Week 5 of the 2013 NFL was a bit unfair. Tony Romo threw for 506 yards and lost a barn-burner to the Broncos 51-48, while Carson Palmer threw three interceptions and had only 175 yards - and handily defeated the Panthers 22-6. On the other side of the ball, eight players turned in two-sack performances, and one, perennial QB-eater Terrell Suggs of Baltimore, turned in a ravenous three-sack game.
Here’s what else we learned:
Jaguars Dealing in Dismal: In another ugly loss, this time to the St. Louis Rams, the Jags lost starting QB Blaine Gabbert with a hamstring injury and offensive tackle Luke Joeckel for the season with a broken ankle. The NFL also asked the team to strip first round pick Denard Robinson of the OW (offensive weapon) tag he had on the team’s website, saying that it wasn’t a real position. This off-season, Jacksonville said the former Michigan star would play 15 snaps at a variety of positions including running back, fullback, wide receiver, kick returner and quarterback. His numbers through five weeks don’t exactly scream dangerous, though. Through five games, he has -1 yards rushing and zero receptions.
Is Matt Schaub Broken?: Interceptions are bad for any QB's confidence, but interceptions that lead to defensive TDs can destroy even the most accomplished QB. Schaub, who led the NFL in passing yards in 2009 and is a two-time Pro-Bowler, has done it for an NFL record four consecutive games. His three-interception performance in a disastrous 34-3 loss against the 49ers Sunday makes you think the guy is in a funk he can't get out of.
Peyton Manning, The One Man Band: Although Manning threw his first interception of the season against Dallas, his 5 TDs and 414 yards passing more than made up for the one blemish. For the season, Manning has 20 TD passes and just one interception, thanks in part to excellent pass protection and a talented recieving corps. Manning even ran for his first TD in five years.
Brady’s Streak Ends: You’d never think that the Bengals defense would hold the Patriots to just two field goals, but after four sacks and three forced fumbles, Cincinnati not only held on for a 13-6 win, they also limited Patriots QB Tom Brady to just 192 yards and no TDs. It was the first time in 52 games, the equivalent of three and a quarter seasons, that Brady failed to throw a TD pass.
Mr. 500: Only 12 quarterbacks have thrown for 500 yards in a game and after his 506–yard, five TD performance against the Broncos, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo joins the exclusive club. It wasn't enough get the win though in a tough 51-48 loss.
Giants Defense Continues to be Small: Big Blue had a 21-19 lead in the third quarter, but three interceptions from Eli Manning and lackluster defense led to a 36-21 loss. Even after Eagles QB Michael Vick left with a sore hamstring, the Giants defense couldn’t figure out backup Nick Foles, who went 16/25 with two TDs. Only one other team in NFL history has been as bad on defense as the Giants through five games. Like New York, the 1954 Chicago Cardinals gave up at least 31 points through their first five games.
Three Teams Still Perfect: While the Broncos defense was terrible, Peyton Manning and the Denver offense were simply stellar. RB Knowshon Moreno ran for 93 yards and had five receptions, while Julius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas all had five catches or more. With such a stacked offense, many QBs would find it almost impossible to keep all their weapons actively participating, but Manning has thrived this season with all the depth. Against Dallas, Manning connected with six different receivers, at least four times.
Two interceptions in the final six minutes helped pace a 26-17 Kansas City win over the Titans, but the Chiefs offense also shined. Jamal Charles had 108 yards on the ground and five catches against a Titans defense that didn’t know how to solve his versatility. For the first time since 2003, the Chiefs are 5-0. Sunday’s win over Tennessee also marked the first time Chief Head Coach Andy Reid has beat the team.
The Saints can be summed up in two full names- Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham. Tying an NFL record for a TE with his fourth consecutive 100-yard game, Graham, September's offensive player of the month, was stellar once again with a 10-catch, 135-yard day. Brees was 29/35 for 288 yards and two touchdowns in his first win against the Bears.