Welcome to another instalment of my weekly NFL Column. My goal is to watch everything so that you don’t have to. I will present to you the best games to watch back; the craziest moments; the best individual performances and the season-long stat leaders and records. I will also be previewing the upcoming gameweek, too.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in, check in each week.
Not everybody in the UK has the ability to watch almost 20 hours of live NFL every week, but I’ll make sure you don’t miss anything you’d wish you didn’t. Without further delay…
This is what happened This Week in the NFL.
Game of the Week
If you can only watch one full game in its entirety, watch this one:
Seattle Seahawks @ New Orleans Saints
This was an incredibly fun one, so you know what to do. Go and have a little watch of the Game in 40, or the highlights at the very least, then report back for the spoilers.
No, seriously, watch it.
Man, what a wild game.
The Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints are both in weird situations, right now, both within the immediate aftermath of their Hall of Fame QB’s leaving them – admittedly, under different circumstances. The Seahawks have come up with a bit of a minor resurgence, under Geno Smith, while the Saints have been trying to take the onus off their quarterback(s) as much as possible.
This week, they met in a high-scoring, exciting matchup. The star of the show was Taysom Hill, who went absolutely ballistic.
Seahawks 32 – 39 Saints
In this game, there were five passing TD’s, and only one of them was less than 20 yards. We had a 50-yard TD from DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett hauled in a 40-yarder and a 35-yard pass. And, also, as if that wasn’t enough – when it came down to the final moments of the game, in the fourth quarter – Kenneth Walker and Taysom Hill also joined the fun.
With the score at 25-31, the Seahawks rookie halfback broke a massive 69-yard run bouncing a left-side run all the way across to the right. Inspired by the epic run from Walker, Taysom Hill followed suit, and broke a 60-yarder of his own. The Saints won by 7, almost exclusively off the work of Hill, the swiss-army knife.
Hill will feature very prominently in the Standouts section, shortly, but he was responsible for 4 of the 5 touchdowns that the Saints scored in the one-score win. Alvin Kamara also had a very notable bounce back game, with 100 yards rushing himself.
Other games to watch back
Los Angeles Chargers @ Cleveland Browns
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers
Upset of the Week
The result of this game wasn’t necessarily a massive upset, as these two teams both entered the week at 1-3, but the scoreline is not what a single person would have expected.
Detroit Lions 0 – 29 New England Patriots
The Lions entered this week as the highest scoring team in the NFL, averaging an incredibly impressive 35 points per game. Then this week rolled around. The highest-scoring offense in the league scored 0 points. The Patriots defense held Jared Goff to just 229 yards and also forced two turnovers on him, one interception and one lost fumble, which resulted in a TD. The Lions’ 330 total offensive yards is about 100 shy of their average through the first month, but they just couldn’t sustain a drive enough to find the end zone.
In their defense, they could probably have kicked at least three or four field goals in the second half, but their defense isn’t good enough to allow them such a luxury. Ironically, if you offered Detroit the Patriots’ 29 points, they might have taken it, with how their O was playing.
Was this Belichick brilliance, or a Matt Patricia revenge game? Either way, this was a very surprising result, especially with a 4th-round QB thrust into the starting role for New England.
Winners and Losers
Indianapolis Colts (2-2-1)
New York Giants (4-1)
Buffalo Bills (4-1)
Los Angeles Chargers (3-2)
Minnesota Vikings (4-1)
New England Patriots (2-3)
New Orleans Saints (2-3)
New York Jets (3-2)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2)
Tennessee Titans (3-2)
Houston Texans (1-3-1)
San Francisco 49ers (3-2)
Dallas Cowboys (4-1)
Philadelphia Eagles (5-0)
Baltimore Ravens (3-2)
Kansas City Chiefs (4-1)
Denver Broncos (2-3)
Green Bay Packers (3-2)
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4)
Cleveland Browns (2-3)
Detroit Lions (1-4)
Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
Miami Dolphins (3-2)
Atlanta Falcons (2-3)
Washington Commanders (1-4)
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)
Carolina Panthers (1-4)
Los Angeles Rams (2-3)
Arizona Cardinals (2-3)
Cincinnati Bengals (2-3)
Las Vega Raiders (1-4)
The Philadelphia Eagles, man. They’re really doing it.
They are 5-0 and they are looking real good. In Week 6, we get to see just how far this could go. After a 20-17 win over 2021’s last undefeated team, the Eagles now set their sights on the 4-1 Dallas Cowboys.
Dallas are the only team between Philly and the potential of a very deep run without losing. They’ll be taking it one game at a time, but if per chance, they win this week, they then follow that fixture with Pittsburgh, then Houston, then Washington… Those three teams have one win each, so if Dallas can’t get the job done, this segment could feature in another month’s worth of these columns.
However, this one. This section is sadly over.
