We’re now five weeks through the 2014 NFL season, and it has become apparent that no lead is ever safe. In fact, teams this season are on pace to break the record for most comeback wins in a single season! With that, here’s the recap of all the Week Five action:
Minnesota Vikings 10 at Green Bay Packers 42: With Christian Ponder under center and Adrian Peterson on the sideline the Vikings knew they had no chance and pretty much didn’t try. In fact, Aaron Rodgers only had to throw 17 passes the entire game, completing only 12 of them for three touchdowns; and the Packers still won by 32 points. Obviously Teddy Bridgewater provided a lot more inspiration for the team than we thought.
Chicago Bears 24 at Carolina Panthers 31: Jay Cutler once again proved incapable of coming up clutch in big games. In fact, the Bears are now 2-3 having lost two in a row due to poor play by Cutler. The Bears as a team did pretty well, and this game was very back and forth until the end. Newton didn’t do fantastic but at least his team won which is a definite improvement. Cutler’s play in the fourth quarter set Newton up in a good position to score: an interception led to a game-tying field goal. Cutler needs to start earning his nine-figure contract soon.
Cleveland Browns 29 at Tennessee Titans 28: This game was the largest comeback win on the road in NFL history. The Browns were down 28-3 before staging an outstanding comeback. Jake Locker just can’t win: he had the Titans in a great position before being knocked out of the game with concussion-like symptoms. Charlie Whitehurst threw a couple of TDs after coming out on the field, but in the second half he was unable to do anything as he watched the Browns stage their comeback. Brian Hoyer did an amazing job staying calm as the team came back, and as a result we probably won’t be seeing much more of Johnny Manziel this season.
St. Louis Rams 28 at Philadelphia Eagles 34: This was almost the greatest comeback in NFL history. The Eagles jumped to a 34-7 lead before the Rams suddenly came to life. The Rams could have completed the comeback if it weren’t for their countless mistakes. The Rams had three fumbles, tons of false start penalties, and countless drops. Austin Davis actually did pretty well aside from those drops, finishing with 375 yards and three touchdowns. The Eagles really did not play that well. Chip Kelly’s squad was able to capitalize on all of the Rams mistakes, but the offense was lacking overall.
Atlanta Falcons 20 at New York Giants 30: Eli Manning may have taken a few years off, but the two-time Super Bowl MVP is back with a vengeance this season. The Giants continue to look great at home which is something they have struggled with in the past, and Manning is lighting up the field. The Giants torched the Falcons, and Matt Ryan showed once again that he is incapable of winning outside the comfort of the Georgia Dome. Ryan was under pressure the entire game, but he was also unable to finish any of the drives he started, resulting in a sad 20-point performance.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31 at New Orleans Saints 37: The Saints always manage to pull out the win in the Superdome even when they really don’t deserve it. The Saints looked horrible the entire game against a bad Buccaneers team, but in their defense they did lose Jimmy Graham and center Jonathan Goodwin early in the game. Drew Brees finished 35-of-57 for 371 yards, two touchdowns, and three bad interceptions. Brees clearly struggled without Graham on the field; and he made rookie mistakes on his interceptions, one of which he threw straight up in the air to avoid the sack and watched from the ground as it was returned for a touchdown. Mike Glennon once again showed an ability to lead the Bucs better than Josh McCown, with his only big mistake being the safety he took at the hands of Junior Galette which allowed the Saints to come back and tie the game.
Houston Texans 17 at Dallas Cowboys 20: This was an all-around great game to watch whether you were cheering for the Texans or the Cowboys. Unfortunately for the Texans though, they allowed the Cowboys to stick around and ended up losing in overtime as a result. The Cowboys made a lot of mistakes: Dez Bryant dropped a few balls, Romo overthrew everyone and threw an interception, DeMarco Murray had yet another fumble, and Dan Bailey even missed a field goal that would have won them the game in regulation. The biggest takeaway for the Texans should be that they still don’t have a quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw one pick and nearly had another one. He also failed to do anything for the team in overtime. Fitzpatrick finished with only 154 yards.
