Updated: Oct 13
We had another exciting week in the National Football League, but also one of much controversy. We witnessed several discussions about the league's roughing the passer rules, after questionable calls in two separate games during week five. In other news, we saw the first head coach firing of the season and observed multiple teams continue to get hit by the injury bug. Before week six kicks off with the Commanders and the Bears matching up, let's take one last look at week five.
Top Games from Week 5
Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints
Seattle was involved in a shootout on the road yet again; this time against Andy Dalton and the Saints. The Saints have been a victim of the injury bug thus far. Missing Alvin Kamara in several games, and playing Sunday without Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas, and Jarvis Landry. The Seahawks offense, on the other hand, has been rolling with Geno Smith at the helm. New Orleans opened the scoring in this contest, taking a 3-0 lead after their first drive. Seattle responded just five plays later with Geno Smith finding DK Metcalf for a fifty-yard touchdown. Seattle extended their lead late in the first quarter on a field goal from Jason Myers, giving them a 10-3 lead heading into the second quarter. That’s where the fireworks began offensively. The Saints relied upon swiss army knife, Taysom Hill often. Hill knotted the game up at ten after his first of four total touchdowns on the day. A few drives later, New Orleans was able to get the ball after Seattle’s punter appeared to decide to take off and run for the first down. The attempt was unsuccessful, to say the least. Dalton and the offense regained possession inside the RedZone. Two plays later, Hill scored once again, giving the Saints their first lead of the day 17-10. Under two minutes later, Seattle cut into the deficit after another field goal from Myers. On the ensuing drive, the Seahawks recovered an Alvin Kamara fumble, setting them up at midfield. In just three plays, Geno Smith found Tyler Lockett from thirty-five yards out for his second touchdown pass of the day. Upon an unsuccessful PAT, Seattle took a 19-17 lead into the half. That lead quickly disappeared though, as the Saints turned Seattle over on the first play of the half. Dalton took advantage quickly, finding rookie Chris Olave for a sixteen-yard touchdown to regain the lead. Seattle’s offense continued to struggle in the third quarter as they were unable to score during the period. Late into the third, the Saints went to Hill once again. This time, as the Quarterback though. After a fifty-four-yard reception from Kamara, Hill found Adam Trautman two plays later for a twenty-two-yard touchdown. The Saints now led 31-19 heading into the fourth. Just three plays into their next drive, Seattle cut the deficit to six following Tyler Lockett’s second touchdown of the day. After forcing a punt, Seattle then took the lead on just two plays. Rookie running back Kenneth Walker III was able to break free for a career-long sixty-nine-yard touchdown, putting Pete Carroll’s team back on top. Quick responses from both offenses were a continual theme for the game. This was no different for the Saints’ game-winning score; which came just three plays later after Taysom Hill secured his fourth score of the day. This time, running sixty yards for the go-ahead and eventual game-winning score. After forcing Smith and Seattle to punt with 3:28 remaining, Dalton and the Saints ran out the clock and secured the victory.
Los Angeles Chargers vs Cleveland Browns
The Browns were in another game that ended dramatically, a recurring story for them thus far in 2022. Hosting the Chargers in Cleveland, the Browns quickly jumped out to a 14-0 lead. But, the Chargers didn’t go away. Herbert and the offense were able to score a field goal towards the end of the first and then find the endzone under two minutes into the second quarter. Trailing 14-10, the Chargers' defense forced a three-and-out for Brissett and the Browns. Which led to Herbert hooking up with Austin Ekeler to give Los Angeles their first lead of the day at 17-14. However, the Chargers had no answer for Nick Chubb as he scored his second of two touchdowns on the day, giving the Browns a 21-17 lead at the break. The Chargers retook the lead on the opening drive of the half in ten plays as Ekeler scampered into the endzone for his second score of the afternoon. After going up 24-21, the Chargers were able to turn the Browns over on downs in their territory. Giving Herbert and the offense the ball just outside of the RedZone. The offense was unable to fully capitalize though, adding just a field goal to their three-point lead. On the ensuing drive, Cleveland retook the lead after an eleven-play drive. The running backs continued to dominate the game as Kareem Hunt found paydirt for the Browns’ go-ahead score. The Chargers possessed the ball as the third quarter ended, and after a thirteen-play drive that lasted nearly six and a half minutes, they were back on top 30-28 after a field goal. Cleveland got the ball back and looked to be in a position to get back on top. Until, the Chargers' defense made their biggest play of the day, intercepting Jacoby Brissett inside the ten-yard line. Herbert and the offense were able to force Cleveland to use all three timeouts. But the game wasn’t over yet. Facing a 4th and one at their forty-six-yard line, Staley chose to keep the offense on the field. A decision that nearly cost them. After an unsuccessful try on fourth down, the Browns were in prime position; in need of just a field goal to win, and only ten yards or so outside of field goal range. Cleveland was able to secure one first down, setting up Cade York for a potential game-winning kick from fifty-four yards out. The kick took off wide right and stayed that way as York’s kick was no good. The Chargers hung on for the victory even through their questionable decision-making.
