The Huddle: NFL Week Five

HuddleMania's running wild, brother!
HuddleMania’s running wild, brother!

This week the quarter-point of the NFL season officially gets underway and our experts are back again inside The Huddle to go over all things gridiron for Week 5.

Toss on your jersey and get inside The Huddle!

Kickoff Questions:

Question 1: What were the most significant upsets from Week Four?

Question 2: What are the biggest Week Five matchups?

Question 3: What is the impact of Tom Brady returning from his suspension?

JT Rozzero:

Those poor Chargers.

Brian Cullinane:

1. Buffalo shutting out New England at home was the biggest upset of the week.

2. The best matchup is Green Bay against the New York Giants. However, Carolina and Arizona need to win this week.

3. Brady’s return will certainly help, seeing that Brissett really struggled against Buffalo, especially when facing pressure.

JT Rozzero:

Pats’ fans got a dose of reality of a post-Brady world for sure. QB1 won’t always be able to bail you out.

Brian Cullinane:

If Garoppalo was able to play yesterday, they would have opened up their offense. However, with all of the penalties the offense committed, who knows…

JT Rozzero:

Even Garoppalo isn’t going to always play like that though… the book will be on him eventually, and Rex (Ryan) usually owns rookie QBs. It may have been a shaky showing either way.

Brian Cullinane:

They were awful on both sides of the ball. And special teams too.

Roger Morrissette:

Pretty much a throwaway game for the Pats. Post-Brady, if they are starting an injured third string rookie every week they will be in big trouble. Frankly, the win may help them in the long run by keeping the Ryan brothers in the division longer!

The return of Tom Brady looms large for New England this week.
The return of Tom Brady looms large for New England this week.

Brian Cullinane:

After the first four weeks, it’s clear that the biggest free agent departure to hurt their former team the most has been Josh Norman. Carolina’s pass defense has been non-existent so far this season.

Roger Morrissette:

I think the Rams winning in Arizona was the biggest upset of the week, particularly because they are now an unfathomable 3-1.

We’ll see what the Giants do (Monday), but Green Bay and New York could be a big game. I think Atlanta at Denver is pretty clearly the marquee game of the week. Can Matty Ice and Julio keep the train rolling against arguably the best D in football?

The impact of Brady returning is exactly what most would think…. The best QB in football being added to a 3-1 team. Never a bad thing.

Carolina is a mess. It is crazy how the “Super-Bowl-Loser-Curse” seems to take hold every year.

JT Rozzero:

The bigger point I was making about the Pats is that there will be inconsistency week to week overall. Something that is very rare with Brady, but very common for everyone else.

Roger Morrissette:

A loss to Tampa and the Panthers’ season is basically over before it got started. I think they will find a way to win, with or without Cam, but Tampa is dangerous, especially for a team that can’t defend the pass.

I would like to publicly eat crow for picking the Chiefs to win in Pittsburgh. Awful analysis.

JT Rozzero:

Pitt’s loss to Philly was an aberration. That offense is lethal.

What helps is that they play smart and unconventionally too (with) big chunk plays on offense, going for two at various points of the game, using Bell as a WR to keep their best guys all out there… smart team.

Roger Morrissette:

It is a great offense and KC’s offense is a perfect matchup for the Pitt D because they don’t really throw the ball downfield. With that said, the Jets match up a little better on that side of the ball. You think they can keep it close, JR?

JT Rozzero:

The Steelers usually own the Jets at the Ketchup Bottle (Heinz Field) and the Jets can’t defend deep balls right now … Steelers 35, Jets 24.

Jets will have to beat Arizona to save their season

Brian Cullinane:

Bell is such a threat and imagine if Bryant did not get suspended. That’s a possible record-setting offense!

Roger Morrissette:

I agree on the Jets/Steelers analysis. It will be a shootout, but (Ryan Fitzpatrick) is more likely than Ben (Roethlisberger) to make a big error or two.

Brian Cullinane:

Speaking of the Jets, Bowles publicly stated he was sticking with Fitzpatrick for the time being? What do you guys think about that?

Roger Morrissette:

I think it’s the right call for now. If they lose the next two and go to 1-5, I think you’ll see Geno (Smith).

JT Rozzero:

Veteran team (and) Fitz gives them the best chance, plus the vets are all backing him.
I think they skip Geno if they go 1-5 or 1-6 and just try (Bryce) Petty.

Brian Cullinane:

I agree. If they reach 1-5, see what you have with Petty instead of trotting Geno out again.

JT Rozzero:

If they had any faith in Geno, they never would have brought Fitz back.

