Week 9 is in the books and some teams have continued to struggle to find a way to win games while others are trending upwards. Several division rivals played against each other and those losing teams disappointed. Two teams put up a 50 burger and some teams are just hoping the season ends. Here’s what you missed out on…
New York Jets 34, Buffalo Bills 21
1. The Jets… well they are no longer fighting for the first overall pick. On the other hand, looked sharp against a Bills defense that hasn’t allowed 30 points at all this season. Matt Forte had his best game of this season having a total of 96 yards and 2 rushing TDs. Josh McCown on the other hand, did what he had to do; not turn the ball over. He even scampered for a 10-yard TD in the 1st quarter. The Jets defense also forced 3 fumbles against Buffalo. Overall, this performance was solid, but some still question what the Jets are doing at this point in time…
2. The Bills defense struggled to stop the run against the Jets and to score points, allowing 150+ rushing yards, double the average rushing yards per game. Don’t let the score fool you, the Bills scored 14 of their 21 points in the 4th quarter… when the game was basically over. Also, the Bills has clearly snapped the ball from the goaline which should’ve been ruled a TD… The Bills also turned the ball over 3 times and lost the game. The chances of the Bills making the playoffs has gone down and they’ll have to bounce back against the Saints next week.
Philadelphia Eagles 51, Denver Broncos 23
1. The Philadelphia Eagles are without a doubt the best team in the NFL. Wentz is playing out of his mind and threw 4 TDs against the “No Fly Zone” and scored 3 rushing TDs against a defense that hadn’t allowed a rushing TD all season. This team clicked on all cylinders: offense, defense, special teams, coaching staff. This team is the team to beat in the NFC and will look to continue their dominance after their bye week and will face Dallas in Week 11 to wrap up the NFC East race.
2. The Denver Broncos are still struggling with their quarterback situation. Osweiler will start against New England, but he was bruised and battered by the Eagles defense. He was sacked 3 times, hit 11 times, and threw 2 interceptions. The “No Fly Zone” looked inferior. Philly’s offense ran all over this defense that ranked 2nd in rushing yards per game allowed behind that’s right… the Eagles. The Broncos are simply sinking and will have to dig out of this whole they’ve put themselves in.
Los Angeles Rams 51, New York Giants 17
1. The Rams look like a legit playoff contender and pounded the Giants by laying a 50 burger on them. Jared Goff has the best performance of his career throwing 4 TD passes against a Giants defense that has been disappointing. Todd Gurley again had a solid performance racking up 104 total scrimmage yards. Sean McVay has completely transformed this offense and ranks 1st in points per game while the defense is becoming better and better each game. They have a strong chance of making the playoffs and could certainly take the NFC West crown.
2. The Giants are just wishing the season could end. Nothing seems to be working for them and need a coaching change once the season ends. The Giants offensive line continues to struggle and Eli Manning is simply in the twilight of his career. This season was supposed to be one where Giants were favorites to win the NFC East but they’re at the bottom of the league. Expect a major coaching change after this season and look for the Giants to target a QB in the upcoming draft.
New Orleans Saints 30, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10
1. The Saints started off this season 0-2 and have now won their 6th straight and it seems Sean Payton and will finally finish with more than 7 wins this year. The Saints are certainly playoff contenders but will need to hold off the Panthers and Falcons in order to win the NFC South. Alvin Kamara had his best game scoring 2 TDs and nearly 150 yards from scrimmage. Brees also played a clean game throwing for 2 TDs and the defense only allowed 10 points this game. The Saints are trending upwards.
2. The Bucs have not only been the most disappointing team this season, but Dirk Koetter has also decided to shut down Jameis Winston for “a few weeks” until his shoulder heals, meaning Ryan Fitzpatrick will take over. During the game, Mike Evans laid a cheap shot on Marshon Lattimore resulting in a suspension. The frustration is as visible as its ever been this season. Nothing is working for the Bucs which could mean a head coaching change at the end of the season… which is still many weeks away…
Jacksonville Jaguars 23, Cincinnati Bengals 7
1. The Jaguars dominated the Bengals, especially on defense. They allowed less than 200 yards and finally stopped the run limiting the running backs to 30 yards while Andy Dalton threw for less 150 yards. Blake Bortles also kept it clean with nearly 300 passing yards and 1 TD pass. If the Jaguars can keep this up, they’ll take home the division.
