Say what you will about Thursday Night Football, but when there's a juicy matchup to open the week's slate of NFL games, it gets the week off to a better start.
Here's a look at the three most intriguing Week 5 NFL matchups, including a divisional battle with playoff implications to open the weekend.
1. Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Todd Gurley may not be keen on Thursday Night Football, but last week's Philadelphia Eagles 34-27 win over the Green Bay Packers was one of the better games of the first quarter of the 2019 NFL season. This week's matchup looks pretty appealing on paper too.
While Gurley rushed for just 16 yards in the Rams Week 4 tilt with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he did score two touchdowns. Quarterback Jared Goff threw for over 500 yards and two touchdowns himself. Unfortunately for the Rams, Goff also threw three interceptions, and while the Rams put up 40 points, they gave up 55 to Jameis Winston and the suddenly elite Tampa Bay Buccaneers passing attack.
Looking to rebound from their first loss of the season, Sean McVay and the Rams will head to Seattle, where they'll take on the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field, one of the most difficult places for a road team to pull out a victory at.
After a surprising loss to the Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints at home in Week 3, the Seahawks defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-10 in Week 4, highlighted by a pick-six by Jadeveon Clowney. In a crowded NFC West, the Seahawks could move ahead of the Rams with a win at home.
2. Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys
Most NFL fans - whether they support the Green Bay Packers or not - have fond memories of Aaron Rodgers, perhaps the most talented quarterback in NFL history. Dallas Cowboys fans might be the exception, though.
It was Rodgers' Packers that ended up on the winning side of the infamous "Dez Bryant dropped it" game in the NFC Divisional Round in January of 2015. Two years later, this time in Dallas, the two teams met again in the NFC Divisional Round. Rodgers and the Packers jumped out to a 21-3 lead in that game, only for Dak Prescott and the Packers to tie the game in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for them, Rodgers needed just over 30 seconds to put the Packers into position to kick the game-winning field goal after a remarkable 36-yard completion to Jared Cook:
Two of the most accomplished franchises in NFL history will re-ignite their rivalry this Sunday in Dallas, with both coming off of their first losses of the 2019 NFL season.
Despite losing last week, both the Packers and Cowboys enter this matchup at 3-1. There's a very real chance that the outcome of this game could ultimately impact seeding in the NFC playoffs.
3. Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are 3-0, but after a Week 4 bye, they remained at just No. 10 in the latest RADIO.COM NFL Power Rankings. The three teams that Jimmy Garroppolo and the 49ers have defeated have a combined record of 3-9, and they turned the ball over five times in their Week 3 *win* over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kyle Shanahan - considered one of the best offensive minds in the NFL - may be best suited leaning on his young defense, which is currently the third best unit in the NFL. Offensively, they feel like a team that's primed for regression record wise.
On the other hand, the Browns seem like a better team than their 2-2 record would indicate. It's hard to explain away their 41-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans at home in Week 1, but their only other loss came to the defending NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams 20-13 in Week 3. In Week 2, they crushed an undermanned New York Jets team on Monday Night Football. Last Sunday, they leaned on Nick Chubb, who rushed for 165 yards and three touchdowns in the team's 40-25 victory in Baltimore.
With Jarvis Landry - who is in concussion protocol - uncertain to play Monday, this feels like as good of a time for Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr. and the rest of the Browns passing offense to heat up. They'll need to if they want to defeat the 49ers and their stout defensive unit.