NFL Game Recaps: Week 5, 2023

George Kittle




NFL Game Recaps of previous weeks and seasons can be found via links at the bottom of the page.


Bears 40, Redskins 20
  • No one really gave the Bears much of a chance to win this game. They were 0-4, after all, and they had been blown out twice in four games. They were six-point underdogs to the Redskins, who had just fought the Eagles down to the wire. If Washington nearly defeated Philadelphia, surely it would handle the winless Bears easily in a lopsided affair.

    This was a lopsided affair, but it wasn’t the Redskins who were in control. The Bears dominated for a huge portion of the evening. In fact, they were up 17-0 before the Redskins recorded a single first down. The Redskins had no answer for Justin Fields, who torched their beleaguered secondary with ease.

    Fields began the night with a 20-yard touchdown strike to D.J. Moore. He followed that up with a touchdown pass to Moore. And he also concluded the night on a deep score to Moore while trying to bleed the clock. Washington looked completely helpless to stop the Fields-to-Moore combination. The two connected eight times for 230 yards and three touchdowns on what was a career night for Moore. I can only hope that you were able to avoid this in your fantasy leagues.

  • Remarkably, 230 of Fields’ 282 yards went to Moore. And when you factor in Cole Kmet’s numbers (5-42, TD), you get all but 10 of Fields’ passing yards going to two places. Fields finished 15-of-29 for 282 yards and four touchdowns. He also scrambled 11 times for 57 rushing yards, as the designed runs had returned after inexplicably not being there the first three weeks. Credit the offensive line for giving him more protection than he has seen earlier in the year.

  • Khalil Herbert was on track for a big fantasy night as well. He rushed for 76 yards on 10 carries by the early portion of the third quarter, but he was bent backward on a tackle and left the game. Herbert tried to keep playing, but he collapsed on his only other carry following the injury. Roschon Johnson (3-19) was knocked out earlier with a concussion, so the Bears had to use their fullback in the fourth quarter.

  • While Fields didn’t see much pressure, Sam Howell was under siege quite often. The Bears, who have one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL, were able to sack Sam Howell on five occasions.

    Howell, despite the loss, finished with some great numbers. He was 37-of-51 for 388 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Granted, most of this was in garbage time, but Howell also lost yards when Terry McLaurin drew a deep pass interference penalty. On the other hand, Howell missed Dyami Brown for a deep touchdown.

  • This ended up being a disappointing night for both McLaurin (4-49) and Jahan Dotson (3-30). Howell’s favorite target was Logan Thomas, who registered nine catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Curtis Samuel (6-65) also scored.

  • With the Redskins trailing throughout, Brian Robinson didn’t get a chance to run very much. He was given only six carries, which he turned into 10 rushing yards. Robinson at least helped his PPR owners with four catches for 33 receiving yards.


  • Jaguars 25, Bills 20
  • The Jaguars had an unprecedented advantage in this game, being the first team to play back-to-back London contests in league history. While the Jaguars were able to remain in London after last week’s victory over the Falcons, the Bills had to travel overseas after beating the Dolphins.

    The Bills had far less energy than the Jaguars, with NFL Network announcer Rich Eisen noting that Buffalo looked like it was sleepwalking. Jacksonville had far more juice in this game, especially early in the afternoon. The Jaguars scored a quick touchdown in the opening quarter, while the Bills made mistakes like dropping passes on third down.

    Buffalo finally awakened right before halftime when Stefon Diggs scored a touchdown, while A.J. Epensea turned Trevor Lawrence over with a strip-sack. However, the Jaguars were still extremely sharp following halftime, with Lawrence converting a bunch of third downs to keep Buffalo’s offense off the field. The Jaguars were 10-of-18 on third down, while the Bills were just 5-of-12 in that regard. The most significant of the third-down conversions was a Lawrence pass to Calvin Ridley that took the pair over 300 passing yards and 100 receiving yards.

  • Lawrence finished 25-of-37 for 315 yards and a touchdown. Aside from some pressures, he had no issues navigating through a Buffalo defense that was already short-handed before the injury to Matt Milano, who was carted off the field in the opening quarter.

  • Travis Etienne was the Jaguars’ top play-maker, rushing for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. He also caught four passes for 48 receiving yards. Etienne iced the game with a touchdown run while the Jaguars were trying to run out the clock.

