 seconds remaining in the game.

James Conner was Mr. Reliable for Pittsburgh

Whether it was in the air or on the ground, Conner came up big for the Steelers when they needed some yards.

Almost half of Hodges' completions on the night were to Conner, who caught seven passes for 78 yards and one touchdown. Conner finished with 119 total yards of offense and two touchdowns for Pittsburgh.

After a solid performance last season as the Steelers' primary back during Le'Veon Bell's holdout, Conner seems to be picking up right where he left off.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said his hip feels "tender" after suffering an injury in the NFL loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

During Cleveland's 32-28 defeat against the Seahawks, Mayfield injured his hip on a scramble in the first half on Sunday.

A few plays later, Mayfield was seen down on one knee in pain. He was evaluated in the locker room between series and remained in the game. 

After the game, Mayfield said his hip felt "tender," but that it was no excuse for the way he played.

"It hurts," Mayfield said. "But it's a physical game of football."

Mayfield completed 22 of his 37 passes for 249 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. He also rushed four times for 35 yards and one score. 

The Browns (2-4) head into their bye week before visiting reigning Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots (6-0) in Week 8.

A quarterback duel erupted in Kansas City on Sunday and Deshaun Watson was the signal-caller to come out on top.

The matchup between Watson and the Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes pitted two of the NFL's most dynamic quarterbacks against each other and it made for an exciting matchup featuring some big throws and big carries. But ultimately Watson and the Houston Texans came away with a 31-24 win at Arrowhead Stadium.

Thanks, in part, to 21 unanswered points from the Texans in the second quarter. Watson continued to roll and helped put Houston ahead for good with a short one-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth.

Watson finished 30-of-42 passing for 280 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He also had 42 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.

Reigning MVP Mahomes finished 19-of-35 passing for 273 yards, three touchdowns and one interception for his first pick of the year. 

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the San Francisco 49ers shut down the Rams offense and had a solid game from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to win 20-7 and move to 5-0 for the season.

Quarterback Sam Darnold made a successful return to the line-up as the New York Jets upset the Dallas Cowboys 24-22 for their first victory of the year.

Injury report

Texans first-round lineman Tytus Howard had to be carted off the field after going down with a knee injury in the second half of the game against the Chiefs.

Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly was carted the field in the first half against the Cleveland Browns with an Achilles injury that could cost him the rest of the season.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper appeared to have reinjured his quadriceps on the Cowboys' opening offensive possession early in the first quarter. He did not return.

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick left the game against the Baltimore Ravens with a left knee injury and did not return. Offensive lineman John Miller was also ruled out after suffering a left groin injury.

Denver Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders was ruled out against the Tennessee Titans due to a knee injury.

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham exited the matchup with the Minnesota Vikings after suffering an ankle injury. Tackle Jason Peters (knee) also sustained an injury and never returned.

By the numbers

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson became the first quarterback to rush for 150-plus yards in a game since Colin Kaepernick ran for 151 yards in 2014.

Kyler Murray is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to have 20-plus completions in each of his first six career games.

Seahawks' Russell Wilson finished the win over the Browns with a 117.6 passer rating. He now has a 100-plus passer rating in all six games this season. The only two other players with more 100-plus games to start a season in the Super Bowl era were Tom Brady (eight) in 2007 and Aaron Rodgers (12) in 2011 — both won NFL MVP that season.

Quotables

Eagles linebacker Zach Brown was mum's the word on Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins after Philadelphia's 38-20 loss — and Brown called Cousins the "weakest link" earlier in the week: "I'm here to talk about the game. Is there any other questions besides about Kirk Cousins?" 

Ron Rivera addressed quarterback Cam Newton's absence, which has seemed less daunting with the success of Kyle Allen, who led the Carolina Panthers to a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London on Sunday: "I'm not going to speculate on anything until I have to address that. So until then, we're going to stay in the now, stay in the focus of what we're doing right now. As far as I'm concerned, we're not going to deal with the question until it is time... Our quarterback right now playing for us is Kyle. So we're not going to address it."

Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston struggled across the pond, with five interceptions and a lost fumble, and head coach Bruce Arians wanted to make one thing clear: "Throw the damn ball away. You avoided one, you might've avoided two. You ain't throwing it anywhere — to a receiver. Throw it away."

Week 6 NFL scores

Teams on bye week

Bills, Bears, Colts and Raiders

Thursday's game

Patriots 35, Giants 14

Sunday's games

Panthers 37, Buccaneers 26 Seahawks 32, Browns 28 Texans 31, Chiefs 24 Redskins 17, Dolphins 16 Vikings 38, Eagles 20 Saints 13, Jaguars 6 Ravens 23, Bengals 17 49ers 20, Rams 7 Cardinals 34, Falcons 33 Broncos 16, Titans 0 Jets 24, Cowboys 22

The Tennessee Titans benched starting quarterback Marcus Mariota in favour of veteran backup Ryan Tannehill against the Denver Broncos.

Tennessee withdrew Mariota late in the third quarter of Sunday's NFL clash against Denver, with Tannehill his replacement.

Mariota completed only seven-of-18 passes for 63 yards with two interceptions before getting the hook. The Broncos were leading 13-0 at the time.

The 25-year-old was also sacked three times, highlighting one of the big criticisms against him as he often holds onto the ball too long.

Mariota has never lived up to the huge expectations that came when he was drafted with the second pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. 

The Titans acquired Tannehill from the Miami Dolphins via trade in the offseason to back up Mariota, but it now appears he will challenge him for playing time moving forward.

