Both Miami and Tampa Bay earned victories in Week 6 and have reason to be optimistic about the remainder of their seasons.
With back-to-back wins following some very close losses early in the season, there's optimism in Miami and justifiably so.
The Dolphins are a team that is functioning on all cylinders and led by an exciting rookie leader in Ryan Tannehill. In Week 6, he again showed he was absolutely worth the top 10 pick that was used to select him, completing 21-of-29 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns, despite being harassed by the Rams offensive line all game.
Although the score didn't show it, the Rams seemed like the better team in the first half. Had it not been for some stops by the Miami defense deep in their own territory as well as a gifted opportunity to take the lead thanks to a fumble by Brit Miller, the Dolphins could have gone in to halftime down by a sizable amount. Instead it was 10-6 in their favor.
However, the Dolphins absolutely won the third quarter, although this time the luck wasn't entirely in their favor. Between a very close tuck ruling in favor of the Rams and an overturned Chris Givens fumble, the Dolphins had chances to increase their lead taken away.
Regardless, they were the better team in the third quarter and it showed in the final score, despite the fact that they were out-gained by the Rams 462 yards to just 192. Perhaps it's a bit of the karma from some crushing losses early in the season making things right by affording the Dolphins a win?
Buccaneers 38, Chiefs 10: Blowout after bye week
What better team to face after a 1-3 start than the Kansas City Chiefs? A now 1-5 team that lost by 16 or more in four of their six games this season, the Chiefs have a truly remarkable propensity for turnovers.
With two interceptions from Brady Quinn and no fumbles, the Chiefs actually set a team best for turnovers in a game by only turning the ball over twice. Maybe that would be a good thing if they didn't allow the Buccaneers to gain more than 200 yards of offense more than them.
Consistently finding huge chunks of yardage, Josh Freeman accumulated 328 yards passing and three touchdowns with only 15 completions. That's 21.9 yards per completion. For perspective, the NFL leader in that category for the 2012 season is Cam Newton at 14.4 with Freeman now just behind him at 14.0 thanks to the Chiefs.
Finding negatives in such a dominating victory is tough, but if there's one: the Buccaneers needed to do a better job of continuing drives. While they gashed the Chiefs repeatedly with big plays of 20 or more yards, far too often they had plays that weren't very productive at all.
With 38 points and 463 yards of total offense, converting just four-of-nine third down attempts isn't a good sign against a bad defense.