The Houston Texans won a game of football. It may not help them much, in the long run, to do so, but they did it. Jacksonville were trying to get some footing in the AFC South, with the Colts struggling, but they tripped up against a team who were struggling even more.
It wasn’t exactly a blowout, admittedly, as Houston won in a quiet affair, ending 13-6. Dameon Pierce was the MVP of this one, with his 99 rushing yards and his 3rd TD of the season providing the winning blow.
Standout Individual Performers
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
7 receptions on 8 targets for 25 yards and 4 TD’s.
Yes, you read that stat line correctly. It takes a very impressive stat line to make it atop this list when you played in Monday Night Football, as I do most of my research and writing on Monday, but this MNF had multiple exceptions. Travis Kelce had what we call the redzone stat line. He was targeted 8 times and caught 7 of them. Those 7 catches turned into a meager 25 yards. However, they were valuable yards. Kelce caught 7 passes and scored 4 touchdowns.The Chiefs won by just a single point, 30-29 – making Kelce’s 24 points pretty damn impactful.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
67% completion rate, 292 passing yards and 4 TD’s.
You might have been able to put the math together on this, but Patrick Mahomes also had a pretty good game, throwing 4 TD’s. After a slow start for Kansas City, the 27-year-old signal caller stayed patient and worked back from 17-0 down. All of his TD’s may have been to Kelce, but he still put up 267 yards on top of his favourite target’s 25. He is starting to build rapport with Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster, too, which is a scary prospect.
Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints
9 carries for 112 rushing yards and 3 TD’s. 1/1 for a 22 yard TD pass. 69 return yards. 24 points scored on 23 snaps.
This is one of the most difficult entries I will ever have to write for this segment, ever. Taysom Hill is a QB, by his own beliefs. However, he is a lot more than that. This week he served as a running back, a QB and a special teamer, excelling at all three roles. So let’s try and cover all of it. He rushed the ball 9 times for 112 rushing yards, including his 60-yard game-winning touchdown. That TD was just one of his three rushing scores. He also had one passing attempt, where he found Adam Trautman slipping behind a clearly run-focused defense for a 22-yard score. If that’s not enough for you, he also put in work on special teams, including 3 returns for 69 yards. 24 points on 23 snaps is absolutely ridiculous.
Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills
3 receptions on 6 targets for 171 receiving yards and 2 TD’s.
There are big plays and then there are mean plays. Gabe Davis had one of each. On the very first drive of the entire game, a muffed kickoff left the Bills on their own 2-yard-line, but that didn’t cause them much of an issue. Josh Allen fired a laser beam to Davis for a 98-yard touchdown, to start the game. Later on, in the 3rd quarter, Allen put up another deep ball for Davis and he snagged it with one hand, before wrestling the ball out of the hands of a defender who tried to intercept it. 171 receiving yards on 3 catches is very impressive, and that one-handed grab was epic. A huge day for Davis.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
65% completion rate, 424 passing yards and 4 TD’s with 1 INT, plus 5 carries for 42 rushing yards.
As much as I put Davis first for completing some epic highlight-reel plays, there’s also another 295 yards of offense from number 17 that I haven’t been able to talk about yet. Josh Allen once again proved that he is truly one of the absolute best players in the league. The Buffalo offense is so potent, and he is at the centre of all of it. Allen could easily have thrown for 500+ yards in this game, without any shadow of a doubt, but the Steelers put up so little of a fight that Sean McDermott took his foot off the gas to keep everyone healthy. Allen threw 4 TD’s and one interception and got it going on the ground for a cool 42 yards. The Bills walked their way to a dominant 38-3 victory and move onto next week ready to go.
Dyami Brown, Washington Commanders
2 receptions. 2 TD’s… 105 yards.
In a similar vein to Gabe Davis and his highlight reel for the week, Washington’s second-year wide receiver had an equally all-or-nothing approach. Dyami Brown only caught the ball two times, but he made pretty good use of these touches. His two receptions were a 75-yard TD and a 30-yard TD respectively. Unfortunately, the Commanders couldn’t capitalise on the big day for their 2021 3rd-rounder, but he still needs a shoutout – and more targets!
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
16 carries for 173 rushing yards and a TD, plus 4 receptions on 4 targets for 26 yards and a TD.
When you rank running backs who excel in both the running game and passing game, Austin Ekeler is one of the people at the very top of the list. However, he has often found himself doing more damage through the air than on the ground. That is why it’s always super exciting to see him have a big rushing day. This week he had 20 touches, 16 rushing and 4 receptions. His receiving was actually fairly normal, with just 26 receiving yards. His running, though, was incredibly efficient. He turned his 16 carries into 173 rushing yards, including one massive 71-yard breakaway. Ekeler also managed to score twice, with one coming as a receiver and one rushing.
