Week 5 of the 2021 season poses opportunities for squads across the league.
This week’s slate of games is also an opportunity for overseas travel. The Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets kicked off a matchup from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London earlier this morning in both teams’ second all-time visit across the pond.
With 13 other games rounding out Week 5’s Sunday slate, let’s tour the league’s pregame looks from its most notable players.
QB Sam Darnold
The 3-1 Panthers, who allowed a season-high 36 points in Week 4 after yielding 30 through the first 3 weeks of the season, made a splash by acquiring Stephon Gilmore from the New England Patriots on Thursday.
Carolina’s big-name acquisition could help shore up its defense as Sam Darnold continues growing comfortable leading the team’s offense. His five rushing touchdowns through Week 4 led the NFL and joined him with Lamar Smith (2002) as the only Panthers with a rushing touchdown in three straight games.
He kept his Sunday threads casual ahead of Carolina hosting the Philadelphia Eagles, but Darnold enters Week 5 with a unique shot at history. The fourth-year quarterback can become the first in NFL history to record multiple rushing touchdowns in three straight games, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Playing against the NFL’s second-worst rushing defense could help matters.
clean fit pic.twitter.com/ppVyprLZ68
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) October 10, 2021
RB Derrick Henry
Of course, Darnold isn’t the most high-profile ball carrier with an opportunity this week. That honor belongs to reigning rushing champion Derrick Henry (NFL-best 510 this season), who enters Week 5 with a lead of 148 yards over the next closest player.
Against the Jaguars, Henry can record his fourth straight 100-yard rushing game, which would tie the careerlong streak he set in 2019. Here is a glimpse at his Week 5 cleats ahead of facing 30th-ranked defense.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) October 10, 2021
QB Joe Burrow
The second-year QB’s squad is off to its first 3-1 start since the 2018 season. Burrow’s return from injury has looked good. He is only the second player in Bengals history with multiple touchdown passes in each of the first four games of a season (2018, Andy Dalton).
Against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, who are also 3-1 to begin the 2021 season, Burrow kept his pregame look sharp prior to getting into his bag(s) later this afternoon.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) October 10, 2021
Green Bay Packers
RB Aaron Jones
Here is a shot of Jones during pregame warm-ups rocking his custom football-shaped medallion that holds special value to Green Bay’s leading rusher. The specialized accessory contains the ashes of Jones’ late father, who died in April.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 10, 2021
Jones temporarily lost the piece during his four-touchdown performance against the Detroit Lions in Week 2.
He assumed it was misplaced upon his second visit to the end zone that day, but he explained how proud that might have made his dad. “If there was any place to lose it, that’s where my dad would’ve wanted me to lose it,” Jones said. “So I know he’s smiling.”
Fortunately, a team athletic trainer found Jones’ necklace the following Tuesday morning.
Found at 1:45am Thank you to our trainer Bryan “Flea” Engel I’m forever grateful 🙏🏾♥️🕊 pic.twitter.com/ylTlZ5Jpfr
— Aaron Jones 3️⃣3️⃣ (@Showtyme_33) September 21, 2021
Washington Football Team
DE Montez Sweat
Sweat is tied for Washington’s team lead with three sacks.
His stylish pregame sweatsuit received an appropriate play on words from the team’s social media team.
𝗦𝘄𝗲𝗮𝘁suit SZN pic.twitter.com/RhAdr7hRm0
— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) October 10, 2021
Women of Red
Tampa Bay’s Women of Red initiative provides an opportunity for women who are fans of the team to enjoy an in-depth game experience. Here is a shot of this year’s Women of Red enjoying some pregame vibes ahead the Miami Dolphins visiting.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) October 10, 2021
QB Kyler Murray
Arizona (4-0) enters Week 5 as the only remaining undefeated squad across the NFL and seeking its first 5-0 start since 1974. Murray has been the catalyst behind the Cardinals’ hot start.
According to Caesar’s Sportsbook, he is currently the league favorite to win MVP honors (+500) after beginning the season with +2500 odds.
Here is a shot Murray entering State Farm Stadium ahead of taking on the San Francisco 49ers.
As you think, so shall you become. pic.twitter.com/R3uhAHi5U6
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) October 10, 2021
ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this story.