Nov 5, 2022
Sunday 4 O’clock Games
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans
It is officially Tractor Cito season. If you don’t celebrate, this is the time of year that Derrick Henry reminds everyone that he is the best running back in the NFL. Tennessee is one of the few teams in modern times that still rely primarily on the run game, and it works wonders for them. Henry showed out in this one, banking 219 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. In fact, he is one of only three players to ever have three games with at least 200 yards and two touchdowns. Ladainian Tomlinson has three, Barry Sanders has three and King Henry has six, three of those against the Texans. He has owned his division rivals for the better part of a decade, and Sunday’s game was no different.
Despite Henry’s record setting performance, the game was kept relatively close throughout. The first half ended with the Texans only down 7-3, but after Henry’s second score of the game midway through the third quarter, victory felt out of reach for the Texans. The Titans kicker would add a 29-yard field goal at the end of the third quarter, to give his team a 17-3 lead and a late game touchdown pass by Davis Mills to Dameon Pierce would cut the lead down to seven, but that’s where it would stay. The Texans are in desperate need of a rebuild, and seem to be counting down the days until the 2023 NFL draft. They will take on the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles next on Thursday Night Football and presumably inch their way closer to the coveted first overall pick. The Titans also play in primetime week nine, when they travel to Arrowhead Stadium to battle Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.
Final Score: (5-2) Tennessee Titans 17
(1-6-1) Houston Texans10
New York Giants @ Seattle Seahawks
I feel like I say it every week, the Seattle Seahawks are good. It’s almost like I need to remind myself, because every week I am shocked by how efficient they are on both sides of the ball. Pete Carroll has done an amazing job with his team following the departure of Russell Wilson, and his choice to start Geno Smith over young gunslinger Drew Lock looks better by the week. Carroll’s team entered week nine against a red-hot New York Giants team, under new head coach Brian Daboll, who had only lost once coming in.
After an uneventful first quarter, Geno Smith opened the scoring on a three-yard bullet to DK Metcalf in the back of the endzone. The Giants countered, as they have all season, with a run heavy drive, burning seven minutes off the clock and ending in Saquon Barkley splitting the defence for a goal line touchdown. The next four positive possessions ended in field goals, two by each team and had the game tied at 13 with just over ten minutes remaining in the game. This is when Geno Smith took the game into his hands, marching down the field in just two minutes and finding Tyler Lockett for a 33-yard touchdown. After a quick stop by the Seattle defence, it was the rookie’s turn to get on the scoreboard. Kenneth Walker Jr. ran in a 16-yard reverse cutback, breaking two tackles on his way to the endzone. The Seahawks beat the Giants at home and simply put, no one will be underestimating them anymore. They now sit at the top of the NFC West and travel to Arizona to take on the division rival Arizona Cardinals. The Giants will have a bye week to lick their wounds and study what went wrong in this one, and prepare for a week 10 matchup at home against the Houston Texans.
Final Score: (5-3) Seattle Seahawks 27
(6-2) New York Giants 13
Washington Commanders @ Indianapolis Colts
Two young guns. Two gunslingers. Matt Ryan is out, Sam Ehlinger is in. Carson Wentz is out, Taylor Heinicke is in. It’s weird to say that having tow backup quarterbacks starting makes a game more intriguing, but it did in this case. Heinicke started the last two seasons for the Commanders, and got them to the playoffs in the first year. Ehlinger is inexperienced at the NFL level, but if you watch his highlights from his days as the Texas Longhorn’s starter, you’d see that he isn’t afraid to make a play.
It took a little while for the offences to get used to their new signal callers, but who said a low scoring game was always boring? The Colts opened the scoring with a 46-yard field goal off the foot of Chase McLaughlin. On the next drive, the Commanders marched down the field and took the lead on a short out route to Antonio Gibson for a touchdown. Both young QBs showed their willingness to run the ball in this one, but that led to the first mistake of the game, when Sam Ehlinger fumbled the ball as he tried to escape the pocket in the redzone, a missed opportunity that would cost his team dearly. Ehlinger looked a little more comfortable in the second half, and with his first opportunity with the ball drove deep enough in Commanders’ territory to set up a 39-yard field goal by McLaughlin. His next drive he laid a 30-yard teardrop pass over the shoulder of Nyheim Hines to get within striking distance of the endzone. Unfortunately, the Commanders goal line defence came up huge, stuffing Jonathan Taylor at the one-yard line, forcing the Colts to settle for a field goal. Shaq Leonard, the star of the Colts defence, would then pick off Heinicke on a wobbler over the middle, again giving Ehlinger three more shots at the endzone from within the 10-yard line. This time, he made it count, giving the ball to Nyheim Hines, who ran it in to extent the lead to 16-7. After a field goal by Commanders’ kicker Joey Slye and a stop by the defence, tt was now Heinicke’s turn to show some resilience. He marched 88-yards down the field and sealed the win for Washington on a goal line QB sneak. The Commanders move to .500 on the season and next week will host the Minnesota Vikings. The Colts will travel to Foxboro to play Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
Final Score: (4-4) Washington Commanders 17
((3-4-1) Indianapolis Colts 16
San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams
For everyone wondering just how good Christian McCaffery could be in a Kyle Shanahan offence, he showed us on Sunday in Los Angeles. The division rivalry between these teams is only intensified by the close relationship of the two head coaches, and so far in their young careers, Kyle Shanahan has owned Sean McVay. This game would be no different.
