Top Five Biggest Meltdowns of Week 5 in the NFL
Top Five Biggest Meltdowns of Week 5 in the NFL
Week 5 of the NFL is officially in the books with plenty of great performances and intriguing storylines to talk about. There’s the dominance of the offense of the Denver Broncos led by Peyton Manning who appear unstoppable. In addition, Drew Brees has the New Orleans Saints to a perfect 5-0 record and the Kansas City Chiefs defying expectations to extend their perfect start to the season as well.
But for every great performance there were monumental duds that cost their teams a victory. The New England Patriots and Tom Brady failed to score a touchdown, halting Tommy Dreamboat’s consecutive games with a touchdown pass streak at 52 and ending the Pats’ perfect season bid. A Calvin Johnson-less Detroit Lions offense looked completely lost and overwhelmed as they continued the streak of futility in Lambeau Field. Someone (looking at you St. Louis) allowed the Jacksonville Jaguars to score 20 points for crying out loud!
And none of those instances even made our countdown. This week’s biggest meltdowns include an undrafted rookie reminding everyone why he probably went undrafted, delusional optimism persists in the Big Apple, a popular scapegoat gets railroaded for a loss that wasn’t really his fault (this time), a quarterback had his jersey set on fire last week so he set the franchise on fire this week and Mark Sanchez can go ahead and have all the surgeries on his arm now.
All that and more as we count down the Biggest Meltdowns of the NFL in Week 5!
5. What time is it? It’s TUEL TI- *Throws Pick Six*… Nevermind
The Buffalo Bills had enjoyed a productive opening month of the season and went to Cleveland on Thursday night with a 2-2 record and plenty of optimism about being able to contend in the AFC East in 2013. Then E.J. Manuel went down with a knee injury, paving the way for undrafted free agent rookie Jeff Tuel to step in under center and promptly back over that optimism with his car...about half a dozen times.
Before the season started, Bills fans were actually excited about the prospect of “Tuel Time” under center as the Washington State Cougar alum was prepared to start the opener. Then Manuel got healthy in time to play and fans had to wait to see their favorite (apparently) underdog get in the game and prove all the doubters wrong. Remember those times fondly, Bills Mafia, because they’re long gone now.
Starting with his first pass (a flea flicker deep into double coverage that should have been picked off), things appeared to be moving a little quick for Tuel. That was confirmed later in the game with a chance to drive down the field and win the game when he gave up a back-breaking pick-six which has given Buffalo all they need to see, apparently. While Manuel continues to heal from his knee injury, it will be Thad Lewis, formerly of the practice squad, who will be starting (at least for this week).
4. Eli Manning: Bringing the Family QB Rating Back to Average
As good as big-brother Peyton has been this season, that’s how bad Eli Manning has been for the New York Giants. The still-winless G-Men looked to have their best shot of the season so far to get in the win column going up against the Philadelphia Eagles, whose defense has looked almost as bad as their own (emphasis on almost). Things looked promising when they did something for the first time this season that’s so important to wins: Hold a lead in the second half!
Sadly, it was short-lived. After rallying from a 19-7 halftime deficit to take the lead in the third 21-19, the Giants defense gave up 17-unanswered points to close out the game to backup quarterback Nick Foles. Eli continued to bring shame to the Manning family name, throwing three more interceptions as he tried to will the Giants back into it in the fourth quarter with a resounding thud. He leads the league in interceptions now with 12 on the year and it doesn’t look like he’ll be getting much help the rest of the season from the running game, offensive line or defense.
But don’t think that will dampen Eli’s optimism for the Giants! Despite their fifth straight loss and fourth-straight “not even close,” Manning told reporters that he doesn’t think his play is “lousy” and feels like the Giants could still win the NFC East. With the way that Dallas, Washington and Philadelphia have been playing, that is (mathematically) true! So HOORAY MATH!
3. Tony Romo Makes Last Mistake, Dallas D All the Others
Here’s a riddle for you: How do you spell Dallas with no D? Monte Kiffin!
The defense of the Dallas Cowboys was terrible on Sunday (though only slightly more terrible than the Denver defense) as they surrendered 51 points, spoiling the career day of quarterback Tony Romo. Also spoiling the day for Romo was a late interception that set up Denver for the winning field goal as time expired. Kiffin breathed a sigh of relief when Danny Trevathan stepped underneath that pass because it took all the heat off the terrible job his defense did.
I mean, if you’re going to get 506 yards passing and five touchdowns from Tony Romo, you should be able to withstand a single mistake and still get the win. But not for these Cowboys who allowed Peyton Manning, whom they said they were “sick” of hearing about all week, to do pretty much whatever he wanted and allowing more than 400 yards passing for the THIRD TIME THIS SEASON. Maybe it’s not just the college game that’s moving too fast for old Monte?
2. Matt Schaub Doing Wonders for T.J. Yates’ Popularity
Matt Schaub came under a heavy fire of criticism last week after a late pick-six (for a third-straight game) against the Seattle Seahawks that capped their rally and led to the overtime loss in Houston in Week 4. The veteran quarterback vowed to “cut it loose” to get things turned around and promised his play would get headed in the right direction for the Houston Texans. Someone may want to get Schaub a map, however, as his game is completely lost right now.
The San Francisco 49ers stepped in front of Schaub’s very first pass of the night and returned it for a touchdown, making Schaub the first quarterback in NFL history to throw a pick-six in four straight games (congrats?) and set the theme of the night early. That theme: Matt Schaub pick-party! The 49ers ended up picking off Schaub three times on the night before Gary Kubiak mercifully pulled him out of the game.
Despite the horrendous showing, however, Kubiak has said Schaub is the quarterback for Houston going forward. Next week, they return home where Kubiak says they will prepare Schaub for the cavalcade of boos from the home crowd (because there will be boos) any way possible. So expect a spirited Airing of Grievances this week during team meetings for Schaub. Festivus has come early!
1. Atlanta Continues Protest of Late-Game Heroics
The Atlanta Falcons desperately needed a win on Monday Night Football this week to keep from falling even further behind the red-hot New Orleans Saints in the NFC South. They were at home against the New York Jets with rookie Geno Smith who has been as turnover-prone as almost anyone in the NFL through four weeks of his professional career. Seemed like the perfect time for them to right the ship. Instead, they just ran it further aground.
After mismanaging a drive at the end of the first half to come away with no points, Atlanta went to the break trailing 17-7 and fell behind 27-14 with 12 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Matt Ryan finally seemed to play like Matt Ryan and led the Falcons to two touchdowns, the second a three-yard pass to tight end Levine Toilolo, to take the lead back 28-27 with less than two minutes to play. Surely, the Jets would be finished after giving up all momentum on the road with a rookie quarterback under center, right?
Well, someone didn’t tell that to the Falcons' defense. Geno Smith marched New York down the field and into field goal range for the winning kick as time expired in one of the un-Jetsiest finishes we’ve seen in years. The bad news for Atlanta: they lost their third straight game and fourth this season where they were in a position to win or tie at the end of it. The bad news for Mark Sanchez: He might as well have that shoulder surgery cause he has lost the starting quarterback job. So, DOUBLE WIN FOR THE JETS!