NFL Week 9- 3 and Out Recap
We have made it through 9 weeks of the NFL regular season and this week felt a little stale. Sure we had a terrible SNF game for the first time in a while, the Bills “upset” the Seahawks, the Dolphins got a surprise W and the Steelers narrowly avoided a loss in a trap game, but if you look over the games this week, the majority of results weren’t unexpected. Nonetheless here are 3 takeaways as we head to Week 10.
In the early weeks of this season, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson were early MVP favorites putting up their usual stupid numbers, but there was another QB that was having a solid season also. Josh Allen. The Bills started the season 4-0 on the back of Allen who had thrown for 1,326 yards, 12 TDs, 1 INT and then rushed for an additional 83 yards and 3 TDs.
In the Bills next four games, Allen added only 846 more passing yards, 4 TDs, and 4 INTs and 144 rushing yards and 1 TD. The Bills went 2-2 in these games and it really felt like Allen had quickly taken himself out of the consideration for MVP and continued stat putter-uppers Wilson, Mahomes, and Brady were going to be the QBs in contention.
Then week 9 happened. The Bills were facing the Seahawks (who have an apparently terrible defense now) and Allen took the chance to throw his name back into the mix. Allen torched the Seattle D for 415 yards and 3 TDs with 0 INTs and added another TD on the ground with 14 yards rushing. His matchups the rest of the way look favorable too. The Cardinals (just lost to the Dolphins), a bye week, the Chargers, 4Niners, Steelers, Broncos, Patriots, and Dolphins are all that is left for the Bills this season. You could argue that 5 defenses out of this are bad, 1 is okay, and the Dolphins defense has been playing the best recently. Either way you look at it, the opportunity for Allen is there to come out of the bye week swinging and lighting up the stat sheet.
- TB, what are you doing?
If you are thinking the ‘TB’ refers to Tom Brady or Tampa Bay, really either works. This game had so much hype going into it because the Saints were getting Michael Thomas back, and Antonio Brown was taking the field for the Buccs. We have talked for WEEKS about how high powered this Buccs offense could be when fully healthy and fully staffed, and they absolutely laid an egg losing 38-3.
Tom Brady went 22/38 for 209 yards and 3 INTs. The rushing attack of the Buccs? Nonexistant. 5 carries for 8 yards. The return of AB to the field? 3 for 31 yards on 5 targets. The Buccs had momentum coming in and I will be the first to admit I had them waltzing into the playoffs, but that gets much more complicated after this game. Even Gronk who was showing signs of why he is going to be a first ballot HOF TE in recent weeks, only came down with 1 reception for 2 yards on 6 targets.
We often talk about floors and ceilings for teams and the ceiling for TB with their multifaceted offense and their solid defense makes them look unbeatable. Their floor? If they play like they did on Sunday it legitimately looked like any team in the league could have beaten them. If they do make the playoffs, now there is that doubt, and they bring in this performance from Sunday night? It will almost assuredly result in an early exit and the end to Brady’s campaign that it wasn’t a system that helped him succeed.
- Are the Dolphins…good?
Last week I ran through Tua and his debut about how he looked absolutely awful and that he was carried by his defense even though all of the headlines were praising him. This week, the 4-3 Dolphins went into Arizona to take on the 5-2 Cardinals. Across the board, analysts, fans, and experts alike were taking the surging Kyler Murray lead Dolphins to trounce the still rebuilding Dolphins. So obviously you can tell what happened. The Dolphins come away with the win by a score of 33-31.
Both teams were solid in this one with neither QB throwing an INT, and really Kyler lost a fumble as the only turnover, granted it was returned for a defensive TD for the Dolphins. Murray threw for 283 yards and 3 TDs while rushing for another 106 and a TD. Tua threw for 248 yards and 2 TDs and added 35 on the ground still getting his NFL dual threat legs under him. This was an offensive spectacle of both teams making their way down the field and usually getting points out of it. The Cardinals missed a FG late in the 4th to not send this one to OT, but other than that both teams combined for 4 punts all game and 1 turnover on downs.
The Dolphins really are starting to mirror the Panthers that went to the Super Bowl in 2015. I’m definitely not saying that is where they are bound, but everyone had the Panthers down and out that season after a big injury, but they were putting together wins from unlikely contributors. For the Dolphins, it seems the recent moves and draft picks they have made are paying off much earlier than anticipated. Plus, the Dolphins are in the AFC East which is basically headed by the Bills and then the Pats and Jets are just awful. The Dolphins have 1 game left with each divisional opponent left and other than a game with the Chiefs, their remaining schedule isn’t that scary. If the season ended today, the Dolphins would be the 7 seed in the playoffs for the AFC and honestly they look like they could easily go 6-2 the rest of the way to finish at an outstanding 11-5 for a team that was said to be rebuilding for the foreseeable future. Oh and for that rebuild? Don’t forget that the Dolphins also have an extra 1st and 2nd round pick in next years draft, so this could be the start of a hot streak for the team and fans down in Miami.
If you want more NFL Recaps check out this podcast breaking down the games! Also, check out our preview for NFL Week 10!