The NFC South has a three-way tie five weeks into the 2020 season. Once again, the Panthers ended another Falcons regime as the Dan Quinn era finished with a 23-16 defeat to Carolina. Keep in mind, this Panthers team is performing at a high level without their best player. When Christian McCaffrey returns, they could be even better than their current trajectory predicts.
Jim Mora Jr.
All fired after losses to Carolina.
— SportsTalkATL.com (@SportsTalkATL) October 12, 2020
Bucs fall to the Bears
The Bears offense failed to get going early on. However, they managed to get a lucky break before halftime, capping off a 10-play drive with their first touchdown of the night. Then Kyle Fuller forced a fumble to give the Bears the ball back deep into Tampa territory, resulting in the second Bears score within one minute of game time. Chicago entered the half with a 14-13 lead after being held scoreless for the first 28 minutes.
There wasn’t much scoring in the second half. Each side exchanged a pair of field goals, with the Bears final score coming at the end of the fourth quarter to give them a win.
The biggest takeaway from this matchup was at the conclusion when Tom Brady failed to realize what down it was. He forced an incomplete pass up the middle with the assumption that he had one more down left to play. However, it was fourth down, and it sealed the victory for Chicago.
Ronald Jones led the game on the ground with his 106 yards on 17 carries, and Tyler Johnson through the air with 61 yards on four catches.
Buccaneers will play at home against Green Bay in Week 6.
Saints survive against Los Angeles
With the Chargers up 20-3 late in the second quarter, it seemed as if the Panthers were going to walk away from Week 5 as the NFC South’s lone winner.
However, the Chargers were never able to put the game away, and numerous dead drives allowed the Saints to claw back into it. With the Saints operating in a two-minute offense, they brought the game to within ten as they scored with under thirty seconds left in the half. Both offenses continued to sputter into the fourth, as the Saints were the only team to score in the third to bring the game to within seven.
However, New Orleans pulled through in the fourth to draw the game level and force overtime. The Chargers had a chance to win late, but Michael Badgley missed a 50+ yard field goal as it bounced off the upright.
Despite losing the game, rookie quarterback Justin Herbert had a great night, becoming the first rookie quarterback ever to toss four touchdowns on Monday night. He ended the day 20 for 34 with 264 yards and four touchdowns.
While it was an ugly win, a win is a win, something the Falcons don’t know anything about.
The Saints head into their bye week with a 3-2 record.
NFC South Standings
- (3-2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- (3-2) Carolina Panthers
- (3-2) New Orleans Saints
- (0-5) Atlanta Falcons