Photo via Jay Biggerstaff / USA TODAY Sports
The theme for Week 5 of the NFL season: upsets. The Indianapolis Colts shocked the NFL world by going into Kansas City and shocking the undefeated Chiefs 19-13. Also, Green Bay was able to win at Dallas without star wide receiver Davante Adams and the Bills were able to slug out a 14-7 win over the Titans in Nashville. With all the drama, here are my thoughts after Week 5.
- The New York Jets have faced the Philadelphia Eagles 11 times since 1973 and have lost every single game. That is shocking considering teams go through cycles of rebuilding and contending throughout the decades. Last Sunday, the Eagles easily beat the Jets 31-6, a team plagued with injuries and the Eagles caught them at the perfect time for an easy win.
- The Oakland Raiders sit at 3-2, and the biggest reason for this is an efficient offense. Derek Carr leads the NFL in completion percentage at 73.3%, rookie running back Josh Jacobs is sixth in the NFL for rushing, and rookie tight end Darren Waller is fourth in the NFL for receiving yards. This team looks to be on the right track heading into their bye week and with an improving defense, the Raiders can be competitive so long as their rookies continue to produce, and they don’t beat themselves.
- Christian McCaffrey is the MVP currently. He is carrying this Panthers offense with backup Kyle Allen and he is doing so with elite productivity. This season, McCaffrey has 866 total yards while the New York Jets, as a team, have only generated 718 yards. That is an absurd stat, but the Panthers have needed every single one of those yards. Against Jacksonville, their defense surrendered over 500 yards, but the Panthers won because McCaffrey gained 267 yards and three touchdowns. His speed and versatility is a matchup problem for every defense, and now all Kyle Allen has to do is not turn the ball over and the Panthers can continue to rack up wins.
- The Los Angeles Chargers continue to be one of the most frustrating teams to watch. Despite some key injuries, the Chargers should be better than 2-3 but aren’t as they continue to blow game after game to teams they should beat. Against the Broncos, the Chargers had two turnovers in the RedZone that cost them dearly. There are two reasons this is happening. One, they miss Tyrell Williams, a receiver that could stretch the field well. This forces Rivera to constantly check down to Austin Ekeler, who had 15 receptions in their loss to the previously winless Broncos. The other is the defense has very little speed with Derwin James. They struggle to cover receivers on deep routes and on crossing routes over the middle of the field. If they don’t stretch the field better or learn to cover opposing wide receivers, then this team will be an underachieving and mediocre team.
- The San Francisco 49ers are not to be taken lightly. They have a legitimate pass rush after drafting seven defensive linemen in the last five years, they have a great secondary anchored by Richard Sherman, and they offensively are very quick and smart. George Kittle is an incredible weapon that Kyle Shanahan utilizes very well, and with players that possess track speed, this team is to be taken seriously. They can make a serious statement when they take on the LA Rams on Sunday.
- Speaking of the LA Rams, they are in big trouble. Their defense has been awful so far this season as they cannot cover receivers over the middle of the field, and they cannot rush the passer outside of Aaron Donald. Even more concerning is their offensive line as they cannot protect Jared Goff, which disrupts the rhythm of the offense and forces them to make rash decisions. Without a good defense and a leaky offensive line, Goff has been left out to dry and letting Roger Saffold go to extend older stars is looking like a poor decision at this point.