NFL Week 5 Recap
The Bye’s have started, we had coordinators on hot seats entering this week, one performed, the other didn’t. We lost a legend, RIP Dick Butkus and we seen some teams show flashes of becoming playoff contenders as we look back at Week 5 in the NFL!
Teams on Bye
Seahawks, Browns, Buccaneers & Chargers
Thursday Night Football
Chicago Bears 40 – Washington Commanders 20
Dick Butkus the legendary Chicago Bear passed away this week and the Bears rallied to an emotional victory over the Commanders on TNF. Jumping out to a 27-3 lead the Bears have been here before this season and by the second half the Commanders rallied back to make the game closer than it should have been.The loss of any healthy running back for the Bears allowed the Commanders back into the game but DJ Moore stepped up and gained 230 receiving yards and 3 TDs for a career high.
The Commanders defence couldn’t stop the Bears, even without healthy running backs, the Fields to Moore connection proved too much for them to stop. While Sam Howell tried to battle back and keep the Commanders in the game, early mistakes cost Howell greatly ensuring the Bears would break their 14 game loss streak!
Sunday Early Window
Jacksonville Jaguars 25 – Buffalo Bills 20
Those London, I mean Jacksonville Jaguars went 2-0 in London and became the first team to win back to win international games. For the second straight week the Jaguars started slow and looked to be doomed from the get go, however against a power house like the Bills, the Jaguars stepped up and with Travus Etienne (132 yard rushing & 2 TDs) and Calvin Ridley (7 for 122 receiving yards) the Jaguars were able to overcome the Bills in London.
Bills Mafia be proud, you made this game like a home game, clearly outnumbering the Jaguars fans and any other fans in attendance. However the “home field advantage” did not come to your aid! Like the Jaguars, the Bills started slow and sloppy and only “woke up” far too late in the game to make a difference. The loss of Matt Milano to a weakened Bills defence in the 1st quarter didn’t help the Bills’ case as they fell down in London!
Atlanta Falcons 21 – Houston Texans 19
After dominating the Pittsburgh Steelers many had marked this match up against the Falcons as a win before kickoff. However the inexperience of the young Texans team shone through against this Falcons team as they struggled to capitalise on turnovers they created. Stroud couldn’t get into his timing patterns or any kind of rhythm against the Falcons and even though he’s yet to throw an interception and broke the record for mass passes attempted without an interception to start his career, Stroud was exposed by the Falcons.
Ridder wasn’t sure he’d be a starter after his awful performance previously and yet he stepped up against the Texans, breaking 300 passing yards for the first time and recorded a rushing and passing TD before setting up Younghoe Koo’s game winning field goal. IF Ridder continues this style of play going forward, the Falcons are in a strong position!
Detroit Lions 42 – Carolina Panthers 24
This game looks closer than it actually was, the Lions defence led by Aidan Hutchinson made just Byrce Young’s introduction to the NFL would continue to be a negative one. After the Panthers scored, cutting the Lions lead to one score making it 14-7, the Lion’s defence had enough.They forced back to back turnovers which the Lion’s offence turned into points ensured this game was a blowout.Even without Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jahmyr Gibbs, the Lion’s offence still put on a show.
Byrce Young has had a rough start to his NFL career. Still suffering without offensive weapons to help him out when under pressure, Young threw two interceptions to got with his 3 TDs and 247 yards. While he still shows flashes of excellence, at 0-5 it’s going to be a mental challenge more than a physical one for the young rookie going forward.
Indianapolis Colts 23 – Tennessee Titans 16
Jonathan Taylor got his big extension, however Zack Moss remained the bell cow for the Colts this week, racking up 195 scrimmage yards and 2 TDs. The running game saved the Colts after Richardson went down with a shoulder injury and Minshew came in to take control of the offence, which looks to be his for the next few weeks. He managed a reasonable 155 yards passing, no TDs and no INTs while leaning on the ground game.
Tannehill to Hopkins is the connection in Tennessee, as they finally seem to have built their chemistry as Hopkins gained 140 yards on Sunday, no TDs still on the season for him as of yet. Looking at the passing stats, Hopkins was the only Titans wide receiver who got more than one catch on the day and this connection kept the Titans close in this game. Without Hopkins, the Titans may not have reached a double digit score!
