No change in the status quo following week 5 of the 2015 NFL season, with the same six undefeated teams remaining with 0 losses: The New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers weren’t in action, having themselves a nice little bye week. But the others were all playing, with most of the teams (except for the Patriots) having to sweat and go through a difficult trial in order to earn their stripes.
The Patriots beat up the Dallas Cowboys 30-6 in Arlington. Considering that Brandon Weeden is the quarterback, it’s not surprising to see the Cowboys struggle so much to get the ball down the field, with an offense that seems paralyzed most of the time. With Greg Hardy finally back on the field, they did do a good job of getting to Tom Brady, but couldn’t rattle him, as the Patriots patiently carved the exhausted defense in front of them en route to a comfortable win.
The Green Bay Packers didn’t have the easiest start as well. Aaron Rodgers, not intercepted in a home game since 2012, threw a couple of picks, but luckily for him Nick Foles was awful, intercepted four times during the game, destroying any chance for the St. Louis Rams to take advantage of rare Rodgers mistakes. Quinten Rollins returned one of those picks for a touchdown. Rodgers did throw a couple of TDs, including a big one in the fourth to make it a two-possession game and the defense did the rest, leading to a 24-10 win and a 5-0 record.
A similar story can be told of the Denver Broncos, also 5-0 following their win against the Oakland Raiders. Peyton Manning continues to look bad, intercepted twice by Charles Woodson, who got the memento he was after and even a bonus one. However, the Raiders missed two field goals and couldn’t get anything going for them in the second half against a defense that keeps winning games for Denver.
On to the Atlanta Falcons, who found themselves in big trouble during their home game against the Washington Redskins. Matt Ryan struggles when Julio Jones isn’t 100%, and he finished the game without a touchdown pass and two interceptions, but Devonta Freeman with another touchdown (no triplet this time) and Julio Jones off of a fumble recovery did the job. The game went to overtime, where Kirk Cousins, the man and the interception machine, threw a bad pass into the hands of Robert Alford, returning it 59 yards for the win (25-19).
Last but not least in probably the best game of the day were the Cincinnati Bengals, who made the Super Bowl on the last time they started 5-0. This was special because it was against the Seattle Seahawks, and it came with an impressive comeback. The Bengals were down by 17 points in the fourth quarter (24-7) but good returns from Adam Jones and awful offense/defense by the Seahawks allowed Andy Dalton, via Giovanni Bernard, A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert to make the comeback, including running for one touchdown on his own. Mike Nugent nailed the field goal that sent the game into overtime, and also the game winner at 27-24.