Week nine was highlighted by major upsets and another huge injury to a team that’s dealt with injuries all year. The most notable upset may have been the Indianapolis Colts dethroning the Denver Broncos, handing them their first loss of the season, 27-24.
Even more notable was what the Colts denied Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning: history. Manning was chasing the NFL’s career passing leader but feel three yards short after his second interception allowed the Colts to run the final six minutes off the clock. Manning will get his chance to break the record this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. As for the Colts, Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck passed for his 100th career touchdown in the win.
The Tennessee Titans upset the New Orleans Saints in overtime, 34-28 through a dominant performance by quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota shredded the Saints passing for 371 yards and four touchdowns in the win. The San Francisco 49ers picked up their second win beating the Atlanta Falcons 17-16 in an upset. The 49ers shut down the Falcons run game as Atlanta rushed for just 17 yards off 14 carries.
The Pittsburgh Steelers may have the worse luck when it comes to injuries. One week after running back Le’Veon Bell tore his MCL and was pronounced out for the season, the Steelers suffered another setback. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is out for at least two weeks after suffering a mild-foot sprain. This comes after Roethlisberger just returned a few weeks ago from a sprained MCL that sidelined him for four games.
Three teams remain undefeated: The Patriots, Bengals and Panthers.
New England Patriots (8-0): The Patriots grounded the Redskins 27-10 through running back LeGarrette Blount’s big afternoon. Blount had 29 carries for 129 yards and a touchdown in the win. Patriots back Dion Lewis left this game after suffering a serious knee injury. So we’ll keep his status posted the more news we have.
Cincinnati Bengals (8-0): The Bengals dominated their cross-town rival Browns from the get-go, winning 31-10. The biggest headline could possibly be the emergence of tight end Tyler Eifert. Eifert is a star for the Bengals hauling in nine receiving touchdowns on the season. This mark leads the NFL, as Eifert and the Bengals own the AFC North.
Carolina Panthers (8-0): Carolina has now won 12 straight regular-season games, including seven straight at home. A big reason is the emergence of MVP candidate Cam Newton. Newton passed for 297 yards and four total touchdowns as the Panthers held on 37-29 against the Packers.
Denver Broncos (7-1): The Broncos were handed their first loss of the season to the hands of the Colts. SO. R.I.P Broncos offense. Quarterback Peyton Manning threw two interceptions and Denver rushed for 35 yards off 14 carries. Ouch.
Green Bay Packers (6-2): Two straight losses aren’t good. The on-field altercation between safety Ha-ha Clinton-Dix, defensive end Julius Peppers and defensive tackle B.J. Raji is bad. But the worse was when quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw his tablet after throwing the game-losing interception. The Packers need to re-group quickly.
Arizona Cardinals (6-2): Bye-Week. The Arizona Cardinals will play the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday in a huge NFC West showdown.
Minnesota Vikings (6-2): In a battle of the top running backs in the NFL, Adrian Peterson bested Todd Gurley. The Vikings back had 29 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown in a 21-18 overtime win. Minnesota is quietly one of the best teams in the NFL.
Atlanta Falcons (6-3): What happened to the Falcons? Losers of their last two-of-three. This loss was to a bad 49ers team, 17-16. Atlanta has literally forgotten how to run the football rushing for just 17 yards off 14 carries.
Seattle Seahawks (4-4): Bye-Week. The Seattle Seahawks will play the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday in a huge NFC West showdown.
New York Jets (5-3): J-E-T-S defense came to play against the Jaguars. New York recorded six sacks, two interceptions and two fumble take-a-ways in their 28-23 win over Jacksonville. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was pretty good too, passing for 272 yards and two touchdowns.
New York Giants (5-4): The Giants picked up a solid road win, 32-18 over the Bucs. Quarterback Eli Manning did just enough to pull off the win, passing for 213 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4): Injuries have been the biggest obstacle for the Steelers this year. One week removed from Le’Veon Bell’s season-ending MCL tear, another star for Pittsburgh went down. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a mild-foot sprain sidelining the Pro-Bowler for at least two weeks. Now to the good. Wide receiver Antonio Brown might be the best receiver of this century. He looked like it hauling in 17 receptions for 284 yards in the win.
