News & Analysis

NFL Week 5 Sunday Standouts: Offense

Oct 7, 2018; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) celebrates after a touchdown in the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders at StubHub Center. The Chargers defeated the Raiders 26-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 of the 2018 NFL season produced another slate of thrilling matchups, including three games that were decided by field goals as time expired. One play, one big-time throw or one strong run in an opportune, high leverage situation often makes the difference between a win and a loss in today’s NFL, so let’s highlight some of the players on the offensive side of the ball who stood out and made a difference in Week 5.

QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, 87.0 Overall Grade

Rodgers came into Sunday without an injury designation on the injury report for the first time since spraining his knee in Week 1, and he put on a show in a losing effort against the Detroit Lions. The Packers signal-caller did almost all of his damage from a clean pocket, as 30 of his 32 completions and 411 of his 442 yards came without pressure. Under pressure, Rodgers was 2-for-11 with a league-high five throwaways.

WR Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants, 90.7 Overall Grade

The Giants wideout generated buzz before Sunday’s game with his criticism of the Giants so far in 2018, but he let his play do the talking against the Carolina Panthers. Beckham pulled in eight of 13 targets for 131 yards and a touchdown on 35 receiving routes run. He also connected with the dynamic rookie Saquon Barkley on a trick play touchdown pass.

RB James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers, 86.1 Overall Grade

Le’Veon Bell continues his holdout, and Conner continues to fill in admirably with his best performance of the young season coming on Sunday. Conner was a hard man to bring down all game, forcing 12 missed tackles on 25 touches and averaging 4.19 rushing yards after contact per attempt. His receiving ability was on display again, as well. Conner turned four targets into 75 receiving yards with five of those 12 missed tackles forced coming on receptions.

WR Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings, 90.1 Overall Grade

Thielen continues to cement his name among the very best wide receivers in the NFL with the weekly displays he is putting on. His latest installment saw him bring in all seven of his catchable targets for 116 yards and a touchdown. It is interesting to note that he only ran 42.5% of his routes from the slot Sunday and had just two receptions for 16 yards from the inside. Before this week, Thielen led all wide receivers in slot targets and receptions.

G D.J. Fluker, Seattle Seahawks, 81.3 Overall Grade

It isn’t often that a member of the Seahawks’ offensive line is getting praise on a Monday, but Fluker is deserving of some with his performance against the Los Angeles Rams yesterday. Fluker had a tough test against Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh on the interior, and he rose to the challenge, especially in the run game. His run blocking grade of 81.5 ranked second among all guards this week. He also kept Russell Wilson clean, not allowing a hurry, hit or sack in 23 pass-blocking snaps.

 QB Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers, 90.2 Overall Grade

Rivers had a big day against the Oakland Raiders, and he was especially sharp when facing pressure. On eight pass attempts after being pressured, Rivers was 7-for-8 for 116 yards and a touchdown. His only incompletion was a throwaway which gave him a league-high adjusted completion percentage of 100.0% under pressure on Sunday

T Mike McGlinchey, San Francisco 49ers, 87.2 Overall Grade

McGlinchey’s run blocking has been very strong all season. It was again on Sunday, as his run blocking grade of 86.5 ranked fourth among offensive tackles this week. 49ers fans have to be excited about the step forward that he's taken in his pass-blocking performance, though. After allowing 11 pressures through the first four weeks, McGlinchey kept a clean sheet against the Arizona Cardinals with no pressures allowed on 59 pass-blocking snaps.

RB Isaiah Crowell, New York Jets, 90.5 Overall Grade

Crowell exploded for 219 rushing yards against the Denver Broncos’ defense, and he needed only 15 rushes to do it. His big day on the ground came via explosive runs, with 182 of his 219 rushing yards coming on rushes of 15 or more yards. Crowell also led all running backs in Week 5 in rushing yards after contact per attempt at 5.67 yards.

TE Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles, 82.4 Overall Grade

Ertz appears to be happy to have Carson Wentz back. Each of the last two weeks he has ten receptions on ten catchable targets. This Sunday, his 2.97 receiving yards per route run paced the position. As is common with tight ends in today’s NFL, Ertz did a good amount of his damage from the inside with five receptions for 72 yards coming when lined up in the slot.

WR Robby Anderson, New York Jets, 87.9 Overall Grade

Crowell wasn’t the only Jet to break big plays on Sunday. Anderson did what he does best against the Broncos – get behind the defense and catch the deep ball. He only ran 18 routes and received three targets on the day, but he made them count. Anderson caught all three of his targets, including two that were 20 or more yards downfield. Those two deep targets both went for touchdowns, totaling 111 yards combined.

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