5 Things we Learned in Week 5 | October 10, 2012
It’s fair to say that Week 5 of the season had its fair share of duff games and blow outs. The latter stages of one sided affairs are painful viewings, even if you support the winning team. Endless short gains, back up QBs and rapidly emptying stadiums are nobody’s idea of an exciting climax. Even the 3 point game between the Ravens and the Chiefs was a touchdown free bore-fest. And don’t ask Jags, Bills or Titans fans their opinions of the last round of fixtures!
Luckily, there were still enough great games and interesting storylines to give me something to write about, so let’s kick off with the 5 Things we learned in Week 5…
1. Ryan Tannehill is a fast learner
Like the majority of NFL fans, I thought the Dolphins were reaching too far when selecting Tannehill at 8 in the Draft. It smacked of desperation and of a team going nowhere. The start of the season appeared to back up this assertion as Tannehill looked ruffled in the pocket and often missed his targets. However, the last 2 weeks have seen Tannehill make massive strides forward – he threw for over 400 yards in the OT defeat to Arizona and then this week he efficiently led the Fins to a surprise win over the Bengals. It’s early days, but Tannehill is showing signs that he could be the long term answer in Miami.
2. It’s Looking Bleak in Buffalo
Like the majority of NFL fans (you get the theme!), I thought the Bills were a decent outside bet for a trip to the play offs. 6 Quarters ago they were 2-1 and 21-7 up against the Patriots…since then they’ve conceded 90 points! That’s roughly a TD every 7 minutes and coupled with an interception happy Ryan Fitzpatrick, has left Bills fans with that familiar sinking feeling. Of course, 2-3 isn’t a terminal problem (esp in a weak AFC) but it’s going to take a amazing turnaround from Chan Gailey to get this team back on track. Fun Bills Fact – their leading rusher this week was back up QB Brad Smith…he had one run!
3. Andrew Luck is for real…already!
Without doubt, the game of the Week was at the Lucas Oil Stadium, as the Colts upset the Packers on a highly emotional afternoon following the sad news regarding Head Coach Cuck Pagano. Reggie Wayne produced a vintage display that included at least 2 jaw dropping catches, but it was young Andrew Luck who shone brightest by showing composure management, power and skill that belied his young career. His game winning drive – which saw him find Wayne 5 times – will be remembered for years to come by Colts fans. Mason Crosby’s last second Field Goal miss seemed completely inevitable. This was the Colts day and it’s one that Andrew Luck will never forget.
4. Chicago is home to the NFL’s Best Defence
Yes, I know it was only the Jags and Blaine “Billy Loomis” Gabbert, but once again the Bears looked utterly dominate in Defence. Messrs Briggs and Tilman returned Interceptions for the second week in a row, whilst the unit reduced the Jags to under 200 total yards and rendered MJD (a 27 yard run aside) totally irrelevant. It wasn’t a one off either, last week they picked off Tony Romo 5 times and limited the Cowboys to just 41 rushing yards. Good Luck to the Lions, who will be meeting the Bears fresh from a bye week in Week 7!
5. This Year’s International Series should be a Cracker
When it was announced, few fans were excited about the Rams playing the Pats at Wembley. the game had a rather lop sided look and even the most one eyed Rams fan will have been fearing a thrashing. However, St Louis have been looking rather good in recent weeks. They ended the Cards unbeaten run this Week and have an encouraging 3-2 record. The Pats boast the same record and Brady and Co are also clicking into gear. New England will still be favourites but this one is no done deal. Plus, we’ll get to see Greg the Leg attempt to clear the Wembley arch!
Star of the Week – Alex Smith: 18-24, 303 Yds, 3TDs. If that’s being a game manager, then I’d like Smith to come and manage a few Eagles games in the near future! Oh, and he ran 3 times for a further 49 yards as the Niners broke the franchise record for Total Yardage.
Flop of the Week – Chris Johnson: He had to be included here one week this season! This week’s Johnson masterclass saw him average a whopping 1.7 yards per run and cough up a fumble. At present, the Tians would be equally as successful if they ran a QB sneak on every running play.
Highlight of the Week – It’s got to be the Packers-Colts game. And in particular, the “Chuckstrong” message that both teams proudly displayed. Chuck Pagano has more important things to tackle at present, but on Sunday his team did him proud and - for a while at least – made the world seem a better place.