2. Another frustrating performance by the Bengals. They mustered less than 200 yards and Joe Mixon had only 31 yards on 13 carries. Perhaps one factor of this poor play was the ejection of A.J. Green after he took Ramsey down in a headlock and threw punches at him late in the 2nd quarter. Yet again, the frustration has shown on the Bengals and the future of Marvin Lewis is looking bleaker and bleaker as each week passes.
Carolina Panthers 20, Atlanta Falcons 17
1. Carolina finally ran the ball well this weekend against the Falcons… though it was mainly Cam who ran well. Even though he ran for 86 yards and dunked on a Falcons player for a TD, Christian McCaffery ran for a solid 66 yards and a TD while Jonathan Stewart fumbled twice… the running backs could certainly perform better in the run game but we’ll have to be patient with that. The Panthers defense intercepted Matt Ryan and held them to 17 points while also allowing less than 60 rushing yards. They’ll look to do this same against the Dolphins on Monday Night Football.
2. Perhaps the most surprising play of the game was when Julio Jones dropped an easy TD when Matt Ryan threw a deep bomb over the top in the 3rd quarter which would’ve given them the lead. Apart from this Ryan played well throwing for 313 yards, 2 TDs, and an interception. However, the running game stalled for only 51 yards which forced Ryan to throw the ball 38 times. The Falcons defense meanwhile forced Cam into throwing for only 137 yards but allowed him to run for nearly 100 yards. They struggled to stop the run game and if they can’t Ezekiel Elliott this weekend, they’ll struggle to keep up with Dallas.
Tennessee Titans 23, Baltimore Ravens 20
1. The Titans won a game that sees them sitting atop their division. Thought that might not be much to celebrate about because Mariota has still played below expectations this season. Sure he threw for 218 yards and 2 TDs but the running backs combined for 46 yards. The offense has been disappointing this season compared to last year. The defense on the other hand, has a star in Kevin Byard who now leads the league with 6 interceptions and his 2nd 2-interception game on the year. If the team as a while can play better, they could possibly make a push for a wild-card spot.
2. It wasn’t pretty for Joe Flacco and the Ravens. Flacco threw the ball 52 times for 261 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs. The running game wasn’t much better as the running backs combined for 64 yards on 20 carries. The inconsistent okay of Joe Flacco is really holding the Ravens back from being considered a playoff contender. Flacco needs to perform better if he wants a shot at making the postseason.
Indianapolis Colts 20, Houston Texans 14
1. Jacoby Brissett played arguably his best game as a Colts completing 20 of 30 passes for 308 yards, 2 TDs, a fumble and no interceptions. He seems to be getting more comfortable as the season progresses but on person who is definitely comfortable is T.Y. Hilton. He caught 5 passes for 175 yards and 2 TDs including an 80 yarder in the 34 quarter. The defense played well against Tom Savage and only allowed 7 points to the offense. The hope is that they can perform like this against opponents in the future in order to have a shot at making the postseason.
2. Tom Savage looked like…well Tom Savage. He couldn’t seem to find a rhythm on offense throwing for only 219 yards on 19 completions on 44 attempts. The run game was relatively average as both Lamar Miller combined for 94 yards on the ground but Hopkins caught 6 passes for 86 yards and a TD, but Will Fuller was a non-factor in this game catching only 2 passes for 32 yards. We knew someone’s production would fall off after Watson’s season-ending injury and it was obvious the Fuller would see less targets. The season for the Texans looks lost and are no longer favorites to win the AFC South.
