Week 5 of the NFL season provided us with some more sparks and late game heroics. This season has definitely been one of the most exciting seasons I have watched, and we’re only five weeks in.
The first slate of bye weeks took away two games from us, as the Broncos, Falcons, Saints, and Redskins had the week off. Look I understand these guys need a week off. Hell with the amount of work they put in, they probably deserve two or three, but I hate when there isn’t 16 games every week. Nobody likes less football, give me more.
One of the most surprising teams so far this season has been the Philadelphia Eagles. They welcomed the Arizona Cardinals into Lincoln Financial Field this Sunday, and the Cardinals looked like they were sleeping from the opening kickoff. The Eagles jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead, with all three touchdowns coming from the arm of Carson Wentz. The sophomore quarterback is receiving a lot of hype this season, and rightfully so. He has had a stellar season so far, passing for 1,362 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions for a 69.4 total QBR, good enough for third in the league. The Eagles defense shut down Carson Palmer and the Cardinals offense, holding them to just 7 points all game. The 4-1 Eagles may be the real deal, but they still have a lot to improve on if they want to become a true contender this season and beyond. The play of the game came when Wentz hit Nelson Agholor with this 72-yard touchdown pass.
The Bengals hosted the Bills in a battle of 2-2 teams looking to still find their identities. The Bengal defense held Tyrod Taylor and the Buffalo offense to just 221 total yards, as the Bills just could not get anything going. Following a 0-3 start, Cincinnati now sits at 2-3, and with the struggles of the other AFC North teams, could possibly win the division with a 8 or 9 win season. AJ Green has finally broken out this season after being contained the first few games of the year. Andy Dalton hit Green with a 77-yard touchdown pass to open up the scoring on Sunday.
The game of the week took place in Cleveland, as the 0-4 Browns hosted the somehow 2-2 New York Jets. All of the “experts” that picked the Jets to have the worst record this season and get the number one pick in the draft apparently forgot that the Browns were still in the NFL. This could have honestly been the last chance for the Browns to win a game this season. Cleveland benched quarterback DeShone Kizer after a dismal first half, and second year QB Kevin Hogan played well in his stead, but it wasn’t enough for the Browns, as the Jets now have won three games in a row, and are tied for first place in the AFC East.
A great game unfolded in Detroit as the Lions battled it out against Cam Newton and the Panthers. Newton was under fire after his comments towards a female reporter. Newton later apologized, and his play on Sunday maybe brought a couple of his fans back. Newton threw for 355 yards and 3 touchdowns, and the Panthers led the Lions 27-10 through three quarters. Matt Stafford and the Lions didn’t go down without a fight however, as they scored 2 touchdowns in the fourth to cut the lead to 27-24. Their fight would come up just short, as that 27-24 score would be the final. The now 4-1 Panthers take on the Eagles on Thursday night this week, and that could end up being the game of the week.
The Colts and Niners had a thriller in Indy, as the combined 12 first half points turned into 37 in the second half and overtime. After the Niners tied the game late in the 4th quarter when Brian Hoyer found George Kittle for a 5-yard touchdown, the legend Adam Vinatieri hit a game-winning, 51-yard field goal in overtime. The real story of the game was the halftime festivities. Peyton Manning’s number 18 was retired, and a statue was unveiled outside of Lucas Oil Stadium. Much deserved for the “Sheriff”, as he will go down as the greatest QB in Colts history (sorry Johnny Unitas fans).
A pair of 16-10 final scores emerged in Miami and LA, as the Dolphins defeated the Marcus Mariota-less Titans, and the Seahawks snuck out of Los Angeles with a win over the Rams. The Tennessee-Miami game was boring to say the least, as both teams combined for just 366 yards of offense. The stout Seattle defense shut down the Rams offense as well, holding Todd Gurley to just 43 yards. The Rams came down to Earth a bit, but fans in LA should still be excited about this young team.
A battle of winless teams ensued in East Rutherford, as the Chargers took on the Giants. A lot of people picked the Giants to have a big year, and man are they eating their words. The Giants sit at 0-5, and star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. could be out for the season with a fractured ankle. In all, the Giants finished Sunday’s game without four of their top receivers, as Eli Manning had virtually no one to throw to at games end. It is shocking to me that the Giants are 0-5 to start the season. I didn’t expect them to win 11 or 12 games like some people were predicting, but 0-5? This team is just too talented to have that record.
Many Jaguar players claimed that they had the best defense in the league, and so far they’ve shown that they are pretty damn close. The Jags defense picked off Ben Roethlisberger five times, with two of them being returned for touchdowns. That would have been enough to beat the Steelers on Sunday, but Leonard Fournette thought he’d seal the deal with this 90-yard run.
The Raiders, without star quarterback Derek Carr, struggled against the Ravens on Sunday. It was reported that Carr could possibly play despite being reportedly out 2-6 weeks, but he wasn’t ready to go. In stepped EJ Manuel, in his first season with the Raiders, and it’s safe to say he was stifled by the Raven defense. Manuel was held to just 159 yards passing on the day. The once promising Raiders now sit at 2-3, and badly need Derek Carr to get healthy if they want to return to the playoffs.
The real game of the week was played at Jerry’s World, as the Cowboys hosted the Green Bay Packers. It was a rematch of last year’s divisional round matchup, where the Packers stole one from the Boys on a last second field goal. This year’s matchup gave us another thriller. Dallas jumped out to a 21-6 lead in the first half, before an Aaron Jones run made it 21-12 at the half. The second half delivered some of the best football we’ve seen all year. In all, there were 5 lead changes in the 4th quarter alone. Dallas took a 31-28 lead with 1:13 left in the game. Enter Aaron Rodgers, possibly the most clutch QB in the history of the game. Give this guy the ball with ANY time left on the clock, and he’ll go and win you the ballgame. Sunday was just another comeback for Rodgers, as he led the Pack on a 9 play, 75 yard drive in just a minute and two seconds. Here’s the winner, A-Rod to Davante Adams.
The lone undefeated team in the NFL, Kansas City Chiefs headed to Houston to take on the Texans on Sunday night. Despite DeShaun Watson’s 5 touchdown passes, the Chiefs were just too much for the battered Texans defense. This game was close through three quarters, but in the blink of an eye, Kansas City stretched a 6 point lead into a 19 point lead. Houston fought back, but it was never enough to even scare the 5-0 Chiefs. Alex Smith continues to play at an MVP pace, and the Chiefs are definite contenders this season.
Week 5 Awards:
MVP: Cam Newton – 26/33, 355 yards, 3 touchdowns
Offensive Player of the Week: Leonard Fournette – 28 carries, 181 yards, 2 touchdowns
Defensive Player of the Week: Jacksonville Jaguars defense – 5 interceptions, 2 touchdowns, 2 sacks
Week 5 Scores:
NE 19 – TB 14
PHI 34 – ARI 7
CIN 20 – BUF 16
NYJ 17 – CLE 14
CAR 27 – DET 24
IND 26 – SF 23 (OT)
MIA 16 – TEN 10
LAC 27 – NYG 22
JAX 30 – PIT 9
BAL 30 – OAK 17
SEA 16 – LAR 10
GB 35 – DAL 31
KC 42 – HOU 34
Monday Night Prediction:
CHI 20 – MIN 17
Sorry for no article last week, I didn’t get to watch any live football so I wasn’t motivated. I’ll get back on the grind each week. Happy footballing.