  • Two Jaguars closed ahead of Etienne on the receiving list. Ridley led the way with seven grabs for 122 yards, while Christian Kirk hauled in six passes for 78 yards. Zay Jones (3-23) scored a touchdown in his return from injury.

  • The Bills, despite their early lack of energy, were able to post some terrific fantasy stats as they were playing catch-up in the second half. Josh Allen went 27-of-40 for 359 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on a deep shot to Stefon Diggs. Allen also scored a rushing touchdown on four scrambles for 14 yards.

  • Allen, sadly, led the Bills in rushing, as James Cook couldn’t get anything going. Cook managed just four yards on five carries, and he also dropped a pass on third down.

  • Diggs topped the Bills on the receiving list, catching eight of his 11 targets for 121 yards and a touchdown. Gabriel Davis (6-100) also scored.


  • Falcons 21, Texans 19
  • The public sentiment was that the Texans deserved to be favorites in this game after Houston defeated both the Jaguars and Steelers. However, the matchup seemed to really favor the Falcons, who would undoubtedly be able to run the ball extremely well on Houston’s poor ground defense.

    Remarkably, the Falcons struggled to move the chains on the ground, and yet they were able to prevail. Desmond Ridder, who was atrocious in the London loss to the Jaguars, was able to redeem himself with a brilliant performance to perhaps silence the critics.

    Ridder somehow went 28-of-37 for 329 yards and a two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing). He did this despite not getting any help from his running game, as the duo of Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier failed to eclipse 90 rushing yards in total. Instead, it was all Ridder, who torched Houston’s secondary relentlessly. The Falcons scored only 21 points despite Ridder’s brilliance, but only because a couple of Houston players lost fumbles.

  • Like Ridder, Kyle Pitts has been criticized heavily for his poor production. Pitts finally emerged in this game, leading the Falcons in receiving. Pitts hauled in seven of his 11 targets for 87 yards. He finished just ahead of Drake London (6-78), who made a big catch in the fourth quarter.

  • As mentioned, the Falcons couldn’t run the ball. Perhaps this was because Arthur Smith inexplicably fed more carries to Allgeier and Robinson. Allgeier had 17 carries, while Robinson was given only 14. It should shock no one that Robinson outgained Allgeier despite the lighter workload, 46-40. Robinson was at least able to save his fantasy owners with a receiving touchdown on his two catches, but anyone who has invested in Robinson really has to question what Smith is doing with his running backs.

  • Moving on to the Texans, C.J. Stroud lost this game, but he set an NFL record in the process for most passing attempts to begin a career without an interception, passing Dak Prescott from seven years ago. Stroud even led what could have been a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter when he found Dalton Schultz in the end zone, but he left a bit too much time on the clock, allowing Ridder to lead his team into field goal range to set up Younghoe Koo’s decisive kick.

  • Schultz paced the Texans in receiving with seven catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. He finished just ahead of Tank Dell (3-57), who left the game early with a concussion. Nico Collins was a disappointment with three grabs for 39 yards.

  • The Texans didn’t have much success running the ball. Dameon Pierce was limited to 66 yards on 20 carries despite having a burst of 15 yards.


  • Lions 42, Panthers 24
  • The Lions entered this game without their best offensive player, as Amon-Ra St. Brown was sidelined with an abdomen injury. His absence would ordinarily mean a lot in matchups against tougher teams, but luckily for Detroit, it had the luxury of battling one of the worst teams in the NFL.

    St. Brown was not needed in this game because Detroit’s defense completely dominated the opposition. The Lions forced three turnovers in the opening half alone. Aidan Hutchinson kicked off the party with a great play when he snatched an interception out of thin air despite being engaged with an offensive lineman. Miles Sanders then lost a fumble after Detroit failed on a fourth-down try. And if that wasn’t enough, Young threw his second interception because he didn’t see Jerry Jacobs.

    The end result was a lopsided affair where the final score wasn’t indicative of how these performed. The score was 42-17, but the Panthers scored a touchdown at the end to trim the margin to 18.

  • Despite St. Brown’s absence, Jared Goff had a great game. He went 20-of-28 for 236 yards and three touchdowns. His primary targets were Josh Reynolds and Sam LaPorta, who scored his touchdowns. Reynolds hauled in four passes for 76 yards, while LaPorta (3-47) found the end zone twice. Jameson Williams, making his 2023 debut, was a huge disappointment with only two catches for two yards. he dropped a pass.

