The Bills’ counterpunch in Kansas City modified the AFC race, and the Cardinals’ first 5-0 begin in 47 years has stored their shock story atop the NFC. Justin Herbert ending one other high-scoring duel on prime continues the Chargers’ resurgence. Here are the grades from Week 5, with a glance across the league.


1 of 30

Bills protection exorcises demons, alters AFC equation

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce mixed for 22 catches and 290 yards in final 12 months’s AFC title recreation. A Bills protection that includes comparable personnel derailed the Chiefs’ traditionally explosive passing assault Sunday. Missing standout linebacker Matt Milano, the Bills nonetheless compelled at the very least three turnovers for a fourth straight recreation. They hit Patrick Mahomes eight instances, with first-round decide Gregory Rousseau main the transformed wing of Buffalo’s protection — a two-deep D-line brigade — to fluster the celebrity passer in spots. The Bills (4-1) handed their greatest defensive check of the Josh Allen period. Backing this Allen model with an elite protection creates tantalizing potentialities. 

BILLS GRADE: A-plus | NEXT: at Titans (Mon.)


2 of 30

Stripped of flash, Chiefs sloppy in pivotal spot

Stripped of flash, Chiefs sloppy in pivotal spot

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Now successfully three video games behind the Bills, whose division lacks the AFC West’s punch, the Chiefs are in an odd place. The Bills turned the third workforce in 4 video games to prioritize eliminating Tyreek Hill explosions and are the third workforce in 4 video games to beat the Chiefs. Other groups will copy this blueprint. Hill (14 targets, one catch of 15-plus yards) being a nonfactor strikes the Chiefs (2-3) nearer to station-to-station soccer, and Mahomes did not successfully take this route in opposition to the Bills. Mahomes’ 5.0 yards per try from a clear pocket had been the bottom of his profession, per Pro Football Focus. Buffalo’s protection gained on all fronts. 

CHIEFS GRADE: D-minus | NEXT: at Washington (Sun.)


3 of 30

Amid historic loss, Browns floor troops dominate

Amid historic loss, Browns ground troops dominate

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland couldn’t maintain an 11-point second-half lead, however its offense did greater than sufficient to win. The Browns (3-2) turned the primary workforce in NFL historical past to attain 40 factors, commit no turnovers and lose, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Previous groups who completed this: 463-0. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt mixed for 222 dashing yards and three TDs, mashing the Chargers and limiting the strain on Baker Mayfield. The unmatched Cleveland backfield’s efficiency helped a workforce that stored dropping defenders and completed the sport with out tackles Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin. Chubb and Hunt symbolize a uncommon weapon in a deep AFC race.

BROWNS GRADE: B-plus | NEXT: vs. Cardinals (Sun.)


4 of 30

Justin Herbert retains ascending

Justin Herbert keeps ascending

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

By Sunday night time, the Chargers held a two-game lead on the Chiefs and have a win in Kansas City. Herbert’s speedy rise will make the Bolts (4-1) harder to catch. In a convention with Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson, the Chargers have a passer quickly approaching the highest tier. Herbert accounted for 427 yards and 5 TDs, making the Browns pay for protection busts whereas proving unstoppable amid a two-score comeback. The second-year QB retains makes Brandon Staley’s fourth-down aggression potential; the Bolts went 3 of three Sunday and are 7-for-8 this 12 months. Their 26 fourth-quarter factors had been the franchise’s most since 1991. 

CHARGERS GRADE: A-minus | NEXT: at Ravens (Sun.)


5 of 30

Trey Lance exhibits promise, however 49ers offense slows

Trey Lance shows promise, but 49ers offense slows

Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

With Kyle Shanahan expectedly reshaping his offense round Lance, the 49ers’ prized rookie quarterback amassed 89 dashing yards and made a number of throws to substantiate his long-term starter potential. The Lance-adjusted offense nonetheless struggled. The Division I-FCS product accomplished 52% of his throws, sailed an interception properly over his goal’s head within the first quarter, and had San Francisco (2-3) 1-for-5 on fourth downs. Shanahan leaving little doubt about Jimmy Garoppolo reclaiming his job upon returning to well being differs from the standard routine as soon as first-round QBs debut, however it is smart right here. 

