Week 5 is destined for greatness after several weeks of excellent football. According to Evan Kaplan, the research producer for NFL Countdown, there have been 15 games this season with game-winning score in the final minute of regulation or overtime, which is the most such games through the first weeks of a season in the past 50 years. It doesn’t appear that exciting games will be going anywhere this week.
As always, we will exclude Chiefs games, because we are all biased. Many football fans would likely agree that Bills-Chiefs would be the top game for the week. That said, there are plenty of other exciting games to keep an eye on.
1. Cleveland Browns @ Los Angeles Chargers
Other than the Chiefs and the Bills, this is the most important AFC showdown of the week. The Chargers will host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in what should be great matchup. While the Chargers present an excellent offense, the Browns have proven to be explosive on defense.
This game should come down to the wire and would certainly be worth watching before the Chiefs play in the evening. Mayfield and the Browns look to take hold of their division as they find themselves in a three-way tie with the Ravens and the Bengals (yes the BENGALS). The Chargers find themselves in an interesting situation as they try to stay on top of the Chiefs in the AFC West. Both teams know that this one is important. Both teams will be at their very best.
2. Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks (Thursday Night)
The L.A. Rams travel to Seattle in one of two huge NFC West showdowns. On Thursday night, we will have our second ranked game of the week. It is always a pleasant surprise to find that you enjoy watching the Thursday night game as they are typically some of the most meaningless games of the week at hand.
Matt Stafford and the Rams look to stay hot in their matchup with Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle is looking to find some consistency on both sides of the ball after a bit of a rocky start. The Rams want to prove that they are truly among the NFC’s best. It should make for an excellent game.
3. San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are the NFL’s last undefeated team (just as everyone expected, right?). San Francisco is trying to figure out whether they are contenders or pretenders and are now facing the possibility of starting rookie quarterback Trey Lance against a defense that features Chandler Jones and JJ Watt. Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury’s “Air Raid” offense has been electric and one of the most exciting to watch so far this season.
With the loss of Robert Saleh to the Jets, this will be a true test of the 49ers defense. While the Jets have sputtered out of the gates, there is no doubt that Saleh was excellent at his job as the defensive coordinator. Not only will the Cardinals test the 49ers, the 49ers will also test the Cardinals in a way that they haven’t been this season. While Arizona knocked off the Rams earlier this season, there is no better scheming coach than Kyle Shanahan.
4. Denver Broncos @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Denver Broncos find themselves in a pickle with an injury to Teddy Bridgewater as they prepare for the Steelers top-notch defense. That being said, the Steelers are searching for answers after losing three straight games. This may be their last chance to right the ship.
While the Broncos have only lost one game, the teams that they have defeated have a collective record of 2-10. Now the Steelers will be tasked with proving that they are not a pushover team. Mike Tomlin has been a very successful coach but may face his toughest task ever. This, in many ways, this is a make-or-break game for both teams. These types of games rarely disappoint.
5. Green Bay Packers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Weeks ago, hearing that the Packers would be playing the Bengals would have sounded like an easy victory for Green Bay. Now, the Bengals are sitting at 3-1. With excellent play from Joe Burrow and the receiving corp of Cincinnati, the Bengals look like they be a real threat this season. This should make for an excellent game.