Week 5 Predictions Record: 9-5
Season Predictions Record: 40-20
Week five of the NFL 2016 season is now over, there were many great games to watch this past weekend with results no one could have guessed. Teams are starting to show their true colors through five weeks, and we now can see who are the contenders and others who are just pretenders. But overall it was another great week of football in the NFL. Here are the game recaps for this past weekend.
*Teams on Bye: Jaguars, Chiefs, Saints, Seahawks
Thursday Night Football
Cardinals 33 Team Grade: B+
49ers 21 Team Grade: C+
Game Recap: The Cardinals got the win they needed in order to try and salvage their horrible start to the season. This one seemed like it was never going the other way as the Cardinals were able to cruise to victory in a win over their division rivals the 49ers. I figured that without Carson Palmer this Cardinal offense would struggle in defeat, but Stanton was solid, and was able to find Larry Fitzgerald twice in the end zone in route to a nice win in place of Palmer. David Johnson showed us the explosiveness that we saw last season from him as he pounded the 49er defense. Everyone is convinced that the problem may not be with the players in San Francisco, let’s all agree that this whole Chip Kelly NFL experiment has not worked and it is time to move on. Change quarterbacks all that you want to, it’s not going to solve any problems with this broken offense.
Player of the Game: David Johnson had 157 yards on the ground with two touchdowns, and 28 receiving yards.
Game of the Week
Bengals 14 Team Grade: C-
Cowboys 28 Team Grade: A+
Game Recap: This game had all the makings of a great one leading up to kickoff, but once the game started it was clear who was going to win this one in Dallas. The Cowboys looked confident, and in control of this game from start to finish. These two rookies on the Dallas roster are looking better by the week as they helped the Cowboys shut down this talented Bengals team in route to a statement win. The Cowboy defense looked great, confusing Dalton on many occasions and virtually taking AJ Green out of the game. With this win under their belts, the Cowboys look to come out of the Romo injury with a winning record and momentum to make a run at the playoffs. Ezekiel Elliott was dominant and showed his breakaway speed on a 60 yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Player of the Game: Ezekiel Elliott showed why he is an early season Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate with 134 yards rushing with 2 touchdowns and 3 catches for 37 yards receiving.
Patriots 33 Team Grade: A
Browns 13 Team Grade: B-
Game Recap: You can’t really fault the Browns here, they had to play against Brady coming off of a suspension and with losing their third quarterback they are continuing to struggle and wither away. The Patriots dominated from start to finish in this game where Brady showed why he is still the best in the business with over 400 yards passing and three touchdowns. Brady is out for blood and he immediately makes this team much better than they already were before. Watch out for this Patriots team.
Player of the Game: My hat is off to Tom Brady in his return to action. He looked inspired and ready to go in for the kill. In a statement game for him, he tossed 400 yards and three scores through the air. He rewarded his fantasy owners who picked him up despite suspension.
Eagles 23 Team Grade: B-
Lions 24 Team Grade: B
Game Recap: Nobody saw this coming…oh wait I did, and I should have gone with my gut feeling in my predictions this week. The Lions were able to edge a good Eagles team this week at home. Carson Wentz threw his first interception this season as the Eagles looked stagnant and struggled to gain any momentum in this game. With costly mistakes and a poor defensive performance, the Eagles showed why the bye week can also be a curse, especially when you are riding a three game winning streak going into it.
Player of the Game:. Darious Slay and the Detroit defense get the player of the game nod for forcing two late fourth quarter turnovers to seal the deal for the Lions in this game.
Bears 23 Team Grade: B
Colts 29 Team Grade: B
Game Recap: Give credit where credit is due, Brian Hoyer is playing like a guy who deserves to start for his team and get wins. He did not get a win in this one, but he is proving why he should get the nod over Jay Cutler even when Cutler comes back from injury. Hoyer tossed 397 yards through the air and two touchdowns in this game, showing that he definitely still has some gas in the tank. Hoyer was great, but he could not overcome the will of Andrew Luck. Literally with the team on his back every week, Luck is proving just how good he is. I can only imagine if he actually had some teammates. A lot was talked about this week about his big contract and its effects on the team. My response would be, he is the only one playing hard so he deserves all the money, without him you wouldn’t have a chance. Good win for the Colts, I just feel bad for the Bears.
Player of the Game: Andrew Luck was magnificent again in this game with 322 yards passing and 2 touchdowns.
Titans 30 Team Grade: A-
Dolphins 17 Team Grade: C-
Game Recap: Marcus Mariota is finally showing what he can do. This week he dominated in a strong win for the Titans away at Miami. The run game was strong yet again for the Titans in this game totaling over 235 yards with 181 between Mariota and Murray alone. DeMarco Murray showed that he should still be considered a top back in the league with another 100+ yard performance on the ground. This Dolphins team has been horrible this season behind the leadership of Tannehill. Tannehill should lose his job after another poor performance. This Dolphins team is too talented to lose games like this.
Player of the Game: Mariota gets the nod for player of the game with 163 yards passing and three touchdowns along with 60 yards on the ground and a rushing TD to add to an impressive stat sheet.
Redskins 16 Team Grade: B+
Ravens 10 Team Grade: B-
Game Recap: A tough matchup in Baltimore saw the Redskins pull away with a win against the Ravens. The Redskins have won three in a row now and are looking much improved from their first two games. The defense which had not been able to stop anyone previously was able to shut down the Baltimore offense in route to a low scoring win. Cousins was solid again this week, nothing flashy, but he got the job done for the Redskins in this game.
