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Week 5 Reactions and Takeaways

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

Week 5 has wrapped up, and TRO is reflecting on all that transpired, breaking down major headlines, and handing out its weekly superlatives. Check out our thoughts following Week 5's action:

via Atlanta Falcons

Another week gone, another wild slate of games. TRO is launching its rapid reactions following the conclusion of the games from the Week prior. With Week 5 having ended, it's time to fire off TRO's immediate reactions following all of the action. We're here, again, to elaborate on the biggest headlines that stuck with us, and to hand out superlatives. Look for TRO to award the Surprise Performance of the Week to the most deserving team, and the Game of the Week to the most exciting matchup, in addition to individual player superlatives. Players whose team won their game will be eligible to be selected in the following categories: Passer of the Week, Pass Catcher of the Week, Tailback of the Week, Defensive Lineman of the Week, Linebacker of the Week, Defensive Back of the Week, and Special Teamer of the Week.


via SeahawksWire / USA Today

The Seahawks are in Trouble:

Russell Wilson has never missed a start in his NFL career, that's part of what has made him so great. Unfortunately, that will change as he suffered a ruptured tendon on one of his fingers in his throwing hand. This injury required nearly immediate surgery as it was preventing Russ from fully straightening and extending his finger. Unfortunately for Seattle that means Wilson will miss somewhere between 6 to 8 weeks, placing a targeted return date somewhere around Weeks 11 - 13.

Seattle is already sitting at 2-3 in an ultra competitive NFC West and will have to rely on Geno Smith to keep them competitive going forward. This team was struggling to win games with a healthy Wilson. It will take a miracle for Smith to put together a long win streak, which means Seattle could very well miss the playoffs this year. To add insult to injury, there are roaring rumors that Wilson will not be back in Seattle in 2022. It's going to be interesting to watch, but things are not looking good for the Seahawks.

Success Across the Pond:

It was nice to see a game played in London following last year's COVID-impacted season. Despite a matchup between the Falcons and the Jets (two teams with very low expectations this year), this turned out to be a fun matchup. Wembly stadium was filled with overseas NFL fans which was great to see. The atmosphere was electric, and it made for a great scene. We were treated to the best game of Kyle Pitts's very young career, and the Jets rallied back from a deficit to make the game competitive towards the end. This was a win for the NFL and for football fans back in the States, giving us football first thing in the morning to roll straight into the afternoon and evening slates.

Justin Herbert is Already Elite:

We all know how good of a rookie year Justin Herbert had, and how good he appears to be going forward. While no one expected him to really regress this year, it is not enough to acknowledge his lack of a sophomore slump, saying that he's just really good, and it is finally time that time we go beyond that distinction and give Herbert the credit he is owed.

Through 5 games, Herbert has completed 67% of his passes for 1,576 yards, 13 touchdowns, and only 3 interceptions. His squad is 4-1 with 3 straight impressive wins over the Chiefs, the Raiders, and the Browns. He's proven to be clutch, not faltering under pressure, and makes mind-blowing plays each and every week.

It is not a reach to say that Herbert is already a top 5 - 7 quarterback in this League, which is absolutely absurd to be saying about a 23 year old second-year player. He is that good, his game has essentially no major flaws, and he is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Is this the Beginning of the End for the 2021 Las Vegas Raiders?:

As the great Ron Burgundy once said, "boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast." The Raiders were once a 3-0 team, with wins over Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Miami. They have since lost the last 2 in a row, including this week's ugly performance against the Chicago Bears.

It only gets worse from there. Shortly after their Week 5 loss, reports game out releasing Jon Gruden's unacceptable emails from around 2011 which contained a racist trope, and homophobic and misogynistic comments. Gruden was caught spewing off about the NFLPA president, female referees, Michael Sam (the first openly homosexual NFL player), and eviscerated Roger Goodell. Gruden almost immediately resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, ending his football-related career. While there is no place for Gruden in the League following the exposure of these emails, from a football standpoint, it is a disappointment someone with Gruden's history, fame as a head coach and Monday Night Football broadcaster, will end his career on this note - especially after the start the Raiders got off to this year. Above all, it is good the League continues to work to denounce this behavior as it tries to progress along with society.

