NFL Week 5 Recap

Colts 12, Broncos 9

Thursday night football is going to be different this week. It’s going to be full of competitive play, and- nope, just messing with you, it’s a heavyweight ineptitude bowl!

This Thursday night rumble did feature some spirited competition – by the special teams units. Field goals were kicked, the occasional kickoff going for a touchback, and both punters gave their right legs a heavy workout. This was a marquee ineptitude bowl, with The Hack facing off against a new challenger in Frank Reich. In terms of football, this was one of the worst games presented by the league in a very long time. Throughout the game, you could slowly hear Al Michaels begin to question his life choices as both teams exchanged punts and turnovers. Do you know what this game needs now? Overtime! Because everyone wants to see another 10 minutes of offensive ineptitude! The fans in attendance at Mile High didn’t agree, since they were crowding the exits and leaving the stadium during a tie game. In these times, we must look at this from another angle. The winner of this match would be the team that screwed up less. Then, you realize that one of these teams has The Hack, and the other does not. Indy may be up by 3, but Denver is down to 4th and 1 at the Colts’ 11-yard line. A field goal would only prolong the agony, so why not go for the kill? The Hack’s choice? A slant into the end zone when Russ is playing through an injured shoulder. Genius play call and the Colts win. Richard Sherman was getting PTSD from this play on the postgame show. You need one yard and Indy’s defense can’t stop the rushing attack. JUST RUN THE BALL AND RAM IT DOWN THEIR THROATS! That’s not so hard, right?

These past few weeks have taught me a glaring fact: Nathaniel Hackett needs to be fired. For those that still think it’s too soon, let’s look at the timeline for this. In his first or second game, it’s understandable, he’s a first-year head coach, and he’ll get it together. This is week 5. Most of the kinks should be ironed out by now! Broncos country, you should be booing the team every time they leave the tunnel. Sadly, Elway won’t do anything since firing Hackett would require deflating his ego.

Giants 27, Packers 22

Yes, another London game. The fine folks of London got to experience yet another close game, as the Packers face off against an upstart Giants team looking to establish themselves in the NFC hierarchy in this young season. At the beginning of the game, narratives were safe, as the Packers exposed the Giants for their flaws and stormed out to a 20-10 lead by halftime. Then, something changed. Wink Martindale began to read the Packers like a book and Rodgers couldn’t get going. The Giants’ offense finally began to do things in the 4th quarter. They took the lead, but the Packers are driving and can tie with a touchdown. They may be down to a 4th down, but let’s be real, there is no chance for New York with God king Aaron Rodgers at the helm. Onward to victory, as he… has a pass batted down. Oh my goodness, New York’s defense is legit. The G-men? Good? Giants fans, this is a phenomenon that happens to all young teams but could be new to you. It’s called a statement win. Keep it going.


Lions 0, Patriots 29

I thought the Lions were turning a corner. I did. The #1 scoring offense 4 weeks into the season: impressive. That mindset was completely erased today. Facing the epitome of a mediocre team in the Patriots, the offense sputtered and smoldered, even during garbage time. Jared Goff reverted to last year’s form, throwing picks and coughing up the ball on every occasion. You would hope for a miracle from their defense to atone for this, but this is Detroit we’re talking about, they can have no nice things. When Saivion Smith got injured in the first quarter and got carted off, it’s like the other 10 men on the defense went with him in the ambulance. They got run overall game by a third-string quarterback and a running back tandem that has been stuck on a hamster wheel for most of the season. The Patriots aren’t dead yet, and they announced it resoundingly. Seriously though, the Smith situation is awful, prayers up for a quick recovery.

Chargers 30, Browns 28

The Chargers are in serious trouble. This was a game open for the taking, and they fell behind into a 14-0 hole in the first quarter. I don’t care that they came back and barely squeaked out a win, this was against an opponent they should have crushed. Brandon Staley almost cost the team again with his idiocy on 4th down and got bailed out since the Browns’ kicker can’t make a field goal. LA’s forgotten stepchild may have won this game, but I’m not impressed. They have some serious work to do in the defensive and play-calling departments. I’ll leave them to it for now.


Texans 13, Jaguars 6

You may be wondering why this game wasn’t automatically relegated to ineptitude bowl status. That is because the Texans don’t have the offensive talent necessary to firmly fix all of the blame around the head coach. Jacksonville, though, is in hot water regardless. They’re supposed to be turning a corner and they only put up 6 points against a defense that’s been gashed on multiple occasions by weaker opponents. They also produced a true rookie moment for first-overall pick Trevon Walker. On Houston’s final drive, on a 3rd and 20, the refs blew the play dead but he still went right through and hit the quarterback, leading to a 15-yard penalty and a 1st down to keep the drive alive. Isn’t losing to the Texans enough? The Jags are a young team, though. They’ll be back.


