It was not a week to show the best of New Zealand. has to offer. There were a lot of obstacles, a particularly ugly injury in Pittsburgh, several explosions and a sense that we already know who the real candidates are, which would formally make most of the regular season.
But to an extreme optimist, there was some emotion hidden beneath this baggage – if anyone was willing to look for it – and there is still plenty of season for one or more startling candidates to emerge. Here is what we learned in week 5:
The Packers are not what we expected – but they are doing well. Aaron Rodgers should open things up in attack by Coach Matt LaFleur. That has not yet materialized, but Green Bay is 4-1 after recovering from last week's disappointing defeat to Philadelphia with a 34-24 win in Dallas. Aaron Jones tied a Green Bay record with four hurried touchdowns – he has eight this season, equaling last year's total – and the Packers defense, allowing 563 ugly yards, contributed to the win with three interceptions and three bags.
Best Passer: Deshaun Watson
Watson worked for the Falcons as a boy in high school, but showed no sentimentality in destroying his home team.
Best runner: Christian McCaffrey
The Panthers had a total of 176 yards, 61 yards received and three total touchdowns, with Carolina holding Jacksonville and winning at home by 34-27.
McCaffrey now has 866 yards of scrimmage for the season – Florida's second largest. story for five weeks until Jim Brown's 988 in 1963 according to Pro Football Reference – and is in the rhythm of breaking easily Chris Johnson 2,509 season record, which the titans achieved in 2009. But McCaffrey shouldn't let his head get too big: his only attempt to pass the day was incomplete.
Top Receiver: Will Fuller V
After a scandalously comical performance in the Houston win, Fuller showed some serious modesty in talking about the impact his host mate DeAndre Hopkins has on the cover during Texans games.
"Playing with Hop, as I always say, is easy," Fuller told reporters. "He gets a lot of cover, and I think that's why they brought me here to help him. It took me a while, but I finally had this great game, so I'm just trying to help."
One sentence * about each game
* Except when two are required.
Patriots 33, Redskins 7 Tom Brady's 348 yards gave him 71,923 in his career, pushing him by Brett Favre to third place on the all-time NFL list.
Colts 19, Chiefs 13 Marlon Mack ran for 132 yards, giving Indianapolis just enough offense to trigger a huge upset in Kansas City.
Panthers 34, Jaguars 27 Kyle Allen has been 3-0 since taking over from Cam Newton in the quarterback, but Gardner Minshew of Jacksonville made Allen work for him in a game that ended in the final seconds.
Packers 34, Cowboys 24 Dak Prescott set a high career in past yards and Amari Cooper set a high career in receiving yards and Dallas lost anyway.
Santos 31, Buccaneers 24 It took 1,387 days, but Teddy Bridgewater got the second four touchdown performance of his career.
Eagles 31, Jets 6 The Philadelphia attack has barely appeared and the Eagles have still won 25 points – the Jets, at least without Sam Darnold, are really that bad.
Texans 53, Falcons 32 Houston managed to escape the ball five times thanks to the Texans attack, making the Falcons defense look like the Falcons defense.
Accounts 14, the defense of the Titans 7 Buffalo remains extraordinary and, thanks to Josh Allen's return from the league's concussion protocol, his attack was good enough to win.
Ravens 26, Steelers 23 Baltimore won this game, but the Ravens must be extremely concerned about Lamar Jackson's rapid deterioration: he has five interceptions in the last two games, having missed any of the first three.
Vikings 28, Giants 10 If it's not for Christian McCaffrey of Carolina, Dalvin Cook could be the talk of NF.L: Minnesota's running back had 218 yards on Sunday, reaching 742 for the season.
Cardinals 26, Bengals 23 Kyler Murray didn't give a touchdown pass, but he ran 93 yards and a touchdown and, much more importantly, got his first career win. "We needed to win this game just by team morale," Murray told reporters.
Raiders 24, Bears 21 Josh Jacobs, an Alabama first-round pick, didn't look intimidated by the Chicago defense, playing 123 yards and two touchdowns. "We were up for the challenge," Jacobs told reporters.
Chargers 13 coach Broncos 20 Vic Fangio finally got a win thanks to a great day of his defense and a solid effort from Phillip Lindsay, the team's second consecutive year.