Miami Dolphins 31 – New York Giants 16
Tua “MVP” Tagovailoa is human after all, throwing two interceptions (one returned 102 yards for a TD!) against the GIant’s which kept them in the game until the 3rd quarter when the Dolphins finally put the Giant’s away for good. Tua looked indecisive at times and this cost the Dolphins points due to the above mentioned interceptions. The Giant’s doubling Hill all game and bringing pressure seemed to keep Tua off his game early and often, something other teams might use against the hot (formerly red hot) Dolphins offence.
The Giant’s season is pretty much done at this stage, at 1-4 in NFC East, with an O-Line made of swiss cheese, no running game and Daniel Jones being murdered every other play. Something had to give and it was Jones, who went down with a neck injury in the 4th quarter. An MRI will determine the severity of the injury but the Giants are confident he will start against the Bills. At what point do you consider protecting your franchise quarterback and making him sit for a few weeks rather than being murdered every week when the seaon is practically lost?
New Orleans Saints 34 – New England Patriots 0
The Saints came marching into Foxborough and the Patriots laid a goose egg as the Saints defence dominated the Pats. Mac Jones once again struggled in all areas this week and once again found the bench as Bailey Zappe entered in his place. However neither quarterback was able to get any kind of rhythm or offence against this Saints defence. This has to be rock bottom for the Patriots and their fans, they might as well chalk this season up to a full rebuild!
Like Matt Canada, Pete Carmichael was in the hot seat as the Saint’s offence had struggled to generate touchdowns and momentum. Unlike Matt Canada (more on him in a moment), Pete Carmichael game planned and the Saint’s blew out the Patriots at home with diversity and field stretching plays. Kamara generated 97 yards and Carr’s shoulder looked better, 183 yards and 2 TD’s kinda better. If the Saint’s offence continues this momentum then Carmichael’s seat as OC will cool down considerably.
Pittsburgh Steelers 17 – Baltimore Ravens 10
AFC North football is always close, and this game was a close match up. If it wasn’t for the Steelers defence and special teams, the Ravens would have run away with this match up. The score at 10 – 3 in the 4th quarter, Steelers special teams blocked a punt that went out of the endzone for a safety, followed by a field goal on the Steelers next drive bringing the game to 10 – 8. When the rumours are that Matt Canada would be fired if the offence struggled again this week, you’d expect a fresh game plan, new ideas etc. but Steelers fans were treated to the normal run, run, pass, punt. Between TJ Watt and Joey Porter Jr the defence kept the game close and Pickett to Pickens for the late TD saved the game for the Steelers, the only coach not celebrating this TD when the cameras showed them, Matt Canada.
Lamar Jackson had this game under control, even with the pressure from the Steelers defence the Ravens took a lead early and held it for the majority of the game. That was until the 4th quarter when the Raven’s offence seemingly fell apart, struggling to max first downs and throwing an interception in the red zone. However Jackson isn’t solely at blame, he had multiple receivers drop passes and sure fire TD passes too. The ever evolving Ravens offence seems to have taken a step back after this week
Sunday Late Window
Cincinnati Bengals 34 – Arizona Cardinals 20
Every week I have been asking Who Dey? And the Bengals finally answered with a statement win over the Cardinals. However the Bengals did still struggle to put the game away and the Cardinals could have easily walked away with the win. Burrow is starting to look healthy again and like himself and his connection to Ja’Marr Chase is still active, linking up for 192 yards and 3 TD’s on Sunday. If Burrow can continue to rehab his calf it won’t be much longer until we see the Burrow of old and the Bengals once again challenging for the AFC North title and beyond!
James Conner went down before the end of the 1st quarter and with him went the Cardinals running game. Without Conner in the backfield, the game was placed on the shoulders of Dobbs who ended up throwing two interceptions in a game that looked closer than the scoreboard shows. The Cardinals dominated time of possession and if Conner remained healthy they may have closed this one out against the Bengals. Conner will be tough to replace if he remains out for long.
Philadelphia Eagles 23 – Los Angeles Rams 14
The Eagles are still perfect, just about. This game was decided in the trenches and the Eagles lines on both sides beat out the Rams lines, this was the key to the Eagles win, and a little “Brotherly Shove” was thrown in too. Hurts did have himself a game with 303 passing and 75 rushing yards and two TDs which helped them control the games momentum with help from both AJ Brown and Dallas Goedert, the Eagles remain perfect for another week.
