NFL Quick Hits: Week Five
I have to say, this was not a good sports weekend for me. Let me explain.
This week's Bears vs. Raiders matchup was this season's first to take place in England.
The venue was Tottenham Hotspur Staidum, the brand-new multi-purpose venue that is scheduled to hold several NFL games over the next few years, and my all-time favorite soccer team Tottenham Hotspur.
At the beginning of this month, Tottenham suffered a 7-2 loss. That scoreline might not seem like a big deal, but it is. It is essentially the equivalent of the Dolphins losing 59-10 to the Ravens in week one of the NFL season.
Back to football, the Raiders won a fantastic game against Chicago in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
That means that an NFL team, the Raiders no less, has more wins at my favorite soccer team's home turf, than my favorite soccer team.
Yeah. I've been taking it well...
Here's who gets the honors for week five of the NFL season:
Offensive Player of the Week: Christian McCaffery, RB, Carolina Panthers
Is Christian McCaffery the best running back in the NFL? Yes. Will he be named NFL MVP? Still a little early to tell, but if the vote were to be held today, you would be hard pressed not to make a case for it.
The 2019 season has been choppy waters for Carolina. Cam Newton struggled greatly early, Kyle Allen came in at the quarterback position, but he is far from a finished product... but through it all, McCaffery has been consistently amazing.
McCaffery reeled off 237 total yards and three touchdowns against the Texans, showing yet again that he top guy on that offense, not "Superman", as Newton likes to pretend he is.
Runners Up: DeShaun Watson ( 28/33 for 426 and 5 touchdowns vs. Falcons) Russell Wilson (17/23 for 268 yards and 4 touchdowns vs. Rams), Aaron Jones (4 touchdowns, 107 rushing yards, 75 receiving yards vs. Cowboys), Will Fuller (14 catches for 217 and 3 touchdowns vs. Falcons), Amari Cooper (11 catches for 226 yards and a touchdown vs. Packers)
Defensive Player of the Week: Orlando Scandrick, S, Philadelphia Eagles
From not having a team to putting in a career performance-- quite the week for Orlando Scandrick.
Scandrick was on the Eagles during training camp, but ended up getting cut before the start of the regular season, only to be signed once again last week after injuries to the Eagles secondary began to pile up.
Something tells me he's earned another week on the Eagles roster.
Rookie of the Week: Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders
If it were not for the next entry on this list, the Raiders slaying of the Bears would have been the upset of the week.
I'm sure lots of people were rooting for the Bears, solely so that Khalil Mack could exact some resemblance of revenge against Raiders coach John Gruden, who traded Mack away largely because of the financials, although many people see it as a Gruden power move.
Not the case Sunday, largely due to a fantastic day at the office for rookie running back Josh Jacobs (26 carries, 123 yards, two touchdowns).
You have to give the Raiders credit, they punched the Bears in the mouth all game. It's tempting when going up against a stingy defense like the Bears' to try to get cute to outsmart the wall of men in front of them.
The Raiders simply pounded the ball and outmanned the Bears. It also helped that Mack was also kept in check much of the game.
Runner Up: Kyler Murray (253 passing yards, 93 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown vs. Bengals), Brian Burns (3 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, one touchdown vs. Texans
Winner of the Week: Indianapolis Colts
What is the best way to stop a generational quarterback talent from racking up points? The Colts demonstrated the answer perfectly in what may end up being the upset of the season.
Think about it: the Colts went into Arrowhead Stadium, no Andrew Luck, no Darius Leonard, and no Malik Hooker, and won, handing Patrick Mahomes only his third home loss.
How did they do it? They kept Patrick Mahomes off the field.
The Colts had nearly two-thirds of the time of possession. The Colts as a team had nearly 50 rushing attempts, which drained the clock, drip by drip.
The Chiefs will be fine in the long run. They're still the favorite in the AFC to make the Super Bowl. However the defense remains somewhat of a concern. They need to be able to get opposing offenses off the field, especially when playoffs roll around.
However, that takes nothing away from the Colts. They had a gameplan, and they executed it to perfection.
Runners Up: Teddy Bridgewater (Showing way more than he has in previous weeks while filling in for Drew Brees, had 300+ yards passing for first time since 2015), Oakland Raiders (Pulled off upset win over Bears in international game), Miami Dolphins (Didn't lose this week. Yeah, they were on a bye this week, but still)
Loser of the Week: Cairo Santos, K, Tennessee Titans
Let me be clear, Titans kicker Cairo Santos was not the sole reason the team lost a close matchup at home to the Bills, but he was certainly the biggest offender.
As a professional kicker, how do you miss four field goals in a single game?
These were not 60-yarders or anything like that. Yes, two were 50-yarders, but the other two were between 30 and 39 yards. If you are a kicker in the National Football League, you need to bury those kicks.
The Titans lost by seven. Santos left 12 points off the board.
Again, not all Santos' fault. The Titans self-destructed. The O-line was about as strong as a wet graham cracker (gave up four sacks), Mariota continued to prove to be wildly inconsistent, and foolish penalties killed what few touchdown/tone-setting plays Tennessee scraped together.
Still, Santos missed four field goals, and now he's unemployed.
Runners Up: Altlanta Falcons Passing Attack (Gave up 500+ yards passing and 200+ of those yards to Will Fuller in loss to Texans), Jay Gruden (fired by Redskins after 0-5 start), Dallas Cowboys (Dak Prescott had 500+ yards passing, Amari Cooper had 226 yards receiving, Cowboys still lost to the Packers)
Best Uni Matchup of the Week: Packers vs. Cowboys
This is one sexy uniform matchup.
Seriously, I don't think it gets better than this.
Two absolutely classic uniforms that look as good today as they did 50 years ago.
The colors-- beautiful. The history-- classic.
Don't really know what else to say. It's perfect.
Runners Up: Ravens vs. Steelers, Bears vs. Raiders
Most Barf-y Uni Matchup of the Week: Cardinals vs. Bengals
This one has two strikes against it.
The first being the combination of orange and red. Whenever two teams in any sport have those two competing colors on display, it's barf-worthy. The 49ers and Browns also had this going on Monday night.
However, what separates the two matchups leads to the second reason. The 49ers and Browns at least have solid-to-great uniforms.
The Bengals and Cardinals are the two teams that need uniform redesigns, like, yesterday.
Both of their sets are trapped in the mid-2000s, and have not aged well. At all.
If I never see those orange Bengals outfits ever again, you will not hear me complaining.
Runners Up: Browns vs. 49ers, Rams vs. Seahawks, Jets vs. Eagles