  • David Montgomery was expected to dominate on the ground, and that’s exactly what happened. He rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown on just 19 carries. He would have enjoyed an even better game if the Lions weren’t blowing out the Panthers in the second half, as Craig Reynolds (7-52) scored a touchdown late in the game.

  • As for the Panthers, Young was able to compile some garbage yardage to make his stat line respectable. He finished 25-of-41 for 247 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. At halftime, Young was just 12-of-22 for 120 yards, one touchdown and two picks.

  • Adam Thielen was able to benefit from Young’s garbage time. He had solid numbers throughout the game, but scored a touchdown at the very end. He caught 11 of his 13 targets for 107 yards otherwise. D.J. Chark (3-42) and Tommy Tremble reeled in Young’s other touchdowns.

  • Sanders, who had the aforementioned fumble, was a big disappointment with only 32 yards on seven carries.


  • Colts 23, Titans 16
  • Back in Week 1, the announcers of the Colts-Jaguars game remarked that Anthony Richardson couldn’t possibly take the same sort of beating he suffered. Seconds later, Richardson was knocked out early. Four weeks later, Richardson has gotten injured in every single game he has played. He got banged up versus the Rams last week, but didn’t have to exit early. Things changed this Sunday, as Richardson injured his shoulder during a scramble. He left the game for good after that.

    It’s a shame for Richardson because it appeared as though he would have a solid performance. He was 9-of-12 for 98 yards, with five rushing yards on two scrambles. He was replaced by Gardner Minshew, who once again thrived in relief of Richardson. Minshew had an easy matchup, but was still impressive with just three incompletions. He finished 11-of-14 for 155 yards.

  • The Colts did much of their damage on the ground, which was shocking because the Titans are usually stellar against the run. Perhaps this wouldn’t have surprised some who expected Jonathan Taylor to dominate in his first game back from injury/holdout, but he had just 18 yards on six carries. Instead, it was Zack Moss, who rumbled for 165 yards and two touchdowns on 23 attempts. Given how brilliant Moss has been, it’s puzzling as to why the Colts gave Taylor such a massive contract.

  • Indianapolis’ leading receiver was a surprise as well. It wasn’t Michael Pittman Jr., who caught five passes for 52 yards. He was second on the team in receiving behind Josh Downs, who reeled in all six of his targets for 97 yards.

  • The top receiver in this game was DeAndre Hopkins, so even though the Titans lost, they can at least know that their No. 1 receiver is healthy for the first time this season. Hopkins had eight catches for 140 yards, and he was inches away from catching a touchdown pass from Derrick Henry. No other Titan logged more than 35 receiving yards.

  • Speaking of Henry, he didn’t have nearly as much positive production as Hopkins. Battling a tough Colts run defense, Henry was restricted to just 43 yards on 13 carries. He also caught three passes, but for only 19 receiving yards. Henry was stuffed on a fourth down in the red zone.

  • Ryan Tannehill wasn’t terrible in this loss. He was 23-of-34 for 264 yards and an interception that was thrown in desperation mode at the very end of the game.


  • Dolphins 31, Giants 16
  • The Dolphins, coming off a tough loss to the Bills, were not at their best in this game. They made a number of mistakes that gave the Giants some hope. It started when De’Von Achane lost a fumble over midfield, marking the first time the Giants forced a turnover all season. Tua Tagovailoa was next to blame when he fired a pick-six inside the Giants’ 5-yard line. He made a late throw, and a New York defender secured the ball for the second take-away in 2023. The third take-away occurred when Tagovailoa launched another interception on a ball that came out of his hand awkwardly.

    Despite all this, the Dolphins not only won, but covered their double-digit spread. They did so via big plays from their electric weapons. It began when Achane redeemed himself with a 76-yard touchdown. Tyreek Hill later ran into the end zone on a 69-yard reception where he blew by the New York defenders. These quick scores allowed the Dolphins to eventually hold a 31-13 lead that was reduced by three at the very end.

  • If you ignore the picks, Tagovailoa had a great performance. Granted, it’s difficult to discard two turnovers, especially when one goes back the other way for six, but this was a predictable flat spot. Tagovailoa finished 22-of-30 for 308 yards, two touchdowns and the two picks.

  • As you might imagine, both Hill and Achane put together stellar fantasy performances. Achane dashed for 151 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries, while Hill snatched eight of his nine targets for 181 yards and a touchdown. If the Dolphins can shore up their defense ahead of the trade deadline, they’ll be extremely difficult to beat with these speed demons.

