NFL Week 5 🏈

Written by on October 11, 2021

The 32 issues we discovered from Week 5 of the 2021 NFL season:

1. Is it any shock {that a} pair of head coaches who’ve severely undermined themselves are watching their groups lose? Days after Jon Gruden’s damning 2011 email about NFL Players Association executive direction DeMaurice Smith emerged, his Las Vegas Raiders – they started the season 3-0 – performed lifelessly in a 20-9 defeat to a restricted Chicago Bears squad Sunday. Earlier within the day, former NFL stars and present ESPN analysts Randy Moss and Tedy Bruschi supplied scathing criticism of Gruden, whose racist trope describing Smith left Moss in tears. Simply because it appeared Gruden’s group was lastly turning a nook in his largely disappointing second stint, it is now value questioning how tenable his tenure is.

1a.Gruden apologized again for his “insensitive remarks” after the loss to Chicago, saying: “I’m not a racist. … I can’t inform you how sick I’m. I apologize once more to De Smith, however I be ok with who I’m and what I’ve performed my complete life. … I had no racial intention with these remarks in any respect. I’m not like that in any respect. I apologize.”

2. In the meantime, the Jacksonville Jaguars had been blasted 37-19 by the Tennessee Titans, dropping the Jags to 0-5 under new coach Urban Meyer and working the franchise’s dropping streak to 20 video games. The newest setback got here after per week of Meyer apologizing for his off-field behavior in Ohio following Week 4’s loss in Cincinnati, and his gamers answering questions on it. Essentially the most ballyhooed rent of the NFL offseason additionally appears more and more likelier to be a short-lived one.

3. Let’s take soccer, the place the Los Angeles Chargers’ 47-42 track meet victory over the Cleveland Browns is the early front-runner for recreation of the yr. The matchup featured greater than 1,000 yards of offense, almost 90 whole factors and 7 lead adjustments. It could have additionally vaulted Bolts QB Justin Herbert (398 yards, Four TDs passing plus a dashing TD) onto the brief record of MVP candidates.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) celebrates his touchdown pass with offensive tackle Storm Norton (74) during an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif.

4. Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott can also be within the thick of the MVP chase after lofting at the least three TD passes for the fourth time this season in Sunday’s 44-20 defeat of the New York Giants

4a. Dallas is 4-1 for the primary time since 2016, Prescott’s rookie yr, which included an NFC East crown.

5. If the season ended at present – PSA, it does not – the still-undefeated Arizona Cardinals (5-0) and Chargers (4-1) could be the No. 1 playoff seeds within the NFC and AFC, respectively. Identical to everybody predicted … pfft.

6. Playing cards QB Kyler Murray got here again to the MVP pack Sunday though his group stays unbeaten. Nevertheless Arizona supplied its most uninspired displaying of 2021 towards the battered San Francisco 49ers, failing to succeed in 30 factors or 400 yards for the primary time this season after coming into Week 5 because the league’s No. 1 scoring and general offense. 

7. Titans RB Derrick Henry is (as soon as once more) circling on the periphery of the MVP dialog as nicely. After a 130-yard, three-TD effort at Jacksonville, he stays in place to safe a 3rd consecutive dashing title and is on tempo to hurry for almost 2,200 yards, which might eclipse Eric Dickerson’s 37-year-old report (2,105). Henry’s seven dashing TDs additionally tempo the NFL.

8. Did we overlook three-time MVP Tom Brady? Sunday marked the ninth time Brady threw for at least five TDs in a game. Solely Drew Brees (11) has extra. TB12 has turned in 4 of those performances since he turned 40, and his 15 TD passes are tops within the NFC.

9. Brady’s Bucs blasted the Tua-less Miami Dolphins 45-17, enhancing Tampa Bay to 4-1. The Buccaneers have began this nicely two different instances, together with their 2002 Tremendous Bowl-winning version.

10. Brady averaged 13.7 yards per completion (30 of them) towards Miami and 13 yards per rush (one).

11. Does anyone need to win this recreation? It was the one query previous the Green Bay Packers’ (eventual) 25-22 overtime triumph over the Bengals in Cincinnati, which Mason Crosby lastly ended with a 49-yards area aim with 1:55 remaining in not-so-sudden-death. Previous to Crosby’s recreation winner, the groups mixed for 5 missed area targets and an interception on the six previous drives, Crosby misfiring thrice on the heels of his group report 27 consecutive transformed FGs. QB Aaron Rodgers was “assured” Crosby, considered one of his closest mates, would come by.

12. Bengals rookie Ok Evan McPherson was equally assured – and celebrated accordingly – that he’d gained the sport with a 49-yard shot on the earlier drive. Alas …

13. The Detroit Lions had been equally assured they had been on their approach to victory after scoring a TD and changing a gutsy two-point play to take a 17-16 lead at Minnesota with 37 seconds remaining … 37 seconds before Vikings K Greg Joseph drilled a career-long 54-yard field goal. The Lions stay the NFC’s solely winless group.

