We are five weeks into the 2018 NFL season and there have been numerous high scoring games. Multiple big-timers showed out and balled when their team needed them the most.
Here are my top five performances of Week 5. Remember, as the great Deion Sanders would say, “You gots to win to get in.”
Tadi Abedje’s Top NFL Week Five Performances
Tom Brady (QB) – New England Patriots
Week Five stats: 34/44 passing, 341 yards, four total touchdowns, two interceptions
It was a milestone night for the great Tom Brady on Thursday night versus the Colts. First of all, he got his favorite buddy Julian Edelman back after his four game axe and 2017 absence. With that, Brady picked apart the Colts no name defense and found his friend on a couple of short option routes. He threw for over 300 yards for the 83rd time in his illustrious career. On the Pats first drive, Brady went 9/9 for 78 yards that ended in a one yard TD screen to Cordarrelle Patterson. Next, he would leap over the top for the team’s second touchdown of the game and his first rush TD since 2015. He would throw another touchdown to James White before the end of the first half to make it TD pass no. 499.
Then with 9:29 left in regulation, Brady ran a play-action fake, looked downfield and threw his 500th career touchdown to Josh Gordon despite throwing into double coverage. He joins Peyton Manning and Brett Favre in the 500 TD passes club and soon, Drew Brees. Gordon became the 71st different pass catcher that Brady threw a touchdown to, breaking Vinny Testaverde‘s record. It was the first time that he, Edelman and Rob Gronkowski shared the same field in two seasons. Just a reminder, Indianapolis is the team that got him suspended over the Deflategate saga in the 2014 AFC Championship. So, it’s the GOAT doing it to the Colts again.
Drew Brees (QB) – New Orleans Saints
Week Five stats: 26/29 passing, 363 yards, three touchdowns
Brees is considered one of the most underrated and great QB’s of all time. His story is significant because he suffered a serious shoulder injury in the last game of the 2005 regular season as a member of the Chargers. There were some doctors who said he may never throw a football again. Then, the New Orleans Saints took a chance on him, hired Sean Payton, and would never look back. He would lead the team to their first ever title in franchise history in 2009. The six foot tall QB has broken records in his career despite his small frame.
The future Hall of Famer set another record Monday night. Brees came into the game 201 yards shy of passing Peyton Manning on the all time passing yards list. Then with 2:37 left in the second quarter, he threw a deep pass on the far sideline 62 yards to a wide open Tre’Quan Smith for the TD. That pass would make him the sole possession record holder for top passing yardage leader in league history at 72,103. He celebrated with his teammates, family and hugged his coach. Then gave the record breaking ball to the Hall of Fame president David Baker for it to be enshrined in Canton. In addition, he’s first all time in completions and completion percentage. He’ll have an opportunity to reach 500 career TD passes after the Saints bye when they play the Ravens. Congratulations again to Drew Brees on another milestone.
Isaiah Crowell (RB) – New York Jets
Week Five stats: 15 carries, 219 rushing yards and one touchdown
Hey Jets fans you might have heard of a guy named Curtis Martin. He was arguably the greatest running back in team history. The Hall of Famer is the Jets all time leading rusher with 10,302 yards and 58 touchdowns. Once upon a time, he ran for a career high 203 yards in one game. Then, current Jets RB Isaiah Crowell did something that Martin could never do. He ran for a career and team-high record 219 yards. He gave credit to his offensive line, who were creating running lanes for the ex-Brown all day.
As a result of those holes, he has big runs of 62 yards and the 77 yard touchdown so far this year. In total, he averaged 14.6 yards per carry against Von Miller and the Broncos defense. New York improves to 2-0 when they have over 100 yards on the ground. It’s good for them to run the football to take pressure off of Sam Darnold. They say a quarterback’s best friend is a strong running game.
Adam Thielen (WR) – Minnesota Vikings
Week Five stats: seven receptions, 116 yards, one touchdown
The road for Thielen to the league was an unlikely one. He played at Division II Minnesota State on a partial scholarship. In 2013, he went undrafted and made the Vikings practice squad. Thielen first started off on special teams playing in punt and kickoff coverage. Then, he would get his opportunity at receiver for the Vikings. Thielen along with Stefon Diggs have formed a one-two punch at receiver as they’re both great route runners.
In a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game, Thielen would show out and have another 100 yard receiving game. Most noteworthy, Thielen becomes the first player in the Super Bowl era to have 100 yards in each of the first five games of the season. He has a TD reception in three of his last four games and is leading the league with 589 yards receiving. Clearly, the Vikings wideout is developing into one of the best wide receivers in the game.
DeAndre Hopkins (WR) – Houston Texans
Week Five stats: nine receptions, 151 yards
Another top flight receiver who had a superb game was Hopkins. He was going up against a good Cowboys defense that ranks fourth in the NFL. His connection with Deshaun Watson throwing him the football was on full display. Hopkins was targeted 13 times and caught nine balls for 151 yards, including the 49 catch and run with two spin cycles that set up the winning FG in OT.
The Texans star wideout is one of the most productive receivers in the game. The amazing things is that he’s putting up big time numbers despite playing with multiple starting QB’s. With Watson being the set in stone franchise QB, Hopkins will no longer have to worry about who’s throwing him the football every week.
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