NFL 2016 Week 5 Recap

NFL 2016 Week 5 Recap

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers was the Thursday night game. The Cardinals entered the season thinking Super Bowl and stumbled to a 1-3 start. To make matters worse, Carson Palmer was out injured for this game. The good news for the Cardinals was that backup quarterback Drew Stanton is solid, and they were playing the inept 49ers. Early on neither team could generate any offense. In the second quarter Blaine Gabbert capped an 87 yard drive by Hitting Kerley for a 9 yard touchdown and a 7-0 49ers lead. With 1:55 left in the half facing 3rd and 10 at their own 24, Gabbert was intercepted. One play later Stanton went deep to Larry Fitzgerald for the score as the teams went to the locker rooms deadlocked 7-7.

The 49ers fumbled the second half kickoff, setting up the Cardinals at the San Francisco 14. On 4th and 4 Chandler Catanzaro made the 26 yard field goal, but a running into the kicker penalty caused Bruce Arians to take the points off the board. On the next play David Johnson ran for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Cardinals. The Cardinals got it back at their own 29. Johnson ran for a 23 yard gain and stanton went deep to Fitzgerald again for a 29 yard touchdown and a 21-7 Cardinals lead. This time the 49ers came back as an 11 play, 82 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive culminated in Carlos Hyde getting in from the one. The 49ers only trailed 21-14 after three quarters.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Gabbert was intercepted again, giving the Cardinals the ball at the San Francisco 24. Catanzaro hit from 36 for a 24-14 Arizona lead. The 49ers went 3 and out and Arians shifted strategy. Rather than an aerial attack, he went smash mouth. A 12 play, 76 yard drive ate over 7 minutes of clock time. On 3rd and 1 from the 2 with 4 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Johnson got in to lock up the win. Chip Kelly has a mess on his hands, while the Cardinals may have saved their season. A garbage time touchdown made the score appear much closer than the reality. San Francisco even got the ball back at their own one, but there would be no comeback. A sack of Gabbert for a safety with 1:15 left ended things. 33-21 Cardinals

Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings — The Vikings are a legitimate Super Bowl contender, and Mike Zimmer is doing one of the all time great coaching jobs. The Purple People Eaters are back, and Sam Bradford went 22 of 30 for 271 yards, 2 touchdown, and 0 interceptions. Early on Bradford hit Thielen for a 36 yard touchdown to cap an 84 yard drive. Asiaita got in from the one for a 14-0 Vikings lead after the first quarter. When the Vikings got to the one in the second quarter, they settled for a 19 yard Blair Walsh field goal. However, when Mark Sherels returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown, the Vikings had a 24-0 second quarter lead and were never threatened. The Texans got a couple second quarter field goals, but a 9 yard touchdown pass from Bradford to Cordarelle Patterson in the fourth quarter made it 31-6 Vikings. A garbage time touchdown did not derail the 5-0 Vikings. 31-13 Vikings

Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins — Both of these teams are awful, but the Dolphins should have won the Stupor Bowl at home. Adam Gase’s offense remains dreadful. In the first quarter MARCU marmots ran for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Titans. In the second quarter Grant returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown and a 7-7 game. Yet Mariota was unstoppable. A 12 play, 76 yard, 7 minute drive saw Mariota hit Andre Johnson from 5 yards out to make it 14-7 Titans. The Dolphins tae back 79 yards and Ajayi ran it in from 4 yards out to make it 14-14 at the 2 minute warning. Mariota quickly moved the Titans 75 yards. A 20 yard touchdown pass to Melanie Walker had the Titans up 21-14 at the halftime.

