By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports
Each week I’ll bring you this week’s NFL schedule with my predictions followed by some great notes and stats directly from the National Football League Communications Department.
Our Sports Animal NFL programming for Week 5
(Sun) 10am – 12:30pm: The NFL Report with John Wilkerson and two rotating Sports Animal hosts
(Sun) 12:30pm – Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
(Tue) 6:00pm – Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans (News Talk 98.7)
UPDATED WEEK 5 NFL SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, SUNDAY, MONDAY & TUESDAY OCTOBER 8, 11-13
(All times Eastern)
Thursday, October 8
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears 8:20 PM FOX/NFLN/Amazon
Sunday, October 11
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM FOX
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM CBS
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans 1:00 PM CBS
Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 PM CBS
Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets 1:00 PM FOX
Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM FOX
Los Angeles Rams at Washington Football Team 1:00 PM FOX
Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers 4:05 PM FOX
Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns 4:25 PM CBS
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM CBS
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks 8:20 PM NBC
Monday, October 12
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots 5:00 PM ESPN
Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints 8:15 PM ESPN
Tuesday, October 13
Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans 7:00 PM CBS
Teams On Bye Week
Green Bay Packers & Detroit LIons
Vince’s View: Some unfortunate aspects of Week 5 are more games being impacted by COVID-19 and by weeks begin. (insert appropriate emoji here) Who know what the Titans will look like after the unexpected off week last week where the team wasn’t even allowed in the facility, much less practice close to normal.I think you could see a couple of winless teams (Texans and Falcons mostly) pick-up desperately needed wins. On paper, this week is like last week with apparent mismatches. That rarely materializes perfectly, so expect upsets. Thankfully, Anthony Lynn is sticking with rookie Justin Herbert as the Chargers starting quarterback moving forward. He impacts that entire team and gives them hope. That matchup at Drew Brees and the Saints should be fun.
Week 4 Prediction Record: 10-5
Season Record: 42-21 (67%)
COMEBACKS CONTINUE, SEVERAL TEAMS OFF TO HISTORIC STARTS AS NFL ENTERS WEEK 5
Hope thrives in the NFL.
Just ask any of the teams that have erased leads of at least 16 points and won a game in 2020: the DALLAS COWBOYS, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM or the CHICAGO BEARS, who’ve actually done it twice. This year is the first in which at least one team has overcome a deficit of 16-or-more points and won in each of the first four weeks of the season in NFL history.
And while comebacks in games are frequent of late, comebacks in seasons the year after missing the playoffs are common as well.
Six teams that missed the 2019 playoffs have started this season with three wins: the CHICAGO BEARS (3-1), CLEVELAND BROWNS (3-1), INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3-1), LOS ANGELES RAMS (3-1), PITTSBURGH STEELERS (3-0) and TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (3-1). Since 1990, at least four teams each season have qualified for the playoffs after missing the postseason the year before.
The Week 5 schedule highlights two games involving those clubs. The Buccaneers travel to Chicago for a Thursday Night Football matchup (8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFLN/Amazon) while the Colts head to Cleveland on Sunday to meet the Browns (4:25 PM ET, CBS). Cleveland and wide receiver ODELL BECKHAM JR., who recorded 154 scrimmage yards (81 receiving, 73 rushing) and three touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing) in the Browns’ 49-38 win in Week 4, have the AFC’s top scoring offense (31.0 points per game) and lead the NFL in both takeaways (10) and turnover margin (plus six). The Colts, meanwhile, have the NFL’s top-ranked scoring defense (14.0 points allowed per game).
Only five rookie head coaches since 2009 have guided their teams to a season-opening record of 4-1 or better. Browns head coach KEVIN STEFANSKI can join that group with a win this week.
The last five rookie head coaches to open their careers 4-1 or better:
|*Matt LaFleur||Green Bay||2019||13-3|
|*Jim Harbaugh||San Francisco||2011||13-3|
+Won division and advanced to Super Bowl; *Won division and advanced to conference championship
The GREEN BAY PACKERS (4-0), who already this year had opened 3-0 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1965-66, are off to their best start in five years. Head coach MATT LAFLEUR has started his career 17-3 (.850), tied for the second-most wins in NFL annals over a coach’s first 20 regular-season games.
