Strasser: NFL Week 5 Recap

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Dallas Cowboy's quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott suffered a season ending injury during a Sunday game against the New York Giants. Photo / flickr user Jeffrey Beall

Week 5 of the NFL season concluded with a special edition of Tuesday Night Football featuring the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans haven’t played a game in two weeks, since their first positive COVID-19 case turned into a teamwide outbreak. After postponing last week’s game, the Titans had a few more positive cases but none for the last few days, so they were able to play the Bills and pick up the win 42-16.

With some scattered positive tests throughout the league, the NFL has made some early schedule changes to adhere to positive result guidelines. After finding out New England Patriots cornerback (CB) Stephon Gilmore and quarterback (QB) Cam Newton had tested positive, the league decided to move the Patriots-Broncos game to next week.

There have also been many more schedule and bye week changes involving other teams.

While NFL fans have had to deal with the unfortunate news of positive tests, more unfortunate news came from the slate of games on Sunday.

Dallas Cowboys’ starting QB Dak Prescott appeared to suffer a season ending injury in their game against the New York Giants on Sunday.

In the third quarter, Prescott was running for a first down, and during a struggle he was pulled down and twisted his ankle in a scary way. Prescott was carted off with tears in his eyes after realizing his season will most likely be finished.

His injury is classified as a compound right ankle fracture and dislocation. The timetable to return is 4-6 months, so it doesn’t seem like we’ll see him again this season.

After exiting the game, backup QB Andy Dalton took over and kept the Cowboys in the lead until the fourth quarter when the game was tied 34-34 with two minutes left. The Giants failed to score and punted back to the Cowboys who drove down the field and kicked a field goal to win 37-34.

The loss of Prescott seemed to overshadow the win for Dallas, but with that win, they moved back into first place in the NFC East with a record of 2-3. The Giants remained winless after coming close in the last two weeks against the Los Angeles Rams and the Cowboys.

Sunday’s matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers had two young, promising wide receivers with breakout games.

Rookie wide receiver (WR) Chase Claypool out of Notre Dame had four total touchdowns for the Steelers on Sunday. His last touchdown came at the most crucial point in the game when the Steelers were only leading by two with about three minutes left.

Claypool’s last touchdown sealed the game for the Steelers as they beat the Eagles 38-29, after another fairly disappointing showing for the Eagles.

There were some bright spots in this game for the Eagles, though. WR Travis Fulgham had 10 receptions for 152 yards and a touchdown. With injuries to skill positions across the board, it seems like Fulgham is becoming Carson Wentz’s favorite target.

The Eagles dropped to 1-3-1, and the Steelers stayed undefeated and moved to 4-0 after an early forced bye week last week.

And finally, one of the best games of the weekend was on Monday Night Football. The stage had been set for the Los Angeles Chargers and New Orleans Saints to square off in primetime.

The Chargers are trying to ride the early success of rookie QB Justin Herbert, after naming him their permanent starter earlier in the week. Herbert was coming off his best week as a pro after throwing 20 for 25 and 290 yards and three touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Herbert showed again this week that he can play and should be in the discussion for Rookie of the Year. He had 264 yards and four touchdowns in Monday’s game, and he kept the Chargers close until the very end.

Herbert actually set the Chargers up for game winning field goal at the end of regulation. Unfortunately, kicker (K) Mike Badgley missed the 48 yarder and the teams headed into overtime tied at 27.

Saints QB Drew Brees once again had to play without star WR Michael Thomas, who had been quickly disciplined by the team after he punched a teammate. Thomas missed this game after being out for three weeks with an injury.

The Saints defense held off the Chargers when the offense settled for three in overtime, and the Saints pulled out this win at home.

The Saints moved to 3-2, and the Chargers fell to 1-4 after two encouraging performances from Herbert. 

Notable Headlines:

  • QB Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders pulled off an upset and beat the undefeated Super Bowl Champs Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The Raiders scored 40 points, and they were able to hold off the Chiefs for long enough to win this game. Raiders moved to 3-2, and the Chiefs fell to 4-1 after dropping this game 40-32.
  • QB Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks managed to stay undefeated on Sunday Night Football when they beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-26.
  • Washington Football Team’s QB Alex Smith played in his first game since 2018 after suffering a gruesome leg injury that put his career in jeopardy. The Rams beat Washington 30-10. 
  • After firing Head Coach and GM Bill O’Brien, the Houston Texans picked up their first win of the season over the Jacksonville Jaguars. QB Deshaun Watson played great in a 30-14 win, to get in the win column for the year.

Games to Look Out For Next Week:

  • Chiefs vs. Bills: Monday Night Football 10/19 (5:00 pm)
  • Ravens vs. Eagles: Sunday 10/18 (1:00 pm)
  • Browns vs. Steelers: Sunday 10/18 (1:00 pm)
  • Packers vs. Buccaneers: Sunday 10/18 (4:25 pm)

With these games on the slate next week, I’ll be looking forward to following all the storylines and standout teams from the first five weeks of the season. Somehow we’re already heading into Week 6, but with the looming threat of COVID, I’ll make sure to not take football for granted and just enjoy it. Until next week.

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