Advertisement
  1. Bucs

NFL Week 5: What we learned

1. Photo of Roger Mooney for Times Sports.
1. Photo of Roger Mooney for Times Sports.
Published Oct. 9, 2017

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that any of his players who participates in a national anthem protest won't be allowed to play. "If there is anything disrespecting the flag, then we will not play. Period," he said after his team's 35-31 home loss to the Packers. "We're going to respect the flag, and I'm going to create the perception of it." No Cowboys have knelt during the anthem. Two — DT David Irving and DE Damontre Moore — on Sunday raised fists at the anthem's end. Both played.

Steelers fans are calling it the dying days of an era after Ben Roethlisberger's career-high five interceptions in a 30-9 loss to the visiting Jaguars. Two of those picks were returned for touchdowns. This came days after Roethlisberger called WR Antonio Brown's sideline tantrum last week a "distraction." Brown caught 10 passes against the Jags for 157 yards. "It's on me," Roethlisberger said. "I didn't play well." Big Ben did pass for 312 yards, but those five picks were the most by a Steelers quarterback since 1987, when Mark Malone threw five against Cleveland.

You can't spell Jay Cutler without a B and lots of O's. Dolphins fans chanted "We want Moore" — as in backup Matt Moore — in the first half and booed as Miami left for halftime with a 10-3 lead over the Titans. Miami scored its first TD during the first half this season, on a fumble return by the defense. A Cutler TD pass was the difference in a 16-10 win, but he had 92 yards passing.

The Jaguars raised their record above .500 for the first time since 2010 with five interceptions and two sacks of the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger in their 30-9 road win. The Jaguars have matched their win total from last season (three). Their top-ranked pass defense has produced 15 takeaways. The Jags had 13 all last year.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is why NFL players wear pink gloves or sweatbands or cleats. This year the league has expanded the campaign to create awareness for several forms of cancer with these colors: navy blue (colon), lavender (general), teal (cervical), blue (prostate), gold (childhood) and white (lung).

What to make of the Jets? They were supposed to tank for the first overall pick in next year's draft, but they have won three straight and are tied with the Patriots and Bills atop the AFC East. QB Josh McCown rallied them to a 17-14 win in Cleveland against the team that cut him during the offseason. Up next: a showdown with the visiting Patriots.

Woe and five! It was supposed to be a Super Bowl-contending season for the Giants. Now it's a dumpster fire after a 27-22 loss to the visiting Chargers, the third straight week where the G-Men led in the fourth quarter. Odell Beckham was carted off in the fourth with a fractured ankle (above). He was the fourth Giants receiver injured Sunday. Fans and the New York media are "suggesting" ("calling" is another word) for coach Ben McAdoo to be fired. What a mess. Oh, and another Eli Manning turnover led to the winning TD. David Letterman said Saturday at the Colts' Peyton Manning statue unveiling ceremony: "So far this year, Eli and Peyton have the same number of wins." Ouch.

Stay updated on the Super Bowl champs

Stay updated on the Super Bowl champs

Subscribe to our free Bucs RedZone newsletter

We’ll deliver a roundup of news and commentary on Tom Brady and the Buccaneers weekly during the season.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

The Colts inducted Peyton Manning into their ring of honor and retired his No. 18 jersey, so naturally they honored the event by blowing a 14-point fourth-quarter lead and needing four field goals to put away the winless 49ers. Adam Vinatieri's 51-yarder in OT gave the Colts a 26-23 win. It also moved Vinatieri into second on the NFL's all-time scoring list. Question: Do kickers make rings of honor?

If you're Disney and you own the Star Wars franchise and ESPN, you pick Monday Night Football to debut the trailer for the next Star Wars movie. Dress as your favorite Star Wars character and tune in at halftime tonight to watch The Last Jedi preview. This formula is a proven winner for Disney and MNF. In 2015, ratings spiked when The Force Awakens trailer debuted during MNF.

Not all third downs are the same, though Eagles QB Carson Wentz treats them that way. Wentz calls third down the "money down." He earned his pay by going 11-for-125 for 225 yards and three touchdowns on third downs in a 34-7 victory against the visiting Cardinals. "To be that efficient, that's huge," Wentz said.

The Browns remain winless. No shock. They also pulled QB DeShone Kizer after the rookie turned the ball over twice inside the 10-yard line in the first half against the Jets. Some see that as a desperate attempt by coach Hue Jackson to keep his job. Kevin Hogan passed for two touchdowns and actually gave the Browns their first lead of the season. But these are the Browns.

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald normally plays well against the Eagles. He entered Sunday with 11 touchdowns in eight career games against them. He was kept out of the end zone but had 10 catches, extending his streak to 200 games with at least one reception. That is the third-longest streak in NFL history.

Looks like the change in offensive coordinators in Cincinnati has done Andy Dalton some good. Since the change, Dalton has passed for 614 yards and five touchdowns, and has a 116.2 passer rating. The Bengals have won two straight after beating the visiting Bills 20-16.

It looks as if former pro basketball player Darren Fells is beginning to become a red-zone option for Lions QB Matthew Stafford. The 6-foot-7, 281-pound Fells caught scoring passes of 4 and 20 yards during the Lions' failed fourth-quarter rally against the visiting Panthers. He has six catches in his past two games.

From the Wait, What? Files: RB Orleans Darkwa's 23-yard run against the Chargers produced the Giants' first first-quarter points of the season. Not to be outdone, backup Kevin Hogan replaced benched starter DeShone Kizer after halftime and threw a 21-yard scoring pass to David Njoku in the third quarter against the Jets for the Browns' first lead of the season.

What do you do when you are the league's 31st-ranked passer and you travel across the country to play in Oakland's Black Hole? If you are Joe Flacco, you throw a 52-yard pass to WR Mike Wallace on the first play. And the Ravens were on their way to a 30-17 win. They had three pass plays for more than 20 yards in their first four games. They had three Sunday, all to Wallace for 133 yards.

In the playoffs in January, it was a completion on third and 20 that helped the Packers kill the Cowboys. Sunday it was an 18-yard run on third and 18 (the Packers had no timeouts) by QB Aaron Rodgers in the final seconds that led to a 12-yard touchdown pass with 11 seconds left that beat the Cowboys 35-31. Dallas has now lost back-to-back home games to the Packers in 2017 despite scoring 31 points in each game.

Panthers QB Cam Newton wore a Rosie the Riveter button on his hat Saturday on the flight to Detroit and Sunday as he walked into Ford Field to face the Lions. Rosie, a symbol of women's empowerment during World War II, was in response to the response to his comment "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes" after a question from Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue last week. Newton passed for 355 yards and three touchdowns in the 27-24 win. So, how about those routes.

And lastly

• Texans defensive end J.J. Watt suffered a tibial plateau fracture to his left leg in the first quarter against the Chiefs, the team said.

• The Bills allowed more than 17 points and 300 yards of offense for the first time this season in their road loss to the Bengals.

• The Chargers snapped a nine-game losing streak with their fourth-quarter comeback against the Giants.

• Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette rushed for two touchdowns against the Steelers, giving him six in five games this season.

• Browns rookie DE Myles Garrett, the draft's top pick, made his NFL debut and recorded a sack on his first play. He finished with two.

• Bears rookie QB Mitch Trubisky, the second overall pick in the draft, is scheduled to make his debut tonight against the Vikings.