Ian Evans’ NFL Week 5 Love/Hate Weekend Recap
Yet another week of football has come and gone. Before you say anything, this is being written before the Titans-Bills game so they will not be included. Some teams picked up where they left off, while others took multiple steps back. From breakout performances and team efforts, to sloppy play and disappointing outcomes, Week 5 provided provided multiple moments, plays, and performances that need to be discussed and dissected in details. Let’s get into it.
Love: The Las Vegas Raiders
Photo Courtesy: Jamie Squire/ Getty Images
A lot of people, including myself, doubted the Raiders going into Week 5 as they played the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. Oh how they proved the doubters wrong. The Raiders handed Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs their first loss since 2019, defeating them 40-32. Derek Carr had an incredible performance going 22-31 and throwing for 347 yards and 3 touchdowns. Second-year running back Josh Jacobs and rookie Henry Ruggs also had themselves a day as Jacobs rushed for 77 yards and 2 touchdowns while Ruggs had 118 receiving yards and a touchdown on just 2 catches (yes, you read that right)! I never thought I’d say this but Carr outplayed Mahomes! The Raiders are a sleeper team you should be paying attention to and they should not be overlooked. This win gives them momentum in a tough conference as they head into a bye week.
Hate: The Ravens-Bengals Game
Photo Courtesy: Nick Wass/Associated Press
This was a tough game to watch. Overall, it was sloppy. You would think that the Ravens would win this game handedly, but at time they struggled. Lamar Jackson did not have that great a game against a subpar defense. He threw for 108 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception, which is decent. But being known as a running quarterback, you would think he would run for more than 3 yards the entire game. The reason why the Ravens won this 27-3 game and the only good aspect from this game, is because of the tenacious defense that hounded Joe Burrow and Joe Mixon all game long. On top of that, the offensive line struggled to defend Burrow, per usual, and receivers kept dropping passes. One was even tipped for a pick-6. I can understand why Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, who suffered an injury during this game, was rumored to have said, “Just trade me,” when he was on the bench. Defense is fun to watch from time to time (especially when you’re rooting for the under), but when both teams’ offenses can’t get going for the duration of the game, it simply becomes boring to watch. This was one of those “change the channel” type of games.
Love: Alex Smith Returns
Photo Courtesy: Steve Helber/Associated Press
If there’s two things sports fans love, it’s the underdog and a feel good story. Alex Smith is one of those feel good stories that made Week 5 special. Alex Smith has had a wild ride of an NFL career. He was the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers until he suffered an injury. Once he returned Colin Kaepernick took the helm. Later, he became the Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterback, until they traded him to Washington and proceeded to draft some kid name Patrick Mahomes. While things were on the ups for once in Washington, Alex Smith suffered what looked like a career-ending injury in 2018 as he suffered compound and spinal fractures of his left tibia and fibula. His career was in jeopardy, but he recovered after a year and a half, went through rigorous rehabilitation and physical therapy, and for the first time since that injury, Smith returned to the field. Although they lost 30-10 to the Los Angeles Rams, Smith went 9 for 17 for 34 yards. The feel good moment of the game? When his family cheered from the stands. Smith was one of the favorites for Comeback Player of the Year and rightfully so.
Hate: Jimmy Garoppolo
Photo Courtesy: Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports
The 49ers were delighted to have starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo come back after not playing since Week 2. However, he played horrifically. Garoppolo threw for 77 yards, completed only 7 passes, threw 2 picks, and had an astounding QBR of 1.7. Yikes. He was also benched for C.J. Beathard as well, who threw for a touchdown. This was not a pretty game for Jimmy G as the defense had his number. He misses open receivers, made mind-boggling decisions, made many costly mistakes, and was sacked 3 times as well. Ultimately, the 49ers ended up getting trounced by the Miami Dolphins 43-17. I’m not sure if his confidence is rattled or if he needs time to recuperate after missing a few games. Whatever it is, he needs to figure it out, and fast.
Love: The Cleveland Browns
Photo Courtesy: John Kuntz/Cleveland.com
Who would’ve thought right? The Cleveland Browns are a good football team this year! The Browns beat the No. 1 defense in the league in the Indianapolis Colts 32-23. Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry combined for 146 yards receiving while the running game, led by Kareem Hunt’s 72 yards, rushed for 124 yards on the day. Although Baker Mayfield struggled from time to time as he threw 2 interceptions this game, he had some bright spots as he threw for 247 yards and 2 touchdowns. This offense is explosive on the ground and the defense is relentless and focused. If the offense can produce consistently and Mayfield can cut down the turnovers, the Browns could be a scary team come playoff time. The Cleveland Browns are 4-1 for the first time since 1994 when Bill Belichick was the head coach. Don’t be too hasty calling Cleveland “the mistake on the lake” as this team is showing they are no longer the embarrassment they once were.
