We’re now five weeks into the season, but teams are still surprising fans with some shocking performances and surprise flops. Here are the top five studs and duds from the fifth week of the 2018 NFL season.
Stud: Chargers’ Defense
The highly praised Chargers defense had been rather quiet through the first quarter of the season, but they were on full display week five.
Although the Raiders offense came off a wild shootout win where they dropped 45 points on the Browns defense, Derek Carr and company couldn’t muster up anything against the Chargers. The Chargers’ defense held Oakland to 41 yards on the ground while accumulating three sacks and two turnovers. The Chargers held Derek Carr to under 300 yards and was being harassed in the pocket from the first snap till the end of the fourth quarter.
Dud: Colts’ Receivers
Andrew Luck had a strong performance with 365 yards and 3 touchdowns, but he could have easily had an even bigger stat line if his receivers didn’t let him down.
Dropped balls plagued Indianapolis’s receivers all night long and it prevented the Colts from coming back into the game against New England. Five different receivers—including running backs and tight ends—dropped at least one Andrew Luck pass that could’ve helped turn the game around for Andrew Luck.
Colts fans could be in for another long season even with Andrew Luck back on the playing field.
Stud: Sean McVay
Sean McVay is incredibly intelligent, an offensive genius, a great motivator, and much more, but on Sunday afternoon we also learned he has a lot of guts.
With the clock winding down in the fourth quarter and the Rams holding a very small lead against the Seahawks, Sean McVay made a wild play call to end the game.
The Rams were backed up in their own territory on 4th and inches, but instead of punting the ball away to Seattle’s offense, he decided to go for the first down. He called for a quarterback sneak which Jared Goff executed perfectly, allowing the Rams to bleed out the clock.
The Los Angeles Rams are now the only undefeated team in the NFC at 5-0 and have a stranglehold over the NFC West which doesn’t feature a single team with a winning record outside Los Angeles.
Dud: Atlanta’s Offense
What in the world is going on with the Falcons this season? The plentiful injuries on the defensive side of the ball explain the numerous shootouts, but now their offense is starting to have issues.
In week five, the likes of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley were held in check by the Steelers defense—who until this point have been one of the worst defense in the league.
The Steelers sacked Ryan six times while Falcons running backs were held to just 62 yards on the ground. Jones didn’t catch a pass till the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach for the Falcons.
Stud: Deandre Hopkins
In desperate need of a win to jump-start their already fading season, the Texans turned to their star wide receiver to come up big and boy did he deliver.
He never managed to find the end zone, but he still racked up 151 receiving yards and was borderline unguardable all night long. His wild catch in overtime which saw him spin out numerous defenders set up Houston’s game-winning field goal. It also blew up all over social media—rightfully so I might add.
Dud: Marcus Mariota
The Buffalo Bills shocked the football world once again with a stunning upset over a highly favored team, this time against the Tennessee Titans.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota was never able to get the offense going. He finished with a stat line 129 yards, an interception, and 51.6 passer rating. He only averaged five yards per completion and was never able to stretch the Buffalo secondary.
In his defense he did throw was should’ve been the game-winning touchdown to Nick Williams, but it was dropped.
Stud: The Jets Rushing Attack
The Jets offense finally came alive during their week five win over the Broncos and it was due in large part to their stellar ground game.
Isiah Crowell totaled 219 rushing yards and a touchdown while also catching a 12 yards pass from Sam Darnold. Meanwhile, Bilal Powell finished just shy of the century mark with 99 yards of his own on the ground.
The persistent rushing threat took a lot of the pressure off rookie quarterback Sam Darnold and the offense shined as a result.
Dud: Miami in the 4th Quarter
After a crushing blowout loss to the New England Patriots week four, the Dolphins looked like they were going to bounce back with a big road win over the Bengals, but they let it slip away.
The Dolphins entered the 4th quarter leading 17-3 lead but ended up losing the game 27-17. Miami’s defense did its job for the majority of the game, but Ryan Tannehill turned over the football three times and allowed the Bengals defense to score two late touchdowns.
Stud: Graham Gano
On a day where kickers all across the league were terrible, Graham Gano did the impossible to give the Panthers a win.
Gano hit a 63-yard field goal at the buzzer to win the game for the Panthers—yes you read that right.
Dud: Kickers … Pretty Much All of Them
Has there ever been a worse Sunday for kickers in NFL history? Every single game saw a team with kicker issues.
Kickers from all across the league went 48-of-63, which is well below the typical league average of 84 percent.
Mason Crosby, in particular, had awful day by missing five total kicks in what was the worst kicking performance since 1997.