Josh Allen QB, Buffalo Bills
Allen continued to boost his MVP odds with another impressive performance against the Steelers this week. Allen finished with a season-high four-hundred and twenty-four passing yards, his second four-hundred-yard game of the season. Allen also threw four touchdowns and tied the team-high in rushing with forty-two yards. Allen now leads the league in passing yards and is second in passing touchdowns as his Bills sit at 4-1.
Breece Hall RB, New York Jets
The Jets’ 2022 first-round pick looks to have finally separated himself from teammate Michael Carter. Hall posted a career-high in both receiving and rushing yards against a tough Miami defense. Hall finished with ninety-seven yards on the ground and one-hundred receiving along with one total touchdown. The Jets were unstoppable against a stifling Dolphins defense, largely due to the rookie’s production. After a career day, we likely see Hall continue to gain a larger role in the offense.
Austin Ekeler RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Ekeler built on an impressive week four performance by combining for just under two hundred total yards (199). Ekeler ran for one-hundred and seventy-three yards on just sixteen attempts, good for nearly eleven yards per carry (10.8) and one touchdown. Ekeler was dynamic in the passing game as usual too. Tallying four receptions–good for second most on the team–for twenty-six yards and catching Justin Herbert’s only touchdown pass of the day. After back-to-back brilliant performances, Ekeler looks to be finding his groove.
Nick Chubb RB, Cleveland Browns
No defense has been able to contain Chubb thus far, including the Chargers Sunday. Chubb ran for one-hundred and thirty-four yards and scored two touchdowns, making that four one-hundred-yard games for Chubb this season. Chubb also posted a season high in yards per carry, at just under eight (7.9). The Georgia product now sits atop the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns.
Leonard Fournette RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers continue to struggle running the ball, but fortunately, they’ve been able to get their running backs the ball through the air. That was the case for Fournette against Atlanta. The Super Bowl champion led the team in both carries and receptions, combining for twenty-four total touches. Fournette ran fourteen times for fifty-six yards and scored his first rushing touchdown of the season. Recording a team-high ten receptions, he was able to produce eighty-three yards and haul in Tom Brady’s only passing touchdown of the afternoon.
Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints
Taysom Hill continues to do it all for the Saints, scoring four total touchdowns in Sunday’s win against Seattle. Hill ran for a team-high one-hundred and twelve yards on just nine carries; he also scored all three of the team’s rushing touchdowns. Hill was making explosive plays even with limited touches, proving to be most lethal around the goal line. However, Taysom Hill also reminded defenses that he can play Quarterback too. Hill threw his first pass of the season and was able to connect with Adam Trautman for a twenty-two-yard touchdown. In a shootout with the Seahawks, Taysom shined.
Patriots Defense vs Detroit Lions
Coming into week five the Detroit Lions were the number-one scoring offense in the NFL. Even through the injuries of D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit’s offense has been on fire. However, Bill Belichick and the Patriots completely shut them down. New England shut out the Lions’ offense and created multiple turnovers. The Patriots picked off Jared Goff once and forced him to fumble the ball, which led to a touchdown return by Safety Kyle Dugger. The defense harassed Goff all, adding two sacks to an already outstanding performance.
Travis Kelce TE, Kansas City Chiefs
Kelce finished Monday night’s game with a career-high four touchdowns, on just seven total catches. Kelce’s yardage won’t blow you away–just twenty-five yards–but in the RedZone, the Raiders couldn’t contain him. Kelce was able to set a new team record for receiving touchdowns by a Tight End with his performance (cbssports.com).
Injuries and News:
Matt Rhule fired by the Panthers
Carolina has decided to part ways with Head Coach Matt Rhule, after an embarrassing 37-15 defeat against the 49ers. The Panthers are now 1-4 through this point in the season and have decided to make a change after their early struggles. Steve Wilks will now take over for Carolina as the Interim Head Coach. Rhule held a record of 11-27 during his three-season tenure with the Panthers.
James Conner RB, Arizona Cardinals
Conner exited Sunday’s game against the Eagles with a rib injury and was unable to return to the game. Conner’s injury was described as “day-to-day” by Head Coach, Kliff Kingsbury. However, as of Wednesday Conner has yet to participate in practice. Conner’s availability in practice will be something to monitor as we get closer to Sunday.
Marcus Williams S, Baltimore Ravens
Williams suffered a dislocated wrist during Sunday night’s victory against the Bengals. As a result, the Ravens have placed their prized free-agent acquisition on the injured reserve. Williams will be sidelined for at least the next four games but is expected to return at a later point this season. A tough hit for a Ravens secondary that has been inconsistent thus far.
