Hey everyone, Tyler Arthur here, welcome to my weekly NFL column.
I am going to be using this space to keep all of you guys up to date with what you may have missed in the NFL, the biggest takeaways and stats, and then preview the upcoming week and what I think you need to be watching next.
Thanks for reading, now let’s get into this week’s column.
I hope you’re all as excited as I am that NFL London has returned! Yes, Week 5 marked the return of the International Series.
The New York Jets faced the Atlanta Falcons at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to kick off the first of two consecutive, amazing Sundays. Football was on from 2:30pm to 5am (and way beyond due to a weather delay). Every single slate for the entire Sunday had good games, drama and storylines.
It was like heaven.
Anyway! A lot went on, so let’s get started. What happened This Week in the NFL?
NFL London – Jets @ Falcons
First things first, we had our Week 5 NFL London game. The Jets and Falcons came to the capital and put on a show. The Falcons absolutely schooled the Jets in the first half, and it looked set to be a bit of a blowout, at 20-3. However, as all Atlanta fans would remind you no matter the score, it’s not over until it’s over. The Jets found their feet more in the second half and managed to create some offense for themselves. Unfortunately, though, they just couldn’t do enough to keep pace with the Atlanta offense. A second strong week in a row for Cordarrelle Patterson was a highlight, but there was one clear star in that game.
Rookie TE Kyle Pitts had himself a day. His breakout game saw him catch 9 of his 10 targets for 119 yards and his first NFL touchdown. His performance stole the show as the Falcons held on to their lead. Probably my favourite play of the game came on the Falcons final drive. The Jets were threatening the comeback, and the Falcons came out needing to run the clock and stay on the field. On the first play, they ran play-action and threw a 36-yard post route to Pitts behind a run-committed defense. This set the tone and they won the game 27-20.
If you want to read my live-tweet coverage of the game, find it here:
So we started the season with our ‘Undefeated Watch’, but that doesn’t really work anymore… It’s Arizona’s world and we’re all just living in it.
Arizona Cardinals, 5-0.
This week’s victory came against their division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers. These NFC West divisional games are going to be huge all year, we’ve already had a fair few, including two this week, and they become more chaotic with every week. The Cardinals’ victory keeps them ahead of the pack, with just a handful of incredible teams sat behind them at 4-1. In Week 6 they have yet another tough matchup, travelling to Cleveland.
Winners and Losers
As we move on from the undefeated watch, it’s time to have a more comprehensive catchup for how the week went. Here, we’re going to just list who won and who lost, so you can see how the Week changed everybody’s records.
LA Rams (4-1)
Atlanta Falcons (2-3)
Minnesota Vikings (2-3)
New Orleans Saints (3-2)
New England Patriots (2-3)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1)
Green Bay Packers (4-1)
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3)
Philadelphia Eagles (2-3)
Tennessee Titans (3-2)
LA Chargers (4-1)
Chicago Bears (3-2)
Arizona Cardinals (5-0)
Dallas Cowboys (4-1)
Buffalo Bills (4-1)
Baltimore Ravens (4-1)
Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
New York Jets (1-4)
Detroit Lions (0-5)
Washington Football Team (2-3)
Houston Texans (1-4)
Miami Dolphins (1-4)
Cincinnati Bengals (3-2)
Denver Broncos (3-2)
Carolina Panthers (3-2)
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5)
Cleveland Browns (3-2)
Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)
San Francisco 49ers (2-3)
New York Giants (1-4)
Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)
Standout Individual Performers
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
73% completion rate, 411 yards and 5 TD’s.
If you were following the NFL this week, you already know that Tom Brady is the man of the hour. Just one week after a legacy-defining week, he had one of the most dominant performances of his career. He threw a whopping 411 yards, while absolutely embarrassing the Miami Dolphins. Everyone knows that Brady has owned the AFC East for the last two decades, but this was a statement. They were long gone in this game and he just kept throwing TD’s. Incredible.
Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7 receptions, 124 yards, 2 TD’s.
We can’t talk about Brady without appreciating the work that his buddy Antonio Brown did. As weird and wild as his career has been, he seems to be very much locked in again now and it showed this week. Miami couldn’t stop him. He pulled in 7 of his 8 targets and burnt the Dolphins for 124 yards and two scores. The Bucs look dangerous, and AB is a big part of that attack.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6 receptions, 113 yards, 2 TD’s.
Sorry Dolphins fans, I promise this is the last Buccaneer. How could I not, though. Between Brown and his teammate Mike Evans, they accounted for 237 yards and 4 TD’s. Evans’ 6 catches accounted for 113 of those and he also scored twice. Mike Evans was always Jameis Winston’s favourite ‘he’s down there somewhere’ target, but with Brady coming in, he hasn’t missed a beat.
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
11 receptions, 206 yards and a TD.
Wow. I had to group the Bucs up, but don’t worry, the best WR performance isn’t lost on me. Davante Adams absolutely decimated the poor Bengals defense. They double-teamed him constantly, and it literally did nothing. 16 targets turned into 11 catches and he couldn’t be contained. His 206 receiving yards were a career-high, and it seemed effortless. His connection with Rodgers is unparalleled and his talent is ridiculous. He is my favourite player in the NFL who doesn’t play for my team and this week he showed us all that he’s the best receiver in the league.
