2017 NFL Week 9

Thursday
Bills-Jets

Sunday
Buccaneers-Saints
Falcons-Panthers
Rams-Giants
Ravens-Titans
Bengals-Jaguars
Broncos-Eagles
Colts-Texans
Redskins-Seahawks
Cardinals-49ers
Chiefs-Cowboys
Raiders-Dolphins

Monday
Lions-Packers

15 Responses to “2017 NFL Week 9”


  1. Reid

    If Luck doesn’t ever play again, or he’s a shell of himself, I’ll be so annoyed–and I’m blaming the Colts FO. Specifically, a combination of the personnel selection and the type of offense they ran (e.g., reliance on a lot of long developing passing routes).

    I don’t really care for the way Seattle has protected Wilson up to the point of securing Duane Brown, either, though, and I think they’ve been incredibly fortunate. (To be fair, they went after both Joeckel and TJ Lang in the off season–and had they gotten Lang, I would draw the line there.)

    Wentz and the Eagles better take heed. (Wentz’s ability to extend plays is great, but he’s gotta be a little more careful in my opinion. He has a little too much of the Jim McMahon attitude–not the same level, but still too close to that in my opinion.)

  2. Reid

    By the way, I heard Luck’s injury is not career threatening, so that’s some good news. But this is bad:

    Ugh. NFL has to be spending a lot of money on trying to reduce injuries, right?

  3. Reid

    At this point, I would imagine there’s a powerful incentive for Houston and Indy to tank. You could really hurt your team doing this, but you can’t deny the worst record would benefit the team more for the future (at least in terms of upgrading personnel). Niners, Jets, Browns, and maybe even Cardinals are in that group. (Dolphins, after trading Ajayi, and not have Tannehill, might also fall in that category.)

    Actually, I think tanking might hurt your team more in the long run. Now, if you can strive to win and develop younger players and get the worst record, that would be the ideal situation.

  4. don

    Ravens, Titans:
    I only saw the first half and the ending of this game. The Ravens seem like a bad team, especially on offense. That made it hard to judge how good the Titans are, but I heard the Titans are top ten in defending the run, and since the Ravens cannot pass that probably made the Ravens look worse. Mariota played fine, but I heard he had a bad INT in the second half. But it seems the Titans were in control most if not all of this game. The Titans will not be a contender this year unless they can run the ball more consistently, as they did last year. I’m sort of surprised at their lack of rushing attack this year.

    Chiefs, Cowboys:
    The Cowboys dominated this game and if wasn’t for a terrible coaching decision to have over half of their defense within ten yards of the goal line on the last play of the half, this game would have never been in doubt. Yes hindsight is 20-20, but why defend only the last ten yards, which is essentially what happen since KC was able to send blockers down with Tyreek Hill.

    I’m not sure what kind of team KC is after this game. They looked decent up to this point of the season, but they shouldn’t be dominated by an average Dallas defense. There are writers who are saying Dallas’ defense is for real, but after the first five weeks of the season it’s hard to believe.

    Chiefs could not defend Terence Williams and did a pretty bad job of stopping Beasley (both of which have basically been shut down this season thus far). It’s pretty bad if your team is out-coached by Dallas. Or maybe Dallas is finally coming around. It’s probably (and hopefully) a little of both.

  5. Reid

    Don,

    Re: Ravens-Titans

    Agree with the impression that Ravens are a bad team, especially on offense. I’m mystified by how often they pass the ball, especially from the shotgun. I just disagree if they think Flacco is a QB they can build the whole offense around.

    But it seems the Titans were in control most if not all of this game.

    I agree with this. But I don’t really think the Titans are contenders even if they run the ball better–or I can’t imagine them, or any team, reaching that level. I just think their defense isn’t good enough.

    One note about Mariota. His deep passes have a flat trajectory, almost the opposite of someone like Jeff Blake. Mariota’s deep throws made me think of Jeff George’s, who also really didn’t have much arch on his deep passes.

