Best one-on-one matchups in every NFL Week 5 game
The fifth week of the 2016 NFL season is already underway, with the Cardinals’ win over the 49ers on Thursday. As the action continues, be sure to watch these key one-on-one matchups in every remaining NFL game.
Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings
After quieting the Giants’ passing offense on Monday night, Terence Newman and the Vikings’ secondary will look to do the same against the talented WR duo of DeAndre Hopkins and rookie Will Fuller on Sunday. Through four weeks, Texans QB Brock Osweiler is tied for the most deep passing attempts this season (23), with a league-high 14 going in the direction of Fuller.
Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts
A key storyline in the Bears’ Week 5 meeting with the Colts will be the return of linebacker Jerrell Freeman to Indianapolis. After four years with the Colts, Freeman was signed as a free agent by the Bears this offseason following his best season to date (89.3 overall grade in 2015).
New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers
While much of the attention will be on the offensive skill players in this game, a key battle to watch will occur in the trenches. Through four weeks, Steelers 3-4 DE Cameron Heyward has recorded 14 total QB pressures (three sacks, 11 hurries), along with a position-high three batted passes. It will largely be up to James Carpenter to slow Heyward, having recorded the 10th-best pass-blocking efficiency among guards through four weeks.
Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins
In PFF’s first in-season offensive line rankings of the year, Tennessee rose to the top of the list, in large part due to the play of their OTs. While LT Taylor Lewan owns the highest grade among offensive tackles this season, rookie Jack Conklin is close behind at No. 4, surrendering just six total QB pressures this season.
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions
Coming out of their bye week, Carson Wentz and the Eagles aim to stay perfect on the season with a win over the Lions. The rookie QB will certainly be tested when throwing into cornerback Darius Slay’s coverage, however; Slay has surrendered just 0.99 yards per coverage snap this season.
New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns
Tom Brady returns to the field on Sunday having served his four-game suspension, and his favorite WR target will hope to regain the form that saw him earn an 84.5 overall grade last season. This year, Julian Edelman is yet to haul in a touchdown reception, a feat he and Brady accomplished seven times in 2015.
Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens
Between the 2006 and 2014 NFL seasons, Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs earned just one overall season grade below 80.6 (only three below 85.9, in fact). After returning from injury this year, Suggs has yet to catch onto his old pace. He does, however, have 11 total QB pressures to his name, with three sacks.
Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos
After a monstrous outing against the Panthers last week, Julio Jones is now the highest-graded NFL WR entering Week 5. Hoping to slow Jones down, however, is Broncos CB Aqib Talib, who earned a 92.6 grade himself last week against the Buccaneers.
Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys
In a much-anticipated matchup of strength vs. strength, Bengals DT Geno Atkins will battle for pressure against Cowboys G Zack Martin on Sunday. Atkins has pressured opposing QBs 15 times this season, fourth-most among DTs, while Martin has surrendered just two pressures on the year.
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders
After posting an 87.1 grade in the Raiders’ Week 4 win over the Ravens, Michael Crabtree will aim to continue his hot connection with Derek Carr. With Jason Verrett out, Crabtree will likely see a lot of Chargers CB Casey Hayward, who has become far more than just a solid slot corner this season after been signed from Green Bay.
Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams
The best player in the game this season through four weeks of play, Rams DT Aaron Donald, will face off against Bills G Richie Incognito on Sunday. Donald owns the top pass-rushing productivity mark among interior defenders, with a league-high 26 QB pressures to his name this season (two sacks, 10 hits, 14 hurries). Incognito surprised many last season by recording a 90.0 overall grade, but has struggled to reach those same heights thus far in 2016.
New York Giants at Green Bay Packers
Along the Giants’ much-improved offensive line this season, LG Justin Pugh stands out among the rest. Pugh has yet to allow his QB to hit the ground, surrendering only three QB hurries this season with no sacks or hits to his credit. That could change on Sunday, as Pugh will often face Packers 3-4 DE Mike Daniels, who owns a position-best pass-rushing productivity mark this season, as well as 10 total QB pressures.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
Yet another battle in the trenches to watch in Week 5, Trai Turner hopes to regain his 2015 season form that saw him earn an 88.1 overall grade. Gerald McCoy will be looking for his third sack of the year, however, currently owning the 10th-best pass-rushing productivity mark among NFL defensive tackles.