Week 5 in the NFL means that we are now into the second quarter of the season. It is also the first week in which some teams have their bye week. So, as the likes of the Los Angeles Chargers and the Seattle Seahawks watched from a distance, what happened this week in the NFL?
Let’s review Week 5 in the NFL.
The Chiefs and the Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings and the Kansas City Chiefs are two teams that had an incredible 2022 season. This year, the Chiefs are still performing well, especially after losing their first game of the year. On the other hand, the Vikings are struggling. Last year’s close game winners have been on the losing end of many close games this year. Their ball security is also poor, which may be a factor in why they are underperforming. These two teams met this weekend, who would win?
The Vikings had the opening possession of the game with the hope of starting strong against the Chiefs offense. On the opening pass of the game, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a pass to Oliver. Oliver would then fumble the ball, which was then recovered by the Chiefs defense. This mistake proved costly for the Vikings, as in reply, the Chiefs’ offense drove down to the Vikings’ one-yard line. From there, Chiefs running back Pacheco ran the ball in for the opening touchdown of the game.
We would then have a series of drives that all had the same ending. Firstly, the Vikings would very slowly drive down the field. Minnesota were lucky to have a drive after in a repeat of their drive, Cousins would again fumble the ball. Luckily for the Vikings, Cousins would recover it, allowing the drive to happen. The Vikings would then reach the edge of the Chiefs’ red zone before stalling at the 22-yard line. Vikings kicker Greg Joseph would then successfully kick the 40-yard field goal attempt.
The Chiefs would then get a field goal of their own. Led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City would, as Minnesota did before them, slowly move the ball down the field, before stalling at the Vikings’ 20-yard line. Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker would then kick the 38-yard field goal. But the field goal fun would not end there. On the very next drive of the game, Greg Joseph would kick a 29-yard field goal to put the Vikings within 4 points of the lead.Embed from Getty Images
The 4-point deficit would soon become a 3-point lead for the Vikings. Starting from their 44-yard line, Kirk Cousins and company would drive the ball down deep into the Kansas City red zone. From there, Cousins would find Addison for the lead taking 5 yard touchdown pass. However, this lead would not last long as with the final play of the half, Harrison Butker would kick a 40-yard field goal. This would mean that at halftime, the scores would be level at 13-13.
Kansas City would have the opening possession of the second half and would waste no time in building a lead over the Vikings. After opening the drive by being sacked, Mahomes would lead a drive that took the Chiefs offense down to the Vikings 8-yard line. From there, Mahomes would find R Rice for the 8-yard touchdown to hand them the lead.
The Chiefs would double their lead soon after, but they almost lost possession before anything related to scoring could happen. On 4th & 1 on the Vikings 48-yard line, Mahomes threw an incomplete pass. In any normal situation, this would be a turnover on downs to the Vikings. However, there was a penalty against the Vikings for defensive pass interference on this play. This not only gave the Chiefs 3 more downs but moved them forward 31 yards. In the end, this would be very costly for the Vikings as Mahomes would find Taylor Swift’s (who was not in Minneapolis) boyfriend Travis Kelce for the 4-yard touchdown.Embed from Getty Images
The Vikings would soon cut the Chiefs lead to one touchdown on their next drive. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense would finally keep hold of the ball for a whole drive and find their way down to the Kansas City 9-yard line. Cousins would then find Mattinson with a touchdown pass.
The Vikings were now one score down and only had one drive left to score what could be a game-winning or at least a game-tying touchdown. The Vikings would make it down to the Chiefs’ 17-yard line, before being forced to move back 5-yards for a delay of game penalty. It was 4th & 12. The Vikings had to find those 12 yards or it would be game over for them. Cousins would throw an incomplete pass on this down ending all hope for the Vikings. Minnesota did have one more chance at the end of the game, but it did not lead to anything as they did not even pass the 50-yard line. As the game ended, the Kansas City Chiefs had recorded a 27-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
With this win, the Chiefs move to 4-1 for the season to keep up with their high expectations. For the Vikings, they fall to 1-4 on the season. Questions should be asked how and why it is going all wrong for Minnesota this year when last year went so well. Next week, the Chiefs face the Denver Broncos on Thursday night, while the Vikings face fellow NFC North side the Chicago Bears.
5 Win Philly
The Philadelphia Eagles are again having a strong start to the season. They are one of two unbeaten teams left (we’ll see the other team later) and are looking clear favorites to return to the NFC Championship game at least. On the other hand, the Los Angeles Rams are improving from last year. The Rams have a new start in Puca Nacua. Could he again make the difference when these two teams meet?
