The belief is that you don’t really know what each team in the NFL is all about until a month into the season. We’re there now — and if week 5 is any indicator, we have quite a season on our hands. The Jaguars go into Pittsburgh and handily defeat Big Ben and the Steelers; the vaunted Buffalo defense loses to Cincinnati, who’s offense was historically awful in weeks 1 and 2; and the Dallas Cowboys can’t hold a lead at home? Oh, and the Jets are 3-2. What is going on this season???!!!
Let’s try and make some sort of sense of it all:
1. I’ll open with a question: Remember in the 90s when Brett Favre and the Packers couldn’t buy a win in Dallas? Oh, those were the days weren’t they, Cowboys fans?
2. Another question: Is there anything Aaron Rodgers can’t do?
3. Dallas can’t hold a lead and has lost their home field edge at Jerry’s World. No good moving forward in a very tight NFC East when you’re going to rely on home field to beat those divisional rivals.
4. Caution Packer fans: the defense has let GB get behind in 3 of their 5 games (2 of which they came back to win). You can’t keep doing that to your offense — even if you do have Aaron Rodgers.
5. The problems with New England’s defense are not solved. But 10 days to prepare and get right for the Jets can’t hurt.
6. Love James White, but something about when Dion Lewis is the field for the Pats makes you take a second look. If he’s healthy, he’s a game changer.
7. Injuries might have the final say in who wins the AFC South.
8. There might not be a player who is one with his city and community like J.J. Watt is in Houston. That makes his season-ending injury all that more difficult to swallow. But, the Texans won the division last year without Watt, and Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage playing quarterback. Hope is not lost in Houston.
9. Has any team gone from “overachiever” to “underachiever” faster than the Tennessee Titans?
10. The Jags are easy to dismiss, but you have to take notice when they beat Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh as easily as they did.
11. Cleveland’s 0-5, have benched their QB, and have not improved the way many anticipated they would. Will Hue Jackson survive? Should he?
12. For the first time this year, it was Detroit’s defense that let them down.
13. Matthew Stafford continues to demonstrate his growth as a player and his leadership. He wasn’t great in weeks 3 and 4, but you can’t pin week 5 on him.
14. In a competitive NFC East, Philly looks the most equipped to the reigns.
15. Broken leg for OBJ? We keep waiting for the Giants to win. Who’d have thought they’d be the New York team starting out 0-5?
16. Against a horrific Titans defense, Jay Cutler couldn’t manage better than 12 of 26 for less than 100 yards and one TD and one INT.
17. The fans want Matt Moore in Miami and it’s hard to argue. The defense is scoring more than the offense (at least in the first halves it is — 1 TD to 0).
18. In their 3 wins, the Ravens have rushed for more than 145 yards. When they lose, almost 40 yards less.
19. Either the Bengals have truly righted their ship, offensively since their terrible 2-week start to the season or the Bills defense has been slightly overrated. Probably a little of both.
20. Buffalo’s little secret was their ability to not turn the ball over. That will help any defense. Tyrod Taylor tossed his first ill-timed pick since week 1 in the fourth quarter, ending the Bills shot at a comeback.
21. Whether it’s Kareem Hunt or Alex Smith or Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs look unstoppable right now.
22. Pump the brakes on MVP talk for Smith, but give him his dues.
23. Funny how the AFC North looks so bad right now. Other than the Browns, the other three teams have had good performances, but have also had some embarrassing ones. Hard to tell who’s going to separate themselves.
24. Big Ben threw 2 pick-6s to Jacksonville. Usually he saves those sorts of games for the road.
25. Jameis Winston has some work to do. We keep waiting for him to break out into another level, but he keeps slinking back. The talent is there, the weapons are there. Something is missing, tough.
26. The “J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets” have won three games in a row???!!! Many didn’t have them winning three all year! Big test against the Patriots this week.
27. With the way KC is running away with the division, the Raiders can ill-afford a 3-game losing streak. But that’s what they have.
28. The Derek Carr injury doesn’t help, obviously, but the offense is averaging less than 2 touchdowns over those 3 games.
29. The Rams-Seahawks game showed just what fans of the two NFC West teams can look forward to in the not-too-distant-future. But 5 Rams turnovers proved they still have work to do to reach where Seattle’s at.
30. It’s Seattle’s defense that time and time again bails them out. If not for one half of football against the barely-breathing Indianapolis Colts, the Seahawks offense has been lifeless.
31. What every aging quarterback needs is a running game. The Cardinals average 57 yards on the ground per game. Carson Palmer isn’t getting any help.
32. Cam Newton’s shoulder has looked pretty good the last 2 weeks.
33. The 49ers are 0-5. Yep, that seems about right.
34. There are few teams I take on the road like the Chargers. Heck, there’s a better chance they have more fans show up on the road than they do in L.A.
35. The Bears trick play two-point conversation is really the story of the game. If you missed it here it is:
LOOK AT THIS 2-POINT CONVERSION 😱😱😱https://t.co/HWsDDJNURL
— SB Nation NFL (@SBNationNFL) October 10, 2017
36. Nice debut for Mitchell Trubisky. He had the Bears in the game at the end with a chance to win, against the Minnesota defense.
37. The Bears play pretty well at home — win over Pittsburgh and 2 close losses to Minnesota and Atlanta. On the road, blowout losses to Green Bay and Tampa Bay.
38. Sam Bradford was back but clearly not right.
39. After his nice week 1 start, Bradford was thought to be the guy for the Vikings this year. But it seems like Case Keenum can handle the job just fine.
Feedback is always welcome through the website in the comments box or on my Twitter feed, @brian22goodwin.