10 things you need to know from NFL Week 5

Kansas City's Eric Berry made our Team of the Week, Kam Chancellor fell flat, and Carson Palmer is our top-graded QB.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

10 things you need to know from NFL Week 5


Didn’t catch every moment of NFL Week 5? PFF has you covered with the top 10 things you need to know based on our grades and data.

1. Carson Palmer is our top-graded quarterback this season.

Entering Week 1, who would have guessed Carson Palmer would sit atop our quarterback grades five weeks into the season? In Week 5, the Arizona QB put up another solid performance, earning a +3.5 against the Lions.

Palmer was 11-for-14 on the day, giving him a season-high 78.6 completion percentage. Three of those passes went for touchdowns, and he had no interceptions. Sam Monson recapped much of Palmer’s stellar season performance in his article published earlier this week.

The 4-1 Cardinals stand alone atop the NFC West as the only team in the division with a winning record.

2. Even more shocking: Andy Dalton is our No. 2-graded quarterback.

Many predicted Andy Dalton’s fantastic start would skid to a halt against Seattle, the NFL’s third-best pass-rushing defense. Instead, Dalton led the Bengals to a comeback win at home, tying with Colts’ QB Matt Hasselbeck for the best overall QB grade in Week 5 (+4.2).

This season, Dalton’s accuracy is third-best in the league (behind only Philip Rivers and Tom Brady, respectively), and he owns the top accuracy percentage on deep balls (passes attempts of 20 or more yards downfield) at 60.9 percent, well ahead of second-best Drew Brees (47.6 percent).

3. Eric Berry made PFF’s Team of the Week.

Each week, PFF’s Khaled Elsayed honors the best players at every position for that week’s games. In Week 5, Kansas City safety Eric Berry earned the spot of top safety in the league.

The fact that Eric Berry earned a +5.1 overall grade (his second-best career single-game grade) is incredibly impressive in itself—the fact that he did it after overcoming Hodgkin’s lymphoma makes it unbelievable.

Berry was diagnosed with cancer in December 2014, and in what could be considered the comeback of the year, was cleared for training camp on July 28. Now, five weeks into the 2015 season, Berry is the No. 3-rated safety in the league, according to PFF’s new 2015 player grades.

4. Doug Martin and Dion Lewis earned the top Week 5 RB grades.

The artist formerly known as “Muscle Hamster” is remerging as a force out of the Tampa Bay backfield this season. In Week 5, he earned the highest single-game grade of his career at +4.0, eclipsing even his stellar 2012 game against Oakland.

On Monday, PFF’s Sam Monson broke down the revival of Martin.

Behind Martin this week, Patriots’ halfback Dion Lewis again showed why it was a mistake for the Colts to cut him after one week last season. Lewis owns the top elusive rating in the league, forcing a total of 28 missed tackles through Week 5 (rushing and receiving).

5. Despite another loss, Jacksonville’s young offensive weapons are showing promise.

The Jaguars dropped to 1-4 on Sunday with a loss to the Buccaneers, but not all news was bad for Jacksonville fans. The Jags’ offensive has a few bright spots this season, with the play of quarterback Blake Bortles and wide receivers Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson exceptional in Week 5.

As Sam Monson wrote on Monday, Blake Bortles is a top-10 graded quarterback this season. After ranking dead last among all NFL QBs last season, that’s certainly a huge step in the right direction.

At the wideout position, both Hurns and Robinson made our Team of the Week after posting grades of +2.7 and +2.6, respectively. In fact, Hurns was an honorable mention for our list of top 10 receivers through Week 5. If the units around Bortles, Hurns, and Robinson can develop, the Jaguars may have some future stars in their young offensive weapons.

6. Kam Chancellor fell flat against the Bengals.

While many predicted that Kam Chancellor and the Legion of Boom would be too much for Andy Dalton to handle, it was Dalton who had his way with Chancellor on Sunday.

Chancellor earned the worst grade of any NFL safety in Week 5, due mainly to his abysmal pass coverage (-4.9). He surrendered 9 of 11 targets for receptions, one for a touchdown.

The Seahawks hope to see more of Week 3 and 4 Chancellor, as opposed to the Week 5 version, if the defense is to propel the team back into contention with the Cardinals in the NFC West.

