The storylines for NFL Week 5 include Tom Brady‘s return to the grid iron, three unbeaten teams left and will Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. get over his temper tantrums?
Atlanta Hawks (3-1) at Denver Broncos (4-0)
This is the first time the Falcons have played in the Mile High City since 2004. It’s a matchup between the league’s No. 1 total offense (Atlanta) and No. 4 total defense (Denver). … Falcons QB Matt Ryan leads league with 1,473 yards passing and 126.3 passer rating after scorching Carolina for 503 yards last week. … WR Julio Jones leads league in yards receiving (488) after becoming only the sixth player in NFL history with 300 yards receiving in a game (12 for 300 vs. Panthers). … Denver defense should provide reality check for Falcons: LB Von Miller leads league in sacks (5 ½), elite CB Aqib Talib is coming off two-interception game vs. Tampa
Chicago Bears (1-3) at Indianapolis Colts (1-3)
Chicago has lost their starting QB to injury. But enter with a little bounce in their step, coming off strong outings by QB Brian Hoyer and rookie RB Jordan Howard in Week 4 win over DetroitThe Colts are dealing with a subpar performance so far from QB Andrew Luck. Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said during a radio interview this week that the team has had a difficult time improving its defense because of the $140 million contract they gave Luck during the offseason. Sounds like a locker room/management issue waiting to pop off.
With the loser of this match up falling to 1-4, this one almost can be viewed as an elimination game in terms of postseason hopes. The Colts are coming off of a London loss to previously winless Jacksonville.
New England Patriots (3-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-4)
Tom Brady is back you guys. Early this week he announced his return with a post for his newest black-on-black “TB12” hat. It’s a photo shop of the cover of Jay Z’s “Black Album”
Steelers have won five of last six in the series, a string of success that started with 24-19 victory in 2010 season’s AFC title game. … Jets aren’t going to beat anyone if QB Ryan Fitzpatrick continues his flood of INTs (9 in past two games). … Fitzpatrick (0-4) has never beaten Steelers. … Pittsburgh RB Le’Veon Bell had sterling season debut following 3-game suspension, with 144 yards rushing against Kansas City. But Jets should provide some resistance with league’s second-ranked run defense. … QB Ben Roethlisberger is tied for league lead in TD passes (11). … Steelers WR Sammie Coates has at least one reception of 40 yards-plus in every game this season.
Tennessee Titans (1-3) at Miami Dolphins (1-3)
Titans are among only 5 NFL teams that rank in the top 10 in both rushing offense (127.0 yards per game) and fewest sacks allowed (7). But, Titans are tied for last in points scored (62) with Chicago.
Newcomer RB DeMarco Murray is off to a good start with Titans, ranking 2nd in the NFL in yards per scrimmage (496). Rookie RB Derrick Henry, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner at Alabama, is only at 97 yards rushing at 2.6 yards per carry.
Houston Texans (3-1) at Minnesota Vikings (4-0)
Only the fourth meeting between the teams since Texans began as an expansion squad in 2002; Vikings won previous three. These two are the league’s elite defenses, with the No. 5-ranked Texans and No. 7-ranked Vikings. Vikings have allowed only 50 points, the second-lowest total in NFL and fewest for a Minnesota team through 4 games since 1988. Texans QB Brock Osweiler has thrown more INTs (6) than TD passes (5) so far. … Victory gives Texans second-best start in franchise history; 2012 team started 5-0.
Washington Redskins (2-2) at Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
Hometown match up. Only the second series meeting in Baltimore since Ravens came into existence in 1996 via the transplanted Cleveland Browns. Last week a late TD by Oakland stopped the Ravens from being a member of the unbeaten squads. Game features NFL’s top-ranked total defense (Baltimore) against 8th-ranked offense (Washington). … Washington’s Jordan Reed ranks first among NFL tight ends in catches (25); he scored twice last week vs. Browns. … Ravens RB Terrance West rushed for career-high 113 yards last week; he faces Washington’s 30th-ranked run defense.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) at Detroit Lions (1-3)
Rookie Carson Wentz is hoping to keep the party going as the Eagles are back in action following a Week 4 bye. The Lions defense have been wide open for pass coverage — opposing QBs have a league-best 120.2 passer rating against Detroit, with 12 TD passes and a 70.7 completion percentage. … A victory Sunday gives Eagles their best start since 2004 Super Bowl squad started 7-0. Lions QB Matthew Stafford tied career high with 5 TD passes in 45-14 win over Eagles last Nov. 26. … Detroit DE Kerry Hyder, a former rookie free agent who had played in only 1 regular-season game prior to this year, is second in the NFL in sacks (5) through Week 4. … Lions WR Marvin Jones ranks second in NFL receiving yards (482).
Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) at Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
Bengals are among only two NFL teams yet to allow a rushing TD this season (Detroit is the other). … But can they keep Ezekiel Elliott and the potent Dallas running game out of the end zone? Cowboys lead league with 8 rushing TDs; Elliott (John Burroughs) leads league with 412 yards rushing. … Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has thrown 131 passes without an INT, a rookie record at the start of a career. . . .Bengals QB Andy Dalton leads AFC with 1,234 yards passing. … WR A.J. Green is NFL’s only player with two 170-yard receiving games this season. … But Bengals rank last in red zone offense, scoring TDs on only 30.8 percent of possessions inside 20.