The third quarter was a slog, with Ryan Succop hitting from 40 yards out for the Titans and Franks countering from 24 to have the Dolphins within 24-17. in the fourth quarter the Titans put the game away. Mariota moved them 66 yards and hit Ryan Mathews for the 4 yard clinching touchdown. Ryan Tannehill finished 12 of 18 for 191 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions, including one late that killed any hope of a rally. Mariota went 20 of 29 for 163 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions, in addition to one rushing touchdown. 30-17 Titans

New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns — Tom Brady was back, and burning for revenge. The winless Cleveland Browns never had a chance. The Patriots went right to work, quickly moving 80 yards. Laguerrette Blount got in from the one to make it 7-0 Patriots. Cody Kessler did lead the Browns 75 yards and throw an 11 yard touchdown to Hawkins for a 7-7 game. After that, reality set in. Brady moved the Patriots 75 yards and threw a 7 yard touchdown pass to Marcellus Bennet for a 14-7 Patriots lead. Kessler then fumbled the ball out of the end zone for a safety as the Patriots led 16-7 after the first quarter. Brady threw touchdown passes to Bennett of 5 yards in the second quarter and 37 yards in the third quarter for a 30-7 Patriots lead. Brady finished 28 of 40 for 406 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Thanks to last week, the Patriots will not go 16-0. 15-1 is very realistic. 33-13 Patriots

New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers — Early on this was a competitive game. Nick Folk hit a 35 yard field goal for a 3-0 Jets lead. The Steelers quickly struck back as Ben Roethlisberger hit Coates for a 72 yard touchdown and a 7-3 Steelers lead. In the second quarter the Jets got within 7-6 when Folk hit from 48. The Jets got it back and went 69 yards as Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Brandon Marshall for a 15 yard touchdown and a 13-7 Jets lead. With only 2:06 left in the half the Steelers took over at their own 25. Big Ben worked the 2 minute drill to perfection and threw a one yard score to James for a 14-13 Steelers lead at the half. In the second half the Pittsburgh defense clamped down.

In the third quarter a 33 yard punt return led to a 47 yard Chris Boswell field goal for a 17-13 Steelers lead. An 80 yard drive led to Roethlisberger hitting Antonio Brown for a 5 yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 24-13 Steelers lead. Midway through the fourth quarter Roethlisberger led a 12 play, 6 minute, 79 yard drive that killed the clock and put the game on ice. A 5 yard touchdown to Coates with 1:46 left dropped Todd Bowles’s Jets to 1-4. Mike Tomlin has a 4-1 squad. Fitzpatrick was 25 of 38 for 255 yards and one touchdown, while Roethlisberger was a magnificent 34 of 47 for 380 yards and 4 touchdown passes. Neither signal caller was intercepted. 31-13 Steelers

Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens — This game was a head scratcher as both teams with decent offense played a defensive slog. Early on Joe Flacco moved the Ravens 75 yards and hit gill more for a 7 yard touchdown to get the Ravens on the board first. Crowder returned a punt 85 yards for a score to get the Redskins within 7-6 game after the first quarter. The extra point was no good. The end zone was ignored the final 45 minutes. Justin Tucker hit a 31 yard field goal for the Ravens in the second quarter for a 10-6 Baltimore lead at the half. In the third quarter after taking over at midfield, Kirk Cousins hit Pierre Garcon for a 21 yard touchdown to make it 13-10 Redskins. Dustin Hopkins added a 27 yard field goal for a 6 point Washington lead after three quarters. With 2 1/2 minutes left the Ravens moved from their 17 to a 3rd and 8 at the Washington 21 with 27 seconds to play. Flacco threw incomplete twice and Baltimore dropped their second straight home game after winning their first three games. 16-10 Redskins

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions — The unbeaten Eagles faced a Lions team on the ropes. As ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman reminds us, “that’s why they play the games. Matthew Stafford led a pair of 5 minute drives that went 75 and 80 yards and culminated in touchdown passes of one and 17 yards to Theo Roddick for a 14-0 Lions lead after the first quarter. In the second quarter Carson Wentz moved the Eagles 75 yards and hit Ryan Mathews from one yard out to get Philadelphia within 14-7. Stafford brought the Lions back 75 yards and hit Marvin Jones from the one to cap the 7 minute drive and make it 21-7 Lions.