    Re: Chiefs-Cowboys

    Agree with what you said about Cowboys dominating the game. The thing about that end of the half-time play was how lackadaisical the Cowboy defense responded.

    One key moment: 8 minutes left, Chiefs get the ball in a two possession game–a moment when Smith had to pass to get them back in it. This is the type of situation that will almost definitely occur during the playoffs (at least once), and I just don’t think Smith can do well in these moments.

    I think the Cowboys defense is solid, but the bigger issue is that they may have just been a good match-up for the Chiefs offense.

    Redskins-Seahawks

    Horrid game by the ‘Hawks, in almost every phase of the game. Sure Earl Thomas was out, but the Redskins had a boatload of injuries themselves. That’s not a valid excuse. Even Wilson didn’t play well, throwing two INTs, and probably should have more. The offense and play calling was extremely one-dimensional and predictable. And the offense kept shooting themselves in the foot with penalties.

    Also: for a really good defense, they have to the worst in two-minute situations. I wish someone could explain why this is.

    By the way, I think the coaching is to blame for this game. They’re playing below their talent in my view.

    Raiders-Dolphins

    Yeah, the Raiders won, but I still really dislike this offense. The defense has improved slightly, but they still have a long way to go. Seriously, this wasn’t enjoyable or satisfying, even though the Raiders won.

  6. Mitchell

    I would think you’d have liked what the Raiders tried to do. Run, run, play-action, 40-yd TD. When it worked, it was pretty.

  7. Reid

    Their play calling/formations seem really predictable. They also seem to run mostly on first down in the same formations. They’re not really a run-based offense as well. I’m sure there are other offenses/play calling that I dislike more, but they’re up there for me.

  8. don

    This year with every team sort of being mediocre, I think it’s not impossible that the Titans can be contenders with last year’s running game. I think they were the third best rushing team last year, and they had no receiving weapons outside of their TE. This year they have more weapons, and should have been much improved on offense. Not to mention the Titans was said to have the number one offensive line by advanced metrics (ie: DVOA). It wouldn’t be out of the question that this year’s Titan team could be a better offensive team (or at least as good) as last year’s Dallas team. They have a similar make up with the exception of Zeke. It’s just the Titans offense looks like they are underperforming.

  9. Reid

    I definitely wouldn’t put the Titans in the category of teams that don’t have any chance. But in the list of teams I would choose as contenders, I wouldn’t choose them–even if their run game improved. Last year, their defense stunk even with a solid run-bsed offense. Usually that type of offense helps the defense–I saw very little of that type of effect. I have the same impression this year.

  10. don

    Re Titans:
    I think the big difference between the Titans’ offense last year and this year is their ability to convert on third down. I think with the added weapons they should be more proficient on third down. Even though they had a great running game, they couldn’t do as much with it since they didn’t have the weapons to extend drives (or score for that matter). I still hate the amount of negative yardage plays they have though. Those quick outs the receivers on the outside create negative plays about half the time it seems.

    Super Bowl Contender List:
    It’s time to update my Super Bowl Contender list. Just so I’m clear, I’m rating teams as if the playoffs started today and the team I pick is in the playoffs. I’m not trying to estimate what the team will become eight weeks from now.

    I was hesitant before but being the other teams slowly are or already have withered, I have the Patriots alone in Tier 1. That being said though, they are not a great team by any means. But they have Brady and Bill and for this year that might be enough.

    Tier 2, I have the Eagles. Wentz has been playing like an MVP. Their defense is solid and with Ajayi, they may actually have a decent running game. I, also like the Cowboys as it seems their team has been playing much better. The offensive line looks better, and their defense has improved as well. Both these teams may be in New England’s tier, but their QBs are not Tom Brady. I like Pittsburgh in Tier 2, despite their offense being average. Their defense seems to have taking a step up though. The last team I have and I’ll say reluctantly is the Vikings. Their defense doesn’t seem as dominate as last year and they don’t have a good QB. But their style of play may make up for some of their deficiencies.

