A turbulent week for the NFL started with news about Jon Gruden and ended with the Las Vegas Raiders head coach resigning by the end of week five. On the field there was a changing of the guard in one conference with one division seeing their list of contending teams shrink after a key injury to an elite quarterback. Along the way, two teams continue to face the reality of how good they are now that the schedule is getting tougher, and a veteran quarterback is still setting personal records at a time when some retired quarterbacks on wasting their time acting stupid on ESPN. So enjoy my recap of everything that happened in week five of the NFL.
LA Rams 26 (4-1), Seattle 17 (2-3): The bigger loss for the Seahawks came when the team found out that quarterback Russell Wilson will be out or several weeks after suffering an injury to his throwing hand. On the field Seattle was struggling even with Wilson in the game and drop off further when backup QB Geno Smith took the field. The Rams bounced back from their first loss of the season to win this NFC West game and ensure they will keep pace with the Cardinals in the divisional race, which now only include three and not four teams.
Atlanta 27 (2-3), NY Jets 20 (1-4): As word leaked out that Germany will suffer future NFL International games, London continues to see subpar football as these two teams played a game that was only competitive since they are both equally bad. The Falcons jumped out early, building a 17-0 advantage in the game’s first 19 minutes. It took until late in the first half for the Jets to find some offense when they mounted their first drive and posted a field goal, points only matched by Atlanta right before intermission. A good second half kickoff return set up New York for their first touchdown of the game with a four-play 90-yard TD drive pulling them to within three points with 6:55 left in the game. Quarterback Matt Ryan saved his best play for the game’s most important Atlanta possession, answering the Jets’ comeback attempt with a 75-yard TD drive to put the game out of reach and giving the Falcons a perfect 2-0 record against New York teams.
Pittsburgh 27 (2-3), Denver 19 (3-2): A desperate Steelers team showed some signs of life at home in this game as the visiting Broncos lost their second straight against a quality opponent. Pittsburgh had a balance offense with QB Ben Roethlisberger posted 253 yards and two scores while RB Na’Jee Harris adding 123 yards. Teddy Bridgewater did was he could for the Denver offense, but his 88 yards wasn’t enough without a running game to keep the Steelers’ defense honest with most of passing yards coming late in the game while Pittsburgh was letting the clock run out on their second win of the year and first since opening day.
Minnesota 19 (2-3), Detroit 17 (0-5): Without Dalvin Cook running the ball, the Vikings offense continues to struggle and needed a late field goal to put away the winless Lions. Cook’s replacement did post Alexander Mattison post 154 total yards and Kirk Cousins posted the team’s only touchdown as part of a 275-yard day. Jared Goff continues to display while the Rams traded him away for Matthew Stafford and Detroit looks forward to the 2022 NFL as they will soon be on the clock for the first overall pick next spring.
Green Bay 25 (4-1), Cincinnati 22 (3-2): In a game that neither place kicker wanted to win, a good game turned into a battle of wills for the Packers and Bengals as each team had a chance to win, with Green Bay finally doing putting up the final three points for the win. Quarterback Joe Burrow held his own against Aaron Rodgers with each throwing two TD passes and leading their teams to what should have been game-winning drives in regular and in overtime. Cincinnati loses their first home game of the year in this one while Green Bay has won four straight and continues to dominate their division as the road to the playoffs is already being traveled for the Packers’ faithful.
Tampa Bay 45 (4-1), Miami 17 (1-4): The Dolphins stayed in this game for three quarters, reaching the fourth down just 21-17, but a 21-0 outburst for the Buccaneers pushed this game out of reach, over the point spread and the over/under for many happy bettors across the country. Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady tossed five TDs as part of a 411-yard with two of those scores going to Antonio Brown as part of his 124-yard afternoon. Jacoby Brissett did what he could for three quarters, tossing two of his own scores, but in the end, Miami was overmatched when it mattered most, and the Dolphins’ tailspin continues after a promising opening week win.
New England 25 (2-3), Houston 22 (1-4): If there was such a thing as an upset alert, the Patriots would have been on it all afternoon in this early game. Bill Belichick and company entered the fourth quarter down by seven but posted the game’s last ten points to comeback against Houston, notching their second win of the season against a team with just one win of their own this year. Texans’ QB Davis Mills stared down the New England defense and posted three TDs passes in this game only to be let down by his own defense as the Patriots did just enough late to win.
New Orleans 33 (3-2), Washington 22 (2-3): Saints fans saw the best and worst of quarterback Jameis Winton in this contest with the former Heisman Trophy winner having good and bad moments in the capital. By the end of the day, however, his four TD passes were enough to propel New Orleans to their third win of the season. The Washington defense is still behind where they were last year were unable to readjust in the second and fourth quarters, allowing the Saints to light up the scoreboard for most of their points during that time. It was a solid win for New Orleans against a Washington team that is just able to put together too many complete games yet.
