NFL Week 5 overreactions and reality checks: Tom Brady penalty cost Falcons; Justin Tucker the GOAT kicker?

Week 5 of the NFL certainly had its share of shocking results. The New York Giants upset the Green Bay Packers in London to stay right in the thick of the NFC East race, and the Houston Texans recorded their first win of the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars, becoming the last team to win a league game this year.

The 2022 season joined the 1998 and 2018 seasons as the only post-merger seasons in which each team has at least one win through Week 5. The New York Jets are done. 500 in five weeks for the first time since the 2017 season and the Giants are off to a 4-1 start for the first time since 2008. The Philadelphia Eagles are 5-0 for the first time since 2004 and are the only undefeated team in the NFL.

With all the exciting games that followed in Week 5, these are the best reactions from each contest — and whether those storylines were overreactions or reality.

The Giants are actually a good football team

Overreaction or Reality: Reality

The Giants are well coached by Brian Daboll and the coaching staff he has assembled. Mike Kafka is an innovative and creative player, and Wink Martindale has turned this defense into a unit that makes key stops and is always in position to make a play.

New York beat Green Bay despite having three healthy receivers on the active roster, a poor offensive line outside of Andrew Thomas and a battered Daniel Jones. They were also down their two best edges to start the year and two of their top four cornerbacks.

Can’t fault the schedule. New York is 4-1 and will be a problem for many opponents all year.

The Eagles need to worry about their passing game

Overreaction or Reality: Overreaction

Sunday’s win over the Cardinals wasn’t ideal for Philadelphia, which played parts of the game without left guard Landon Dickerson and starting center Jason Kelce (both returned). The Eagles were also without left tackle Jordan Mailata, playing the game with three backup offensive linemen at one point.

The Cardinals provided a plan to slow down the passing game as the secondary hit receivers hard on contact and were physical at the line to take away the deep pass. Arizona flashed Jalen Hurts and forced him away from football as well. Philadelphia was still able to gain yards with its powerful running game and ability to score rushing touchdowns in the red zone – with Hurts playing a huge role.

The Eagles face a good Cowboys secondary next week. Expect heavy blitzing and physical play. Let’s see how Nick Siriani and Shane Steichen adjust.

Sos Gardner is the favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year

Overreaction or Reality: Overreaction

Sos Gardner is having a good year — and had a very good game Sunday to lead the Jets defense. He had a defensive tackle on Teddy Bridgewater that set the tone for the Jets while also having an interception and five tackles in the win that moved New York over .500.

A difference maker for the Jets, Gardner has a 49.8 passer rating allowed when targeted, giving up just one touchdown and one interception on 26 targets (46.2% completion rate). Is he the favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year? Thanks to Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen (13.2 grade allowed on 24 targets with three interceptions), not yet.

Roughing penalty on Tom Brady cost the Falcons the game

Overreaction or Reality: Reality

Grady Jarrett’s sack of Brady would give the ball back to the Falcons at 21-15. The Buccaneers were facing third-and-5 at the Falcons’ 47-yard line when Jarrett delivered what appeared to be a clean sack of Brady. Instead, Jarrett was called for a roughing the pass and the Falcons were forced to burn their final timeout.

Tampa Bay picked up a first down three plays later and ran out of time to win. The Falcons didn’t get a chance to get the ball back to see if they could complete the turnaround after trailing 21-0 in the third quarter.

Referee Jerome Boger’s explanation was as bad as his call. The Falcons deserved a chance to win the game.

Trevor Lawrence makes too many mistakes to be considered a good defender

Overreaction or Reality: Reality

Two interceptions by Trevor Lawrence ended up costing the Jaguars on a day where they scored just six points against the Texans. One was a fumble inside the 10-yard line that resulted in a turnover in a 6-6 game, taking at least three points off the board.

Lawrence has four interceptions and four fumbles this year, eight sacks in five games. He’s come a long way and is still growing in Doug Pederson’s offense, but he’s not a good defender right now. Giveaways need to be eliminated, especially since they are a huge reason Jacksonville has lost its last two games.

Taysom Hill is the best all-around player in the NFL

Overreaction or Reality: Overreaction

It’s an interesting debate considering Taysom Hill just had a game in which he rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns, threw for a touchdown and had a special teams fumble recovery. Hill can literally do anything on offense, the best weapon on offense with a backup quarterback in Andy Dalton and Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave.

Hill leads the Saints in rushing yards (228) and rushing touchdowns (five), while averaging 10.9 yards per carry. He can be used in tackle plays to beat you with arm and leg and can catch passes as an H-back/tight end. Hill also makes tackles with special teams.

The best all-around player in the NFL right now might be Saquon Barkley, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes or Jalen Hurts. Hill should certainly be in the conversation.

