Soooooo maybe you’re wondering why we’ve only posted game recaps the last few weeks.
Well, it certainly wasn’t the plan, but life has been crazy and they have been all that we can manage at the moment. What, you say, can be so demanding that we don’t have time to keep the masses (ok, slight exaggeration) of Snappers entertained and informed with a variety of content?
Well, for starters, Val is currently in Germany. Legit excuse if I’ve ever heard one. The 6-hour time difference is really killing our vibe and funky internet connections have made football research a challenge. Let’s not even talk about the fact that she can’t watch NFL games from her hotel room. (She is enjoying the glass bottled water and abundance of tomatoes and cucumbers though!)
Michelle is feeling the side effects of having a “busy season” at work the same time as football season. Too much busy, not enough football. She’s also been traveling (but it was only to Parsippany, NJ, so let’s not even act like it’s a competition).
(Side note – since Val was busy being an international traveler this past weekend, Michelle had to give Momma O the fantasy football rundown. Apparently she “does not answer questions fast enough” and is unable to adequately anticipate Momma O’s questions. Sources have listed her status for this weekend as Questionable.)
We recognize that there is more to life (and certainly more to The Snap) than just game recaps, so please stick with us. Believe it or not, we’ve got some big Snap plans. For right now, they’re for us to know and you to (eventually) find out.
Anyways, here’s what we thought about week 5 in the NFL…
Indianapolis (27), Houston (20) – Colts QB Andrew Luck sat out again this week and let 40-year-old veteran Matt Hasselbeck, who had checked into the hospital earlier in the week for a nasty bacterial infection, lead the Colts to a win. Fun fact – all of the Colts’ points were scored by players over the age of 32, which is considered old in the NFL. Colts WR Andre Johnson finally came alive with 2 TDs against his former team. The Texans still can’t decide on a quarterback, starting with Ryan Mallett, who was injured and then sulked when replaced by Brian Hoyer. At this point, we think the team should put in J.J. Watt at QB and see what happens. At 1-4, they’ve got nothing to lose.
Chicago (18), Kansas City (17) – The Chiefs are in a bad spot with a 1-4 record and the loss of RB Jamaal Charles for the rest of the year with an ACL injury. He was their best offensive weapon, and the team struggled to move the chains once he left the game. The Chiefs defense did better as this was the first game of the season they did not allow their opponent to score more than 30 points. Two claps for you. They got a lot of pressure on Bears QB Jay Cutler, who had a terrible first half yet somehow managed to win the game on a touchdown pass to RB Matt Forte after he fumbled the snap.
Seattle (24), Cincinnati (27) (OT) – The Bengals are legit. QB Andy Dalton looked good, TE Tyler Eifert continues to make the Bengal’s offense look good, and WR A.J. Green had a fun match-up against CB Richard Sherman. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson made some questionable decisions and now there are whispers about whether last year’s Super Bowl contender will be able to win the NFC West again. They better hope the Cardinals lose their momentum.
Washington (19), Atlanta (25) (OT) – Atlanta came very close to losing their undefeated record, but a Washington QB Kirk Cousins pick six in OT sealed the win for the Falcons. Washington’s defense played a great game, keeping WR Julio Jones in check for only 67 yards and the Falcons out of the end zone until the final quarter. Good thing Atlanta has RB Devonta Freeman, who ran for 157 yards and his 8th touchdown of the season. QB Matt Ryan led a touchdown drive that put the Falcons in the lead with less than a minute to go, but Cousins got his team in field goal range to force OT. He does need to decrease his amount of turnovers.
Jacksonville (31), Tampa Bay (38) – Tampa Bay and Coach Lovie Smith earned their first home win in 11 tries. RB Doug Martin led the team with 3 touchdowns, which helped rookie QB Jameis Winston not have to throw the ball so much to play catch-up, which has resulted in many interceptions over the first few weeks. Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles had a great game, but did not get much in the way of protection from his o-line. He was sacked 6 times. Ouch.
New Orleans (17), Philadelphia (39) – The Eagles won by more than 20 points despite the fact that QB Sam Bradford threw two interceptions in the red zone. He was helped by the best performance Philly’s o-line has had all year, which showed in the productive run game they were finally able to establish with RBs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews. We noted it in our week 3 summary and it happened again – Saints coach Sean Payton and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan were seen arguing on the sidelines again. While we surmised that probably meant the end of Ryan’s time in the Big Easy, at least by the end of the season, there are rumors swirling that Sean Payton could be sent on his way out if the organization is looking for a rebuild. Saints QB Drew Brees didn’t appear on the injury report this week but it’s unclear if he’s fully healed from his shoulder injury.
Cleveland (33), Baltimore (30) (OT) – Browns QB Josh McCown had an excellent day, becoming the first quarterback in franchise history to throw for 300-plus yards in three straight weeks. Johnny Football who? It was Cleveland’s first win in Baltimore since 2007. Speaking of Baltimore, the 1-4 Ravens seem to be bitten by the injury bug, finishing the game without their top receiver, running back, tight end, outside linebacker and defensive end, in addition to losing three cornerbacks and another receiver.