The head coaches with the most wins over their first 20 regular-season games in NFL history:
|George Seifert||San Francisco 49ers||1989-90||18|
|Matt LaFleur||Green Bay Packers||2019-20||17|
|Paul BrownHOF||Cleveland Browns||1950-51||17|
|Dick Rauch||Pottsville Maroons||1925-26||17|
|Guy ChamberlinHOF||Canton Bulldogs||1922-23||17|
The Packers and Browns, who with a win over the Colts would have their best season-opening stretch since beginning the 1994 season 6-1, are two of several clubs off to notable starts in 2020.
- The KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (4-0) are the first team in NFL history to start 4-0 in four consecutive seasons (2017-20).
- The SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (4-0) have been 4-0 only twice in franchise history, this year and their Super Bowl XLVIII championship season of 2013. The Seahawks can improve to 5-0 for the first time ever when they host Minnesota on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC).
- The BUFFALO BILLS (4-0) with a win against Tennessee at Nissan Stadium Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), can mark their best start in 29 years, since opening the 1991 season 5-0 en route to a Super Bowl XXVI appearance.
- The PITTSBURGH STEELERS (3-0), who host Philadelphia on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), have an opportunity for just their fourth 4-0 start in franchise history, and first since 1979, when they won Super Bowl XIV.
The 10 teams this month bidding for their best starts in at least five years:
|TEAM||RECORD||BIDS FOR BEST START SINCE…|
|Baltimore||3-1||Team opened 4-1 in 2012|
|Buffalo||4-0||Team opened 5-0 in 1991 (also 5-0 in 1980; best franchise start was 9-0 in 1964)|
|Chicago||3-1||Team opened 4-1 in 2012 (Bears won 7 of first 8 that year)|
|Cleveland||3-1||Team opened 4-1 in 1994 (Browns won 6 of first 7 that year)|
|Green Bay||4-0||Team opened 6-0 in 2015 (team has bye in Week 5)|
|Indianapolis||3-1||Team opened 4-1 in 2013|
|Pittsburgh||3-0||Team opened 4-0 in 1979 (also 4-0 in 1973; best franchise start was 7-0 in 1978)|
|Seattle||4-0||(franchise has never been 5-0; team has opened 4-0 twice, 2013 and 2020)|
|Tampa Bay||3-1||Team opened 4-1 in 2005|
|Tennessee||3-0||Team opened 4-0 in 2008 (franchise has opened 4-0 once, in 2008, and never been 5-0)|
BILLS, TITANS RENEW MUSIC CITY RIVALRY: The TENNESSEE TITANS (3-0) host the BUFFALO BILLS (4-0) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS) in an AFC battle of first-place teams. The Titans, who are 10-3 over their last 13 games including postseason, have a plus-five turnover ratio, tied for second in the NFL. Titans running back DERRICK HENRY enters the week ranked fourth in the NFL with 319 rushing yards. Buffalo quarterback JOSH ALLEN ranks second in the NFL in passing yards (1,326) and third in passer rating (122.7) and touchdown passes (12). The Titans also are in a 34-day stretch between road games.
BREES MEETS FORMER CLUB: The NEW ORLEANS SAINTS and LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, who square off at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), have a unique history. Saints quarterback DREW BREES, who currently holds the league’s all-time marks in passing yards (78,422) and touchdown passes (555), started his career with the Chargers.
- In five years with the Chargers (2001-05), Brees threw for 12,348 yards and 80 touchdowns.
- On Monday Night Football, Brees ranks third all-time in both career passing yards (7,868) and passing touchdowns (57). Pro Football Hall of Famers DAN MARINO (9,654 passing yards, 74 touchdowns) and BRETT FAVRE (9,068 passing yards, 69 touchdowns) rank first and second, respectively, in both categories
- The 32nd-overall selection in the 2001 NFL Draft, Brees was actually a second-round choice one year before the expansion Houston Texans first took the field as the league’s 32nd franchise.
- The first player the Chargers selected that day, RB LADAINIAN TOMLINSON, is already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Tomlinson so far is one of two Hall of Famers from that 2001 draft, in addition to STEVE HUTCHINSON, selected by the Seahawks at No. 17 overall.
- Former Chargers general manager JOHN BUTLER that year acquired the selections used to draft Tomlinson and Brees by trading away the No. 1 overall choice to Atlanta. The Falcons then drafted MICHAEL VICK.
PENNSYLVANIA PROMINENCE: The PHILADELPHIA EAGLES cross the state to meet the PITTSBURGH STEELERS on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX) in a battle of the top pass-rushing defenses so far in 2020. Philadelphia leads the NFL with 17 sacks while the Steelers rank second with 15.