The Lions have blown some big leads, and they did so again. Caleb Sturgis hit from 50 to get the Eagles within 21-10 at halftime. In the third quarter Wentz moved the Eagles 75 yards and hit Huff for a one yard score to get the Eagles within 21-17. Midway through the third quarter the Lions faced 2nd and 24 from their own 12. Stafford was sacked and fumbled and the Eagles took over at the Detroit 16. The defense held and the Eagles settled for a 33 yard Sturgis field goal to get within 21-20. With 6 1/2 minutes left Sturgis hit from 40 as the Eagles led 23-21. The Detroit collapse appeared complete.

With 2:41 to play the Eagles faced 3rd and 2 at their own 45. A running play was blown up in the backfield as Mathews fumbled. The Lions took over at the Detroit 45. On 3rd and 4, Stafford hit Golden Tate for 27 yards with unnecessary roughness adding 6 more. With 90 seconds left, Matt Prater hit a 29 yard field goal to put the Lions back in front by a point. Wentz was then quickly intercepted as Doug Pederson lost his first game as an NFL head coach. Jim Caldwell was so pleased by the win that he almost made a facial expression. 24-23 Lions

Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts — Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together and play a good game. This actually was that game. Early on Connor Barth hit a 35 yard field goal for the Bears. Adam Vinatieri countered from 54 for  3-3 game after the first quarter. In the second quarter Andrew Luck moved the Colts 80 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes and hit Allen for a one yard touchdown to make it 10-3 Colts. Barth hit from 49 and vinatieri answered from 53 for a 13-6 Colts lead. Yet Bryan Hoyer led the bears 75 yards and threw a 14 yard touchdown pass to Meredith for a 13-13 game.

Vinatieri hit from 26 before the half ended and from 41 in the third quarter to make it 19-13 Colts. Yet this see-saw game then tilted again in the fourth quarter. Barth hit from 24 to get the Bears within 19-16. The Bears got it back at their own 4 and Hoyer led a 96 yard drive. A 21 yard touchdown pass to Howard had the Bears back in front 23-19 midway through the fourth quarter.

The pendulum swung again. Luck led an 82 yard drive and went deep to TY Hilton for a 35 yard touchdown for a 26-23 Colts lead with 3:43 to play. On the ensuing play from scrimmage from the Chicago 15, a 12 yard completion was fumbled. Despite taking over at the Chicago 29, the Colts offense could not put the game away. Vinatieri hit from 46 for a 6 point Colts lead with 2 1/2 minutes left. Chicago took over at their own 25 and moved to a critical 3rd and 5 at the Indy 25. A key offensive holding penalty led to 4th and 8 with one minute left. Hoyer threw incomplete and the Colts survived. Hoyer was a solid 33 of 43 for 397 yards and Luck was 28 of 39 for 322 yards. Each quarterback threw 2 touchdowns without an interception. 29-23 Colts

Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos — We keep hearing that defense wins championships, and last year Denver proved it. This game was the Falcons offense against the unbeaten Denver defense, with Paxton Lynch making his first NFL start in place of an injured Trevor Siemian. Early on the Falcons moved 75 yards and Devonta Freeman got in from the one. Matt Bryant tacked on a 46 yard field goal for a 10-0 Falcons lead. In the second quarter Brandon McManus kicked a 35 yard field goal for Denver, but after that Atlanta took over. A staggering 17 play, 77 yard drive consumed 7 minutes. The Falcons settled for a 33 yard Bryant field goal and a 13-3 halftime lead. In the third quarter with a short field, Matt Ryan hit Coleman for a 31 yard touchdown and a 20-3 Falcons lead.

