By: Michael Mills, Assistant Sports Editor
Featured image courtesy of sportslogos.net
Injuries were the toughest opponent for teams in week five of the NFL season. The New York Giants suffered injuries to their receiving corps – Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard, Dwayne Harris and Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham fractured his ankle and is expected to undergo surgery. It is unclear whether Beckham will return at a later point in the season. The loss of playmakers left quarterback Eli Manning helpless against the Los Angeles Chargers, as the Giants fell to 0-5 on the season.
In Houston at NRG Stadium, quarterback Deshaun Watson dazzled with another five-touchdown performance. However, Watson’s play was overshadowed by significant injuries. The heart and soul of Houston, defensive end J.J. Watt, fractured his left leg and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. The Texans defense took another significant hit when linebacker Whitney Mercilus went down with a long-term pectoral injury that puts him out for the rest of the season.
In the NFL’s game of the week, the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys delivered another sensational ending, similar to their divisional playoff matchup last year. Midway through the fourth quarter, quarterback Dak Prescott orchestrated a drive that took 8:36 off the clock. With just over a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Prescott pulled the ball away from the stomach of running back Zeke Elliott on a read option play. The Packers collapsed on top of Elliott, and Prescott slipped off the left side of the offensive line for an easy go-ahead touchdown. The Cowboys led 31-28 with just over a minute left in regulation. Once again, however, the Cowboys left too much time on the clock for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers quickly marched his team down the field and with 11 ticks on the clock found wide receiver Davante Adams in the corner of the end zone for the game-winning score. This marks the second time in two seasons that the Packers have come back to beat the Cowboys with only seconds remaining. These week six matchups should provide equally entertaining action.
Following another impressive road win, the Carolina Panthers meet up with the Philadelphia Eagles. In a loaded NFC East, the Eagles and quarterback Carson Wentz have proven they’re more than capable of winning a division title. The Panthers can’t afford to let their foot off the gas against the Eagles. Wentz and the Eagles continue to fly high to a win.
Score: Eagles 31 Panthers 21
In Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium, the Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger look to rebound after an abysmal performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Roethlisberger threw five interceptions in the loss, two returned for touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, quarterback Alex Smith is quietly playing like one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL. Smith has yet to throw an interception on the year and is tied for third in the league with 11 touchdown passes. Alex Smith continues to roll as the Steelers struggle for a second consecutive week.
Score: Chiefs 24 Steelers 13
Following a road win in Dallas, the Packers will march north to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. The Vikings have played opponents tough at home this season. The return of Sam Bradford should benefit wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. However, no one is hotter than Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers finds a way to break the hearts of Vikings fans with another game winning drive.
Score: Packers 27 Vikings 24