With Week 9 of the NFL season concluding, the takeaways and storylines of MVP front-runners, playoff positioning, and if the New York Jets will ever win a game remain as chaotic as ever. However, with teams surging forward entering Week 10 we were reminded that the league remains as unpredictable as ever.
Without further ado, let’s look at Week 9’s takeaways of the NFL season from the week that was.
NFL Week 9 Takeaways
No One Circles the Wagons Like the Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills have been a team on the rise over the past few seasons but lacked that signature win during the Sean McDermott-Josh Allen era. With Buffalo facing the Seattle Seahawks and MVP candidate, Russell Wilson, on Sunday, the game we saw was not one many predicted as playing out. Motivated by the loss of his late grandmother, Allen played one of his best games in Buffalo throwing for 415 yards and three touchdowns. Buffalo’s defense also set the tone forcing two fumble recoveries and picking Wilson off twice.
Buffalo now sits at 7-2 securing a signature win against a very good Seattle team and taking another step in securing the AFC East. With eyes on the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers as the premier teams in the AFC, Buffalo is quietly making a case as a top contender.
Pittsburgh Remains Undefeated
After nine weeks of play, Pittsburgh remains the NFL’s only undefeated team on the season. They’ve won a magnitude of different ways throughout the season and perhaps had their greatest scare on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. Facing a severely depleted Dallas team, Pittsburgh found themselves trailing in the fourth quarter to Garrett Gilbert and company but a 15-point comeback helped secure an 8-0 record for the first time in franchise history.
Pittsburgh has been playing with fire after needing another defensive stop in the red zone from Minkah Fitzpatrick to preserve the victory. Ben Roethlisberger did leave the game at the end of the first half with a knee injury but returned to orchestrate a comeback victory in Dallas. Can they go 9-0 next week? Or will someone finally breakthrough at the end?
Aaron Rodgers Extracts His Revenge
Let’s not make any excuses here as the San Francisco 49ers are not even a quarter of the team they were a season ago when they reached the Super Bowl. But in the NFL, where every team deals with injuries, no one is going to feel sorry for you. Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers didn’t. In a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game, Rodgers torched San Francisco’s makeshift offense for four touchdowns and 305 yards while Davante Adams ran wild for 173 yards and a score.
This may not have been the rematch Green Bay was looking for but to erase two embarrassing losses and beat down a struggling team lacking the majority of its superstars — they’ll take it because at the end of the day it’s a win for Green Bay looking to make another deep run. Rodgers’ story of not being drafted by San Francisco has been played out, but the chip will always remain on his shoulder, and winning in Santa Clara will always be meaningful to him.
Drew Brees Gets the Last Laugh
In a battle of two future Hall of Famers, New Orleans Saints quarterback Brees got the best of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tom Brady in the season sweep on Sunday night. New Orleans had been struggling on offense to get the ball to anyone else not named Alvin Kamara, but with the return of Michael Thomas, the offense picked up where it left off back in Week 1. Brees threw the ball to 12 different receivers as Tampa Bay’s stifling defense had no answers for New Orleans.
Brady had one of his worst performances throughout his historical career failing to get any momentum going as a win would have given them sole possession of the number one seed in the NFC. But now, after getting swept by New Orleans, Brady will have to will his team to put this bad, bad loss behind them if they’re going to be Super Bowl contenders this season. Especially, now with Tampa losing the head-to-head battle in the NFC South to New Orleans.
Tua Tagovailoa Shines In Comeback Fashion
With Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores giving Tagovailoa the reins last week, it was a bit overshadowed due to their defense controlling the game. This time, against a similar Arizona Cardinals team, the battle between Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray gave us a glimpse into the future. The two young quarterbacks went to war trading leads back and forth in a potential Game of the Year contender. We’ve seen what Murray has been able to do with his weapons, but how would Tagovailoa fare?
Turns out the former Alabama National Champion is more than capable of leading an NFL offense. After trailing to start the fourth quarter, Tagovailoa led a fourth-quarter tying drive with a touchdown pass to Mack Hollins and then leading them down the field for the go-ahead field goal by Jason Sanders with 3:30 remaining.
Suddenly, Miami is sitting at 5-3 on the season and is making a strong case for this team not to be taken lightly moving forward in the season. With the NFL’s recent decision to add an eighth team to the playoff field, could the new-look Miami Dolphins make a splash in the playoffs?
Week 9 of the NFL season gave us some memorable takeaways as we march toward the colder months of the season. With the added playoff team to both conferences, all 32 teams can still make a case for punching their ticket despite some questionable records.