NFL week five round-up
Week five was another eventful week in the 2012 NFL regular season with exciting games and close match-ups. Here is a look at the main games this week with a round-up of the other results.
Green Bay Packers (2-3-0) 27-30 Indianapolis Colts (2-2-0)
Indianapolis Head Coach, Chuck Pagano has been diagnosed with leukaemia but during a time of crisis for the man his team gave him a reason to smile with a win in an emotionally intense game.
Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne visited Pagano ahead of the game and vowed to bring the game ball back to him after the team got the win. Wayne lived up to his promise by contributing largely in the Colts victory over Green Bay with a career high 212 receiving yards from 13 caught passes and a touchdown.
Wayne made several incredible plays and linked up extremely well with rookie quarterback and number one overall pick, Andrew Luck. The future hall-of-famer pulled of a spectacular one handed catch off a third and six-play midway through the second quarter.
Wayne is having a phenomenal year especially for a guy in his 12th year in the NFL. He has scored two touchdowns in four games with over 500 receiving yards. The receiver capped off his amazing performance with a fantastic play when he stretched out his arm in to the end zone with 35 seconds to go on a first and goal which proved to be the winning touchdown.
Mason Crosby had a chance to force overtime but he hooked his 51-yard field goal wide left with eight seconds to go. The Packers only have themselves to blame for this defeat as they led 21-3 at half-time. Green Bay did lose three key players to injury as Cedric Benson, Jermichael Finley and B.J. Raji all left the game injured which contributed to their second-half downfall.
Aaron Rodgers did his best to keep his team in the game and personally put in another efficient performance with 20 out of 32 passes completed for 235 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The Green Bay O-line didn’t help at times and the loss of Finley at tight end restricted his options as Rodgers tried his best with what was on offer.
The Colts defense did amazing to restrict the Packers to just six points in the second half, they needed some luck which they got but the win was well earned and deserved. Speaking of luck the star player of the day had to be quarterback Andrew Luck as he showed off his skills whilst proving to everyone in Indianapolis that the future is bright for the franchise.
Despite being roughed up early on Luck put on clinic in the fourth quarter with an amazing and game winning performance. Late in the third quarter on third and goal Luck ran in to the end zone to cut the gap to just two points and get some momentum going as well as kick start the comeback. The Colts went up by one thanks to a Vinatieri field goal with just over eight minutes left in the final quarter
After the Packers took the lead with four minutes and 30 seconds left in the game it was time for Luck to show what he was made of. They started the drive with four minutes and 30 seconds remaining, on third and nine Luck hit Wayne for his first third down completion in nine attempts. On third and 12 Luck shrugged off Clay Matthews and hit Reggie Wayne again for a new set of downs and then on a third and seven play Luck rushed for a first down to set up the first and goal. With the end zone in sight Luck and Wayne hooked up again on another spectacular play for the touchdown which got the win for the Colts on a memorable day at Lucas Oil stadium.
Andrew Luck finished the game with two touchdown passes for 362 yards, one interception throw, and completed 31 out of 55 passing attempts. That win for the Indianapolis Colts leaves them at 2-2 on the season and second in the AFC South, next they go on the road to take on the Jets. Meanwhile Green Bay sits third in the NFC North with a losing 2-3 record ahead of a big Sunday night game in Houston against the Texans who are 5-0.
Denver Broncos (2-3-0) 21-31 New England Patriots (3-2-0)
This match-up saw two of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time face off once again as Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos visited Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The two renewed their rivalry in a great game which the Pats won by 10 after Denver’s fourth quarter comeback fell short.
Not being able to hold on to the ball cost the Broncos badly, within the opening three minutes of the game as Demaryius Thomas appeared to be heading in to the end zone after a deep throw from Manning the ball was stripped then recovered by Patriots defender Sterling Moore.
The game’s first touchdown came with just three minutes and eight seconds left in the first quarter when Tom Brady threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to complete an 84-yard drive on a first and goal play to Wes Welker. Welker had nine first-half catches and finished the game with 13 receptions for 104 receiving yards and the one score.
Denver answered by moving the ball 80 yards in 10 plays which included Manning throwing to Thomas who spectacularly caught the ball with one hand on a first and 10 play to make up for his earlier mistake at the start of the game. The drive ended in a touchdown when Peyton Manning threw short to Joel Dreessen for the score just 55 seconds in to the second quarter.
The Patriots then scored 10 points on their next two possessions to take a 17-7 lead in to halftime. Brady moved the chains with a 14 yard completion to Welker on third and 10 at their own 20-yard line and Danny Woohead converted a running play on another third down from near midfield. The first scoring possession ended with Shane Vereen’s one-yard touchdown run and the second with a field goal following a Broncos goal-line stand.