14. It has been 11 years because the Lions gained a recreation with out QB Matthew Stafford, who’s presently having fun with profession bests with a 113.2 passer ranking and 317.Four yards per recreation in his first season with the Rams, who’re 4-1. Detroit hasn’t been 4-1 in 30 years.

15. Fairly cool that London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has an NFL area below the Premier League membership’s soccer pitch. Even cooler to see the ability rework for soccer, which returned to the UK on Sunday for the primary time since 2019. The host Atlanta Falcons beat the New York Jets 27-20 on Sunday.

16. Falcons QB Matt Ryan (342 yards, 2 TDs passing) was all-world Sunday, registering his 5,000th profession completion whereas passing Eli Manning for eight place on the all-time passing yards record. Subsequent up for Ryan (57,099 yards)? Dan Marino (61,361).

17. USMNT and Chelsea star (and Pennsylvania native) Christian Pulisic is a Jets fan. Who knew?

18. Who would have guessed the New England Patriots would wrestle a lot towards Patriots West, the Houston Texans? Pats rookie QB Mac Jones was outplayed by Texans freshman counterpart Davis Mills, solely the second rookie to hold three TD passes on the Patriots since Invoice Belichick’s arrival in 2000.

COVID-19. Nevertheless, undoubtedly value nothing the Pats had been with out 4 starters on their offensive line, together with two – G Mike Onwenu and LT Isaiah Wynn – relegated to the reserve/COVID-19 record.

20. Kudos to Bears rookie QB Justin Fields, who’s put Chicago within the win column in two of his three begins. Fields has hardly been the spotlight machine he was in preseason, however he is displayed toughness, restricted his errors and threw his first TD cross Sunday. The Bears (3-2) presently maintain the NFC’s second wild-card slot.

21. Every week after Saints RB Alvin Kamara was not focused within the passing recreation, New Orleans QB Jameis Winston threw him a season-high eight passes. Kamara caught 5 for 51 yards, plus a 19-yard TD, in a 33-22 win at Washington.

22. It was Kamara’s ninth recreation with a dashing and receiving TD and 12th with each 50 yards dashing and receiving. Every is a Saints franchise report, as are his 19 video games with a number of TDs.

23. Three-time NFL defensive participant of the yr Aaron Donald wanted seven-plus seasons to turn into the Rams’ franchise chief in sacks (88½) … although that does not account for what Corridor of Famers like Deacon Jones and Merlin Olsen completed previous to 1982.

24. Thursday, Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson made his 149th consecutive begin since being drafted in 2012, the longest streak to begin a QB’s profession apart from Peyton Manning (208). That can finish in Week 6 following Wilson’s finger surgical procedure.

25. The subsequent query is, what occurs to the Seahawks? They’ve by no means completed with a sub-.500 report within the Wilson period and have by no means positioned final within the NFC West however presently reside within the divisional basement.

26. And questions are solely going to develop about Seattle’s acquisition of and subsequent contract extension to former Jets S Jamal Adams, who’s turn into fairly the legal responsibility in cross protection. 

27. Following a 3-Zero begin, Panthers QB Sam Darnold has thrown 5 interceptions the previous two weeks, each losses, with RB Christian McCaffrey out of the lineup. Apparently, Darnold performs like a New York Jet when Carolina’s expertise degree skews Jets-esque.

28. The Steelers (2-3) stay in final place within the AFC North however obtained a wanted win over the Denver Broncos that instructed stories of QB Ben Roethlisberger’s demise may need been barely untimely. Large Ben had a number of TD passes for the primary time this season in Pittsburgh’s 27-19 victory.

29. No rookie quarterback has ever gained a recreation in London, Sunday’s loss by Zach Wilson and the Jets dropping the report for first-year passers throughout the pond to 0-5.

30. San Francisco’s Trey Lance turned the sixth rookie quarterback to begin the season … and sixth to lose that inaugural begin. Lance did rush for 89 yards towards the Cardinals, bringing a dimension not seen by this offense because the days of Colin Kaepernick.

31. Gotta really feel for a crippled Giants group that misplaced QB Daniel Jones (concussion) and RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) to accidents. Large Blue might be lifeless by the Week 10 bye given they will must face the Rams, Panthers, Chiefs and Raiders earlier than that pause.

32. Cannot anybody right here kick? Crosby was hardly alone together with his wayward leg, which additionally misfired on an additional level. League-wide, there have already been 12 missed PATs in Week 5, tied for essentially the most (Week 11, 2016) throughout the Tremendous Bowl period.

***

Comply with USA TODAY Sports activities’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.


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