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NFL Week 5 Recap — The Giants Lead the NFC East & Other Things We Learned

Larry Donnell
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A handful of overtime games and several close finishes highlighted the action in Week 5 of the 2015 NFL season. Here’s what we learned this week:

The Falcons & Bengals Needed Overtime to Remain Unbeaten
Falcons
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All of the NFL’s unbeaten teams who played on Sunday came away with wins, but Cincinnati and Atlanta each needed an extra session to stay unblemished for the 2015 season.

Robert Alford returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown in overtime, and the Falcons beat the Redskins, 25-19, on Sunday. Atlanta (5-0) won despite two interceptions and a fumble by quarterback Matt Ryan. Washington (2-3) dominated throughout the game, but they couldn’t hold on to get the win.

Quarterback Andy Dalton rallied the Bengals from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit and Cincy beat Seattle, 27-24, in overtime on Sunday. Dalton threw for two touchdowns, ran for another score and helped set up Mike Nugent’s game-tying field goal on the final play of regulation. Nugent’s 42-yard field goal off the left upright in OT gave Cincinnati a win over Seattle (2-3). It’s the Bengals’ first 5-0 start since 1988, the season of their last Super Bowl appearance.

The Patriots, Packers and Broncos also secured wins (see below), and the Panthers were on a bye week.

The Giants Lead The Mediocre NFC East
Larry Donnell
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Losses by the Cowboys and Redskins, plus a come—from-behind win by the Giants, left New York on top of the NFC East on Sunday.

Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass to Larry Donnell over two 49er defenders with 21 seconds to play, and the Giants beat San Francisco, 30-27, on Sunday night. The New York defense allowed the Niners to tie the game twice in the second half and then surge ahead on Carlos Hyde’s 2-yard run with 1:45 remaining. However, Manning marched New York (3-2) down the field before throwing an ill-advised pass into double-coverage that Donnell pulled down for the game-winning score against San Francisco (1-4).

Tom Brady threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for another as the Super Bowl champion Patriots routed the Cowboys, 30-6. New England (4-0) remained undefeated, even though Brady was sacked five times in the first half — the most since 2001. Dallas (2-3) lost its third consecutive game.

Coupled with Washington’s loss to Atlanta (recap above), the Giants finished the day alone in first place of the NFC East.

Aaron Rodgers Had a Bad Game at Lambeau Field, But It Didn’t Matter
Aaron Rodgers
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Aaron Rodgers had three turnovers, including his first two interceptions at home since 2012, but he also threw for 241 yards and two touchdowns as the Green Bay Packers beat the St. Louis Rams, 24-10, on Sunday.

Rodgers’ NFL-record streaks of 587 pass attempts and 49 touchdown passes at home without an interception ended in the first quarter when Rams’ linebacker James Laurinaitis picked off a pass.

None of Rodgers’ mistakes kept Green Bay (5-0) from thoroughly dominating St. Louis (2-3). The Pack defense victimized Rams’ quarterback Nick Foles for a career-high four interceptions, including two in the red zone in the fourth quarter.

The Broncos Still Own the Raiders
Von Miller, Broncos
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Chris Harris Jr. returned an interception 74 yards for a back-breaking touchdown in the fourth-quarter, and the Broncos beat the Raiders, 16-10, on Sunday. Denver (5-0) once again pulled out a late victory thanks to its defense and without help from quarterback Peyton Manning.

Manning was 22-of-35 for 266 yards, but he was sacked twice and he threw two interceptions to fellow future Hall-of-Famer Charles Woodson.

Derek Carr threw for 249 yards and one touchdown for Oakland (2-3), but his two turnovers led to a field goal and the game-deciding pick-six. The Broncos have now won eight straight against their AFC West rivals.

The Chiefs Lost the Game & Jamaal Charles
Jamaal Charles
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Jay Cutler drove the Bears to a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, and Chicago rallied to beat Kansas City, 18-17. Leading 17-3 early in the third quarter, the Chiefs lost running back Jamaal Charles to a potentially season-ending knee injury, and everything fell apart after that.

Chicago (2-3) captured its second straight win after three awful losses to start the season. Kansas City (1-4) saw its nightmare start extended as they fell four games behind the Broncos in the AFC West.

Other Scores

Sunday, Oct. 11
Arizona 42, Detroit 17
Philadelphia 39, New Orleans 17
Cleveland 33, Baltimore 30 (OT)
Tampa Bay 38, Jacksonville 31
Buffalo 14, Tennessee 13

Thursday, Oct. 8
Indianapolis 27, Houston 20

Bye Week: Miami, Minnesota, N.Y. Jets, Carolina

Full Scores
Full Standings

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