Top Ten Takeaways From Week 9 in the NFL
Top Ten NFL Takeaways From Week 9
2015 NFL Season
Week 9 was one of my favorites so far this year (for one particular reason), but there were some crazy games all around. Oakland and Pittsburgh had themselves a showdown and last night’s Sunday Night Football contest went down to the wire too. Here are the top ten takeaways from the weekend.
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1. Getting rid of Pep Hamilton was the best thing that could’ve happened to the Colts.
I’ve been calling for Hamilton’s head on a platter for awhile (Manusky, you’re next) and when the team finally sent him packing, the offensive situation looked much improved. Rob Chudzinski made some incredible play calls (that Bradshaw touchdown, anyone?) and the unit finally looked like the team their roster suggests they ought to be.
2. The Steelers can’t catch a break.
Superstar RB Le’Veon Bell was lost for the year last week during the Steelers’ loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. After returning the same week, Big Ben Roethlisberger went down on Sunday with another injury. Although the Steelers did narrowly get the W over the Raiders, losing Roethlisberger again for a few more weeks is terrible news for Terrible Towel nation.
3. The Jaguars may have found themselves a legitimate receiver.
The Jaguars have struggled since, well, practically always. They’re finally showing some signs of life, though, largely thanks to WR Allen Hurns. He’s on my fantasy roster and I’m becoming a big fan of the kid. Hurns has had a receiving touchdown in the last six games, becoming just the tenth player since the year 2000 to do so.
4. Marcus Mariota is looking like an NFL starter.
After half a season in the pros (and one fired head coach), Mariota is starting to play like we all expected he would after his time at Oregon. Yesterday, Mariota showed-off his incredible footwork, preventing the New Orleans Saints from recording even a single sack. He also became the first NFL rookie in history to throw for 350 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in a single game.
5. The Panthers just might be serious contenders.
There’s no love lost between me and the Panthers (especially after last Monday), but in their rout of the NFC favorite Packers yesterday, they proved they just might be legitimate contenders. The Pack didn’t do anything to help themselves, though, making one defensive mistake after another that helped the Panthers offense take home one more W.
6. Adrian Peterson is still at the top of his game.
The 6-2 Vikings are tied atop the NFC North, largely due to the fact that AD is still AD. Yesterday, following a 125-yard, one touchdown performance, Peterson was quoted as saying “I don’t plan on passing the torch anytime soon.” If I was still playing like that this many years in, I’d say the same.
7. Antonio Cromartie is falling apart.
Cromartie, who was once among the league’s best, may need to be put out to pasture sooner rather than later. Last week, he looked terrible against Raiders wideout Andre Holmes and this week he was soundly beaten by the aforementioned Allen Hurns. In the second half, Cromartie suffered a quad injury that seemed quite convenient. Time will tell.
8. Jordan Matthews may be set for a big second half of the season.
Matthews, the Eagles second-year running back, was dropping balls left and right for the first eight weeks of the season. In yesterday night’s win over the Cowboys, though, he looked to finally come into his own, going for 133 yards and a touchdown. Fly Eagles Fly, Philly fans.
9. The Patriots may go 16-0.
The Patriots have, barring the game the Colts should likely have won, fairly easily gone undefeated this season. With the exception of the Broncos, the remainder of their schedule is an easy one. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go 16-0 for the second time in Belichick and Brady’s tenure this year.
10. Derek Carr is turning into an excellent quarterback.
I’ve liked Carr since I was first writing about him in the draft two years ago. Now that he has a year of professional experience (and Amari Cooper), he’s turning into a real threat on the gridiron. Carr passed for 301 yards, four touchdowns, and just a single interception in yesterday’s narrow loss to the Steelers. I can’t wait to watch No. 4 down the stretch.