Turnovers and Turning Points: Breaking Down the Pivotal Moments of NFL Week 5
Turning points can happen during any play of an NFL game. That play usually swings the momentum in the game from one team to another in some fashion. It can be a big pass or a costly penalty. It can be a missed field goal or a turnover.
One play can either decide a close game or make a close game out of one that seemed to already be decided. We saw both during the course of the games on Sunday.
Here are some of the turnovers and turning points as the most pivotal plays of Week 5 in the NFL:
Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts
3rd-and-2 on Green Bay 28: Jerraud Powers intercepts Aaron Rodgers with 13:19 remaining in the third quarter.
With just over 13 minutes remaining in the Packers-Colts game, Green Bay was in the process of dominating. The Packers held a 21-3 lead at halftime and started the third quarter driving to score more.
For the past three years, the Packers have run the same offense. With no reliance on the running game, Rodgers is trusted to go out and throw the ball as much as needed, with many plays built around short screens and back-shoulder throws.
The back-shoulder throw has been a staple in the Rodgers-led offense, but now, defenses are becoming more patient and waiting for that throw. Cornerbacks are now anticipating Green Bay receivers suddenly stopping their routes and looking back for the back-shoulder throw.
This is exactly what Jerraud Powers did on Rodgers' throw to James Jones. Powers was able to recognize the back-shoulder throw was coming and jumped the route for the interception.
The Colts offense would drive down the field and immediately score a touchdown to make the score 21-10. Indianapolis would then score on their next two drives in the third quarter, outscoring Green Bay 16-0 in the third, closing the quarter with the score 21-19.
Indianapolis would take the lead 22-21, only to give it back moments later on a touchdown from Rodgers to James Jones, making the score 27-22, but that wouldn't stop the Colts.
With 4:30 left in the game, Andrew Luck drove the Colts' 80 yards downfield for an eventual four-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne for the winning touchdown.
The Colts were playing for their head coach Chuck Pagano who was diagnosed with a treatable form of Leukemia earlier in the week.
The Powers' interception stopped the Packers from truly making the game out of hand with a possible 28-3 lead and sparked the Colts for their "Chuckstrong" comeback win.
Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers
1st-and-10 on Carolina 30: Brandon Browner forces DeAngelo Williams to fumble, recovered by Seattle with 2:37 remaining in the third quarter.
In what was a sloppy game that, at one point, featured Cam Newton completing 18 percent of his passes, a sloppy turnover changed the game.
At this point in the game, neither the Seahawks or Panthers had done much of anything. The Panthers held a 10-6 lead, thanks to a defensive touchdown on an intercepted Russell Wilson pass.
The Panthers were trying to run the clock down. At this point, they couldn't really do anything else and were hoping the Seahawks would continue to struggle offensively.
After a punt, the Panthers ran an option play from their own 30. When Newton felt a close defender, he pitched the ball to running back DeAngelo Williams, who was then stripped by Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner.
Browner read the option perfectly, positioning himself between Newton and Williams and could have made the tackle regardless of which player had the ball. Browner was able to strip the ball from Williams and also fall on it to recover the fumble.
The Seahawks would take the ball, drive 27 yards on five plays, score a touchdown for a 13-10 lead and never look back.
Seattle would add a field goal in the fourth for a 16-10 lead and would survive a longer Panther drive ending with a failed pass attempt by Newton on 4th-and-1 on the Seahawks 1-yard line.
The Panthers would get two more points on a intentional safety, called by Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.
Seattle would leave Carolina with a 16-12 victory and another puzzling Cam Newton performance.
Cleveland Browns at New York Giants
3rd-and-1 on New York 25: Stevie Brown intercepts Brandon Weeden with 3:54 left in second quarter
Up until this point, the New York Giants looked as if they were ready to be upset in another home game.
Five minutes into the game, the Browns were up 14-0 after two quick scores. Cleveland still had the lead at 17-10 when Weeden threw the interception to Brown. Weeden threw a pass we've come to love in the Rookie Report by overthrowing Josh Gordon and putting the ball right into the hands of Brown.
Following the interception, the Giants drove 40 yards for a touchdown and a tie game at 17-17. The Giants would never give the lead back. In fact, they just kept increasing it.
The Browns had a chance to pull a major upset for their first win of the season. Instead, they crumbled back into what Browns football has become: blowouts and turnovers.
If the Browns had converted a touchdown from the Giants' 25-yard line and went up 24-10, we could be talking about how well the Browns played forcing the Giants to make mistakes and capitalizing on them.
Instead, we're left to sift through the debris of another blowout—a game the Browns could have had but let slip away.
For an 0-4 team, you can't let games like this slip away after early breaks like the Browns got.
The Browns were on their way to their first win but threw away their chance and now sit 0-5.
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