49ERS GRADE: C-plus | NEXT: vs. Colts (Oct. 24)


6 of 30

J.J. Watt, Cardinals protection come by way of

J.J. Watt, Cardinals defense come through

Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers outgained the Cardinals and disillusioned Kyler Murray’s beforehand giddy fantasy GMs, holding the star QB to at least one passing landing and one dashing yard. Arizona’s protection compensated, with the Cards’ future Hall of Fame defensive lineman displaying up usually. Watt hit Lance a team-high 3 times, posted two TFLs, and deflected a fourth-down move to provide one of many Cardinals’ 4 turnover-on-downs sequences. Isaiah Simmons and Tanner Vallejo’s goal-line Lance denial produced one other such cease, serving to a protection lacking prime nook Byron Murphy. The Cardinals are 5-0 for the primary time for the reason that Don Coryell period (1974); their protection led the best way Sunday.

CARDINALS GRADE: A-minus | NEXT: at Browns (Sun.)


Packers survive Mason Crosby rollercoaster

Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer/USA TODAY NETWORK

In his seventeenth Packers season, Crosby has job safety. But on an eventful NFL kicker day, the veteran Packer’s outing produced probably the most turbulence. Crosby made his first three discipline objectives, working a consecutive-make streak to 27, however missed his subsequent three — together with a go-ahead 36-yarder late within the fourth quarter. Crosby completed his uneven day with a game-winner, and this marks simply the second three-miss day for the NFL’s longest-tenured kicker, who missed 4 kicks in Detroit in 2018. But a workforce lacking its prime two defenders (Za’Darius Smith, Jaire Alexander) has a decreased margin for error. The Packers (4-1) won’t be able to resist this usually.

PACKERS GRADE: B-minus | NEXT: at Bears (Sun.)


8 of 30

Bengals want greater than Ja’Marr Chase on offense

Bengals need more than Ja'Marr Chase on offense

Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer/USA TODAY NETWORK

Chase continues to vindicate the Bengals for bypassing Penei Sewell at No. 5 general. The rookie wideout stored enhancing his Offensive Rookie of the Year file, torching the Packers for 159 yards and a landing. Chase additionally accounted for almost half of Cincinnati’s complete yards (367) Sunday. No non-Chase Bengal play produced 12 yards, and the workforce couldn’t convert late to assist out rookie kicker Evan McPherson, who missed 57- and 49-yard discipline objectives to present Crosby extra probabilities. The Bengals (3-2) rank twenty fourth in complete offense almost a 3rd of the best way by way of the season — a notable letdown given this workforce’s roster development. 

BENGALS GRADE: B-minus | NEXT: at Lions (Sun.)


9 of 30

Broncos dig deep gap in winnable recreation

Broncos dig deep hole in winnable game

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos have 4 video games in opposition to the Chargers and Chiefs and face the Browns and Cowboys over the following month. Their schedule is gentle on non-contenders for some time. Their protection was unable to carry up in opposition to a susceptible Steelers offense. Although Denver’s first-half offensive woes stored its protection at work, Pittsburgh’s receivers gained matchups on their opening drives of every half. A near-the-end Ben Roethlisberger, who hit Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool for TDs, did sufficient in opposition to the Broncos’ high-end cornerback crew to stave off extra “Ben is toast”-based TV segments. This may very well be a pricey loss for a immediately reeling Denver squad (3-2).

BRONCOS GRADE: C | NEXT: vs. Raiders (Sun.)


