After several weeks of chaos, Week 5 saw a lot of blowouts and expected outcomes. There were still some teams who exceeded expectations or disappointed, however, so let’s take a look at them.
Winner: Kansas City Chiefs (Won 30-14 vs JAX)
Throughout the first four weeks, the Chiefs were seen as a team with a great offense, but with a defense that couldn’t stop anyone and would prevent Kansas City from getting to the promise land. Patrick Mahomes wasn’t very sharp against Jacksonville, throwing two interceptions. However, the depth of the offense showed once again as Kansas City ran the ball efficiently, had ten players record a reception, and didn’t rely on one guy to take over against a vaunted Jags defense. The big storyline of this game was the defense though, as Kansas City forced five turnovers and shut out the Jags in the first half. They employed a bend but don’t break style of defense – they allowed 524 total yards- but it worked out for them and some of those yards came in garbage time. This was a dominant performance all around, and the Chiefs can now prove they are the undisputed best team in the AFC with a road win at New England next week. Boy, will that be a fun game to watch.
Loser: Washington Redskins (Lost 43-19 at NO)
Coming into Monday Night Football, the Redskins had a chance to prove that they were the team to beat in the NFC East. Instead, they got absolutely destroyed by the Saints in every phase of the game and trailed by 30 points at one point. Washington’s defense was horrendous. Drew Brees threw for 363 yards due in large part to several blown coverages, while the Redskins allowed three rushing touchdowns. They allowed New Orleans to convert on 55% of their third downs, which is unheard of and committing several costly penalties that kept the Saints on the field. It wasn’t any better on offense, as Alex Smith looked out of sync with his receivers, having to resort back to his old check-down self that we all know and love. They also rushed for just 39 yards and had no sort of rhythm offensively. This is a bad loss for Washington, and they look like more than a pretender than a contender. A home win over the 3-1 Panthers may change that opinion, however. That’s a tough task, though, and Washington blew an opportunity to gain control of the division.
Winner: Cleveland Browns (Won 12-9 OT vs BAL)
The Browns suffered a tough overtime loss to the Raiders last week, and expectations were low coming into a tough divisional matchup against the Ravens. Cleveland put together a tough, spirited performance, however, and are making noise as a potential contender in the AFC. Despite only scoring 12 points, the offense wasn’t horrible. Baker Mayfield threw for 343 yards and a touchdown, while Cleveland ran for 112 yards. The Ravens have arguably the best defense so far this season, so only scoring 12 points with a rookie quarterback is justified. The Browns defense came to play in this game, as they held Joe Flacco to a 52% completion percentage, forced two turnovers, and held the Ravens to a 25% third down conversion percentage. It wasn’t flashy, but it was a gritty win, a type of win Cleveland has struggled to get over the last few years. They have a chance to make a statement next week at home against the Chargers. (More on them in a moment)
Loser: Green Bay Packers (Lost 31-23 at DET)
At halftime, the Packers trailed the Lions 24-0. That is inexcusable for a team with playoff aspirations, and it may be time to panic in Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers may have thrown for 442 yards, but most of that was done in garbage time. It became evident that this offense is still one dimensional, as Green Bay wouldn’t commit to the run. The offensive line made matters worse, as Rodgers was sacked four times, including two strip-sack fumbles. The defense wasn’t awful, but Kerryon Johnson averaged 5.8 yards per carry and the Packers couldn’t stop Detroit in the red zone. This looks like a team that has relied on Rodgers too much, and with his knee injury, he simply isn’t up to the task. Green Bay is luck, as they play the depleted 49ers next week on Monday Night Football, but they don’t look like a team that will be able to compete with the Rams and Patriots, which just happen to be their next two matchups after Week 6.
Winner: Los Angeles Chargers (Won 26-10)
Make no mistake, the Chargers were expected to beat the awful Raiders. However, Los Angeles did something it hasn’t done in a while. The Chargers were able to play a high level of football despite playing inferior competition and looked more like the powerhouse many expected them to be. Phillip Rivers was brilliant, completing 81% of his passes for 339 yards and two touchdowns. The running game struggled, but Austin Ekeler’s 44-yard touchdown reception made up for it and they were still able to control the time of possession. The defense finally lived up to his potential, as they held a Raider offense that was one of the top units in yards to just 289 total yards. It was a complete effort for the Chargers, and they’ll need to continue to play like that as they head to Cleveland.
Loser: Tennesee Titans (Lost 13-12 at BUF)
With the Jags’ loss to the Chiefs, the Titans had a chance to take control of the AFC South. Instead, they lost in typical Titans fashion. Tennesee had just 221 yards of total offense, and couldn’t pass nor run the football. They also had multiple drops and missed opportunities on offense, and still should have had more than 12 points despite the limited amount of yards. The defense held Buffalo to just 223 total yards and Josh Allen to 80 passing yards, but they surrendered the lead late to the Bills and allowed them to kick a game-winning field goal. The Titans were the biggest disappointment of the week and may have blown their chance to contend, as they now have to take on the Ravens in a must-win game next week.