NFL Week Five Stock Report

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Week Five Stock Report

Football

NFL Week Five Stock Report

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Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Week Five of the NFL season was a strange one. Bizarre performances, strange decisions, and poor football littered the landscape. Nevertheless, several characters emerged from the chaos and shone. This week’s stock report features some surprise names and some usual suspects. NFL analysts Tayyib Abu and Marissa Myers evaluate who is rising, and who is falling in both the NFC and AFC. 

 

NFC – Stock Up

-New York Giants

The New York Giants flew to London, upset the Green Bay Packers and every Packers’ fan in Europe. Despite trailing 17-3 at one point, Brian Daboll’s side displayed tremendous aptitude and toughness as they stormed back to win the game and improve to 4-1. The Giants had five replacement defenders play meaningful snaps, and their wide receiver room resembled a CFL lineup, but they were undeterred by any of that. Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka managed to prey on the Packers’ defensive weaknesses as Saquon Barkley found room to roam. Hobbled quarterback Daniel Jones was outstanding on the go-ahead touchdown drive and played a clean game in hostile territory. Don Martindale’s defense responded to every setback and kept Aaron Rodgers in check. The game-icing play was a Martindale special. The defensive coordinator sent defensive back Xavier McKinney on a blitz. Green Bay never adjusted, and McKinney had a free run to Rodgers and batted the pass down at the line of scrimmage. The Giants are flawed, but Brian Daboll and his coaches have created an indomitable belief and togetherness in the locker room. Add that to situational smarts and a little Jersey grit, and the Giants are rolling. The Giants are a team. They play for one another as no other team does. Big Blue is back! 

 

-Taysom Hill

During their 39-32 win over the Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints fans may have thought aloud, ‘Why is Superman playing football today?’ And they had good reason to believe that. The Saints’ number seven rampaged, rumbled, and ruined the Seahawks in a violent all-round display of football excellence. But that was not Clark Kent under the helmet. That was the BYU bulldozer Taysom Shawn Hill. Hill electrified the New Orleans offense in a game they needed to win. The 32-year-old was everywhere for the Saints. He rushed for three touchdowns, recovered a fumble, kick-returned, blocked, and threw a touchdown on a wild Sunday afternoon. While some mock the simplicity of Hill’s game, he is devastatingly good. The 220-pound granite block is a patient and explosive runner. Hill accelerates through gaps like a Formula 1 car, but he is built like a NASCAR. On the game-winning touchdown, New Orleans went into jumbo personnel. Hill followed his blockers before planting his foot and running away from the defense. Hill hit 20 miles per hour on that run. Seattle speedster Tariq Woolen hit 22 miles per hour as he pursued, but came up short. Hill is the ultimate football player. He plays every down like his life depends on it. That was exhibited when the Saints motioned him in as a blocker for Alvin Kamara’s game-icing first down. Hill drilled the linebacker into the next week as he forged a path for his teammate. Hill is unconventional, but he needs to be a part of the Saints’ offense in the future. 

 

-Geno Smith

Geno Smith is currently playing like a top-five quarterback. The veteran looked at ease in Shane Waldron’s offense and had another excellent day against the Saints. Smith is a top-three passer per Next Gen Stats passer score, first in passer rating, and third overall in EPA. He is playing with poise, precision, and panache. Everyone wrote Smith off; well, he is writing a pretty spectacular chapter right now. 

 

NFC – Stock Down

-Green Bay Packers

In what was billed as a British homecoming, the Green Bay Packers left London searching for answers. Their offense collapsed in the second half against the Giants. Matt LaFleur abandoned the run game, and Aaron Rodgers’ poor execution pooped the Packers party. Running back Aaron Jones was highly critical of his coach after the game, as Jones and stablemate A.J. Dillon were anonymous after halftime. Opposing teams have shut out Green Bay’s offense for a half in three of their first five games. Pair that with a leaky defense, and the Packers have problems to solve. 

