Week 5 is now behind us and for the first time this season, a team has taken sole possession of first place in the AFC North. Two teams from the division won this week while the other two suffered heartbreaking losses.
Baltimore Ravens (4-1)
The Ravens, led by MVP candidate Lamar Jackson at quarterback, mounted a comeback for the ages to defeat the Indianapolis Colts in overtime on Monday Night Football. Baltimore improved to 4-1 for the season and took control of first place in the division.
Jackson put himself directly in the middle of the MVP conversation with a historic performance against Indianapolis. After a shaky first half which netted only three points for the Ravens, Jackson took control of the game with his arm in the second half, putting on a clinic through the air to the tune of 442 passing yards and four touchdowns while completing 37 of 43 passes (86.0%).
He also added another 62 yards on the ground, making it a total of 504 yards for Jackson on the night. Jackson earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance — the eighth of his career.
Jackson was not the lone star, however, as both tight end Mark Andrews and wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown shined in the second half. Andrews was seemingly uncoverable as he caught 11 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns as well as both two-point conversions. Brown continued his electric start to the season with nine catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
Cleveland Browns (3-2)
The Browns were on the wrong end of yet another heartbreaker, this time to the Los Angeles Chargers in a high-scoring game that went down to the wire with Cleveland losing 47-42.
Neither offense could be stopped in this game, as both teams went blow for blow up and down the field throughout regulation. The Browns’ rushing attack was once again the dominant driving force for the offense as Nick Chubb rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries while Kareem Hunt rushed for 61 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. Mayfield was efficient through the air for much of the day, throwing for 305 yards and two touchdowns while completing 23 of 32 passing attempts.
Cleveland’s defense was unable to contain quarterback Justin Herbert, however, as the emerging star through for 398 yards four touchdowns while completing 26 of 43 passing attempts.
Cincinnati Bengals (3-2)
The Bengals also suffered a heartbreaker on Sunday, this time to the Green Bay Packers in a 25-22 overtime loss.
This game was plagued by missed kicks, as the two teams combined for a total of five missed field goals. After missing three straight field goals, Packers’ kicker Mason Crosby made the game-winning kick in overtime to escape with a victory.
Quarterback Joe Burrow completed 26-of-38 passing attempts for 281 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase continues to make big plays. Chase finished the day with six catches for 159 yards and a touchdown. Chase is not only an early favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year, the LSU receiver is already supplanting himself as one of the league’s best at his position.
Players in NFL history age 21 or younger with at least 400 rec yds and 5 rec TD in their first 5 games of a season:— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) October 10, 2021
Ja'Marr Chase pic.twitter.com/dU319ugSCk
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3)
The Steelers snapped their three-game losing streak on Sunday with a 27-19 win over the Denver Broncos.
Pittsburgh’s offense started strong with a 50-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to wide receiver Diontae Johnson on the game’s opening drive. Roethlisberger finished the day with 253 passing yards and two touchdowns while completing 15 of 25 passing attempts. Rookie running back Najee Harris once again eclipsed 100 yards on the ground, this time racking up 122 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries while also catching two passes for 20 yards.
Pittsburgh received bad news following the game, as it was reported that wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster would miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.