NFL 1979: Big Pauly’s Week 5 Notes

Five weeks and 70 games of the 1979 NFL season are now in the books, and a few pieces of the puzzle have now taken shape.

Tampa Bay has become the “Jekyll and Hyde” team of the season thus far.  They shut out the Rams 28-0 in a fine defensive effort down in Tampa in week four, but the next week saw them become shutout victims themselves, 32-0 at the hands of the now 5-0 Chicago Bears.  One thing the Buccaneers have going for them is their defense, 2nd in NFL in defensive scoring average at 14.2 points given up per game, only behind Pittsburgh’s 11.6.  We’ll see what magic head coach John McKay can conjure up against the Giants in week six.

Five undefeated teams have now become four, as Denver fell from the ranks of the unbeaten in a 17-13 loss to previously winless Oakland.  Chicago, San Diego, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh have yet to lose in 1979.  Will any of these teams run the table and become the first 16-0 team in NFL history?  The task is a daunting one, that’s for sure.

Meanwhile, the four teams that went into week five winless have now been reduced to one: Detroit.  On top of Oakland’s upset win over Denver, Minnesota got their first victory in Detroit, beating the Lions 28-7 in a battle of 0-4 teams.  Cleveland went down to the Astrodome and stunned the Oilers for their first “W” of 1979, 30-17.  The Lions go to the Boston area for a game with the New England Patriots, who pummeled Green Bay on Monday Night Football to the tune of 52-6.

Wes Chandler of New Orleans is our player to watch for this week.  He’s been racking up receiving yards like crazy as of late, catching 11 passes for an impressive 216 yards in the Saints 38-14 thumping of the Giants, and that gives him an even 800 pass catching yards on the season.  The Saints offense has been equally unstoppable, leading the league with a 41.8 points per game average so far.  Only Philadelphia has had any luck slowing them down so far, holding them to 26 points in week three, but the Saints still won that affair, 26-17.

Our game of the week pick for week six is San Diego at Denver.  Denver will be primed for battle after their stunning loss at Oakland, while this will be the Chargers toughest road game so far.

Until then, keep tuning in, and so long until next week.