The Eagles had the first possession of the game and would have the first score of the game from it. Led by Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia would drive down the field with ease, before reaching the Rams 6-yard line. From there, Hurts would find Dallas Goedart for the touchdown.
In reply to the Eagles’ opening touchdown, the Rams would immediately strike back. The Los Angeles drive, led by quarterback Matthew Stafford was less fluid than the preceeding Eagles drive. The Rams had a 4th down attempt on the Eagles 22-yard line which was extremely successful, with Stafford finding returned wide receiver Cooper Kupp for a 10-yard pass, giving them a strong chance for a touchdown. The Rams would be successful a few plays later, as Stafford would find Tutu Atwell for a 3-yard touchdown pass. This was looking like a shootout.
This would have been the case, except for the fact that both teams punted on their next drive, killing any momentum that they had. Philadelphia would have the next score of the game after a long 15-play drive lasting over 8 minutes. From their 28-yard line, the Eagles offense very slowly advanced down the field, to only reach the Rams 16-yard line before the long drive stalled. The Eagles however would get something out of this drive, as kicker Jake Elliott successfully kicked a 34-yard field goal to retake the lead.Embed from Getty Images
The Philadelphia lead did not last long. Unlike the previous Eagles drive, the Rams quickly moved down the field. Then, from the Eagles 22-yard line, Stafford found emerging star Puca Nacua for the touchdown pass to give the Rams the lead and Nacua his second touchdown in his young NFL career. In reply, Hurts and company drove down to the Rams’ one-yard line. Then, on the stroke of halftime, Hurts would run into the endzone for a touchdown. This meant that at halftime, the Eagles had a 17-14 lead.
The Eagles’ second half did not begin like their first half did. Philadelphia would reach the Rams’ red zone on their drive. However, things would get worse from there. At the Los Angeles 20-yard line, Hurts would attempt to throw a touchdown pass to A.J Brown. While he did throw a pass into the endzone, it did not reach Brown. Instead, it fell into the hands of a Rams defender, ending the drive. Luckily for the Eagles, Los Angeles could not do anything with this possession and punted away quickly.
While Los Angeles struggled to get drives moving, the Eagles did have some success in the second half in this department. Philadelphia’s next drive would be much more slow-moving. It took them 17 plays in total to reach the Rams’ 9-yard line, where the drive would stall. Jake Elliott would kick a 26-yard field goal to end this drive. Elliot would add to the Eagles’ lead soon after with another 26-yard field goal.
The story of the day for Philadelphia was that their offense also came close to scoring but the Rams’ defense would stop them short, resulting in a field goal. But at least they were getting points. Throughout the whole of the second half, the Rams did not score a single point on offense. Their defense carried them to a close game. A game that they would be on the losing end of, as the Philadelphia Eagles would defeat the Los Angeles Rams 23-14.
For a game that started strong for both teams, the fire died out quickly and was completely extinguished in the second half. The victory means that Philadelphia remains unbeaten at 5-0. Could they match their 8-0 streak from last year? As for the Rams, they fall to 2-3 on the season. Next week, Philadelphia faces the New York Jets while the Rams face the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cowboys get Destroyed
The Sunday Night Football game this week featured two historic franchises facing each other. The Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers. Both of these teams had strong starts to the season. But in the last few weeks, the Cowboys have struggled, losing to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3. Could they give the undefeated 49ers and Brock Purdy their first defeat?
The 49ers would have the opening possession of the game and would make their mark on the game immediately. On their opening drive of the game, 49ers Quarterback Brock Purdy would take his offense down to the inside edge of the Cowboys’ red zone. From there, Purdy would find George Kittle for a 19-yard touchdown pass. A good start to what could be a good game.
Unfortunately, from there on, it would not be a good game. For the rest of the quarter, we would enter a period of mediocre drives and all-around poor performances for both San Francisco and Dallas. We would have 4 drives in a row where neither team could do anything on offense. This was to be somewhat expected, as both the 49ers and Cowboys defenses were two of the league’s best. We would then see some action. From their 16-yard line, the Cowboys would fumble the ball, which was then scooped up by the 49ers defense. Surely Purdy would be able to score another touchdown from here? No. Star running back Christian McCaffrey would fumble the ball at the Cowboys 2-yard line. This was scooped up by the Cowboys’ defense, who would not be able to do anything on offense in the subsequent drive.
