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Week 5 debunks conventional wisdom

10/6/2008 - NFL

Week 5 saw the players of the NFL make a mockery of their stereotypes and conventional story lines.

Kurt Warner is fearful and hears footsteps in the pocket? Warner took a hit against the Bills that left his chin leaking blood for the rest of the drive and he didn't miss a play. Jay Cutler's a gunslinger who can't settle a game down? The Broncos' quarterback was masterful underneath all day. Kyle Orton shouldn't be starting for an NFL team? Rookies can't win on the road in Green Bay? The Eagles have a strong run defense? Felix Jones isn't ready for big-time action? Apparently, all wrong.

Sunday changed all that, dramatically eliminated one team from the ranks of the undefeated, and saw an AFC power (Colts) save its season with a stunning comeback that consigned its opponent (Texans) to another miserable season of irrelevance.

There was no offensive shootout that compared to Cardinals-Jets, and no season-defining stop a la Bears-Eagles.

Instead, the Week 5 games once again reminded us that categorizing the performance of players and teams after just a month is a fool's errand, and that we still have a lot to learn about how the 2008 NFL season before we can get a true handle on what's going on.

Here are the rest of the best and worst players of Week 5, according to the Football Outsiders DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) statistics. Note that with five weeks played, opponent adjustments are currently at 50 percent strength.





Bill Barnwell is an analyst for FootballOutsiders.com.