7. The Broncos’ defense once again carried Denver in the team’s fifth win. 

How much longer will the Broncos be able to win by relying on just one side of the ball? Von Miller (+3.9 overall), Malik Jackson (+2.3), and Chris Harris Jr. (+3.4) once again put up outstanding numbers in Oakland, reminding Derek Carr why they own the top spot in our defensive rankings. Harris Jr. delivered the biggest of the game for Denver, returning a pick-six that would seal the win.

Manning, on the other hand, put up average grade of +0.6. When he wasn’t pressured by the Raiders, the future Hall of Famer posted a dismal grade of -1.4, compared to +2.0 when under pressure. He had two interceptions on the day, with no touchdown passes.

The Denver run game wasn’t much better. C.J. Anderson tied Eddie Lacy for the lowest grade of any running back in Week 5 (-1.7), earning him a spot on PFF’s Worst Team of the Week.

8. Jamaal Charles’ injury leaves the Chiefs as non-contenders in the AFC.

As confirmed by an MRI on Monday, Chiefs’ running back Jamaal Charles tore his ACL in the 17-18 loss to the Bears. With Charles likely out the remainder of the season, it seems highly unlikely the 1-4 Chiefs will see the playoffs.

Charles, PFF’s No. 14 running back entering Week 5, was the key to Chiefs’ offense. Entering the game, he had more snaps than any other RB this season (231). His potential replacements, Charcandrick West and Knile Davis, have now taken a combined 74 snaps, with neither making much of those opportunities.

As Kansas City’s conservative offense is so reliant on Charles, it is unlikely the Chiefs will catch Denver in the AFC West, much less earn a Wild Card slot.

9. Matt Hasselbeck provided exactly what the Colts need in Luck’s absence.

Unlike other teams down a starting quarterback at the moment, the Colts have to be thrilled with the performance of the 40-year-old veteran. Hasselbeck tied Andy Dalton for Week 5’s top overall QB grade, leading Indy to a Thursday night division win over the Texans.

In his past two starts, Hasselbeck has been extremely cool under pressure, posting an accuracy percentage of 80.0 in such situations—fourth-best among QBs in Weeks 4 and 5.

While the Colts certainly hope Andrew Luck can return for Sunday night’s matchup against the Patriots, there’s some relief in knowing the 40-year-old veteran is more than capable of holding the offense steady.

10. No one has played better than Cameron Heyward over the last two weeks.

While Monday Night Football brought us plenty of storylines (Michael Vick’s poor play, then really high finish, Le’Veon Bell’s game-winning rush, the return of Antonio Gates, etc.), it would be a crime not to mention the outstanding play of Steelers’ defensive end Cameron Heyward. Heyward earned a league-high grade of +9.8 in Week 5, on the heels of a +7.5 grade against Baltimore in Week 4.

Against the Chargers, Heyward posted 11 total QB pressures (two hits, nine hurries), giving him the best pass-rush grade for a defensive end (+6.6).

Heyward, a 2011 first-round pick out of Ohio State, now ranks only behind Houston’s J.J. Watt for the top 3-4 DE spot.

| General Editor

Chase is a General Editor at PFF, focusing on the site’s NFL content strategy. His work has been featured in ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Insider, and The Cincinnati Enquirer.

  • Jaymin

    it is unlikely the Chiefs will catch St. Louis or Denver in the AFC West? why not San Diego?

    • machomaas

      St. Louis is in NFC West. Chiefs will never win the AFC West division and will have to contend with let’s see… probably Jets, Buffalo, Cincinnati, San Diego, and Oakland for the 2 wild cards.

      • WagonBurner

        you really think at this point that cincinnati is going to have to compete for a wild card? really?

        • machomaas

          Hey those were just off the top of my head. I love the bengals this year and if anyone says they are favorites to win the division I have no problem with that.

          • Zachary Mills

            The Bengals look like a different team. Confidence, inspired play and results. That roster is loaded with not only a ton of talent, but a ton of depth as well, really underrated 5-0 team. As a Pats fan, I wouldn’t mind seeing them win the SB, Bengals fans deserve it after so many lean years. Kudos to their owner for sticking with Marvin Lewis.

