What We Learned: NFL Week 5
San Francisco 49ers
A straight up beatdown of the Tampa Bay Bucs has the 49ers at a surprising 4-1 record. First year head coach Jim Harbaugh has the 49ers believing in themselves and playing with a swagger and fire last seen in the Steve Young days. Harbaugh has significantly improved the defense and has put quarterback Alex Smith into favorable positions to succeed. It’s not always flashy, but the 49ers are winning. And in a division that includes the Seahawks, Cardinals, and Rams, the 49ers are in prime position to make the playoffs.
The NFL’s most popular backup quarterback finally got his chance to impress new head coach John Fox in week 5 as he started the second half in place of the ineffective Kyle Orton. Tebow gave the lackluster Broncos offense a much-needed jolt as he completed 4 of 10 passes for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns (1 rushing) while falling one play away from leading the Broncos to a remarkable comeback victory over the Chargers. Tebow impressed so much so that he was named the starter in week 7 against the Dolphins. Let the Tebow era begin!
The 2nd round selection out of TCU has been extremely impressive so far in his rookie campaign, building a nice rapport with fellow rookie A.J. Green and leading the Bengals to a surprising 3-2 record. Dalton looks more and more comfortable as the weeks progress and seems to have great poise and command of the offense only 5 games into his blossoming career.
The Minnesota Vikings won their first game on Sunday because they finally committed to running the ball with the best running back in the NFL, what a concept. Adrian Peterson had 29 carries for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns against the struggling Arizona Cardinals while Donovan McNabb only attempted 21 passes. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.