    The top two teams in Tier 3 are Carolina and Seattle. Both teams have the ability to play great defense, but they haven’t been consistently great this year. Both teams have a QB that can make up for their lack of offense. I think the Rams has to be here, and if wasn’t for past failures, they probably should be a Tier 2 team. But I cannot see them taking the leap into Tier 2 just yet. I think a win against Philly or Seattle may change my mind. I’ll reluctantly throw in the Saints in this tier but it’s only because I think Brees and Peyton can still create magic even without other great talent (and their talent has gotten much better).

  11. Reid

    I think with the added weapons they should be more proficient on third down.

    I think that’s fair. The added weapons don’t seem to have made the type of impact one would expect.

    I think a agree with most of your tiers for the Super Bowl contenders, with some exceptions. I think the Rams and Saints would be higher on my list, but the differences between some of the other teams you mentioned would be relatively small. Eagles, Cowboys, and Patriots seem like a cut above the rest–and maybe I’d put the Patriots slightly below those two.

  12. don

    You would pick the Rams and Saints above Carolina and Seattle? I can see Carolina because as inconsistent as Seattle can be, Carolina is worse (the Stuart K of the NFL).

    I dropped the Chiefs out of it all, and probably shouldn’t have, but I heard teams are really taking away their big plays and it’s really hurting their offense. I think they should be throwing more bubble screens to Hill and passes to Kareem Hunt out of the backfield.

  13. Reid

    Yeah, I’m leaning towards Rams and Saints over Carolina and Seattle–although I didn’t watch them play over the weekend. I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in what I’m saying, though, as I really haven’t analyzed the Rams and Saints closely. Also, I’m pretty disgusted wit the Seahawks. Not sure if you saw the last game, but it was…I don’t know the words. I’ll say this. Carroll talks about the way there are often a sink-or-swim moment in every season. Something bad happens and if you do something to turn things around, you’ve pretty much lost the season. I feel like this is one of those moments. (In 2014, that moment occurred in against the Chiefs–and the team managed to turn the season around.)

    But Carolina and Seattle could end up beating or leapfrogging the Saints and Rams. The difference between the teams isn’t huge.

    As for the Chiefs, it does seem like teams have found a good blueprint against them. Also, I think if they face a balanced offense, their defense may have trouble getting off the field.

  14. Don

    Not sure if you saw the last game,

    I did not.

    but it was…I don’t know the words.

    What was it about this past game that is sort of tipping you over the edge other than the fact they lost. They haven’t played all that well on offense all year (except against Houston), and their defense based on the score was about where they were all season as well, plus as you noted they didn’t have Thomas. Also their record is about where they are just about every year at this time.

    As for the Chiefs… I think if they face a balanced offense…

    Doesn’t seem to have many of them out there in the NFL this year.

  15. Reid

    What was it about this past game that is sort of tipping you over the edge other than the fact they lost.

    They just seemed to play badly in all phases of the game. Blair Walsh missed three FGs. They weren’t necessarily gimmes, but still. Defense missed two INTs, one they definitely should have had. They also gave up the game-winning score in the two-minute drill–against an offense decimated by injuries. Even without Thomas, that’s not good.

    The offense kept shooting themselves in the foot with penalty after penalty, but that’s not that unusual. Wilson had a bad game–not only did he throw INTs, but he’s lucky he didn’t throw more. (Rain and wind really seem to give him problems). But maybe the biggest thing is that they were super one-dimensional on offense. Yeah, that’s nothing new, but I got the feeling they completely abandoned the run–and they didn’t care if the defense knew it. In previous games (including the last one), they did a lot of passing off play action. Even if they pass a lot, if you’re passing off of play action–and it’s working–that suggests the defense is respecting the run–and you’re offense is still based on the running game. In this game, it was like going to the shotgun, empty, saying–We’re going to pass it a lot and we don’t care that you know. That’s like the worst way of play football to me.

    I want to say this is one of the worst games I’ve seen–especially if you look at the team as a whole. It’s almost the last straw, in terms of me thinking that the coaches are a problem.

    Doesn’t seem to have many of them out there in the NFL this year.

    That’s true.

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