10 of 30

Steelers win run-game matchup, for a change

Steelers win run-game matchup, for a change

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Steelers nonetheless rank thirty first in dashing, the bottom recreation sprang to life to finish a dropping skid. The Steelers’ 147 dashing yards had been their most since Week 3 of last season . The backside fell out shortly after that aberration, resulting in Pittsburgh drafting Najee Harris within the first spherical. Harris, who has incessantly lacked run lanes and confronted tenacity-themed criticism from Roethlisberger final week, stored Teddy Bridgewater and Co. off the sector with 123 floor yards. The Steelers (2-3) nonetheless have vital questions on an inexperienced O-line, however it gained a battle in opposition to an upper-echelon protection. 

STEELERS GRADE: A-minus | NEXT: vs. Seahawks (Sun.)


11 of 30

Giants offense loses nearly everybody

Giants offense loses just about everyone

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Kadarius Toney broke Odell Beckham Jr.’s franchise rookie receiving mark, zooming for 189 yards and revealing a possible cornerstone goal for an already-deep skill-position corps. However, by the sport’s finish, the Giants (1-4) had been with out Toney, their different prime receivers, Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones. Barkley’s damage jumps out. Although the dynamic again is believed to have sustained a low ankle sprain, a lesser illness than his excessive ankle sprain (2019), and knee ligament tears (2020), his profession has hit a crossroads. As Barkley weapons for a long-term extension, every damage works in opposition to him — and the Giants’ blueprint.

GIANTS GRADE: D-plus | NEXT: vs. Rams (Sun.)


Trevon Diggs delivering throwback dominance

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With guidelines tilting towards offenses, quarterbacks have by no means had it simpler. This period’s interception totals are down from earlier intervals. No one from this century ranks within the prime 25 in single-season INTs. This makes Diggs’ begin all of the extra spectacular. Diggs’ deep theft of a Mike Glennon move gave him six INTs in 5 video games and a decide in all 5 Cowboys contests this 12 months. Diggs is the primary participant since 1984 (Sam Washington, Steelers) to intercept six passes in his workforce’s first 5 video games. Diggs’ Year 2 breakout will end in QBs dodging him extra usually, limiting offenses’ choices in opposition to the improved Cowboys (4-1).

COWBOYS GRADE: A | NEXT: at Patriots (Sun.)


Marshon Lattimore wins top matchup in Washington

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Terry McLaurin saved Washington from a loss in Atlanta, however New Orleans’ prime cornerback prevented him from doing so in Week 5. Lattimore gained his main matchup, with McLaurin ending with 4 catches for 46 yards on 11 targets. A McLaurin Ohio State teammate, Lattimore compelled seven incompletions — a 2021 NFL finest, per PFF — and allowed simply two receptions on 9 throws in his course. This compelled extra from Washington’s unproven auxiliary targets. The Saints noticed Tampa Jameis Winston emerge Sunday, a reminder that top-class protection will likely be required to win sure video games. Lattimore stays able to main such a cost. 

SAINTS GRADE: A-minus | NEXT: at Seahawks (Oct. 25)


14 of 30

Washington secondary reaches new ineptitude sector

Washington secondary reaches new ineptitude sector

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Although Washington compelled two Winston turnovers, his TD-turnover ratio was nonetheless 4-2. Washington’s secondary dedicated protection busts on two Winston landing passes and supplied somewhat passive Hail Mary resistance — at the very least, in comparison with the Chargers’ take-no-prisoners strategy this season — as Marquez Callaway maneuvered for his half-ending snare. A Saints workforce right down to Alvin Kamara as a really dependable weapon turned the most recent to slice up Washington’s DBs, regardless that Winston accomplished 50% of his throws. Washington (2-3) is thirty first in factors allowed with arguably higher personnel than 2020’s protection. 

WASHINGTON GRADE: D | NEXT: vs. Chiefs (Sun.)


Khalil Mack extends Raiders' bad week

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders discovered a gem in Maxx Crosby, however the participant they drafted to primarily exchange Mack — Clelin Ferrell — has been a bust. This led the workforce to inquire about reacquiring Mack this year . The Bears edge rusher made his former workforce pay for the 2018 commerce Sunday, registering eight tackles, a sack, and a de facto sack to disclaim a fourth-quarter two-point attempt. The Bears (3-2) acquired simply 111 passing yards from Justin Fields, whom they’re oddly not utilizing as a runner (4 dashing yards), however gained by two scores. Mack, whose workforce misplaced his first reunion matchup (in London) in 2019, led the best way in making a Raider dropping skid.

