Well, for the most part Week 9 of the NFL season was uneventful. Unless you count uninspiring and weird pregame speeches from Jameis Winston or heated cheap shots that made the league look more like the NHL. But then there was promise from some young guns in the Rams’ Jared Goff and Eagles’ Carson Wentz.
From the Los Angeles Rams potent offense to Jay Cutler’s first 3-TD, no INT game and the New York Giants mess to the mediocre Green Bay Packers, we’re breaking down the good and the bad from this week in the NFL.
Let’s take a look at the winners and losers in Week 9 of the 2017 NFL season:
Los Angeles Rams
It’d be easy to say the Rams looked as good as they did given the quality of the opponent they were playing, in the struggling, bumbling New York Giants. But you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. The 6-2 Los Angeles Rams — who won 51-17 — are shocking and impressing in an upside down NFL season with new coach Sean McVay. The Rams offense, led by second year QB Jared Goff, lit it up against the Giants amassing 473 total yards and 51 points. It’s funny to think back to last season when everyone was calling Goff a bust. What a difference the right coach makes for a young quarterback. And what a difference a productive young QB makes for a team.
It feels safe at this midway point in the NFL season to say that the Philadelphia Eagles are the NFC favorite to make it to the Super Bowl. And that’s a combination of both the extreme talent and production of the Eagles, as well as the lack of productivity elsewhere. The Eagles continued their dominance with a convincing 51-23 victory over the Brock Osweiler-led Denver Broncos. Carson Wentz continues to make his case for MVP with another four-touchdown performance as the Eagles continue to fly.
In his nine year career, Jay Cutler has never had a game like he had against the Oakland Raiders in Week 9. Cutler, who’s been overtly criticized for his turnovers throughout his career, pitched a perfect game on the turnover front. Cutler completed 34 of 42 passes for 311 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions and zero fumbles. It’s the first time in his career that he’s thrown three touchdowns and no interceptions. Well, who says it’s too late to add to your resume? Sucks that it was in a losing effort, as the Dolphins fell to the Raiders 27-24. But Cutler proved that he’s still got it.
New Orleans Saints
If there’s a team that’s going to give the Philadelphia Eagles a run when playoff time comes near, it just might be the New Orleans Saints. The 6-2 Saints continue to thrive off a more balanced offensive attack where Drew Brees is throwing less than in seasons past. But it’s their running game, led by Alvin Kamara, that’s added a new layer to their offense. Couple that with the Saints newly improved defense, and you’ve got a recipe for success.
THEY DIDN’T LOSE. Well, they didn’t win either. Thank God for bye weeks. (Also this is probably the only way the Browns will ever make our winners list.)
Deshaun Watson (& Houston Texans)
Just when you think this season full of big-name injuries couldn’t get any worse. The latest big-name injury to strike NFL fans down is Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has been impressing with how fast he’s acclimated to the NFL. He’s shown great promise for the future and has just made football exciting to watch. Watson is one of those players that you don’t have to like the Texans to enjoy watching. Then Watson goes down with a non-contact injury in practice, tearing his ACL, and finding his promising rookie season cut short. But no one is going to miss Watson more than the Texans, who look once again like a garbage offense without Watson. Here’s wishing him a speedy recovery!
New York Giants
Is there a worse team out there right now than the New York Giants? I know, I know, the 0-8 49ers and 0-7 Browns are waving right now. But the Giants look like a team that just doesn’t care. How else would you explain their dismal 51-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams? It’d be one thing if it was a hard-fought game. But the Giants never tried. They just gave up. And that starts with their head coach. Ben McAdoo has lost his team and — most likely — his job.
Green Bay Packers
Ah, it feels good to have the Green Bay Packers on the losers list. If we’ve learned anything in Aaron Rodgers short absence, it’s that he is this team. Without Rodgers, the Packers are a terrible football team. Rodgers, because he’s Rodgers, has the ability to disguise the Packers’ mediocrity. But with Rodgers gone for the season with a broken collarbone, the Packers (hopefully) will find themselves in the NFC North basement. Especially when Brett Hundley at quarterback.
I guess the NFL was channeling its inner NHL on Sunday with the several fights that broke out. Whether it was AJ Green and Jalen Ramsey going at it (which neither were suspended for, by the way) or Mike Evans’ cheap shot on Marshon Lattimore (after Jameis Winston poked him in the helmet.) How is it that Evans is suspended (and rightfully so) but Green and Ramsey are not? Now that’s ridiculous.
Not only did Jameis Winston give the most uninspiring pregame speech ever — just look to his teammates lack of response for clarification — but Winston continued to have an uninspiring season for the Bucs. He posted a measly 68.7 QB rating before being sidelined again with that shoulder injury. Not to mention he’ll also be sidelined for several weeks with that right AC joint injury. Shouldn’t have “eaten” that W, Jameis.
As if the Seattle Seahawks losing a close one to the Washington Redskins, 17-14, wasn’t enough. Add to that the nine points left on the field by kicker Blair Walsh, who missed three field goals on the day — from 44, 39, and 49 yards. Welcome to the dog house, Walsh. Connor Barth just made some room for you.
It’s bad enough that the Broncos had to resign Brock Osweiler to their team after getting rid of the bust. But then Trevor Siemian has to suck so much that the Broncos are forced to return to the guy they shipped out of town. And he showed up in dismal fashion. I’m so sorry, Broncos fans. Here’s praying Paxton Lynch soon puts him out of his misery.
San Francisco 49ers
They’re 0-8 for the first time in franchise history. That pretty much says it all right there.
Who were your winners and losers for Week 9 of the NFL season?