NFL Instant Reactions: Week 5 Edition


Now that week five of the NFL is all but wrapped up, it’s time to take a look at which teams impressed, or flopped. Much like last week’s article, I have separated the teams into four different categories: True Contenders, Playoff Bound Material, Mediocre at Best, and Dead in the Water.

True Contenders: Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers.

Kansas City (5-0) continues to impress, and they took care of their Sunday night opponent easily.  Atlanta (3-1) stays in this category due to a bye week, but will be monitored closely moving forward. Denver (3-1) also remains in this category, also benefiting from a bye week. Philadelphia (4-1) blew out the Cardinals this week, and look every bit of a true contender this year. Green Bay (4-1) had a nail-biter of a win, but proves just how clutch Aaron Rodgers is at his position. Carolina (4-1) impressed me enough with their win over the Lions to cement their status as a contender at this point in the season.

Playoff Bound Material: Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Detroit Lions (3-2) are slipping again this week, due to another heartbreaking loss, this time at the hands of the Panthers. The Redskins (2-2) were on a bye week, and look poised to do big things coming into the next quarter of the season. The Rams (3-2) lost to the Seahawks (3-2) in a key divisional match-up, but I’m not ready to give up on either squad at this point in the season.  The Steelers (3-2) are dropping fast, after an embarrassing blowout loss to the Jaguars (3-2) in their home stadium.  Ben Roethlisberger needs to figure out his game, and fast. The Ravens (3-2) impressed with a win over Oakland, dropping them to under .500 for the year.  The Patriots (3-2) round out this category with an ugly win against the Bucs on Thursday night.  The Patriots needed this type of gritty win to gain confidence moving forward.

Mediocre at Best: New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, NY Jets, Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

What a bunch of disappointing teams in this mix.  Dallas (2-3) couldn’t manage the clock well enough to hold on against the Packers, who gave them a major dose of deja vu.  The Bills (3-2) lost to the lowly Bengals, and are starting to get on my nerves for their inconsistency.  The rest of these squads are left with major injury concerns at key positions, such as the quarterbacks of the Raiders and Titans.  Not too many rosy-looking outlooks for any of these squads at this point in the season.

Dead in the Water: Cleveland Browns, NY Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers.

A lot of familiar faces down in the basement of the NFL.  If I had to rank the worst of the worst, it looks like its a tie between the Giants and Browns for the race on acquiring the #1 pick in the 2018 NFL draft.  The Giants (0-5) are absolutely decimated at the wide receiver position losing all of their top three wideouts to significant injuries, including star Odell Beckham Jr. The Chargers (1-4) are the only team that has shown any fight left in them at this point in the season, and could potentially make a small run.

Be sure to check back next week to see the movement in these categories, which teams should start to be taken seriously, and the others we wish would just get off our TV screens for good.

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