15 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 5
Pete Carroll, Seahawks coach
Carroll’s tactical blunder may have inadvertently cost his team the chance to get the ball back late in their loss to the Los Angeles Rams. With the Rams prepared to punt with about a minute and a half left in the fourth, Carroll called timeout on 4th and 1, giving the Rams a chance to reconsider and put their offense on the field to try to get the first. They did so, and instead of getting the ball back, Carroll was left with egg on his face. Sure, Seattle would have only had about a minute had the Rams punted, but they’d have had the ball and a timeout down two, requiring only one big play for a potential game-winning field goal. This one really backfired on him.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans
More and more questions are being asked about Mariota by the week. On what was a brutal day for both offenses, the Titans quarterback managed just 129 yards on 14 completions, not finding the end zone and throwing a pick. He did have one touchdown pass dropped, so that’s not his fault, but it does little to change the fact that he made a lot of bad throws against a defense that cannot be considered one of the league’s elite units. It’s a performance that will slow down the Tennessee hype train quite a bit, and raise new concerns about his consistency.
Raheem Mostert, RB, 49ers
The 49ers’ injury-plagued running back situation haunted them this week, as they were forced to turn to journeyman Raheem Mostert against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Their faith was not repaid. Early in the second quarter with the Niners driving into Arizona territory, Mostert fumbled. That fumble was returned all the way to the San Francisco 18-yard line. When Mostert fumbled, the Niners were nearing field goal range trailing 7-6. The fumble led directly to seven points for Arizona, putting them up 14-6 in a game they eventually won. The Niners never seemed to recover and lost 28-18.
Los Angeles Rams’ run defense
Rivals have been poking at the Rams looking for weaknesses for some time now, and the Seahawks seemed to have found one, at least on Sunday. Seattle grabbed 190 yards on the ground, with Chris Carson running for 116 and Mike Davis adding 68 more. Seattle averaged 5.9 yards per carry as a team. This may just be a one-off, as the Minnesota Vikings didn’t have anywhere near as much success on the ground a week ago, but this clearly worked for the Seahawks — and didn’t work for the Rams, as they needed a rally to win this game.
Nick Williams, WR, Titans
The disappointing Titans have had a lot of problems this season, but this is the second consecutive week that a Tennessee receiver has dropped a sure touchdown in a tight game. This week it was Williams, who had a clear shot at the end zone but dropped an easy pass from Marcus Mariota. That could have given the Titans a 13-10 lead with a little over ten minutes to go. Williams also arguably cost Mariota an interception by not fighting more for another pass in the game. Williams’ dropped touchdown on third down forced the Titans to kick their first of two field goals in the fourth, but that left enough room for the Bills to hit a game-winner as time expired, relegating the disappointing Titans to a painful loss.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins
We’re a long way away from the first three weeks of the season when Tannehill was one of the league’s most efficient quarterbacks. His last two weeks have been so bad that coach Adam Gase had to field a question about potential quarterback changes after Miami’s total collapse against the Cincinnati Bengals. Tannehill managed just 185 yards and committed three turnovers, all of which came in a fourth quarter that saw the Dolphins outscored 24-0. One was a pick six, another was a fumble, and both were returned for touchdowns to go with another interception. The Dolphins and Tannehill are quickly returning to earth.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles
Jeffery looked great in his season debut a week ago, perhaps unfairly raising expectations for a tough matchup with Xavier Rhodes and the Minnesota Vikings. The star Philadelphia receiver was, in fact, a non-factor on Sunday. Carson Wentz targeted him eight times but he only caught two of them for 39 yards, missing out on a key third reception that would have converted on third down as the ball was jarred loose by a hard hit. Jeffery will have better days, but the matchup with Rhodes came a bit too soon for him.
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
For the last several weeks, Ryan and the Atlanta offense have kept the Falcons in the game in spite of their struggling, injury-depleted defense. The latter held true Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but not the former. Ryan could finally no longer keep up with the demands of his defense, taking six sacks and turning the ball over once. He couldn’t even find star receiver Julio Jones until the fourth quarter, by which point the result was in little doubt. Ryan should rebound quickly, but his road performances are becoming a concern at this point.