What we know after Week 5
OCT 07, 2013 12:40a ET
Five teams entered Week 5 perfect, three of them remain. The Patriots and Seahawks were each served a cold dish of humble pie. The Broncos and Chiefs each survived scares on the road. And the Saints, fresh off delivering a beating on Monday Night Football, played complementary football on their way to their fifth straight win. Who impressed and who underwhelmed? Letâs get into what we know:
Broncos 51, Cowboys 48 â Romo has the game of his life and still gets criticized
What else would you expect in the Lone Star State? A shootout at Jerry World went down on Sunday and naturally, the Tony Romo haters are now on the loose.
Following a performance in which Romo threw for 506 yards â a Cowboysâ record â and 5 touchdowns, the fourth-quarter interceptions continue to haunt the veteran quarterback.
With less than two minutes remaining in the game and the score tied 48-48, Romo stepped back and threw a strike to Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan. Denver marched down to the goal-line, ran out the clock and Matt Prater nailed the 28-yard chip-shot field goal as time expired. It seems blasphemous, but the Cowboys should have considered letting Denver score as they were out of timeouts. It wouldâve given them an opportunity to tie the game, but instead they watched Denver take the game away from them.
Nobody gave the Cowboys, nine-point underdogs, a chance in this game. Peyton Manning was sharp. The Broncos offense looked as well-oiled as it has all season. But Monte Kiffinâs defense capitalized on a rare Manning mistake, forcing his first interception of the season. Romo led a five-play, 51 yard scoring drive, but of course, it wasnât enough.
The fact is, Romo wows fans at times.
And at other times he makes ill-fated throws which will continue to be a part of his reputation.
Heâs not the greatest quarterback to ever live, but he sure isnât the worst. But until he shakes off his fourth-quarter demons, Twitter assassins will continue to prey.
Saints 26, Bears 18 â WARNING: Saintsâ bandwagon will be filling up fast
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What better time than on Sunday, with the Patriots still missing Rob Gronkowski and being forced to play the end of the game in a driving rain storm. When Adam Jones intercepted a Brady pass with just seconds left, New England said sayonara to its previously unbeaten record.
Bradyâs streak of 52 consecutive games with a touchdown pass also ceased to be. So, where can blame be pointed? Nowhere.
If anything, massive amounts of credit must be heaped on the Bengals defense, specifically their front seven. They harassed, pressured and hit Brady all afternoon, limiting him to just 197 yards passing and a QB rating of 52.2.
Ravens 26, Dolphins 23 â When the Ravens lean on Ray Rice, they win
When Ray Rice touches the ball at least 20 times in a game, the Ravens are 34-9. Well, you can make that 35-9 because the running back was the focal point of the offense in Miami on Sunday.
Rice carried the ball 27 times â a week after getting just five carries â for 74 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. He also caught six passes for another 278 yards. Surprisingly, Rice still hasnât cracked the 100-yard barrier in a game this season, but thatâs not as important. What does matter is the Ravens fed him a steady diet of carries and it paid off.
Joe Flacco still has to tighten up his game a bit after throwing a pick-six in the second half, but this performance was a far cry from his five-interception fiasco in Week 4. All in all, Baltimore has to be pleased with grinding out a tough win against a good Dolphins team. The Ravens should also give their fans a standing ovation:
Hearing from folks at Dolphins-Ravens. Ravens fans made the trip. One account: "Felt like a home game in fourth quarter"...
â P. Schrager (@PSchrags) October 6, 2013
Chiefs 26, Titans 17 â So, are these Chiefs a legit contender?
Should we all still be skeptical about these Chiefs? This wasnât a statement win by any means as they needed to rally for the victory. But itâs important to not gloss over the Chiefsâ 5-0 record, which is their best start since 2003.
Kansas Cityâs 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. 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.
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 wasnât just Washington who played lights-out. The Cardinals made Newtonâs 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.
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 didnât 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.
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.
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.
â FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLONFOX) October 6, 2013
Thatâs right, itâs been that long. Whatâs 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 wonât 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.
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