Alex Smith, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and Eli Manning were brilliant; Ryan Tannehill and Christian Ponder were better than advertised; and Peyton Manning would have beaten any team in the league except Brady’s New England Patriots.
Week 5 in the NFL was full of thrills and spills as the Atlanta Falcons remained undefeated, the New Orleans Saints won their first game, the surprising Minnesota Vikings improved to 4-1 and in an effort to honor their cancer-stricken head coach, the Indianapolis Colts played their best game in three years and knocked off the Green Bay Packers.
With “ChuckStrong” signs all over Lucas Oil Field to honor coach Chuck Pagano who was diagnosed with leukemia this past week, Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne teamed up to give the Colts an unforgettable 30-27 upset of the Packers.
“I’m sure we were all lying to everybody the whole week, trying to downplay it,” Luck said after throwing for a career-high 362 yards. “I think we all went out there wanting to do it for Chuck more than anything else. To see all the emotions on (Colts owner) Mr. Irsay’s face, BA’s (interim coach Bruce Arians), everyone in there, I think it’s one of the greatest athletic moments I’ve ever been a part of.”
It was fun just to watch it.
It was also fun to watch the Vikings, Brady and an incredible Alex Smith. Let’s take a close look at the games of Week 5 in the NFL:
Atlanta 24 Washington 17
The Falcons went to 5-0 when Michael Turner rumbled 13 yards for the eventual winning touchdown with 2:46 to play. In the second quarter, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III left the game with a concussion. Matt Ryan went 34-for-52 for 345 yards and two touchdowns. The Redskins fell 2-3.
Minnesota 30 Tennessee 7
Christian Ponder went 25-for-35 for 258 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions but the star wasn’t Ponder, it was Percy Harvin who caught eight passes for 108 yards and a touchdown while carrying twice for eight yards and another touchdown. Adrian Peterson carried 17 times for 88 yards as the surprising Vikings improved to 4-1. Minnesota was 3-13 last year.
Indianapolis 30 Green Bay 27
This past week, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia so Indy played with just a little more enthusiasm. Andrew Luck went 31-for-55 for 362 yards, two touchdowns and one interception while Reggie Wayne was phenomenal – 13 receptions for 212 yards and a touchdown. The Colts are now 2-2 while the Packers fell to 2-3.
Chicago 41 Jacksonville 3
The Bears defense was spectacular. Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs each returned interceptions for touchdowns as Chicago dominated the poor, 1-4 Jags. Jay Cutler went 23-for-39 for 292 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Matt Forte carried 22 times for 107 yards while Brandon Marshall caught 12 passes for 144 yards and a TD. Brandon’s Israel Idonije had another tackle and played another brilliant game.
Baltimore 9 Kansas City 6
Not much to this one. Ray Rice carried 17 times for 101 yards and Justin Tucker made all three of his field goal attempts. That’s all the Ravens needed as Kansas City’s horrendous offense stayed horrendous. Matt Cassel threw for only 92 yards with two interceptions and two lost fumbles and when he suffered a head injury and was taken out of the game in the fourth quarter, Chiefs fans cheered. His right tackle, Eric Winston called it “sickening and embarrassing.”
Miami 17 Cincinnati 13
Reggie Bush scored a touchdown while Ryan Tannehill completed 17-of-26 passes for 223 yards. Otherwise, there wasn’t much to this one as the Dolphins improved to 2-3 and Cincinnati fell to 3-2.
Pittsburgh 16 Philadelphia 14
Shaun Suisham kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired to win it. The Eagles took a 14-13 lead when Michael Vick hit Brent Celek on a two-yard touchdown pass with 6:33 remaining, but Pittsburgh came back to win it. Rashard Mendenhall carried 14 times for 81 yards and a touchdown. Vick completed 20-of-30 passes for 175 yards and two TDs but he also fumbled twice.
New York Giants 41 Cleveland 27
Cleveland jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead but it didn’t last long. Eli Manning finished 25-for-37 for 259 yards and three touchdowns while Ahmad Bradshaw carried 30 times for 200 yards and another score. The Giants are now 3-2 while Cleveland fell to 5-0. The Browns are simply horrible. When will Mike Holmgren be fired?
Seattle 16 Carolina 12
The winning touchdown was scored with 35 second left in the third quarter as Russell Wilson hit Golden Tate on a 13-yarder in another game won by the Seattle defense. Cam Newton was shut down once again. This time he completed only 12-of-29 passes for a measly 141 yards and no touchdowns. Marshawn Lynch carried 21 times for 85 yards to lead the Seahawks.
New England 31 Denver 21
Tom Brady is now 9-4 lifetime against Peyton Manning. Brady completed 23-of-31 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for another TD. Neither quarterback threw an interception. Manning completed 31-of-44 passes for 345 yards and three touchdowns. That would beat most teams but not Brady’s Patriots.
San Francisco 45 Buffalo 3
Alex Smith was sweet. Smith threw for a season-high 303 yards and three touchdowns while Frank Gore ran for 106 yards and a score. The 49ers totaled a franchise-record 621 yards of offense. It’s still shocking that this Niners team was beaten by the Minnesota Vikings. Meanwhile, considering all the money the Bills spent in the off-season, this team is just horrendous.
New Orleans 31 San Diego 24
We all knew the Saints wouldn’t go 0-16. With coach Sean Payton looking on from a suite, Drew Brees broke Johnny Unitas’s 50-year-old record by throwing a touchdown pass in his 48th consecutive game (Unitas did it in 47 between 1956 and 1960) as Brees finished 29-of-45 for 370 yards with four touchdowns. It was an awesome air show overall. The Chargers Philip Rivers went 27-for-42 for 354 yards and two TDs.
Houston 23 New York Jets 17
Arian Foster ran for 152 yards and a touchdown as the Texans remained undefeated at 5-0. Texans QB Matt Schaub went 14-for28 for 209 yards and one touchdown. Texans tight end Owen Daniels caught four passes for 79 yards and a TD. It wasn’t all great news for Houston. Middle linebacker Brian Cushing tore his ACL and is lost for the season.