Atlanta (1-4; 1-4 ATS) at Arizona (1-3-1; 3-2 ATS)
Early line: Falcons (minus-1.5 points). Total: (52)
ATL 10TH OFF; AZ 29TH DEF
ATL 28TH RUN; AZ 28TH vs. RUN
ATL 3RD PASS; AZ 24TH vs. PASS
ATL 21ST PTS; AZ 28TH PTS ALLOWED
AZ 17TH OFF; ATL 23RD DEF
AZ 11TH RUN; ATL 20TH vs. RUN
AZ 19TH PASS; ATL 20TH vs. PASS
AZ 22ND PTS; ATL 31ST PTS ALLOWED
ATL T29TH TO/TA; AZ T19TH TO-TA
Cardinals lead all-time series 16-15-0, but Falcons have won last 3 games in series (5 of last 6), most recently thumping Cardinals 40-14 at Atlanta in Week 15 last season, outgaining Arizona 435-253 with a 215-60 edge in rushing yardage.
Texans QB Deshaun Watson shred FALCONS’ secondary to bits in 53-32 Week 5 road loss — the most points Atlanta has allowed since a 56-10 loss to Kansas City on Oct. 24, 2004.
FALCONS led by a point at halftime, but they allowed Watson to throw for 261 yards and three scores after that as Houston pulled away to send them to their third straight loss.
FALCONS defense was downright awful in Week 5 loss, allowing Texans 592 total yards to go with 10-of-13 3rd-down conversions. S Ricardo Allen said everyone on the defense needs to be better to turn things around. ''It's been inconsistent,'' he said of their play. ''It just wasn't good. It wasn't good at all.''
FALCONS offense that kept fighting back in Week 5 gained 373 total yards and converted 9-of-16 3rd downs, but ground game managed a mere 20-57 rushing (2.9 ypc).
FALCONS QB Matt Ryan had a respectable 32-46-330-3 TDs, but he finished on a bad note with a pick-6 with 24 seconds remaining in Week 5 loss.
FALCONS’ leading receivers in Week 5 loss were WR Calvin Ridley (5-88-1 receiving on 9 targets with a long of 29) and TE Austin Hooper (6-56 receiving on 9 targets with a long of 18. Falcons WR1 Julio Jones had only 3-42 receiving on 7 targets with a long of 20.
Check status of FALCONS OG Jamon Brown (DNP in Week 5; concussion), CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (DNP in Week 5; groin) and RB Kenjon Barner (DNP in Week 5; knee).
In FALCONS’Week 15 win over Cardinals last season, Ryan had 22-36-231-2 TDs-0 INTs (98.3 QB rating) and 3-18-1 rushing with a long of 15; RB Tevin Coleman (signed with Niners) had 11-145-1 rushing with a long of 65; Jones had 6-82-1 on 8 targets with a long of 22; DT Grady Jarrett had 2 sacks, a FF and team-high 7 tackles; and LB Deion Jones had an INT returned 41 yards for a TD, 2 PBs and 4 tackles.
CARDINALS should be in good mood after rookie QB Kyler Murray came through with flying colors in 26-23 Week 5 road win over Bengals — AZ’s first win under new head coach Kliff Klingsbury.
Murray, who threw for 253 yards and had 10-93-1 rushing, threw a perfect 24-yard pass right down the sideline and scrambled 24 yards to get CARDINALS in position for PK Zane Gonzalez’ game-winning 31-yard field goal on the final play of game.
Murray ran 6 yards for CARDINALS’ first touchdown and saved them after a late defensive collapse. After Bengals QB Andy Dalton threw a pair of TD passes that tied it 23-23 with 2 minutes to go, Murray took the game into his hands.
CARDINALS’ Murray had been sacked a league-high 20 times, but he was dropped only once in Week 5 as he threw the ball away under pressure.
CARDINALS’ offense had its best all-around game. RB2 Chase Edmonds put AZ up 23-9 with a 37-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter, as the Cardinals piled up a season-high 266 yards on the ground and 514 yards overall.
CARDINALS dual-threat RB1 David Johnson had 156 total yards from scrimmage (17-91 rushing and 3-65 receiving), and WR Larry Fitzgerald kept on contributing with 6-58 receiving on 8 targets in Week 5 win.
CARDINALS also took a chance early that set up the first win. Facing 4th-and-2 at the Cincinnati 6-yard line, Kingsbury chose to go for it and put the ball in Murray's hands for a run around left end that culminated in his dive into the end zone.
CARDINALS defense allowed Bengals 370 total yards and registered only one sack and zero takeaways.
