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Florida Gators in the NFL, Week 5: Dameon Pierce breaks through

Last week wasn’t his biggest day — but he announced his arrival with a legendary run.

Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

How many times have you watched the run?

I’m approaching 100 views and I still can’t stop watching. While writing this opening, I’ve watched it another 10 times. The comparisons to Marshawn Lynch and Derrick Henry came fast and furious on Sunday.

But me? I thought that Pierce run reminded me of, well, that other incredible Pierce run — only his helmet stayed on this time.

How do you do it, Dameon? The balance, the strength, the desire - all off the charts.

That stampede through the Jaguars defense helped contribute to what PFF says they’ve never seen before.

Pierce has 412 rushing yards - most in Texans history through a player’s first five games. And after only those five games, he is showing he is already one of the best running backs in the National Football League.

Remember, too, that Pierce is doing all this despite playing for one of the worst teams in the league.

Pierce and the Texans are on a bye in Week 6, but that won’t slow him down. Houston general manager Nick Caserio said Pierce was in the team facility on Monday — one day after tallying 29 touches against Jacksonville — squatting 425 pounds. The best don’t rest.

I love Dameon Pierce. And I’m not alone.

The bandwagon is full.

Week 5 Notables

With Kyle Pitts sidelined, Feleipe Franks played 30 offensive snaps for the Falcons on Sunday - a career-high. The converted tight end struggled in all areas. Last week, I wrote about Marcus Mariota looking for Kyle Pitts often on deep balls. He tried one for Franks this week and is definitely better off saving these for when Pitts returns.

Kadarius Toney is apparently battling injuries in both his hamstrings now. If you drafted Toney in your fantasy league, it might be time to cut bait. I have no idea when he’ll get on the field and if he’ll be a primary target for the surprising Giants.

The streak is over for Eddy Piñeiro. He had made 27 field goals in a row before missing his first attempt Sunday. But Eddy shook it off and promptly banged through the next three kicks. He’s 11/12 on the season and has made 87.5% of his FGs for his career.

Tommy Townsend hasn’t been needed much as the Chiefs offense has found its rhythm. But when called upon, he’s delivering. Townsend is second in the NFL with a 53.3 average on his 15 punts. He leads the league in net punting at 48.7.

Tyrie Cleveland returned from a hamstring injury in week 5, playing mostly on special teams. His one target in 10 offensive snaps? Russell Wilson’s crushing interception that helped the Broncos blow a victory last Thursday.

Play of the Week

We can’t just write about Pierce in this space every week, and he wasn’t the only Gators rookie shining on Sunday. Kaiir Elam snatched his first career pick on Sunday.

He gave up 10 catches on Sunday against Pittsburgh, but most of them were in garbage time as the Bills had a huge lead. Last week, Elam posted a shutout against the Ravens with zero catches allowed.

Player of the Week

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson turned in his best game as a Philadelphia Eagle, punctuated by this pick of Kyler Murray.

Gardner-Johnson had 10 tackles, a pass breakup, and a tackle for loss - filling up the box score. But as always, the best part of his game is the smack.

The Eagles are the only unbeaten team in the league and their defense is a big reason for it. But it hasn’t been the start in Philly we expected for Ceedy Duce. Perhaps this game will get his season going.

Here are all of the Week 5 stats (ranked and tiered in order of performance):

The Good

  • Dameon Pierce, HOU, RB

Week 5: 26 rush, 99 yards, 1 TD, 3 rec, 14 yards, 46 snaps (79%)

  • Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, PHI, S

Week 5: 10 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TFL, 1 PD, 69 snaps (100%)

  • Kaiir Elam, BUF, CB

Week 5: 10 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PD, 75 snaps (100%)

  • Marco Wilson, ARI, CB

Week 5: 8 tackles, 1 TFL, 68 snaps (93%)

  • Trent Brown, NE, RT

Week 5: 60 snaps (100%)

  • Alex Anzalone, DET, LB

Week 5: 8 tackles, 1 PD, 53 snaps (88%)

  • Keanu Neal, TB, S

Week 5: 3 tackles, 33 snaps (50%), 8 ST snaps (36%)

  • Jawaan Taylor, JAX, RT

Week 5: 75 snaps (100%)

  • Evan McPherson, CIN, K

Week 5: 1/1 FG, Long 40, 2/2 XP

  • Demarcus Robinson, KC, WR

Week 5: 1 rec, 2 targets, 8 yards, 1 tackle, 49 snaps (75%)

  • D.J. Humphries, ARI, LT

Week 5: 69 snaps (100%)

  • Eddy Pineiro, CAR, K

Week 5: 3/4 FG, Long 43

  • Tommy Townsend, KC, P

Week 5: 3 punts, 48.3 avg

  • T.J. Slaton, GB, DT

Week 5: 4 tackles, 25 snaps (41%), 9 ST snaps (35%)

  • Taven Bryan, CLE, DT

Week 5: 2 tackles, 35 snaps (49%), 4 ST snaps (15%)

The Limited

  • Dante Fowler, Jr., DAL, OLB

Week 5: 1 tackle, 1 QB hit, 29 snaps (45%)

  • Brandon Powell, LAR, WR

Week 5: 1 rush, 1 yard, 3 PR, 6.3 avg, 11 snaps (17%), 17 ST snaps (57%)

  • Zach Carter, CIN, DT

Week 5: 1 tackle, 22 snaps (34%), 5 ST snaps (22%)

  • Jonathan Bullard, MIN, DT

Week 5: 1 tackle, 17 snaps (34%)

  • Carlos Dunlap, KC, DE

Week 5: no stats, 37 snaps (58%)

  • Jon Bostic, WAS, LB

Week 5: 2 tackles, 10 snaps (16%), 18 ST snaps (64%)

  • Tyrie Cleveland, DEN, WR

Week 5: 1 target, 1 tackle, 10 snaps (14%), 13 ST snaps (42%)

  • Marcell Harris, NYJ, LB/S

Week 5: 1 tackle, 5 snaps (7%), 18 ST snaps (62%)

  • C.J. Henderson, CAR, CB

Week 5: no stats, 27 snaps (40%)

  • Feleipe Franks, ATL, TE

Week 5: no stats, 30 snaps (45%), 7 ST snaps (32%)

  • Stone Forsythe, SEA, T

Week 5: 5 ST snaps (15%)

  • Fred Johnson, TB, G/T

Week 5: 1 snap (1%), 3 ST snaps (14%)

The Inactive

  • Kyle Pitts, ATL, TE: Inactive (Hamstring)
  • Jonathan Greenard, HOU, DE: Inactive (Ankle)
  • Marcus Maye, NO, S: Inactive (Ribs)
  • Kadarius Toney, NYG, WR: Inactive (Hamstring)
  • Max Garcia, ARI, G: Inactive (Toe)
  • Teez Tabor, SEA, S: Inactive
  • Kyle Trask, TB, QB: Inactive
  • Van Jefferson, LAR, WR: Injured Reserve (Knee)

The Practice Squad

  • Freddie Swain, MIA, WR
  • Malik Davis, DAL, RB
  • Jarrad Davis, DET, LB
  • Jeff Driskel, HOU, QB
  • David Sharpe, BAL, T
  • Jeremiah Moon, BAL, LB
  • Jabari Zuniga, SEA, DE
  • Quincy Wilson, PIT, DB