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.
Matt Ryan has made history, but not the kind he’d like to make.
The Atlanta Falcons quarterback has performed admirably the past two weeks. Despite his excellent performances, his Falcons have lost both games. ESPN Stats & Info says he is the first quarterback to lose consecutive games while throwing for 350 yards, at least three touchdowns and no interceptions.
We’ve seen plenty of quarterbacks put up big stats in losses, but the difference is not many of them didn’t throw interceptions, which is what distinguishes Ryan.
Last week he threw for 374 yards, 5 touchdowns and no picks in a 43-37 overtime loss to the Saints. This week he passed for 419 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions in a 37-36 loss to the Bengals. The Falcons just can’t stop anyone on defense, which is something Ryan can’t help. The major injuries they’ve had on that side of the ball have hurt the team badly.
The Atlanta Falcons had to burn a timeout during the second quarter of Thursday night’s opener against the Philadelphia Eagles after Matt Ryan busted his knee brace.
Ryan was scrambling on a 1st-and-10 play from the Philly 27 late in the second and slid after gaining two yards. He broke the knee brace he was wearing on his left leg while sliding.
Ryan went towards the sideline to have his equipment checked out, and the Falcons soon realized they needed to take a timeout to address things.
The staff ended up cutting off Ryan’s brace entirely because they were in a time crunch.
A very popular argument among NFL fans has to do with the quarterbacks: who are the best? Which team’s quarterback is superior? Whom would you trust to win one game if you had to?
We have no expectation that this list will settle any such arguments, but it’s still fun to debate. Which quarterbacks are the best? Who means the most to their team? Here are the top 15 signal-callers in the NFL.
15) Jared Goff, Rams
A breakout 2017 has ensured that Goff is regarded as one of the NFL’s rising young stars at the quarterback position. He threw for 3,804 yards and 28 touchdowns to just seven interceptions in his 15 games, a massive improvement from a promising but uneven rookie season. Expectations are higher than ever for his third NFL year, where he’ll guide an offense that will be expected to contend for a Super Bowl.
Now that Matt Ryan has signed a contract extension with the Atlanta Falcons, Aaron Rodgers should be the next star quarterback in line to get paid. Rodgers knows it, which is why he recently cracked a joke to one of the people in charge of negotiating Ryan’s new deal.
In an appearance on Andrew Brandt’s “The Business of Sports” podcast this week, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff recalled a funny exchange he had with Rodgers in Minnesota during Super Bowl week. Basically, Rodgers urged him to hurry up and work something out with Ryan.
“I saw Aaron, interestingly enough, at the Super Bowl in the airport,” Dimitroff said, as transcribed by Herbie Teope of NFL.com. “He just said to me, ‘We don’t know each other that well, but just get this deal done with Matt first so I can get on with my life.'”
Rodgers still has two years remaining on his current contract, but Ryan’s extension should excite him. Ryan inked a five-year, $150 million deal that includes $100 million guaranteed, and there has already been talk about Rodgers shattering records when he signs his extension.
The Packers have not seemed like they are in a huge rush to get the Rodgers deal done, but Ryan’s extension should help move things along. Plus, it’s obvious Rodgers hasn’t been all that thrilled with the moves Green Bay has made this offseason. Making him the highest-paid player in football should help ease some of that tension.
The Atlanta Falcons announced on Thursday that they have agreed on a 5-year contract extension with quarterback Matt Ryan that will pay him $30 million a year and include $100 million guaranteed.
It’s a massive deal for the 2016 NFL MVP, but worthwhile considering the consistent success the Falcons have enjoyed under their franchise QB.
The Twitter reactions to the contract were interesting, with some focusing on how Aaron Rodgers is now next in line for a big deal, while others were happy that Ryan will remain with the Falcons for the longhaul. Here’s a sampling of the reactions:
Ryan ranks seventh among active QBs in passing yards and eighth in passing touchdowns. Since being drafted in 2008, he has helped lead the Falcons to 95 wins.
The Atlanta Falcons are still looking to lock down quarterback Matt Ryan to a long-term deal, and general manager Thomas Dimitroff believes it will happen.
Dimitroff said Tuesday that re-signing Ryan to a long-term deal is the team’s No. 1 priority, and that he expected the team and player to come to an agreement.
A year ago, we heard that the Falcons were poised to make Ryan the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. A year has passed and that mark has only gone up, but you can bet that the Falcons will still be aggressive in keeping their star.
Matt Ryan was bloodied during the first half of Saturday’s NFC wild card playoff game between his Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams began to dial up the heat on Ryan, sacking him three times over the Falcons’ final two possessions of the first half. One of the sacks gave Ryan this cut on the back of his head/ear:
Ryan entered a medical tent to be checked out and was later cleared to return to action. After a 13-0 start, Ryan’s Falcons struggled to close the half and saw their lead cut to 13-10.
The 2017 regular season has been packed full of surprises. From a team perspective, the Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants stand out for being so much better and so much worse than we expected, but it’s not just limited to those two organizations.
Yes, the Rams and Giants have gone in totally different directions than expected, but units like the New England Patriots defense have been worse than expected, and the the New York Jets have even found a way to open eyes.
But what players have contributed to all these surprises? Well, here’s a look at every NFL team’s most surprising player, good or bad, so far this season.
Arizona Cardinals – Adrian Peterson, RB
After appearing in only 20 games over his final three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, many believed the career of Adrian Peterson had reached its end. Even with another opportunity given to him by the New Orleans Saints, little changed for Peterson. He appeared in four games, gaining just 81 yards on 27 carries. Then came the trade to Arizona. Although he hasn’t exactly returned to Hall of Fame form, he has gained 369 yards in five games, providing the Cardinals with an unexpected spark on the ground.
Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan, QB
A year after winning the NFL MVP Award and leading the Falcons to the Super Bowl, Matt Ryan has hit a bit of a wall. He’s returned to 2015 form and seen his completion percentage, yards per game, touchdown to interception ratio, yards per attempt and quarterback rating all drop — some of those considerably. He threw for 38 touchdowns last season and has just 15 in 10 games this season. His passer rating has dropped from 117.1 to 95.7. To cap it off, the Falcons are 6-4 and are no shoo-in to make the playoffs.
The Atlanta Falcons are 4-4 after a disappointing loss to the Carolina Panthers, but quarterback Matt Ryan is unfazed by the slow start.
Ryan has overseen a struggling offense that has the team in third in the NFC South, but with half of the season still to play, the quarterback isn’t losing faith.
“Well, I think it’s fair to say we have a lot of work to do,” Ryan told 680 The Fan, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN. “I think we’re halfway through the season. Like they say all the time, they don’t give the trophy out at this time of the year.
“I think we can be better than we’ve played up until this point. I think we are better than we’ve played up until this point. I think we’ve played mediocre, but yet I don’t think we’re a mediocre team. I think we can be a very good football team.”
The Falcons have been just a little bit off in 2017 — plays like this are evidence of that. It’s not too late for them to make something of their season, but things have to turn quickly.