Falcons 15, Buccaneers 21

Well, this is a laugh. The Falcons can’t get anything going on offense and Tampa is up by 21 in the 4th quarter. However, this is when Atlanta once again reverse-engineers their trademark Falconing and storms back with 15 unanswered points. With 2 minutes left and their offense rolling all quarter, all Atlanta needed was a stop to get the ball back and try to complete the comeback. They even got a sack on third down. The Falcons were doing it. They were going to get revenge against Brady after all these years. Unfortunately, there’s a catch, because it’s the Falcons, there’s always a catch. There was a roughing the passer call, giving the Bucs a new set of downs to knee the ball and end the game. Oops. This penalty arguably cost Atlanta the game. I get the refs are overreacting because of what happened to Tua, but Jesus, this is horrible. On the play in question, Brady got tackled at the waist! That’s not roughing the passer, that’s a normal sack! Are we seriously at the point in this league where legally tackling the Goat is a penalty? Is this two-hand touch? What do the zebras want the defender to do, gently lie him down on the grass and tuck him into bed? You don’t throw flags because your media darling starts whining after a legal football play! Atlanta’s comeback, like most others against Brady in his long career, was foiled due to refball. As a Bills fan, I know all about how this goes. All I need to do is reference their final drive last year in week 14. Way to let Tampa off the hook.


Steelers 3, Bills 38

Are you familiar with the Monty Python sketch where a professional rugby team takes on a bunch of 12-year-olds? That was this game. Pittsburgh had a chance at winning for about 3 plays. Then Josh Allen and his arm ended up happening. Not much they could do there. You’d think the offense would try to bounce back under Pickett, but yeah right, they got completely mauled by a Bills defense looking for someone to beat up on. The Bills were up by 28 at halftime, even with a red zone interception thrown by Allen. This Steelers’ defense is awful without TJ Watt, and this game showed it. They allowed over 400 yards of offense and 4 touchdowns in the first half. Back to the drawing board with these guys, they need it.


Dolphins 17, Jets 40

Dolphins fans, this is called karma. No, not what happened to Teddy Bridgewater early in the game, that was awful, but what happened afterward. The Dolphins were forced to play 7th-round pick, Skylar Thompson, for most of the game. This meant that their offense was about as flat as a map. Even the Jets will cash in on such opportunities. I’ll give the Dolphins credit for keeping it close for 3 quarters despite the injuries, but no one has any sympathy for anyone inside that organization not in the quarterback room. I will say, though, Breece Hall looks very good so far for the Jets. They may be getting out of the basement this year. However, their schedule gets a good bit tougher from this point forward. Let’s just say if they do well this year I’ll be pleasantly surprised.


Bears 22, Vikings 29

I don’t care what their record is, the Vikings are in serious trouble if this keeps up. They were facing the Bears, all their guys were healthy, and yet they still almost blew a 21-point lead to them. The offense has talent, but they are very inconsistent. They’ve had a cakewalk schedule, and it’ll get a good bit tougher as they face the Dolphins next week. The Vikings go to 4-1, but a pretty weak one.


Titans 21, Commanders 17

Two coaches who are past their expiration date with their current teams and are a burden anymore. Another ineptitude bowl!

Two mediocre teams enter, and only one comes out with an undeserved win. In these matches, whoever has more raw talent will come out on top, and that was Tennessee. This came in the form of Derrick Henry, who ran all over the FedEx landfill to have himself a game. The majority of the game was quite horrid. The two teams were a combined 5 for 25 on third downs. If that isn’t the recipe for ugly football, I don’t know what is. Even with the odds stacked against them, Washington still has a chance. They’re pushing into the red zone, and they can win with a touchdown. Unfortunately, this is when Commanders fans remember what quarterback they’re dealing with. Carson Wentz throws a terrible pick as time expires to gift the Titans an incredibly weak win. They lead the NFL’s tank division as a result. Well done, lads.

Seahawks 32, Saints 39

I’ve been impressed with how the Seahawks’ offense has performed these past few weeks. Sure, they may have faced bad defenses, but they’ve been humming along and putting up points under the guidance of Geno Smith, of all quarterbacks. They stuck to the script against the Saints, exposing their injured wreck of a defense for another stellar performance. I wish I could say the same about Seattle’s defense, who are frankly looking for any kind of excuse right now as to their performance on Sunday. They, too, stuck to their script of giving up prime real estate against a group without that great of an offense. It’s amazing how productive an offense can be run through one man. That man was Taysom Hill. With the injury to Famous Jameis, Hill got most of the workload today. He was so effective that he rushed for over 100 yards and 3 touchdowns against whatever Seattle is calling a defense. If the Saints keep this up, they’re making the playoffs with how weak the NFC is this year. They would be a rather quick out, but I’m intrigued to see how far they can go this year, especially with these kinds of performances.