 

-Carson Wentz

With the rest of the NFC East playing magnificently, the lowly Washington Commanders are in rock bottom. Quarterback Carson Wentz ate five more sacks and threw the game-deciding interception when the Commanders were in the red zone. Reporters asked head coach Ron Rivera what the big problem was, and Rivera responded with a terse, one-word response; ‘The quarterback.’ Ouch. 

 

-Jerome Boger

The valiant Atlanta Falcons were cruelly denied a chance to upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by Jerome Boger and the worst refereeing decision since the no-call in New Orleans. Boger and his crew pinged Grady Jarrett for roughing the passer, despite Jarrett sacking Tom Brady as cleanly as possible. It was a terrible decision. As Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy said, ‘If you can’t tackle the quarterback, you may as well get rid of defense.’ 

 

AFC – Stock Up

-Josh Allen

At halftime alone, Josh Allen had 348 yards and four touchdowns that was kicked off by a 98-yard touchdown to Gabe Davis. He ended the day with 424 yards and could’ve gone for more, but he was pulled in the fourth quarter and Case Keenum finished the game. While only playing in a limited fashion, Allen broke records. His 424 yards are the most by a Buffalo Bill in regulation and a new career-high, he surpassed Peyton Manning for the fourth-most total touchdowns in a player’s first five seasons, and became the first Bills player since Jim Kelly in 1994 to throw four touchdowns in the first half. 

 

-Breece Hall And Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner 

It was the Breece Hall breakout game against the Miami Dolphins as he finished with his highest yardage so far. On the ground, he had 18 attempts that went for 97 yards and a touchdown. He even saw production as a pass catcher, with two receptions that went for 100 yards. He could’ve potentially had more touchdowns, as his two receptions that went for 75 yards and 21 yards could’ve been scores but he was stopped at the one-yard line. Hall wasn’t the only rookie for the Jets that had a phenomenal day, Ahmad Gardner did as well. He sacked Teddy Bridgewater for a safety on the Dolphins opening offensive drive. Gardner also ended up with the first interception of his career. To cap it all off, going against Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle isn’t easy, but he helped hold them to 47 and 23 yards respectively while allowing only a passer rating of 34.2. 

 

-Los Angeles Chargers Run Game

While the questionable fourth down call by Brandon Staley will get most of the talk, and rightfully so, the run game needs to also be recognized. For the first time this season, the Chargers were able to establish the run and Austin Ekeler had his first game with over 100 yards rushing. Ekeler finished with 173 yards on 16 attempts, good for an average of 10.8 yards per carry, and a touchdown. Joshua Kelly even got in on the action with 10 attempts that went for 49 yards and a touchdown. In total, they finished with 238 rush yards compared to 227 passing yards to help take some pressure off Justin Herbert. With the run game finding its groove, the Chargers’ offense looks to be getting charged up to playing at its full potential. 

 

AFC Stock Down

-Cade York

It looked like the Cleveland Browns had found their kicker in the draft with Cade York after Week One when he kicked the 58-yard game-winning field goal against the Carolina Panthers. But maybe people were too quick to crown York, as he struggled in the game against the Los Angeles Chargers. He missed not one, but two field goals, the second one being what would’ve won the game. 

 

-Trevor Lawrence 

Last week, the struggles Trevor Lawrence had could be excused due to the sloppy conditions in Philadelphia. This week, there was no rain to help Lawrence as to why he performed poorly. He made some poor decisions on Sunday, especially ones in the red zone. One of those decisions in particular was an interception thrown directly towards rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. That interception set the tone for the rest of the second half of the game as he completed only 10-of-23 passes and threw another interception on the final play of the game. 

 

-Pittsburgh Steelers Run Game

Against a tough Bills defense, Kenny Pickett held up pretty well completing 34 passes for 327 yards, showing poise in the pocket under pressure and not being afraid to push the ball down field. Yet, Picket can only do so much through the air as a rookie with a lack of a run game to rely on. Through five weeks, the Pittsburgh Steelers have the fourth worst rushing attack with only 443 yards. Najee Harris hasn’t been able to get anything going as he is averaging only 3.2 yards per carry for a total of 222 yards on 60 attempts.

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