NFL Week 5 in review

The Arizona Cardinals are still the only unbeaten team, the Kansas City Chiefs are in a freefall and the Buffalo Bills, the Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore Ravens are on top of the AFC with 4-1 records.

That’s the surprising way the NFL looks after the fifth weekend of the season. Here’s a closer look at last weekend:

—Buffalo’s easy takedown of Kansas City may mean a passing of the torch in the AFC. Kansas City was looking for its third consecutive Super Bowl appearance but is now 2-3 and even Patrick Mahomes can’t seem to overcome the team’s defensive woes, although it didn’t help he threw two picks. Meanwhile, Buffalo is now 4-1, tied for best AFC record with the Chargers and Baltimore.

—The Chargers pulled off a 47-42 victory at Cleveland as Justin Herbert passed for four touchdowns and ran for a fifth. The Chargers are a gambling team, too. They went for it on fourth-and-2 at their own 24 early in the fourth period while trailing by two touchdowns and made it to start their comeback.

—Lamar Jackson had a career game, leading the Ravens to a come-from-behind victory over Indianapolis in overtime even though Carson Wentz threw for 400 yards in losing effort.

—The Raiders not only lost their second game in a row when they fell to the Bears, but they also lost their coach, Jon Gruden, after emails of him making inappropriate remarks were leaked. The Raiders are still in the hunt at 3-2 but it remains to be seen whether they can regroup.

—Tom Brady still shows no signs of aging as he threw for five touchdowns in the victory over Miami. The Dolphins now take a 1-4 record to London next week to face 0-5 Jacksonville, which lost to Tennessee. London has yet to host a game when both teams have winning records.

—Green Bay posted its fourth win in a row after their horrid opener by beating Cincinnati and is now one of five NFC teams with the inside track at a playoff berth. The other four are Cowboys, Bucs, Cardinals and Rams. The rest of teams may be fighting for two final spots.

—Six rookie quarterbacks started and two –Mac Jones and Justin Fields – won. Jones beat another rookie Davis Mills as the Patriots came back to beat Houston. Fields, who is now the Chicago starter, led the Bears to the victory against the Raiders. The other three Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance in his debut, all lost. Lawrence is 0-5 and Wilson 1-4.

Previewing NFL Week 5

The Sunday night Kansas City-Buffalo game won’t have the hype that last week’s return of Tom Brady to Foxboro had.

But it is a critical game for the Chiefs, who are trying to return to the Super Bowl for a third consecutive season.

A loss would drop them to 2-3 in a division with three 3-1 teams. Buffalo has a shot at a fourth consecutive win and a 4-1 record with a win. But a loss wouldn’t be as critical for the Bills since they are in a division with three 1-3 teams.

A look at the rest of the weekend:

—The Los Angeles Rams beat Seattle to go to 4-1 in the NFC West Thursday night while the Seattle loss not only dropped the Seahawks to 2-3, but cost them Russell Wilson, who suffered a sprained finger in the second half and didn’t return. Geno Smith did well replacing him, but he doesn’t have Wilson’s command of the team. It could also lead to Wilson wanting out at the end of the year. The Seahawks may be in a transition period.

—Arizona, the only unbeaten team in the league, takes on2-2 San Francisco but it won’t be a Fox doubleheader game. They are instead featuring Dallas and the Giants even though the Cowboys figure to win easily.

The Jets-Atlanta game will be played in London on Sunday morning and continues the trend that London has never had a game pitting two winning teams. Things won’t get much better next week when Jacksonville plays Miami. Since the games usually sell out, the league doesn’t feel a need to give London premier matchups.

—The Browns-Chargers matchup will pit two young quarterbacks – Baker Mayfield and Justin Herbert. Both teams are 3-1, but Herbert has been outplaying Mayfield.

—The Jacksonville Tennessee game is not a feature matchup but there is interest in the game because the winless Jaguars will be trying to overcome the distraction of the Urban Meyer video. A win would leave the Jaguars only a game behind the Titans in their division.

—The Pittsburgh Steelers are sticking with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback even though he appears to be struggling as they face the Denver Broncos, who are getting Teddy Bridgewater back.

—Justin Fields becomes the starter full time for Chicago as they face the Raiders. That mean all five rookie quarterbacks drafted with the first 15 picks will be starting along with third round pick Davis Mills in Houston.

—A veteran quarterback (Aaron Rodgers) and a young one (Joe Burrow) will duel when the Packers go to Cincinnati. The Bengals are attracting a sellout crowd but many may be Packer fans since they have a national following. Both teams are leading their division with 3-1 records but Cincinnati is in a three-way tie with Ravens and Browns.

—Baltimore attempts to break the record for most consecutive 100 yard rushing games when they –host Colts on Monday night. The Broncos were furious when the Ravens tied it last week by running a play with three seconds left instead of taking a knee. The record was set by the Steelers from 1974-77. Colts-Ravens games are always big in Baltimore since the Colts left in 1984 and still wear the horseshoes on their helmets.

NFL Week 4 in review

It rained on the Brady-Belichick parade.