          • bobrulz

            I too would like to see success for the Bengals (although not at the expense of my Broncos, of course), but it’s all about the playoffs now. If Marvin Lewis still can’t win a playoff game with this roster, he’s gone. Dalton has probably done enough to stay, though.

        • machomaas

          OK, wow. FootballOutsiders gives CIN an 85% chance to win their division (second only to GB with 93%) and Las Vegas has 5 to 1 to win the AFC championship!

      • unc54

        I’d say it would be the Steelers not the Bengals contending for wild card

    • Anthony K Nance

      St.Louis is not in the AFC west, its in the NFC west man.And no one said the Chiefs were good, and their play lets one know that.
      It’s a weird year all these teams who were good are not now and the bad ones seem to be playing lights out at least some anywhere.

  • X x

    “The Seahawks hope to see more of Week 3 and 4 Chancellor” for that to happen they would have to play against to two worst teams in the NFL again…. or the Bucs 😀

    • BW210

      Just because they can win without cheating, doesn’t mean they didn’t cheat.

      • Zachary Mills

        In 2007, yes.

        • BW210

          Yes, because the nickname “The Deflator” really just referred to weight loss. And Tom Brady just happened to have destroyed his phone, which contained dozens of texts with The Deflator, immediately before meeting with investigators. But no one did anything wrong.

          And before you (like every other Pats fan) claim that the court overturning his suspension means he’s innocent, go back and read the court’s opinion. It doesn’t say Brady was innocent. It vacated the suspension for three reasons – because Goodell (1) provided inadequate notice to Brady of his potential discipline, (2) didn’t give Brady the opportunity to examine the NFL’s general counsel during the arbitration, and (3) didn’t give Brady access to the investigation’s files and witness interview notes. All procedural issues. Nowhere does the court’s opinion say that the judge actually thinks Brady was innocent. Just that Goodell is a moron and petty dictator who didn’t follow proper procedures.

          • Zachary Mills

            I didn’t see you prove his guilt in your statement. Nothing was proven, it’s all assumptions. I’m not saying cheating did not ocur in 2014, but that it definitely did in 2007. You’re not going to get me to argue about DeflateGate. If Brady is guilty, then a 1 game suspension +fine would be appropriate imo, not 4 games, team fined, loss of draft picks. Goodell compared it to PEDs, but no team ever lost draft picks over failed PED tests, am I right? I’m all for preserving the integrity of the game. If they wanted to get Brady, they should have waited and built a much stronger case.

          • BW210

            I agree. Like I said, Goodell is a moron, and completely botched this. And, yes, Tom Brady has not been found guilty before a court, and I, not having access to the evidence, the witnesses or Brady’s text messages, am unable to convict his to the standard of a court proceeding. But, again, that doesn’t mean that he’s innocent. Or that he wouldn’t have been found guilty in a properly run court proceeding. The standard of proof in a civil proceeding is “a preponderance of the evidence.” If you properly present the following facts to a jury, I’m betting almost any jury would say you have a preponderance of the evidence pointing to his guilt: he suddenly started repeatedly texting some low-level employee the minute the story breaks (not something he normally does, and the texts can reasonably be interpreted as encouraging him to keep quiet), he physically destroyed his phone immediately before investigators came to look at it (then claimed that he always does that with old phones, which was quickly proven to be a lie), the guy who disappeared into the bathroom with the footballs calls himself “The Deflator”, Brady is known to like under-inflated balls, and the odd behavior at his press conference.

          • Zachary Mills

            Clearly, something smells fishy. But it is possible that TB12 is innocent. He could have been texting this dude to ask what the hell was going on? The phone records of the two staff members frequently said “eff Tom.” He could have ordered them to be deflated but not below 12.5. We just don’t know. I still wouldn’t have liked it, but if there were a smoking gun, I would have called for the punishments to stand. The NBA ref cheating scandal set the sport back for years, there is no place for that.

          • machomaas

            demanding Brady to turn over his text messages was ridiculous. No one else would have to do this except under court order. And I would never trust the NFL to keep the texts from leaking to the public.

      • 12thAnnoyingGuy

        Hey now, that entire secondary has ADD/ADHD.
        Adderall and blatant holding ain’t cheating bro.
        BOOM!

  • Commercial Cleaning

    Any geeks still think the Patriots win by cheating?

