Ian Evans NFL Week 9 Love/Hate Weekend Recap
Can you believe that Week 10 of the 2020-2021 NFL regular season starts tonight? It’s crazy to think about. As this article looks back on the best and worst from Week 9, keep in mind that football fans only have 7 more weeks of the NFL season until the playoffs begin. That mean that many teams in playoff races, or teams that are trying to maintain or solidify 1st place in their division, have a lot of work to do or pressure to apply before the season concludes in January. Week 9 gave us an abundance of entertaining and heart-pounding games, as well as some puzzling and disappointing performances. Once again at the end of the article, there will be honorable and dishonorable mentions if a moment you didn’t see in the original list didn’t make the cut. With all of this being said, let’s get into it.
Love: Close Games
I am a personal fan of close games rather than blowout wins, unless the team is a rival of mine. Why? Because it means that the game was competitive through and through. Week 9 showcased many great games that ended in slim margins. For example, the Atlanta Falcons played a close game with the Denver Broncos that came down to the wire as Atlanta edged out Denver 34-27. The Titans found a way to score against a top-10 defense in the Chicago Bears winning 24-17. The Chiefs and Panthers played a game in which the lead changed multiple times as the Chiefs escaped the Panthers 33-31. Houston got their second win of the season as they defeated the Jaguars 27-25. And finally, the Las Vegas Raiders defeated their struggling AFC West rival Los Angeles Chargers 31-26. There was one more close game which I will discuss in further detail towards the end of the article. It was a competitive week of football and these scores proved it. Hopefully there will be more games like these in Week 10.
Hate: New York Jets (lol….they blew it)
Photo Courtesy: Jet X Graphic/Getty Images
Just when you thought that the New York Jets would actually win a game this season, they, of course, found a way to lose. They had a chance to win their first game of the season against a struggling New England Patriots. They were up 20-10 at halftime. They were finding was to pick apart New England’s defense in the first half as they only punted once. Breshad Perriman had himself a game reeling in 2 touchdowns and having 101 receiving yards on the day. Joe Flacco (18-25, 262 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception) actually had a pretty decent game…until the 4th quarter when he threw a crucial interception. That pick allowed the New England Patriots to drive into New York territory and set up a game-winning field goal by Nick Folk. The Jets only scored once in the second half after lighting it up in the first half. However, they do have another chance against the Patriots in Week 17. Will they go 0-16? It’s certainly looking like it.
Love: Josh Allen
Photo Courtesy: John Munson|Associated Press
The Buffalo Bills are 7-2 and the best team in the AFC East. Besides, their aggressive defense, Josh Allen has been putting up incredible numbers as of late. Sunday afternoon, the Bills took on Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in Buffalo. Josh Allen and the Bills defended home field as they beat the Seahawks 44-34. Allen threw for 415 yards and 3 touchdowns and only missed 7 passes on 38 attempts. The Seahawks defense is known for giving up a plenty of yards weekly, and it showed in Buffalo on Sunday as the Bills put up 420 yards and had 32 minutes of possession as well. This time of possession and lack of defensive stops allowed Josh Allen to wreak havoc on Seattle’s defense as the Bills are now 4-1 at home. Expect Josh Allen to continue to produce in a battle against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals on Sunday.
Hate: Russell Wilson
Photo Courtesy: Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports
He’s still in the MVP conversation, and for good reason too, but Sunday’s performance from Russell Wilson was not his finest. Although he threw for 290 yards, he threw an uncharacteristic 2 interceptions against the Bills in a 44-34 loss. One of those interceptions came on 4th down on a crucial red zone play. The other one happened in their own territory which resulted in a Josh Allen touchdown rush. Watching Wilson play against the Bills was puzzling as it seemed he had some mental lapses passing the ball as he had one of his worst QBRs of the year at 69.2. However, even with his performance not living up to expectations on Sunday, I have no doubt he’ll turn it around against the Los Angeles Rams. If not, their hopes of winning the NFC West could be in jeopardy.
