NFL Week 5: Records Good and Bad

Patriots 38, Colts 24

New England (3-1): Julian Edelman has returned for the first time since Super Bowl 51 and any problems the Patriots offense had in September seem to be gone as a result. Tom Brady (34-44, 341 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT) threw his 500th career touchdown pass to newcomer Josh Gordon, RB Sony Michel rushed for 100 yards for the second week in a row, Gronk was getting open, and the defense was a brick wall for large portions of the game. Despite the slow start and the whispers that the dynasty was collapsing, the Patriots are back in 1st place and are still one of the favorites to go to yet another Super Bowl.

Indianapolis (1-4): Thursday night was a tale of two halves for the Colts. In the first half, Andrew Luck (38-59, 365 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT) could only manage two real drives, resulting in just 3 points and a 24-3 halftime deficit. In the second half, TE Eric Ebron went off and finished with 105 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Colts got within 1 score after back-to-back Patriots interceptions, but weren’t able to keep up and fall to 1-4, Indy’s worst start since 2011.

Bills 13, Titans 12

Buffalo (2-3): Buffalo managed to get another win, and it’s pretty clear that there aren’t going to be many pretty wins for the Bills this season. Josh Allen (10-19, 82 yds, INT, rushing TD) was not the leader of the offense, instead letting the rushing game lead the way. The Bills ran the ball 43 times with running back LeSean McCoy carrying it 24 times. A game winning field goal by Stephen Hauschka as time expired put Buffalo over the edge after one of the Bills’ few successful drives chewed the final 4:43 off the clock.

Tennessee (3-2): Despite a golden opportunity to be alone atop The AFC South, the Titans couldn’t beat a struggling Bills team despite shutting down the air attack. Marcus Mariota (14-26, 129 yds, INT) couldn’t get much going, and the running backs combined for 100 yards on the day. What really killed the Titans were 3 turnovers, all at the very start of drives that shifted the field position battle firmly in favor of Buffalo. Instead, Tennessee shares the division lead with the 3-2 Jaguars in what looks to be a fairly average AFC South race.

Bengals 27, Dolphins 17

Cincinnati (4-1): Don’t panic, but the Bengals are in first place in the AFC North. Andy Dalton (20-30, 248 yds, TD, INT) couldn’t get anything going until the 3rd quarter and really couldn’t get anything substantial until the 4th, but his second half efforts and the defense’s brilliant 4th quarter led to the win. The Bengals start 4-1 for the first time since 2015, the last time Cincinnati made the playoffs. Maybe this year the Bengals can actually win a playoff game. If Cleveland is winning, then why can’t Cincy?

Miami (3-2): Remember when the Dolphins were good? They started out 3-0 and even snuck into a few peoples’ top 10, then regressed FAST. After last week’s beatdown, they needed a rebound against the Bengals. Holding a 17-3 4th quarter lead, Miami blew it by giving up 24 unanswered points and losing their second straight. Ryan Tannehill (20-35, 185 yds, TD, 2 INT) gave up two defensive touchdowns in the final 12 minutes to cap off a dismal collapse.

Browns 12, Ravens 9, F/OT

Cleveland (2-2-1): The Cleveland Browns are .500 through week 5 for the first time since 2014. Baker Mayfield (25-43, 342 yds, TD, INT) made some huge throws to keep the Browns in the game, including a 39-yard gem on the run to Derrick Willies on 3rd and 8 to set up the game winning field goal. Kicker Greg Joseph made up for his miss at the end of regulation by hitting it in OT, even if it mirrored Zane Gonzalez’s kick in their tie against the Steelers and was blocked. The football gods must’ve felt bad after the Week 1 tie, and it still made it through.

Baltimore (3-2): A team many considered a dark horse to go to the super bowl looked old and boring against the Browns. Joe Flacco (29-56, 298 yds, INT) threw a pick in the red zone early in the 2nd quarter and only was 2-8 for 28 yards in overtime. The defense played well nearly all game, but just like Jacksonville learned against the Titans, defense alone can’t put points on the board. Week 6 against the Titans is a big game for Baltimore, because their next 4 opponents after that are a combined 13-5-1.

Lions 31, Packers 23

Detroit (2-3): The Lions still have Green Bay’s number, winning their last 3 matchups. Matt Stafford (14-26, 183 yds, 2 TD) didn’t need to do a whole lot by himself, leaving the rushing game to dominate the game’s tempo after their defense recovered 3 Packers fumbles and set up the offense in great field position. Next up are the sinking Dolphins and the stagnant Seahawks. Detroit isn’t out of the hunt yet.