Out is Gruden, and in is interim head coach Rich Bisaccia, the team's special team coordinator. Bisaccia had his press conference today where he emotionally accepted the job, and seems passionate about this opportunity after being a part of NFL coaching staffs since 2002. Hopefully he can hone in on this passion and keep the Raiders focused after they try to stay afloat from a 2 game losing streak.

2) GAME OF THE WEEK: Cleveland Browns @ Los Angeles Chargers

via Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

The most exciting game of Week 5 was the best matchup on paper going into Sunday. Two of the AFC's top teams squared off in SoFi Stadium for an offensive shootout. This game had 7 lead changes, 6 combined touchdowns in the last 15 minutes, and an ending that hinged on a Baker Mayfield Hail Mary attempt which came up short, leading to a Chargers 47-42 over the Browns. The Browns became the first team to lose a game while scoring 40 or more points without committing a turnover. Both teams had their offenses clicking on all cylinders which made for an exciting showdown.


via Justin K. Aller / Getty Images

Just when all looked lost for the Steelers, losing their last 3 after their Week 1 victory over the Bills, they stood strong and handled a tough Denver Broncos team at home. Big Ben temporarily silenced some of his critics, connecting on some deep balls while throwing for 250 yards and 2 scores. Rookie running back Najee Harris looked like an offensive rookie of the year candidate, and the defense looked like the Pittsburgh defense we were used to seeing - despite injuries in the secondary. Props to this team for not rolling over, and for bouncing back in a big way against a Denver team many pegged to be better than them.


PASSER OF THE WEEK: Lamar Jackson - Baltimore Ravens

via Nick Wass / Associated Press

Lamar Jackson had an absolutely historic performance on Monday night, leading his team to put up 22 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to overcome a 19 point deficit against the Colts, ultimately beating them in overtime. Jackson finished with a whopping 442 passing yards, 4 passing touchdowns, and he also notched 62 rushing yards. He managed to accomplish these numbers while only throwing SIX (6) INCOMPLETIONS - completing 37 of his 43 attempts.

PASS CATCHER OF THE WEEK: Mark Andrews - Baltimore Ravens

via Getty Images

Next up on this list is Lamar Jackson's Favorite target and our first tight end to earn this weekly honor. Mark Andrews was almost equally as instrumental in the Ravens' comeback win as Jackson was. He racked up 147 yards, 2 touchdowns, while hauling in 11 receptions. He also scored BOTH of Baltimore's essential 2 point conversions while scoring 16 points in the 4th quarter.

TAILBACK OF THE WEEK: Derrick Henry - Tennessee Titans

via Stephen B. Morton / AP Photo

Derrick Henry makes his way onto this list for the second time this season (Week 2). King Henry expanded on his ridiculous career dominance of the Jacksonville Jaguars by notching 130 yards and 3 touchdowns on 29 carries.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Gregory Rousseau - Buffalo Bills

via BillsWire / USA Today

Gregory Rousseau becomes the first rookie to earn TRO weekly honors. He was a key component in Buffalo's comfortable win over the Chiefs on Sunday night. The big defensive end finished with 5 tackles, 1 sack, and he managed to haul in 1 interception.

LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Eric Kendricks - Minnesota Vikings

via Minnesota Vikings

Eric Kendricks tallied 8 tackles and hauled in an amazing one-handed interception in the Vikings' win over the Lions. He held down the middle of the field and helped this Minnesota defense pull out an important win over a division rival.

DEFENSIVE BACK OF THE WEEK: Darius Slay - Philadelphia Eagles

via Getty Images

Darius Slay gave Sam Darnold and D. J. Moore fits Sunday afternoon. He nabbed 2 interceptions, and held Moore to 5 catches and 42 yards, which was his lowest in both categories this season. Slay also contributed with 3 tackles.

SPECIAL TEAMER OF THE WEEK: Blake Gillikin - New Orleans Saints

via Alex Brandon / AP Photo

It was a historically abysmal week for NFL kickers, totaling 16 missed field goals and 13 missed extra points. Blake Gillikin contributed to New Orleans's win over Washington in a big way. He made sure almost every possession the Football Team had was staring down a long field. Gillikin notched 5 punts, 3 of which landed inside the 20, one of which was 60 yards, for an average of 53.6 yards per punt.


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