1. Patriots dominate the Bengals 43-17 and Tom Brady surpasses 50,000 yards. The Patriots outgained the Bengals 505-320 in total yards, 220 of those on the ground. New England also allowed zero third down conversions the whole game. A superb performance just one week after their 41-14 loss to Kansas City sparked criticism.
2. Browns rally from 25-point deficit to stun Titans at home. It was the largest comeback in league history by a road team.
3. WR Demaryius Thomas 8 receptions for 226 yards (franchise record), 2 TDs vs. ARI
4. Broncos’ record-setting game. The Broncos had their best offensive output in franchise history (568 yards) against two of the best cornerbacks in the game, Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie. Peyton Manning set a career-high with 479 yards and threw his 500th touchdown pass, joining Brett Favre in the elite club. Finally, Wes Welker’s seven receptions moved him past Rod Smith for the most catches by an undrafted player (854).
5. RB Arian Foster 23 carries for 157 yards, 2 TDs vs. DAL
Worst of the Worst
1. Jets obliterated by the Chargers 31-0. QB Geno Smith was benched at halftime. New York didn’t make it past the 50-yard line until 7:35 left in the fourth quarter, which was only thanks to a 33-yard pass interference call. They had only four first downs through three quarters. At the game’s conclusion, the Jets had run 54 plays for 151 total yards (2.8 yards per play), committed 12 penalties for 94 yards and two turnovers, and gone 1/12 on third down.
2. Bears blow 14-point lead, commit four second half turnovers in loss to Carolina. The Bears have been outscored 34-3 in the second half the last two weeks.
3. QB Christian Ponder 22/44 for 222 yards, 2 INTs, 6 sacks, 95.8 QBR vs. GB
4. QB Drew Brees 35/57 for 371 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 70.1 QBR vs. TB
5. Someone shoots laser pointer in Bills’ field goal holder’s eyes during field goal try. Come on, man!
The Steelers beat Jacksonville 17-9, a score that was much closer than it should have been. A late interception for a touchdown solidified the win, but the fact the win needed to be solidified in the fourth quarter is not encouraging. Props to ESPN for trying to give the Steelers more credit than they deserved.
As the recap says, “Pittsburgh’s defense looked somewhat suspect in the first four games, giving up 350 yards and 25 points a game.”
That sounds a lot more than suspect to me. Sounds like criminal negligence.
“The Jaguars finished with 243 yards and were 3 of 12 on third-down conversions.”
When you’re complimenting a team’s defense for throttling the Jaguars, you know you’re desperate for results.
“Jacksonville’s defensive effort was more surprising. The Jaguars had been gouged in every game this season, giving up an average of 451 yards and 38 points in the first four weeks.”
I don’t like stats that average things because it doesn’t account for outlier performances. Jacksonville forced three first half turnovers and led 17-0 at halftime against the Eagles in week one. I would also mention that the Jaguars had the misfortune of playing Indianapolis and San Diego in back-to-back weeks, two prolific pass offenses.
What all that comes down to is that the Steelers are trending down and need a decisive win. In Cleveland, they’ll have the opportunity. Let’s go Steelers.
Game of the Week: Cowboys @ Seahawks
I hate picking the same teams each week for Game of the Week, but the Cowboys-Seahawks matchup looks like the game to watch in week 6, with the Packers @ Dolphins matchup being a close second. I’ve got a lot of upsets picked this week, including the Dolphins, the Bills at home vs. the Patriots, the Jaguars on the road against Tennessee, the Bears in Atlanta, and the Redskins in Arizona. Not in that list? The Cowboys in Seattle. Tony Romo is overrated and as good as DeMarco Murray is, I think this is the week he struggles.