NFL Recap: Week 5
By: Hashaam Jamil
Now that every team has played at least one quarter of the NFL regular season one thing is becoming clear about this year of football: we have no idea what to expect. The powerhouses have yet to prove that they are unstoppable while other “Toilet Bowl” contenders are putting up fights week in and week out. The NFL is as unpredictable as ever and Week 5 proved that.
To kick off the week, NFL fans finally got to see a Super Bowl favorite play up to their potential. The Green Bay Packers hosted the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night and absolutely destroyed a team that can’t seem to catch a break this year. Aaron Rodgers needed only 17 pass attempts to put away the Christian Ponder-led Viking 42-10. Elsewhere in the NFC North, the Carolina Panthers put away the division rival Chicago Bears, 31-24. Like this game, several others played just as fans would expect. The San Diego Chargers dominated the New York Jets 31-0 in what was one of Philip Rivers’ best games and one of Geno Smith’s worst. The Colts outlasted a better-than-expected Ravens team in Indy winning 20-13 behind the aerial assault of Andrew Luck. This, coupled with wins by the Steelers and Browns, made for a crowded AFC North picture through 5 weeks. San Francisco reminded everyone never to count them out by following their victory over the Eagles with a strong win over the Kansas City Chiefs 22-17 in what is becoming an incredibly competitive NFC West with the Seahawks winning an ugly one in Washington.
The Cowboys pulled out an exciting 20-17 overtime victory over the Texans in Dallas, headlined by an incredible Dez Bryant catch over Jonathon Joseph and an unexpected agile move by Tony Romo to avoid JJ Watt. The Giants pulled out another win versus the falling Falcons winning 30-20 despite the continued stellar play of Matt Ryan. The Eagles again relied on their defense to score for them in their 34-28 win versus the Austin Davis led Rams. While these outcomes never seemed to be in doubt, the NFL did not disappoint when it came to upsets and surprises.
On Sunday night, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots silenced critics, at least for a week, by manhandling what was considered one of the contenders to win it all. With a final score of 43-17 the Patriots beat the Bengals, remaining ahead of the AFC East, though their lead is not as safe as they would like. The Buffalo Bills, now riding the arm of Kyle Orton, outlasted the favorite Detroit Lions in Detroit with a final score of 17-14 with Detroit unable to make any field goals when it mattered most. Speaking of surprises, the New Orleans Saints continue to look like a team not ready to hoist the Lombardi trophy, barely edging out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Needing overtime at home to beat Tampa Bay 37-31, the Saints have a lot of questions to answer on both sides of the ball.
While the Denver Broncos were the favorites in their home game against the Cardinals, one of the few remaining undefeated teams, it was not expected for this game to as much of blow-out as it ended up being. With Demaryius Thomas putting up an explosive 226 yards and 2 TD’s, the Broncos reminded the NFL that they were still the team to beat in the AFC as long as Peyton Manning is at the helm beating Arizona 41-20. In the end, Denver’s win may have defined the NFL week. The result may not have been what we had expected, but at the end of the day the best at the game came out ahead.