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Green Zone League Articles

The Week That Was: 2018 Week 5
By Garth Pearce
Special to gzl-football.com

RAVENS VS BENGALS

Game: It's fair to say the Ravens are struggling in 2018 and the Bengals capitalized on last weeks demoralizing home loss by Baltimore to notch a divisional victory in Cincinnati. It took the entire Bengals' QB contingent to finish this one out but the efforts of Manziel (6-of-8, 60 yards, 1 touchdown + 3 rushes for 90 yards (74 long) and 1 touchdown) and Rivers (7-of-7, 80 yards, 1 touchdown) were enough to get them over the line for 31-19 victory. Damontre Moore was dynamite on defense with 8 tackles, 2 for loss and 2 sacks whilst Logan Ryan and Arthur Brown each knocked down 3 passes. Joe Flacco did his bit with 325 yards and 2 scores with Eddie Lacy running 98 yards at 7.00 ypc (a 60 long in amongst his low 14 attempts) for the Ravens, where defensively they had 4 players record multiple tackles for loss to keep most of the run grounded but somehow had not answer to the accurate passing game.

Teams: The Bengals may have one but it comes at a very high cost with both Johnny Manziel and Philip Rivers suffering injuries. Manziel has torn his shoulder which means 8 plus weeks getting it right, whilst veteran Rivers suffered a mild concussion and will be out of action for 2 weeks at the same time. The Bengals' woes don't stop there as DT Kawaan Short strained his shoulder too and has a 3 week layoff. The Ravens didn't get out of it easy either with SS Ronnie Paige collecting a broken jaw that'll sideline him for 4 weeks.


SAINTS VS EAGLES

Game: The down year for the Saints continues whilst the Eagles fly high on their best offensive game since week 1 of 2015! Malik McNabb was the whole show, passing for 279 yards at 62.50% and 2 touchdowns combined with 2 rushing touchdowns. LeGarrette Blount did the hard yards filling in for the injured Jeremy Hill with 148 yards at 6.43 ypc. Perry Lawrence blocked well with 12 pancakes whilst on defense Wesley Washington collected a 51 yard pick 6, Blidi Wreh-Wlison and Oscar Riveria deflected 4 passes each and Wreh-Wilson also had a pick. The Saints got thei struggling Tyler Wilson back and he was detrimental to the efforts of Jazquizz Rodgers who ran 85 yards at 12.14 ypc and a score. Omar Williams pulled some special teams magic with a 100 yard kick off return, Patrick Robinson deflected 3 passes and DE Flint Murphy had a pick but it was all about the Eagles as they romped to a 45-17 victory.

Teams: Rookie running back Jeremy Hill started too hot that he burned his way quickly into an abdominal tear. He'll be right after a couple of weeks though.


STEELERS VS BROWNS

Game: The Steelers now sit undefeated after 4 games thanks in most to a strong defensive outing in Cleveland this week. Boston Mallett threw 4 picks to go with his 3 touchdowns, 2 of those interceptions being returned for scores by Samuel Price (1 pick 6, 2 picks total, 3 deflections) and Martin Butler. This means that the Steelers offense didn't need to do much to cash in o their advantage and knock out a 30-27 victory. For the Browns, Jon Bostic did a lot of hard work in the middle, collecting 15 tackles and 2 for loss whilst forcing a fumble, and Brandon Harris had 3 deflections in a day where Browns offense gave greater gains at greater pain.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


COWBOYS VS JETS

Game: The Cowboys gave themselves the early lead in this one and almost threw it away as a fourth quarter comeback by the Jets fell just short. Much like the Steelers VS Browns match-up this one was a story of the turnovers and a Jets team despairing their inaccuracy from your young QB Jonathan Higgins. Kenrick Nielsen (10 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 interception, 1 deflection), Akwasi Owusu-Anash (6 tackles, 1 interception, 3 deflections) and Sean Lee (2 tackles, 1 interception) all got a piece of Higgins' erratic day whilst Ozzy Erp picked up a Marcus Lattimore fumble. Dez Bryant had 126 receiving yards and a score whilst 17 points came off the leg of David Buehler. Credit to the Jets defense that kept the Cowboys to 2 scores from 4 redzone attempts (1 touchdown, 1 field goal) and had 3 guys record multiple tackles for loss. Calvin Armstrong had the lone pick for the Jets who fell 2 points short at 27-29.

Teams: Jets guard Edward Jacoby obviously stuck his head where it wasn't wanted and as a result has a mild concussion that'll take at least 2 weeks to shake off.