Buffalo Bills 17 at Detroit Lions 14: The Lions lost this one in typical Lions fashion: Matthew Stafford threw a horrible interception, Eric Ebron dropped a sure-fire touchdown, and Alex Henery missed three field goals. Three. Kyle Orton didn’t start out perfectly; but he finished with 308 yards, a touchdown, and the one early pick-six making him the clear better option over E.J. Manuel. Orton got a lot of help from the Lions offense, but he also showed some ability to read a defense—something Manuel has yet to show he can do.
Baltimore Ravens 13 at Indianapolis Colts 20: It looked like the Colts kind of brushed off the Ravens and were already looking forward to their matchup against the Texans, because this game should not have been as close as it was. Andrew Luck struggled against the Ravens defense, and the Colts won this game with their defense as opposed to their high-powered offense. Luck’s two interceptions nearly cost the Colts the game, and it really wasn’t until the end of the game that he started playing like himself. Fortunately for the Colts, they were playing Joe Flacco and able to keep the Ravens offense down. Flacco finished with only 235 yards and an interception going 22-of-38, but this loss wasn’t completely his fault. Steve Smith had an early fumble and Jacoby Jones muffed a punt, but taking a sack on fourth down and one in the red zone didn’t help Flacco’s image.
Pittsburgh Steelers 17 at Jacksonville Jaguars 9: The Jaguars were actually in striking distance of the Steelers for most of this game, but they showed once again that they are the Jaguars. Blake Bortles was very inconsistent, finishing 22-of-36 for only 191 yards and two costly interceptions including a pick six in the second half which ruined any chance the Jags had of pulling off the upset. The Steelers looked great on offense despite managing only 17 points. In the second half they ran the ball a lot more with Le’Veon Bell and had no problem moving the chains.
Arizona Cardinals 20 at Denver Broncos 41: The Broncos offense had a pretty good grip on this game despite no help from the defense once again. The biggest story out of this game, however, is Peyton Manning’s 500th career touchdown pass. Manning finished the game with an outstanding 479 yards and four touchdowns; so he is now at 503, and trails Brett Favre by only five touchdowns for the most of all time. The other big story is Brandon McManus’s two field goal misses in Denver where it is usually pretty easy to knock them down. The Broncos cut Matt Prater last week, and now that decision looks to be coming back to haunt them.
Kansas City Chiefs 17 at San Francisco 49ers 22: Although this will most likely be Jim Harbaugh’s final season in San Francisco and the players no longer want him as their coach, they haven’t given up on the season just yet. The Niners embarrassed their former quarterback, Alex Smith. The 49ers didn’t play great, but they did just well enough to stop a desperate Chiefs team with a really good defensive line. The Chiefs and Smith actually had a chance to win the game at the end in San Francisco, but Smith threw an interception and got laughed at by his former home crowd.
New York Jets 0 at San Diego Chargers 31: There’s really not much to say about this game. Geno Smith is not a quarterback, and Michael Vick is too old. The Jets had 74 total passing yards. The Chargers defense isn’t that good, the Jets are just that bad.
Cincinnati Bengals 17 at New England Patriots 43: Apparently the Patriots aren’t out yet, they just suck on the road. That or Bill Bellichick still has other teams’ practice tapes for when things get tough. The Patriots played pretty well, but the Bengals were in playoff mode. You just know it isn’t going to be a good game for the Bengals when A.J. Green fumbles. Brady used his vast array of weapons in this game, including six catches for 100 yards by Rob Gronkowski who looked healthy again. Dalton looked bad as usual finishing 15-of-24 for 204 yards and two touchdowns, but the Bengals numerous mistakes made him look worse than he usually is.
Seattle Seahawks 27 at Washington Redskins 17: Seattle absolutely dominated this game. The Redskins were unable to do anything for most of the game on offense, but they did have a few big plays against the Seahawks defense. DeSean Jackson stunned fantasy owners by putting up 157 yards and a touchdown against the NFL’s number one defense. The Seahawks also showed that they still aren’t that good on the road. Russell Wilson had a few good plays but overall couldn’t really finish most of the drives.