BEARS GRADE: A-minus | NEXT: vs. Packers (Sun.)


16 of 30

Raiders’ floor formulation falling quick

Raiders' ground formula falling short

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr’s back-to-back top-11 QBR showings got here alongside an upper-crust dashing assault; the Raiders ranked within the prime half on the bottom in every of the previous two years. Through 5 video games, they sit twenty ninth. Las Vegas reconfigured its O-line this offseason, buying and selling away Pro Bowlers Rodney Hudson and Trent Brown and seven-year starter Gabe Jackson. The replacements are principally struggling, resulting in the Raiders transferring first-round deal with Alex Leatherwood to protect this week. The Raiders (3-2) averaged 3.2 yards per carry however tried 22 runs; Josh Jacobs notched only one eight-plus-yard achieve on 15 carries. Back to actuality for a one-dimensional offense.

RAIDERS GRADE: D-plus | NEXT: at Broncos (Sun.)


Darius Slay lives up to contract

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Rebounding from an terrible protection outing in opposition to the Chiefs, the Eagles intercepted Sam Darnold thrice and noticed their secondary’s chief come by way of. Slay picked off Darnold twice, a type of thefts organising the Eagles (2-3) within the Panthers’ crimson zone, and solely allowed 22 receiving yards within the workforce’s upset win. The Eagles gave Slay a three-year, $50 million extension, after buying and selling for him in 2020, however he didn’t ship throughout a miserable-on-most-fronts Philly season. The ex-Lions stopper has fared a bit higher this 12 months, and the Eagles protection and particular groups did sufficient to spice up an inconsistent offense in Charlotte.

EAGLES GRADE: B-plus | NEXT: vs. Buccaneers (Thu.)


18 of 30

Turnover-prone Sam Darnold resurfacing

Turnover-prone Sam Darnold resurfacing

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

In an simply winnable recreation, the Panthers quarterback let the Eagles off the hook. Carolina (3-2) held a 12-point halftime lead however failed to attain a landing after the primary quarter. Darnold ended three of Carolina’s drives with INTs and now has 5 picks in his previous two video games. He averaged 4.8 yards per try on a humbling day, one which reminded him of his Jets tenure. The Panthers acquired a 100-yard displaying from Christian McCaffrey’s backup, Chuba Hubbard, however Darnold’s woes — and the somewhat premature blocked punt that arrange the Eagles’ game-winner — sank them and supply questions on their contender viability.

PANTHERS GRADE: C-minus | NEXT: vs. Vikings (Sun.)


19 of 30

Upcoming Bucs schedule may key Tom Brady surge

Upcoming Bucs schedule could key Tom Brady surge

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bouncing again after two substandard video games, Brady shredded a Dolphins workforce deep at cornerback for 411 yards and 5 landing passes. This was Brady’s ninth five-TD recreation — second-most all-time (Drew Brees — 11). Tampa Bay’s 44-year-old legend repeatedly discovering Antonio Brown and Mike Evans bodes properly after the Rams and Patriots restricted the Bucs offense. The defending champs have two over-.500 groups on their schedule till Dec. 12, and people squads — the Bears and Saints — will not be precisely Super Bowl threats. Pass protection points however, the Bucs (4-1) look set for a run on the NFC’s prime seed.

BUCCANEERS GRADE: A-plus | NEXT: at Eagles (Thu.)


20 of 30

Dolphins’ corners come up woefully quick

Dolphins' corners come up woefully short

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins have the sector lapped in cornerback investments, rostering two making greater than $15 million yearly (Byron Jones, Xavien Howard) and signing veteran slot Justin Coleman after drafting Noah Igbinoghene in Round 1 final 12 months. Brady nonetheless razed this group, which featured Igbinoghene a wholesome scratch (not excellent), and focused Jones most. The ex-Cowboys stopper gave up 120 yards on 12 targets, and Brady additionally fired two TD passes previous Howard. For a Dolphins workforce (1-4) lacking Tua Tagovailoa, Will Fuller, and DeVante Parker, this was an unacceptable efficiency from its strongest place group.

