We take a look at the good and the bad from am exciting Week 5 in the NFL.
Paging Dr. Rodgers
Yeah, Aaron Rodgers is pretty damn good. His ability to surgically dismantle defenses when games are on the line was on full display against the Cowboys. Rodgers seamlessly removed the hearts, minds and souls of an entire fan base with his game-winning drive. Its no secret that Green Bay always has a shot as long as Dr. Rodgers is operating.
Birds of prey
The Philadelphia Eagles are off to a soaring 4-1 start, and seem to only be getting better. Against the Cardinals, the Eagles were flat out dominant. Carson Wentz tossed three first quarter touchdowns to set the tone for the afternoon, in route to a 34-7 rout of Arizona. The next step for Philly is maintaining, as they started similarly fast in 2016, only to fall flat after week 5.
Run, rookie, run!
Jaguars rookie Leonard Fournette had been impressive through the first four weeks of the season, bit was missing his breakout performance. That came in full force against a Steelers defense that has been struggling against the run. The LSU product posted 181 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, leading Jacksonville to a 30-9 victory and first place in the AFC South.
Cool Cam and collected
After enduring a week full of controversy, Cam Newton was stellar against Detroit. He dropped dime after dime, was mobile and decisive, and looks to be back in MVP form. His 355 yards, 3 TD and 141.8 passer rating — following last week’s New England Game — shows that Newton is back to being the dominant singular force that defenses fear.
The win column
There are two fewer winless teams in the league now. Despite Jay Cutler’s usual pitiful performance, the Dolphins were able to knock off a Tennessee squad minus Marcus Mariota, 16-10. And, in a game where something had to give, the LA Chargers got into the win column by taking down the still-winless Giants. Thus, the Giants, Browns and 49ers remain the only completely-defeated teams in the NFL.
Jacoby & Co.
The Colts’ offense came to life, and not coincidentally now rust quarterback Jacoby Brissette is getting comfortable with the offense. T.Y. Hilton and rookie Marlon Moore were big parts of the offensive explosion for Indy. All great signs for a team looking to hold on until Andrew Luck returns…whenever that may be.
As the only undefeated team remaining in the league, its only right that we continue to acknowledge the Kansas City Chiefs. Now 5-0, Andy Reid and the crew prepare to take on a wounded Pittsburgh squad in Week 6. Should be a good test of Kansas City’s mettle.
Big (has) Ben?
This week was by far the worst we’ve seen from Ben Roethlisberger in his illustrious career. After four weeks are sub par play, the bottom fell out against Jacksonville. I don’t think it’s unfair to question if Big Ben is all in after his flirtation with retirement this past offseason. Even if he is, had he simply fallen off the proverbial cliff?
Dude, where’s my Carr?
While the loss to Baltimore is not solely on the absence of Derek Carr, it’s painfully clear that this Raiders team is barely above ground without the Pro Bowl passer. Especially on defense, where the unit is not built to play from behind. For all things silver and black, horsefly Carr is able to return next week.
First pick blues
The Giants are just plain bad. They were picked by many (my hand is raised) to win the NFC East… boy was that far off! With Eli Manning nearing the end, we all knew their window was closing. It appears to have slammed shut, nailed down and boarded up. The question now is do the Giants take a quarterback with that top-2 pick they’ll have next May.
More sadness from the factory
While there was hope for growth coming into this season, the Browns seem to be the same old Browns. Week 5 against the Jets was thought to be a winnable game coming into the season, but the Jets are better than originally thought. So, the Factory of Sadness is fully operational with no signs of shutting down.
Meanwhile, in _allas
Even though it came against the aforementioned Dr. Rodgers, this loss is a reminder of how far the Cowboys’ defense has to go. They can’t hold onto leads when it matters most and don’t have a difference-maker that offenses must account for on a down-by-down basis.
Birds of pray
Sunday against the Eagles was a perfect indictment of just how far the Arizona Cardinals have fallen. It’s genuinely difficult to figure out the worst unit on this team. Between quarterback, pass rush and offensive line, this is a team that in moving in the wrong direction and will definitely see changes made after the season.
Again for injuries. Tao of the NFL’s biggest stars were lost to devastating Week 5 injuries. Giants star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., suffered a broken ankle, leaving the Giants with even less hope than before. Just as numbing, the Texans lost J.J Watt to a broken leg Sunday night. Both stars are likely done for the year.
Doubly-bad for Houston is the loss of linebacker Whitney Mercilus for the season with a turn pectoral.
Other notable Week 5 injuries:
Chiefs receiver Chris Conley is out for the remainder of the season with a torn Achilles.
The Chiefs are also dealing with a concussion suffered by tight end Travis Kelce.
Giants receivers Brandon Marshall (ankle), Sterling Shepard (leg) and Dwayne Harris (foot) all left and didn’t return to the loss to the Chargers.
Cincinnati lost starting cornerbacks Adam Jones (back) and Dre Kirkpatrick (shoulder) during Sunday’s win over Buffalo.