DOLPHINS VS JAGUARS

Game: The Dolphins were up tot heir old tricks in Jacksonville this week, taking a 26 to 14 lead into the second half and then putting away the scoring to give the Jaguars a sniff. Russel Wilson had 261 yards and 2 touchdown passes to Jordan Matthews (97 receiving yards) whilst his defense collected 5 interceptions, 1 each to Tyrone Booker, Sergio Fields, Bernie Freeman, Shyrone Mills and Darius Slay (who also had 3 deflections). Hugh Harmon had 12 tackles and 4 for loss in a day that saw Tyler Bray taken out of the starting gig for Jacksonville and the reins handed to Mike Glennon. Right now it's a case of the bad and the ugly with Bray and Glennon, as today's performance was 2 touchdowns to 5 interceptions for Glennon with a 62.68 completion percentage. Billy Corckett caught 1 touchdown pass to go with his 121 receiving yards and we can pretty much leave the state of Jaguars play at that for a 21-26 loss.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


GIANTS VS BEARS

Game: The Bears had this one to lose and lose they did as a 13 to 7 last quarter got the giants over the line for a 19-17 win. Time of possession was massively in favour of the visitors with over double the amount of ball going to the Giants (32+ minutes vs 16). Of course Ryan Mathews had to be at the center of this with 136 yards at 4.39 ypc and a score. 4 field goals to Marquis Campbell was the extent of the Giants scoring and as a result the defense didn't have to do a lot or do it extraordinarily. The biggest play fo the day came from 296lbs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who outran the entire Giants offense back 71 yards after picking up a fumble! This guy is listed as 67n speed and no-one could get to him in 71 yards...amazing work by the big guy! DeMarcus Van Dyke and Marc Thomas picked up another fumble each and the defense added 9 tackles for loss in their marathon stint on the field.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


CARDINALS VS LIONS

Game: The Lions posted the biggest score of the week with a 50 to 26 thumping of the Cardinals. The game was close by half time but the firepower of Matt Stafford was too much as they poured on 34 points to 12 in the second half. Stafford completed 68.18% of his passes for 325 yards and 4 touchdowns. Megatron had 163 yards whilst David Gettis pulled in 2 scoring catches on his way to 93 yards. The woes of the Cardinals could have been contributed to an early injury to Christian Ponder, resulting in Kevin Kolb trying to play catch up to a much more polished passer and failing in his attempts. Kolb hit 3 touchdown passes of his own but also turned it over just as many times (2 going to Martez Wilson and 1 to Dana Garcia). Garcia also collected one of the two recovered fumbles, had 6 tackles and 2 deflections in only 17 and a half minutes of defensive play. Jeremy Ross had 109 receiving yards for the Cardinals and Julio Jones had 99 with a score, but there is very little else to write home about back to Arizona.

Teams: Lions TE Eric Ebron sprained his elbow not getting into the scoring action and will now miss 3 weeks recuperating.


PANTHERS VS BUCCANEERS

Game: I picked the Buccaneers this week, not realising how well the Panthers were actually doing until reading AF's Power Rankings article and I almost changed my mind before sticking with my gut that the 14-3 history over the Panthers and the home game would give them the edge. Well it wasn't much of an edge but a 24-23 win is still a win with Josh Freeman going for 238 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception, Token Price had 11 pancakes and Ronnie Lewis returned a kick 94 yards for the other major score. Eli Mazzar got 2 sacks and Sam Acho had 2 tackles for loss in a lack lustre defensive day, where as Trevor Harper took a fumble 46 yards to the house for the Panthers. Matt Barkley was sound with 252 yards and a score to Torrey Smith for a consecutive 100+ yard game (110 yards) that saw a 20-to-7 half time lead slip away when the Buccs poured on 17 in the last stanza.

Teams: Panthers linebacker Calvin Hamilton checked out of the game with a pinched nerve but could be right this coming week. The news wasn't as good for the Buccs as WR Jorge Lloyd has broken his collarbone and his season is done.


PATRIOTS VS TITANS

Game: The Patriots have been on a tear this year with a vastly improved offense and a real fight to their game, but you'd be thinking going into Tennesee would be beyond their reach. This wasn't the case as the inspired Pats may have come down from their rocketing scoring games but their defense held firm over an injury riddled Titans outfit for a 19-6 win. Matt Ryan and Carlos Hyde didn't do a whole lot of the work (Hyde had 100 yards at 3.33 ypc though), it was the defense led by Braylon Bender with 7 tackles, 5 deflections and 1 interception. Sylvester Williams had 3 sacks on Cutler whilst Jarvis Jones and Greg Freeman had a pick each. Titans QB Chris Henderson couldn't see out another game and it was Jay Cutler who took the brunt of the snaps and made a mess of it, turning the ball over twice and couldn't lead an effective offense. Mike Mohammed, Cory Spielman and Johnathan Hankins worked hard to keep Hyde in check, stopping the run for loss twice each but they were fighting a losing battle.

Teams: The news went from bad to worse with Chirstopher Henderson reported to have strained his shoulder and has about 2 weeks worth of rest before he can consider playing again.