DOLPHINS GRADE: F | NEXT: vs. Jaguars (Sun., in London)


Hunter Henry helps prevent disastrous loss

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

A hero to eliminator pool entries worldwide, Henry delivered his finest recreation as a Patriot and did loads to cease an embarrassing loss. Jonnu Smith and Henry signed the third- and fourth-richest tight finish contracts this offseason however had not precisely led the cost in Mac Jones’ early efforts. Henry did Sunday, hauling in a team-high six passes for 75 yards — 33 greater than his earlier prime effort this season. The sixth-year move catcher’s sliding TD on a third-and-6 tied the sport late, stopping a lackluster Pats effort from dealing the reloaded workforce (2-3) a possible loss of life blow.

PATRIOTS GRADE: C-plus | NEXT: vs. Cowboys (Sun.)


22 of 30

A glimmer of hope in misplaced Texans season

A glimmer of hope in lost Texans season

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Davis Mills adopted his traditionally dismal Buffalo day with a 312-yard outing in opposition to the NFL’s most persistently dependable move protection. Buoyed by a flea-flicker wherein Mark Ingram supplied a extra convincing run promote than most backs decide to, Mills accomplished seven 10-plus-yard passes — together with three landing passes — and have become the second rookie to throw three TDs in opposition to the Bill Belichick-era Pats (after Russell Wilson). The third-round decide almost overcame one more weird David Culley fourth-down choice — the zany punt motions that led to a game-turning sequence — and supplied a ray of hope for the 1-4 Texans.

TEXANS GRADE: C-plus | NEXT: at Colts (Sun.)


23 of 30

Eerily comparable ending obscures progress

Eerily similar ending obscures progress

Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Another 19-17 loss on a game-winning discipline objective to an NFL purple proponent dropped the Lions to 0-5. Unlike Urban Meyer‘s workforce, Dan Campbell’s squad does appear to imagine in its coach and continues to battle till video games’ conclusions. After halftime, the Vikings had seven possessions. None of them superior previous the Lions’ 30-yard line. Two of these drives resulted in turnovers — an Alex Anzalone INT and Jalen Reeves-Maybin fumble restoration — resulting in Detroit’s go-ahead two-point conversion. A bottom-tier roster is making progress, although it retains enduring kicker-fueled agony.

LIONS GRADE: B | NEXT: vs. Bengals (Sun.)


Greg Joseph gains redemption

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL would have zero unbeatens by way of 5 video games had Joseph made a 37-yard discipline objective in Arizona three weeks in the past, however the Vikings kicker rebounded Sunday. A Minnesota offense that did little after halftime relied on its kicker, sending him out for 55-, 49- and 54-yard discipline objectives. Joseph missed from 49 however was 2-for-2 from 50-plus — the final of which was a walk-off effort that saved the 10-point favorites. The Vikings (2-3) haven’t loved true kicker stability since Blair Walsh’s playoff miss six seasons ago, and Joseph is on his third workforce in 4 years. Still, the ex-Browns and Titans specialist proved worthwhile Sunday.

VIKINGS GRADE: B | NEXT: at Panthers (Sun.)


25 of 30

Derrick Henry wants a wingman quickly

Derrick Henry needs a wingman soon


A Titans workforce down Julio Jones and A.J. Brown at varied factors this 12 months retains leaning on its prime weapon, and Henry retains delivering. He gashed the Jaguars for 130 yards on 29 carries, including three touchdowns. Henry’s 9-yard TD resembled an NBA regular-season dunk, with Jags defenders wanting no a part of a goal-line collision. The two-time reigning dashing champ is on a tear. That mentioned, listed below are his contact totals since Week 2: 41, 31, 35, 29. He is on tempo to shatter Larry Johnson’s carries report (416). Henry out-carried backup Jeremy McNichols 29-1 in a three-score win. The Titans (3-2) must do higher to preserve their bulldozer. 

