Week five in the NFL was storyline-central. With Joe Burrow seemingly being back, the Packers pitching away a close one against the Raiders and an absolute disaster for Dallas, we’re starting to get a clear picture for the rest of the season. Let’s take away what matters most.
Burrow’s Big Day
Joe Burrow put together his best performance of the season against the Arizona Cardinals in Cincinnati’s 34-20 victory. The Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Burrow connection was in full effect, with Chase having 15 catches for 192 yards and three touchdowns. While it was Burrow’s best game of the season, the Bengals sit fourth in the AFC North at 2-3 and lose the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Cleveland Browns. Cincinnati will need Burrow to not only string together more performances like this one, but he needs to put together better performances like the one’s we’ve seen him have over the past two seasons.
Nathaniel Hackett was fired as the head coach of the Denver Broncos just one season after taking the job. Sean Payton then took the job and proceeded to absolutely bury the job Hackett did as a head coach. Payton went as far as to call it one of the worst coaching jobs in NFL history. Everyone knew this matchup between the Jets and Broncos was going to produce some kind of fireworks, and without Aaron Rodgers, the Jets won 31-21. Russell Wilson struggled, having three turnover worthy plays including the late fumble that turned into a Jets defensive touchdown. Overall, Wilson has played better this season but not good enough. Payton may want a few of his preseason comments back now, and good for Nathaniel Hackett getting some payback.
Losing Your Love Tonight
The Jordan Love rollercoaster continues. After starting the first two games, love had six touchdown passes and no interceptions. In the three following games, Love has thrown two touchdown passes and six interceptions including a three-interception day against the Las Vegas Raiders. Although Love’s overall play has not really changed, the outcomes have become far worse. The Packers want to attack down the field, and Love’s average depth of target of 10.2 yards is the furthest of all starting quarterbacks. His deep passing average depth of target (throws greater than 20 yards down the field) is 33.4 yards, which is again the furthest of all starting quarterbacks. His adjusted completion percentage is 29.2 percent, the fifth lowest of all starting quarterbacks. Green Bay wants a deep passing game, but Love simply cannot deliver it yet.
Baltimore Blows It
The Baltimore Ravens lost against the Pittsburgh Steelers and gave up first place in the AFC North on Sunday afternoon. However, the quality of the loss is what stings the most. The Ravens had this game won in a number of different areas. They had more total yards, more passing yards, more rushing yards, a better yards-per-play figure, and Lamar Jackson had his best game of the season with four big time throws, nearly doubling his figure on the season. Being aggressive down the field with an 11.5 average depth of target, and only one turnover worthy play. So with all of this, why did Baltimore lose? Seven drops by receivers, more than double the amount they have had all season. Jackson went into the game with only three passes being dropped on the season and left with ten. Baltimore led 10-3 entering the fourth quarter, and Pittsburgh capitalized on splash plays. They blocked a punt for a safety, nearly a touchdown, then scored a Boswell field goal to make the score 10-8. Then off an audible, Pickett found Pickens down the field for a 41-yard touchdown and a failed two-point conversion to give Pittsburgh a 14-10 lead. Then in the final minute, Boswell hit a 42-yard field goal to give Pittsburgh a 17-10 lead and they held on. Pittsburgh didn’t win this game, Baltimore lost it.
Humbling Experience In New England
The New England Patriots are in a downward spiral. After Bill Belichick suffered the worst loss of his career against the Dallas Cowboys, they let an injured Derek Carr walk into their house, and give them a loss almost as bad. Jones was better, and as of now is still the starting quarterback for the Patriots, but the injuries on this defense have proven to be too much to overcome. Carr had his best game of the season, and Jones continued to struggle. There was basically no rushing game for the Patriots, and their lack of receiving weapons was only magnified. Personnel is the problem, and Bill Belichick is responsible for it.
Disaster in Dallas
The Dallas Cowboys ran into the buzzsaw that is the San Francisco 49ers. Dak Prescott had an abysmal game with three interceptions and the Dallas offense only managed to generate 197 yards of total offense. Dallas got dominated in every aspect of the game, the 49ers are just that great of a time. It was a brutal showing, arguably worse than the stinker they put up against the Arizona Cardinals.