Week five of the NFL has been and gone so lets take a look at who starred in what was an excellent week of NFL action.
Patriots Offensive Line
It's an amazing turn up for the books but when Tom Brady has time to operate in the pocket he looks a player who is a first ballot half of fame quarterback with three
Superbowl rings and over 50,000 throwing yards.
The Patriots offensive line finally gave Brady some pass protection and Vereen/Ridley some run blocking it made all the difference as New England won big on Monday night.
Watching Monday night's game between Washington and Seattle it was hard to not feel sorry for Jim Haslett. Time after time Washington's defense would be inches away from
sacking the QB only to see Russell Wilson dance around the defender and make a sensational play.
Nothing demonstrated this better than the play late on in the fourth quarter. A Seahawks first down would finish the game. Washington cut threw the Seattle offensive line like
a hot knife through butter. A scrambling Wilson started sprinting backwards for what should have been a 4th and 20 but the QB dinked a pass right onto the arms of running back Marshawn Lynch for a game sealing first down.
Wilson finished the game with 201 passing yards and 122 rushing yards along with two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. These figures would have been even higher had the Seahawks not lost three touchdowns and 90 yards to penalties. It's performances like this that earned Wilson the number four spot in my QB rankings.
Chuck Pagano and Colts defense
When a quarterback goes up against an opposition Head Coach who used to be defensive co-ordinator for his team the outcome is always interesting to watch. The
defensive co-ordinator should know exactly what the quarterback struggles with the most and so it proved to be with Chuck Pagano and Joe Flacco.
The Colts defense which previously had not really been able to get any sort of penetration gave Flacco a nightmare. In the previous four weeks Flacco had been hit a total of three times and those three hits had all come in week one against the Bengals. Against the Colts though Flacco was hit four times as the Colts excellent run defense meant that the Ravens were forced to throw the ball more than they wanted.
If you were a Packers fan or an Eddie Lacy fantasy owner the opening four weeks of the season have been tough. Lacy rushed for a grand total of just 130 yards. Against the Vikings on Thursday Lacy nearly matched that record in one game rushing for 105 yards at an average of 8.1 yards per carry.
The Cowboys may be a ground and pound offense now but as QB its clear that Tony Romo is still relied upon to make plays and make plays Romo certainly did. Despite having to switch to a silent count thanks to the number of Texans fans in Dallas Romo had one of his best ever NFL games. Figures of 324 yards and two touchdowns are impressive on their own but they don't capture the full brilliance of his performance. Shaking off J.J. Watts to launch a 43 yard touchdowns bomb capped it all off.
Newton has a poor offensive line in front of him and is struggling with so many injuries that he could be a zombie on the Walking Dead. On top of his ankle and some cracked
ribs Newton also had four wisdom teeth removed - an experience Newton compared to getting “kicked in the nuts”. Despite all this Newton led the Panthers to a comeback victory against the Bears finishing with 255 yards and two touchdowns.
When I previewed the game between the Chargers and the Jets last week I was dismissive of the Chargers running game speculating that the Chargers would win thanks to the arm of Philip Rivers and a terrible Jets secondary. As it transpired
though San Diego's running game also came to the party as Branden Oliver rushed for 114 yards at an average of six yards per carry including a tackle breaking lung busting 52 yard run.
Johnny Who? It is a testament to how well Hoyer is doing so far this season that he has entrenched himself as the starter for the foreseeable future. Against the Titans Hoyer
led the Browns to the biggest comeback away victory in NFL history. Down by 25 points Hoyer threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns as he led his side to an improbable come from behind victory.