CARDINALS won first game of season despite 12 penalties for 96 yards in losses.
Check status of CARDINALS S Charles Washington, who suffered a shoulder injury in Week 5; WR Christian Kirk (DNP in Week 5; ankle); CB Tramaine Brock (DNP in Week 5; back); LB Dennis Gardeck (DNP in Week 5; ankle), DE Zach Allen (DNP in Week 5; neck) and OT Jordan Mills ((DNP in Week 5; undisclosed).
In CARDINALS’Week 15 loss to Falcons last season, QB Josh Rosen (signed with Dolphins) had 13-22-132-0 TDs-2 INTs (38.4 QB rating), 2-8 rushing with a long of 9 and a lost fumble; Johnson had 11-33-1 rushing with a long of 10 and 3-68 receiving on 6 targets with a long of 40; and Fitzgerald had 7-82 receiving on 8 targets with a long of 26.
Washington (0-5; 1-4 ATS) at Miami (0-4; 0-4 ATS)
Early line: Redskins (minus-3.5 points). Total: (41)
WAS 28TH OFF; MIA 32ND DEF
WAS 27TH RUN; MIA 32ND vs. RUN
WAS 26TH PASS; MIA 31ST vs. PASS
WAS 30TH PTS; MIA 32ND PTS ALLOWED
MIA 31ST OFF; WAS 28TH DEF
MIA 32ND RUN; WAS 29TH vs. RUN
MIA 31ST PASS; WAS 23RD vs. PASS
MIA 32ND PTS; WAS 30TH PTS ALLOWED
WAS T24TH TO/TA; MIA 32ND TO-TA
Dolphins lead all-time series 9-5-0 and have won three of the last 4 games in series, including 17-10 win at Washington in most recent game Sept. 13, 2015. Miami, the league’s only winless team both straight-up and ATS entering Week 6, probably has its best chance to win a game in a home date this season against a winless Washington team that has also struggled mightily on both sides of ball so far this season.
WASHINGTON not surprisingly fired head coach Jay Gruden after 33-7 Week 5 home shellacking by Patriots moved Washington’s record to 0-5. Offensive line coach Bill Callahan will take over on an interim basis.
It remains to be seen at this writing whom will be under center this Sunday for WASHINGTON after Colt McCoy shot mostly blanks in Week 5 loss with Case Keenum inactive with a foot sprain (check status), and first-round rookie Dwayne Haskins Jr. widely considered still too raw to start.
Playing for the first time since breaking his leg vs. Philadelphia last December, McCoy went 18-for-27 for 119 yards and an INT (60.6 QB rating) and was sacked 6 times in Week 5 loss, as WASHINGTON had only 220 yards in offense and 1-of-11 third-down conversions.
McCoy is now 1-6 as a starter with WASHINGTON.
WASHINGTON actually took early lead against defending Super Bowl champion Patriots when WR Steven Sims Jr. scored on a 65-yard end around, but the Patriots led 12-7 at halftime and tacked on two touchdowns in the third quarter.
WASHINGTON defense that allowed Patriots 442 total yards registered four sacks but only one takeaway — an INT by FS Montae Nicholson, who also had 7 tackles.
WASHINGTON DT Jonathan Allen had a sack and 5 tackles, and DT Matt Ioannidis had a half-sack, 3 hurries and 5 tackles in Week 5 loss.
In addition to Keenum, check status of WASHINGTON CB Quinton Dunbar, who suffered a stinger in 4th quarter in Week 5;TEs Jordan Reed, who remains out with concussion but apparently isn’t being considered for IR, and Vernon Davis (DNP in Week 5; concussion); OG Brandon Scherff (DNP in Week 5; ankle) and LB Josh Harvey-Clemons (DNP in Week 5; hamstring).
DOLPHINS’ Week 5 bye week provided a chance to assess a historically bad start. They're 0-4 and have been outscored 163-26, the worst 4-game point differential in NFL history (minus-137). They have been outscored 81-0 in the second half — a sign of poor second-half adjustments and an inability by Dolphins' players to continue early success.
DOLPHINS have 7 consecutive losses dating back to Dec. 9, 2018 — the date of the “Miami Miracle” win against the Patriots.
For one half, there were glimpses of hope for the DOLPHINS in their last game, a 30-10 Week 4 home loss to the Chargers. QB Josh Rosen looked sharp, RB Kenyan Drake popped off some nice gains and the run defense, which allowed over 230 yards in 2 of first 3 games, allowed the Chargers only 79 yards on 33 rushes (2.4 ypc).