Arizona Cardinals 20, San Francisco 49ers 10
1. Let’s start off with this, when Adrian Peterson gets into a rhythm, it’s difficult to stop him. He ran all over the Niners with 159 rushing yards on 37 carries. You would think that a 32 year old would get less than 30 carries a game but AP worked his butt off on those 37 carries. Drew Stanton meanwhile played decent enough to come away with a victory throwing 2 TDs but a bad interception in the red zone. The defense was all over C.J. Beathard sacking him 5 times and will hope to keep harassing opposing QB’s as the season progresses.
2. The 49ers are still winless and C.J. Beathard keeps getting pounded by opposing defenses. The offensive line simply struggles to block and pick up blitzes allowing 5 sacks. The running game wasn’t much better as 3 running backs combined for 47 yards on 14 carries which forced Beathard to throw the ball 51 times. The defense well… allowed Adrian Peterson to run for 159 yards. They couldn’t stop the run at all but did hold Stanton to only 201 passing yards. The Niners are just inching closer and closer to the #1 overall pick in the 2018 draft and probably wishing the season would just end already.
Washington Redskins 17, Seattle Seahawks 14
1. What a surprise this was. An upset win over the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field with a million injuries on both sides of the ball—mainly the offensive line— and somehow walk away victorious. Apart from taking that safety in the first half, Cousins did his part in not turning the ball over and coming up clutch in the last minute of the 2nd half when he threw beauty to Josh Doctson that was ruled down at the 1 and the run in by Rob Kelley to win the game. Maybe the Redskins do have a chance to make the postseason after this statement win in Seattle.
2. Heartbreaking loss after breaking the hearts of Texans fans just a week ago. The offensive line struggled even with Duane Brown in the lineup and the running backs, like all season, were a non-factor in the game. Also, the Seahawks’ only points in the first half came off a safety… Russell Wilson threw 2 interceptions but somehow kept Seattle in the game running for 77 yards on his own. Still, the Seahawks will have to figure things out because currently, they stand second in the division behind the rising Los Angeles Rams.
Dallas Cowboys 28, Kansas City Chiefs 17
1. The Dallas Cowboys looked great against the Chiefs and look like the team that went to the playoffs a year ago. Ezekiel Elliott ran 93 yards and scored a TD while Dak Prescott three for 249 yards and 2 TDs. Apart from the boneheaded play they gave up before the end of the 2nd half. Also, the Cowboys managed to force Alex Smith to throw his 1st interception of the season. If Zeke doesn’t get suspended, this offense will continue to dominate games.
Oakland Raiders 27, Miami Dolphins 24
1. The Raiders played relatively well and Marshawn Lynch had his best performance as a Raider running for 57 yards and 2 TDs while Derek Carr threw for 300 yards, 1 TD, and an interception. The defense, however, is a liability and allowed over 400 yards and did not force a turnover. This unit has been the weak point over the last few seasons and will not improve anytime soon. At least the Raiders won which helps their playoff chances.
2. The Miami offense looked much better than last week when they laid a goose egg against Baltimore. It seems like the Dolphins didn’t miss Ajayi as Kenyan Drake rushed for 69 yards whereas Ajayi ran for less than 50 yards against the Ravens. Cutler looked like a reliable quarterback throwing for 311 yards and 3 TDs. The “worst offense in the league” played their best game of the season and will look to carry this offensive performance into the next games but hope to get a win.
Detriot Lions 30, Green Bay Packers 17
1. The Lions have bounced back from their three-game skid and looked dominant over the Packers. Stafford threw for another 350+ yards against a Packers defense that had to be on the field for 36 minutes. 400 yards of offense, a total that offensive coordinator hopes the Lions can get close to just about every week. The Lions will look to continue this streak throughout the season and hope they can beat out the Vikings in the race for the NFC North.
2. Brett Hundley and the Packers have now lost 3 straight games and continue to find rhythm on offense. The defense gave up 30 points and the passing game was rather erratic throughout the game. Mike McCarthy says he still believes in Hundley, but somehow he can’t still find a way to make a gameplan that suits Hundley best. Going back to the defense, they simply couldn’t pressure him at all. They gave Stafford way too much time in the pocket which is why they were carved up for 353 passing yards.