It’s the 79th installment in a venerable series between franchises that once merged to form one team. In 1943, with the nation in the middle of World War II and many players and coaches serving their country, the “Steagles” went 5-4-1 in the NFL’s Eastern Division.
- The Pro Football Hall of Fame has 36 enshrined individuals who are Pennsylvania natives. Additionally, 35 Pro Football Hall of Famers attended high school in the state, including quarterbacks GEORGE BLANDA, JIM KELLY, DAN MARINO, JOE MONTANA, JOE NAMATH and JOHNNY UNITAS.
- This season, Kickoff Weekend rosters included 60 players that graduated from Pennsylvania high schools, including running backs from both teams in Sunday’s game, Pittsburgh’s JAMES CONNER and Philadelphia’s MILES SANDERS.
QUARTERBACK COMPARISON: Two of those Pennsylvania quarterbacks, Pro Football Hall of Famers DAN MARINO and JOE MONTANA, once met as young stars in Super Bowl XIX, when the 49ers defeated the Dolphins, 38-16. Miami and San Francisco meet again Sunday at Levi’s Stadium (4:05 PM ET, FOX). And as they were when Marino and Montana were dominating the NFL, young quarterbacks across the league have been outstanding in 2020.
- This season, of the 13 quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or better, six are 25 years old or younger: the Bills’ JOSH ALLEN, the Rams’ JARED GOFF, the Chargers’ JUSTIN HERBERT, the Ravens’ LAMAR JACKSON, the Chiefs’ PATRICK MAHOMES and the Jaguars’ GARDNER MINSHEW.
- Through four weeks, quarterbacks age 25 or younger have a combined 56 starts. And in those 56 starts, those young quarterbacks have won 24 times.
- Cincinnati rookie quarterback JOE BURROW passed for 300 yards with one touchdown and one interception for a 92.4 rating in the Bengals’ 33-25 win over Jacksonville in Week 4, his first career victory. Burrow, who passed for 316 yards in Week 2 and 312 yards in Week 3, is the first rookie quarterback to pass for at least 300 yards in three consecutive games in NFL history.
- Los Angeles Chargers rookie quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT passed for 290 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 137.9 rating in Week 4 against Tampa Bay. Herbert, who threw touchdown passes of 72 and 53 yards, is the first rookie quarterback with two touchdown passes of at least 50 yards since DESHAUN WATSON (Week 8, 2017). Herbert has 931 passing yards this season, the second-most passing yards by a rookie quarterback in his first three career starts in NFL history. Only CAM NEWTON (1,012 in 2011) had more.
DEFENSES ON THE DEFENSIVE: NFL teams have combined to score 371 total touchdowns, 359 offensive touchdowns (passing and rushing combined) and 3,233 total points, all the most in NFL history through Week 4.
Despite those figures, five teams – the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (14.0), KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (17.5), SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (17.8), BALTIMORE RAVENS (18.3) and PITTSBURGH STEELERS (19.3) – remarkably are holding opponents under 20 points per game.
- There has been an average of 51.3 points per game scored (both teams combined), the highest total through Week 4 since 1970.
|MOST TOUCHDOWNS IN FIRST
FOUR WEEKS, NFL HISTORY
|MOST OFFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS IN FIRST
FOUR WEEKS, NFL HISTORY
|MOST TOTAL POINTS IN FIRST
FOUR WEEKS, NFL HISTORY
|MOST POINTS SCORED PER GAME (BOTH TEAMS)
IN FIRST FOUR WEEKS, SINCE 1970
|SEASON||TOTAL POINTS||SEASON||POINTS PER GAME|
- GREEN BAY (152 points) leads the NFL in total points scored through the first four weeks, followed by SEATTLE (142), DALLAS (126), CLEVELAND (124), BUFFALO (123) and NEW ORLEANS (123).
- Through the first four weeks, eight teams are averaging at least 30 points per game, the most teams in a single season through Week 4.
|THE TEAMS AVERAGING 30+ POINTS PER GAME IN 2020||SEASONS WITH THE MOST TEAMS AVERAGING 30+ POINTS THROUGH WEEK 4, NFL HISTORY|
|TEAMS||POINTS PER GAME||SEASON||TEAMS|
RECORD-SETTING SCORING, CLOSE GAMES & COMEBACKS: Through Week 4, league-wide scoring continues to trend at a historic rate, as the totals for touchdowns (371) and points scored (3,233) are both the most in NFL history through the first four weeks of a season.
