Is this what they call parity? The New York Giants sit at the top of the NFC East after week 5 thanks to their victory over the San Francisco 49ers and the remaining three teams in the division sit only one game behind.
This week was a good lesson for the Washington Redskins that there is no such thing as a moral victory in the NFL. A loss is a loss. Still, there are a lot of positives that can be taken from the game. First, the ‘Skins proved resilient. They fell behind with just seconds left in the game and QB Kirk Cousins engineered a drive that resulted in a Dustin Hopkins 52-yard field goal that sent the game into overtime.
Second, the Redskins defense played well. They came up with two interceptions –- one by second-year cornerback Bashaud Breeland and the other by safety Trenton Robinson –- and cornerback Will Blackmon forced a Matt Ryan fumble. The Falcons’ offense has averaged 34.3 points per game, yet the Redskins’ defense allowed them only 19 points. Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan sacked Ryan twice and D-lineman Chris Baker also recorded a sack.
Third, feared Falcons’ receiver Julio Jones finished with just five catches for 67 yards and no touchdowns.
Fourth, the Redskins’ offense was able to overcome the loss of tight end Jordan Reed, who suffered a concussion last week. Reed has become Cousins’ reliable third-down receiver. Rookie wide receiver Jamison Crowder stepped up with eight catches for 87 yards and running back Chris Thompson helped with six receptions for 33 yards. Derek Carrier, who replaced Reed for the most part, caught two passes for 27 yards and a touchdown.
However, the Redskins’ offense relies so much on the running game and Alfred Morris was only able to muster 15 yards on eight carries and Matt Jones could only contribute 20 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. Third-down back Chris Thompson collected 15 yards on three carries.
Although the Redskins defense were able to contain the Falcons’ passing game, they couldn’t stop Falcons’ running back Devonta Freeman, who gained 153 yards on 27 carries and a touchdown.
In a game where points were precious Falcons’ kicker Matt Bryant missed two field goals (38 and 48) and made two (42 and 28). Hopkins missed a 53-yard field goal attempt for the Redskins.
The Redskins received the kickoff to start overtime and Cousins was able to drive the team to the 50. On second and eight, Cousins threw a pass toward Ryan Grant near the sidelines, but Grant slipped and fell and Falcons’ corner Robert Alford caught and returned it 59 yards for the touchdown.
Cousins finished with 21 completions on 32 attempts for 219 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
Matt Ryan finished with 24 completions on 42 attempts for 254 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. FALCONS 25 REDSKINS 19
The New York Giants barely got their win against the San Francisco 49ers. Giants QB Eli Manning threw a pass to Giants’ tight end Larry Donnell who made a spectacular catch over two 49ers’ defenders with 21 seconds left. The completion to Donnell capped off an 82-yard drive.
Manning finished with his career best 41 completions on 54 attempts for 441 yards. The victory made him the winningest quarterback in Giants’ history with 102.
Colin Kaepernick finished with 23 completions on 35 attempts for 262 yards and two touchdowns
It appeared as though the 49ers would come up with the win when Carlos Hyde scored on a two-yard run with 1:45 remaining in the game.
This was a game of big plays for both teams. There were 20 plays of at least 15 yards and the 49ers had three of them on their last drive. The big play for the Giants in their game winning drive was Shane Vereen’s 24-yard run. The comeback win was Manning’s 27th of his career. The last drive was done without Odell Beckham Jr. who left the game due to a hamstring injury. However, before he left the game he made his presence felt. He set up the Giants’ first touchdown on a 31-yard reception and a 15-yard catch set up a 17-yard score. He finished with seven catches for 121 yards and a touchdown.
In the first half the Giants had drives of 76, 81, and 66 yards and the 49ers had one 76-yard drive. Except for a two-yard Vereen reception for a touchdown in the second quarter, all the drives culminated in field goals. Giants’ kicker Josh Brown was good from 22 and 41 yards out and 49ers’ kicker Phil Dawson connected on 43-yards and 22-yards kicks. GIANTS 30 49ERS 27
The Philadelphia Eagles were able to achieve an ugly victory over the New Orleans Saints. Although he threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns, Eagles QB Sam Bradford still gave up two interceptions in the red zone. Meanwhile, Saints’ QB Drew Brees gave up three turnovers.
Bradford got his first TD on a 41-yard catch and run to Josh Huff, which tied the game at seven in the second quarter. However, the Eagles broke the game open in the third quarter. Ryan Matthews completed a 65-yard drive with a two-yard run for a score that gave the Eagles the lead 17-10.
The Saints next series ended when Fletcher Cox sacked Brees and forced a fumble that was recovered at the 13. Bradford completed a pass to Brent Celek on the next play to give the Eagles a 23-10 lead. However, Eagles’ kicker Caleb Sturgis missed the extra point.
Later, Walter Thurmond intercepted a Brees’ pass and returned it 44-yards to the Saints’ 4-yard line and DeMarco Murray ran it in for the score.
Cox sacked Brees and forced another fumble late in the second quarter that Jordan Hicks recovered at the Saints 39. Sturgis kicked a 39-yard field goal. EAGLES 39 SAINTS 17
The Dallas Cowboys offense continues to struggle without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Not good situations to be in if you have to play the New England Patriots.
The Cowboys defense was able to slow down the Patriots and their QB Tom Brady with five sacks in the first half. Greg Hardy accounted for two and Rolando McClain got one. This was the debut game for both players after each suffered four game suspensions. However, Brady threw two touchdown passes in the second half.
It is now more than obvious that Cowboys’ QB Brandon Weeden can’t fill the assignment as Romo’s back up while the starter heals from a broken collarbone.
The Cowboys’ offense could collect only 59 yards in the first half. They were only able to get two field goals in the third quarter.
The loss gave Weeden the distinction of losing 11 consecutive starts going back to his tenure with the Cleveland Browns.
Weeden finished with 26 completions on 39 attempts for an anemic 188 yards. Brady completed 20 passes on 27 attempts and he hit receiver Julian Edelman on a 59-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter. Edelman finished with 120 receiving yards.
Patriots’ kicker Stephen Gostkowski extended his consecutive field goal streak to 19 with three field goals, including a career-long 57 yarder at the end of the first half.
The Cowboys have a bye this Sunday and they are expected to evaluate their QB situation. Romo is not expected to be back until November 22 at the earliest. PATRIOTS 30 COWBOYS 6
NFC EAST STANDINGS
NEW YORK GIANTS 3-2
DALLAS COWBOYS 2-3
WASHINGTON REDSKINS 2-3
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 2-3
NFC EAST SCHEDULE
REDSKINS @ JETS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2015
GIANTS @ EAGLES MONDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2015
Courtesy of Bleacher Report