NFL Week 5 Lessons Learned: Panthers, 49ers, Bills, Eagles and More

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This just in….

The Carolina Panthers are much better than anyone expected them to be. The presence of Cam Newton has the entire team believing they have a shot every time out, and a few of these games are bound to go their way. At 1-4, it’s hard to say that the Panthers are off to a good start, but if you’re a Panthers fan you have to be pretty excited.

The San Francisco 49ers are much better than anyone gave them credit for too. Sure their division is awful but when you consider they’ve only played one division game so far, that means that they still have seven lightly scheduled NFC West games to go. As Tamer Chamma points out this morning in Point After: NFL Week 5, Jim Harbaugh is showing that he can coach and that his success at Stanford was a result of much more than just having Andrew Luck.

Buffalo Bills fans have to be downright giddy at this point. I’m not certain how far along into the season they have to go before fans around the league take them seriously, but I can tell you this, fans of the Chief, Raiders, Eagles and Patriots do.

Let’s just call it now. Either the Green Bay Packers or the Detroit Lions (who play tonight) will win the NFC North, and the other one will grab an NFC Wild Card spot. That leaves three other division winners and just one Wild Card spot open for the other 11 NFC teams.

The Philadelphia Eagles have one from a preseason “Dream Team” to a regular season “Nightmare”. If this keeps up it’s going to be odd to see a team with seven guys in the Pro Bowl. Having stars on the team is nice, but this is a team game and guys need to play defined roles. Where’s Vince Papale when you need him?

There are so many things wrong with the New York Jets so far this year and listing them all seems pointless. But for the Jets to close the gap to six points yesterday with 7:14 to play and proceed to let BenJarvus Green-Ellis (that’s like four names, shouldn’t the Patriots have to use more than one roster spot for him?) basically run the clock out is comical. Mr. multiple-names ran for a career-high 136 yards and two touchdowns against what’s supposed to be the strength of the Jets team. Rex Ryan should be embarrassed.

Last season the Atlanta Falcons went 13-3 and were everyone’s darlings. Coming into this season Matt Ryan was proclaimed the next Peyton Manning and the Falcons were picked by many as favorites to win the Super Bowl. Did anyone tell the 2-3 Falcons about any of this or were we just talking amongst ourselves?

I’ve watched the final play of the Oakland Raiders vs. Houston Texans about 15 times now. I’m not certain what I would have done if I were Matt Schaub in that spot, I didn’t like the play call and it didn’t look like he has an opportunity to run it in. To be honest, the play was defended perfectly. And although I don’t know for certain what I would have done, I can tell you that my list of options would not have included flipping the ball to Oakland’s Michael Huff though. Lost in all of this is Sebastian Janikowski three + 50-yard field goals. People laughed when Al Davis took a kicker with the Raiders 2000 first round pick, but how nice is it know that you only have to get to mid field to be in field goal range? Consider the fact that the Texans out-gained the Raiders by 200-yards on the day and you’ll see what I mean.  Kudos Al Davis. RIP.

The founder and former owner of MC3 Sports Media, Mike Cardano is the Sr. Business Administrator for RotoExperts and the Executive Director here at You may email Mike @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.