We would then see another touchdown from San Francisco. After returning a Dallas punt to their 38-yard line, Purdy would find George Kittle again, this time for a 38-yard touchdown pass to double their lead. The Cowboys would immediately strike back. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott would move his offense down to the San Francisco 26-yard line. From there, Prescott would find KaVontae Turpin for the touchdown pass to keep them in the game.Embed from Getty Images
The scoring would soon continue, as the 49ers would score in reply to this. Shaking off his previous mistakes, Christian McCaffrey would find the endzone on a one-yard touchdown run. This meant that at halftime, the 49ers would have a 21-7 lead.
Dallas would have the first possession of the second half and would be able to do something with it. The Cowboys offense would drive down to the 49ers 32-yard line before stalling. Luckily for the Cowboys, kicker Brandon Aubrey would successfully kick the 50-yard field goal. In reply to this, the high-scoring San Francisco offense would strike again. This time, like the two times before, Purdy would find Kittle for another touchdown, this time from 10 yards out.
The game was looking like it was slipping away for the Cowboys. Their next drive all but confirmed the fact. From the Cowboys 37-yard line, Prescott would throw a deep pass. This would be intercepted by the 49ers defense. What would they do with it? Surprisingly no one, they would score. Purdy and company would drive down to the Cowboys one-yard line, before finding Kyle Juszczyk for the touchdown to all but seal the game for San Francisco.Embed from Getty Images
The Cowboys’ woes did not end there. After the interception on their previous drive, Prescott would throw another interception on this drive. You know the story by now. San Francisco got the ball, San Francisco scored a touchdown. This time Jordan Mason would run the ball in for a 26-yard touchdown. Dak Prescott would throw one more interception after this, meaning that he had thrown interceptions on three consecutive drives. Luckily for the Cowboys, San Francisco did not score on this drive, or any future drive in the match.
All of this added up to the San Francisco 49ers defeating the Dallas Cowboys 42-10.
For San Francisco, this keeps their perfect record alive. Another victory also means that Brock Purdy still has not lost a regular season game yet. For Dallas, this was embarrassing. This was the Cowboys’ largest defeat in 10 years. I see it as them getting a taste of their own medicine, as they gave heavy defeats to both New York sides early in the season. Nice to see them on the receiving end of one for once. Next week, San Francisco faces the Cleveland Browns, while the Cowboys face the Los Angeles Chargers and their kicker Cameron Dicker.
A London Game
Last week, the Jacksonville Jaguars played their 10th game in London. They would win a boring game against the Atlanta Falcons. This week, they would stay in London but be in a different stadium. The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was the venue, and the Buffalo Bills were the opponent and designated home team. So, in the stadium that last year brought us a game-winning field goal at time ran out, and the beginning of the end for Aaron Rodgers, could we see any entertainment this time?
London games are normally poor-quality games. This one started as expected with both teams having the punt the ball away after poor offensive performances. The Jaguars would soon break this. Led by quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars drove from their 27-yard line down into the Bills’ red zone, mostly aided by a 30-yard pass from Lawrence and a perfectly timed penalty against the Buffalo defense. Then, from the Bills 6-yard line Lawrence found Zay Jones for the touchdown to give Jacksonville the early lead. Furthermore, they would successfully attempt the two-point conversion, giving them an 8-point lead
The Jaguars would add to this lead on their next drive. This drive would stall at the Bills 26-yard line, forcing Jaguars kicker Brandon McManus to attempt a 44-yard field goal. He would be successful in this attempt, giving the Jags a 10-point lead.
We would then return to a normal London game. The next 4 drives would end in 4 punts. To make things even worse for the fans of all 32 teams in the stadium, none of these drives would cross to 50-yard line. What a great advertisement for the NFL this is.Embed from Getty Images
However, things would soon get better for the fans there, especially those from the Western New York city of Buffalo. From their 14-yard line and led by Bills quarterback Josh Allen, Buffalo would have some success with their offense for the first time this half. The Bills would reach the Jaguars 15-yard line before Allen would find Steffon Diggs for the touchdown pass. In reply to these scores, the Jaguars would reach the Bills red zone. But then, Trevor Lawrence would fumble the ball inside the red zone. This would be scooped up by the Bills’ defense, ending any hope for a score. This would mean that as the teams returned to the locker rooms at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Jaguars would have an 11-7 lead.
The second half would not start well for either team. We would have another sequence of consecutive punts. Then, it looked like the Jaguars would be on to something. From their 8-yard line, Lawrence and company would very slowly move up the field. This drive took up most of the third quarter and the first bit of the fourth quarter. After 16 plays and 5 third down attempts, Jacksonville would reach the Bills 23-yard line. Lawrence would then be sacked on third down, where he would fumble the ball for the second time in the match. The ball would again be scooped up by the Bills’ defense.