J Arsenio D’Amato:

The vaunted Jets’ defense has gotten a pass with all of the emphasis on Fitzpatrick’s struggles. Russell Wilson torched them on one knee. Of course, the NY media runs the “Fitz With 3 INTs” headline, but their defense has been disappointing.

JT Rozzero:

This was the first game (where) they got nuked. (In) the first three, the secondary gave up a couple bad plays but kept them in the games, mainly Cincy and KC.

The D had seven sacks and held Cincy down late while they pretty much shut down KC from the second quarter on.

Brian Cullinane:

Jets cannot cover the middle of the field.

JT Rozzero:

They haven’t been able to defend TEs for like 10 years; Darron Lee has been good, but Graham was just too big for him.

Roger Morrissette:

I think they’ve been serviceable on D.  Pittsburgh will probably light them up though. Bad matchup with that passing attack, especially the RB’s coming out of the backfield.

What do you guys think about Atlanta versus Denver? Heck of a test for that improved Falcons offensive line.

JT Rozzero:

Until Denver gets lit up, I won’t go against them..

Roger Morrissette:

I like Denver too, but can see a scenario where ATL wins 21-17, or something like that.

Sunday's Atlanta at Denver game is one to watch for our crew.
Sunday’s Atlanta at Denver game is one to watch for our crew.

J Arsenio D’Amato:

Gary Kubiak may go down as one of those great coaches who got it on the second team. He was clowned out in Houston but looks like him and Elway have got some magic going.

Roger Morrissette:

The Falcons’ D is good against WR’s and bad against TE’s. Not great for Denver’s offense.

JT Rozzero:

Looking back, he did a hell of a job in Houston. Got to the playoffs a few times with that stiff (Matt) Schaub and built a strong run game and D. He never had the QB to get it done.

Roger Morrissette:

Still doesn’t, but they are so good everywhere else, it doesn’t matter.

JT Rozzero:

He was out there winning playoff games with fucking T.J. Yates.

Roger Morrissette:

Great point.

JT Rozzero:

Where do you guys think Josh McDaniels ends up next year? Hot rumor right now is Chicago.

J Arsenio D’Amato:

San Diego.

Roger Morrissette:

Any chance Payton gets whacked in New Orleans? That would be a perfect spot for him.

SD is another good one.

JT Rozzero:

Didn’t Payton just resign?

Last year?

Roger Morrissette:

He did – they could always get rid of him anyway if they go 3-13. I agree it is unlikely.

JT Rozzero:

I can’t see them eating all that money to run him out.

McDaniels & Jimmy G to ChiTown? That would be interesting.

I think Cutler is done there.

Roger Morrissette:

Oh, for sure.

JT Rozzero:

(Brian) Hoyer may just keep the job the rest of the year.

Roger Morrissette:

If Hoyer keeps playing well, he will keep the job.

JT Rozzero:

McDaniels to Detroit (seems) possible, too.

Roger Morrissette:

Cutler should’ve been gone the McCown year… How many journeymen have to outperform him before they give up?

Tennessee maybe?

JT Rozzero:

Mike Mularky may be the new Jeff Fisher there. Two decades of mediocrity.

Roger Morrissette:

He’s worse than Fisher – and I don’t say that lightly; he’s ruining (Marcus) Mariota before our eyes.

JT Rozzero:

Much much worse.

Roger Morrissette:

Jacksonville is another possibility. (Gus) Bradley has to be gone if they go 5-11 again.

JT Rozzero:

He would have been shit-canned on the plane yesterday if they blew (Sunday’s 30-27 win over Indianapolis in London).

Roger Morrissette:

It was close! Philbin 2.0.

J Arsenio D’Amato:

Did (Colts’ coach Chuck) Pagano make it back?

Roger Morrissette:

Lol barely.

J Arsenio D’Amato:

Another dead man walking.

Roger Morrissette:

Tough choice of words there, JAD!

J Arsenio D’Amato:

He survived cancer, but probably won’t survive another losing season.

Roger Morrissette:

This is true. Their GM is comically bad: How do you not invest in protecting (Andrew) Luck?

Brian Cullinane:

McDaniels, I think, will stay until Bill (Belichick) calls it quits. And I don’t think that will be too far away.

Joel Barnhart:

Thoughts on the Colts’ cuts, and the MNF game, particularly Seatlle at 3-1, and Odell Beckham Jr.’s “not having fun” comments?

J Arsenio D’Amato:

Cromartie is pretty much washed up. Unfortunately, Odell Beckham is patterning his career after Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens, and Dez Bryant: All very talented but very selfish and divisive.