    Oh, and don’t forget Jaylen Waddle and Raheem Mostert. Waddle, who may not be quite healthy yet, caught five of his 10 targets for 35 yards and a touchdown. Mostert scored a touchdown on his 10 carries, which he turned into 65 yards.

  • Moving on to the Giants, they suffered injury to insult when Daniel Jones exited with an injury. Jones had been performing relatively well, going 14-of-20 for 119 yards. He also scrambled four times for 24 rushing yards. Tyrod Taylor (9-of-12, 86 yards) relieved him.

  • The Giants’ leading receiver was Darren Waller, who caught eight of his 11 targets for 86 yards. DFS darling Wan’Dale Robinson was a predictable disappointment with five catches for only 18 receiving yards.

  • With Saquon Barkley out again, Matt Breida struggled with only 21 yards on nine carries. Someone named Eric Gray mustered 25 yards on 12 attempts.


  • Steelers 17, Ravens 10
  • The Ravens seemingly were doing everything in their power to keep the Steelers in this game while seemingly dominating in the early stages of this game. Despite outgaining Pittsburgh in the opening half, 244-88, the Ravens led by just seven points because they made a number of mental errors. Both Zay Flowers and Rashod Bateman dropped passes, with Bateman’s blunder occurring in the end zone. Justice Hill lost a fumble near midfield. Baltimore also ran a fourth-down play in Pittsburgh territory that seemed discombobulated.

    It still appeared as though the Ravens would prevail, even after they had another dropped touchdown (Nelson Agholor) and a blocked punt turn into a safety. They were up 10-8 and had the ball deep in Pittsburgh territory. However, it was Lamar Jackson’s turn to hurt the team, and he did so with an interception on an underthrown ball into the end zone. The Steelers took over and only needed a field goal to win, but they had other plans. Showing signs of life for the first time all afternoon, the Steeler offense saw Kenny Pickett launch a bomb to George Pickens for a 41-yard touchdown, giving the Steelers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

  • Pickett looked dreadful for most of the afternoon, but came up big in the clutch. He went 18-of-32 for 224 yards and the touchdown to Pickens, who led his team in receiving. Pickens snatched six passes for 130 yards and a touchdown.

  • Pickens was one of two skill players to step up in the second half. The other was Jaylen Warren, who turned into the primary running back following intermission. With Najee Harris struggling (14-37), Warren did a lot of the work late in the game. He rushed for 40 yards on nine carries and caught all three of his targets for 39 receiving yards.

  • Aside from Pickens and Warren, no other Steeler logged more than 29 receiving yards. The next player on the list was Allen Robinson, who registered five catches for only 29 yards.

  • It’s hard to believe, but Pickett nearly threw for more yards than Jackson. The Baltimore signal-caller dealt with incompetence from his skill players all afternoon, which would explain his poor stat line. He was 22-of-38 for 236 yards and the aforementioned interception. He also scrambled six times for 45 rushing yards.

  • Jackson’s top receiver was Flowers, who caught five of his 11 targets for 73 yards. In addition to dropping a pass, he also fell down to negate a long touchdown. Mark Andrews was next on the stat sheet with six grabs for 65 yards.

  • The Ravens didn’t get much from their rushing attack, though Hill (7-32) scored a touchdown. Gus Edwards led the team with 48 yards on 12 carries.


  • Saints 34, Patriots 0
    By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: So much for Bill Belichick bouncing back from a blowout loss. I don’t even know where to begin fixing this team. They seem completely broken.

  • During the Saints’ domination of the Patriots, #FireBill was trending on X, and while that hashtag referred to Bill Belichick, it also should apply to offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. Once again, the New England offense was horrible, diplaying predictable, vanilla play calling and a complete failure to sustain drives. Derek Carr had his best game with New Orleans, which cruised to an easy road win.

  • The domination began immediately in the first quarter when Mac Jones was hit as he threw by Carl Grandson. The pass fluttered to defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, who caught the ball and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown. The outcome of the play stemmed from Jones trying to do too much when he needed to just take the sack.

    The Patriots got moving with a 24-yard completion and an unnecessary roughness penalty on Marshon Lattimore, but that drive ended with a missed field goal. Carr took advantage with a 26-yard completion to Michael Thomas (4-65) and 25 yards to Rasheed Shaheed (2-28). On third-and-goal, the Saints opened up a big hole for Alvin Kamara to plunge into the end zone and go up 14-0.