Kadarius Toney, New York Giants
10 receptions, 189 yards.
So many receivers went crazy this week! The most unexpected explosion came from the Giants’ first-rounder Kadarius Toney. He got 10 catches and looked really good when he had the ball in his hands. Creating separation well, good hands and solid route running, he ticked every box. There was an opportunity for him this week, with Sterling Shepherd and Darius Slayton both out and Kenny Golladay injured early, but he still deserves some real credit for taking advantage so well.
Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
8 receptions, 165 yards, 2 TD’s.
Making a return to our list, Mike Williams is having an incredible year. As of this moment, post-Week 5, the big-bodied receiver is genuinely playing like the best WR on the roster. He is killing it. For the second time in the year, he broke the 100 yard threshold, with a season-high 165 on 8 receptions. Those receptions came on an insane 16 targets – for a guy previously thought of as just a deep threat. He averaged 20 yards per reception, so he’s still not exactly a possession guy now, but he is so much more involved. His two TD’s were essential in winning the biggest shootout we’ve seen in 2021. He now leads the entire league with 6 receiving TD’s.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
29 rushes, 130 yards, 3TD’s.
Finally, on to the running backs! Once again we have a repeat offender – who could be on this list 10 times a season easily – Derrick Henry. The Titans RB dominated once again in a bounce-back game in Jacksonville. He rumbled for 130 yards on 29 carries and found the endzone three times. With Julio Jones injured and A.J Brown coming back to health, Henry carried Tennessee and got them the W.
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
17 rushes for 66 yards, 5 receptions for 51 yards, 3 total TD’s.
That shootout I mentioned had a whole lot of points. The biggest contributor to said points was Austin Ekeler. The Chargers’ star running back showed his incredible versatility on 22 touches, which he turned into 117 scrimmage yards while scoring three times. He scored 2 TD’s on the ground, having earned the redzone RB role despite being a smaller back, and got one more through the air.
Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
21 rushes, 161 yards and a TD.
Every shootout has two sides. Unfortunately, the Chargers won it. However, the Cleveland Browns put in a valiant effort and he had one of, if not the, best runs of the day. He went 52 yards on that one incredible breakaway TD and totalled 161 yards overall. Even though they lost Nick Chubb needed recognition for running like a man possessed.
Everson Griffen, Minnesota Vikings
4 combined tackles, 2 sacks and a forced fumble.
The best defensive performance of the week goes to Everson Griffen, the veteran edge rusher for the Minnesota defense wreaked havoc on the Detroit Lions, who lost a heartbreaker this week. He recorded two sacks within his four combined tackles, and forced a fumble early in the game.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
442 yards and 4 TD passes in a dramatic comeback win.
I had to wake up and give a little love to a couple of Monday Night Football performers here before the column went live. Lamar Jackson and his team didn’t get anything going in the first half, but down the stretch, wow. They were losing 22-3 with three minutes left in the third quarter. Lamar than proceeded to explode, finishing the game with 500 all-purpose yards, 442 of them coming through the air and resulting in 4 Touchdowns. I posed the question last week, are all Ravens prime time games going to be automatically must-watch exciting games? The answer is yes. Lamar Jackson is largely responsible for that.
Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
11 receptions, 147 yards, 2 Touchdowns.
Jackson couldn’t do it on his own, though. His right-hand man in the comeback was Mark Andrews. The Ravens TE saw 13 targets and pulled in 11 of them. Those receptions turned into 147 yards. He also scored two touchdowns, including the most important of the game – which he also converted for 2 more points – to tie the game and take it to overtime. This epic performance was just as essential as his quarterback’s in securing the OT win. Andrews has been up and down this year, but in Week 5 he had an incredible performance, no doubt.
Games to watch back
Cleveland Browns @ Los Angeles Chargers
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs
Green Bay Packers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens
Stat Leaders Through Week 5
Passing Yards – Tom Brady, 1767
Passing TD’s – Patrick Mahomes, 16
Rushing Yards – Derrick Henry, 640
Rushing TD’s – Derrick Henry, 7
Receiving Yards – Davante Adams, 579
Receiving TD’s – Mike Williams
Total TD’s – Austin Ekeler and Derrick Henry, 7
Tackles (combined) – Denzel Perryman, 60
Sacks – Myles Garrett, 7.0
Interceptions – Trevon Diggs, 6
Week 6 Preview – What to watch
Week 6 Best Games
Chargers @ Ravens, 6pm
Cardinals @ Browns, 9:05pm
Bills @ Titans, MNF
Week 6 – Storylines and who to watch
The second and final London game! Dolphins @ Jaguars, 2:30pm
Can Arizona remain undefeated against a tough Cleveland team? Cardinals @ Cleveland, 9:05pm
Big NFC North rivalry clash at Soldier Field. Packers @ Bears, 6pm
Who responds after their absolutely heartbreaking losses? Bengals @ Lions, 6pm
Can the high-flying Chargers keep their momentum? Chargers @ Ravens, 6pm
Which AFC West team will bounce back after losing their hot-start? Raiders @ Denver, 9:25pm
Epic MNF clash, Josh Allen and co. vs Derrick Henry and co., Bills @ Titans, MNF