2021 NFL Week Nine: Biggest Storylines and Takeaways
2021 NFL Week Nine is in the books and what a weird season it has been. A couple of weeks ago we had a weekend where kickers were missing PATs and field goals left and right. Last week was dominated by backup quarterbacks and this week was the week of the underdogs as there were numerous upsets on Sunday. The Jags beat the Bills, the Broncos thumped the Cowboys and Atlanta found a way to beat New Orleans. Check out other storylines and takeaways from a crazy week nine right here!
2021 NFL Week Nine- The Wild Wild AFC
Besides the Titans who just went into Los Angeles and routed the Rams, is there a team in the AFC that you trust right now? The Bills just put up six points against the Jaguars, Baltimore needed a second-half miracle to beat the Vikings and the Chiefs still don’t look like the team we once knew. The AFC is as wide open as it has ever been with 11 of the 16 teams in the AFC having a record better than .500. Next week should give us a little more clarity about the AFC as there are some huge conference matchups.
There are two pivotal games next week that could decide the AFC playoff picture: Patriots vs Browns, Chiefs vs Raiders. The Browns and Pats are both 5-4 coming off impressive wins, this game could be the deciding factor on who gets the last wild card seed. As for the Chiefs and Raiders, this could be a big indicator of who is going to win the AFC West. These teams have yet to play this year and with the Chiefs’ woes as a collective team, the Raiders could pick up a huge win next Sunday.
2021 NFL Week Nine- The Week Of The Underdog
The Jags beat the Bills, the Broncos dismantled the Cowboys, the Falcons held on to beat the Saints and the Giants upset the Raiders. Some of these losses are not created equal. If I was the Cowboys I would just throw out the game tape against Denver and move on to next week. It was reported the Dak didn’t practice all last week and if you watched the game that was evident. The Cowboys can also take some pride in the fact that Denver is 5-4 and is in the AFC playoff mix.
As for the Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen, this loss was kind of head-scratching. Not only did the Bills lose to arguably the worst roster in the NFL with a rookie head coach and quarterback, they only managed to score six points. Buffalo reached the red zone on its opening drive and never made it back. This was just an inexcusable loss for Buffalo who had Super Bowl aspirations coming into the season. After week nine, they now sit a 1/2 game ahead of the New England Patriots for first in the AFC East.
2021 NFL Week Nine- Kliff Kingsbury Deserves His Flowers
After saying Kliff Kingsbury was going to be the first head coach fired this season before the season started, nine weeks into the 2021 season I can say that is not going to happen. I got to give Kingsbury credit, it’s one thing to win with a fully healthy squad. It is another thing to go on the road against a divisional opponent while missing Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green, and Chase Edmonds and kick the 49ers’ ass. 35-year-old Colt McCoy looked as good as any quarterback this weekend completing 22 of 26 passes for 249 yards and one touchdown. It also helps when James Conner transforms into prime Walter Payton before the game, San Fran made that guy look like the best running back in the league.
On the other side, Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers are not in a great place. Their most recent loss to the Cardinals marked their eighth straight home loss, which spans back to last season. At this point in the season, I would start Trey Lance as soon as he is healthy for two reasons. First, this kid needs reps more than any other rookie QB in his class. Second, Jimmy Garoppolo misses too many easy throws. On Sunday, it seemed like every pass Jimmy G threw was intended for Lebron James as he just overthrew receiver after receiver. This guy went from an underrated quarterback in this league to a bottom-five guy in a very short time. To add insult to injury, the Niners don’t have their first-round pick in the upcoming draft.
2021 NFL Week Nine- Green Bay’s Situation
Jordan Love made his first start over the weekend and it did not go great. As we all saw, Aaron Rodgers’ sketchy vaccination status came back to bite them in the butt as they had no chance to throw Love into the fire. I had to temper my expectations because Jordan Love is not a rookie. While Sunday was the first extended action he has seen, Love has had the privilege to sit and learn from one of the best quarterbacks we have ever seen. Against one of the worst defenses in the league, I thought Love looked nervous and didn’t really wow me. I have seen rookie quarterbacks start right away and show some promise. Trevor Lawrence has made some difficult throws, Justin Fields has shown flashes the past two weeks and Mac Jones’ accuracy has been on full display. As for Love, I did not see anything that would make me optimistic if I was a Packers fan. It was also evident that the coaching staff does not trust him as the playcalling was ultra-conservative.
The Packers’ have a decision to make and I think it is an easy one to make. Cut ties with Jordan Love and do whatever you can to sign Aaron Rodgers to an extension. If Love had played well on Sunday the Packers could have moved him to a team without a QB but after that performance, Love’s trade value took a huge hit.
Check out last week here, come back from week ten!
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