NFL Week 9 – 32 Thoughts
Plenty of Bye Weeks during Week 9 but there is still plenty to talk about from around the league.
Arizona Cardinals: How ironic that the Cardinals are finally good enough to beat all the teams in the NFC East and they are no longer in that division.
Atlanta Falcons: There is a lot to think about taking a five game losing streak into the bye week.
Baltimore Ravens: The façade of the Baltimore Ravens has been exposed as they were crushed by an average Steelers team. In two weeks the Ravens have gone from leading the division to last place. Cold Hard Fact: For all of the gaudy offensive and defensive stats the Ravens have put up, they are only 1-4 against teams with winning records.
Buffalo Bills: The Bills take a rare two game winning streak into their bye week to prepare for Kansas City.
Carolina Panthers: Another terrible game from Cam Newton has gift wrapped the division lead to the New Orleans Saints. Terrible Trends: The Panthers are now 0-3-1 in their last four games in which their defense has given up 29 points per game.
Chicago Bears: For a team that had hopes of contending for their division, the bye week will be spend soul searching to see if there is any way to salvage their season.
Cincinnati Bengals: Not an impressive win over the Jacksonville Jaguars but the Bengals have positioned themselves for a show down with the Cleveland Browns for first place in the division on Thursday Night.
Cleveland Browns: The Browns are 5-3…….Let me say that again in case you misread it the first time: The Browns are 5-3.
Dallas Cowboys: Even without Tony Romo, the Cowboys kept the game within 4 points going into the fourth quarter on Sunday when playing the Cardinals. The strange thing is that the Cowboys coaching staff, inexplicably, decided to put the game in Brandon Weeden’s hands (33 Pass attempts) and not the NFL’s leading rusher DeMarco Murray (19 rushing attempts). Stats are Stats: In 2014, the Cowboys are 6-0 when Murray has a minimum of 24 rushing attempts – 0-3 when he doesn’t.
Denver Broncos: After taking a 7-3 lead in the 1st Quarter, nothing went right for the Broncos who were outscored by the Patriots 40-14 from that point on. Turnovers, penalties, and the inability to convert on third down was more than the NFL’s Golden Child, Peyton Manning, could overcome. Cool Fact (if you’re not a Broncos fan): Sunday’s game was the worst regular season loss by Peyton Manning since coming to the Broncos.
Detroit Lions: With an extra week to prepare for the Dolphins, it will be interesting to see how the Lions defense responds to giving up 44 points in their last two games.
Green Bay Packers: After getting routed by the Saints, the Packers have an extra week to prepare for a home game against the Bears.
Houston Texans: Even with forcing four turnovers, the Houston defense could not stop the Eagles offense that piled up 483 yards and 30 first downs. Since starting 2-0, the Texans have gone 2-5 including losing 4 of the last 5.
Indianapolis Colts: The Colts bounced back from their loss last week by destroying the injury riddled Giants on Monday. A below standard effort from Andrew Luck was enough to get back into the win column. Indy’s defense, which was shredded last week by the Steelers held the hapless Giants to 89 yards rushing and 4 for 16 on third down.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Not a bad game for Blake Bortals but defensively the Jaguars could not stop the Bengals running game.
Kansas City Chiefs: A mistake free effort by Alex Smith and the Kansas City chiefs handed the Jets their eighth straight loss.
Miami Dolphins: Tannchize the Serviceable showed up and capitalized on opportunities created by the Dolphins defense who took advantage of an injury riddled Chargers team. This, of course, should keep the faithful Lube-Crew fired up for this week’s parade.
Minnesota Vikings: Though definitely looking like a rookie at times, the Vikings may have found a long term solution at Quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater who, in crunch time, delivered a late touchdown and then put the Vikings in position for the go ahead score. Weird Stat: RB Matt Asiata either scores three touchdowns in a game or scores none at all.
New England Patriots: Rob Ninkovich’s interception followed up by Julian Edelman’s 84 yard punt return sparked a 24 point 2nd quarter where the Patriots buried the Broncos. Surprisingly, the Patriots defense held Denver 3 for 11 on third down (0 for 4 on fourth down) and to only 43 yards rushing. The Patriots Stat of the Week: During the first four games of the season, the Patriots averaged 20 points per game. During their five game winning streak, the Patriots have averaged 40 points per game.
New Orleans Saints: After a slow start, the Saints scored two touchdowns right before halftime to lead 14-0 and never looked back from there. The New Orleans win not only put them in first place in the division, but their first road win of the year. Quick Fact: Thursday’s win against the Panthers was the first time this season that the Saints won back to back games.
New York Giants: Anyone who thought the Giants could sneak into the division race once Tony Romo and Nick Foles suffered injuries, were sadly mistaken. Besides all the injuries on defense, Eli Manning and the offense are just not playing well.
New York Jets: Whether it’s Geno Smith, Michael Vick or Matt Simms, the result is the same: Jets Loss. The Chiefs put the Jets into a quick 14 point hole that New York had no chance to recover from. Stat of Futility: The Jets have not won in Arrowhead Stadium since 1998.
Oakland Raiders: At 0-8, there is not really much positives to talk about. However, even with some rookie struggles, Derek Carr is giving some possible hope for the future for Raiders fans.
Philadelphia Eagles: Nick Foles’ injury may be a major setback even though Mark Sanchez (yes…that Mark Sanchez) played good enough for the Eagles to get the victory.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh capitalized on Ravens mistakes and turned two Ravens turnovers into quick touchdowns. James Harrison looks like he found the Fountain of Youth (or possibly some HGH) and was all over the field. At 6-3 and with two games still to play against the Bengals, the Steelers have put themselves in possible position for a playoff run if their old defense can hold up.
St Louis Rams: Have to give the Rams some credit. In the last three weeks, they have beat Seattle and San Francisco. It will be interesting to see, with 3 division games left, how St. Louis stacks up within their division. Game Notes: In their first seven games, the St. Louis Rams recorded a total of six sacks. On Sunday, the Rams had 8 sacks against Collin Kaepernick.
San Diego Chargers: The Chargers had 10 days to prepare for an average Dolphins team….It seemed that they could have had 10 weeks and it still would not have made a difference. Painful Stat: After scoring 27.3 points per game in the first 6 weeks (5-1), the Chargers have scored only 13.6 points per game (0-3) in the last three weeks….also the Chargers were shutout for the first time since 1999.
San Francisco 49ers: This team may be on the verge of collapse because of the huge disconnect from the front office, to the coaches, and down to the players.
Seattle Seahawks: A surprisingly poor performance from Russell Wilson kept this game closer than it should have been. Since beating Green Bay on opening day (36-16), Seattle’s average margin of victory has been only 6.5 points.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: At 1-7, the Buccaneers should have traded away Lovie Smith with all the moves they made before the trade deadline.
Tennessee Titans: Titans hope to bounce back against the Ravens when they come off their bye week….Probably won’t happen though.
Washington Redskins: The Vikings welcomed RGIII back by sacking him five times and ultimately beating the Redskins with a go ahead touchdown with only 3:27 to play. Weird Scheduling: The Redskins have played the Vikings five straight years and are 1-4 in those games.