It’s week 9 in the NFL and the theme of the day was scrapping, with fights, ejections and unnecessary roughness all over the league.
The Jets defense had a huge showing on Color Rush Thursday, holding Bills offense for a close first half, which led to a solid Jets lead in the second half. Both teams were on a four-day recovery after playing Sunday, but the Bills offense averaged below 5 yards each play, and allowed seven sacks by the Jets defense, turning the ball over three times. Josh McCown completed 14 for 20 passes and threw 140 yards, with no interceptions; not to mention he now has more rush touchdowns individually than five NFL teams this year. The Jets play Tampa Bay next Sunday, and the Bills will play the Saints.
The Eagles are really, really good. Wentz threw for 199 yards and four touchdowns, three of which were secured by running back Corey Clement. Wentz leads the league in touchdown passes, but when asked about his stats, he responded “8-1 is what it’s all about”. The Broncos’ usually ironclad defense was definitely rattled by the Eagles. Their offense led by Brock Osweiler, who is currently being paid a guaranteed $16 million salary by the Cleveland Browns, threw two interceptions to just one touchdown. Recently acquired running back Jay Ajayi showed his value, running for 77 yards and one score. The Eagles currently lead the league in wins, and have a bye. The Broncos play the Patriots on Sunday.
Cam Newton had an incredible game against the Falcons in a competitive NFC South game. Devin Funchess, a new trade to the Panthers had five catches and ran for 86 yards. Matt Ryan threw for 313 yards and had one interception, but the quarterback star of the game had to be Cam with an insane Jordan-like dunk to score, right on cornerback Desmond Trufant’s head. The Falcons’ offense struggled in their running game, as they have in the recent weeks. Panthers took the win, 20-17 and will play the Dolphins at home next Monday. The Falcons will face the Cowboys in Atlanta on Sunday.
The Jaguars had a huge blowout win against the Bengals, coming off a bye week. Some were skeptical of the Jags’ offensive ability to perform without running back Leonard Fournette, who was out for an infraction of a team rule. The Jags’ defense held their end, keeping the Bengals’ offensive yardage low. Tensions rose before halftime when Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green was finally provoked after back and forth trash-talk and a shove from Jacksonville corner back Jalen Ramsey , hooking him and proceeding to punch Ramsey. Both were ejected, and Green may face further penalties from the league. The Jags won 23-7 and improve to 5-3.
The Texans faced the Colts after a devastating injury to their potential MVP and rookie quarterback, Deshaun Watson. Still, the Colts struggled to complete in the red zone, and Jacoby Brissett made some serious mistakes in the pocket, making it an uncomfortably close game. In a bizarre third quarter play, Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had a huge run with a pass from Brissett, appeared to be down at the thirty without contact, but proceeded to rise and score a touchdown. The possum play led the Colts to a 17-7 lead at the third quarter. The Texans struggled noticeably without Watson’s presence, and fell to the Colts 20-14.
The Rams had one of their highest scoring games of the season against the Giants, with Jared Goff throwing over 300 yards and four touchdowns. In an otherwise underwhelming performance, Eli Manning became the seventh NFL quarterback to reach 50,000 yards, throwing two touchdown passes. The Rams are now 6-2, the best record of the franchise for over fifteen years. The Giants are 7-1 and will face the 49ers next Sunday.
The Bucs were defeated by the Saints, who have now won six consecutive games. Jameis Winston started off struggling, and left the game due to a shoulder injury in the first half, and later came off of the sideline, instigating some conflict against Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who was then shoved to the ground by Bucs Mike Evans. Evans received an unnecessary roughness call, but was not ejected. By the end of the fight, the Saints led 30-3. The Bucs had a late touchdown to bring the score to 30-10, but without their starting QB, it was an uphill battle they could not overcome.
Adrian Peterson had quite an impressive day in the Cardinals’ game against the 49ers, passing the 12,000 yard rushing mark in his career. Last week, SF picked up New England backup QB Jimmy Garappolo, who was seen warming up on the sidelines, but they still started Beathard, who threw 24 for 51 and zero touchdown passes. Beathard struggled behind an injury laden offensive line, and was sacked five times. Drew Stanton, who is standing in for the recently injured Arizona QB Carson Palmer, threw 201 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Antoine Bantea, a safety for the Cardinals, picked up an unnecessary roughness call after hitting Beathard late, which eventually led to the ejection of 49ers RB Carols Hyde as well as Cardinals LB Haason Reddick and DE Frostee Rucker.
It was a battle of the Washingtons in Seattle where the Redskins’ came with a deep injury chart to face a still struggling Seahawks offense. It was a low scoring game until yet another heart-racing fourth quarter in Seattle, where Luke Willson caught the pass from Wilson for the Seahawks’ first touchdown. Cousins responded with less than two minutes on the clock, throwing a 38 yard pass to Josh Doctson to the one yard line immediately followed by a Redskins TD. The Seahawks attempted to make a comeback with a score of 17-14 but failed on a Hail Mary in the last seconds of the game. The Seahawks will play the Cardinals this Thursday, and the Redskins face the Vikings on Sunday.
The Chiefs are in trouble after a serious surprise from the Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliott, who seems to be always and never suspended at the same time, scored once for the Cowboys, but Dak Prescott threw an incredible game, with 249 yards and two touchdowns, scoring one himself in the second quarter. Alex Smith threw 263 yards and two touchdowns, and Kareem Hunt ran for 37 yards, but the offensive star of the Chiefs had to be Travis Kelce, who gave the Chiefs their first lead, and followed up with an epic potato sack race celebration. The Dallas defense showed up against the strong Chiefs offense to prevent big plays and force them to cover third downs, a strategy that ended up with a win 28-17. The Cowboys will play the Falcons on Sunday, and the Chiefs are heading into a bye week.
For Sunday Night Football, the Raiders played the Dolphins in Miami. It was interesting to see how the Dolphins would perform given Gase’s harsh criticism of their offense last week and their recent trade of Ajayi to Philadelphia. Jay Cutler was back and surprised many of critics, going 34 of 42 for three touchdowns and ZERO interceptions! Those are fantastic numbers considering how often Cutler is considered a turnover machine. Unfortunately, Miami still lost the game to a very disappointing Oakland team who cannot seem to break out of a weird slump this season.
Tonight the Lions will take on the Packers in a battle for the NFC north. The Packers are 4-3 and the Lions are 3-4. The Packers are of course missing their QB Aaron Rodgers.