Player of the Game: Redskins defense gets the nod here for getting the team a win away from home against a pretty good Ravens team. They were able to limit the chances of the other team and keep this game winnable for their offense.
Texans 13 Team Grade: C
Vikings 31 Team Grade: A
Game Recap: The Vikings continue to impress as they blew out another solid opponent at home this week. This defense looks to be championship caliber as they continue to shut out opponents. Sam Bradford is continuing to play the best football of his career as he seems to be a perfect fit for this Vikings team. Maybe that was a smart trade by them after all. The Texans were no match for this Vikings team who were able to shut down this passing attack.
Player of the Game: Sam Bradford is looking better by the week and earns my vote for player of the game after his solid performance of 271 yards passing and two touchdowns through the air.
Jets 13 Team Grade: C
Steelers 31 Team Grade: A
Game Recap: The Steelers are rolling. With the best set of three (QB,RB,WR) in the NFL, they look to be unstoppable at the moment. The Jets stood no chance against this Steelers team led by a red hot Ben Roethlisberger, who torched them for 380 yards and 4 touchdowns. It seems that with LeVeon Bell, the Steelers are ready to make a charge into the playoffs. The Steelers are a WR factory producing players who are successful with Sammie Coates the latest beneficiary going for 139 yards and two scores. The Jets look like a team with no identity and are struggling to make any sort of impact. I think it is safe to say their season is over.
Player of the Game: Ben Roethlisberger was fantastic yet again going for 380 yards and four touchdowns. With this guy throwing the ball, no one looks to stop the Steelers.
Falcons 23 Team Grade: A
Broncos 16 Team Grade: B+
Game Recap: A game between two early contenders in the NFL, the Falcons faced off against the Broncos in Denver. Most, if not all people outside of the Falcons locker room considered this game done before it started. The Broncos were supposed to shut down that offense led by Matt Ryan. Instead it was the Falcon defense who showed up and impressed in this game where they completely nullified any type of offensive presence that the Broncos thought they had and the Falcons cruised to victory in this one. Instead of trying to beat the great corners deep, the Falcons picked on the Bronco linebackers who had a tough time keeping up with the Falcon Running backs. This is a legit win for the Falcons and the Broncos need to fix this issue going forward before other teams exploit this glaring weakness.
Player of the Game: Matt Ryan is developing quickly into this season’s MVP frontrunner. With a great win under his belt, he is starting to solidify possibly his best season as a pro. This was the five week mark and we all know what happened last year after their 5-0 start. We will see if the Falcons prove to be the contenders they say they are.
Bills 30 Team Grade: A-
Rams 19 Team Grade: D+
Game Recap: The Bills saw, they came, they conquered. These Bills are on a roll! Even I discounted them after two weeks, highly criticizing Rex Ryan for his decisions and coaching changes, but the man has turned the ship in the right direction. The Bills took care of a talented Rams team in Los Angeles in route to their third win in a row. The steam is building behind this Bills team as they continue to improve by the week. If they keep it up they should push for a position in the playoffs. But with a stacked set of quality AFC teams, they must really be consistent throughout the season. The Rams were extremely disappointing in this one, only positive was that they seemed to get Todd Gurley going a little more in this game.
Player of the Game: LeSean McCoy was a BEAST in this game bringing back the Shady in his game. He went for 150 yards in this game averaging 8.3 yards per carry.
Chargers 31 Team Grade: F
Raiders 34 Team Grade: B
Game Recap: Another week in the season goes by and another complete collapse of the Chargers comes to fruition. The Chargers were going to tie the game with 2:00 to go in the game when they fumbled the snap on the kick and turned it over on downs. The Raiders were able to close the game out and the Chargers continue to slide. Something is just not right with this group, and I believe it starts at the top. Coaching changes are on the horizon in San Diego, its only a matter of time. The Raiders continue their impressive run of wins this season improving to 4-1.
Player of the Game: Amari Cooper was an absolute MONSTER in this game producing for his team and earning the win for Oakland. He had 138 yards receiving and 1 touchdown. Great division win for this team.
Giants 16 Team Grade: B-
Packers 23 Team Grade: B
Game Recap: The Giants continued their slide this week in Green Bay as they lost to the very unimpressive Packers team. The Packers still do not have things figured out on offense so far this season and it is showing in their games. However, they were able to do enough to earn this win on Sunday Night Football against a talented Giants team. OBJ was able to behave himself for the Giants this week, and even produced his first touchdown of the season. The Giants need to turn this thing around before the division slips away from them.
Player of the Game: Aaron Rodgers did enough to earn his team the win in this game going for 259 yards in the air with two touchdowns. Big test next week against Dallas.
Monday Night Football Game
Buccaneers 17 Team Grade: C+
Panthers 14 Team Grade: C
Game Recap: A battle between struggling teams on Monday Night football this week as the Panthers took on the Buccaneers in Carolina. A game which many thought before this season would be a big divisional matchup, ended up being a poor display between teams looking for identity and searching hard for wins. The Buccaneers did just enough to get the win over the Newton-less Panthers in a game where the Panthers drop their second straight home game. This was a much needed victory for the Buccaneers as they try to steer the ship in the right direction for the rest of the 2016 season. This loss sends the Panthers reeling and searching for the mojo they had last season in going to the Super bowl. The Panthers have definitely lost their swag, and they will lose this season if they don’t get their act together quick.
Player of the Game: Jameis Winston was able to earn his team the win in this throwing for 219 yards and one touchdown.
Look for my game predictions for week 6 this Thursday as we begin another week in this exciting season of the NFL. What do you believe will be the biggest upset in week 6? Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear and read your comments on this week’s games and recap.