Week 9 of the NFL has passed, and while it was a pretty boring week, save for the Sunday night game, I do have some takes, especially on my team, and another team from the same division. Lets get to it.
First off we have the Thursday night game between the 49ers and Cardinals. The 49ers pushed their way to 8-0, but they made it tough. The Cardinals made it a game near the end, and dare I say, I may have been wrong on Kliff Kingsbury, for now. The Cardinals have proven to be much better on offense than I thought, and their defense, while not great, is fine. The 49ers finally got a breakout game from Jimmy Garropolo, and if they play like this, they are a true NFC threat. I don't totally buy it yet, but they do have a solid defense, they are winning, and if the offense can put together more games like this, they will be good for years to come. Also, Kyler Murray is really, really good. That kid can play.
The Texans easily dispatched of the Jags, and I think this game really showed the true colors of each team. The Texans can be great, if they can protect Deshaun Watson. He was awesome on Sunday, and that Jumpman pose he did to get in the end zone was rad. Also, him shouting out Popeye's spicy chicken sandwich was so god damn cool. Deshaun Watson rules. The Jags, and more so Gardner Minshew, are, at best, a 7 win team. They cannot keep up on defense, when teams load the box Leonard Fournette cannot go off and Minshew looks like a backup. I still kind of like the Jags, but they aren't a top tier, playoff caliber team. Not yet anyway.
The Eagles looked lackluster, slow and kind of checked out, and yet they still beat the Bears. The Eagles did just enough to get a crucial win to stay in the playoff conversation, but this game was way more clarifying as to what ails the Bears. The Bears have an otherworldly defense, and Khalil Mack is great. But, their offense is horrendous, and I put the blame squarely on the GM and the QB. Yes, Matt Nagy has made some odd calls, but if he had a QB that was serviceable, I think the Bears are 6-2 instead of 3-5. Mitch Trubisky is not a good NFL QB, and as long as he is starting, the Bears will be wasting a great defense and a solid receiving corps. They need to move on now.
The Chiefs found a way to beat one of RD's teams, the Vikings, with a backup QB. This proves how great of a regular season coach Andy Reid is. He schemed up Matt Moore to perfection, got a key win and is just biding his time until Patrick Mahomes gets back. The Vikings played okay, but they just couldn't get it done. I thought they were going to beat the Chiefs because of how hot they have been lately, but this is what happens when you put all your eggs in the Kirk Cousins basket I guess.
The Steelers, who I still don't buy as a playoff contender, somehow found a way to beat the Colts. Now, Jacoby Brissett got hurt during the game, and still, the Colts had a shot. Adam Vinateiri missed a game winner, and he may be done, but still, the Colts had a chance. They are still in contention to win the division, or get a wild card slot, but this loss hurts, and if Brissett misses a few games, it may only get worse. As for the Steelers, they won, but again, I still don't buy them as contenders. They cannot run the ball with consistency, and their QB situation is a real mess. Although, I love seeing Devin Bush playing well. That is pretty cool.
The Dolphins won a game. I did not think I would write that sentence once this year. But, they found a way to beat the Jets. The Jets may be the worst team in, not only the NFL this year, but of all time. I know some teams have gone 0-16, and other teams have played bad, but the Jets are a whole new level of awful. They are poorly coached, poorly ran and they flat out stink. Sam Darnold has regressed, LeVeon Bell cannot find any running room and their defense is real, real bad. Adam Gase is a horrible head coach, and the Jets are in chaos mode right now. Good for the Dolphins though. Way to get one win.
The Bills made easy work of Washington, and Washington is almost, almost, as bad as the Jets. The Bills are, fairly quietly, 6-2, and could be 9-2 after the next 3 weeks. They have a very, very good defense, and can run the ball well. They are a clock controlling type team. As for Washington, well, they haven't scored a single TD in 3 weeks. That is atrocious. They can't run, they can't protect their rookie QB and they lied to their best O lineman about having cancer. This team is a mess, and I bet they have a very hard time finding anyone credible coach to take their vacant head coaching job. Washington is bad.
The Panthers beat the Titans because Christian McCaffery is fully asserting himself as the best running back in the league. They did get some bad news today, with Cam Newton going on IR, but if CMC continues to do what he's doing, and the defense plays like they did on Sunday, as opposed to what they did against the 49ers, they can still make that push for the playoffs. The Titans, on the other hand, are the most bland team in the league. They don't do anything spectacular or terrible. They are so blah. I'm sure they will go 7-9 or 8-8 and no one will care.
The Raiders got their fourth win of the year, and they beat an okay Lions team. I cannot believe I am saying this, but the Raiders are starting to resemble a real NFL team. Oh, and Josh Jacobs is awesome. I thought they may have reached a bit for him. I was wrong. He is a real good running back. The Lions had one of their typical blown games, but this time it was on them, not the refs. They just have struggled to put together a full four quarters. But, the Raiders aren't as bad as they have been in the past, and Matt Stafford is having a solid year. Now they need to translate that into some wins.
The Seahawks let the Bucs jump out to a 14 point lead, but they managed to comeback yet again. Russell Wilson was great when he needed to be, and it gets more and more frustrating to me to say this, but he is having a monster year. So is DK Metcaf. The Seahawks have problems on defense, but if Russell Wilson continues to play like he has all year, he will single handily lead them to the playoffs. The Bucs cannot get out of their own way. Even when Jameis Winston has a good game, he still has a critical turnover that kills his team. Also, the Bucs defense is awful. They cannot stop anyone.
My team, the Packers, laid a complete egg on Sunday. The Chargers have not been a good team all year, yet they dominated Green Bay. The Packers defense was on the field seemingly all game, and they got pretty tired near the end. And when Green Bay was on offense, they looked very sloppy. They couldn't do much of anything. The Chargers deserved to win, and they easily won. That was a rough watch for me.
The Sunday night game, as I mentioned at the top, was great. The Ravens shredded the Patriots D, and for the first time this season, the Patriots looked unprepared. Lamar Jackson furthered his MVP case as well. He was so awesome on Sunday night. He made all the right reads, he made the throws and he was a nuisance to tackle. He is the new Mike Vick. He is a faster Steve Young. He is awesome. The Ravens D also harassed Tom Brady all game long, stripped Julian Edelmann and shut the Patriots down. I know this is just one game, and I still think the Patriots will be in the Super Bowl, but it was nice to see the Ravens and Lamar Jackson run all over them and win going away. The Ravens are legit, and so is Lamar Jackson.
Finally we have the Monday night game between the Cowboys and Giants, and honestly, I didn't watch a second of this game. I instead chose to watch "Watchmen", and I feel like I made the correct choice. I saw the Cowboys won, and that Saquon Barkley did some more cool shit this morning when I checked highlights, and for a Monday night game like last night, I feel that is more than enough attention that needs to be paid to 2 teams I could care less about, and haven't been relevant for nearly a decade now.
That's it for my week 9 takes. Come back next week for week 10.