Week five of the NFL season began last Thursday, Oct. 8 and ended on Tuesday, Oct. 13, an unusually long week as the league continues to make adjustments due to the spread of COVID-19 within teams. Some former NC State players played well, while others had a week to forget.
Russell Wilson, quarterback, Seattle Seahawks
Down 26-21 with 20 seconds left in the game, Wilson threw a touchdown pass on fourth down to receiver DK Metcalf, who made a great diving catch, which gave the Seattle Seahawks the lead and lifted them to a 27-26 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Wilson finished the game with 217 passing yards, three touchdowns and five carries for 58 yards. The Seahawks are now 5-0 for the first time in franchise history.
With the Vikings up 13-0 at halftime, Wilson orchestrated three consecutive touchdown drives in a span of less than two minutes in the third quarter for the Seahawks, giving them a 21-13 lead. The Vikings scored a touchdown late in the third and midway through the fourth to take a 26-21 lead before Wilson’s heroic game-winning drive.
This latest act of heroism by Wilson pads on to what has already been an MVP-caliber season for the former NC State quarterback and Super Bowl winner. He leads the league in touchdown passes by a wide margin with 19 on the season.
Juston Burris, safety, Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers defeated the Atlanta Falcons 23-16 on Sunday, and Burris made what was probably the biggest defensive play of the game. With the Panthers up 20-13 in the fourth quarter and the Falcons offense driving down the field, threatening to tie the score, Burris intercepted a pass thrown by Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in the endzone to end the scoring threat and give the Panthers the ball back.
The ensuing Panthers possession ran off 7:39 of game time, culminating in a field goal to give the Panthers a 10-point cushion with just over a minute left. The Falcons didn’t have enough time in the end, and the Panthers improved to a record of 3-2 thanks in large part to the clutch play of Burris.
Philip Rivers, quarterback, Indianapolis Colts
After winning three straight games, the Indianapolis Colts fell 32-23 on the road against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, dropping to 3-2 on the season. Rivers put forth a rather underwhelming performance, throwing for 243 yards and two interceptions, one of which was returned to the house for a pick six. He also got called for intentional grounding in his own endzone, resulting in a costly safety, and mustered a quarterback rating of just 42.3.
Rivers has now thrown five interceptions, tied for fourth-most interceptions in the league, and his quarterback rating of 59.4 ranks No. 22 in the league, although his 70.8% completion percentage is good for sixth in the league. Next week, the Colts return home to host the Cincinnati Bengals.
Josh Jones, safety, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars dropped to 1-4 after falling to the Houston Texans on Sunday, and it was not the best day for Jones, who was ejected from the game following a helmet-to-helmet hit on Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks. The play came with 13:07 left in the third quarter when Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson threw a 23-yard pass to Cooks and Jones lowered his helmet to make the tackle. The hit was deemed illegal and Jones was subsequently tossed from the game. Prior to his ejection, Jones had tallied two tackles.
Stephen Haushcka, kicker, Jacksonville Jaguars
Hauschka missed two field goals on Sunday against the Texans, leading to his release from the Jaguars after just one game with the team. His misses came from 24 and 49 yards on consecutive possessions in a span of less than a minute of game time.
Nyheim Hines, running back, Indianapolis Colts
Hines had three carries for 8 yards and two receptions for 22 yards on Sunday against the Browns. His five touches and 30 total yards from scrimmage are his lowest such totals of the season thus far besides the Colts’ week two game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Germaine Pratt, linebacker, Cincinnati Bengals
Pratt tallied six total tackles on Sunday as the Cincinnati Bengals fell 27-3 to the Baltimore Ravens. Pratt’s six tackles were tied for third most among Bengals defensemen against the Ravens on Sunday and are tied for the second-most he has had in a game this season, bringing his total number of tackles on the year up to 30.
AJ Cole, punter, Las Vegas Raiders
The Las Vegas Raiders got what was arguably the biggest win of the day in the NFL with a 40-32 road victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Luckily for them, they did not have to punt the ball very much with Cole, who punted twice with an average of 53 yards per punt and one punt that landed the ball inside the 20-yard line. The Raiders punt the ball the second-least number of times per game of any team in the NFL.