But in the second half, the DOLPHINS reared their ugly head, leading to their fourth consecutive loss of 20 points or more.
DOLPHINS accomplished their first lead of the season in the first quarter of Week 4 game thanks to a near-perfect Rosen drive in which he went 4-of-4 for 75 yards and had a 34-yard TD to WR DeVante Parker. But that lead lasted just 3:47 of game action.
Rosen continues to provide some offensive hope. DOLPHINS’ 2nd-year QB had the best half of his NFL career in Week 4, going 12-of-16 for 169 yards, one TD, no turnovers and a 126.8 QB rating before halftime. At least 2 drops, including a brutal one from RB Kalen Ballage on a play that could have been a TD, prevented it from being even better.
Another former first-round pick that has provided a bright note for DOLPHINS on other side of ball is DE Taco Charlton, who was claimed on waivers from Cowboys after his September release.
Charlton wasn't even active for Cowboys' first 2 games this season, but he has a sack in each of his first 2 games for DOLPHINS. In Week 4 loss to Chargers, he also had 6 tackles, one TFL and 2 QB hits. He immediately looks like Miami’s best edge defender and could end up being a long-term contributor for a team in desperate need of pass-rushers.
Drake is the DOLPHINS’ leading rusher (31-113-0 TDs-3.6 ypc-long of 10) and ranks 2nd in receptions (13-107 with a long of 19) behind WR Preston Williams (15-201-1 with a long of 25).
DOLPHINS have an average TOP of 23:43, compared to 36:17 by opponents. They are on pace to throw 28 INTs and allow 72 sacks for 368 yards in losses.
Pittsburgh (1-4; 3-2 ATS) at L.A. Chargers (2-3; 1-3-1 ATS) (Sunday night)
Early line: Chargers (minus-6.5 points). Total: (41.5)
PIT 29TH OFF; LAC 11TH DEF
PIT 29TH RUN; LAC 18TH vs. RUN
PIT 25TH PASS; LAC 8TH vs. PASS
PIT 22ND PTS; LAC 9TH PTS ALLOWED
LAC 13TH OFF; PIT T16TH DEF
LAC 24TH RUN; PIT 21ST vs. RUN
LAC 5TH PASS; PIT 12TH vs. PASS
LAC 19TH PTS; PIT 15TH PTS ALLOWED
PIT 5TH TO/TA; LAC 21ST TO-TA
Steelers lead all-time series 23-10-0, but Chargers have won 2 of last 3 games in series, including 33-30 win at Pittsburgh in Week 13 last season on PK Michael Badgley’s 29-yard FG with no time remaining (Chargers outgained Steelers 371-336)
STEELERS fell just short in valiant comeback effort at home in Week 5 behind 3rd-string QB Devlin Hodges after WR JuJu Smith-Schuster’s OT fumble allowed division-rival Ravens to escape with a 26-23 OT win that dropped Pittsburgh to 1-4.
STEELERS’ losing outcome could have been much worse, considering how grave things looked for QB Mason Rudolph after he was knocked out cold in 3rd quarter and replaced by Hodges. But while he remains in concussion protocol, the outlook for Rudolph’s recovery looks a lot more promising than his team’s uncertain prognosis moving forward (check status).
Save for a Week 1 blowout in NE, STEELERS have been competitive regardless of who is at QB regardless of their pedigree. Their past 3 losses are by a combined 9 points, and in two of them they led deep into 4th quarter. Yet they were unable to close out San Francisco and Baltimore, done in by a series of self-inflicted mistakes.
It’s not that STEELERS haven’t been good. They just haven’t been quite good enough, even after the defense responded to head coach Mike Tomlin’s decision to kick off in overtime vs. Ravens rather than take the ball.
Baltimore went nowhere and punted, just as Tomlin planned. It was a massive vote of confidence for a STEELERS defensive unit that began the year as a major question mark. The time, however, for moral victories has come and gone.
Under Rudolph and then Hodges with QB Ben Roethlisberger on sidelines with season-ending elbow injury, STEELERS offense managed just 269 yards of total offense, including only 19-77 on ground.
STEELERS have gone over 100 yards rushing just once in past 12 games dating back to last season. Pittsburgh is 4-8 over that span.
Before exiting with very scary head injury, Rudolph had 13-20-131-1 TD-0 INTs (100.2 QB rating). In relief of Rudolph, Hodges twice led STEELERS on go-ahead scoring drives, completing 7-of-9 passes for 68 yards and also adding a 21-yard scramble.
