Some surprise results

NFL Week Five: Good, bad & ugly

Jimmy Garappolo
San Francisco 49ers

Week Five in the NFL saw some thinning in the ranks of the undefeated. We also saw some teams continue their dominance. Here's some of my observations:

The Good

-The 49ers are still undefeated after their dismantling of the Browns on Monday Night football. They're 4-0 for the first time since 1990 when Joe Montana and Jerry Rice were in their heyday. In their 31-3 win, The 49ers had 95 more rushing yards than the Browns had total yards. That "other" Bosa brother (Nick) is pretty good.

-The Bills are 4-1 thanks to a stingy defense. We're talking about a defense that averages giving up less than 300 yards and only 14 points per game. The Patriots may finally have a division rival to worry about in almost 20 years.

-The Colts went into Kansas City and left with a 19-13 win over the Chiefs. They did it by dominating the time of possession (+14:30) and a rushing yardage differential of +144. They also beat up Pat Mahomes and made sure he felt uncomfortable. It helps that they added former Chiefs pass rusher Justin Houston.

The Bad

-The Cowboys are now 3-2 after starting 3-0 thanks to a 34-24 loss to the Packers at home. The Packers have owned the Cowboys in Dallas so much, AT&T Stadium has been called "Lambeau South." Despite putting up over 500 yards of offense, the three Dak Prescott interceptions and 11 accepted penalties for 124 yards were too much to overcome.

-The Bengals are turning back into the "Bungles" fast. They're 0-5 now on the season after losing 26-23 to the Cardinals and their rookie quarterback Kyler Murray. The Bengals' defense gave up 248 yards passing and had a rush yardage differential of -158. They may be giving the Dolphins a run for the #1 overall pick.

-The Chargers fell to 2-3 with a loss to the winless Broncos 20-13. Again, rushing yardage differential played a part as the Broncos were +156, as well as a +1 in the turnover department despite having 12 accepted penalties for 122 yards. So much for the Chargers making the AFC West interesting. They need to bounce back big if they plan on competeting.

The Ugly

-Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph took a nasty hit and was put into concussion protocol. Ravens safety Earl Thomas laid the hard hit on Rudolph, but wasn't ejected. He most likely will get fined because when you have the gift of replay and slow motion, things will always look differently. Rudolph was able to walk off the field (with assistance) and should be okay.

-The Rams lost their second game in a row. A season removed from their Super Bowl appearance and they may be on the ropes. Throwing 117 passes and only running the ball 29 times with a rushing yardage differential of -145 and a turnover differential of -4. They lost when kicker Greg Zuerlein missed a 44 yard field goal with 15 seconds left.

-The Skins fired head coach Jay Gruden following their 33-7 loss to the Patriots. Word has it the organization decided to fire him around 8pm EST that night, but waited until 5am the following morning to call him in to fire him. Dan Snyder has had too many head coaches in his time as owner. I'm not defending Gruden, but seven head coaches in about 20 years of ownership is too damn many.

You can't pick your opponents in the NFL, you play who's on the schedule. Whowould've thought that the 49ers would join the Patriots as the last two undefeated teams in th league? With the way this season is going, I wouldn't be surprised if the Giants knocked off the Patriots this coming Thursday, or if the Redskins and Dolphins tie each other making both teams stay winless on the season. This season keeps getting better.

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Justin Verlander will start for the Astros on Friday night. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros (22-28, third in the AL West) vs. Oakland Athletics (21-31, fourth in the AL West)

Oakland, California; Friday, 9:40 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Justin Verlander (2-2, 3.97 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 26 strikeouts); Athletics: Ross Stripling (1-8, 5.19 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 32 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Astros -170, Athletics +142; over/under is 8 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Oakland Athletics begin a three-game series at home against the Houston Astros on Friday.

Oakland has a 21-31 record overall and a 12-14 record in home games. The Athletics have hit 65 total home runs to rank third in the AL.

Houston is 22-28 overall and 8-13 in road games. The Astros have a 13-4 record in games when they did not allow a home run.

The teams match up Friday for the fifth time this season. The Astros lead the season series 4-0.

TOP PERFORMERS: Brent Rooker has 11 home runs, 17 walks and 32 RBI while hitting .286 for the Athletics. Max Schuemann is 12-for-35 with a double and two RBI over the past 10 games.

Kyle Tucker leads Houston with 17 home runs while slugging .638. Alex Bregman is 9-for-38 with three home runs and six RBI over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Athletics: 2-8, .225 batting average, 5.25 ERA, outscored by 27 runs

Astros: 7-3, .272 batting average, 3.13 ERA, outscored opponents by 20 runs

INJURIES: Athletics: Esteury Ruiz: 10-Day IL (wrist), Darell Hernaiz: 60-Day IL (ankle), Alex Wood: 15-Day IL (rotator cuff), Paul Blackburn: 15-Day IL (foot), Joseph Boyle: 15-Day IL (back), Freddy Tarnok: 60-Day IL (hip), Luis Medina: 60-Day IL (knee), Sean Newcomb: 60-Day IL (knee), Aledmys Diaz: 60-Day IL (calf), Miguel Andujar: 10-Day IL (knee), Ken Waldichuk: 60-Day IL (elbow), Trevor Gott: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Astros: Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jose Urquidy: 15-Day IL (forearm), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

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