NFL Week 5 Winners and Losers: 3 Up and 3 Down

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Oct 9, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs with the ball in the first quarters against Cincinnati Bengals at AT&T Stadium.
Oct 9, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs with the ball in the first quarters against Cincinnati Bengals at AT&T Stadium.

This season is going by quick. Week five of the NFL season is already in the books and week six is only a few days away. Week five provided many memorable moments, surprising victories and falls from grace. There were many ups and downs, as found with any week in the NFL. While some were out making headlines, others were filling reels for bloopers and follies.

Despite outplaying Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger was not the story of the week. Several quarterbacks put together a big week, but none were able to steal the spotlight from Brady. Ezekiel Elliott produced his third straight 100-yard rushing performance, landing him in some pretty elite company as a rookie. LeSean McCoy was just as vital to his team’s win but did not receive quite the same fanfare, but not finding the end zone can have that effect on a player.

Having just as big an impact on his team’s performance, Ryan Tannehill found himself receiving some attention, albeit for the wrong reasons. Blaine Gabbert was equally as bad, but it is Chip Kelly who finds himself in the hot seat. The Carolina Panthers have now dropped three straight with their last two coming against divisional opponents and slide even further in the NFC South rankings. The Dolphins, 49ers and Chargers, all found themselves in a similar situation to Carolina this week.

With every week in the NFL comes surprises, while some of them are exhilarating and encouraging, others only lead to disappointment and despair. With any game or contest there will always be a winner and a loser, and is just as true this week in the NFL as it is the next.


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NFL Week 5 winners and losers

Winners

Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott

Due in large part to the contributions of rookies, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, the Dallas Cowboys have won four straight and are now 4-1 on the season after week five. In last week’s 28-14 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, Prescott and Elliott accounted for scoring four touchdowns and essentially all 28 of the Cowboys’ points. Prescott threw for a touchdown and rushed for one more, while Elliott ran for 134 yards on just 15 carries, crossing the goal line twice, including a 60-yard scamper to open the second half. The Cowboys have been winning largely on the success of their running game and their ability to take care of the ball.

Tom Brady

One thing is clear after the Patriots’ 33-13 win over the Browns on Sunday, Brady is back. After sitting out the first-four games of the season, he took his frustrations out on a poor over-matched Browns’ defense. Brady appeared to be in midseason form while leading scoring drives on New England’s first three drives. After hitting 28 of 40 attempts for 406 yards and three touchdowns, he was relieved with a little over six minutes remaining in the game. Brady Showed very little rust and was razor sharp, spreading the ball around to seven different targets and showing his usual amazing touch.

Cleveland Browns

After starting the season winless, it does not look good for the Browns chances this year, however, help is on the way as they easily lead the race for next year’s first-round-pick. It doesn’t look like they will need much help getting their either, with only three weeks of the Browns’ remaining schedule presenting themselves as winnable. After losing Cody Kessler and Charlie Whitehurst on Sunday, Cleveland is down to wideout, Terrelle Pryor, at quarterback — who converts back to quarterback from wide receiver, after converting to wide receiver from quarterback. That about sums up the Browns’ season right there. They are running favorite for 2017’s first-overall pick.

Honorable Mentions

Other performances worthy of mention include Tevin Coleman’s 132-yard receiving clinic for the Falcons, that took advantage of Denver’s mismatched linebackers all afternoon. The Minnesota Vikings’ Defense shut down another offense. This week it was the Houston Texans. They held them to just 13 points while generating two turnovers and sacking Brock Osweiler four times. It was another high-caliber performance from Ben Roethlisberger, who would have stolen the show with his 380-yard, four touchdown performance, if not for Tom Brady’s return. Certainly not the game everyone will be talking about this week, but the Arizona Cardinals got a much needed win over the San Francisco 49ers last Thursday night and may very well have saved their season.

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