STEELERS RB James Conner had 14-55-1 rushing with a long of 12, and Smith-Schuster had 7-75-1 receiving on 7 targets with a long of 35 (TD) in Week 5 loss.
STEELERS defense limited high-powered Ravens to only 277 total yards, sacked QB Lamar Jackson five times and created 3 more takeaways, exactly the kind of splash plays the Steelers focused on during the offseason. Pittsburgh has created 12 turnovers in five weeks, just three fewer than it created all of last year.
Check status of STEELERS WR James Washington, whose left arm was in a sling Monday;LB Anthony Chickillo (DNP in Week 5; foot) and FB Roosevelt Nix (DNP in Week 5; knee).
In STEELERS’Week 13 loss to Chargers last season, Roethlisberger (out for year) had 29-45-281-2 TDs-1 INT (87.4 QB rating); Conner had 15-60-2 rushing with a long of 20 and 3-14 receiving on 4 targets with a long of 10; WR Antonio Brown (currently out of football) had 10-154-1 receiving on 13 targets with a long of 46; and SS Terrell Edmunds had a sack, a PB and 7 tackles.
Head coach Anthony Lynn was still seething a day after CHARGERS played the worst game of his three-year tenure to fall back under .500 following ugly Week Five 20-13 home loss to previously winless division-rival Broncos.
CHARGERS’ loss to Broncos resembled a bad flashback to the Mike McCoy era of 2013-16, when giving up big plays on defense, turnovers and an offense that couldn't find the end zone were the norm.
The one area CHARGERS need to fix immediately is eliminating turnovers in the red zone. The Chargers have 5 this season, including 2 vs. Broncos.
CHARGERS RB Austin Ekeler was stopped at the 1 and fumbled out of the end zone on the final play of the first half, and QB Philip Rivers threw an INT in the end zone after LB Kyzir White intercepted Joe Flacco and returned it to the Denver 5.
CHARGERS’ Week 5 loss ended a 55-game streak where Rivers directed a TD drive and was only the ninth time in 224 regular and postseason starts that the offense did not reach the end zone. Offense gained 246 total yards and converted just 4-of-13 3rd downs.
CHARGERS’ Ekeler continues to be one of Rivers most reliable targets. His 15 receptions (on 16 targets) set a franchise record for catches by a running back and are tied for the second most in the league since 1948.
CHARGERS’ Ekeler leads the AFC with 39 receptions, marking the first time a RB has led the conference in catches through five weeks since Indianapolis' Anthony Johnson in 1991. It is also the most RB catches through five games since San Francisco's Paul Hofer had 41 in 1980.
Coming off a 64-day contract holdout, CHARGERS RB Melvin Gordon had 32 snaps out of the 70 plays run by LA offense in Week 5 and had 38 scrimmage yards (31 rushing, 7 receiving).
The run defense allowed second 100-yard rusher this season as Denver's Phillip Lindsay carved up CHARGERS for 114 yards on 15 carries. The Chargers had allowed only 3.2 ypc over the previous three games before Denver had 191 yards and averaged 6.0 ypc.
CHARGERS S Rayshawn Jenkins continues to be a liability because of his struggles in tackling. He had two missed tackles against the Broncos, including one where Broncos WR Courtland Sutton slipped out of his grasp after a 25-yard reception and went 45 yards up the left sideline to give Denver a 14-0 lead.
CHARGERS special teams continue to provide big plays. In Week 5 it was the PR unit when Desmond King had a 68-yard return for a TD during the third quarter to put LA on the scoreboard. The third-year cornerback is the eighth player in franchise history to run multiple punts for scores during his career.
C Mike Pouncey is the latest to join CHARGERS’ lengthy injured list after he suffered a neck injury during the first half in Week 5 and did not return. If Pouncey is out, that’s another huge blow to an O-line that is already struggling without veteran OLT Russell Okung, who is on the non-football injury list because of blood clots (check status).
Also check status of CHARGERS’ Badgley, who remains out with groin injury; RB Justin Jackson, who sat out Week 5 with calf injury; TE Hunter Henry, who remains out but was running sprints with a brace on his injured left knee in late-week practices; and S Nasir Adderley, who sat out Week 5 with hamstring injury.
In CHARGERS’Week 13 win over Steelers last season, Rivers had 26-36-299-2 TDs-0 INTs (115.4 QB rating); WR Keenan Allen had 14-148-1 on 19 targets with a long of 21; Jackson had 8-63-1 rushing with a long of 18; Ekeler had 13-21 rushing with a long of 7 and 5-22 receiving on 8 targets with a long of 8; and S Derwin James (out for year) had an INT, 3 PBs and 3 tackles.