The Good, The Bad And The NFL
Are we already on Week 5 of the NFL Season? So many BIG Games this week and so many players to watch! Will the Jacksonville Jaguars DEFENSE stand up in Carolina? Will Minchew Mania continue to thrive? What will the Buccaneers do this week and will the Dolphins EVER win a game?
Week 5 of the NFL’s 100th season kicks off on Thursday, October 3 (8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFL Network/Amazon Prime), as the Los Angeles Rams travel to CenturyLink Field to visit the Seattle Seahawks in an NFC West showdown. Los Angeles and Seattle meet for the 42nd time in the regular season, with the Seahawks holding the all-time series advantage, 23-18. The Rams defeated Seattle by a combined seven points across both matchups in 2018, winning 33-31 in Seattle in Week 5 and 36-31 in Los Angeles in Week 10.
The NFL has designated the Bills-Titans game (1:00 PM ET, CBS) as the NFL100 Game of the Week to remember the Music City Miracle during the 1999 playoffs. On January 8, 2000, in Nashville, ROB JOHNSON and the Bills climbed out of a 12-0 hole in the second half, on the strength of two ANTOWAIN SMITH rushing touchdowns. After STEVE McNAIR led a go-ahead field-goal drive with 1 minute, 48 seconds, on the fourth-quarter clock, giving the Titans a 15-13 advantage, Johnson answered. Having lost his shoe with no time to put it back on his foot, Johnson completed a sideline pass to PEERLESS PRICE, who stopped the clock at the Titans’ 24-yard line. With 16 seconds left, STEVE CHRISTIE’s 41-yard kick put Buffalo on top, 16-15. Then, it happened. … The brainchild of Titans special-teams coordinator ALAN LOWRY, “Home Run Throwback” was executed several times in practice after Lowry first saw it at a 1981 SMU-Texas Tech game. The key cog in the play, FRANK WYCHECK, had thrown a 61-yard touchdown three weeks earlier at Atlanta; offensive coordinator LES STECKEL installed that play after watching Wycheck killing time at practice by throwing the ball with Pro Football Hall of Famer BRUCE MATTHEWS … Christie’s pooch kickoff went to LORENZO NEAL, who handed off to a trailing Wycheck, drawing most of the Bills’ kick coverage. Wycheck then lateraled across the field to KEVIN DYSON, who returned the ball 70 yards for the game-winning touchdown as Tennessee prevailed, 22-16, en route to a berth in Super Bowl XXXIV.
QUARTERBACKS NOT ONLY GETTING YOUNGER, THEY’RE ALSO WINNING: Pittsburgh quarterback MASON RUDOLPH earned his first NFL win as a starter on Monday. In fact, 11 of the 15 winning clubs this past week had a starting field general who has yet to see his 27th birthday. The Steelers’ victory marked the 39th win by a starting quarterback age 26-or-younger this season.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR – WEEK 5
BRADY GOES FOR HISTORY: New England quarterback TOM BRADY ranks fourth in NFL history with 71,575 passing yards during his 20-year NFL career.
With 366 passing yards on Sunday at Washington (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Brady would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE (71,838) and PEYTON MANNING (71,940) for the second-most career passing yards in NFL history.
Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES, who leads the league with 1,510 passing yards, and Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN, who leads the NFC with 1,325 passing yards, have passed for at least 300 yards in each of their team’s first four games this season.
If Mahomes (vs. Indianapolis, 8:20 PM ET, NBC) or Ryan (at Houston, 1:00 PM ET, FOX) pass for at least 300 yards on Sunday, they would join Pro Football Hall of Famers KURT WARNER (6 in 2000) and STEVE YOUNG (6 in 1998), as well as PEYTON MANNING (5 in 2009 and 2013) as the only players in NFL history to pass for at least 300 yards in each of their team’s first five games of a season.
Pittsburgh quarterback MASON RUDOLPH completed 24 of 28 pass attempts (85.7 percent) for 229 yards with two touchdowns and a 124.6 passer rating in Week 4 to earn his first career victory as a starter. It also marked Rudolph’s third consecutive game with two touchdown passes.
With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday vs. Baltimore (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Rudolph would become the third player in NFL history to pass for at least two touchdowns in each of his first four career games.
Baltimore quarterback LAMAR JACKSON, who is tied for the league lead with 10 touchdown passes, also leads all quarterbacks with 238 rushing yards this season. Including his 695 rushing yards – the most among quarterbacks in 2018 – Jackson now has 933 career rushing yards in 20 career games.
With 67 rushing yards in his 21st career game on Sunday at Pittsburgh (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Jackson would tie ROBERT GRIFFIN III (21 games) as the fastest quarterback to reach 1,000 career rushing yards in NFL history.
Tampa Bay linebacker SHAQUIL BARRETT leads the NFL with nine sacks through four weeks in 2019. Barrett, who notched one sack in Week 1, three sacks in Week 2 and four sacks in Week 3, added yet another sack to his total, as well as an interception and a forced fumble, in the Buccaneers’ Week 4 win.
With one sack on Sunday at New Orleans (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Barrett would join Pro Football Hall of Famer KEVIN GREENE (1998) as the only players to reach 10 sacks in their team’s first five games of a season since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.
New England defensive back DEVIN McCOURTY leads the NFL with four interceptions this season, having recorded one interception in each of the Patriots’ first four games of 2019.
With an interception on Sunday at Washington (1:00 PM ET, CBS), McCourty would become the third player in the Super Bowl era to record at least one interception in his each of his team’s first five games of a season.