Luckily for the Jaguars, the turnover would have little impact. Buffalo tried to move the ball down the field. They struggled to do this, but then Josh Allen made a very deep pass down to near the endzone. He would be intercepted by the Jaguars defense. From this, Jacksonville would drive down the length of the field. Then, from the Bills 6-yard line Travis Etienne would find the endzone to extend the Jagaurs’ small lead.
The game would finally become exciting when, in response to the Jaguars touchdown, the Bills would also find the endzone. From the Jagaurs’ 9-yard line, Allen would find Gabe Davis for the touchdown. Except, there was a penalty on this play against Buffalo, stripping them of their touchdown and moving them back 10 yards. This did not stop them, as on the very next play, Allen would find Davis again for a 19-yard touchdown that would stand. The Bills would then attempt a two-point conversion that would fail.Embed from Getty Images
Touchdowns in this game were like London buses. You wait forever for them and then they all come at once. The Jaguars would score on their next drive from a 35-yard Travis Etienne rushing touchdown. This would be followed by a 3-yard rushing touchdown by Josh Allen to cut the Jaguars lead over the Bills to 5 points.
Jacksonville would punt on their next drive, meaning that Buffalo had under a minute to move the entire length of the field to win the game. On the first play of the drive, Allen would pass to Steffon Diggs, who would fumble the ball. This meant that the Jacksonville Jaguars would defeat the Buffalo Bills 25-20
In relation to International games, this was not great, but it was better than last week’s. For Jacksonville, the victory puts them a 3-2 for the season. Buffalo fell to the same record. Next week, Jacksonville returns to Florida to face the Indianapolis Colts, while the Bills face the New York Giants in another primetime game for Big Blue. Finally, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium plays host to the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans next week.
What Happened in the other games?
The Chicago Bears face the Washington Commanders in what was the first Thursday night game this year between two less-than-stellar teams. It would be the Bears’ night, however. Quarterback Justin Fields would score 4 touchdowns as Chicago recorded a 40-20 victory. That is the Bears’ first victory this season and in nearly a year.
After last week’s poor performance in London, the Atlanta Falcons hoped to bounce back with a good game against the in-form Houston Texans. It would be a very close game, with Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud performing well again. But it would be the Falcons who would take the victory as kicker Younghoe Koo scored the winning field goal as time ran out to give Atlanta a 21-19 victory.
The Detroit Lions continued their good form against the winless Carolina Panthers. Quarterback Jared Goff would throw for 3 touchdowns as the Lions defeated the Panthers 42-24
The Tennessee Titans played the Indianapolis Colts in preparation for their London game this weekend. For the second time this year, Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson came out of the game injured, so Gardner Minshew took his place. This would not stop the Colts, as they recorded a 23-16 victory
In a game that could have been much more one-sided, the Miami Dolphins defeated the New York Giants 31-16. This game however would be noted for the Giants scoring a 103-yard pick 6 touchdown and for the neck injury to quarterback Daniel Jones. I did say last week that the offensive line would need to improve or Jones would be injured. Luckily, it seems that this injury is not that severe, as Jones may be able to play against Buffalo.
The New Orleans Saints faced the New England Patriots. New Orleans would easily defeat the Patriots. In fact, the Patriots would be shut out and quarterback Mac Jones would be benched again. The Pats have scored a grand total of 3 points in their last 2 games. I think everyone is focusing on the wrong quarterback named Jones because this one seems a lot worse.Embed from Getty Images
The Baltimore Ravens turned the ball over 3 times in their encounter with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This would be costly, as the Steelers would score all their points in the fourth quarter to record a 17-10 victory over the Ravens
Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals returned to their usual winning ways this week against the Arizona Cardinals. Burrows would throw 3 touchdowns in the Bengals 34-20 victory.
In a battle of two poor-performing teams, the New York Jets faced the Denver Broncos. After a typical 1st half for these teams, the Jets would dominate the 2nd half, recording a 31-21 victory over Denver.
The Monday night game this week featured the Green Bay Packers trip to Las Vegas to face the Raiders. Packers quarterback Jordan Love was intercepted 3 times as the Raiders would record a 17-13 victory over Green Bay.Embed from Getty Images
That was week 5 in the NFL. Next week, we have the final London game before the international series moves the Germany. We also have the Patriots returning to Vegas, the site of last year’s “Lunatic Lateral” and the Giants play what feels like their 1000th consecutive game in primetime. Answers on a postcard as to why they cannot flex this game to any other time.