- The debut of a rookie QB, the first true challenge for another rookie QB, the clash of two NFL powerhouses and the confrontation of two winless teams... all coming up in Week 5 of the NFL.
The five games Albert Breer has his eye on in Week 5 (all times Eastern):
5. Vikings at Bears, Monday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN. I know you’re probably like me—and I’m a sucker for watching rookie quarterbacks. So number five is Vikings at Bears, even though Case Keenum will still be starting on the other side. Getting to see Mitchell Trubisky in a real game should tell us a lot more than what we learned in watching him light up backups in the preseason, and his progress over the next three months could determine John Fox’s fate in Chicago.
4. Chargers at Giants, Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS. I’m picking this one because I want to see how both teams respond to being in an 0–4 hole. Both fought last week and lost in heartbreaking fashion, and each has been dealing with drama—the Giants have Odell Beckham Jr., and the Chargers seem to have no home-field advantage. The last 0–4 team to make the playoffs, the 1992 Chargers, actually did so the year Beckham was born, so I’m not suggesting either of these teams are all that relevant anymore. But I am interested to see the level of engagement on both sides here.
3. Seahawks at Rams, Sunday, 4:05 p.m., CBS. Third is Seattle going to Pete Carroll’s old house to play the resurgent Rams. Sean McVay’s made a world of difference for Jared Goff, but both Goff and his revamped line will be tested on another level in facing the Seattle front this week. And the Seahawks could use a statement win after a middling first quarter to the season.
2. Packers at Cowboys, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Fox. I don’t need to give you much reason for this one. The two iconic franchises, the old guard and new guard at quarterback, and a rematch of last January’s divisional-round classic. For the second week of October, it does not get much better than that.
1. Chiefs at Texans, Sunday, 8:30 p.m., NBC. And for our top game to watch this week, we’ll take you back to where we started—and give you another rookie quarterback. Deshaun Watson has been lights-out the last two weeks, but he was lights-out against the 30th- and 32nd-ranked defenses in football. This week is a different kind of challenge—with the NFL’s best team coming in.