    After more ineptitude from the Patriots offense, Carr tossed a check-down to Kendre Miller, who took off on 26-yard gain to get into New England territory. Carr capped the drive by finding Chris Olave open in the back of the end zone for a short touchdown strike. The Patriots didn’t put a drive together until the hurry-up in the final minute of the second quarter, but a Cam Jordan sack and another from Carl Granderson killed that possession to keep the score 21-0 at halftime.

    To open the third quarter, the Patriots fumbled a pitch that Jordan recovered, which set up the New Orleans offense at the New England 29. The Saints then turned that possession into field goal. Jones then had some bad luck when Ty Montgomery couldn’t control a pass and Pete Werner caught a deflection at the Patriots 31 for another turnover. A few plays later, Carr tossed a shovel pass to Foster Moreau, who powered into the end zone to put the Saints up 31-0 early in the fourth quarter. Bailey Zappe came into the game afterward and was unable to make any difference for the Patriots’ pathetic offense. The Saints tacked on another field goal in garbage time.

  • Carr completed 18-of-26 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns.


  • Kamara took 22 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown. He also brought in three receptions for 17 yards.


  • Chris Olave caught two passes for 12 yards and a touchdown.


  • Mac Jones completed 12-of-22 passes for 110 yards and two interceptions. Bailey Zappe was 3-of-9 for 22 yards.


  • Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for 24 yards over eight carries.


  • Kendrick Bourne had two catches for 43 yards.



  • Eagles 23, Rams 14
    By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: What a brutal non-cover by the Rams. They were down by three for what seemed like the entire game, but things fell apart in the fourth quarter.

  • Jalen Hurts was too much for the Rams, using his legs more in this game than he has in others this season, and hitting clutch throws to A.J. Brown. Los Angeles enjoyed the return of Cooper Kupp, but the Eagles dominated the time of possession in the second half to improve to 5-0 and drop the Rams to 2-3.


  • The Eagles opened the first quarter by moving down the field on a 12-drive that concluded with Hurts throwing a laser to Dallas Goedert for a short touchdown. The Rams responded with Matthew Stafford rifling through the Philadelphia secondary, and hitting Cooper Kupp for five receptions and 56 yards. To close out the drive, Tutu Atwell (2-9-1) caught a short touchdown pass to tie the score at 7-7. After trading punts, the Eagles got the ball moving, and they kept it going thanks to a key conversion to Kenny Gainwell and from Jalen Hurts using his legs to convert a third-and-9. That resulted in a field goal for Philadelphia. The Rams responded by hitting Kupp downfield for 39 yards before Stafford lofted in perfect pass to Puka Nacua (7-71-1) for a 22-yard touchdown.

    With only seconds remaining on the clock in the second quarter, Brown made a phenomenal one-handed catch on the run for a 36-yard gain. A horse-collar tackle penalty then advanced the ball to the 14. Pass interference in the end zone then moved the line of scrimmage to the one with two seconds left on the clock. The Eagles then successfully executed the tush-push yet again and took a 17-14 lead into the halftime.

    In the third quarter, Hurts hit Goedert down the sideline for a 49-yard gain, but a few plays later, Akhello Witherspoon made a phenomenal interception in the end zone that kept the Rams down by only three. After Los Angeles punted, Hurts used his legs for a critical third-down conversion and then hit Brown for 24 yards to set up another field goal that gave the Eagles a 20-14 lead early in the fourth quarter. Midway through the last quarter, another connection to Brown set up a game-clinching field goal. With just a few minutes left, Haason Reddick had two sacks, which essentially slammed the door on the Rams.


  • Hurts completed 25-of-38 passes for 303 yards, a touchdown and an interception. On the ground, he tallied 15 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown.


  • D’Andre Swift ran for 70 yards on 17 carries. He also made six receptions for 38 yards.


  • Brown had six catches for 127 yards. Goedert turned in a monster of game with eight receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown.


  • Stafford completed 21-of-37 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns.


  • Kyren Williams ran for 53 yards on 13 carries.


  • Kupp caught eight passes for 118 yards. But Puka Nacua was still heavily involved with seven catches for 71 yards and a touchdown.