Cooper Kupp finally made his 2023 debut but started out slow but quickly heated up and paired alongside Puka Nacua, the Rams have a wide receiver duo who will continue to be dangerous as long as they remain healthy. If the Rams controlled the trenches in this game and kept Jalen Carter contained, the Rams may have ended the Eagles perfect streak!
New York Jets 31 – Denver Broncos 21
This was an ugly game between two teams who have struggled the first four weeks of the season. However when push came to shove, the Jets defence stepped up and kept the Broncos from rallying back. Quincy Williams strip sacked Wilson and Bryce Hall scooped it and scored, sealing the game and the win for the Jets. Zack Wilson played a manageable game, throwing for 199 yards and one interception, while not a lights out performance it was enough to keep the Broncos pass defence honest.
While the Broncos kept the momentum going from last week, they couldn’t seal the deal and too many mistakes cost them the game. Wilson giving up a safety for intentional grounding and several three and outs slowed them to a halt. On their potential game winning drive, Wilson didn’t feel the pressure from Quincy Willians, resulting in the above mentioned strip, sack, scoop and score. Bronco’s let’s ride…onto the Chiefs!
Kansas City Chiefs 27 – Minnesota Vikings 20
Swifties around the nation held their breath as Travis Kelce slipped on the field and went off with an apparent non-contact injury. However all was not lost as Kelce returned to catch the game winning TD in a game that was closer than Chiefs fans would have liked. Mahomes spread the ball around to ten different receivers, keeping the Vikings secondary guessing the entire game and while it was a close contest, Mahomes always does just enough to win.
Kirk Cousins has lost his number one target for an unknown length of time as Justin Jefferson heads to IR with his hamstring after leaving the game in the 4th quarter. Cousins stood the test, the Chiefs blitzed 24 times and Cousins only took two sacks and threw no interceptions, he stood tall in the pocket and passed for 97 yards and two TDs against the Chiefs blitz. At 1-4 the Vikings are in a tough spot in the NFC North and losing their star wide receiver is going to make that spot even tougher!
Sunday Night Football
San Francisco 49ers 42 – Dallas Cowboys 10
Just checking in to see if y’all still dem boyz? The vaulted reborn doomsday defence of the Cowboys got absolutely blown out on SNF. Dak said during the offseason he won’t repeat double digit interceptions this season and until this game it looked promising, until he threw three interceptions on back to back to back drives against the 49ers. On SNF the Cowboys flopped against the team many are already calling Super Bowl Champions. Prescott was only pressured 37% of the time on SNF but two of the three interceptions came without any pressure, not a good look for a potential Super Bowl contender.
Brock “Tom Brady” Purdy, that’s the name some are giving Purdy, a late round draft pick (last in his case), a monster defence and a set of explosive offensive weapons, it does seem similar to Brady’s early years in New England. If Purdy can capitalise on his situation, he could led the 49ers to multiple Super Bowls. He had himself a game on SNF, throwing for 252 yards, 4 TDs and no interceptions, the 49ers are without a doubt the team to beat in the NFC!
Monday Night Football
Las Vegas Raiders 17 – Green Bay Packers 13
An ugly MNF matchup sees the Raider squeak past the struggling Packers. How ugly? Neither team broke 300 yards total offence, no running back had more than 4 yards per carry and no receiver exceeded 100 yards, wait where was Matt Canada on Monday Night?? Josh Jacobs and Devante Adams generated enough momentum to help the Raiders as their defence stepped up big when it counted. Former Pittsburgh Steeler Robert Spillane was the first Raiders linebacker to record two interceptions in a game since 2001 and Maxx Crosby kept Jordan Love uncomfortable all game.
Jordan Love is regressing before fans eyes, throwing for 182 yards, three interceptions and no TD’s. It might be time to consider that the Packers are not competing for the playoffs this season unless Love has a drastic turn around and makes a run from next week onwards. Remember this is a young team and if they take this season as a learning experience, the Packers could be back dominating the NFC North before you know it!
So as we barrel towards Week 6, are the Giants done? Can the Bears win the North or will the Lions be champions? Will Matt Canada ever be fired? Check back next week for another NFL Recap!