Now that week 9 is officially behind us, we have just under half of the regular season left to enjoy. Like every week, this one had its fair share of close games as well as ones that seemed decided before the 4th even started. We had a ton of top teams lose games we all expected them to win, proving that the “every given Sunday” saying is more than just that.
Colts Win, and Look Really Good
To me, the Colts have been thoroughly disappointing. Not because they flat-out suck like some teams, but because they are so darn talented and have only a losing record to show for it. Aside from 2 bad games, Carson Wentz has looked really solid for Indy. He seems a lot more confident and really comfortable playing for Frank Reich. Despite this, the team has struggled to really prove that they are as good as we think, boasting only a 4-5 record. The biggest takeaway from their win against the Jets is simple. If Wentz can continue playing the way he did, and if the ground game can continue to have huge games like this, they can potentially sneak into the playoffs. They got a really complete team, but have had some miscues late in games that held them back. Maybe this win will be the one to help boost some momentum into their favor.
Raiders Lose to the Giants
The Raiders are a confusing team. They started off really hot, behind some excellent Derek Carr play, and then it kind of went downhill. Issues at home with their former coach, and a couple of ex-players could be what sort of knocked them off their high horse, and this loss to the Giants might fall under that category too. No diss to the Giants, who defensively made it a nightmare for Derek Carr, forcing 2 picks and a fumble with one of the turnovers leading to a defensive TD. I think the Raiders issue is clear, they need some WRs. Darren Waller (TE) and Kenyan Drake (RB2) were the leading receivers for the Raiders. Their defense is decent. The offensive line is decent. Their QB is decent. But without weapons to throw to, he’s kinda shorthanded and it’s not his fault. Right now, I think the Raiders need to address the issues they had this season, on and off the field. They got to grow from it and hopefully try to overcome it because if not, that 5-3 record can look very different.
New Orleans Suffers a Tough Loss
This is just becoming a trend for the Saints. Huge gutsy win against a team no one thought they’d beat, only to suffer a loss the following week. This team is good. And with the issues at QB and the injury suffered by Winston, they knew it would be tough to figure out the QB situation again. Siemian played really well, but Matt Ryan put on a clinic. The Falcons as a whole ran for 34 yards, TOTAL. And even without a run game, Matt Ryan tossed for 343 yards and 3 TDs to help his team get to .500 on the year. Now, they sit just a game back of the Saints for second in the NFC South and can potentially turn their own season around. I do think they need to run the ball more, because you won this game in the air, but against other teams you won’t be so lucky.
Jags Beat the Bill 9-6
Not sure what to say here. Maybe a good loss for Buffalo to serve as a reminder to never let your guard down or belittle your opponent. Everyone thought their 3-game schedule against Miami, Jacksonville, and New York would be a walk in the park, and maybe the Bills did too. Josh Allen had a fantastic game, and not the QB. He had a pick, sack, a pass defended, and a fumble recovery against the better known Josh Allen. A good win for the Jags to help build some chemistry and optimism. For Buffalo, back to the drawing board to try and overcome this embarrassment.
Browns Win Big
Not a lot to say for this one, The Bengals, again, are proving maybe they had too much hype surrounding them. Burrow threw 0 TDs and 2 picks, the first time this year he’s been held to 0 TD passes. The defense got dismantled by Nick Chubb as well, allowing him to rush for 137 yards and 2 TDs on 14 carries. Baker Mayfield needed this win too. After all that he dealt with from the whole OBJ drama, to go out there and win by this much, and look solid doing it, it’s got to have helped his confidence.
Denver Wins and the Cowboys Disappoint
Didn’t I say to never have too much faith in the Cowboys? That they disappoint often? They win a huge game without Dak at the helm, on the road, and come back at home with their QB1 against Denver and FALL APART. Teddy Bridgewater threw for 249 yard, and the connection between Tim Patrick and Jerry Jeudy looked really good. Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon SHREDDED the Dallas defense, rushing for 111 and 80 yards respectively. A big W for a team who departed from their All-Pro outside linebacker, Von Miller. Dallas was held scoreless up until the 4th quarter, where Dak decided it was time to actually play. Much like Buffalo, this loss is one Dallas has to learn from. Don’t get too cocky in this league because it won’t end up well.
Two AFC West Teams Get Back on Track
The Chargers get back in the win column following their week 8 defeat at the hands of the Patriots in LA. Herbert throws for 356 yards and 2 TDs, adding a score from the ground as well. Hurts and company kept the Eagles in it but ultimately suffered a loss. The Chiefs also got in the win column, winning their second straight, after defeating the Rodger-less Packers by a score of 13-7. Not the prettiest game for either team, but the wins keep the race in the AFC West really complicated. All 4 teams have 5 wins, and all teams still got a legit shot to win the division this year.
Niners are in Shambles
What a statement win for the Cardinals. Without their QB, without their WR1 and WR2, without their RB1, and without their TE, they not only win but absolutely outclass the Niners. Colt McCoy and James Conner put on a show, with McCoy throwing for 249 yards and a TD (only 4 incompletions) and Conner running for 96 yards and 2 TDs, and hauling in 77 receiving yards and a TD. Just a complete game for Arizona after a bitter defeat last week.
Rams Lose to the Henry-less Titans
This was probably the biggest win for any team this week. The first game without the best back in the league who carried this franchise for the last couple years, no one really thought the Titans would win. The run game was weak, with 3 guys splitting the carries and all rushing for just barely over 20 yards. Tannehill had a weaker game too, throwing for under 150 yards with a TD and a pick. But Tennessee’s defense, man what a game. 5 sacks, 2 picks, and a TD to help out your offense. That’s guts. The Rams just couldn’t get comfortable in time and the Titans executed their game plan beautifully.
Bears Lose to the Refs
Maybe this is controversial, maybe not, but I am just so sick and tired of the refs ruining games and getting away with it. The Bears are not a team people defend, especially with their inability to fire their incomepetent head coach. But this game, on primetime, put the horrible officiating from this entire season on blast. Just bad calls, flat out TERRIBLE calls against the Bears. And when the Bears were victims to similar plays, they wouldn’t get the flag tossed in their favor. It just ruined a really great game for Justin Fields. No doubt the Steelers played well, but they got bailed out too many times to even give them credit.