Philadelphia 21 (2-3), Carolina 18 (3-2): The Panthers are like the Broncos in that their early season success came against sub-par teams, and for the second week in a row after facing a team with some talented players, lost. The Eagles were down early, 10-3 after one quarter and allowing a safety in the second to fall behind 15-6 at the half. Philly’s defense bounced back in the second half in allowing just a field goal as their quarterback Jalen Hurts figured things out enough to mount a comeback. Thanks to the former Alabama QB, the Eagles posted a TD in each of the final two quarters, allowing them to leave North Carolina with a win.
Tennessee 37 (3-2), Jacksonville 19 (0-5): In their “get right” game, the Titans went to Jacksonville and won a divisional game over a team they should have. A 17-point second quarter opened up the game and Tennessee RB Derrick Henry was the All-Pro player he has been before in posting three TD runs as part of his 130-yard afternoon. The Jags’ embattled head coach was once again reminded that every NFL team can blow you out on Sunday, with his quarterback still looking for his first pro victory now that he has lost more games this year than he did in high school and college combined.
Chicago 20 (3-2), Las Vegas 9 (3-2): We will never truly know how much the Jon Gruden distraction hurt the Raiders in this game; but one can’t imagine it helped the team late in the week. Regardless of the why, it is clear the Silver and Black is just like their head coach, a hot and cold team, and one of the NFL’s biggest mysteries. Give Chicago credit for going on the road and taking advantage of a team with a lot going on off the field and doing what they needed to do on the field, especially on defense. The Bears and Raiders may have only about around 250 yards of total offense apiece, but when those yards were needed most, it was Chicago who did enough to secure the road win and get back over .500 as Las Vegas has now lost two straight in October.
LA Chargers 47 (4-1), Cleveland 42 (3-2): Defense was in short supply in LA for this AFC shootout as these teams combined for over 1,000 yards of offense. Despite having 302 passing and a whopping 230 rushing yards, the Browns were unable to do anything to turn away a Chargers comeback that saw the home team post 26 points in the fourth quarter to not only tie but win. Overall there were 41 of the games 89 points scored in the final 15 minutes, an indication that while able to score with just about everyone, these two teams may want to think about attempting for fourth down plays to help keep the ball in their hands longer and their defense on the field less.
Dallas 44 (4-1), NY Giants 20 (1-4): A plague of injuries hit the visiting Giants one day shy of a year after Cowboys’ QB Dak Prescott saw his 2020 season end on the same AT&T Stadium field. New York saw their QB Daniel Jones, RB Saquon Barkley and other players taking to the locker room early, helping Dallas and their fans enjoy their fourth straight win of the season. Prescott posted over 300 passing yards and three scores with RB Ezekiel Elliott catch and run for scores in a winning effort. The 2021 season his going to be long for Big Blue fans as the doubt about what this team’s plan is will be hotly debates for the rest of the fall and into an offseason that is quickly about to being. All that while the Dallas Cowboys are in cruise control in the NFC East.
Arizona 17 (5-0), San Francisco 10 (2-3): For all those people who believe Jimmy Garoppolo’s days should e over in San Francisco, I give you this ten-point outing by his heir apparent Trey Lance, who did little to help the 49ers cause in this NFC West matchup. San Francisco’s defense held their own on the road as Cardinals’ QB Kyler Murray only had 239 yards passing and zero rushing yards on the day, but it was enough after Arizona’s defense had their own goal line stand in the first half to set the tone for the entire game. The Cardinals are still the NFL’s only undefeated team as their division appears to be a two-team race as the 49ers and Seahawks are both 2-3 early.
Buffalo 38 (4-1), Kansas City 20 (2-3): Is there a new team to beat in the AFC? That will be the narrative now that Kansas City has shown the NFL has caught up with their trick plays and are beatable on their home field even in prime time. Buffalo went to the Midwest and played a better game on both sides of the football, putting points on the board in every quarter and responding to every KC drive with points of their own. The Bills’ defense even chipped in with a pick-six in the third quarter to give Buffalo a 30-13 lead and putting the game out of reach for the struggling KC offense. So, is there a new team to be at in the AFC? Yes, and they are the Buffalo Bills.
Baltimore 31 (4-1), Indianapolis 25 (1-4) OT: Another late game comeback in primetime against a bad team is what the Ravens needed to do at home to win their game against the Colts Monday Night. Early on Baltimore was giving up big plays, allowing Indianapolis to score to start the game and second half, building a 22-3 lead. The Colts’ defense was worn down by the Ravens, and from the final minute of the third to the final minute of the fourth quarter, Baltimore put up three touchdowns … and after a missed FG attempt as regulation ended, the game was to overtime. There it was the Lamar Jackson making up for a goal line fumble earlier in the night with a game-winning touchdown drive to steal a win from the jaws of defeat against another team the Baltimore Ravens should have never needed to break a sweat in order to beat on their home field.
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NFL Week Five Recap | TooAthletic.com