Our Thoughts – 2015 NFL Week 9 Recap

NFL Week 9 Summary 2015

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Here’s what we thought about week 9 in the NFL…

Cleveland (10), Cincinnati (31) – Bengals QB Andy Dalton threw 3 TDs to TE Tyler Eifert as the Bengals remain undefeated. Browns QB Johnny Manziel was playing in place of the injured Josh McCown. He struggled to make his reads but wasn’t helped much by his supporting players on offense. The Browns defense held their own for the first half of the game, but couldn’t stop the Bengals run game from running out the clock. Coach Mike Pettine says McCown will start again when he is healthy.

Miami (17), Buffalo (33) – Bills QB Tyrod Taylor and his snazzy press conference attire returned after missing two games with a knee injury. Bills WR Sammy Watkins had a career day – 168 yards and a TD, and RBs LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams both went over 100 yards from scrimmage. The Bills defense still let Miami QB Ryan Tannehill throw for over 300 yards and RB Lamar Miller had 141 yards from scrimmage. Miami interim coach Dan Campbell is still learning about in-game management. The high after their first two blow-out wins is gone after two consecutive losses that have the Dolphins’ record in their division at 0-4.

Green Bay (29), Carolina (37) – The Panthers stopped a comeback by the Packers with a goal-line interception of Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers. Carolina’s defense pressured Rodgers all afternoon and didn’t let the Packers get their run game going. Even though Rodgers put up 376 yards and threw for 4 TDs, the Packers weren’t in sync until the second half. Panthers QB Cam Newton is getting the job done with lesser known offensive skill players. Of course, he’s also getting criticized for “bannergate.” A Packers fan living in NC hung a “North Carolina Cheesehead” sign, which Newton saw during warm-ups and removed to protect his “house.” The fan wanted to keep the banner for his man room, so he reported the theft to stadium police. Cam’s teammates are supporting him, but the Panthers are going to replace the banner for the fan.

St. Louis (18), Minnesota (21) (OT) – The Vikings managed to hold Rams rookie RB Todd Gurley in check and under 100 yards for the first time in more than a month, and now are in a tie with the Packers for first place in the NFC North division. QB Teddy Bridgewater did suffer a concussion after taking a late hit, but is expected to be cleared to play next week. The hit created some entertaining coach-TV analyst beef.

Washington (10), New England (27) – The Pats are still on a roll despite a lack of healthy offensive linemen. The big news coming out of this game is the loss of breakout star RB Dion Lewis for the season due to a torn ACL. Washington QB Kirk Cousins can’t be entirely blamed for this loss – his receivers dropped a lot of passes like they were hot.

Tennessee (34), New Orleans (28) – Titans rookie QB Marcus Mariota returned from a knee injury and led his team to a win in OT in their first game under interim coach Mike Mularkey. Their success was due in large part to a better blocking scheme that did not allow Mariota to get sacked. What a great idea. Saints QB Drew Brees managed to put up plenty of yardage against a Titans defense that was missing two of its starting CBs, but the Saints couldn’t get their run game going. The Saints defense continues to disappoint.

Jacksonville (23), New York Jets (28) – The Jets escaped with a win to break a two-game losing streak. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick played through his injured thumb ligaments. However, their run game wasn’t very effective and their defense hasn’t been the strength it was in the first few weeks of the season. The Jags had several chances to win this game, but penalties and turnovers in the last 6 minutes put the game out of reach. They have to be disappointed with how TE Julius Thomas is playing after giving him a lot of money this off-season.

Oakland (35), Pittsburgh (38) – Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams took over lead back duties from the injured Le’Veon Bell to the tune of 170 rushing yards and 55 receiving yards, plus 2 touchdowns. WR Antonio Brown had 284 receiving yards. That’s not a typo. The bad news for the Steelers is QB Ben Roethlisberger is going to miss some time after spraining his foot. The Raiders can no longer be viewed as an easy match-up by opponents. QB Derek Carr and his crew of WRs, plus RB Latavius Murray, are making plays every week.

Atlanta (16), San Francisco (17) – For a team that started off hot this season, the Falcons didn’t look so great on Sunday. They were upset by the 49ers, who benched their starting QB Colin Kaepernick in favor of Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert was surprisingly solid and won the starting job for week 11 when the team returns from their bye week.

New York Giants (32), Tampa Bay (18) – Despite some bad decision-making by QB Eli Manning, the Giants kept their lead in the NFC East with this win. Giants DE Jason Pierre Paul and his oven mitt made a return to the field and seemed to be in good shape (except for the whole “missing a few fingers” thing). QB-WR bromances were in full display – Eli and Odell Beckham Jr. connected for 105 yards and Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston (who has been steadily improving) connected with WR Mike Evans for 152 yards.

Denver (24), Indianapolis (27) – The undefeated Broncos fell this week. This was the Colts first game with their new offensive coordinator and they were able to make plays against Denver’s top ranked defense. The Colts stopped the Broncos ground game, overcame their own injuries on defense, and took advantage of two interceptions thrown by Broncos QB Peyton Manning, as well as injuries and penalties against Denver’s defense. DeMarcus Ware missed the second half of the game after re-aggrevating a back injury (and will miss another 2-4 weeks). CB Aqib Talib poked Colts TE Dwayne Allen in the eye and has been suspended for one game. (Seriously, dude? Talib, you’re better than that.) Peyton Manning fell 3 yards and 4 points shy of setting new NFL records for career passing yards and quarterback wins. Andrew Luck is going to miss an undetermined amount of time with a lacerated kidney and partially torn abdominal muscle. Ouch. What’s crazy is that he suffered the injury in the fourth quarter, and continued to play, even throwing a TD pass to Ahmad Bradshaw. QB Matt Hasselbeck will start in Luck’s absence – he won the two starts he made earlier this season when Luck missed time with a shoulder injury.

Philadelphia (33), Dallas (27) (OT) – The Cowboys have lost 6 games in a row since QB Tony Romo broke his clavicle. QB Matt Cassel didn’t have a bad night, finding WR Cole Beasley for two TDs and WR Dez Bryant also coming up with a TD. The Eagles brought an effective run game to Dallas, evenly splitting snaps between RBs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews. As a side note, the non-football story in this game was the criticism the Cowboys received for letting Greg Hardy play after photos from his domestic violence arrest surfaced.

Chicago (22), San Diego (19) – “It’s pretty sickening…but we are what we are, and right now, that’s 2-7 on a five game skid.” Those words belong to Chargers QB Philip Rivers, and that pretty much sums up his team. They’ve been decimated by injuries at almost every position, with Monday night’s addition to IR being WR Malcolm Floyd (who planned to retire after this season). Rivers somehow manages to put points on the board and basically keep his team in games and currently leads the NFL with 3,034 passing yards. Bears QB Jay Cutler is quietly having a solid season under new offensive coordinator Adam Gase, taking advantage of San Diego’s injuries to lead his team to a comeback win.

Here are this week’s standings in our Weekly Pick ‘Em league.

Weekly Pick 'Em 2015 - Week 9

– Val and Michelle

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