Brandon Staley is unnecessarily risked on fourth down

Overreaction or Reality: Reality

What Brandon Staley did on the fourth Sunday was absurd. Getting it on fourth-and-1 from its own 46 with 1:14 left wasn’t necessary in a 30-28 game, especially since Los Angeles could have pinned Cleveland deep in its own territory with no timeouts and a minute left. Instead, Staley picked off a Justin Herbert pass to Mike Williams that was ruled incomplete — upsetting the injured Keenan Allen from his couch.

A conversion would have sealed the win, but the Browns needed just 20 to 25 yards with time on their side to steal a win at home. Staley gave them that opportunity, but Cade York missed a 54-yarder for the win.

The Chargers got lucky — and Staley can lay off the aggressiveness. There’s a time and place in gaming for that.

Overreaction or Reality: Reality

This is indeed a fact. The Steelers aren’t a good team to begin with, they are now 0-8 in games TJ Watt doesn’t play. The Bills torched a defense that held up without Watt as Pittsburgh allowed 552 yards while accumulating just three pressures, one quarterback hit and no sacks for a loss.

When Watt will return is anyone’s guess, but the Steelers defense can only do so much behind a rookie quarterback and a poor offensive line that struggles to score points. The defense collapsed against arguably the best team in the NFL.

The Titans are the best team in the AFC South

Overreaction or Reality: Overreaction

Tennessee might be the best team in this bad division. Maybe it’s Jacksonville, even though the Jaguars lost to Houston. Maybe it’s Indianapolis winning in the ugliest way behind poor quarterback play and an inept offensive line that needs to be better.

The Titans haven’t scored a point in the fourth quarter in five games, which needs to change if Tennessee wants to win consistently. Tennessee has a lot of flaws, but it also has Derrick Henry who carries the team.

After five games, we really don’t know who the best team in the AFC South is. However, the Titans are in first place.

The Vikings offense is back on track

Overreaction or Reality: Reality

What Minnesota did against Chicago’s stout defense was worth watching. Kirk Cousins ​​looked like his old self after completing a team-high 17 passes to start the game, finding Justin Jefferson underneath all day as Minnesota scored touchdowns on its first three drives, totaling 247 yards.

If Greg Joseph doesn’t miss two field goals, the Vikings get 35 points on a day when the offense looked a lot like Kevin O’Connell envisioned. The Vikings were 12 of 15 on third down and 4-for-4 in the red zone. This offense will produce similar performances to Sunday’s to compete with the best in the NFC.

Overreaction or Reality: Overreaction

Bailey Zappe rocked the crowd at Gillette Stadium on Sunday after going 17 of 21 for 188 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the Patriots’ 29-0 shutout victory. The Patriots didn’t break through until the fourth quarter, and Zappe did a nice job against zone coverage, delivering crisp throws while Rhamondre Stevenson carried the running offense.

Should Zappe start when Mac Jones is healthy? The Lions have the worst run defense in the NFL and were losing quarterbacks all game (five total). Jones was a first-round pick who needs the same game plan Zappe had in his first start.

The game manager is what the Patriots have to win games. Matt Patricia needs to use this to her advantage.

Justin Tucker is the best player of all time

Overreaction or Reality: Reality

Justin Tucker was automatic again late in the game, kicking a 43-yard field goal as time expired to give the Ravens a much-needed win on Sunday Night Football. The Ravens punter is 17-for-17 on field goals in the final minute of regulation or overtime and 5-for-5 in the postseason in that scenario.

Tucker had 75 consecutive field goals in the second half and overtime and 61 consecutive in the fourth quarter and overtime, the longest in NFL history. His field goal conversion rate of 91.2% is the best in NFL history.

Tucker is the best clutch player in history. Sorry Adam Vinatieri.

The Cowboys should play Dak Prescott against the Eagles

Overreaction or Reality: Reality

If Dak Prescott can catch the ball and throw it with speed, he should start against Philadelphia in the NFC East showdown. Cooper Rush won the game against the Rams, but was ineffective going 10 of 16 for 102 yards. Rush fumbled the ball twice and was sacked three times, looking like a backup quarterback carried by a strong running game and a dominant defense.

The Cowboys need Prescott to beat Philadelphia. If he’s healthy, he should play.

Matt Rhule should be fired on Monday

Overreaction or Reality: Overreaction

This week could be all about Matt Rhule as the Panthers just don’t have a pulse on offense. The Panthers went 3-of-15 on third down and scored just one offensive touchdown behind struggling Baker Mayfield — who threw a pick-six to Emmanuel Mosley that essentially put the game out of reach in the second quarter.

Carolina might be the worst team in the NFL, and Bank of America Stadium was overrun with 49ers fans all afternoon. That can’t make owner David Tepper happy as he loses the pulse of his team. Ruhl should get a few more weeks to see if he can turn it around, but it could be time to cut the cord.

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