Oakland Raiders (4-4): The Raiders were torched by the Steelers as they gave up 597 total yards in their 38-35 loss. What’s worse? Starting running back Latavius Murray suffered a concussion in the loss.
Indianapolis Colts (4-4): Season-saving win for Indianapolis. It couldn’t come against a better opponent as the Colts beat the Broncos, 27-24. Quarterback Andrew Luck was brilliant passing for 252 yards and two touchdowns.
New Orleans Saints (5-4): New Orleans is now holding open try-outs for anyone who can tackle. The Saints have now given up 899 total yards in the past two games. New Orleans fell 34-28 in overtime to the Titans.
Buffalo Bills (4-4): The Bills were firing on all cylinders as they wrecked the Dolphins, 33-17. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor went 11-12 passing for 181 yards and a touchdown while Buffalo rushed for 266 yards and three touchdowns in the thrashing.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-4): The Eagles got back to .500 in a classic rivalry win over the Dallas Cowboys, 33-27 in overtime. Philadelphia’s offense is heating up, especially running back Demarco Murray who had 161 all-purpose yards and a touchdown in the win.
St. Louis Rams (4-4): The Good News: Running back Todd Gurley rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown against a tough Vikings defense. The Bad News: Nick Foles is no longer a starting quarterback and he looked like it passing for just 168 yards and ZERO touchdowns.
Miami Dolphins (3-5): Help Wanted: Will accept any defensive player at any level, be that, high school, collegiate or Pro because this team’s defense is non-existent. The Bills destroyed the Dolphins, 33-17 as Buffalo rushed for 266 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Kansas City Chiefs (3-5): Bye-Week. Will face the Denver Broncos in an AFC West showdown this Sunday.
Washington Redskins (3-5): Washington remains winless on the road as they lost to New England, 27-10. Yes, quarterback Kirk Cousins threw another interception, as if we didn’t know that to be an already predetermined fact at this point.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5): The Buccaneers fumbled the ball four times in their 32-18 loss to the Giants. All these fumbles were on the offensive side of the ball. On the plus side, Tampa Bay has found a legitimate line-backing punch in Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander. The duo racked up 21 total tackles in the loss.
Dallas Cowboys (2-6): I think the Cowboys miss Demarco Murray. Maybe, just a little. Dallas lost its sixth-straight game. This time to the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles, their NFC East arch rivals. The Cowboys looked excellent at every offensive skill position but a pick-six by Matt Cassel doomed the squad, as they lost 33-27 in overtime to Philadelphia.
Houston Texans (3-5): Bye-Week. Houston will face off against undefeated Cincinnati on Monday Night Football.
San Francisco 49ers (3-6): All they needed was a quarterback change, right? All things considered, San Francisco picked up a huge win over a good Atlanta team, 17-16. The 49ers defense channeled their defenses of old, holding the Falcons to just 17 total rush yards.
Tennessee Titans (2-6): Quarterback Marcus Mariota showed how important he is for the future of the Titans and their organization. Mariota looked like a ProBowler against New Orleans passing for 371 yards and four touchdowns as the Titans held off the Saints, 34-28 in overtime.
Chicago Bears (3-5): The Bears picked up a huge road win, 22-19 over the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football. Quarterback Jay Cutlet shredded San Diego passing for 345 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Cleveland Browns (2-7): Oh boy. Simply, put the Browns lack any offensive weapons aside from quarterback Johnny Manziel and maybe, wide receiver Travis Benjamin. Cleveland also struggled to defend the run. They gave up another 152 yards and a touchdown in their 31-10 loss the undefeated Bengals.
San Diego Chargers (2-7): R.I.P. Chargers offense. San Diego just managed 77 yards on the ground and only 6.7 yards per-pass-attempt through the air. Needless to say, the Charges lost 22-19 to the Bears on Monday Night Football.
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5): The Good News: The Jaguars run defense was awesome holding the Jets to just 29 total yards. Another plus was the emergence of receivers Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson who both has 100 yard receiving days. The Bad News: Jacksonville still lost 28-23 to New York.
Baltimore Ravens (2-6): Bye-Week. Baltimore will take on Jacksonville at home this Sunday.
Detroit Lions (1-7): Bye-Week. Detroit will face Green Bay this Sunday in a NFC East battle.