What we know after Week 5
Hearing from folks at Dolphins-Ravens. Ravens fans made the trip. One account: "Felt like a home game in fourth quarter"... — P. Schrager (@PSchrags) October 6, 2013Chiefs 26, Titans 17 – So, are these Chiefs a legit contender? Should we all still be skeptical about these Chiefs? This wasn’t a statement win by any means as they needed to rally for the victory. But it’s important to not gloss over the Chiefs’ 5-0 record, which is their best start since 2003. Kansas City’s 13-point lead at halftime was quickly wiped away after Ryan Fitzpatrick hooked up with Chris Johnson on a 49-yard touchdown pass. Fitzpatrick piloted two more scoring drives, but the Chiefs had the final laugh in the fourth quarter as they picked off two passes in the game's final seven minutes. The Chiefs have four winnable games coming up. They host the Raiders, Texans and Browns before traveling to Buffalo in Week 9. Unfortunately for them, they are in one of the most competitive divisions and still have four games against the Broncos and Chargers. Since 1990, 90 percent of the teams who started with a 5-0 record made the playoffs, according to the NFL. Cardinals 22, Panthers 6 – Daryl Washington makes a huge difference The versatile linebacker returned to the Cardinals lineup on Sunday, fresh off a four-game suspension for a substance abuse violation. Welcome back, Daryl. Washington sacked Cam Newton twice and picked off a pass as Arizona (3-2) moved above .500 with the win. But it wasn’t just Washington who played lights-out. The Cardinals made Newton’s life miserable all day, racking up an amazing seven sacks (one for a safety) and forcing four turnovers. They also forced the Panthers to go 0 for 3 in red zone scoring opportunities. So, what now? Arizona faces back-to-back division battles against the 49ers and Seahawks. Who knows, with Washington back leading a talented defense, the Cardinals could make some noise in the NFC playoff race. Eagles 36, Giants 21 – It doesn’t get any easier for the G-Men After a quarter-and-a-half of The Michael Vick Experience, the Eagles franchise quarterback was sidelined for the remainder of the game with a hamstring injury. Vick, who led the team in rushing (seven carries, 79 yards) by way of designed runs, was in obvious distress on the sideline before the Eagles entered the locker room for half time. Second-year quarterback Nick Foles took over and exposed a moth-eaten Giants secondary. DeSean Jackson (seven catches, 132 yards) and Brent Celek each scored fourth-quarter touchdowns to extend the lead. Eli Manning didn’t help matters (again) as he added to his league-leading mark for turnovers by throwing three interceptions. Can it get any worse for the G-Men? Sure it can. They must play in front of a national audience four days from now against a Bears squad which is angry after coming off a loss. Oh yeah, the Giants also lost David Wilson to a neck injury, the severity of which is unknown. Rams 34, Jaguars 20 – Can the Jaguars catch a break? Starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert exited early with an injured hamstring. First-round pick Luke Joeckel is done for the season with a fractured ankle. And the Jaguars are off to an 0-5 start and now must prepare for a very unfriendly matchup against the Broncos in Denver in Week 6. The lone bright spot? Wide receiver Justin Blackmon made his debut after serving a four-game suspension and had five receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown. The Jaguars should consider trading Maurice Jones-Drew, who is expected to test free agency after the season, before the Oct. 29 deadline. The Rams were coming off a 10-day layoff following a 35-11 drubbing from the 49ers. The extra preparation paid off. A very opportunistic defense forced three turnovers, including a Matt Giordano interception return for a touchdown. Packers 22, Lions 9 – Detroit hasn’t won in Green Bay in a long, long time Just how long has it been exactly? Check this out:
Last time Lions won at Lambeau - George H. W. Bush was in office, Michael Jackson's "Black or White" was #1 single & @Staff_9 was 3 yrs old. — FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLONFOX) October 6, 2013That’s right, it’s been that long. What’s worse, the Lions came into this game hobbling, as star wide receiver Calvin Johnson sat out with an injury. The effects of that loss were obvious. Without Johnson on the outside, the Packers defense were able to focus their efforts on stopping Detroit running back Reggie Bush. The latter was held to 44 yards rushing on 13 carries on 25 yards through the air. Green Bay also sacked Matthew Stafford five times. All told, Green Bay caught a break in facing a shorthanded Detroit squad. The Packers won’t apologize as they were due for a break after tough losses against the 49ers and Bengals earlier this season. The win pushed them to 2-2, which is crucial in a highly competitive NFC North. Questions? Comments? Send them to email@example.com and we might respond in our weekly mailbag!
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