Eight teams are averaging at least 30 points per game, the most ever in a single season through Week 4, and the 51.3 total points per game scored (both teams combined) is the highest total through the first four weeks of a season since 1970.
|SEASON||TOUCHDOWNS||SEASON||POINTS SCORED||SEASON||TOTAL POINTS PER GAME|
While scoring has been up across the league, the games have remained as competitive as ever and are proving that teams are truly never out of a game.
- This season, 45 games have been within one score (eight points or fewer) in the fourth quarter, tied for the third-most in league history through Week 4.
- There have been 21 games in which teams have come back to win or tie after trailing in the fourth quarter, tied for the second-most through Week 4 in NFL history.
- This is the first season in which at least one team has overcome a deficit of 16-or-more points and won in each of the first four weeks of the season in NFL history.
— NFL –
GREEN MACHINES: The GREEN BAY PACKERS and SEATTLE SEAHAWKS are each 4-0 and have scored at least 30 points in each of their first four games of the 2020 season. Seattle hosts Minnesota on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC) in Week 5, while Green Bay has a bye.
With at least 30 points against the Vikings, the Seahawks would become the sixth team to score at least 30 points in each of their first five games to start a season in NFL history. Four of the previous five teams to accomplish the feat advanced to the Super Bowl.
The teams with the most consecutive games of at least 30 points to start a season in NFL history:
|TEAM||SEASON||CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 30+ POINTS TO START SEASON|
|New England Patriots#||2007||8|
|St. Louis Rams||2000||8|
|Los Angeles Rams#||2018||5|
|New England Patriots#||2011||5|
|Green Bay Packers^||2020||4*|
|^Bye in Week 5|
|#Advanced to Super Bowl|
— NFL —
DAK DROPPING DIMES: Dallas quarterback DAK PRESCOTT leads the league with 1,690 pass yards this season, the most passing yards by a player in his team’s first four games of a season in NFL history. Prescott – who passed for 450 yards in Week 3, 472 yards in Week 4 and a career-high 502 yards in Week 4 – is the first player in NFL history with at least 450 passing yards in three consecutive games.
With another performance of at least 400 passing yards this season, Prescott – who faces the New York Giants (4:25 PM ET, FOX) in Week 5 – can become the fourth quarterback with four games of at least 400 passing yards in a single season in NFL history.
The players with the most games with at least 400 passing yards in a single season in NFL history:
|Ryan Fitzpatrick||Tampa Bay||2018||4|
Prescott, who has seven career games with at least 400 passing yards, can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (seven games) for the most games with at least 400 passing yards in a player’s first five seasons in league annals.
— NFL —
MAHOMES MAGIC: In 35 career starts, Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES has averaged 301.3 passing yards per game, including 19 career games with at least 300 passing yards. Mahomes has reached 300 passing yards twice this season (302 yards in Week 2 and 385 yards in Week 3).
With at least 300 passing yards on Sunday against Las Vegas (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Mahomes can become the fourth quarterback with 20 games of at least 300 passing yards in his first four seasons in league annals.
The players with the most games with at least 300 passing yards in their first four seasons in NFL history:
|Kurt WarnerHOF||St. Louis Rams||26|
|Jared Goff||Los Angeles Rams||19|
|Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City||19*|
|*in fourth season|
— NFL —
MVP VS. NO. 1: Last season, at 22 years, 358 days old, Baltimore quarterback LAMAR JACKSON became the youngest quarterback to win league MVP. In 2020, Jackson has eight touchdowns (seven passing, one rushing), a 111.3 passer rating and ranks second among quarterbacks with 235 rushing yards.
Cincinnati quarterback JOE BURROW, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, ranks second in the NFL with 116 completions this season and became the first rookie quarterback to pass for at least 300 yards in three consecutive games in league annals.
The two AFC North quarterbacks will meet for the first time when the Ravens host the Bengals on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS). It will mark the fifth instance in NFL history in which the reigning league MVP and the most recent No. 1 overall pick meet as starting quarterbacks. The reigning MVP has won three of the previous four meetings.
