NFL Week 5 Breakdown
Sunday, October 05, 2008 | Author: Mad Typist
There were some shocking upsets this week, with both the Dolphins and the Falcons pulling off wins against legitimate contenders, beating the Chargers and Packers respectively. Meanwhile, several teams proved that they are the real deal, with the Titans, Giants and Redskins delivering impressive wins.

Smooth move, Ex Lax. To quote my father, has any player ever done so much to single-handedly lose a game for his team? Several players fit the bill this week and will likely be kicking themselves for the rest of the week. The Texans were up 27-17 in the 4th quarter with 4:04 left to play. That's a difference of 2 scores, and should have been enough to run out the clock with conservative play. Quarterback Sage Rosenfels was flushed from the pocket and decided to run for the first down. He made it, but then instead of just sliding down, decided to be the big hero and VAULT over the defenders. Now, there's a reason most quarterbacks don't scramble - it leaves them vulnerable and running isn't really what they do for a team. Well, Rosenfels took a massive hit while he was in the air, fumbled the ball, which was then returned 58 yards for a TD. On the next possession, he fumbled the ball again, and Indy promptly scored, jumping into the lead. Finally, on the last drive, Rosenfels threw an INT, driving the final nail into the Texans coffin. Mind you, this was Rosenfels chance to steal the starting job from the struggling Matt Schaub, and instead, he has made Schaub's job look more secure than ever.

The Bengals were threatening to pull off a major upset of the Cowboys, down by less than a score. They had just recovered a surprise on-sides kick and had the Cowboys back on their heels. Then Chris Perry decided he'd carry the ball like it was made of paper, and promptly fumbled it away, killing the Bengals momentum. A few plays later, Romo hit Terrell Owens for a TD that broke the Bengals back. Perry has now killed his team several weeks in a row with fumbles at the worst possible moment.

Uh oh! If I were the following teams, I'd be really worried right now: Green Bay is 2-3 and has a pretty tough schedule for the rest of the year. This team could be a .500 team if they aren't careful. Dallas has looked shaky the past few weeks, particularly on defense. Indianapolis and San Diego both have major issues as well. And Jacksonville can't seem to finish a game, or really get their run game going on a regular basis.

Studs of the week. Clinton Portis was a beast running all over the Eagles for 145 yards and TD. I also loved the way that Chad Pennington (22/29, 1 TD, 228 yds, 0 INT) and Matt Ryan (16/26, 2 TD, 196 yds, 1 INT) played. Their numbers weren't sexy, but they did a great job making the throws when it mattered. Brandon Jacobs steamrolled the Seahawks for 136 yards and 2 TDs. And lastly, DeAngelo Williams had a huge week with 123 yards rushing, 2 TDs, and another TD receiving. I was going to put Kyle Orton (24/34, 334 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT) on the list, but you don't get points for stealing candy from babies, nor do you get points for building stats against the woeful Detroit Lions.

Teams I like this week. Think about this: if the Dolphins convert that last throw against the Jets in week 1, they would have been 3-1 to start the season. Bill Parcells and Tony Sparano have done a great job changing the attitude of that team into a group of players who believe they can win. It's not just the trick plays, with the direct snap to Ronnie Brown. It's evident in the way the defense has come alive the last two weeks (led by loud mouth Joey Porter, who is writing the book on how to put your money where your mouth is), the way that Chad Pennington has become the steady leader on offense. Again, this team may not be much better than .500 on the year, but they will need to be taken seriously as an opponent. I also like the Redskins, who are finished with all their divisional road games for the season and have the Browns, Rams and Lions coming up. This is a team that should be 7-1 at the halfway mark. Scary. Speaking of scary, don't look now, but the Titans are 5-0 and looking like a nasty team you don't want to get in front of. Lastly, I like the Giants, who have quietly been steam rolling their opponents. I won't be completely sold till they play the Steelers in week 8 though.

Teams I don't like this week. Yes, the Colts won this week. But if Rosenfels hadn't lost his mind at the end of the game, they'd be 1-3 right now. Manning still doesn't look comfortable in the pocket and the defense looks vulnerable. The Eagles have a brutal couple weeks coming up and are not looking sharp. Poor play calling again this week by Andy Reid. Lastly, yes, Trent Edwards went down early in the game, but it wasn't J.P. Losman who lost the game for the Buffalo Bills. Kurt Warner had a field day against the Bills defense, pretty much marching up and down the field at will. Have the Bills been exposed as this year's Detroit Lions? My father would say yes. I say, this defense better get themselves together on their bye week. Yes, they've had some impressive 4th quarter comebacks in their first 4 games, but that sort of begs the question - what's up with the defense that you need to make a dramatic comeback in the first place?
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2 comments:

On 11:16 AM , Kenneth said...

I think the real problem with the Bills is their offensive line. The defense will occasionally have an off day (Arizona), but their offensive line especially in the running game has been horrendous in all 5 games. Aside from Peters, they are all average to mediocre, and even he is playing at that level now.

 
On 11:41 AM , Mad Typist said...

yeah, perhaps taking all of training camp off wasn't the smartest thing for Jason Peters to do. I will never understand these idiots who deprive themselves of valuable pre-season prep time.