TOP TEN TAKEAWAYS FROM NFL WEEK #5
(1) Pittsburgh quietly keeps winning against bad and beaten-up teams. Any teams that's 4-0 deserves praise, but now I’m looking forward to them playing a team with more than 1 win. Next week against division-rival Cleveland should be a good one.
(2) Cleveland has the talent to be a playoff team. after underachieving last year, so maybe they are overachieving a bit this year. But they are young and exciting to watch – and very talented.
(3) Dak. Oh, Dak. You bet on yourself and ouch. I really hope he is okay and can come back strong. Today was a gutsy win by the Cowboys with their star QB on the shelf against a terrible team. Their defense is still the worst (34 points allowed to the Giants?), but if the season ended today Andy Dalton and Company would host a playoff game.
(4) Most surprising performances of the day were by the Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins. Going into the Super Bowl champs' nearly-empty house and lighting them up was impressive. KC defense isn’t terrible. Dropping 40 on the road is impressive. Miami continues to show heart. They also ran up the score and shocked the defending NFC champion 49ers. Wow.
(5) Among the biggest disappointments was San Francisco. Jimmy G. didn’t look well. The defense looked much worse. They had an easy start to the season schedule wise, and now their next few games will be against tougher teams. They could be out of the playoffs at this rate in a very tough NFC West division.
(6) Best story of the day was easily Alex Smith, in Washington. No matter who you root for, this was an epic moment. This man almost died. Almost lost his leg. Was told he may not walk again and today he was active and playing professional football. What an amazing story.
Here's a shot of Alex Smith's family when he went into the game and completed his first NFL pass since the injury:
(7) Congrats to the Houston Texans for finally getting a win. They are no longer associated with the embarrassments of the New York teams and Atlanta.
(8) Goodbye former Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. Soon to be joined by Adam Gase (NY Jets), I’d imagine.
(9) Quarterback is the single most important position in any sport. Russell Wilson, Josh Allen, Big Ben, Aaron Rodgers – are all great QBs this year and play on the best teams. Meanwhile, Daniel Jones should be holding a clipboard, Sam Darnold and Joe Flacco seem barely alive, and Matt Ryan hasn’t won a game since last season – easily making up the worst three teams. There is no secret recipe here. Get the QB right. And win.
(10) Referees and replays have been pretty good all year, but this was their worst week, so far. Many missed calls, bad replays, and the inability to reverse bad calls made for an excruciating weekend for fans and bettors. I hope they get it back together next week, because things had been going pretty well, so far.
-- by Sammy Action