In the fourth quarter McManus hit from 46 but Bryant countered from 25 for a 23-6 Falcons lead. Lynch tried to rally the Broncos. A 16 play, 78 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive was capped by Lynch hitting Denarius Thomas for a 3 yard touchdown. The Broncos were within 23-13, but only 2 1/2 minutes remained. The onside kick failed and the Falcons took over at the Denver 38. On 4th and 1 from the 29 at the 2 minute warning, Dan Quinn made the curious decision to go for it rather than tack on another field goal. Rather than run, a pass play was incomplete. With 14 seconds left and needing 2 scores, Gary Kubiak had McManus attempt a 45 yard field goal. It was good, but the onside kick failed. The Broncos were knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten. Kubiak was taken to the hospital after the game with flu like symptoms. Meanwhile, on this day offense won. 23-16 Falcons

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams — These teams started out awful with no offense, and in recent weeks have played solid football. The Bills had won 2 straight and the Rams 3 straight as Rex Ryan and Jeff Fisher went from the firing line to being praised. Early on Greg Zuerlein hit from 37 to make it 3-0 Rams. Tyron Taylor hit Hunter for a 4 yard touchdown to cap a 12 play, 76 yard, 7 minute drive to make it 7-3 Bills. In the second quarter Gillislee ran it in from 5 yards out. The extra point was blocked but the Bills led 13-3.

The Rams got back in it with a 32 yard Zuerlein field goal. They got the ball back and moved 64 yards. Todd Gurley got in from one yard out for a 13-13 game. Dan Carpenter hit a 23 yard field goal as the Bills took a 16-13 lead into the locker rooms. Zuerlein answered from 54 in the third quarter for a 16-16 game. The key play in the game came with 4 minutes left in the third quarter. On 2nd and 14 from the Rams 31, Case Keenum was intercepted. Robby Coleman returned it 41 yards for a touchdown as the Bills led 23-16 after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter Keenum led a 13 play, 89 yard drive that consumed over 8 minutes off the clock. Yet on 1st and goal from the 8, a run lost 5 yards. On 4th and goal from the 4, Jeff Fisher opted to kick the field goal with 6 minutes left and trust his defense as the Rams trailed 23-19. That strategy worked as Buffalo went 3 and out. Yet the Rams also failed to gain a first down. With 3:47 to play, facing 4th and 5 at their own 23, Jeff Fisher called a fake punt that did not work. The Bills took over at the Rams 25 and Tyrod Taylor hit Goodwin for a 6 yard touchdown with 2 1/2 minutes left to seal the win. Armchair quarterbacks will attack Fisher’s decision, but Rex Ryan’s special teams made a great play. Buffalo has won 3 straight after an 0-2 start, with consecutive road wins that stopped a pair of other three game wins streaks. 30-19 Bills

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders — The game of the day saw the 1-3 Chargers at the 3-1 Raiders, but the Chargers have lost their 3 games by 13 total points with epic fourth quarter collapses. The Raiders won all 3 games by 9 total points. For some reason the Raiders do well in San Diego but always struggle against the Chargers at home in Oakland. Today was no exception. The Raiders were primed for another letdown that would have their fans saying that while they were improved, they were not at the next level yet.

On the 3rd play of the game, Derek Carr was intercepted to give the Chargers the ball at the Oakland 30. Yet on 3rd and 2 from the 22, a 9 yard completion from Philip Rivers to old reliable Antonio Gates saw Gates fumble the ball back to Oakland. Turnovers killed the Chargers in this game. The Raiders then had a staggering 16 play, 87 yard drive that consumed 8 minutes off the clock. Yet on 2nd and goal from the 2, Carr thew incomplete twice. Jack Del Rio has gambled a bunch this year, but not this time. Sebastian Janikowski hit the 20 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Raiders. On the next play from scrimmage Rivers was intercepted, setting up Oakland at the San Diego 32. Yet the Oakland offense went nowhere and Seabass missed from 50 as the Raiders kept wasting opportunities.

The Chargers soon faced 4th and 1 at their own 49 and Mike McCoy decided to punt. The Raiders entered the neutral zone and gave the Chargers an automatic first down. Early in the second quarter the Raiders paid for their mistake as Rivers hit Williams for a 29 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Chargers. The Raiders moved 67 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. Yet on 1st and goal at the 8, a pair of Carr incompletions sandwiched around a failed run meant another field goal. Janikowski hit from 26 but the Raiders trailed 7-6.