  • Bengals 34, Cardinals 20
  • The Bengals had been one of the most underwhelming teams in the NFL through four weeks, but there was a major reason for this. Burrow simply was not 100 percent, as he was dealing with a troublesome calf that he injured during the summer. He even aggravated the injury in Week 2 and had trouble throwing deep passes in the following two games.

    That completely changed in this contest. Despite playing without Tee Higgins, Burrow finally showed signs of life. He actually looked like his old self, torching Arizona’s secondary with ease. He converted only one pass longer than 14 yards, but he made it count with a 63-yard bomb to Ja’Marr Chase that he couldn’t possibly have completed the prior two weeks. Burrow otherwise showed excellent accuracy on his intermediate throws.

    Burrow finished 36-of-46 for 317 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The pick wasn’t even his fault, as it occurred because Trenton Irwin fell down on the throw.

  • As you might expect, Ja’Marr Chase was able to benefit from Burrow’s suddenly improved calf, as well as Higgins’ absence. Chase set Cincinnati records with 15 catches for 192 yards and three touchdowns. Irwin, meanwhile, made up for his blunder with eight catches for 60 yards. Tyler Boyd chipped in with six receptions for 39 yards.

  • Joe Mixon was the lone disappointing Cincinnati offensive player. Mixon surprisingly didn’t have many running lanes. He was limited to just 81 yards on 25 carries.

  • While the Bengals prevailed by two touchdowns, this game was in doubt for a while. The Cardinals led 14-10 and had possession. However, the beginning of the end for them occurred when Joshua Dobbs made an uncharacteristic mistake. He stared down his receiver, allowing a Cincinnati player to secure a pick-six. Dobbs was still able to lead a touchdown drive after that, but when he was down 24-20, he had an awkward running play on a fourth-and-1 in Cincinnati territory to negate a scoring opportunity.

    Dobbs finished 15-of-32 for 166 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. This was Dobbs’ worst game as a Cardinal, and it wasn’t even close. Despite not having to battle Cincinnati’s top cornerback, Chidobe Awuzie, who was sidelined with an injury. It was disappointing to see Dobbs not run very much; he scrambled just three times for a single rushing yard. This is a strength of Dobbs’, so it’s unclear why he didn’t utilize his legs.

  • It didn’t help Dobbs that he lost his running back at the midway point of the game. Conner (6-46) was much better than his replacement, Emeri Demercado. The undrafted rookie rushed for 45 yards on 10 attempts.

  • Marquise Brown was Arizona’s top skill player, though he was able to convert just four of his 10 targets. He logged 61 receiving yards and a touchdown. Rondale Moore was next with three grabs for 26 receiving yards, but he also did well as a runner, rushing thrice for 50 yards.


  • Chiefs 27, Vikings 20
  • The Vikings won all the one-score games last year, but as a wise man once said, “My, how the turntables have turned.” The Vikings have now lost all of their one-score games, as they’ve shot themselves in the foot repeatedly in every game. That was the theme of this contest, and it occurred immediately when Josh Oliver lost a fumble on the opening drive, setting up a touchdown for Isiah Pacheco.

    The sloppiness persisted as the game progressed. The Vikings were eventually down a couple of touchdowns late in the game, but eventually drew to within seven in the fourth quarter. They may have been able to tie the game, but Alexander Mattison dropped a potential touchdown. The Vikings also had some clock-management mishaps toward the end of regulation, allowing the Chiefs to come away with the win.

    Kansas City prevailed, but this was nearly a Pyrrhic victory for them. Just prior to halftime, Travis Kelce suffered a leg injury on a non-contact play. Both game announcers expected the worst, but Kelce was able to return to action in the middle of the third quarter after having his foot taped. Kelce wasn’t just a decoy, as he went on to score a touchdown. He also led the team in receiving with 10 catches for 67 yards.

  • Patrick Mahomes ended up with two touchdowns on 31-of-41 passing for 281 yards. He didn’t make any mistakes like he did Sunday night, though he was nearly picked when he took a careless deep shot off his back leg. A Minnesota defensive back nearly came away with the pick, but Justin Watson snatched the ball over him instead. This allowed Watson to finish second on the Chiefs in receiving with two grabs for 56 yards. Mahomes’ other touchdown went to Rashee Rice, who caught four balls for 33 yards and a touchdown.

  • Pacheco, as mentioned earlier, also found the end zone. He rushed for 55 yards and the score on 16 carries. He caught only one ball for nine yards.

