New Orleans Saints: Jameis Winston, QB
The News Orleans Saints and seventh year quarterback Jameis Winston headed to the capitol on Sunday to face off the Washington Football Team. The Saints came out on top with a 33-22 victory despite two crucial turnovers from Winston.
The offensive line dealt with immense pressure the whole game from Washington’s brute defensive force off the snap. Winston concluded the game with four touchdowns and 279 yards while completing 15 of 30 pass attempts. He was forced to use his legs, gaining 26 yards on the ground while connecting with Alvin Kamara five times in short distance. The Saints are now tied for second in the NFC South, just one game behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Minnesota Vikings: Dalvin Cook, RB
Superstar RB Dalvin Cook was once again inactive against the Detroit Lions with a nagging right ankle sprain that’s been a problem since Week 2. He was a game-time decision after being a limited participant in practice on Thursday but has not yet made the strides necessary to gear up as the RB1. With Cook continuing to progress week by week, there’s plenty of optimism that he’ll be able to play in Week 6 against the Carolina Panthers.
Los Angeles Rams: Jalen Ramsey, CB
Jalen Ramsey and the Los Angeles Rams have now advanced to 4-1 after facing one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. They took down the Seattle Seahawks 26-17 on the road after holding them scoreless in two quarters.
The Rams were up against former All-Pro QB Russell Wilson and arguably the best receiving duo in the NFL with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. Wilson sustained a hand injury in the second half that brought in veteran QB Geno Smith into the lineup. Aaron Donald and the Rams front line were agonizing the Seahawks in the rush that lead to overthrown passes and deflected opportunities in the midfield. Ramsey was the culprit of a key deflection opportunity that lead to an interception by linebacker Troy Reeder. He finished the ball game with one pass defended and four total tackles.
Carolina Panthers: Brian Burns, DE
After a 3-0 start to the season, the Carolina Panthers have now lost their second straight game, giving up an early lead to the Philadelphia Eagles. Their defense stepped up yet again and held the Eagles to 4-13 on third down conversions and a forced fumble.
Brian Burns had one tackle for loss and two total tackles helping the Panthers gain 65% of the possession time. They’ll face the Vikings next week in what should be a test against such a strong offensive line and run game.
Los Angeles Chargers: Derwin James, SS / Asante Samuel Jr., CB
The game of the week and possibly one of the best games of the season goes to the Week 5 matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Cleveland Browns. Both teams combined for 89 points and 1,024 total yards while the Chargers moved on to 4-1 on the season with the 47-42 victory.
Derwin James put on an absolute clinic in the backfield having one of his best performances in a Chargers uniform. The fourth year safety closed the match with one forced fumble, one QB hit, one tackle for loss and 17 total tackles. His incredible production has helped the Chargers become one of the NFL’s most feared matchups as they look to be the lead contenders in the AFC.
Asante Samuel Jr. had a quiet performance on Sunday with just three solo tackles but he helped the secondary hold Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashard Higgins to just five receptions on 49 yards. Samuel Jr. has fit in perfectly with this Chargers unit and defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill has built a flawless game plan around these two studs.
Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Sweat, DE
The Philadelphia Eagles took on the then 3-1 Carolina Panthers who have recently been in an offensive slump; the Eagles took complete advantage. The Eagles picked off Sam Darnold three times in the matchup while holding star receiver DJ Moore to just 42 total yards.
Although the Eagles allowed 109 yards on the ground, none of the receivers tallied more than 42 yards and the defensive front seemed to read Darnold right off the snap. They forced their way through a weakened offensive line and ended the matchup with three sacks, five passes defended, six tackles for loss, eight QB hits and 78 total tackles. Defensive end Josh Sweat had his best outing of the season with one QB hit, one tackle for loss, one sack and four total tackles. Sweat has slowly been improving throughout the season as he looks to be the leader on this defense for years to come.