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#pounditFriday, March 5, 2021

15 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 5

Ben Roethlisberger

Week 5 of the NFL saw many players go down to injuries, leaving many of their fans disappointed. The New York Giants led the way by seeing players exit nearly every quarter. Then the day ended with one of the league’s most beloved players getting carted off. In between, we saw some players get exposed, others underperform, and some teams just completely failed to show up.

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

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers

Big Ben was nothing short of brutal against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, and it’s almost like the defense was in his head. Roethlisberger was 33 of 55 for 312 yards, no touchdowns, and five interceptions. His passer rating was 37.8 for the game, which is still better than what Joe Flacco did against Jacksonville, but far from an acceptable number. He lacked confidence following the win and said aloud, “maybe I don’t have it anymore.”

Considering he had led the Steelers to a 3-1 record while throwing six touchdowns and two picks entering the game, and that the Jags have made Houston and Baltimore’s QBs look equally bad, we’ll chalk this up to more of a fluke for Roethlisberger than anything else.

New York Giants wide receivers

What happened to the New York Giants’ wide receivers on Sunday was unreal. Four of the five receivers they had entering the game were knocked out of the contest by injuries. Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard all suffered ankle injuries. Punt and kick returner Dwayne Harris, who is listed as a receiver, suffered a fractured foot. Being 0-5 and having 80 percent of your receivers out with injuries is about as bad as it gets. The Giants will have to dig deep to fill in the vacancies at receiver heading into a tough Week 6 matchup at Denver.

DeShone Kizer, QB, Browns

Kizer was benched during the Browns’ 17-14 loss to the New York Jets after completing just 8 of 17 passes for 87 yards with an interception and fumble. His two turnovers were absolutely killer.

Kizer lost a fumble on a 3rd-and-goal play from the Jets’ 3-yard line late in the first quarter. Then in the second quarter, he threw an interception with his team at the Jets’ 4-yard line. The Browns should have scored six points at a minimum on those possessions, and possibly as many as 14 points. That was the difference between winning and losing the game.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders looked like a playoff team after the first two games of the season, which included a road win at Tennessee and a victory over the Jets in which they scored 45 points. Since then they’ve lost three in a row, and the manner in which they’ve lost is a major concern.

The Raiders were crushed by Washington and did very little offensively in the game; they were similarly ineffective against the Broncos and only scored 10 points that game; and they were held to 245 total yards in a 30-17 loss to Baltimore in Week 5. Even if Derek Carr got hurt last week and E.J. Manuel played all of the Ravens game, the lack of potency in the team’s offense is alarming. In the last three games, Marshawn Lynch only has 73 rushing yards and Amari Cooper has just four catches for 15 yards.

Rams’ red zone offense

The Rams entered Sunday’s game against Seattle averaging 35.5 points per game. They were held to just 10 in their Week 5 loss. Most of that is because of their red-zone struggles.

The Rams had the ball in the red zone four times against Seattle and came away with just three points. On their opening drive, running back Todd Gurley lost a fumble at the one. In the second quarter, they started their possession with the ball at the 19 but only moved it two yards and settled for a 35-yard field goal. At least they made that kick, compared to the opening drive of the third quarter where Greg Zuerlein missed a 36-yard kick. Then the team got the ball down to the 20 in the final minute of the game and had four cracks at the end zone but were unable to convert.

Just to show you how good this team can be, they turned the ball over five times and still almost won.

Tennessee Titans running backs

The Titans have arguably the best running back duo in the NFL between DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. With Marcus Mariota out due to his hamstring, the team was expecting to lean on their rushers to carry the offense, yet that didn’t happen.

Murray rushed for 58 yards on 14 carries, good enough for a 4.1 average, but he was unable to break off anything longer than a 13-yard rush. He also lost a fumble. Henry rushed for just nine yards on four carries, as one of his big gains was countered by a rush for a loss of six. Neither talented rusher was able to find a lane or break a much-needed big run as Matt Cassel filled in at quarterback. The team only amassed 188 total yards and 10 points in the game.

Darius Slay, CB, Lions

Earlier this week we were wondering whether Cam Newton could regain his MVP form from 2015. Apparently all he needed was to face Darius Slay.

Newton had his best game of the season passing for 355 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Panthers’ 27-24 win over the Lions. According to Pro Football Focus, Newton had a near perfect passer rating when targeting Slay. PFF says Slay allowed five catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns in the game. Slay did get credit for six tackles.

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