Week 5 observations you can steal to impress your friends

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - OCTOBER 06: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts against the Washington Redskins during the first quarter in the game at FedExField on October 06, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MARYLAND - OCTOBER 06: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts against the Washington Redskins during the first quarter in the game at FedExField on October 06, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Week 5 told us even more about how things are shaking out in the NFL, but what were the most important takeaways?

Another week of the season is (nearly) in the books, and we’re learning more about where this season is headed. We’re only to the quarter pole, so we don’t have the whole story yet but are able to piece together what might happen next.

Before we get ahead of ourselves and overthink what is happening in Week 6, stick your hand in our grab bag of observations and pull a few out to sound impressive around the watercooler on Monday.

Quarterback musical chairs will be fun to watch this offseason

This season has so far been defined by one thing, as football usually us: Quarterbacks. Whether it was Andrew Luck retiring to start the year or the bevy of backups who have stepped up, this season has been all about the value of a good quarterback.

That theme will also define this offseason.

Here’s a quick check on quarterbacks that will need new deals (and potentially new homes) before next season starts:

  • Dak Prescott
  • Cam Newton
  • Eli Manning
  • Marcus Mariota
  • Jameis Winston
  • Drew Brees
  • Teddy Bridgewater
  • Josh Rosen
  • Joe Flacco
  • Philip Rivers
  • Ryan Tannehill
  • Andy Dalton

Plus, add to that list the much-hyped incoming rookie class that includes Jake Fromm, Justin Herbert, and Tua Tagovailoa.

Obviously, not every quarterback on that list is going to be playing somewhere else in 2020. Brees, Prescott, and Rivers are mortal locks to be back with their teams, but beyond that anything is possible. Bridgewater is playing himself into a starting role, if Jameis continues to improve the Bucs could give him a two-year “prove it” deal, Josh Rosen is still an extremely intriguing prospect, and veterans like Dalton and Newton still have one more rodeo in them.

There’s still a lot of football left this season, but it already seems like 2020 is going to be the offseason of the quarterback.

New England’s defense isn’t as dominant as it seems

The combined record of New England’s opponents is 5-17, and four of those wins belong to one team (Buffalo). While the Patriots may be one of two undefeated teams left standing, it’s not hard to start poking holes in the idea that they’re the NFL’s best team.

What’s more troubling is Tom Brady’s play in recent weeks. In back-to-back games, he’s thrown brutal redzone interceptions — neither of which came back to haunt the Patriots but combined they both raise concern.


No one is immune to aging out of greatness. Tom Brady may be the greatest living quarterback but even he can’t cheat athletic death. He’s in his 40s, and while he can’t be bet against until he gives us a reason to it’s perfectly fair to acknowledge that he’s lost a little off his fastball this season. It happens to everyone, from Peyton Manning’s final years in Denver to Brett Favre refusing to go quietly until his swollen purple hand forced him to.

Brady throwing these interceptions isn’t indicitive of the demise of the Patriots empire, nor is it a sign that New England won’t win the Super Bowl this year. It’s simply the echos of the bell tolling, reminding us that while Brady’s time isn’t up yet it’s certainly going to be soon.

Of course, none of this actually matters. Facts are meaningless, time is a flat circle, and the Patriots will still find a way to win the Super Bowl every year until the end of time.

It’s your fault for sleeping on the Saints

For all the conversations we’ve had and breath we’ve wasted trying to determine the NFC’s best team, the answer was right in front of us the entire time. As good as the Packers have looked, the New Orleans Saints are the best team in the NFC and might very well be the second-best team in the entire league.

When Drew Brees was lost to a thumb injury, takelords began hurling their Saints stock into the gutter. That panic has aged incredibly poorly as Teddy Bridgewater has done nothing except win games for the Saints that we were all sure they’d lose. Lest we forget that Teddy led the Saints into Seattle and won in one of the harshest road environments in football. That’s one of the reasons the Superdome boomed with chants of his name on Sunday.