Baker Mayfield QB, Carolina Panthers
Mayfield sustained a sprained ankle during Sunday’s game against the 49ers and is expected to be out for some time. According to ESPN, tests on Mayfield’s ankle revealed no structural damage, but the former number-one pick is expected to be out for anywhere from two to six weeks. With Mayfield out, the Panthers will turn to former XFL Quarterback, PJ Walker.
Rashaad Penny RB, Seattle Seahawks
Penny left Sunday’s game against the Saints with what was said to be a “serious injury” at the time. Unfortunately, Penny broke his fibula and sustained an injury to his tibia; Penny will miss the rest of the season and has already undergone surgery on his fibula (fieldgulls.com). This is a tough blow for Penny, who was playing out a one-year contract with the Seahawks. The former first-round pick is slated to be a free agent in March and is expected to be healthy around that time.
Chris Olave WR, New Orleans Saints
Olave suffered a concussion during the third quarter of Sunday’s victory over Seattle. The rookie receiver hit his head hard on the field while catching a touchdown pass from Andy Dalton and did not return to the game. Olave has been going through the league’s concussion protocol this week and has been practicing in a non-contact and limited capacity thus far. Olave’s progression through the concussion protocols will determine if he is available for week six. As of now, Olave is listed as questionable.
Tee Higgins WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Higgins was questionable before Sunday night’s game against the Ravens with an ankle injury. Higgins re-injured his ankle in the first quarter of the game and was sidelined for the remainder of the evening. Higgins is considered day-to-day according to coach Zac Taylor but has yet to practice this week. Higgins is currently listed as questionable, his availability for week six will be more clear as the week progresses. Update: Higgins did not practice Thursday
Emmanuel Moseley CB, San Francisco 49ers
Moseley exited Sunday’s win versus the Panthers with a knee injury that was feared to be a torn ACL. Upon undergoing an MRI, the 49ers' original fears were confirmed. Moseley was diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the season. The 49ers have continued to be hit with injuries and now their secondary will take another hit.
Teddy Bridgewater QB, Miami Dolphins
Bridgewater left Sunday’s loss to the Jets early with a head injury and was held out for the remainder of the game with a concussion. Bridgewater is continuing to progress through the NFL’s concussion protocols via NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and will practice Thursday in a limited and non-contact fashion. As of now, it appears that rookie Skylar Thompson will get the start versus the Vikings in week six. If Bridgewater is cleared to play, he’ll likely be the backup QB for Sunday’s game.
Damien Harris RB, New England Patriots
Harris left week five’s matchup versus Detroit after just four carries and did not return. Harris is suffering a hamstring injury at the moment and was originally expected to miss multiple weeks. However, Harris’ status is looking better after he was a limited participant during Wednesday’s practice. It does not appear right now that Harris will play in week six versus the Browns, but his status for the coming weeks is now unknown.
Pat Freiermuth TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
Freiermuth left week five’s blowout loss against the Bills early with a concussion and did not return. Like other players dealing with a head injury, Freiermuth will have to go through the league’s concussion protocols. But, the Steelers listed Freiermuth as a limited participant for Wednesday’s practice, suggesting that he is further along in the process. With this information, it appears that he is in line to play Sunday against Tampa. But, his participation in practice will still be something to monitor.
Nick Bosa DE, San Francisco 49ers
Bosa left the 49ers game on Sunday with a groin injury that was later diagnosed as a strained groin. Bosa was unable to play in the second half of the game. San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said that Bosa’s injury is “day-to-day,” which is a positive sign for Bosa and the 49ers. Bosa’s participation level in practice will be one to monitor ahead of their week six matchup with the Falcons.
Darren Waller TE, Las Vegas Raiders
Waller was on the field for just eight total plays before leaving Monday night’s game against the Chiefs with a hamstring injury (raiderswire.usatoday.com). Waller did not return to Monday’s game, but it does not appear that he will miss a lot of time with the injury. With the Raiders having a bye week in week six, this gives Waller a great opportunity to heal and prepare for a week seven faceoff with the Texans.
Denzel Ward CB, Cleveland Browns
Ward is one of several players currently in the NFL’s concussion protocols after weathering a head injury during the Browns’ loss to the Chargers. The young star corner for Cleveland remains in concussion protocol according to Head Coach Keven Stefanski (FoxSports.com). It does not appear right now that Ward will be able to suit up in week six against New England. There was no official update for Ward’s availability regarding week six as of yesterday, so his progression through league protocols will be something to watch.
*All stats were received from ESPN's stats & info. department
*Injury news and updates were received from ESPN, CBS Sports and Fox Sports