Matthew Stafford opened the scoring for the Rams at the end of the first quarter, with a rare scramble touchdown from one yard out. On the next drive, Shanahan unleashed Christian McCaffery. McCaffery found Brandon Aiyuk with a 34-yard touchdown pass, the first of his career, tying the game at seven. Stafford would respond in kind, with his own touchdown pass, a 15 yarder to his favourite target, Cooper Kupp. 14-7 Rams. This would be the last Rams lead of the night. Robbie Gould would cut the lead to four on a 29-yard field goal just before the end of the half, and then the Niners took off. They blanked the Rams offence in the second half and the Niners would rip three unanswered touchdowns on route to a blowout win. George Kittle found paydirt and McCaffery added another two touchdowns, one through the air and one on the ground, to become only the second player in NFL history to score a passing, receiving and rushing touchdown in the same game. Shanahan improves to 8-4 in his career against McVay, and has a full bye week to imagine more outlandish ways to use his new favourite weapon. McVay will use his bye to study the same game film, but with a very different perspective.
Final Score: (4-4) San Francisco 49ers 31
(3-4) Los Angeles Rams 14
Sunday Night Football
Green Bay Packers @ Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen vs Aaron Rodgers. This is what Sunday Night Football was made for. The back-to-back MVP versus the odds-on favourite to win MVP. Even with the Packers recent struggles, this game was must-see TV. It’s rare that the Bills are held off the scoreboard for long, but the packers stopped them on their first drive, which featured a surprising amount of Devin Singletary. The next time the Bills had the ball, they went back to what they do best, the pass game. Once in the redzone, it looked like the Packers had the Bills stopped on third down, but Allen escaped the pocket, split out left and featured a touch pass to a wide-open Dawson Knox in the corner of the endzone. Buffalo’s defence forced a three and out on the next drive, and Josh made quick work of his possession. He found Stefon Diggs on a 26-yard go route for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. 14-0 Bills. Aaron Rodgers responded with a clean drive of his own that concluded in a 19-yard circus catch touchdown by Romeo Doubs, by far the highlight of the night. The scoring onslaught continued on the next drive, Allen systematically made his way down the field to the five-yard line where Isaiah McKenzie ran a jets sweep, made a man miss and waltzed into the endzone just before the two-minute warning. Somehow, Buffalo got the ball back before the half expired, and Josh found Stefon Diggs with a 53-yard laser over the middle, setting up a Tyler Bass field goal.
The Bills would lose the second half, being outscored by Rodgers 10-3, but had given themselves enough of a cushion to hold on. Allen threw two ill-advised passes over the middle of the field that were picked off, halting two potential scoring drives, but it wouldn’t matter in the end. The Bills won and improved to 6-1 on the season, they will play their first of two games against the division rival New York Jets next week. The Packers also play a divisional game, travelling to Detroit to take on the Lions.
Final Score: (6-1) Buffalo Bills 27
(3-4) Green Bay Packers 17
Monday Night Football
Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns
The Bengals are just a different team without Ja’Marr chase. The year before he got there, they missed the playoffs, his first season, they make the Super Bowl. He is the straw that stirs the drink, and when he isn’t in the lineup, there just seems to be a lack of rhythm.
The first drive of the game showed this lack of cohesion, as Burrow threw a tipped ball interception to Browns corner AJ Green. That’s where the trouble started for the Bengals, and it didn’t stop until the final whistle. By the nine-minute mark of the third quarter, the Browns were up 18-0. To make matters worse, the Bengals offensive line were unable to block Miles Garrett, so Burrow had no time in the pocket to make plays. Jacoby Brissett would then extend the Browns lead with a great play action pass to Amari Cooper in the corner of the endzone. Cincinnati got it together somewhat in the fourth quarter, but the defence couldn’t get a stop. Burrow would pad his stats with two touchdowns to Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins but in the end, they were just that, stat padders. The Browns continue to be Joe Burrow’s kryptonite, the 20-point loss moves his record 0-4 against the dawg pound. Nick Chubb and Amari Cooper were the stars of the night, the former putting up 101 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and the latter racked up 131 yards and a touchdown through the air. Cleveland has just 4 more games without their franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson, and if they can somehow get back to .500, they could be a real threat in a loaded AFC. They have a bye week to prepare for a week 10 matchup in Miami, while the Bengals have a week nine date at home with the Carolina Panthers.
Final Score: (3-5) Cleveland Browns 32
(4-4) Cincinnati Bengals 13
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