Sure, it’s one thing to beat the Buccaneers but the Saints smothered an offense that put up 53-points last week. That performance came on the heels of a primetime win against the Cowboys in which Dennis Allen’s defense held one of the league’s highest-scoring offenses to 10-points.

Top this off with the fact that the Saints are one of the most complete teams in the league — from the coaching staff to defensive depth to special teams — and have an uncanny ability to self-diagnose issues and adjust from week-to-week, and you have the NFC”s best team right in front of you.

Chiefs fans should be very concerned

After a stunning nationally televised loss, comfort blanket Kansas City Chiefs fans will wrap themselves in is the very true fact that no team has ever won a Super Bowl in October. But if the Kansas City run defense doesn’t drastically improve, the Chiefs won’t be winning a Super Bowl in February either.

It’s impossible to overstate how generationally great Patrick Mahomes is, but there will come times where he simply isn’t enough on his own. We saw that in the AFC Championship Game and we saw it on Sunday night against the Colts.

Mahomes wasn’t the reason the Chiefs lost, the defense was and that’s incredibly concerning. It’s a troubling common thread between the Chiefs of last year and the team this year that was supposed to waltz to a Super Bowl victory. Over the last three games, Kansas City has allowed 360 yards and three touchdowns to Mark Ingram, Kerryon Johnson, and Marlon Mack.



Even in a blowout win over the Raiders, Josh Jacobs still averaged almost 10 yards per carry against this defense. In total, the Chiefs have allowed almost 700 yards on the ground in the last 12 quarters of football — that’s deeply concerning.

Indianapolis didn’t expose the blueprint on how to beat the Chiefs, it simply broke down a door that Baltimore cracked in Week 3 and the Lions almost blasted last week.

Jets are having a Hold My Beer moment

Whenever some psychopath is arrested, you can always count on someone who tangentially knows them saying he was always so quiet and kept to himself. It’s never the loud crazy you have to worry about, it’s the seething bug-eyed crazy that always sneaks up on you.

The New York Jets are the quite crazy to the Miami Dolphins trash can lid banging lunacy — both are equally bad.

Don’t be surprised if the November 3rd showdown between the Dolphins and Jets ultimately helps decide who gets the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft. We all know Miami is tanking, they’re not even trying to hide it. But the Jets are having a true hold my beer moment when being challenged with who can truly be the worst team in football this year.

Just look at this:


And this:


And this:

Want to know what the prep for this game consisted of? Sam Darnold received every single first-team rep in practice only to be inactive on Sunday while Luke Falk started. Luke Falk, who received zero reps with the first team yet was expected to start a game and presumably win it.

You saw what happened.

There’s setting yourself up to fail and then there’s whatever the hell the Jets are doing. Adam Gase has been a disaster since he arrived in New York but the difference between the Jets and Dolphins is Miami has some hope for the future. The Dolphins have a war chest of assets to use to at least attempt to crawl out of the pit the team is in. The Jets are just an off-Broadway production of something no one wants to watch in the first place, with less hope and no direction.

JuJu Smith-Schuster’s reaction to Mason Rudolph was devastating

One of the scariest moments on Sunday — and of the season — was when Mason Rudolph was knocked out cold after a hit by Earl Thomas.

The hit was horrifying but it was the reaction of his teammates was extremely telling of the human element we often overlook in football. Rudolph’s limp near-lifeless body crashing onto the turf is a visceral image of what violence in football can do but JuJu Smith-Schuster being so terrified that he collapsed and helplessly crawled to his teammate is the image that should be seared into our memories.


Rudolph walked off (kind of, and mostly because the cart malfunctioned) and because of that it weirdly normalized an otherwise frightening sight. FOX didn’t even lower the guitar-licking score during the postgame highlights of the game, and the moment is a footnote in both the recap of the game and the action of the day.

Instead of glossing over this, consider not only JuJu’s chilling reaction but also the fact that Ryan Shazier was by Rudolph’s side. If that doesn’t make you uneasy, something is wrong.