The Seattle Seahawks do not play this week, but that doesn’t mean it’s a boring NFL Sunday by any stretch.
In fact, these are some surprisingly big games early in the season while the Seahawks get some much needed rest.
Who remembers the playoff leverage chart??
NFL Week 5 Playoff Probability Leverage pic.twitter.com/9TaD7OCpCP— SumerSports (@SumerSports) October 5, 2023
Notice first of all the Seahawks, at 3-1, with 52% odds to make the playoffs. The two teams on either extreme can’t really move the needle, but the Los Angeles Rams have one of the biggest swings possible in Week 5. However, we’re not just looking for odds here, we’re looking for information. And there’s a lot to learn.
We’ll start from the bottom and work our way up.
The Arizona Cardinals play the Cincinnati Bengals in just the greatest scouting report matchup one could imagine. The Cardinals have come out losing most their games but somehow looking more competitive than we (I, at least) thought they would. The Bengals, Super Bowl contenders for a while now, have looked like a pile of dog doodoo.
Let’s assume Cincinnati can win this one, but Joe Burrow has two TDs in four games and it’s still a great mystery if he’s doing himself or the team any favors by trying to play through his calf injury. The Arizona offense actually looked competent at times against the top San Francisco 49ers defense, so I still think this will be interesting.
Seattle gets Cincinnati for their next game, and Arizona twice still. With both teams at 1-3 we may get a clear picture of which of them is the real fraud.
The Los Angeles Rams play the Philadelphia Eagles, and will likely get smooshed into oblivion, but they are at home (like that matters) and do get Cooper Kupp back. This is merely to say that they also haven’t sucked as much as we (I, at least) thought they would - and if they pull off an upset it gives Philly a loss right alongside the Seahawks.
It also stands to reason that if Cooper Kupp is still him, and Puka Nacua has yet another big game, this suddenly becomes a two-man wrecking crew to pay attention to. The Eagles are 4-0 but have essentially just beaten bad teams. Again, quite a lot to learn.
Half of the top-10 highest graded DL in the NFC are 49ers or Cowboys pic.twitter.com/MbSblDmt19— PFF (@PFF) October 7, 2023
The Cowboys have been far less consistent already than the 49ers, but hopefully they can get Brock Purdy to turn one of these cakewalk turnovers into an actual turnover.
I'm simply asking any NFL defense to intercept the passes Brock Purdy throws to them.— Hustle Chillson (@HustleChillson) September 22, 2023
A Niners win gives an NFC rival two losses, but a Dallas win puts Seattle neck-and-neck with their divisional foe.
I’m not convinced if these two played 10 times that Dak Prescott would be good enough to win more than three games, but they only count the one that actually gets played. Anything can happen.
Geno Smith and company with quite a lot to pay attention to in Week 5.