Breece Hall, New York Jets
18 carries for 97 rushing yards and a TD, plus 2 receptions for 100 receiving yards.
One of the most eye-catching statlines of the season, Jets rookie Breece Hall had by far the best day of his young career this week. Another RB performance involving both phases of the offense, Hall managed to accrue 97 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in the same game. His only TD came in the run game, which is surprising, as one of his catches went for 79 yards – an impressive number of yards to get without scoring. Hall is the clear RB1 and is getting the ball in his hands more than anyone else in this team, which is great, because he can make magic happen when he has the ball.
Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
17 carries for 134 rushing yards and 2 TD’s.
A running back who doesn’t quite have the same dual-threat, Nick Chubb still had a great week, with his rushing work. He carried the ball 17 times, converting those into 134 rushing yards and 2 TD’s in a very unfortunate loss. I think that if Nick Chubb had 18 or maybe even 19 carries, the Browns would have either won this game, or at least forced the Chargers to do something special. They opted instead to pass the ball and Jacoby Brissett threw an interception that they ultimately couldn’t recover from.
Bradley Chubb, Denver Broncos
7 combined tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
From one Chubb to another. Denver’s Bradley Chubb had an incredible performance this week, despite being part of an incredibly dull TNF game, he was electric. He made 4 solo tackles and had 3 assists, in the 9-12 loss. He put up 2.5 sacks and forced a fumble, in his massive performance.
DeForest Buckner, Indianapolis Colts
8 combined tackles, 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble, plus 1 pass defended.
What do you expect when you’re reviewing a game that ended 9-12. There were good defensive performances on both sides. The Indianapolis defensive effort was spearheaded by DeForest Buckner, who managed to make 4 solo tackles and had 4 assists. He had 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble, too, making Russell Wilson’s already miserable day that little bit worse. Yes, Chubb had the extra half sack, but Buckner’s team took home the W, so you can decide who had a better week.
Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
21 carries for 154 rushing yards and a TD.
The Raiders may have lost this week, but Josh Jacobs put in his second-straight gutsy performance. In an attempt to protect the lead, he ran hard, averaging 7.3 yards per carry, his best game of the year. Last week he put up 144 yards and then he followed it up with 154 this week. He also scored a touchdown, his third in two weeks. There aren’t many players in the league in better form than Jacobs right now.
Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders
3 receptions on 7 targets for 124 receiving yards and 2 TD’s.
It’s somewhat impressive for two players to have big performances on the same losing team, but the Raiders are losing in special ways right now. Their marquee acquisition of the offseason, Davante Adams had a big day, despite just having 3 receptions. He had 124 yards on his 3 catches, including a big touchdown catch on a ballsy 4th and 1 throw by Derek Carr. This would have been a very different entry if his ‘catch’ on the final drive of the game was ruled a completion, as he would have an extra 16 yards and the Raiders would likely have won.
Stat Leaders Through Week 5
Passing Yards – Josh Allen BUF, 1651
Passing TD’s – Patrick Mahomes KC, 15
Rushing Yards – Nick Chubb CLE, 593
Rushing TD’s – Nick Chubb CLE, 7
Receiving Yards – Justin Jefferson MIN, 547
Receiving TD’s – Travis Kelce KC, 7
Total TD’s – Nick Chubb CLE and Travis Kelce KC, 7
Tackles (combined) – Jordyn Brooks SEA, Zaire Franklin IND and Roquan Smith CHI, 54
Sacks – Nick Bosa SF, Maxx Crosby LVR, Matt Judon NE, Micah Parsons DAL, 6.0
Interceptions – Jordan Poyer BUF, 4
Week 6 Preview – What to watch
Teams on Bye – First Bye of the Season
Las Vegas Raiders
Week 6 Best Games
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs, 9:25 PM
Baltimore Ravens @ New York Giants, 6:00 PM
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles, SNF
Tyler’s Bold Week 6 Prediction
The Buffalo Bills will win at Arrowhead in a two-posession game.
Week 6 Storylines
Is it physically possible to have a worse Thursday night game than last week? Commanders @ Bears, TNF
Might this turn out to be an AFC Championship game preview? Bills @ Chiefs, 9:25 PM
Two teams off to good starts meet in a cross-conference battle. Ravens @ Giants, 6pm
Who will finish Week 6 on top of the NFC East? Cowboys @ Eagles, SNF
After holding the highest-scoring offense in the league to 0 points, what does the New England defense have in store for Cleveland? Patriots @ Browns, 6pm
Carolina’s first game post-Matt Rhule comes in a very difficult matchup. Panthers @ Rams, 9:25 PM
No bye week after a London game for Green Bay, will it affect them? Jets @ Packers, 6pm
Can Denver get themselves together, visiting their banged-up division rivals? Broncos @ Chargers, MNF