It’s week five in the NFL. While there are ProCanes who are still in contention with a quarter of the season behind them, the rest are trying to lift their teams to get that elusive first win of the season. We preview the games kicking off on later today and provide an update some of your favorite Miami Hurricanes NFL alumni.
New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns 1PM EDT
Both of these franchises started the season with low expectations. The Browns are still searching for their first win. The Jets, similar to the Browns, have a stockpile of draft picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, leading many to believe that the franchise was actively trying to tank the season. However, the J-E-T-S are playing .500 ball (well above the threshold that was projected for the team entering the season), playing solid defense and developing a potent run game behind RB Bilal Powell.
RB Duke Johnson has really turned it on for Cleveland this year. We’ve focused on how the running back has transitioned into a multi-faceted weapon by lining up as a legitimate receiving option. Johnson led the Browns with nine receptions against the Bengals last week and scored the Browns’ lone touchdown. Johnson could get more carries this week, since the Jets rank in the bottom tier of the league in run defense, allowing 143.8 rushing yards per game. The Jets defense does put an emphasis on pass defense, ranking in the top tier of the league by allowing just 194.8 passing yards per game. It seems Deshone Kizer has found Johnson to be a safety net in the passing game, so it could still be a tough afternoon for the RB and fellow ProCane TE David Njoku.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Indianapolis Colts 1PM EDT
The Colts were blown out on Sunday Night Football. While there were flashes here and there, it ended up being a miserable day for the Colts’ offense. With Andrew Luck still a ways away from being in game shape, it will continue to be a bumpy season for RB Frank Gore. However, one of the bright spots this week for the ProCane runner is that he will be going against his former team, the San Francisco 49ers. Gore sits at 13,256 rushing yards and, with just four yards on Sunday, will pass Eric Dickerson for 7th on the NFL’s all-time rushing list. It is an incredible career accomplishment for Gore. The Colts will also honor Peyton Manning with a statue in front of Lucas Oil Stadium. There will be plenty of pomp and circumstance around the game which could distract from the main purpose of the afternoon: beating the Niners. Gore should have extra motivation to show his former club that he is not over the hill and has a solid chance to find his way into the endzone. With rookie RB Marlon Mack still on the shelf, the ground game will rely on the legs of Gore and Robert Turbin, with the occasional scramble from QB Jacoby Brissett.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. New York Giants 1PM EDT
In this week’s edition of the ‘this team really needs a win’, we have a matchup of two 0–4 teams. For the Chargers, they have been in every game this season, yet have lost each one in heartbreaking fashion. WR Travis Benjamin has been doing his part to stretch defenses and will be called upon to do so against a Giants’ secondary that has not played up to its potential.
Olivier Vernon dealt with an ankle injury leading up to last week’s game in Tampa Bay. Vernon did not appear to be his usual self, as the Bucs were able to beat the Giants up on the ground. Two teams in the two largest markets in the country are starving for a win, with scrutiny being thrown at each side from local and national outlets. Vernon is going to need to find his old rhythm — it could be the difference between 0–5 or 1–4.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 1PM EDT
Calais Campbell and the Jacksonville defense continue to be a menace to offenses across the league. Campbell picked up his fifth sack of the season, placing him second in the NFL with 5.5 sacks after four games. The Jags will face their toughest test of the season when they go up against the Steelers and their offense. While spectators will likely be enamored watching Jags’ CB Jalen Ramsey shadow Steelers WR Antonio Brown or WR Martavis Bryant, it will be just as entertaining to see how the Steelers’ offensive line holds up against Campbell and the front-four defense.
On the other side of the field, Pittsburgh’s defense has been playing pretty good of late. Artie Burns continues to impress in his second season. Pro Football Focus grades Burns 25th of all cornerbacks, with a 83.2 grade in coverage. There could be a reunion on the field, as it could be Hurns vs. Burns, when Jaguars WR Allen Hurns enters the game. Who will get the best of this ProCane on ProCane matchup? We’ll side with Burns until Jaguars QB Blake Bortles proves us wrong.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans 8:30PM EDT
We thought that Lamar Miller would have a good day. True to form Miller reminded folks that he is still the top back in Houston that the opposition should be worried about. Miller scored both on the ground and as a receiver last week in a drubbing of AFC South rival Tennessee. The performance was easily Miller’s best showing of the season. The Texans’ offense will look to keep it going when they play the Kansas City Chiefs, the lone undefeated team in the NFL.
The Chiefs defense does rank near the bottom of the league in rushing yards given up per game. DL Allen Bailey has two sacks so far this season, yet he has not been the imposing force in defending the run that he was before his injury in 2016. The Chiefs have been playing with the lead for most of the season, effectively making Bailey a pass-rusher as opponents try to make up for deficits late in games. Playing against a Texans’ offense with a mobile quarterback such as DeShuan Watson, the Chiefs’ defense needs to contain Watson in the pocket to minimize his impact.
ProCanes Fantasy Player of the Week
Sitting just on the precipice of surpassing an NFL legend when playing his old team, it would be unfathomable to see Gore play with plenty of motivation at home. Gore’s 3.1 yards-per-carry are less than stellar, and he should not be leaned on as the workhorse that he was in his prime as a 49er. Gore may be a good option as flex in standard formats, at best.
- A couple ProCanes made sure to cheer on Hurricanes football Saturday afternoon.
That feeling you get when u get off the team plane and see the score. https://t.co/OZRNl8E10d— Jimmy Graham (@TheJimmyGraham) October 7, 2017
- San Francisco 49ers CB Adrian Colbert suffered another setback with a hamstring injury. It’s unknown if he will be available to play against the Colts.
- While DE Al-Quadin Muhammad travelled with his Saints teammates to London, he was ruled inactive for the fourth consecutive game.
- SOTU’s Mat Scholtec wrote a feature comparing ProCanes with their Florida State counterparts.
- NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah has Cleveland Brown TE David Njoku, ranked 25th in his Top 25 Rookies List.
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!