We are officially at the halfway point of the NFL season. Week 9 brought quite a bit of action to satisfy football fans’ appetites. The AFC East is what we thought the AFC West would be. After nine weeks every team in the AFC East has a winning record. Buffalo looked like it would win the division and the get the AFC’s top seed, but after the Jets’ victory over the Bills, Buffalo is only a game up on both New York and Miami, and New England is sitting at 5-4. Kansas City was able to pull out an overtime victory over the Titans and are still in the race for the AFC’s top seed. Justin Fields continues to improve, Geno Smith continues to impress and Joe Mixon had a career day at the expense of the Panthers. Let’s recap Week 9’s action.
New York State of Mind:
The Jets’ defense had Josh Allen flustered and their offense made enough plays to give them a key division win over the Buffalo Bills, 20-17. The Jets’ defense forced two interceptions of Josh Allen, and Allen only completed 18 of 34 passes. New York’s ground game was effective – rushing for 174 yards on 34 carries. Zack Wilson didn’t turn the ball over this week after having a horrible game versus the Patriots the week prior. Now the AFC East is interesting with Buffalo at 6-2, the Jets at 6-3, Miami at 6-3 and New England at 5-4. This will be a division race to watch the second half of the season. Hats off to Robert Saleh for turning the Jets around in his second season as the head coach.
Chiefs Stay in the Mix for the AFC’s Top Seed:
Patrick Mahomes did it all for the Chiefs against the Titans. Mahomes threw for 446 yards and rushed for 63 yards, leading Kansas City to a 20-17 overtime victory over the Titans. Despite Malik Willis only completing five passes, the Titans led 17-9 going into the final quarter. On the final drive Mahomes was able to scramble for a 20-yard gain on third-and-17, and then extended the drive again on third-and-9. Derrick Henry did all he could for the Titans – running for 112 yards and two touchdowns, but the Titans needed more from the quarterback position. Kansas City now sits at 6-2 and in a tie with Buffalo for the top seed in the AFC with the Bills owning the tie breaker due to their win over the Chiefs.
Tampa’s Last Stand:
Let’s be honest, this game was a mid-off, but the ending couldn’t have been any more dramatic. It was an ugly game, but the Buccaneers are now in first place in the pathetic NFC South after beating the Rams 16-13. With over two minutes to go, the Buccaneers had a chance to take the lead, but Scottie Miller dropped the would-be go-ahead touchdown. The Rams went three and out – giving Tom Brady the ball back with a final chance. We’ve seen Tom Brady pull these off time and time again, and he went to work. Brady led a 60-yard drive, capping it off with a touchdown pass to Cade Otten. What happened to the Rams offense? Matthew Stafford completed only 13 of 27 passes, their running game was nonexistent and the Rams offensive line dropped off significantly.
- Chicago quarterback Justin Fields is improving quickly. Fields had a record-setting day on the ground – rushing for an NFL record 178 yards by a quarterback, while also throwing three touchdowns. Imagine if Fields had average skill players around him.
- The Seahawks keep winning and Geno Smith is the comeback player of the year. Smith was 26/34, for 275 yards and two touchdowns. The Seahawks are in first place in the NFC West and Pete Carroll should be getting coach of the year consideration.
- Joe Mixon had a career day versus the Panthers. If you had Joe Mixon on your fantasy team, congratulations. Mixon ran for 153 yards and four rushing touchdowns, while also having 58 yards receiving and a touchdown.
Week 10 Games to Watch:
6-3 Seahawks vs 4-5 Buccaneers (-1): These teams will travel to Munich to play in a game with two teams on top of their division. Can the Bucs rally after their dramatic win?
7-1 Vikings vs 6-2 Bills (-7.5): Despite the Vikings being 7-1, many people aren’t believers in the Vikings. They will have an opportunity to make a statement against a Bills team that will be angry coming off a loss.
5-3 Chargers vs 4-4 49ers (-7): Two teams that are desperate for a win to keep up in their division races.