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‘Sunday Night Football’ Week 5 open thread

Two NFC heavyweights battle it out near the San Francisco Bay

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Every week feels like a new season in the NFL, where most teams really swim in a muddle huddle with one another for much of the season, trading barbs and leadership roles atop each division. That’s especially true for the Buffalo Bills, who lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in London. While the loss stings, the Jaguars have a good football team. The real trauma in today’s loss for Buffalo was of course what happened on the injury front, especially concerning both defensive tackle DaQuan Jones and of course linebacker Matt Milano.

Elsewhere in the league, the Pittsburgh Steelers managed to pull off the unthinkable by defeating the Baltimore Ravens. There’s bad news concerning the rest of the AFC East, with only the New England Patriots losing 34-0 to the New Orleans Saints — trouble in Mac Jonesville continues to gain steam. The Miami Dolphins’ offensive juggernaut course-corrected itself, while the New York Jets laid a whooping on Sean Payton and the Denver Broncos. Congrats to you, Nathaniel Hackett! It’s likely people talk this week about the return of Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals, the inconsistent nature of the Bills and how they aren’t a legitimate Super Bowl contender, and that no one will beat the Kansas City Chiefs when the dust settles. All those narratives will of course be wrong, in part or in full. But for Week 5, they’ll fulfill the hot takes necessary to move fingers over URLs.

Tonight’s nightcap, featuring the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara to face the San Francisco 49ers should be an entertaining game. Consider the following: It was just about 6 p.m. London time when the Bills and Jaguars wrapped things up today. When the Cowboys and Niners kick off under the lights of Sunday Night Football, it will be 5:15 p.m. PDT.

Here’s one final open thread for your Sunday. Enjoy the game, the conversations here, and the idea of allowing one another to be heard without feeling alienated. Today’s been tough for many Bills fans, and that reverberated in some of the open-thread discussions. At the end of the day, we’re all lucky to have one another.