  • Pacheco was the game’s leading rusher by a wide margin, as Mattison mustered only 26 yards on eight attempts. He chipped in with two catches for 20 receiving yards and a touchdown. Cam Akers (5-15) was just as ineffective.

  • The Vikings’ passing attack suffered in the second half when Justin Jefferson was knocked out with a hamstring injury. Jefferson had a disappointing game, catching three balls for 28 yards. Jordan Addison did well in his absence with six grabs for 64 yards and a score. T.J. Hockenson was next on the stat sheet with five grabs for 51 yards.

  • Kirk Cousins put together a solid stat line, going 29-of-47 for 284 yards and two touchdowns. However, a chunk of his production came in garbage time once the Chiefs established a 27-13 lead.


  • Jets 31, Broncos 21
  • Denver’s miserable defense had reinforcements returning for this game, as three key starters – Justin Simmons, Josey Jewell, Frank Clark – all returned to action. While the defense played better than usual, it was the offense that was responsible for this defeat. Denver was ranked 11th in offensive EPA heading into this game, but that number will surely plummet in the wake of this miserable performance.

    Denver’s offensive woes were twofold. One, the team constantly made mistakes. The Broncos muffed an early punt to set up a Jets field goal, and while that wasn’t the offense’s fault, Denver was guilty of two more lost fumbles after that. One was a dropped ball on an end-around, with Marvin Mims coughing up a pitch from Samaje Perine around midfield. The next one occurred when Russell Wilson had a chance to win the game on the final drive. Down 24-21, Wilson converted some first downs, but then lost the ball when he was chased down by a pass rusher. The Jets scooped and scored, giving themselves a 10-point victory.

  • The stats say that Russell Wilson had a solid outing. He went 20-of-31 for 196 yards and two touchdowns. However, these numbers were misleading, as both touchdowns occurred on drives when the Broncos were down multiple scores. Wilson was able to rush for 49 yards on seven scrambles, but faced tons of pressure. This was the second woe for the Broncos, as the Jets flooded the backfield. Wilson was constantly hounded by the Jets’ pass rushers; it was a miracle he took only four sacks.

  • The Jets didn’t just rely on their defense; they were able to move the chains well and win the time-of-possession battle by nine minutes. Zach Wilson did well overall, but made two mistakes. The first was an interception in the fourth quarter, while the second was a time management gaffe prior to halftime. Wilson finished 19-of-26 for 199 yards and the pick.

  • New York was able to move the chains primarily on the ground. Breece Hall had a monster day with 177 rushing yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. This was a great day for Hall because he tore his ACL on this field a year ago.

  • Tyler Conklin led the Jets in receiving with four catches for 67 yards. Garrett Wilson was next with three grabs for 54 yards. For the Broncos, Samaje Perine was the top receiver with four catches for 73 yards. Both Jerry Jeudy (6-50) and Courtland Sutton (1-13) struggled to get open against a Jets secondary missing two cornerbacks.

  • The only positive offensive performer for the Broncos was Jaleel McLaughlin, who ran well in relief of the injured Javonte Williams. McLaughlin dashed for 68 yards on nine carries, and he also caught three passes for 21 receiving yards and a touchdown.


  • 49ers 42, Cowboys 10
  • Dak Prescott was extremely annoyed at a recent press conference when a reporter asked him about the team’s playoff loss to the 49ers in January. Prescott claimed he was angry because the reporter brought up something in the past. Prescott claimed the loss was in the past, but that’s no longer the case in the wake of his team’s latest loss to San Francisco.

    There was some belief that the Cowboys could play closer to the 49ers than their 19-12 loss nine months ago. Instead, the 49ers widened the margin by a great distance. The Cowboys must wish that they only lost 19-12 in this latest matchup because San Francisco dominated on both sides of the ball from start to finish.

    The biggest difference from last year to this year has been Brock Purdy’s development. Purdy was just a game manager with no experience last year. This season, Purdy has improved by leaps and bounds. He shredded Dallas’ defense mercilessly in this contest, going 17-of-24 for 252 yards and four touchdowns. Purdy nearly had a fifth score, but Deebo Samuel was tackled at the 1-yard line.

  • Three of Purdy’s touchdowns went to George Kittle, who exploded against a defense that can’t the middle of the field very well. Brandon Aiyuk (4-58) and Samuel (3-55) were next on the stat sheet. Samuel, as mentioned, was tackled at the 1-yard line.