Carolina head coach Ron Rivera is not going to address who will be the Panthers' starting quarterback until Cam Newton is fit to return, despite Kyle Allen remaining unbeaten since taking over the job.

Newton played in defeats to the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the start of the NFL season but struggled, with the team then announcing he would be out of action with a foot injury.

In his absence, Allen has led the team to four straight victories, including a 37-26 triumph over the Bucs in London on Sunday.

He became the seventh quarterback in the past 25 years to win his first five career starts, with his run including a game at the end of the previous season, meaning Rivera will eventually face a tough choice whenever Newton is fit to play again.

"I'm not going to worry, speculate on anything until I have to address that," he told the media after the victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

"Until then, we're going to stay in the now, focus on what we're doing right now. Again, as far as I'm concerned, we're just not going to deal with the question until it's time.

"When the time comes, I will address it. As far as I'm concerned, he [Newton] is in his rehab program. Our quarterback right now who has been playing for us is Kyle."

Newton - the face of the franchise since his selection with the first pick in the 2011 draft - appeared at practice on a scooter in midweek, though he did not make the trip to England.

Allen is the first quarterback in NFL history to win his first five games without throwing an interception. He passed for 227 yards and two scores against Tampa Bay.

"He's been very consistent for us," Rivera said of the undrafted 23-year-old. "He's made the plays we needed."

Prior to the 2019 NFL season, Cam Newton and Jameis Winston appeared in contrasting situations with their respective teams. 

The unquestionable starter in Carolina, Newton and the Panthers had lofty expectations. In Tampa Bay, meanwhile, the Buccaneers had placed Winston on notice. By taking up his fifth-year option rather than signing him to a long-term deal, the message was clear - prove you deserve to get paid. 

Both quarterbacks were selected with the first overall pick in their respective drafts by teams hoping they would be able to fulfil their obvious potential and blossom after college careers that included winning the Heisman Trophy. 

But, as William Shakespeare once wrote, the course of true love never did run smooth.

Heading into a Week 6 meeting between the teams in London, the Bucs and Winston were still trying to work things out in their off-again, on-again relationship. 

As for Newton, he had not even made the plane trip over, his seemingly rock-solid alliance with the Panthers suddenly becoming complicated by a foot injury. Carolina had appeared tied to the 30-year-old for the long run, having fallen head over heels from their early days together. If there were any doubters after his selection in 2011, they were silenced when he set record for passing yards for a rookie on his NFL debut – then surpassed that number a week later.

Yet familiarity breeds contempt and, with the face of the franchise in the background, the Panthers have had their heads turned by the new guy, Kyle Allen.

Newton was given a new five-year deal in June 2015, just before an MVP season that climaxed with a trip to Super Bowl 50. He threw a career-high 35 touchdowns and ran for 10 more as he led his team to a 15-1 record, though they came up short against the Denver Broncos.

Four years after Newton entered the league, the Bucs selected Winston hoping he would end their merry-go-round at a key position.  

Their pact did not quite have the same initial spark from the outset, the former Florida State star throwing 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions as a rookie – numbers that hinted at obvious promise as a passer, yet also highlighted a turnover issue that has been his Achilles heal in the pros.

He provided a microcosm of his career at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, starting both halves by tossing an interception, while there was a crucial fumble to kill an opportunity to add further points before the end of the second quarter when he held onto the ball for too long. There were also occasional flashes of his quality, including a deep bomb to Mike Evans that the receiver just failed to reel in.

The unpredictable Winston is still likely to get paid when he signs his next deal - it just may not be forthcoming from his current employers.

If a divorce between the Bucs and Winston happens, they can cite irreconcilable differences. He is by no means the only issue for this Tampa Bay team, but it may well be best for all parties to go in different directions and start afresh. 

"I'm not looking to the future. I'm not looking to the past," Winston said after committing six turnovers in a 37-26 defeat, before adding: "Today was not a good day, but there will be better days."

These bad days happen too often, though. Bruce Arians - Winston's third head coach in the NFL - told the media he never thought of benching his starter despite his struggles against Carolina, though admitted the 25-year-old "has a habit of trying to be Superman".

Ryan Fitzpatrick almost became the hero for Miami Dolphins after the veteran quarterback replaced the struggling Josh Rosen against the Washington Redskins.

Fitzpatrick came on with the Dolphins trailing 17-3 heading into the fourth quarter of Sunday's game, but the 36-year-old very nearly inspired Miami to victory.

Having moved the Dolphins 54 yards downfield to set up a Kalen Ballage touchdown shortly after coming into the fray, Fitzpatrick took his team to within a point of the Redskins when he picked out Devante Parker with an 11-yard pass with seconds remaining.

With Rosen – who threw for 85 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions – watching on, Fitzpatrick looked to have set up a winning two-point conversion when he found Kenyan Drake, only for the running back to fumble as the Redskins held on to win 17-16.

Fitzpatrick finished the day with 12 completed passes out of 18 for 132 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.

Rosen's demotion to the bench caps a difficult start to the campaign for the 22-year-old, although he has the backing of Brian Flores to be the team's starting quarterback going forward, with the coach reiterating this stance after the game. 

Overall, Rosen – who was traded from the Arizona Cardinals in April – has just one touchdown this season. Fitzpatrick had not fared much better, throwing for one touchdown and four interceptions before Sunday's game.

In his rookie season, Rosen threw for 2,278 yards with 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and seven fumbles as the Cardinals finished 3-13.

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