Hate: The Los Angeles Chargers
Photo Courtesy: Brett Duke/Associated Press
I will give Justin Herbert the benefit of the doubt as he is not responsible for the Chargers blunder Monday night against the New Orleans Saints. I mean the rookie threw for 4 touchdowns for crying out loud. But overall, the Los Angeles Chargers gave this game away. In the 2nd quarter the Chargers were up 20-3 and were sitting pretty. They then proceed to not score in the 3rd quarter at all and allowed the Saints to score 17 unanswered. The game got close very quickly, but the Chargers had a chance to seal the deal with a 50-yard field goal attempt by Michael Badgley. As opposing head coaches usually do, Saints coach Sean Payton called their final timeout to ice Badgley. Well…it clearly worked as his kick hit the right goal post and bounce into the end zone. That kick was brutal mistake for Los Angeles as the game went into overtime. The Saints won the coin toss, drove down into Chargers territory, and Lutz kicked a 36 yard field goal to go up 3. This would be ANOTHER chance for the Chargers to win the game. However, on a pivotal 4th and 7 from their own 44-yard line, Saints defensive back Marshon Lattimore stonewalled Mike Williams short of the 1st down to end the game. This is the 2nd week in a row in which the Chargers have given away leads after being up in the 1st half. For a team that’s relatively talented on both sides of the ball, they have to make multiple adjustments at this year goes on or this could be a disappointment of a season for them collectively.
Love: Chase Claypool
Photo Courtesy: Don Wright/Associated Press
Everyone knows about star wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster. Most people were also discussing if second year wide receiver Diontae Johnson would be the breakout star as the No. 2 wide receiver in this offense as well. However, the hero and dominating performance in the Steelers-Eagles game belongs to Notre Dame rookie wideout Chase Claypool. Claypool hauled in 7 catches for 110 yards and a 3, count them, 3 touchdowns as well. Because of Claypool’s play, the Steelers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-29 to advance to 4-0. Claypool could very well be one of the steals of the 2020 draft and he’s paying dividends for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the 412 could not be happier with how the rookie has played. His future in this league is so bright it’s blinding.
Hate: Phillip Rivers
Photo Courtesy: Ron Schwane/Associated Press
Many have tried to convince me that Phillip Rivers would be their answer at the quarterback positions as he signed a 1 year, $25 million dollar deal in March. I think it is safe to say he is overpaid. He basically committed highway robbery. Keep in mind Cam Newton is also on a one year deal worth $1.05 million dollars, and was signed AFTER Rivers. Wow. The reason why they are 3-2 is because this defense is carrying him. Rivers on the year has more interceptions than touchdowns as well as he’s thrown 4 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Is this what Indianapolis signed him for? If his age wasn’t starting to show before Sunday, it showed versus the Cleveland Browns as he got picked apart. Rivers threw for 243 yards and 2 interceptions as well as a crucial intentional grounding call from the end zone which resulted in a safety, as they lost to the Browns 32-23. The famous Canadian rapper Drake once said, “If you ain’t got it, you ain’t got it the theory is brilliant.” If Rivers wants to prove he still has it, he has to redeem his play ASAP. Because as of now, he doesn’t have it, and it looks like he won’t have it any time soon. This paragraph might seem harsh, but it is warranted.
Love: The Dallas Cowboys
Photo Courtesy: Tom Pennington/Getty Images
This is my first article in which I will end my list on something I loved. I’m a lover not a fighter. And who would’ve thought it would be for the Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the New York Giants 37-34 but it came at a brutal cost. In the 3rd quarter, quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a compound right ankle fracture, which will end his season. He was rushed to the hospital to get immediate surgery on the ankle. As the camera shifted from player to player, many were devastated, praying, and crying as Prescott was in tears and in pain. This was supposed to be a contract year for Prescott to show he could prove everyone wrong and got the contract he wanted and deserved. The motivation to win the game for Dak propelled the Cowboys to victory as they are now 2-3 and are on top of the NFC East. Andy Dalton will now take the snaps for Dallas moving forward. Hopefully the win can give them the confidence and momentum to take over the division and become the team people saw them as going into the season. This team has the now has added motivation to continue to play well and prove who they truly are. They’re doing it for Number 4. Get well soon Dak. We can’t wait for the comeback story.