  • Christian McCaffrey didn’t have much running room, rushing for 51 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. He also caught two passes for 27 receiving yards. McCaffrey lost a fumble near the goal line in the first half.

  • Tony Pollard was even less successful as a runner. He was limited to 29 yards on eight carries. He added 35 receiving yards on four catches, but most of that came on a 26-yard reception in garbage time. Pollard lost a fumble in meaningful action, but his team wasn’t punished for it.

  • Prescott finished with a horrendous stat line, going 14-of-24 for 153 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. He and CeeDee Lamb (4-49) were frustrated the entire night, as San Francisco used bracket coverage to erase Lamb.


  • Raiders 17, Packers 13
  • The Packers made an insanely stupid decision to use a first-round pick on “No Cookie” Jordan Love a few years ago. It hurt their immediate potential, as this selection could have been used on a talented receiver like Tee Higgins or Michael Pittman Jr. to help Aaron Rodgers win a Super Bowl. But at least the Packers had their quarterback of the future, right? There’s still time for Love to develop, and it’s a bit premature to call him a bust, but his performance in this game has to leave Green Bay fans pessimistic about their immediate future.

    Love had the luxury of battling one of the worst defenses in the NFL on Monday night. The Raiders ranked 30th in defensive EPA and 30th in pressure rate entering Week 5. There was nothing preventing Love from playing well, except for his own incompetence. That, and Maxx Crosby, who swarmed the Packer backfield. However, every Raiders opponent has had to deal with Crosby and was able to overcome it. The Raiders would have been 0-4 heading into this contest had Wil Lutz not missed a couple of routine kicks in Week 1.

    Even when Love had time in the pocket, he found ways to screw up. He threw an interception right to Robert Spillane in the second quarter to set up a Raider field goal. He had a second interception where he foolishly fired a ball into tight coverage, causing a deflection. And at the very end, Love had Christian Watson wide open for a touchdown, but threw way too late. This allowed a Raider cornerback to snatch the ball for Love’s third pick of the night, which ended the game.

    Love barely completed half of his passes, going 16-of-30 for only 182 yards and three interceptions. He had all of his receivers available to him in an easy matchup, so there are no excuses this time. Again, it’s premature to call Love a bust, but there’s still a lot of work to be done with him.

  • Love wasn’t the only Packer responsible for this loss. Romeo Doubs had a big drop two plays prior to the third pick, which probably would have prevented Love from making a desperate throw downfield. Meanwhile, the defense couldn’t get off the field against Jimmy Garoppolo despite Jaire Alexander’s return from injury. Garoppolo had a high completion percentage, going 22-of-31 for 208 yards, one touchdown and an interception where a Green Bay defender undercut the pass.

  • The Packers had trouble covering Jakobi Meyers, who caught seven of his 10 targets for 75 yards and a touchdown. Davante Adams, who was playing hurt, didn’t do much; he reeled in four receptions for 45 yards.

  • Green Bay is often poor against the run, so it was surprising to see Josh Jacobs limited to 69 yards on 20 carries. However, he scored a touchdown and caught five passes for 20 receiving yards.

  • The Packers somehow had more success running the ball despite Aaron Jones’ absence. A.J. Dillon rumbled for 76 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. One of Love’s few positive moments came when he used Dillon’s solid running to utilize a play-action deep pass to Watson for a 77-yard reception. Watson ended up leading the Packers in receiving with three catches and 91 yards.

  • Elsewhere in the Green Bay receiving corps, Luke Musgrave was second in the box score with six grabs for 34 yards. Jayden Reed was an inexplicable no-show with one catch for seven yards. The Raiders were missing their top cornerback, Nate Hobbs, who was tasked with covering Reed in the slot. It’s puzzling as to why Green Bay’s coaching staff didn’t take advantage of Hobbs’ absence.


  • For more thoughts, check out my updated NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Tuesday morning.



    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22


    2024 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 21


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19


    NFL Picks - Feb. 12








    2023: 2023 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 11
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    2017: Live 2017 NFL Draft Blog - April 30
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    2011: Live 2011 NFL Draft Blog - April 28
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    2010: Live 2010 NFL Draft Blog - April 22
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    2009: Live 2009 NFL Draft Blog - April 25
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    2008: Live 2008 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
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    Super Bowl XLIII Live Blog