Jake Morgan’s NFL Weekly Rundown: Week Nine

Jake Morgan, Sports Editor


Thursday Night Game: 


Packers vs 49ers: A rematch between last year’s NFC Championship took place in San Fran this past Thursday, as the Packers got revenge for the brutal beatdown that occurred a year prior, winning 34-17. It wasn’t really a fair test for the Packers, as the 49ers were without numerous running backs, their starting quarterback, and superstar tight end George Kittle. Nonetheless, Green Bay did what everyone thought they would do against second-stringers: pour on the points. Aaron Rodgers’ revenge tour continued as he threw for 305 yards and four scores, while Devante Adams, once again, could not be stopped. Adams hauled in 10 catches for 173 yards as well as a touchdown. When healthy, Adams has clearly shown he is a top-three pass catcher in the NFL. 


Noon Games:


Seahawks vs Bills: Two of the best arms faced off against each other as MVP front-runner Russell Wilson was handed his second loss of the season, 44-34. Although they lost, it wasn’t entirely Wilson’s fault. He threw for nearly 400 yards and two touchdowns, but found himself on the ground a lot, getting sacked five times throughout the game. On the other side of the ball, Seattle’s defense was nothing to Josh Allen and the Buffalo offense. Allen threw for 415 yards, tying his highest on the year, as well as three scores. Look out for more of a decline in numbers, however, as Allen goes up against pretty stingy defenses the rest of the way. 


Vikings vs Lions: Dalvin Cook keeps on cooking, as he went for over 200 yards rushing in a 34-20 win over the Lions. For the second straight week, Minnesota was run-heavy, and it worked. With Kirk Cousins getting paid $40 million per year, his services are being used less and less this season due to the great play from Cook. Cook started the game off strong, scampering in for a five-yard score on their first possession. After that, it was essentially all Vikings. Irv Smith and Ameer Abdullah both scored before the half and basically secured it for Minnesota. The Lions defense showed no fight in the second half either, as Cook ran for a 70-yard score and topped 100 yards rushing in the second half alone. 


Broncos vs Falcons: Now 3-1 with interim head coach Raheem Morris, the Falcons have finally found their groove, this time beating the Broncos 34-27. However, after being down two scores with four minutes left, Denver was able to bring it to within a touchdown. After forcing Atlanta to a quick-four and-out, it was time to see what second-year quarterback Drew Lock was made of. Unfortunately, it went as poorly as possible. After three incomplete passes, a miscommunication pre-snap caused the Broncos to fumble and seal the deal for the Falcons second straight win.  


Ravens vs Colts: A defensive matchup between the Ravens and Colts made for an underwhelming game, but saw the Ravens come out on top 24-10. No team had a real x-factor in this game, as Lamar Jackson only passed for 170 yards, but rather it was the Ravens defense that was dominant throughout. After scoring on their second drive, the Colts looked like they were going to make it closer than people thought. Well, that quickly changed. After forcing another Raven punt, Indianapolis’ offense looked to extend their lead but was quickly shut down. Marcus Peters recovered a Jonathan Taylor fumble and took it to the house to tie it up. A quick field goal for the Colts wasn’t enough, as Gus Edwards and Lamar both ran for scores to put the game away in the second half. 


Texans vs Jaguars: One of the lesser talked about games of the weekend was, perhaps, one of the most exciting, as the Texans survived the Jaguars 27-25. After holding the lead for almost the entirety of the second half, Jacksonville was within striking distance to tie the ball game up. With Gardner Minshew out, rookie Jake Luton was able to play well. In their final drive and in need of a score, Luton and the offense drove down the field with ease. And then with 13 seconds left, Luton escaped the pocket and scored this marvelous touchdown to bring the game within a two-point conversion. Unfortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful and the comeback fell short. 


Bears vs Titans: The Titans played host to the Bears on Sunday as they were able to grab their sixth win of the season with a score of 24-17. This game was not as close as the score suggests, however, as the Titans led 24-3 until about five minutes left when Chicago scored two garbage-time touchdowns. A dominant performance by Tennessee’s defense paved the way in this one. They forced Nick Foles to the ground three times, as well as forcing two fumbles, one of which went for a touchdown to seal it. The Titans now move to 6-2 and play the Colts Thursday night. As for the Bears, they’ve now dropped three straight and take on the Vikings in primetime Monday night. 


