I am back from my midterm induced hibernation to run through all of Sunday’s NFL action. It was a packed Week 5 from across the pond to state side action being full of upsets, highlights, questionable penalties, and Troy Aikman lifting the curtain on the sport’s veiled sexist tones thanks to his on-air dress comment (are any other of the women in the room tired or is it just me?) Anyways, let’s get into it…
New York Giants 27- Green Bay Packers 22
There’s something special happening in New York and it might be the most surprising part of this NFL season. Daniel Jones entered his fourth season under the guidance of his fourth offensive coordinator in Mike Kafka, his third head coach in Brian Daboll, and his second general manager in Joe Schoen; so while they say dating in New York is hard, apparently playing quarterback there is harder. But in London it all fell into place for Big Blue’s fourth win of the season, and a come from behind effort against an all time great at that. Keeping in the theme of Jones’ lack of continuity, the Giants hit the shuffle button on the scoring with three different running backs carrying the rock into the endzone. As for Green Bay, they’ll look to rebound against another New York team performing well above expectations as they face the Jets in Week 6.
New England Patriots 29- Detroit Lions 0
I make no secret out of being a Patriots’ fan, but even I wouldn’t have bet on this 2022 roster pitching a shutout against a team that had put up 35, 36, 28, and 45 points in their last four games respectively. Not only did Belichick continue to live in Goff’s head (hello 3 points in that Super Bowl) but he got his own rookie quarterback to perform well-beyond his rep count. Bailey Zappe earned his first career start and yes, the team relied heavily on the run, Zappe threw it 21 times, completing 17 of them, and looked shockingly decent under centre. There’s a reason Belichick is only one win back for second most all time and the way he rallied his troops on Sunday is exemplary of that.
Los Angeles Chargers 30- Cleveland Browns 28
Some games are won and some are lost, and this one was an example of the latter; Los Angeles did not win on Sunday, Cleveland lost a game that on multiple occasions looked like it was being handed to them. None of these were perhaps as head scratching than when, with the game on the line, Brandon Staley elected to go for it on fourth-and-a-few near midfield. It was clear the coach’s confidence was in his quarterback (take notes Denver) but when Justin Herbert’s pass hit the turf, it appeared as though the Chargers’ chances at a win had also slammed to the ground. But because it was the Browns, the last second field goal, attempted from 54 yards, went wide right. LA wins and Staley skips the hot seat.
Houston Texans 13- Jacksonville Jaguars 9
I never thought I’d be calling a Jaguars loss an upset but I also never thought Davis Mills would be a starting quarterback so here we are. Golden Boy Lawrence was unable to get anything going on offense, going 25 for 47 and throwing two picks while his defense couldn’t come up with anything to stop breakout rookie Dameon Pierce on the run. Needless to say if nobody in your fantasy has picked up Pierce yet, grab him if you can catch him, I think the Jaguars are still chasing…
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21- Atlanta Falcons 15
There was no roughing the passer on the play. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
Buffalo Bills 38- Pittsburgh Steelers 3
If you ask a guy with a synonym for interception in his last name to throw the ball 52 times you cannot possibly expect things to go well for you…is a lesson Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh coaching staff learned the hard way. Kenny Pickett did only throw one interception (to a depleted Bills secondary) and racked up over 300 yards in his first NFL start but the deck was as stacked against him as it could be given that he was going toe-to-toe with Josh Allen. While the decision making out of the rookie was questionable at times, he made sure nobody would question his heart, getting involved in a secondary scuffle towards the end of the game, proving he’ll fit in just fine in the Black Air Force 1 division for years to come.
New York Jets 40- Miami Dolphins 17
The Jets’ flippered foes floundered once Teddy Bridgewater was forced to exit the game after a single pass attempt due to concussion protocol. This was a ground and pound showdown with all five of New York’s touchdowns being run in as was the case for both of Miami’s. It’s looking like newcomer Skylar Thompson will be the starter for the next little bit in Miami which means we could see some movement in the AFC East standings, especially if the Jets continue to outperform expectations the way they have since Zach Wilson came back.
Minnesota Vikings 29- Chicago Bears 22
It was really easy to get excited about the Bears after their Week 1 mud fest but man oh man have they made it hard for their fans to hold on to that feeling. Justin Fields looks frazzled snap after snap even with his new yoga breathing technique. As for the Vikings it really is hard to tell if they’re that good or their opponents are that bad, but then again that’s what happens when you play in MID-essota.
Tennessee Titans 21- Washington Commanders 17
The most notable moment from this game came from the press conference which should tell you everything you need to know about what happened on the field. Post-game, Commanders head coach Ron Riveira was asked what the difference was between his squad and the rest of the NFC East, who are all sitting at either 5-0 or 4-1, and he plainly answered “quarterback” which while it was an accurate shot at the Commanders shortcomings, I wouldn’t call it the best move if you were looking to uplift your locker room. But then again, I’m not the one being paid millions of dollars to coach so my opinion is neither here nor there.
New Orleans Saints 39- Seattle Seahawks 32
If you look at the Saints stat line this week you would not be alone in asking yourself what position Taysom Hill really is. The veteran Swiss army knife finished the win with a completed pass for 22 yards, nine carries for 112 yards and three touchdowns, and no receptions. Now back to the question of what position he plays…tight end. He may be the only tight end in fantasy history to record 33 fantasy points without a single reception. And yes I picked him up in fantasy for Week 6.
San Francisco 49ers 37- Carolina Panthers 15
This game was the end of the Matt Rhule experience in Carolina and rightfully so. Rhule was 11-27 with the Panthers and even the 11 wins were painful. With the news that Baker Mayfield is likely out for the next week meaning it will be a fresh look Carolina taking on the Rams in Week 6 which presents the perfect opportunity for the defending champs to bounce back or fall further into a pit of despair. When it comes to the 49ers they seem to have fallen back into their rhythm under Jimmy G, who many seem to forget has led them to two of the last 3 NFC Championship games. They’ll look to continue this against the Falcons to take a stranglehold on the NFC West.
Philadelphia Eagles 20- Arizona Cardinals 17
The liberty bell has yet to strike midnight on the Cinderella run for the Eagles, forcing us to ask if this even is a Cinderella run or are they this good? I for one cannot stomach a world in which the Eagles go undefeated on their way to the Super Bowl therefore I am choosing to believe in this fairytale for a little while longer.
Dallas Cowboys 22- LA Rams 10
The Cowboys are clearly in no rush to get Dak back but the Rams should be feeling the urgency of their season slipping away…
Baltimore Ravens 19- Cincinnati Bengals 17
This game could likely prove pivotal in deciding the division come December and January but the pressure clearly didn’t phase the best kicker in the league as Justin Tucker drilled the game winning kick about as dead center as possible while triple zeroes hit the clock. Someone far smarter than me did the math and found out that Tucker’s kick would have been good even if the uprights were just half of a yard wide. Wild.
That was all from this Sunday but come back next week for a smaller slate, as the bye weeks begin, but the matchups promise to be just as explosive.