Thursday, October 11, 2012

NFL Week 5 Recap

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Reggie Wayne and the Colts upset the Packers last week. Wayne, who is clearly
rookie Andrew Luck's favorite target, caught 13 balls for 212 yards and a touchdown.

This Week's Record:10-4
Overall Record: 48-29

Cardinals vs. Rams: 17-3 Rams
Cardinals Player of the Week: Larry Fitzgerald- 8 receptions, 92 receiving yards
Rams Player of the Week: Steven Jackson- 76 rush yards

Yup, the Cardinals lost their first game of the season to the Rams. Pretty pathetic when you keep in mind that the winning quarterback only completed 7 passes and had a 33% completion percentage. The Cardinals racked up more yards, and even held the ball for longer, but they just couldn't finish. The key component in the Rams' win was their defensive line. Kevin Kolb was sacked nine times, including three alone by rookie Robert Quinn.

Browns vs. Giants: 41-27 Giants
Browns Player of the Week: Trent Richardson- 81 rush yards, 47 receiving yards, touchdown
Giants Player of the Week: Ahmad Bradshaw- 200 rush yards, touchdown

Despite falling down 14-0 just five minutes into the game, the Giants still managed to beat the Browns with relative ease. Victor Cruz caught not one, not two, but three touchdowns in the game, marking a career high.

Dolphins vs. Bengals: 17-13 Dolphins
Dolphins Player of the Week: Reggie Bush- 48 rush yards, 24 receiving yards, touchdown
Bengals Player of the Week: AJ Green- 9 receptions, 65 receiving yards, touchdown

Just when we thought the Bengals were a real threat in the AFC North, they bluffed us with a loss to the Dolphins at home. What's duly noted is that the 2-3 Dolphins would actually be 4-1 if they didn't lose two close games that went into OT.

Packers vs. Colts: 30-27 Colts
Packers Player of the Week: Aaron Rodgers- 235 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, interception, 103.0 passer rating
Colts Player of the Week: Reggie Wayne- 13 receptions, 212 receiving yards, touchdown

Maybe the Packers aren't so good after all. Yes, Andrew Luck and the Colts played an extraordinary second half, outscoring the Pack 27-7, but come on Green Bay blew this game. With Cedric Benson possibly out for the remainder of the season, the Packers better figure out how to balance their offense, and they better figure it out quick.

Ravens vs. Chiefs: 9-6 Ravens
Ravens Player of the Week: Ray Rice- 102 rush yards
Chiefs Player of the Week: Jamaal Charles- 140 rush yards

See, if I were a Chiefs fan, I would give Player of the Week to the guy who concussed quarterback Matt Cassel. But I am not a jerk, and instead a loyal sports fan who would never cheer for any injury. In all seriousness, this game was boring! Despite some occasionally nice runs by the two Pro-Bowl backs, this game was dominated by defense, bad passing games, and kickers.

Eagles vs. Steelers: 16-14 Steelers
Eagles Player of the Week: LeSean McCoy- 53 rush yards, 27 receiving yards, touchdown
Steelers Player of the Week: Rashard Mendenhall- 68 rush yards, 33 receiving yards, touchdown

Mendenhall had a great season debut, gaining over 100 all-purpose yards and even scoring a touchdown, but Michael Vick was the real impact player of this game. Vick had no interceptions this game, but still had two costly fumbles, including one while diving into the endzone. The Eagles are still 3-2, but they haven't looked good.

Falcons vs. Redskins: 24-17 Falcons
Falcons Player of the Week: Tony Gonzalez- 13 receptions, 123 receiving yards, touchdown
Redskins Player of the Week: Alfred Morris- 113 rush yards

The Redskins might have lost the game, but they lost something much more in starting rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. After viciously being hit in a head-to-head collision, RG3 left the game with a mild concussion. It's unknown whether he'll play next week, but the the Redskins better be careful about this injury. Griffin has looked great and is the face of the franchise. As for the Falcons, they survived another week and remain one of two undefeated teams left in the league.

