Week 5 of the NFL season is in the books and there is plenty to cover in the Super Bowl LVIII conversation following some unexpected results.
It all came together for the Chicago Bears in Week 5.
Losers of 14 on the bounce with a coach in the hot seat and a quarterback subject to constant ridicule on social media, the Bears thumped a hapless Washington Commanders in Washington to register their first win since October 24, 2022.
Getting good QB play, good offensive line play, and sensible play calling all on the same night, who the hell are these guys and what have they done with my beloved shitty Chicago Bears
— Ricky O'Donnell (@SBN_Ricky) October 6, 2023
Most impressive from the Bears is they played to win all the way through despite leading 27-3 at halftime. They didn’t go into their shell and take a conservative approach. The Commanders came out of the break in a mood and had Bears fans sitting uneasily in their seats. Joey Slye had the chance to bring the game within seven points at one stage, but only minutes later, the Bears threw the ball as the Commanders anticipated at run, and D.J Moore scored his third touchdown making it 37-20 in the 4th quarter.
Moore played out one of the great Bears performances. His 230 yards is the second-most in franchise history and perhaps should have been more if not for a dodgy out-of-bounds call as he streaked towards the end zone. He became the first Bears player to pick up 230 yards with three receiving touchdowns.
Justin Field quietened plenty of doubters, too. He played out a superb game and became only the fourth quarterback since 1970 to have 5,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards within their first 30 starts.
This marked the first time in NFL history that a team on a losing streak of 14 games or more scored 40 points. They have a chance to make it back-to-back wins against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6 as +3.5 underdogs.
49ers Keep Rolling
The San Francisco 49ers were meant to see their first real test of the NFL season when taking on the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5.
Instead, Adam Schefter tweed this out with 10 minutes still on the clock…
After beating the Cowboys, the 49ers now have won 14-consecutive regular-season games dating back to Week 8 of 2022, the NFL’s longest active win streak and the second-longest regular-season win streak in franchise history. It is one win short of the 15 straight games that San…
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 9, 2023
Their 42-10 win over the Cowboys made it 14 regular season wins on the bounce for the 49ers as they move to 5-0 and onto the first line of betting in the Super Bowl LVIII market at $5.50.
We don’t need another week of passive-aggressive Purdy peddling. If you can’t see it in him by now, you’re not trying and simply don’t want to see it. The young quarterback picked apart the league’s best defence, threw four touchdowns, and continues to be unbeaten in the regular season throughout his NFL career. His 72.1% completion percentage on passes of 10 air yards or more is the best in the NFL after completing seven of 10 in Week 5 for 166 yards and three of his four touchdowns. He targeted George Kittle four times, finding him for touchdowns on three of them. Christian McCaffrey rushed one in to make it 14 consecutive games with a touchdown. The 49ers started so strong that they were already 14-0 in front by the time the Cowboys earned a first down.
San Francisco dominated on the defensive end, too. Dak Prescott was sacked three times and threw three interceptions. While the offence built that 14-0 early lead, the defence kept the Cowboys to six yards in the first quarter.
This is a complete football team. They’re doing it on both sides of the ball and complement each other exceptionally well. It won’t always be this good, though. A lull will occur sooner or later. Still, the 49ers are the best team in the NFL right now and deserving favourites.
Pressure On The Patriots
There is a bit of a “needs a change of scenery” vibe around Bill Belichick at the moment.
Last week ended up as the worst loss of his NFL coaching career. It’s not quite as big, but you could argue it went worse in Week 5.
The New England Patriots failed to score a single point in going down to the New Orleans Saints 34-0 this week. It’s comfortably the worst two-week period of Belichick’s coaching career and is a loss so bad that the Patriots front office might have a few decisions to make.
The Patriots are officially in the race for Caleb Williams.
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) October 8, 2023
With Caleb Williams ($1.17 to be drafted 1st overall) one of the best college prospects in recent years, there is a case for the Pats to blow it up. It’s difficult to imagine Belichick not putting everything into winning every week, though. He’d need to be moved on for this team to really reach rock bottom.
Their Week 6 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders as $2.24 and +2.5 underdogs is all of a sudden rather interesting.
Ravens To Rue This One
The Baltimore Ravens should be 4-1 and in the conversation as Super Bowl LVIII contenders.
While they’re still flirting with the conversation, they’ve taken a step back from it following their horror 17-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
We’d have been talking about Lamar Jackson as a Most Valuable Player candidate as well if his targets could catch the football.
The Ravens would have 35 points without drops. I don't think I'm exaggerating. https://t.co/c8E4B0fxz1
— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) October 8, 2023
The Ravens were one of only two wide receiver groups in the NFL without a dropped pass heading into Week 5. They dropped five passes in this game alone and left other opportunities to score out on the field, too. One slip cost them a big play. A “miscommunication” removed a chance to take a field goal.
Baltimore can be so good. There is a world where they’re 5-0 had things gone a little bit differently. But the late failures are a continuation of last season with the Ravens now having ten-point leads in six of their last nine losses. It’s a problem they need to address before this season gets out of hand.
Until they’re playing up to their potential across multiple weeks and against opposition in the top half of the league, it’s hard to trust them as Super Bowl LVIII contenders at $14 (out from $13 last week).
Murray On The Move?
This is something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
REPORT: The Arizona #Cardinals are likely to move on from former #1 overall pick 2x Pro Bowl QB Kyler Murray, per ESPN.
— MLFootball (@_MLFootball) October 6, 2023
This news came before the Arizona Cardinals were comfortably beaten 34-20 by the Cincinnati Bengals, moving to 1-4 for the season.
Other NFL Notes From Week 5
– With Thursday Night Football going over the total, the Bears are the lone 5-0 team to the over this year.
– Justin Fields has a perfect passer rating when throwing the ball to DJ Moore this season.
– Mahomes has now beaten every other team in the NFL. First QB to do it before turning 30.
– The Jaguars picked up valuable back-to-back wins in London including their impressive 25-20 win over the Bills in Week 5.
TOP 6 SUPER BOWL LVIII ODDS
|TEAM||CURRENT PRICE||LAST WEEK’S PRICE|
|San Francisco 49ers||$5.50||$7|
|Kansas City Chiefs||$6||$7|