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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

15 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 5

Mason Crosby

While there were some exceptions, Week 5 was not a great one if you were a quarterback, or especially a kicker. There were a lot of notably underwhelming performances, including a handful of high-profile quarterbacks and a kicking nightmare in Detroit. Those were hardly the only positions to suffer, though, as receivers, defenses, and even coaches were left looking a bit silly after Sunday’s events.

Here’s a look at 15 of the biggest disappointments of NFL Week 5.

Mason Crosby, K, Packers

It’s safe to say Crosby had the worst kicking performance of the 2018 season. His first miss, wide left from 41 in the first quarter, was unusual, but sometimes good kickers just blow one. Then he missed off the right upright from 42, followed by another wide right from 38, and it was clear that something was going on. A missed extra point in the third confirmed that Crosby’s confidence was shot and initiated a Twitter pile-on, and sending him out there in the fourth to miss from 56 — more understandably — felt like cruel and unusual punishment. It was so bad for Crosby that the Packers saw fit to let him hit one from 41 with seven seconds left just so he could see one go through the uprights. Crosby has five seasons, including the previous three, where he missed just four kicks all season. To say this was uncharacteristic for him is an understatement.

Houston Texans’ goal-line offense

The Texans left a lot of points on the table Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys with their poor goal line play calls and execution. Though the Texans cashed in their first red-zone appearance with a touchdown, they only got nine points out of their next four trips combined. The first time they got stalled at the two and took a field goal. The next time was the worst when they lined up in shotgun from the half-yard line before halftime and got stopped on a Deshaun Watson attempted scramble on 4th down to come away with no points. They had a 1st-and-goal at the 4 in the third quarter and came away with three points. They had a 1st-and-goal at the 1 in the fourth quarter and couldn’t score a touchdown, instead settling for another field goal. They should have won the game easily in regulation rather than narrowly in overtime.

C.J. Beathard, QB, 49ers

There was some hope that the 49ers might not be as damaged as they seemed to be when Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending injury. Beathard held his own a week ago against the Los Angeles Chargers, but despite facing an inferior team Sunday, reality set in. Beathard was forced to throw a lot and got 354 yards and two touchdowns out of it, but was also responsible for two interceptions, the second one a backbreaker late in the 4th quarter. Beathard is probably going to be rather inconsistent for the 49ers, and Sunday was definitely one of his bad days. It’s almost impossible to win when your team turns it over five times.

Denver Broncos

We could single out a lot of things here. We could look at Case Keenum, who finally threw his first touchdown pass since Week 1 but ultimately didn’t do enough to spark the offense, turning it over twice. There was a running game that didn’t really get going and never had the chance. There was a defense that was bludgeoned repeatedly, especially by Jets running back Isaiah Crowell and his team-record 219 rushing yards. All of it combines for a brutal loss that totally takes the shine off the Broncos. Vance Joseph’s seat is getting hotter by the week, and the comments of Derek Wolfe should lead to more concern.

Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars

Sunday summed up the Blake Bortles experience in many ways. His 430 yards look great on paper, and he made several good throws. He was also picked off four times and lost a fumble, with one of the interceptions coming on a screen pass and another rather comically going off the helmet of one of his linemen. The expected battle between the Chiefs’ offense and the Jaguars’ defense went the way of Kansas City, and that meant Bortles had to be on his game to keep Jacksonville in it. He wasn’t, at least not enough.

Michael Crabtree, WR, Ravens

Rainy weather in Cleveland meant it wasn’t the greatest day to be tasked with throwing or catching a football. Even taking that into account, however, Crabtree’s drops conceivably cost Baltimore the game. Those drops have plagued him all season, but he blew two key third down passes with his inability to catch the ball. Worst of all, he had a game-winning touchdown in his hands at the end of regulation but failed to reel it in. That sent the Ravens into an overtime period that they couldn’t win. Crabtree took responsibility after the defeat, but this has become an ongoing problem that needs to be fixed.

Derek Carr, QB, Raiders

The Raiders didn’t get the chance to collapse in the fourth quarter this week because they were rather thoroughly wiped out by the Chargers before then. Carr was particularly flat, not hitting the 200-yard mark until midway through the fourth quarter when a garbage time touchdown allowed him to salvage his numbers a bit. Carr only turned the ball over once, but it was a bad one thrown when the team had the ball at the Chargers’ 1-yard line. Things did not work for him at all today as the Raiders continued to struggle. This was probably their worst offensive performance yet.

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