Seahawks vs. Panthers:  16-14 Seahawks
Seahawks Player of the Week: Marshawn Lynch- 85 rush yards
Panthers Player of the Week: N/A

It's funny how I am a believer in the Seahawks, but 1-4 in predicting their games this year. Maybe that doesn't makes sense considering they are 3-2 and I am 1-4, but I promise I am not being pessimistic. The Seahawks didn't play great, the Panthers just played worse. And by worse, I mean downright atrocious. The Panthers, who I thought could even be playoff hopefuls this year, have showed no signs of improvement, and actually might have regressed. Cam Newton, despite leading his team in passing and rushing yards every week, has hit his "sophomore slump." Is it all Cam's fault? Probably not. He has a banged up and crappy offensive line, three running backs being paid a combined $50 million to run for a combined 20 yards per game, and only one real wide receiver threat. Still, Cam will keep being blamed until the Panthers start to win.

Bears vs. Jaguars: 41-3 Bears
Bears Player of the Week: Brandon Marshall- 12 receptions, 144 receiving yards, touchdown
Jaguars Player of the Week: Maurice Jones-Drew- 56 rush yards

Write it down, mark my words, I am hopping on the Bears bandwagon. IF, and by if I mean a really big IF, Jay Cutler can stay healthy, and limit himself to just one interception per game, this team is going to the Super Bowl. Their defense is arguably the best in the league, and once again intercepted two more passes and returned both for touchdowns against the Jaguars.

Titans vs. Vikings: 30-7 Vikings
Titans Player of the Week: Kendal Wright- 9 receptions, 66 receiving yards
Vikings Player of the Week: Percy Harvin- 8 receptions, 108 receiving yards, touchdown

Damn, the Vikings are officially the surprise team of the season so far. So what if their schedule hasn't been that strong? The Vikings already have one more win than they did all of last season, and we just passed the first quarter mark in the 2012 season. On the other hand, the Titans are just awful. Chuck Klosterman wrote a great piece on on how Chris Johnson may not be the running back everyone expected him to be. And boy, did Johnson trick Tennessee after signing a huge contract last summer. The Titans are in for a painfully slow and embarrassing season.

Broncos vs. Patriots- 31-21 Patriots
Broncos Player of the Week: Peyton Manning- 337 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 115.4 passer rating
Patriots Player of the Week: Tom Brady- 223 pass yards, 2 touchdowns (1 rush), 104.6 passer rating

Peyton Manning played a fantastic game, and if his teammates didn't cough up two fumbles, the final score would be completely different. That being said, the Patriots looked much more complete. Not only did Brady have a good game, but Stevan Ridley ran for 151 yards and a touchdown, and Wes Welker caught everything in his direction.

Bills vs. Niners: 45-3 Niners
Bills Player of the Week: N/A
Niners Player of the Week: Alex Smith- 303 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 156.2 passer rating

I hate giving out so many N/A's this week, but there were some terrible games played. It's that point in the season where we can start to sketch a rough draft of the playoff picture, and already eliminate some teams from any chance of making the playoffs. The Bills would be one of those teams. The Niners totalled over 300 passing AND 300 rushing yards against the infamous Buffalo defense. That is absolutely unheard of. I wonder how Mario Williams feels to be playing for one of the worst defenses in the league. What I do know is that the Texans don't seem to miss him one bit.

Chargers vs. Saints: 31-24 Saints
Chargers Player of the Week: Ryan Mathews- 80 rush yards, 59 receiving yards, touchdown
Saints Player of the Week: Drew Brees- 370 pass yards, 4 touchdowns, interception, 110.4 passer rating

Rather than blowing a lead and losing, the Saints played the role of the comeback team in their first win of the season. After falling down 24-14 in the second half, Drew Brees rallied up the Saints, and they came marching down the field for 17 unanswered points. Drew Brees passed Johnny Unitas for most consecutive games with a touchdown as suspended coach Sean Payton watched from the press box.

Texans vs. Jets: 23-17 Texans
Texans Player of the Week: Arian Foster -152 rush yards, touchdown
Jets Player of the Week: Jeremy Kerley- 5 receptions, 94 receiving yards

Credit to the Jets for keeping this one close, but really, no Tebow? Speculation was that Tebow would get more reps in the Monday night showdown, but still only appeared in a limited amount of offensive plays. On Tebow's only attempt of the night, he threw a perfect pass to Jason Hill, who went on to drop the pass. What a shame. As for the Texans, they remain undefeated thanks to great play from Arian Foster and JJ Watt. I've said this from the get-go, the Texans might have the Offensive and Defense Players of the Year.

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