NFL Week 9 Recap: The Halfway Point
Another week in the NFL has wrapped up, and we are now halfway through the regular season. Week 9 brought some close games, massive blowouts and standout performances across the league.
To kick off the action in Week 9, the Green Bay Packers took on an injury-ravaged San Fransisco 49ers team. Missing players at every offensive skill position due to COVID-19 and injuries, the 49ers never stood much of a chance against Aaron Rodgers and company. The Packers took this one 34-17, as Rodgers threw for 305 yards, including 173 of them to star receiver Davante Adams.
Early Sunday afternoon, the Seahawks clashed with the Bills in a game of two division leaders. Josh Allen had an incredible day for Buffalo, throwing for three touchdowns and running for one, as he led the Bills to victory over Seattle in a high-scoring affair. The Bills improved to 7-2, while the Seahawks fell to 6-2. Both teams remain atop their respective divisions.
Dalvin Cook and the Vikings ran all over the Detroit Lions this week, as Cook totaled 206 yards on the ground and two scores in a blowout win. Over his last two games, Cook has racked up 369 rushing yards and six touchdowns, leading Minnesota to consecutive wins. Both teams go into Week 10 at 3-5 on the season, with time running out to make a late-season playoff push.
The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs held on late to beat the Carolina Panthers, with the difference being a missed field goal attempt by Panthers kicker Joey Slye that would have won the game for Carolina. Running back Christian McCaffrey made his return from injury in this one and had a productive day despite the loss. The Chiefs look to be headed towards the playoffs yet again at 8-1, while Carolina falls to 3-6.
The Los Angeles Chargers lost yet another close game in Week 9, falling to 2-6 on the season, as the Las Vegas Raiders stole the win. The Chargers couldn’t have been any closer, as a late-game drive by rookie quarterback Justin Herbert led to a touchdown as time expired. But that touchdown was overturned as an incompletion. The Raiders improved to 5-3 in a much-needed win, while the Chargers’ inability to close out games bit them yet again.
The Miami Dolphins continued their recent surge against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, moving to 5-3 on the year behind a big defensive performance. The Dolphins held superstar receiver DeAndre Hopkins to just 30 yards on the day, his lowest total of the season. Rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has sparked playoff hopes for Miami, winning both of his first two NFL starts against tough competition.
The Pittsburgh Steelers remain undefeated at 8-0 following a win over Dallas this week, but it didn’t come as easy as most would have expected. The Steelers were down most of the game against a Cowboys defense that is among the league’s worst, but Ben Roethlisberger led Pittsburgh to victory with 15 points in the fourth quarter.
In what was supposed to be a close, primetime matchup, Drew Brees and the Saints dominated Tom Brady’s Buccaneers in almost every way on Sunday night. Brees threw four touchdowns, while Brady threw three interceptions and had one of the worst nights of his legendary career. The Buccaneers couldn’t get anything going offensively, and New Orleans walked away with a statement win.
Finally, a Monday Night Football matchup between the Patriots and Jets proved to be more competitive than expected, as New England escaped with a 30-27 win. Backup Jets quarterback Joe Flacco threw three touchdowns, but a Nick Folk field goal as time expired gave the Patriots the win. New England improved to 3-5, while New York fell to 0-9. For Jets fans, all eyes are on Trevor Lawrence and the upcoming NFL draft.
Week 10 will start off Thursday night between two AFC playoff hopefuls: the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts.
Daniel Mader is a freshman majoring in digital/print journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.