Green Bay (2-2-1): The Packers just haven’t looked all that good this year. Aaron Rodgers (32-52, 442 yds, 3 TD) aired it out all game, but his 2 fumbles killed big drives and the defense couldn’t make up for it. Yet again, it seems as though Rodgers’ supporting cast isn’t nearly good enough to make a Super Bowl run, despite all their efforts to build a defense in the off-season. Already 1-2 in the division, the Packers are running out of room for error quickly.

Chiefs 30, Jaguars 14

Kansas City (5-0): The Chiefs have a defense. That sentence should terrify the rest of the NFL. Not only did Patrick Mahomes (22-38, 313 yds, 2 INT, rushing TD) carve up the vaunted Sacksonville defense despite his first interceptions of the season, but the Chiefs defense that had the strength of wet tissue paper in the first 4 weeks shut down the Jaguars offense. If they repeat this performance against the Patriots on Sunday Night Football, then KC has to be a lock to go to the Super Bowl.

Jacksonville (3-2): Good news and bad news. Good news is that the defense finally got Patrick Mahomes to throw a pick and Blake Bortles (33-61, 430 yds, TD, 4 INT) had a career high for passing yards. Bad news is that he threw 4 picks, one returned for a touchdown, and couldn’t turn yards into points. T.J. Yeldon totaled 122 yards and looked just as good as Fournette, but even that wasn’t enough to put more than 2 touchdowns on the board.

Jets 34, Broncos 16

New York (2-3): These stats are not from a video game. Isaih Crowell ran for 219 yards. Bilal Powell ran for another 99. Ryan Anderson had 123 yards on 3 catches. Sam Darnold (10-22, 198 yds, 3 TD, INT) averaged 19.8 yards per completion. Those numbers would be insane in a game of Madden, and the Jets did this in front of a loud, vicious Mile High crowd. The AFC East might have some competition sooner rather than later.

Denver (2-3): The Broncos were 2-0 to start the year and the defense looked like it was returning to their prior Super Bowl form. Fast forward three weeks and that hype is gone. Case Keenum (35-51, 377 yds, 2 TD, INT) put together several good drives, but they mostly petered out right before they got into field goal range. Down just 21-10 at halftime, the offense couldn’t get a first down and didn’t pass midfield (with the exception of a Darnold interception) until the 4th quarter. Next up are the Rams and Chiefs two of the next three weeks, so it’s very likely Denver will need a nearly perfect second half of the season to return to the postseason.

Steelers 41, Falcons 17

Pittsburgh (2-2-1): That’s more like it, Pittsburgh. Not only did the defense hold Julio Jones in check all game, but they gave up under 20 points for the first time this season. Big Ben (19-29, 250 yds, 3 TD, INT) finally found his connection with Antonio Brown, and James Conner had a huge game, totalling 185 yards as the Steelers milked the clock to preserve the lead the entire second half. Le’Veon Bell might also be coming back by week 8. These Steelers are just starting to get going.

Atlanta (1-4): In what must have felt like a must-win game, the Falcons looked just awful for most of the game. Matt Ryan (26-38, 285 yds, TD) was forced out late in the game after a sack-fumble that resulted in a Steelers touchdown, the defense is still hot garbage due to injuries, and the run game was almost non-existent. In the loaded NFC, the Falcons need to right the ship fast. With games against the Bucs, Giants, and Redskins ahead, Atlanta will need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Panthers 33, Giants 31

Carolina (3-1):

New York (1-4):

Chargers 26, Raiders 10

Los Angeles (3-2):

Oakland (1-4):

Eagles 21, Vikings 23

Philadelphia (2-3): The Super Bowl hangover continues for the Eagles, who are under .500 through 5 weeks for the first time since 2015 and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of upside. Carson Wentz (24-35, 311 yds, 2 TD) hasn’t looked amazing and the running game has declined. Against the Vikings, the Eagles only managed 81 rushing yards, not including Wentz’s 3 sacks. Thursday’s matchup against the Giants is a true make-or-break game for Philly, who are still in good shape with a win, but in a pretty tough spot with a loss.

Minnesota (2-2-1): The Vikings win made it so that, oddly enough, all four teams that have tied this season are 2-2-1 through week 5. Kirk Cousins (30-37, 301 yds, TD) was incredibly accurate and had plenty of time to throw, despite the incredibly 1-dimensional offense. Linval Joseph returned a Carson Wentz fumble for a touchdown late in the 2nd quarter to give Minnesota the lead, and Dan Bailey kicked what turned out to be the game winner from 52 yards out.

