They say form is temporary and class is permanent, and the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 NFL oozed the latter this weekend.
The Green Bay Packers surprised people this early in the season by not steamrollering every opponent before them. Aaron Rodgers felt enough was enough and destroyed the new golden boys of the league on their own patch.
Questions over Robert Griffin III’s health after being knocked out last week were emphatically answered with a thrilling running touchdown. The New York Giants entered full-on mind game mode – with great success – when they went to California.
Is that a number is the W column of the Cleveland Browns? Oh good grief.
In news closer to home, a second NFL game is coming to Wembley in 2013. Is the league a step closer to awarding a franchise to the UK?
GOING UP TOP
Hey there Aaron Rodgers. The 2011 MVP (4643 yards and 45 touchdowns for the record) was not hanging around when the Packers went to the 5-0 Houston Texans. Houston boast an awesome running offense to go with their formidable D. So Rodgers figured he’s probably need a few TDs. He ended up with six, a 65% completion rate and 338 yards as Green Bay dominated by 42-24, in front of the prime time audience. You have been warned, NFL.
Well knock me down with a feather – the Cleveland Browns have a win. Helped by four turnovers – one of them returned for six by Sheldon Brown – Brandon Weeden led the team to their first victory in 11 matches. Happy birthday Brandon. He connected with Josh Gordon for a 71 yard TD and generally made the most of his opportunities, with Montario Hardesty picking up the bulk of the running. Pressure released on head coach Pat Shurmur, for now.
THREE AND OUT
A tough Sunday for the San Francisco 49ers, who were given a comprehensive defeat in a match that was billed as revenge for them over NFC Champion New York Giants. The teams reconvened at Candlestick Park after the Giants’ late win in January to reach the Super Bowl. New York turned up the heat before the game, claiming nobody expected them to win and putting pressure on the officials to penalise 49ers’ defensive end Justin Smith, saying: “He gets away with murder.” The mind games, plus a canny offensive plan that saw Ahmad Bradshaw break the Niners’ resistance through tough running, saw the Giants comprehensively defeat Jim Harbaugh’s men by 26-3.
After a battling win over the Dallas Cowboys, much in thanks to a last gasp field goal miss, the under-scrutiny Baltimore Ravens defense was handed some hammer-blow news. Already missing Terrell Suggs for the season, the Ravens will now be without cornerback Ladarius Webb for the campaign. When itwas confirmed that Ray Lewis, the inspirational captain of the team, was also ruled out with torn triceps, bleak predictions were being made. The conventional wisdom holds that the Baltimore D is getting too old, so will we see any new stars emerge now?
The game will take place just four weeks before the Jacksonville Jaguars face the 49ers at Wembley. NFL chief Roger Goodell says this game will play “a big part” in placing a new NFL team in the UK. (Pro Football Weekly)
A review of the weekend’s action. (Fan Fuel)
The Bills handed more work to Fred Jackson than CJ Spiller on Sunday – the start of a trend? (Buffalo Rumblings)
A passionate San Diego Chargers blog reacts to another implosion from Philip Rivers, Norv Turner and the rest. “It’s truly sickening,” they say. No holds barred here. (Bolt Beat)
There were plenty of long faces at the Reliant Stadium when Houston lost their perfect record, but Tania Ganguli says they won’t last long. (Ultimate Texans)
Breathtaking athleticism from the NFL’s box office rookie. This was not even a designed play – RG3 saw the space open up from the pocket and went for it.
Brandon Weeden to Josh Gordon, and boom, he’s gone.
He is their heart and soul, but can the Ravens cope without Ray Lewis?
Man Gets Hit By Football
Antrel Rolle, at times outspoken about his opposition, is in no doubt about the challenge his Giants overcame at ‘The Stick’ following his two interceptions.
Great team win today against an awesome opponent. # satisfied for today. Right back at it tomorrow. #grindmode— Antrel Rolle (@antrelrolle26) October 15, 2012
WEEK 5 RESULTS
Pittsburgh Steelers 23-26 Tennessee Titans
Oakland Raiders 20-23 Atlanta Falcons
Kansas City Chiefs 10-38 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Indianapolis Colts 9-35 New York Jets
Cincinnati Bengals 24-34 Cleveland Browns
Detroit Lions 26-23 Philadelphia Eagles
St Louis Rams 14-17 Miami Dolphins
Dallas Cowboys 29-31 Baltimore Ravens
Buffalo Bills 19-16 Arizona Cardinals
New England Patriots 23-24 Seattle Seahawks
New York Giants 26-3 San Francisco 49ers
Minnesota Vikings 26-38 Washington Redskins
Green Bay Packers 42-24 Houston Texans
Denver Broncos 35-24 San Diego Chargers
With a few divisional match-ups to look forward to – Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco on Thursday night and the New Orleans Saints going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look tasty – the big stand-out is at Meadowlands.
The Washington Redskins won both encounters with the future Super Bowl winners New York Giants in 2011, and this time they are armed with RG3.
The game takes on huge significance for the Giants, who are 4-2 but have lost both games against their other NFC East rivals, Dallas and Philadelphia, so far. The Redskins are the closest challengers so far, with a 3-3 record.
After their dominance against the 49ers, Giants fans will be demanding revenge for their washout against the Skins last year. For Griffin III, this is the biggest scrutiny he will have been under since the opening weekend win at New Orleans. He appears to thrive on the attention, and the underdog status.
New York should beware.