Love: The Kansas City Trio (Mahomes, Hill, Kelce)
Photo Courtesy: Fansided/Arrowhead Addict
Kansas City is looking incredible through Week 9 for the second straight year. They played a close game against the Carolina Panthers, just barely winning 33-31. They are 8-1 on the year, thanks to a solid defense, but also thanks to incredible offensive performances by Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce. This Chiefs trio put up NUMBERS as the Panthers struggled containing them. Mahomes threw for 372 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tyreek Hill caught 9 of Mahomes passes for 113 yards and 2 tocuhdowns as his breakneck speed was too much for Carolina. And last but not least, Travis Kelce reeled in 10 catches for 159 yards making fantasy owners satisfied. Its tough formulating a defensive scheme against this team week in and week out as it is tough to stop all three stars. The only way to beat them is to simply keep them off the field, which is easier said than done. Expect the trio to perform well once again, extend their four game winning streak, and seek revenge against the only team to beat the this year: the Las Vegas Raiders.
Hate: Los Angeles Chargers…AGAIN
Photo Courtesy: Gina Ferazzii/Los Angeles Times
Call an ambulance……but not for me. Call it for the Los Angeles Chargers as they lost a tough game against the Las Vegas Raiders 31-26 on Sunday. They didn’t play bad this time either. The reason why I hate the Chargers this week is because of the fashion in which they lost this game. Los Angeles had the final play of the drive with roughly 4 and a half minutes left in the game. They played the drive almost perfectly, getting first down after first down, and finding a way to get inside the 10 yard line of the Raiders. With 1 second left, Herbert threw a touchdown to Donald Parham Jr. that would’ve sealed the game. What happened you ask? The replay official reviewed the pass completion ruling and the play was reversed. Unreal, but with this team are we surprised? It was sad to watch as football fans, unless you’re a Raiders fan, was cheering for the Chargers to turn it around after blowing lead after lead this year. Week 10 offers no easy feat for them as well as they play a gritty Miami defense that found a way to stop an explosive Arizona defense. Good luck L.A. we’re wishing you well.
Love: New Orleans Saints
Photo Courtesy: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
That’s how you defeat a division rival, in blowout fashion. Create speculation, create drama, and apply pressure. That’s what New Orleans does. Many football fans expected the Saints-Buccaneers game to be close and competitive for 48 minutes. The Saints had other plans as they completely embarrassed the Buccaneers 38-3. This was also the first time in Tom Brady’s career in which he has been swept by a division rival as well. The AFC East is nowhere near the NFC South. Drew Brees had himself a day as he threw for 222 yards and 4 touchdowns. Alvin Kamara rushed for a touchdown, Dayton Flyers rookie Adam Trautman caught his first touchdown of his career, and Michael Thomas led the team in receiving as well with 51 yards as he returned for the first time since Week 1. Why did he only have 51 yards? Because Brees found 11 other receivers as he spread the wealth with ease. The offense put up 420 yards while the defense only allowed 194 on the night and picked off Tom Brady THREE times. Simply incredible. They’ll face an injury prone San Francisco 49ers team on Sunday and will continue their 5-game winning streak as the season rolls on. Well done New Orleans. Well done.
Hate: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Photo Courtesy: Jason Behnken/Associated Press
We know they have had an up and down season thus far. But their performance against their division rivals, the New Orleans Saints, was downright abysmal. They got humbled, embarrassed, and flat out annihilated Sunday night losing 38-3 and giving up 1st place in the NFC South. Tom Brady threw for 209 yards and threw and astounding 3 interceptions. Yikes. Ronald Jones II only rushed for a whopping 9 yards as well. The offense only found the red zone once. While the offense struggled moving the ball the defense couldn’t find an answer for Brees and the Saints offense as they gave up 420 total yards. This team looking confused, upset, and frustrated all night long, and it showed in their body language on the sideline. There is still hope for this team in the division as they play the 3-6 Panthers in Week 10, but that loss is something the league will remember for a while, especially if the two teams face off in the playoffs.
Love: Kyler vs. Tua
Photo Courtesy: Sports Illustrated
I will end this list with something I loved as I am a lover, not a fighter. I love watching young talent compete at a high level against each other. The Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins game gave us just that. Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa played miraculous games as the young quarterbacks were nearly flawless. Kyler Murray threw for 283 yards, 3 touchdowns and only missed 5 passes on the day, as he slightly outplayed Tua in the quarterback battle. But Tua would have the last laugh as his team ultimately ended up winning the hard-fought game 34-31. Tagovailoa threw for 248 yards and 2 touchdowns as he is consistently getting better as he has only recorded his 2nd start of his career. These two talents are simply electric to watch as they are only getting better week by week. With the young talent in this league at the quarterback position, it is safe to say that the league will be in good hands after the greats retire. And I for one, am loving watching their improvement and progression.