The games featuring the reigning league MVP and most recent No. 1 overall pick as starting quarterbacks in NFL history:
|MVP (TEAM)||NO. 1 OVERALL PICK (TEAM)||DATE OF GAME||RESULT|
|Lamar Jackson (Baltimore)||Joe Burrow (Cincinnati)||Oct. 11, 2020||???|
|Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay)||Andrew Luck (Indianapolis)||Oct. 7, 2012||IND 30, GB 27|
|Peyton Manning (Indianapolis)||Alex Smith (San Francisco)||Oct. 9, 2005||IND 28, SF 3|
|Ken StablerHOF (Oakland)||Steve Bartkowski (Atlanta)||Nov. 30, 1975||OAK 37, ATL 34|
|John Brodie (San Francisco)||Jim Plunkett (New England)||Oct. 31, 1971||SF 27, NE 10|
— NFL —
80 FOR ODELL: In 79 career games, Cleveland wide receiver ODELL BECKHAM JR. has recorded 480 receptions for 6,747 yards and 51 touchdowns.
With at least 38 receiving yards against Indianapolis (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Beckham would surpass TORRY HOLT (6,784 receiving yards) for the third-most receiving yards by a player in his first 80 career games in NFL history.
The players with the most receiving yards in their first 80 career games in NFL history:
|Lance AlworthHOF||San Diego Chargers||7,854|
|Torry Holt||St. Louis Rams||6,784|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||New York Giants, Cleveland||6,747*|
|*in 79 career games|
With three receptions on Sunday, Beckham would surpass KEENAN ALLEN (482 receptions) for the third-most receptions yards by a player in his first 80 career games in NFL history.
The players with the most receptions in their first 80 career games in NFL history:
|Keenan Allen||San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers||482|
|Jarvis Landry||Miami, Cleveland||481|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||New York Giants, Cleveland||480 *|
|*in 79 career games|
— NFL —
RIDICULOUS ROOKIE RECEIVERS: Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON leads all rookies with 348 receiving yards this season, including at least 100 receiving yards in each of the past two weeks.
With at least 100 receiving yards against Seattle on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC), Jefferson can become the second player with at least 100 receiving yards in three of his first five career games in the Super Bowl era, joining BYRON WILLIAMS (1983).
Dallas wide receiver CEEDEE LAMB leads all rookie with 21 receptions this season and has had at least five receptions in each of his first four games.
With at least five receptions on Sunday against the New York Giants (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Lamb can become the second player with at least five receptions in each of his first five career games in NFL history, joining TERRY GLENN (1996).
— NFL —
ALVIN & THE TOUCHDOWNS: In 49 career games, New Orleans running back ALVIN KAMARA has recorded 5,033 scrimmage yards and 44 scrimmage touchdowns, including 16 career games with at least two touchdowns.
With at least two touchdowns against the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), Kamara can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famers MARCUS ALLEN (16 games) and STEVE VAN BUREN (16), as well as CHUCK FOREMAN (16) for the second-most games with at least two touchdowns in their first 50 career games in NFL history. Only LARRY JOHNSON (18 games) had more.
The players with the most games with at least two touchdowns in their first 50 career games in NFL history:
|Larry Johnson||Kansas City||18|
|Marcus AllenHOF||Los Angeles Raiders||16|
|Steve Van BurenHOF||Philadelphia||16|
|Alvin Kamara||New Orleans||16*|
|*in 49 career games|
— NFL —
HERE’S TO YOU, MR. ROBINSON: Jacksonville running back JAMES ROBINSON leads all rookies with 446 scrimmage yards this season, while recording at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of the last three games.
With at least 90 scrimmage yards on Sunday at Houston (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Robinson will become the sixth player with at least 90 scrimmage yards in each of his first five career games in NFL history. He would become the first undrafted player to accomplish the feat.
The players with the most consecutive games with at least 90 scrimmage yards to begin a career in NFL history:
|Saquon Barkley||New York Giants||2018||13|
|Eric DickersonHOF||Los Angeles Rams||1983||11|
|Kareem Hunt||Kansas City||2017||7|
|Glenn Davis||Los Angeles Rams||1950||5|
— NFL —
GARRETT GAME-CHANGER: Cleveland defensive end MYLES GARRETT ties for the NFL lead in sacks (five) and forced fumbles (three) this season. In each of his last three games, Garrett has recorded both a sack and forced fumble.
With a sack and forced fumble on Sunday against Indianapolis (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Garrett will become the fourth player to record a sack and forced fumble in four consecutive games since 2000. Each of the previous three players to accomplish the feat have gone on to lead their respective team in sacks on the way to the postseason.
The players with the most consecutive games with at a sack and forced fumble since 2000:
|Simeon Rice||Tampa Bay||2002||4|
— NFL —