Monday Morning QB: Observations from Week 5
Stakes Content Team


Happy Monday, folks! Week 5 of the NFL season is in the books, and we’ve got some rapid reactions to catch you up on all the action from Sunday — and tonight, of course. Here’s a question and a comment about all 30 teams this week:


• Arizona Cardinals: How hard can they tank the rest of the way? They’ve lost four straight but still need to leapfrog the Bears, Broncos, Giants, and Panthers for a shot at Caleb Williams.


• Atlanta Falcons: Can Desmond Ridder do it again? The 2022 third-rounder put up his first-ever 300-yard passing game, helping bring to fruition the long-awaited Kyle Pitts (7 REC, 87 YDS) breakout.


• Baltimore Ravens: When will the offense click? Lamar Jackson (236 PYDS, 45 RYDS, 0 TD, 1 INT) had an uncharacteristic late-game meltdown, and with the Bengals coming to life, they could have some competition for the AFC North after all.


• Buffalo Bills: Can they get their rushing attack going? Maybe it was just the jetlag, but Josh Allen (359 YDS) needs some help, with Buffalo’s rushing game ranking 16th in the league this year after sitting top 10 in 2021-22.


• Carolina Panthers: Why on earth did they fire Steve Wilks? Bryce Young still hasn’t broken 250 passing yards, and they’re careening towards a #1 overall pick that they don’t even own.


• Chicago Bears: What numbers does Justin Fields need to put up to end the Caleb Williams debate? Williams may be the best QB prospect since Trevor Lawrence, but with Fields suddenly on pace for nearly 4000 yards and 40 TDs, it could be hard to move on.


• Cincinnati Bengals: Are they BACK, or is it just the Cardinals? Ja’Marr Chase (15 REC, 192 YDS, 3 TD) had a historic day, and Joe Burrow appears to slowly be getting healthier, putting them in good position to challenge Baltimore down the stretch.


• Cleveland Browns: Against the ferocious 49ers defense next week, is it even worth rushing back Deshaun Watson, if he’s not 100%?


• Dallas Cowboys: Is this Cowboys team any different than the numerous flameouts of years’ past? They can beat the bad teams, that’s for sure, but last night’s beatdown makes it hard to take them seriously as true contenders.


• Denver Broncos: Do you think Sean Payton actually feels some modicum of embarassment, or is he just laughing to the bank? It doesn’t get more OOF than being told “stay humble” by a coach with a 13-26 career record.


• Detroit Lions: Where will OC Ben Johnson be coaching next year? This Jared Goff-led offense is for real, the Lions are 4-1, and Johnson seems likely to be one of the league’s hottest head coaching candidates this coming offseason.


• Green Bay Packers: Is this a “must win” game on Monday Night Football? The Raiders look like they’ll be participating in the Caleb Williams lottery, and another stinker from Love and the Packers offense would make things look VERY bleak.


• Houston Texans: Is there a sneaky playoff run to be found here? C.J. Stroud (249 YDS, 1 TD) still hasn’t thrown an interception, and the AFC South might be the most wide-open division in football.


• Indianapolis Colts: Can Gardner Minshew II keep them afloat? The veteran was solid in relief on Sunday (11-14, 155 YDS), and this team’s lethal rushing attack means he’ll just need to be a competent game manager to keep them in the hunt until Anthony Richardson (shoulder) returns.


• Jacksonville Jaguars: What’s the deal with these guys? Travis Etienne (136 YDS, 2 TD) supplemented Trevor Lawrence’s first 300-yard game of the season, but he still hasn’t looked transcendent, and the offensive consistency is still mysteriously absent.


• Kansas City Chiefs: Again: Still the favorites? All the focus is on the undefeated Eagles and 49ers, but the Chiefs are tied for the top seed in the AFC after their 27-20 win over the Vikings, and if they enter the playoffs with a bye, it’s a short trip back to the Super Bowl for Patrick Mahomes.


• Las Vegas Raiders: Will a loss tonight seal Josh McDaniels’ fate? The Raiders have been an organizational mess this year, and a loss to move to 1-4 would all but put a stamp on any preseason playoff hopes.


• Los Angeles Chargers: Will the next two games make or break their season? A split with the Cowboys and Chiefs will keep their season alive, winning both could vault them back into contender status, but a pair of losses will put the kibosh on their season.


• Los Angeles Rams: Will ANYBODY step up on offense? Cooper Kupp (8 REC, 110 YDS) and Puka Nacua (7 REC, 71 YDS, TD)look like they could set records with a full season together, but nobody else is contributing much of anything, and it cost them a 23-14 loss to the Eagles.


• Miami Dolphins: Will they even need to play their starters in the second half next week? Mike McDaniel’s offense hasn’t met any resistance.


• Minnesota Vikings: Is Justin Jefferson okay? It’s already a lost season in Minneapolis, and that being the case, making sure Justin Jefferson and his hamstring stay healthy is of paramount importance.


• New England Patriots: Does anybody feel bad for them? Apologies to Patriots fans, who finally have to experience what being a football fan is actually like, but watching Bill Belichick try to answer for a 1-4 start is pretty hilarious.


• New Orleans Saints: Where is Chris Olave? The Saints D made quick work of the Patrios, but just three receptions over two games for the second-year star is concerning.


• New York Giants: How soon can you realistically get out from under the Daniel Jones contract? It’s hard to remember a mega-contract like his backfiring this quickly.


• New York Jets: Can Breece Hall (22 CAR, 177 YDS) take some pressure off of Zach Wilson? Wilson didn’t look great, but could he at least be acceptable if defenses have to gameplan for a healthy Hall, too?


• Philadelphia Eagles: How can they get DeVonta Smith (1 REC, 6 YDS) going? This team doesn’t have many flaws, but getting their star WR2 back on his 2021-22 pace is what’s missing from a still-not-quite-fully-clocking offense.


• Pittsburgh Steelers: Can Kenny Pickett (224 YDS, TD) keep avoiding mistakes moving forward? He went without a pick for the second game this year, and Mike Tomlin’s defense ought to keep them competitive enough for Pickett to have a chance at winning or losing some games for them.


• San Francisco 49ers: Yeah, they’re the favorites now, right? Brock Purdy (252 YDS, 4 TD) looks like more than a game manager, which elevates an already-good offensive unit into one of the league’s best, on top of a terrifying defense..


• Seattle Seahawks: Can they capitalize on a weak schedule while they can? They look solid at 3-1, but could take a hit later this year when they go through a seven-game gauntlet that includes the Ravens, Rams, Cowboys, Eagles, and 49ers twice.


• Tennessee Titans: Can they do anything about the QB position? Ryan Tannehill (204 YDS, 0 TD, INT) looks thoroughly washed, and doesn’t look capable of winning even a weak-looking AFC South.


• Washington Commanders: Is Riverboat Ron out of time? Losers of three straight, there’s little path to contention for them in the NFC. Sam Howell (388 YDS, 2 TD, INT) looks promising enough that we might see Eric Bienemy at the reigns before the year is out.


That’s all for now! Check back tomorrow for our reaction to tonight’s MNF showdown between the Packers and Raiders on ESPN!




Enter your phone number to receive a download link via text