Panthers vs Chiefs: After an embarrassing loss to the Raiders earlier in the year, it looked like this game was heading in the same direction for the Chiefs this week as well. Down by two with a minute left, the Panthers had some hope. New signee Teddy Bridgewater was able to find Curtis Samuel over the middle for 23 yards and put them at the 49 yard line with 25 seconds left. After a quick check-down to Christian McCaffery for no gain, and then an incomplete pass to DJ Moore, it looked like the Panthers were just going to have to throw a hail mary. Instead, they bring on their kicker, Joey Slye, to attempt the longest field goal in NFL history (67 yards). The ball was snapped, the hold was good, and let me tell you, it could’ve gone in. Unfortunately, it was pushed to the right and Kansas City was able to hang on 33-31. 


Giants vs Washington: Once again two NFC (L)east teams battled it out on Sunday, with the Giants coming out on top 23-20. The game can perfectly be described by this fumble from Antonio Gibson early in the first quarter. Turnovers were abundant as Alex Smith threw three interceptions, Daniel Jones and Isaiah Wright fumbled twice, and of course the fumble from Gibson. Surprisingly though, Daniel Jones didn’t throw a pick! The Giants quarterback completed 23 passes for 212 yards a score. Austin Mack (?) led the team in receiving yards with 72. No one else on either side really showed out, as it was a pretty ho-hum game from both teams well out of playoff contention.


Afternoon Games:


Raiders vs Chargers: I said it once and I’ll say it again: the Chargers have the worst luck out of anyone in the league. That was on display once again on Sunday, as they were down 31-26 and were marching down the field to score the game-winning touchdown. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert looked phenomenal once again as he took control of the offense in the winding minutes of the game. Staring at a 3rd and goal from the four yard-line, the Chargers were down to their final play. Herbert dropped back to pass and was able to find Donald Parham for the game-winning score! Not so fast. After an official review, it appeared Parham didn’t have control of the football before going out of bounds, therefore game over. Another kick in the gut for the Chargers as they have now lost 15 of their last 17 one-score games. 


Steelers vs Cowboys: If you told me that the 8-0 Steelers would be losing 19-9 going into the fourth quarter against a fourth-string quarterback, I would’ve thought you were crazy. But that’s exactly what happened Sunday as the Steelers didn’t look ready to play. Pittsburgh came out sluggish to start the game, going down 13-0 at one point. But a 10-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter helped the Steelers realize who they were playing. A quick score by Juju Smith-Schuster made it 19-15 with 13 minutes left. Then, Pittsburgh’s defense finally came alive as they picked off quarterback Garrett Gilbert. After another stop, they drove down the field one more time, this time putting a field goal, and then not six plays later, Pittsburgh scored again to secure a 25-19 win. 


Dolphins vs Cardinals: Two future superstars Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray squared off in Arizona this Sunday, as Tua and the Dolphins took this one 34-31. While both quarterbacks shined, it was Murray who actually played better than Tua. Murray threw for 283 yards to Tua’s 238, passed for three touchdowns to Tua’s two, and out-rushed him by 70 yards. With both quarterbacks playing great, it was the Dolphins defense that pushed them over the edge. An early scoop-and-score was able to give just the right momentum to open the game. After that, it was mostly a back and forth affair until Jason Sanders drilled a 50-yard field goal to grab the Dolphins their fourth straight win. 


Sunday Night Game:


Saints vs Buccaneers: Ah, yes, nothing like sitting on your couch Sunday Night and watching two great quarterbacks go at it. Well, Sunday Night football once again was an atrocious meeting between two very solid teams, as the Saints throttled the Buccaneers 38-3. Just absolute domination from the Saints saw them score 31 of their 38 in the first half alone. On the other side, you could see how desperate Tom Brady became once down by a lot. On a fourth and seven, just trying to get anything going, Brady lobbed a pass across the entire field, not to mention off his backfoot, that landed right in the hands of safety Malcolm Jenkins. Swiss Army knife Taysom Hill was the x-factor in this one for the Saints, however. A guy who can play literally any position, Hill went 2/2 throwing the ball, ran for a team-high 54 yards (yes, even more than Kamara), and even caught a pass for 21 yards. Using him was key to the Saints’ success as it showed up that way on the scoresheet. One of the more embarrassing losses in Tom Brady’s career, it was clear to see that the Antonio Brown curse is now upon them.


Monday Night Game: 

Patriots vs Jets: I would hope everyone in the world would be rooting for the Jets against the Patriots because I know I was. Whatever slim hope I had of the 0-9 Jets beating the Patriots suddenly came to life. Up 27-17 going into the fourth quarter, New York had everyone believing they could really beat New England, granted the Patriots have been awful this year, but that doesn’t matter! A game-tying touchdown by New England was a bit concerning, but I knew that the Jets would have two minutes to go down and score. Instead? They couldn’t even pick up one first down and had to punt right back to the Patriots. New England then marched down the field, kicked a game-winning field goal, and crushed all hopes of the Jets actually winning a game.