    • Bob Loblaw

      Any dishonest online fans still think it’s OK to cheat if later you can say that you didn’t really need to? I hope you aren’t in any position to influence the character of others since you’ve found yourself so desperately lacking.

      • Zachary Mills

        You really think the Pats are 4-0 because of cheating? Can’t give a HOF coach and QB any credit?

        • BW210

          I think you completely missed Bob’s point – he’s not saying that they’re 4-0 because of cheating. He’s saying that proving you didn’t *need* to cheat (by going 4-0 after you stop cheating) doesn’t make the cheating okay.

          • Zachary Mills

            Of course it doesn’t. Cheating is never ok. My only issue with DeflateGate was the process and unprecedented harsh punishment of the team without hard evidence. Sidenote: It boggles my mind that people can sit there and say “Hardy wasn’t convicted, he’s innocent” and turn around and definitively declare TB12 is a cheater…he wasn’t convicted and all evidence was only circumstantial. I’m not saying he is innocent but the hypocrisy is ridiculous.

          • BW210

            You’re one of the good ones then :) I agree with you – Goodell is all over the board on this type of stuff, and is a terrible commissioner. I think other fans are up in arms because they feel like Goodell screwing this up and overreaching let Brady get off without punishment, when it certainly looks like he was guilty. One or two games would have been more appropriate.

            Also, other fans get upset at Goodell’s previously seeming to favor the Pats and Brady (e.g., the SI story on how the NFL destroyed the taping evidence). I’m sure you have a different perspective as a Pats fan, but that’s how a lot of people feel. As a Steelers fan, it bothers me that there was no penalty or fine for the low hit that injured Roethlisberger – because I just think “what if James Harrison did that to Brady?” My guess is that there’s a different outcome.

          • Dunlo1941

            You are correct. If someone sneezes on Brady there is a flag. Ben gets a broken nose and guess what……..no flag. How about the clock at end of Pats Steeler game. It gained 15 seconds when TB needed it.

          • Cheryl Cannon

            It’s over…let it go.

          • Zachary Mills

            Let what go? I’m not holding on to anything.

          • Matt Eller

            Who cares about a couple psi of the ball but it seems to be a win by any means necessary mentality in NE. Please don’t forget about Spygate too. A much, MUCH more deliberate act of cheating by this organization.

          • Zachary Mills

            And you’re right, I completely missed the point. I’m so used to angry, blind Patriot hatred that I skimmed over his comment. My bad.

          • rdeanbro

            What makes anyone think they have stopped cheating. Look at the history! It’s in the blood!

          • rdeanbro

            What makes anyone think they have stopped cheating. Look at the history! It’s in the blood!

    • crosseyedlemon

      The master of game psychology was always Al Davis and the Patriots have simply created the same villain persona for their team that Davis first used to great effect with the Raiders.
      Al would say that you don’t actually have to be bending the rules to gain an advantage over your opponents you just have to create the illusion in their minds that you are doing that and everything will then fall into place.

  • SteelerFANN

    im glad heyward is getting some recognition

    • Kelly Martin

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  • MrFlannery

    Your grades are a joke.

    • Bona4Zona

      What’s a joke is a comment as spineless as this one ripping PFF which is totally backed up by stats. Maybe you could be a little more specific and expand on what or why their grades are a joke? Just a thought

  • crosseyedlemon

    Another thing we know after 5 weeks is that the ice is getting very thin for more than one head coach.

  • Joe

    Cam Heyward is a beast….nice to see him get some recognition.

    • Hutch

      CH and Tuitt on one defense. Fu(k. Get ready opposing offenses.

  • Thomas R. Huzella

    The man shows up for every play and powers through it. He may be playing a bit tired at times, but the guy opposite him is just as tired, if not more. O linemen always assume that a DE will take a play or two off every now and then and a lot of guys around the league do and have done since the beginning of the sport. It’s human nature. But not Ironhead’s (RIP) son. He is a man and a stud. An All Pro IMO!!

  • Vince Sansotta

    Heyward is playing great you also have to give some credit Stephen Tuitt. Forget about the duo of J J Watt & Clowney even if he ever plays. Heyward & Tuitt is why the Steelers defense is looking better.

    • Hutch

      I love the Tuitt. He is a beast.