With 4 1/2 minutes left in the half Josh Lambo hit a 36 yard field goal to make it 10-6 Chargers. Oakland went 3 and out, but the chargers soon faced 3rd and 16 at their own 18 just past the 2 minute warning. Rivers was intercepted again and the Raiders took over at the San Diego 44. Seabass levels a 56 yarder to end the half as the Raiders were only down 10-9. The first half was a slog. The third quarter was an aerial attack reminiscent of the old Al Davis, Sid Gilman and Don Coryell days. Jim Plunkett and Dan Fouts in the 1980s would have admired Carr and Rivers.

On the first play of the second half, Rivers was sacked and fumbled. However, the Chargers retained possession. On 2nd and 15 from their 20, Rivers found Henry, who raced for a 59 yard gain. Rivers then hit Melvin Gordon for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 17-9 Chargers. The Raiders soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 25. Carr hit Michael Crabtree or an 11 yard gain and then went Darryl Lamonica Mad Bomber style for a 64 yard touchdown to Amari Cooper to get the Raiders within 17-16.

After a touchback, the Chargers moved easily. Rivers went bombs away to Williams for a 50 yard gain. Gordon ran for 24 yards down to the one and got in on the next play for a 24-16 Chargers lead. The Raiders moved from their own 25 to a critical 3rd and 3 at the San Diego 27. A critical false start killed the drive. Janikowski’s fourth field goal from 48 yards out got the Raiders within 24-19 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

The Chargers then self-destructed. Gordon fumbled and the Raiders recovered at the San Diego 38. On 3rd and 3 from the 21, Carr threw incomplete. Jack Del Rio this time decided to gamble. A field goal would have made it 24-22, but Rivers can throw touchdowns quickly. Rather than even call a conservative play, Del rio went for all the marbles. Carr threw the 21 yard touchdown pass to Crabtree and hit Cooper for the 2 point conversion. Cardiac Jack, Cardiac Carr and Cardiac Crabtree had the Raiders up 27-24.

On the last play of the third quarter, the Chargers punted on 4th and 13 from their own 16. Special teams killed the Chargers as Kaser shanked a 16 yard punt, letting the Raiders to start the fourth quarter at the San Diego 32. From the 7, a touchdown to Cooper was ruled incomplete. The referees said Cooper stepped out of bounds. Cooper said he was pushed, but the referees disagreed. However, defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Olawale banged in for a 34-24 Raiders lead with 13 minutes remaining. However, the Raiders have not been strong in recent years at finishing games. Rivers was still not done slinging it.

After a touchback, the Chargers faced 3rd and 1 at the Oakland 42. Watt got 2 yards and Mike McCoy then went to the bag of tricks old AFL style. Rivers lateraled the ball to Gordon. Gordon lateraled the ball back to Rivers. Rivers took the flea flicker and found Benjamin for a 23 yard gain. Rivers hit Gates for a 4 yard touchdown as the Chargers were within 3 points with 6 1/2 minutes to play.

The Raiders went 3 and out and the Chargers took over at their own 33 with 4 minutes left. With 3 minutes left, on 3rd and 2 from the Oakland 19, Gordon only got one yard. On 4th and 1 from the 18 with 2:07 to play, Mike McCoy played for the tie and not the win. A 36 yard field goal would mean a 34-34 game. Rambo never got the chance. Kaser was the goat with the shanked punt, but this time he was an even bigger goat. He fumbled the snap, and the play lost 17 yards. The snap was clean. Kaner just mishandled it. The Chargers got it back at their own 21 with 11 seconds left, but the hook and laterals never got going.