In the third quarter Woodhead again helped New England convert on third down, this time it was on a long third and 17. The lengthy drive ended with Brady plunging in to the end zone on third and goal from one yard, a fired up Brady spiked the ball following the score as the Patriots went 24-7 ahead.
Denver’s next drive ended on the first play when Manning was then stripped of the ball by Ninkovich and Vince Wilfork recovered it at the Broncos’ 14. Ridley finished off a quick drive for a touchdown with an eight-yard run in to the end zone meaning that the Patriots scored two touchdowns in an 18 second span. Ridley himself racked up 151 rushing yards and the one score on the day.
Despite the Broncos fighting back and coming close in the end it was the Patriots running game that was the difference maker. Willis McGahee’s fumble on a drive which would have cut the lead to three in the fourth didn’t exactly help Denver’s cause. Nevertheless Peyton Manning still put in a good performance, he hooked up with Eric Decker on a two-yard TD play in the third and with Brandon Stokley in the fourth on a five-yard play. He ended the game with 337 passing yards, three touchdowns and 31 completed passes out of 44 yard attempts.
Unfortunately for Manning and Broncos it was another fourth quarter comeback that fell short meaning that the team are 2-3 on the season, they sit second in the AFC West and are a game behind the Chargers. The Patriots on the other hand have gained sole control of the AFC West with their second win in a row and have moved to a 3-2 record.
The win upped Brady’s record in the head-to-head meetings between him and Manning to 9-4. More importantly for Brady and New England was how explosive the offence looked. The first half was about Brady tearing it up in the air. Overall he completed 23 out of 31 passing attempts on the day for one touchdown meaning that in the Patriots’ first five games he has now racked up 10 TDs for 1450 passing yards and just one interception. The second half was about the running game and all four running backs contributed in the 31-21 win at Gillette stadium. The win also saw the New England Patriots set a new franchise record for the number of first downs in a game, 35, which showed how impressive they were on the day.
In week six the Patriots go on the road to CenturyLink Field to take on the Seattle Seahawks who are also 3-2 on the season as they look to make it three wins in a row. The Broncos will face AFC West rivals and divisional leaders the Chargers in a game which could have playoff ramifications even at this early stage in the season with a win for San Diego giving them breathing space whereas a Denver victory would tie up the two teams’ seasonal records.
Roundup of Week 5’s other results:
Arizona Cardinals (4-1-0) 3-17 St. Louis Rams (3-2-0) – The Rams got the home win and ended the Cardinals unbeaten start to the season on Thursday night’s game.
Miami Dolphins (2-3-0) 17-13 Cincinnati Bengals (3-2-0) – A close one at Paul Brown stadium saw the Dolphins come out of Ohio with the win.
Baltimore Ravens (4-1-0) 9-6 Kansas City Chiefs (1-4-0) – In a low scoring game with no touchdowns the Ravens got the win by three.
Cleveland Browns (0-5-0) 27-41 New York Giants (3-2-0) – The Giants outscored their opponents by 14 in a high scoring contest leaving Cleveland still winless on the season.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-2-0) 14-16 Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-0) – Shaun Suisham’s 34 yard field goal as time expired got the win for the Steelers at Heinz Field.
Atlanta Falcons (5-0-0) 24-17 Washington Redskins (2-3-0) – The Falcons rallied in the fourth quarter as Matt Ryan and co. ensured that Atlanta remained perfect on the season with a seven point win at FedEx Field.
Seattle Seahawks (3-2-0) 16-12 Carolina Packers (1-4-0) – Carolina’s disappointing start to the season continued as they fell to 1-4 whereas the road win for Seattle moved them to 3-2.
Chicago Bears (4-1-0) 41-3 Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4-0) – Jay Cutler, Chicago’s running game and the defense all impressed as the Bears won in a blowout with 28 points scored in the fourth.
Tennessee Titans (1-4-0) 7-30 Minnesota Vikings (4-1-0) – The Vikings continued to shock the rest of the league with their third win a row as they made it look easy against Tennessee.
Buffalo Bills (2-3-0) 3-45 San Francisco 49ers (4-1-0) – The 49ers dismantled the Bills and secured another big win, this week Alex Smith was leading the charge with three touchdown passes for over 300 passing yards.
San Diego Chargers (3-2-0) 24-31 New Orleans Saints (1-4-0) – The Saints have endured a shocking start to the 2012 regular season but 10 fourth quarter points saw New Orleans come back to grab their first win.
Houston Texans (5-0-0) 23-17 New York Jets (2-3-0) – It was closer than the Texans would have liked and Tebow almost inspired a fight back for the Jets but they fell short as Houston won by six.