None of them have a Super Bowl ring and Giants’ fans have to be reminded that “The Catch” occurred in a game the Giants lost, just like most of the games in Beckham’s career so far.

Roger Morrissette:

I’m with JAD; the Colts cut two terrible players. I agree that OBJ is a prima donna, but a supremely talented one. All will be forgotten when he hangs 150 yards and 2 TD’s on the Packers.

Brian Cullinane:

As far as the Colts cuts, Cromartie is a shell of himself and they cut a linebacker who constantly missed tackles.

And OBJ is turning into a head case before our eyes. If he doesn’t get his head on straight, he’s never going to be a dominant player.

JT Rozzero:

Cromartie was a mess last year. He is cooked.

OBJ feels like a guy that is having everything snowball on him and he can’t avoid it. He needs a hard reset. Maybe Eli chucking him under the bus helps out.

Odell Beckham, Jr. is talented, but is it enough?
Odell Beckham, Jr. is talented, but is it enough?

J Arsenio D’Amato:

Switching gears, the upset of the year has to be that this week’s Rams-Bills tussle is actually an intriguing matchup. Two much-maligned coaches get to puff out their chests in this one.

JT Rozzero:

Big red flag Rex letdown game here.

J Arsenio D’Amato:

Agreed, but Shady (LeSean) McCoy looks healthier than ever, and he could carry them to an upset.

Roger Morrissette:

I like the Bills solely because I can’t imagine a world where Case Keenum and Jeff Fisher are 4-1.

JT Rozzero:

You would think so, but this has Rex crying in the locker room written all over it

J Arsenio D’Amato:

Dallas-Cincy is another intriguing matchup. Dallas’ offensive line is the most dominating unit in the NFL right now.

Brian Cullinane:

A few more questions:

1. Which player do you think will have a huge week?

2. Which player will disappoint?

3. Upset of the week?

4. Lock of the week?

Roger Morrissette:

It’s tough not to see Antonio Brown lighting up the Jets, and I mentioned Beckham against the Packers earlier. For more of a dark horse, I think Hoyer keeps the good times rolling against the Colts.

Julio Jones draws a really tough matchup against Denver. After last week’s 300-yard performance, I think he goes for less than 75 in this matchup.

I really like Washington to win going into Baltimore, and the Bills to win in LA.

New England is obvious, but I think Pittsburgh is a lock as well.

Brian Cullinane:

I actually think Andrew Luck will have a big week at home against Chicago.

I also think Dak Prescott will struggle against a good Cincinnati defense.

I’ll go with the Redskins beating Baltimore. (The Ravens are) not as good as their record.

Minnesota at home against Houston is my pick for the lock. Osweiler is nothing more than mediocre and going on the road against a top defense is a recipe for disaster.

JT Rozzero:

I think Jameis lights up that Panthers’ secondary and Carr hangs a big number on snakebitten San Diego.

Nuke Hopkins will piss off fantasy owners again with another no-show against Xavier Rhodes.

I’ll take Arizona to get off this skid and beat up the hapless Niners, even with Drew Stanton. Also Minny.

Chicago and Hoyer beat the Colts and Pagano is fired.

J Arsenio D’Amato:

The Colts are the first team not to have a bye week after a London game and it was their choice.

Roger Morrissette:

I’m intrigued by the Dallas/Cincy game too, JAD. Big test for Prescott. These teams are similar in that we don’t know how good they really are. I like the Bengals in a bit of a slobber-knocker.

Better defense and the Cowboys won’t have an answer for A.J. Green.

Brian Cullinane:

(Carson) Palmer has officially been ruled out for Thursday night. (Drew) Stanton is starting.

Roger Morrissette:

That’s a must-win for the Cards in every sense of the word. After what Zeke did to the Niners last week, I would expect a huge dose of David Johnson.

J Arsenio D’Amato:

Arizona’s offensive line is nowhere near the Great Wall of Dallas. Are we going to see Kaepernick get off the kneeling position and get into some real game action? Kelly’s offense relies on QB mobility and (Blaine) Gabbert isn’t quite ideal for that or ideal for any plans of success.

That wraps up another Huddle, so sit back and enjoy another fast-paced week of the NFL and come back for another roundup next time, Place to Be Nation!

Author: Joel Barnhart

A big-time baseball nerd, Joel is currently teaching English as a Second Language in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to his MLB passion, he enjoys good whiskey, good music, good movies, and good friends. He is currently engaged in an ongoing 12-year online debate over the merits of bubble wrap.