The 1-4 Chargers are finding new creative ways to lose as Mike McCoy may not survive the season. As for the Raiders, they have won 4 games by only 12 total points. Yet they are winning games they used to lose, and are 4-1 for the first time since the 2002 season. Jack Del Rio is making a strong early case for coach of the year, with Carr as a possible MVP.  Rivers finished 21 of 30 for 359 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Carr was 25 of 40 for 317 yards, 2 touchdowns, and one interception. San Diego also had 5 fumbles, losing 2 of them for a total of 4 turnovers. The Raiders did not fumble the ball. 34-31 Raiders

Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys — The Dak Prescott legend is growing as the Cowboys obliterated the Bengals from the start. Ezekiel Elliot ran for a 13 yard first quarter touchdown to cap a 64 yard drive. In the second quarter an 11 play, 89 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive saw Prescott run for a 5 yard touchdown. Prescott moved the Cowboys 80 yards again and hit Cole Beasley for a 14 yard score for a 21-0 Cowboys lead. One play and 9 seconds in the third quarter was enough for Elliott to run for a 68 yard touchdown as the Cowboys led 28-0 after three quarters. Prescott finished 18 of 24 yards for 227 yards, one touchdown and 0 interceptions as the Cowboys got to 4-1. Elliott finished with 134 yards on 15 carries and 2 touchdowns. The entire fourth quarter was garbage time, where the Bengals finally scored. 28-14 Cowboys

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers is the Sunday night game. While some Americans watched the presidential debate, there was no doubt which team won this football contest. Aaron Rodgers led a staggering 16 play, 75 yard drive that consumed nearly 9 minutes off the clock. A 2 yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson made it 7-0 Packers. In the second quarter Josh Brown hit a 47 yard field goal for the Giants. Rodgers brought the Packers back 80 yards as a 29 yard touchdown pass to Adams made it 14-3 Packers.

After that, the field goal kickers took over for long stretches. Brown hit from 41 and Crosby answered from 44 for a 17-6 Packers halftime lead. In the third quarter Brown hit from 30, but in the fourth quarter Crosby hit from 33 and 25 for a 23-9 Packers lead. The last one culminated a 13 play, 73 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive and left the Giants down by 14 with only 6 1/2 minutes left. With 3 minutes left, Eli Manning found Odell Beckham for an 8 yard touchdown. Big Blue needed a stop on defense. The Giants took their last timeout with 2 1/2 minutes left and the Packers facing 3rd and 10 at their own 35. Rodgers hit Randall Cobb for a 13 yard gain and then took three knees. It was not pretty but the Packers got to 3-1 as the Giants have lost 3 straight since their 2-0 start. 23-16 Packers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers was the Monday night game. The Panthers and Buccaneers have both struggled in dropping to 1-3, but the Panthers had beaten the Bucs six straight times. With Cam Newton in concussion protocol, Derek Anderson got the start. Even by NFC South standards, this one was ugly. Roberto Aguayo had a pair of 35 yard field goals, one in each quarter, as the Buccaneers took a 6-0 lead into the locker rooms. In the third quarter Artis-Payne ran for one and twelve yard touchdowns as the Panthers led 14-6. Jameis Winston struggled all game but unleashed a 38 yard pass to Brate followed by a 26 yard touchdown to Mike Evans. Winston hit Humphries for the 2 point conversion for a 14-14 game after three quarters. The fourth quarter came down to who wanted it least.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, on 3rd and 4 from the Tampa Bay 44, Anderson got the 4 yards but fumbled the ball away. The Panthers got it back and moved from their 18 to 1st and goal at the one. Rather than hand it off, Anderson was intercepted for a touchback. The Bucs moved from their 20 to the Carolina 38. With 3 1/2 minutes left, Aguayo came in for a 46 yard field goal try to give the Buccaneers the lead. It was no good. Carolina went 3 and out and the Buccaneers got it back at their own 14 with 1:49 to play. On 3rd and 7, Winston found Evans for 11. With 1:10 left and facing 3rd and 4 from their own 34, Winston hit Jacquez Rodgers for 8 and Vincent Jackson for 14 more to the Carolina 44. With 41 seconds left from the Carolina 32, a run gained nothing. However, a defensive facemark penalty was the difference between a 50 yard field goal try and a 38 yarder with 3 seconds left. This time Aguayo was good. Ron Rivera had a 15-1 team last year. This year he has a 1-4 squad. 17-14 Buccaneers

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