49ers 18, Cardinals 28

San Francisco (1-4): Without Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers actually aren’t a worse football team. C.J. Beathard (34-54, 349 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT) led the offense competantly, but just couldn’t put points on the board. 5 turnovers killed any hope of a San Fran win, but over 450 yards of offense is definitely a huge positive. The defense is still a turnstile though, now bottom-5 in points allowed despite being #11 in yards allowed and #7 in rushing yards allowed. Tighten up the defense in the red zone and the 49ers are a good team.

Arizona (1-4): For the first time since 2015, the final winless team won a game before the final undefeated team lost a game. Rookie QB Josh Rosen (10-25, 170 yds, TD) kept the ball safe as David Johnson finally came out of his shell, totalling 71 yards and 2 touchdowns. Against a battered 49ers team, the Cardinals set a season high for points scored and held their opponents under 20 points for just the second time this season. Upcoming games against the Vikings and Broncos make the chances that Arizona gets back to .500 this season pretty low, but the offense has shown that this team has potential.

Seahawks 31, Rams 33

Seattle (2-3): The worst part about Sunday’s loss was that this is easily the best the Seahawks have looked all season. Russell Wilson (13-21, 198 yds, 3 TD) was only sacked twice, RB Chris Carson ran for over 100 yards and Seattle totalled 190 rushing yards against the studded Rams D-line. The Seahawks play the 1-4 Raiders before their week 7 bye, then face Detroit and the Chargers before their week 10 rematch. If Seattle continues this form, their rematch in the LA Coliseum will have major playoff implications.

Los Angeles (5-0): It was closer than most we’re expecting, but the Rams are still undefeated. Jared Goff (23-32, 321 yds, TD, 2 INT) now leads the league in passing yards just 2 years after we questioned if he could even throw a football. Todd Gurley pounded the ball for 3 touchdowns, and the defense was able to hold despite the offense giving away 4 turnovers. The top 2 teams in the NFL are clear, and the Rams look set to have home-field advantage in the NFC.

Texans 19, Cowboys 16, F/OT

Houston (2-3): Deshaun Watson (33-44, 375 yds, TD, INT) and DeAndre Hopkins (9 catches, 151 yds) are a match made in heaven. For the second straight week, these two connected for a huge pass in overtime to set up a game winning field goal. Watson is now #5 in the league in passing yards and Hopkins is #1 in receiving yards, cementing the pair as one of the league’s premier QB-WR connections. Only 1 game back int the AFC South, the Texans can still push for the playoffs as long as Watson and Hopkins do their thing.

Dallas (2-3): To steal a line from the NFL Memes Facebook page, how you gonna be America’s team if you can’t even be Texas’ team? Dak Prescott (18-29, 208 yds, TD, 2 INT) threw for 200 yards back-to-back for the first time since weeks 13 and 14 of 2017, but Ezekiel Elliot was limited to just 54 rushing yards by a cutthroat Texans D-line. Still, the NFC East is particularly weak this season, so next week’s matchup with the Redskins is a massive one if the Cowboys hope to make it back to the playoffs.

Saints 43, Redskins 19

New Orleans (4-1): Ladies and gentlemen, Drew Brees (26-29, 363 yds, 3 TD) is officially the all-time leading passer in NFL history. His 72,063 yards puts him past Brett Favre and Peyton Manning, and he’s still got at least 11 more games to extend that lead. Brees broke the record the only way it could be broken with a 62-yard bomb to Tre’Quon Smith en route to a nearly perfect performance. Mark Ingrahm also returned from suspension with 2 touchdowns as the Saints rolled over the Redskins, cementing this game in the halls of football history.

Washington (2-2): At least you got to witness history in person. Brees’ record-breaking touchdown pass made it 26-6 late in the second quarter, but they were able to get a touchdown of their own to trim the Saints lead to 13 at the half. Things only got worse in the second half as the defense gave up 17 unanswered points and Alex Smith (23-39, 275 yds, INT, rushing TD) was held in check all game long.

Bye Week

Happy Bye Week to the Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Khalil Mack is taking a well-earned week off from terrifying opposing quarterbacks while down in Tampa, they’re trying to get that FitzMagic back and channel it through Jameis Winston, who’s officially been named the starter going forward.

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