49ers 37, Panthers 15

While watching this game, I decided to try a new device on the side called the Carolina fan engagement/apathy meter. It may have to work out the kinks as the Panthers do with Baker, but for now, it’s safe to launch. At 1-3, the Panthers are sputtering, and face their toughest test yet in San Francisco at home. Fans are so elated with their team’s progress that the stadium is barely half full for kickoff and most of those in attendance are Niners fans. At this point, fan enthusiasm was at about 40%. It would get progressively lower throughout the game. By halftime, the Niners had a commanding lead and the meter was reading about 20%. It would only get worse. By the end of the game, the Panthers had 37 points hung on them by an offense that isn’t exactly the most elite unit in the world, knocking that number down to 10%. You thought it would get better, silly, we’ll just have Baker Mayfield get spotted in a walking boot to bump optimism down even further. By this point, fan enthusiasm was so low that even my high-tech meter couldn’t get a reading. Next week, they get the Rams. The organization is hitting an all-time low as one of their better receivers, DJ Moore, wants out of this mess. I wouldn’t want to be on the Panthers either.

Wait, hold up, Carolina, I’m not done mocking you yet. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Matt Rhule has been fired after a 1-4 start. Honestly, it’s completely deserved. Rhule looked good in 2020, but 2021 exposed him thanks to his QB tandem. That’s not all, the Panthers also fired their D-coordinator, meaning that their interim coach is now… Steve Wilks. The guy who was the coach of the Cardinals during their tank bowl season. The guy who’s most notable accomplishment was screwing up Josh Rosen’s career. It’s going to be another long year in Charlotte. Buckle up.


Eagles 20, Cardinals 17

Behold, the first true test for the Eagles; facing off against the Cardinals on the road. The game got pretty hard to watch, as, besides a few drives in the first half, both defenses held firm for the most part. Philly even did their trademark thing of being useless on offense in the second half, but it was enough to get the win in the end. Why? Because Kliff Kingsbury can’t scheme. The Eagles were handing them chance after chance to win, but Kingsbury didn’t capitalize, despite the heroics of his quarterback. The Eagles are 5-0 and looking like one of the best teams in football. Arizona, though, falls under .500 again. Maybe they’re just mediocre.


Cowboys 22, Rams 10

The Rams need to be pressing the gigantic red panic button in Kroenke’s nuclear bunker right now. They were facing Cooper Rush, they were at home, and still found a way to play like trash. Although that might have something to do with the Cowboys’ defense, which has been lights out as of late. Even worse was in the second half. Dallas scored a total of six points in the 2nd half. When a team is that offensively inept, you’ve got to be able to put forth some kind of offensive production. Dallas gets their statement win as a result. Their offense still has a bunch of question marks, but if their defense can keep their torrid pace up, they don’t need to worry.


Bengals 17, Ravens 19

If it’s a match between two buffoons whose respective organizations fancy them as geniuses, is it still an ineptitude bowl? Let me take a closer look. Oh yeah, it’s an ineptitude bowl.

Two of the most overrated coaches in the league locking horns in a battle of mediocrity. The Bungles got off to a rough start but can take comfort that John Harbaugh enabled the Baltimore Collapse to extend to part of this week as well. The Ravens proceeded to blow the 10-point lead they accrued, which is child’s play compared to their other recent chokes. Cincy couldn’t finish them. Despite the Ravens handing them every opportunity in the book, Zac Taylor’s play-calling just couldn’t get the job done. They may have the lead by one with two minutes left, but they forgot which kicker is on the other side. This was no challenge for Justin Tucker, as the Ravens did the unthinkable and barely won a game they should have from the start. I still have serious doubts about them at the next level, but they move into sole possession of the AFC north crown as a result of this win. They can celebrate for a day.


Raiders 29, Chiefs 30

I don’t care about the outcome of this game, KC won a game in primetime that shouldn’t have been close. I don’t care about the blown 17-point lead. I don’t care about McDaniels being an idiot and going for two when an extra point would have tied with 4 minutes left. What I do care about is the blatant exhibition of refball on display during this game. What is roughing the passer anymore? Apparently landing on a quarterback the wrong way is a penalty now, even if it’s incidental contact. Even worse, it seems like the refs are giving out make-up calls now. Remember that holding penalty on a missed field goal that gave the Chiefs an extra set of downs and all but gifted them a touchdown? That wasn’t holding, it was a legal bullrush. The raiders had won this game. They deserved to win this game. And yet the refs screwed them over at the worst possible hour. They go to 1-4 as a result. My condolences to everyone in that organization- except for Davante Adams . The dude got upset over the last play and went out of his way to pancake a cameraman on his way off the field. That cameraman is now pressing charges. I understand the frustration over running into Renfrow and tripping on the last play of the game, but that doesn’t justify that level of action. Maybe if he stayed in Green Bay, he could have avoided this fate.


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