St. Louis (10), Green Bay (24) – The Rams defense gave Aaron Rodgers all he could handle, and he threw his first interception at Lambeau Field in 1,043 days. He had two picks on the day, as well as a fumble. The Packers defense is highly underrated and forced four interceptions as well. In the “punters are people too” category, Rams punter Johnny Hekker might be the best at running a fake punt in the league. He was a high school quarterback and threw a 20 yard toss on a fake punt to convert a fourth down. In his career, he is 6 of 8 for 99 yards with a 155.7 passer rating.
Buffalo (14), Tennessee (13) – Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor didn’t have a stellar game, but after taking a big hit and having to leave for a play, he came back into the game and threw a 46 yard pass to set up the winning touchdown. Buffalo is still being called for a lot of penalties. Taylor may miss this week with the MCL sprain he sustained. If he can’t start, backup EJ Manual will get the green light. Titans rookie QB Marcus Mariota impressed against a Rex Ryan led defense. He was the team’s leading rusher and passer. He could use more weapons on offense to help him out. On this week’s Tyrod Fashion Update, we can see that he went with a different color palette and less aggressive patterns.
Arizona (42), Detroit (17) – The Lions remain the last defeated team in the league (0-5) after the Cardinals forced 6 turnovers, 5 of which came in the first 35 minutes (3 Stafford picks and 2 RB Ameer Abdullah fumbles). After DET QB Matt Stafford’s third interception, he was benched for backup Dan Orlovsky. Detroit Coach Jim Caldwell says Stafford will remain their starting QB, but he’s in a tough spot with a leaky o-line and a weaker defense than last year that he was able to rely on to help out in keeping the team in games. Cardinals QB Carson Palmer was on fire – he had his second best career passer rating of 154.2 on Sunday and has great weapons on his offense. Through the first 5 weeks, the Cardinals have a 100 point differential (that means they’ve beaten their opponents by 100 points combined), which is the most since the 2007 Patriots record-breaking year.
New England (30), Dallas (6) – Despite getting sacked 5 times in the first half, Pats QB Tom Brady continues to make it look easy. As we’ve seen the last few years, the Patriots defense is once again starting look better after a few games into the season. For not having any big names, the Patriots running backs are stronger than expected, led by Dion Lewis, the best under-the-radar pickup during the off-season. The only bad news for the Pats is that they’ve lost their starting left tackle Nate Solder (he protects Brady’s blind side) for the rest of the season due to a torn bicep. As far as the Cowboys go, QB Brandon Weeden didn’t have his best week, which has earned Matt Cassel the starting job for week 7 when the team comes back from their bye.
Denver (16), Oakland (10) – The Broncos were held out of the end zone until an interception was returned for a touchdown by their defense, which continued its dominance. In fact, 10 of the Broncos points were scored off turnovers. Broncos QB Peyton Manning had not played in a game without his offense scoring a touchdown since 2003. He threw two interceptions, both of which were picked off by Raiders CB Charles Woodson, who turned 39 last week. Manning and Woodson entered the league together in 1998, and it was the first time Woodson had intercepted Manning in his career. He became the oldest player to record multiple interceptions in a game, and moved up to 6th on the all-time interceptions list.
San Francisco (27), New York Giants (30) – This was a surprisingly exciting game for two (let’s be honest) mediocre teams. Giants QB Eli Manning had a rough first half, but redeemed himself in the end, finishing with 441 yards and 3 TDs, keeping the G-men in contention for the lead in the weird NFC East. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick had his best game of the season, but struggled near the end of the game.
Pittsburgh (24), San Diego (20) – The Steelers managed to eek out a last-minute win against the Chargers after using the wildcat formation and letting RB Le’Veon Bell score a TD instead of going for a field goal which would have sent the game into overtime. Backup Steelers QB Michael Vick had a good night, making plays when it counted. Chargers TE Antonio Gates was back from his suspension and had quite the night – he moved into third place for all-time tight end receiving yards and become the second tight end to record 100 TDs. The other headline coming out of the game was the NFL admitting that game officials failed to correct a significant clock error. Whoopsie.
Here are this week’s standings in our Weekly Pick ‘Em league. Soneil324 continues to dominate the league – holding strong in the number one spot with 5 more correct picks than the next highest Snappers. Can anyone catch him? Guess we’ll have to wait and see!
Also, something that’s totally unrelated, but worth mentioning – If you haven’t signed up for Lenny, the newsletter from Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, you should definitely do that. This week’s edition featuring a great op-ed from Jennifer Lawrence about pay equality. We also loved How Sports Gave Me Swagger, a piece by director Gina Prince-Bythewood, where she declares, “Swagger is the belief that we belong in any setting. […] Badass has no gender.”
– Fraulein Val and Michelle