2004 quarterback class, Davante Adams, the Jaguars and more are discussed
Another NFL week is in the books and with it rolls in a tide of new takes, impressions and conclusions on teams and players. Here are the top five takeaways after week five.
1. The 2004 quarterback class is done. Eli Manning and Philip Rivers were the first and fourth overall picks in that draft class, with Ben Roethlisberger going 11th. All of them are officially in a free fall and are no longer able to carry a team’s problems. This is coming off five weeks of poor play, but are not reactions from just one week. Roethlisberger has some of the best offensive weapons around him, but is fresh off a five-interception game. Both Manning and Rivers are statues in the pocket and all of them are not hitting the elite level that their teams are accustomed to receiving. Time for these players to hang up the cleats before serious injury.
2. Davante Adams’ game winning catch is a bad look. On September 28, we all saw the chilling hit to the head laid on Adams by Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan. The hit sent Adams to the hospital, but 10 days later, he was catching the game-winning touchdown in the Green Bay Packers’ thriller vs. the Dallas Cowboys. With all the concern around the sport’s violence, along with the CTE and concussion questions swirling around the league, how can this man be playing already. Despite everything the NFL says, it still looks like a backburner problem and is a bad look for the league.
3. The Jaguars are winning… now what? The Jacksonville Jaguars are actually winning ball games, and looking good doing it. The defense had five interceptions and two pick-sixes against Pittsburgh for a dominant victory. How? They spent and drafted a lot on the defensive side with a seemingly great payout. Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye and Berry Church have all looked great this season after adding them over the summer. Draft picks Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack have looked great as well. On offense, lineman Branden Albert and running back Leonard Fournette have also paid off. But the biggest difference that has worked is not letting quarterback Blake Bortles ruin the team, by taking the ball out of his hands often for the success of the franchise.
4. The NFC is for the Packers and Panthers to lose. The Carolina Panthers offense has looked extremely improved after no longer trying to force-feed the ball to Christian McCaffrey and Kelvin Benjamin. The front seven is oppressive and Cam Newton looks better in the loose offense that is trying to score instead of get production from specific players. The Packers have Aaron Rodgers, while the Cowboys should probably learn from trial and error to not give him time, he is still going to get this team to the playoffs. Whether fans think the coaches are bad, the defense is weak or the offensive line has holes, this team still has a Hall of Fame signal caller. As long as Rodgers keeps making plays, it will cover a lot of shortcomings.
5. Alex Smith is a valid MVP contender. Maybe it is because the Kansas City Chiefs drafted Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes with the 10th overall pick this past draft. Maybe it is the offense reaching the height of their powers. Whatever it is, he has thrown for 1,391 yards and 11 touchdowns in five games this season with no turnovers. He also has added 108 yards and a score on the ground. He is almost as mobile as Rodgers facing pressure and is finally opening up his throws down the field, stretching opposing defenses and forcing them to defend deep. His team has rolled through five games with no signs of slowing down and he is leading the charge.