Joe Burrow Tries to Prove the Bengals are for Real, an NFC West Grudge Match, and an AFC Championship Rematch: The 3 Most Intriguing Matchups of NFL Week 5

It says a lot about where the league is in 2021 when the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants face-off, and it’s nowhere near one of the best NFL Week 5 matchups. This week’s slate features two Super Bowl favorites, the best division in football, and a budding young star taking on one of the greatest ever to do it. Here are the three most intriguing matchups of NFL Week 5. 

Green Bay Packers vs. Cincinnati Bengals– Sunday, October 10, 1:00 p.m. EST, FOX

Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals, who faces the Green Bay Packers in NFL Week 5, celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Paul Brown Stadium on September 30, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Joe Burrow | Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After a rough opening day, Aaron Rodgers has righted the Green Bay Packers ship, and the squad once again looks like one of the best teams in the AFC. On the other side of the ball from the future Hall of Famer will be the 2020 No. 1 overall pick, Joe Burrow. 

Burrow and company took care of business last Thursday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Now, at 3-1, they look to stay tied or better with Baltimore and Cleveland in the AFC North. 

This is a classic old-school vs. new-school battle. If Burrow and his star rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase want to become one of the premier QB/WR duos in the NFL, they can look across the field and learn from Rodgers and Devante Adams. 

The winner of this game won’t necessarily gain any ground in their division or conference, but they will stake their claim as an upper-echelon team in the NFL, which makes it an intriguing matchup on the NFL Week 5 schedule.  

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals – Sunday, October 10, 4:25 p.m. EST, FOX

It seems like every week, there is an NFC West matchup that is among the best on the schedule. NFL Week 5 is no exception. 

If the Arizona Cardinals can stay undefeated, there will be no question that they are the class of the NFC. It will also likely make the Kyler Murray for MVP chatter grow even louder. We know Kliff Kingsbury’s team will show up and ball on Sunday. The most intriguing part is that we don’t know who it will be against. 

Jimmy Garoppolo left last Sunday’s game with a right calf injury and is questionable for this contest. That means we could witness the first day of the Trey Lance Era in the Bay. Arizona’s pass rush has been teeing off on immobile QBs so far this season, so dealing with Lance will present a different challenge. 

If Lance can buy time, extend plays, and find the NFL’s leading receiver, Deebo Samuel, for some big plays, the Niners will have a good chance to knock Arizona from the ranks of the undefeated. 

Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs – Sunday, October 10, 8:20 p.m. EST, NBC

Last week was the game of the year from a storyline perspective when the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers met. This week is the game of the year from a football perspective. 

The Buffalo Bills lost twice to the Kansas City Chiefs last season. They fell once in the regular season and again in the AFC final. The Western New York outfit spent the offseason bulking up the defense (and particularly the pass rush) specifically to be better against KC

The Chiefs have looked somewhat sloppy and bored in their two losses this season. Now they go up against the No. 1 defense and No. 2 offense in this NFL Week 5 matchup. 

If the Chiefs win, the narrative goes back to, “Who can beat Kansas City for the Super Bowl?” If the Bills take it home, not only will they sit atop everyone’s Power Rankings, but the “What’s wrong with the Chiefs this year?” questions will be front and center. 

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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