It was quite a weekend for the NFL. There were missed kicks, controversial comments, and even one particularly agitated owner. Let’s run through all of the top stories of Week 5 in case you missed something.
We have to start with the two remaining unbeaten teams in the NFL, both of which remain perfect after week 5. The Chiefs and their high-powered offense were supposed to be challenged by the Jacksonville defense, but that wasn’t the case. Kansas City won comfortably 30-14 despite Patrick Mahomes throwing two picks and no touchdowns. However, the Chiefs may be challenged again next week as they face the Patriots on Sunday night.
The Rams, meanwhile, barely escaped a trip to Seattle with their perfect record intact. Los Angeles scored the final nine points of the game to win 33-31. The Rams also converted a 4th and short late in the game to seal the win. Sean McVay said after the game that his team urged him to go for it on 4th down, a move that paid off rather than giving the Seahawks one last chance to score a game-winning field goal. The Rams hit the road again next week against the Broncos, who are nursing a three-game losing streak.
The First Time
While the NFL has two undefeated teams, winless teams are no more after Arizona’s win over the 49ers. It wasn’t a pretty game, as San Francisco doubled the Cardinals in total yards. However, the 49ers turned the ball over four times, with C.J. Beathard responsible for two interceptions and two lost fumbles. Meanwhile, Josh Rosen was just 10 for 25 for 170 yards, but in the end, it was enough to give the Cardinals their first win of the season.
Prior to Sunday’s action, Odell Beckham Jr. had some interesting comments about the Giants. Beckham answered “I don’t know” when asked if Eli Manning was the team’s problem, explaining that Manning isn’t a threat to leave the pocket like some quarterbacks. He also balked when asked if he’s happy in New York just a couple months after signing an extension with the Giants.
Oddly enough, Beckham’s comments appear to have help the Giants, who played one of their best games of the season on Sunday. Alas, they lost to the Panthers on a 63-yard field goal from Graham Gano, dropping the Giants to 1-4 on the season. After the loss, Beckham said he had no regrets about making the comments, believing they helped “clear the air.” The Giants now have a quick turnaround, as they play the Eagles on Thursday in a battle between two teams desperate for a win.
The biggest surprise in the NFL this season may be the 1-4 Atlanta Falcons. Following Sunday’s loss to the Steelers, owner Arthur Blank exclaimed “Are you kidding me?” when asked by a reporter if he saw the team’s poor start coming. It’s obvious that Atlanta’s biggest problem is on defense, as several starters have already gone down with season-ending injuries. In NFL history, only nine teams have made the playoffs after starting the year 1-4, so the odds are definitely stacked against the Falcons right now.
Other than the Falcons, the Eagles starting the season 2-3 is one of the biggest surprises early in the season. Things may get worse before they get better with running back Jay Ajayi being placed on injured reserve Monday after tearing his ACL during Sunday’s loss to the Vikings. Backup running backs Darren Sproles and Corey Clement have also struggled to stay healthy this year, so the Eagles have a huge vacancy in their backup. It certainly doesn’t help that their offensive line has been dreadful this season, which will make a consistent rushing attack all the more difficult to generate.
Living the Nightmare
We’ll close with Mason Crosby, whose performance on Sunday was emblematic of a season that’s been full of poor kicking performances. However, Crosby may take the cake on this one, as he missed four field goals and one extra point. He’s the first kicker to do that in the same game since 1997. Oddly enough, Crosby had been almost perfect through the first four weeks of the season. He had missed just one kick, although it was a potential game-winner against the Vikings in Week 2. Nevertheless, the Packers appear to have no plans to part ways with Crosby, who connected on his final field goal attempt of the game.