Week 5 The Late Games

Very few late games this week, but to make up for it there was a very late game.

Carolina Panthers 6 Arizona Cardinals 22

The Panthers have similar problems to those they had over the last 2 years. Redzone efficiency. Cam Newton just can’t get touchdowns through the air. Throw into the mix in this game some needless interceptions and you have some serious problems. Considering the Redzone issues, it does seem strange how rarely they ran the ball, with opting to throw being a ratio of about 2 to 1. The Defence came up short in this one too, which has been their strongest phase by a long stretch over the last few weeks. If I’m a Panthers fan, I start to worry about where the next win will come from in a difficult division and with an inability to score TDs.

As down as I have been on this Cardinals team they have a winning record. They may not be pretty wins and they may not be against the best opponents, but never the less they are wins. The difference between these 2 teams in this game is the ability to finish what they start. Also whilst Palmer threw the same amount of interceptions as Cam, it was the Arizona Defence that knew what to do with them. I’m not sold on Mendenhall as a no. 1 Running Back, but he was serviceable in this game and was enough of a distraction to get Fitzgerald and Floyd open. On Defence it was the Patrick Peterson show, who gets more and more impressive with every game. I don’t think this team makes the playoff, but there are definite signs of improvement with Arian in charge.

Denver Broncos 51 Dallas Cowboys 48

Yeah. Truthfully I don’t really know what to say that hasn’t already been said. But anyway let’s start with the Broncos. So skirting round the idea that Peyton is pretty good and so are all his Wide Receivers, it’s worth noting that Moreno appears to have found his feet and is rushing the best he has in his life. He is clearly the no. 1 on that team now and seems to be great at protection, which is a major concern generally for Peyton. One worry on Defence. They allowed 48 points, that is never good, but this is a team that should have Miller and Bailey back fairly soon. If they keep this up they’ll probably be lifting the Lombardi come the end of the season.

People will blame Romo for losing the game. People will blame the man that threw for 506 yards, completed 25/36 attempts and 5 touchdowns. All because he threw an interception. But no one will talk about how the Broncos Offence scored at will on this Cowboys Defence. At the start of the season, I was sceptical of this Cowboys Offence and lauding over this Cowboys D. I have a feeling I got it wrong, as the Offence continues to look dominant and the Defence is a real concern. Romo is on fire at the moment, I just hope that the people criticising him, despite a career/ franchise game, don’t get to him. Dez Bryant has now elevated himself to Megatron status and is a genuine threat at all times. Some of the tiptoe catches he makes have been unreal. What I like in particular about this Bryant is how he is living proof that at any point you can turn it around and become a great player, rather than a bust with character issues. So back to the Defence, yeah there are some problems. Manning moved on them at will, but they did pick up an interception (would people be talking about that if the Broncos lost?), so there is some sign of hope. I actually think this Defence turns it around, if they do then we have a Superbowl challenging team. Yup I’m still on board.

Houston Texans 3 San Francisco 34

The Texans have some big problems and I’m not exaggerating when I say they pretty much all stem from Matt Schaub. Schaub has now thrown 9 interceptions this season. When you have a game manager QB like Schaub, he needs to throw zero interceptions, especially when he is throwing to the likes of Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins and Owen Daniels. But it’s not just the interceptions; it’s also the inefficiencies in the Redzone. If Schaub was a gunslinger like Favre, the interceptions go by the wayside, as the Interceptions total to an epic Touchdown total, as it is Schaub has 8 Touchdowns for the season. So I was saying how this loss was all his fault. Well Schuab not being able to get it done, means they have to rely on a run game, which is gaining yards but still not getting it done, so the team go 3 and out and have to bring on the Defence which slowly gets more and more tired as they are not getting any time on the side-lines. What’s the solution? Who do they play instead? I don’t know Schaub is probably the best option for them this season. But in Kubiak’s mind he has to be thinking that this might cost him his job. He wasn’t far away from that before they started regularly making the playoffs. Speaking of which do they make the playoffs? No, probably not, an Opportunistic Browns, Chiefs, Dolphins or even Jets team could sneak in and take advantage of what is looking like a lost Texans team that is set up to win now.

Not much to say about the Niners, they’ve found their mojo. As good as Aldon Smith is, this and the last result are proof that the Niners Defence could be the best unit in the game at the moment. They are loaded at Corner and all of them seem to have a keen eye for ball hawking. On Offence they continue to be pretty good at playing to their strengths. In this game they took advantage of weaknesses in the run defence and also using the run game to wear them down. One small criticism. Kap struggled to get the ball out through the air, which might be a worry, but I don’t think they are as one dimensional as the Seahawks. There could be change in pecking order in the NFC West if they carry on playing this well, but we’ll have to wait and see.

San Diego Chargers 17 Oakland Raiders 27

This is the game that upset America thanks to it starting at 11:30 at night…in this country it was 4:30 am. None the less I watched it. The overwhelming thought I had was Rivers giveth, Rivers taketh away. He did manage to connect for 400 yards as the Chargers run game was less than effective, but he did also throw 3 interceptions. This gave the regularly gave the Raiders some great field position and left the Defence on the backfield. Speaking of which the Defence did a great job of stopping the run, but could not stop the pass as Pryor proved himself as a decent passer. Chargers fans it’s not the end of the world, I would imagine you bounce back and the season with a decent record, I would however imagine you struggle to make the playoffs.

The Raiders game planned this matchup perfectly. When the Chargers came out to stop Pryor running, they put together a decent game through the air proving that Pryor is very much up there with the other young QBs in the league; he is a huge difference maker and gives them a decent chance to win games. On Defence, Woodson had a great game, at home in the spotlight, which he clearly loves. Whether he has a game like that every week, I’m not so sure, but he did look awesome in this game. The Raiders are going to win a few this year, that’s fairly obvious, but they’ll probably miss the playoffs thanks to being in a division with the 5-0 Chiefs and the 5-0 Broncos, it is good to see that they might be set for the future however.

New York Jets 30 Atlanta Falcons 28

The Jets are another surprise this year. I get the feeling the term “good Geno” and “bad Geno”, might start getting used soon, if he continues his current form. Anyway, in this game “very good Geno”, turned up. He wasn’t asked to do an amazing amount, thanks to the Jets Defence, but he did do what he was asked, pretty perfectly, completing 16/20 passes throwing 3 touchdown passes to 3 different Receivers. If Geno can keep this up, we could be looking at a surprise team this season. He has made average Receivers look pretty decent and has begun to learn not to do too much. The only issue will be when this team gets behind by a few scores and he’ll be asked to win the game for them, which might be part of his game that takes a while to form. This team probably won’t be making the playoffs this year, but if they do, this is probably the game they point at that gets them there.

The Falcons are a mess. The Offence has become one dimensional, a lack of run game leaves them no option but to have Matt Ryan try and force throws to Julio Jones constantly. What makes this more difficult for this team is they will always be behind if this Defence keeps playing this bad. Roddy White still doesn’t look right (just bench him please) and it looks like Steven Jackson is still a way away from coming back meaning that by the time this team gets to full strength, it will probably be too late and they’ll have probably missed the playoffs.

So that’s this week wrapped up, Power Rankings up soon, Pod later this week and Predictions on Thursday.

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Main Image: AP Photo/Sharon Ellman

Featured Image: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez