Seven days after telling the media he was “always open”, Ja’Maar Chase backed the talk up with a massive performance in Week 5. The Bengals’ WR singlehandedly dominated the Cardinals, grabbing 15 balls for 192 yards and three touchdowns. It’s been a bit of a struggle in the passing game for Cincinnati thus far, but with a guy like Chase catching passes from Joe Burrow, the tough times can only last so long. In Week 6, Ja’Maar will have an opportunity to prove himself again against a young Seahawks secondary that hasn’t seen a receiver of his stature yet this year.
It’s been a tough last fourteen months or so for Nathaniel Hackett but winning against his former team must have felt fantastic. After being fired by Denver before his debut season as a head coach was even over, Hackett was thrown under the bus in the offseason by just about everyone, including Broncos’ current head coach Sean Payton. As a member of the Jets coaching staff, Hackett got a measure of revenge in Week 5 as New York bested the Broncos by 10. He got to enjoy the win in Denver too, which must have made it even sweeter. As this season goes on, it’s looking more and more like last year for the Broncos wasn’t nearly as much on Hackett as everyone thought.
San Francisco 49ers
Can anyone stop the 49ers this year? In Week 5, San Francisco faced their toughest opponent so far in the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. At least, everyone thought they’d be the toughest. The game finished in a 42-10 blowout that saw backups all over the field in the fourth quarter. Brock Purdy threw for four touchdowns and 252 yards in just 24 passing attempts as the 9ers rolled to a 5-0 record in primetime. It may be true that the Cowboys aren’t as good as some people thought. However, it could also be true that San Francisco is just that much better than everyone else right now.
On the other side of the Sunday Night beatdown was Dak Prescott. Prescott was once again exposed in a Cowboys loss, throwing for just 153 yards and three interceptions. Like the team in general, Prescott can look very good against inferior opponents but often struggles when playing better teams. The Cowboys are obviously still OK at 3-2, but still, fans should be tempering expectations in the big games with this team. For Dak, he’ll need to find ways to get CeeDee Lamb involved more. In four of five games this year, the ultra-talented Lamb has caught just four passes.
In Week 4, Bill Belichick was handed the biggest loss of his career in a 38-3 pasting courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys. Then, in Week 5, his Patriots improved their differential by just one point, losing 34-0 to New Orleans. It’s obviously been a very tough stretch for the Patriots that could be attributed to a lot of things, but when you’re the head coach AND the GM, some of the blame has to fall on you. This offence hasn’t scored a touchdown in over ten quarters, and for the first time in twenty years, it seems that the Patriots head coaching job is no longer one of the most secure in the league.
In Week 5, the Vikings lost twice. They lost 27-20 to the visiting Kansas City Chiefs, and they lost their superstar WR Justin Jefferson to the IR for at least four weeks. A year after finishing 11-0 in one score games, Minnesota is 0-4 in such contests and the blow-it-up rumors are already starting. At the age of 35 and in the last year of his contract, a Kirk Cousins trade seems more viable now than ever before, especially considering Jefferson’s injury. If Cousins were to be dealt, things would get very difficult for Minnesota, and the tank would be on. It’s wild to think that a team that finished 13-4 last season is already considering a rebuild, but that’s exactly where Minnesota finds themselves.