The much-hyped first visit by Tom Brady to New England since he left the Patriots was played in a rainstorm and it seemed to be a metaphor for the game.

Brady wasn’t at the top of his game and a questionable coaching decision by Bill Belichick decided the game.

Instead of going for it on fourth-and-3, he had Nick Folk try a 56-yard field goal. Even if he made it, Brady would have had a minute left to come back for a game-winning field goal, but it hit the left upright and the Patriots lost.

Brady and Belichick met after the game although the conversation was obviously very private. Now they go their separate ways.

Belichick is 1-3 in the midst of a rebuild and Brady is 3-1 and trying to repeat. And the Patriots have now lost their first three home games for the first time since 1993. Times are changing in Foxboro.

Meanwhile, Brady now finds himself in a conference with the Cardinals and Cowboys. Returning to the Super Bowl will be no easy task.

—Arizona, which is the only undefeated NFC team after beating the Rams, and Dallas, which went to 3-1 after taking down a 3-0 Carolina team, appear to be the two best teams in the NFC. Kyler Murray of the Cardinals and Dak Prescott of the Cowboys have their teams on the right track and both have good rushing games.

—Baltimore boosted its record to 3-1 by rushing for 102 yards. It was the 43rd game they rushed for over 100 yards, tying the record set by Pittsburgh in 1974-77. But the way they did it upset the Broncos. With the game in hand, they ran a play to go over 100 instead of taking a knee. That kind of tainted the record.

—Ben Roethlisberger appears to be nearing the end. The Steelers fell to 1-3 with their third consecutive loss, a 27-17 defeat at the hands of Green Bay as Aaron Rodgers threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season. This could be his first.

—Two rookie quarterbacks, Justin Fields and Zach Wilson, posted their first victories to give the rookie QBs three wins this year. Mac Jones has the other one. Fields led the Bears to the win over the Lions after struggling in his debut a week ago. Wilson got his first win as the Jets upset the Titans. Still, Bears coach Matt Nagy said Andy Dalton will be the starter when he’s healthy.

—The two New York teams, after each started 0-3, both posted their first wins. While the Jets upset the Titans, the Giants beat the Saints. Both teams won in overtime.

—Jimmy Garoppolo got hurt again for the 49ers in their loss to their loss to the Seahawks as Russell Wilson became the fastest quarterback to get to 100 wins. Trey Lance struggled but with Garoppolo sidelined with a calf injury, Lance is likely to make his first start next week.

—The Buffalo Bills won their third consecutive game, crushing the hapless Houston Texans, 40-0, as rookie David Mills was ineffective in his second start. The Bills were expected to be contenders and they look like they are. During the Brady era, the Patriots rarely had to face a team as good as the Bills in their division.

Previewing NFL Week 4

The most hyped game of the week, the year and maybe the decade will be played Sunday night when the Bucs go to New England for the first game Tom Brady has played against the Patriots since he left last year.

Unfortunately, the game may not live up to the hype. The Pats are a touchdown underdog at home with a rookie, Mac Jones, at quarterback. And Bill Belichick has a losing overall record in the eight previous years he has been a head coach without Brady and made the playoffs just once.

Now a look at the rest of the weekend, including the real best game:

—The best game will feature a pair of unbeaten teams – the Cardinals at the Rams. Kyler Murray is 0-4 against the Rams, while the Rams will go with Matthew Stafford at quarterback. This is a late game on Fox, but Fox doesn’t have the doubleheader game so it won’t get a wide audience.

—The winner of the Rams-Cardinals game will go to 4-0 and three other 3-0 teams will be trying to go to 4-0. The Panthers play the 2-1 Cowboys and it will be no surprise if they suffer their first loss. The Raiders also have a tough task against the Chargers while Denver hosts Baltimore. If Panthers, Raiders and Broncos all lose, the Rams-Cardinals winner will be the only unbeaten team.

—The Jaguars became the first team to drop to 0-4 Thursday night even though they had a 14-0 lead and had the ball on the Bengals one in the final minute of the first half. Trevor Lawrence tried to run it in from the shotgun and was stopped inches short. The Bengals rallied to win 24-21 in the second half. The two New York teams – Giants and Jets – figure to fall to 0-4 against the Saints and Titans. The Lions and Colts play the Bears and Colts in division games.

—The struggling Steelers, who won their first 11 last year before collapsing now appear to be in rebuilding mode. Ben Roethlisberger is showing his age and doesn’t have a good line in front of them. They have a tough game against the Packers. Even Steeler fans understand they are rebuilding. There were 11,000 no-shows for the Cincinnati game. Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season in Pittsburgh. This could be the first.

—The 1-2 Seahawks are another struggling team and face a tough task against the 49ers, who suffered their first loss against the Packers last week because they were guilty of poor clock management. They let Aaron Rodgers have the ball with 37 seconds left.

—The Chiefs, off to a surprising 1-2 start, figure to get back on track against the Eagles, who had a mismatch against the Cowboys Monday night.

—The Bills figure to go to 3-1 when they face the Texans and rookie quarterback Miles Davis. Rookie quarterbacks are 1-11 this year.