It was a rough Week 5 for numerous teams that had gotten off to a good start this season. And one AFC team made a major statement on Sunday.
If there was a theme to the fifth week of the 2018 NFL season, it was a lot of very shaky special teams play on the part of numerous teams. From missed field goals to blocked kicks to misplayed punts, there was a lot that went wrong for this vital part of the game for too many squads.
Then again, there were also a number of game-winning boots as the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans – the latter two teams in overtime – won on the final play of their game thanks to their specialists. And Carolina’s Graham Gano connected from long distance to rescue the Panthers.
It was also a big couple of days for the home teams as only the Vikings, Cardinals and Rams came away with road victories in Week 5. Meanwhile, there were plenty of changes throughout these power rankings…
Arizona Cardinals 1-4
Last week: W, 28-18 at SF
Last rank: 32nd
Recap: The Cardinals were the league’s only winless team after four weeks of play. But they were getting set to face the 49ers in San Francisco and Big Red was looking to extend its six-game winning streak in the series. And make it seven consecutive victories over the Niners as Steve Wilks got his first win as an NFL head coach. After coming up with only four takeaways in as many games, the Cards forced five turnovers. That included three fumble recoveries, one of those returned 23 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter by linebacker Josh Bynes. Still, the Arizona offense amassed only 220 yards and were 2-of-12 on third down…and still managed to win.
Next Week: So much for that Sam Bradford reunion game. Yes, he’s still part of Arizona’s roster but it is Rosen at the command at the controls of the Arizona offense. The Cardinals make their second appearance at Minnesota in three years. Including playoffs, the Cards have dropped nine straight road games in this series dating back to 1991.
Playoff hopes: Wilks’ struggling club has already dug itself quite the hole in the NFC West. But stranger things have certainly happened in this league and a road win over the rival 49ers takes a bit of the sting out of that home loss to the Seahawks. Still, the Arizona offense has a lot of issues and this performance did little to change that.