TITANS GRADE: A-minus | NEXT: vs. Bills (Mon.)


26 of 30

Meyer accelerating Jaguars’ path into infamy

Meyer accelerating Jaguars' path into infamy

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars have misplaced 20 consecutive video games. They be a part of solely the 1976-77 Buccaneers, who misplaced 26 straight to begin their run in a haves/have-nots period that occurred a long time earlier than free company, in dropping 20 straight. Urban Meyer is 0-5 and 1-for-5 in managing to lose by single digits. Nothing about this season and the embattled coach’s many missteps level to this experiment working. The Jags did internet three sacks and eight QB hits. Certain gamers will naturally progress on 53-man rosters. But this regime is not going to be the one to show across the franchise. Jacksonville’s bye looms in Week 7. Will a post-England choice change happen?

JAGUARS GRADE: D | NEXT: vs. Dolphins (Sun., in London)


27 of 30

Jets’ first-half points observe them to England

Jets' first-half issues follow them to England

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off by far his finest recreation as a professional, Zach Wilson couldn’t maintain tempo with Matt Ryan — regardless of this being one of many simpler duties on the Jets’ schedule. A Falcons workforce with out Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage jumped to a 20-3 lead on the Jets, who gained 80 yards within the first half. Although the Jets woke up within the second half, the second of their landing drives was buoyed by a 41-yard move interference penalty. The Jets (1-4) have been outscored 75-13 within the first half of video games this season.

JETS GRADE: C | NEXT: at Patriots (Oct. 24)


28 of 30

Falcons see their tight finish prize erupt

Falcons see their tight end prize erupt

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Down their prime two wideouts, the Falcons leaned on Kyle Pitts. The rookie proved reliable, serving to Ryan climb a spot on the all-time passing ranks (into eighth) by catching 9 passes for 119 yards and a landing. Doing most of his injury flexed out as a receiver, Pitts scored his first NFL TD from a goal-line set. His 39-yard seize in double protection led to the Falcons (2-3) closing out the Jets. The highest tight finish drafted within the widespread draft period, Pitts supplied an essential building-block efficiency after failing to face out in his first month as a professional. 

FALCONS GRADE: B-plus | NEXT: at Dolphins (Oct. 24)


29 of 30

Rams feeding different well-paid WR pays off

Rams feeding other well-paid WR pays off

Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire

After Robert Woods requested Sean McVay for a gathering, the fallout proved swift: 14 targets and 12 catches within the Rams’ Thursday win. The clear No. 2 goal behind Cooper Kupp throughout the Rams’ first 4 video games, Woods carved up the Seahawks for 150 yards — his fourth 150-yard day with Los Angeles. Having a midrange recreation that labored properly with Jared Goff, who definitely lacks Matthew Stafford’s deep-strike capabilities, Woods proving a match with L.A.’s new quarterback stands to profit Kupp and others going ahead. The Rams (4-1) protecting their different high-salaried wideout concerned confirmed one other layer to the Stafford-piloted assault.

RAMS GRADE: A-minus | NEXT: at Giants (Sun.)


30 of 30

Seahawks protection again on report tempo

Seahawks defense back on record pace

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

For a second straight season , the Seahawks have began so poorly on protection they’re on a report tempo. The Rams’ 476-yard night time put the Seahawks (2-3) on tempo to interrupt the 2012 Saints’ report for many yards allowed in a season (440 per recreation). Seattle’s troops are at 451 presently. It is simply too early, and Ken Norton Jr.’s crew rebounded down the stretch final 12 months. But Jamal Adams continues to battle in protection, calling Seattle’s blockbuster commerce and transferring him onto his personal security wage tier into query. More will likely be required of Seattle’s protection for some time, with Geno Smith immediately set for QB1 responsibility.

SEAHAWKS GRADE: C | NEXT: at Steelers (Sun.)

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