Mainz's NFL Musing Week 5: Change is Constant

The build up to Week 5 in the NFL has been another turbulent week as the league looks to manage the current global conditions it faces. However, the irony of these issues are that it is giving the league the chance to trial different elements. Week 4 saw them line two games up on Monday night, with the end of the first overlapping the second. 

Week 5, will once again see the NFL with two games on a Monday, but this time the first game will kick off at 5 pm EST, allowing the league to see whether a regular game in that slot could be successful. Week 5 is also set to feature a game on Tuesday night, presenting another opportunity for the NFL to gather data about what can and cannot work in the future. It may seem like the league is scrambling, but if that scrambling leads to useful data going forward, the league could come out of 2020 in a somewhat stronger position strategically.

The Packers are actually good

Aaron Rodgers, NFL Week 5
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates his 74 yard touchdown pass to Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (83) during the 4th quarter of the Green Bay Packers 42-24 win over the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. Photo by Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Last year the Packers finished the season 13-3 but conventional wisdom and their beatdown at the hands of the 49ers suggested they were not as good a team as the record indicated. This season the team are 4-0 and I believe it is time to take them seriously. The offseason seemed to suggest chaos in Green Bay, given the draft and the noises coming from Rodgers. However, it seems it angered and focussed the team as they have been fantastic so far. Even given some of the injuries they have encountered they have not missed a beat and Rodgers is back to his MVP All-World level. Their division seems much weaker than we expected at the start of the season and given this, I believe the Packers will be making some serious noise come playoff time.

Is the Texans Head Coach role a good job?

This week the Houston Texans fired Bill O’Brien, meaning that one of the most talented QB’s in the NFL will have a new Head Coach in 2021. The question for any Texans candidate is, do you take this job given how the rest of the roster looks going forward. They have no draft capital in 2021 as their first two picks are with the Dolphins. They also have limited salary cap flexibility given the money they are now giving to the likes of Laremy Tunsil and Deshaun Watson. I am not sure they have many tradable assets either, given the roster depth and what you get for established players at present. So while getting Watson to be your QB is great for any coach, I am not sure if you dig a little deeper whether this is a team you want to be involved with.

If this season isn't about defense no one told the Colts

NFL Draft Colts, Week 5 NFL

Offensive explosion! That is what we have heard since the season started. Teams haven’t had much time to practice, therefore, defenses are behind and teams are scoring points in record numbers. This memo did not reach Indianapolis as their defense has been spectacular for the first four weeks. So far no team has more than 20 points against them and three teams have less than 14, which is pretty incredible. My favourite stat is that they are allowing 159 yards through the air per game, while the Seahawks are allowing 401! 

I thought the Colts would be good at the start of the season but this was more to do with Rivers than the defense. My prediction looks right but the reasoning was definitely off.

I really wish the NFL would have implemented double-bye weeks

I know hindsight is 20-20 but given all the issues the league is having around COVID I really wish they would have implemented two bye weeks for teams to give them a little more breathing space. Right now the Titans game against the Bills is in serious doubt and because their bye week has already been used it looks like we are about to enter calendar madness. 

I really do believe the NFL needs to think long and hard about what to do next, and consider making the season a lot longer, maybe a month, to give them flexibility for these situations. I know some states have allowed fans but I would assume that the Super Bowl should be fan-free. If that is the case, then the need to play the game on time shouldn’t be a priority. If the NFL want the season to finish, it might be time to go back to the drawing board.

Paul Mainwaring

NFL Analyst

A former UKEndzone writer, Paul has been dragged out of an enforced retirement to give his thoughts on the NFL and anything else  he can slide past the editorial team.

Paul is most famous (infamous?) as Mainz one half of Waxing Lyrical. alongside his Partner in Crime Neil ‘Dutts’ Dutton.

Find him @Mainzey7 where all manner of sports are on the menu.