There Will Be No Undefeated Teams & Other Things We Learned From Week 5 In The NFL
After just five weeks into the 2014 NFL season, every team has a loss on its record. Here are the most interesting things we learned in Week 5:
The Patriots Aren't Done, Yet
Less than a week after suffering a 41-14 loss to the Chiefs, the Patriots rebounded to clobber the formerly undefeated Bengals, 43-17, on Sunday night. Tom Brady threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns, while becoming the sixth quarterback in NFL history to pass for 50,000 career yards, as New England (3-2) drilled Cincinnati (3-1) to hand the Bengals their first loss of the season. It was clearly Brady's best performance in 2014, and a statement game for the Pats. Likewise for Cincy, whose statement may have sounded like "Blahhhh."
The Cardinals Are Not For Real
If you were conned into thinking the Arizona Cardinals could remain undefeated for an extended period of time, then shake yourself awake. The Broncos hammered the Cards on Sunday afternoon to hand Arizona (3-1) its first loss of the 2014 season, 41-20. Peyton Manning joined Brett Favre as the second quarterback in NFL history with 500 touchdown passes. He threw for 479 yards and four TDs on Sunday. Denver (3-1) dominated play despite two Manning interceptions. The Cardinals managed just 37 yards rushing on the day.
The Jets Stink No Matter Who Is At QB
Defense was supposed to be the Jets' strength, but it wasn't on Sunday. Philip Rivers threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns as San Diego shut out New York, 31-0. The Chargers (4-1) pounded the Jets (1-4), who lost their fourth straight contest, even though Michael Vick replaced Geno Smith on New York's first possession of the second half. One NFL coach — Oakland's Dennis Allen — has already been replaced this season. If the Jets' slide continues, Rex Ryan could join him on the unemployment line soon.
The Cowboys Nearly Pulled Defeat Out Of The Jaws Of Victory
Despite a sketchy secondary and an inconsistent offense, Dallas is among the NFC's best teams. The Cowboys (4-1) won their fourth straight game, 20-17, over cross-state rival Houston (3-2) on Dan Bailey's game-winning 49-yard field goal in overtime. Truth: this game never should have gotten to the extra session. Dallas led 17-7 late in the fourth quarter, but the Texans scored twice in the last 2:27 of regulation to tie (before Bailey missed a 53-yard kick as time expired). The Cowboys didn't figure to be in the NFC East hunt, but they are tied for the division lead as the 2014 season enters its sixth week.
Rallies Were Kind Of A Big Deal
Plenty of teams seemed destined for easy victories on Sunday before rallies stomped out their chances. One survived...barely.
• In Carolina, the Bears led 21-7, but the Panthers overcame the 14-point deficit to beat the Bears, 31-24, on Cam Newton's six-yard TD pass to Greg Olsen with 2:19 left.
• The Lions led the Bills, 14-0, early in the second quarter, but Dan Carpenter's 58-yard field goal with four seconds to play gave Buffalo a 17-14 win.
• The Giants trailed the Falcons, 20-10 more than midway through the third quarter, but New York reeled off 20 straight points en route to a 30-20 victory.
• The Titans built a 28-3 second-quarter lead on the Browns, but a furious Cleveland rally culminated with Brian Hoyer's six-yard TD pass to Travis Benjamin with 1:09 remaining and a 29-28 Browns win.
• The Buccaneers held a 31-20 lead on New Orleans into the fourth quarter, but the Saints rallied to tie the game at 31 on Shayne Graham's 44-yard field goal with 2:30 to play. New Orleans won the contest, 37-31, on Khiry Robinson's 18-yard scamper in overtime.
• The Eagles led 34-7 with just 2:15 remaining in the third quarter, but the Rams rallied to within six points, 34-28, coming up short on their final offensive series of the game near midfield.
A big play — or stop — in any of the games listed above could have changed the course of the season for the teams in question.
Th. Oct. 2
Green Bay 42, Minnesota 10
Sun. Oct. 5
Indianapolis 20, Baltimore 13
Pittsburgh 17, Jacksonville 9
San Francisco 22, Kansas City 17
Bye Week: Oakland, Miami