TEXANS VS CHARGERS

Game: After back-to-back games and wins over the hapless Colts, the Texans headed into enemy territory against the Chargers and were lucky enough they brought the half decent Kendall Irving on the trip. It took a trip to overtime but the Texans prevailed 23-20 to get their winning streak going. Irving threw 2 touchdowns to Edmond Gates with no picks but wasn't highly accurate, whilst Trent Richardson ground out 11 yards at 3.47 ypc. Akeem Spence was best of the defenders with 6 tackles, 3 for loss and a sack and Nige3l Malone had 4 deflection. Blaine Gabbert was better at QB with a 59.27 % completion, 283 yards and 2 scores with a bit of help from Dominique Cromartie collecting 3 deflections.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


COLTS VS BRONCOS

Game: The Broncos were psyched up after last weeks slaughter of the Ravens and the Colts were not the team to knock them down a peg. 202 yards at 7.48 ypc and 2 touchdowns by Keith Payne led the way to a 37-20 Broncos victory. Howard Christensen passed for 2 more touchdowns, protected by the 13 pancakes of Ryan Clady, while Tank Carradine sacked Tannenhill twice, added 5 tackles and 1 for loss defensively along with Janoris Jenkins and Devin McCourty getting 3 deflections each. Tannenhill kept his safe run going with 2 touchdowns and AJ Green had over 100 yards receiving but they didn't have the spark offensively or defensively to match the Broncos, even if Navorro Bowman got 2 TFLs and recovered a fumble with Galen Farris picking of Christensen once.

Teams: The Colts had a couple of injuries out of this one, with SS Robert Lester suffering hip bursitis but will likely play next week, while Kendall Wright has a bruised shoulder that will make him unavailable for the Buccaneer match-up next week.


REDSKINS VS PACKERS

Game: You would never expect Trent Edwards to top the passing yards chart in a given game week but that's how they rolled in Green Bay this week in an attempt to catch the rampant Packers. 469 yards, 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions highlight Edwards' day out with 2 of those scores going to Bradley Jenkins (96 yards) as 3 Redskins receivers had 96 or more yards. But the truth of the matter is that the turnovers from Edwards gave the Packers the edge as both were taken to the house for scores (Cobrani Rogers 25 yard pick 6, Dee Wagner 75 yard pick 6). Rogers also had 7 tackles and 4 deflections, Brian Cushing 7 tackles, 2 for loss and 1 sack, and Nate Allen with Moses Early deflected 6 passes between them. Doug Martin ran 122 yards at 5.81 ypc and Jimmy Clausen threw for 212 yards and 3 scores (1 to Donnie Avery who had 107 yards total).

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


SEAHAWKS VS 49ERS

Game: A trip to San Fran that includes only 1 touchdown for the entire game isn't very exciting, not the normal Seahawks team of old but matching the lines of their 2018 form. The 49ers are still struggling and had injury issues today to compound their fortunes. The biggest factor was knocking Geno Smith out of the game early and then having the Seattle defense go to town on poor old Brandon Weedon, kocking his ass to the turf on 5 occasions (Aaron Donald twice, William Rogers, Tyrann Mathieu and Michael Estevez once each).Rogers and Estevez also added 2 tackles for loss each whilst Steven Yates batted down 4 passes. Rodney Kates was best of the 49er defenders with 6 tackles, 2 for loss and a sack in an affair that I'm sure both teams would like to see buried and forgotten.

Teams: Veteran Darelle Revis is pretty much done for the year now with a partially torn MCL that will sideline him for at least 10 weeks. He'll be joined for two weeks by starting QB Geno Smith who has an abdominal tear.


RAIDERS VS BILLS

Game: Both these teams were coming off losses to highly ranked opponents last week and were out for a measure of respectability in this contest. Unfortunately there can be only one winner and the 11 point lead the Bills spotted the Raiders by half time was beyond the reach of their fourth quarter heroics. This game was punctuated by stalwart defenses that kept each opponent to under 300 yards. The Bills looked better on paper, stopping the run behind the line 10 times in the game (Jack Pouns 3, Jeremiah Joseph and Marcell Dareus 2, Jerry Gonzalez, Calais Campbell and Terrence Cody 1). The biggest news could be that Shaun Oakman didn't get a sack on RG3 (Terrence Cody was the lone man with that honour) whilst a pair were landed on Andrew Luck in return. Rolando McClain had the biggest numbers for the Raiders with 9 tackles and 2 for loss in another game that's in the books and best used for education purposes about defense.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


BYE:

CHIEFS

The Chiefs placed DT Sedrick Ellis on injured reserve status and are looking to add another defensive tackle through free agency

FALCONS

RAMS

The Rams place SS Patrick Chung on injured reserve this week. His replacement could be coming through free agency too, with a position move involved.

VIKINGS
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