The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / NFL / 9 Grueling Truth’s we learned during week 9 of the 2021 NFL season

9 Grueling Truth’s we learned during week 9 of the 2021 NFL season

Any given sunday!
CINCINNATI, OHIO - NOVEMBER 07: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns throws the ball during the first quarter Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 07, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

1) There is no room for individuals on a Football team

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the browns offense looked much better on Sunday without Odell Beckham. As is the norm for Odell Beckham, he had become cancer in Cleveland and once removed, the browns look healthy again. With the injury situation improving in Cleveland, the Browns offensive line was dominant against the Bengals, and the defense was suffocating. This is the Browns team that I have expected all year, and if they stay healthy, the Browns have a serious shot at contending for a Super Bowl. Plus, if you don’t like Baker Mayfield, it has to be because of something outside of football because Mayfield is a big-time quarterback.

2) Coaching matters

A couple of weeks ago, the Bengals were flying high at 5-2 and coming off a blowout win in Baltimore. What has followed for lack of a better term is typical Bengals. Why is that? Coaching, the Bengals don’t have it with Zac Taylor at the helm. Last week’s loss to an inferior Jets team happens; what can’t happen is following it up with another subpar performance. Luckily for the Bengals, the bye week is up next, and things must be tweaked, or the Bengals could very quickly fall out of the playoff race. The once unstoppable Ja’marr Chase is now suddenly stoppable. The once top 10 defence is now the defense of last year. The Bengals are a team with a ton of talent, and it seems that people have figured them out.

3) Tennessee is playing the best football in the AFC

Just a little over a month ago, the Titans defense seemed in shambles; what a difference a month can make, especially in the NFL. On Sunday, the Titans dominated the Los Angeles Rams and the defense led by many bad men named Jeffery Simmons, Harold Landry, Denico Autry and Kevin Byard. The Titans defense completely shut down the vaunted Rams offense. Concerns have to be raised for the Titans, though, as they couldn’t scrape together 200 yards on offense without Derrick Henry. The lack of offense has to be a significant concern in Tennessee as Henry will not be walking onto the field anytime soon for the Titans.

4) The Kansas City offense is still missing

The K.C. offense generated just 237 total yards on 63 plays, averaging a measly 3.8 yards per play. Patrick Mahomes was 0-5 on deep balls, and the Chiefs offense has disappeared, and I think it can be safe to assume that the Chiefs won this game mainly because of the absence of Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

5) Justin Herbert breaks out of a slump

On Sunday, Herbert ended a two-game mini-slump with a stellar game (32 for 38, 356 yards). Every completion was needed in what turned out to be maybe the game of the day. Credit Chargers head coach Brandon Staley for having the nerve to go for a fourth-and-inches from the Philadelphia 28 with 1:45 left in the game, eschewing a field goal that would’ve given L.A. a 27-24 lead also would’ve left time for a counter-attack by the Eagles. This was a massive win for the Chargers, but they will not be a big-time contender until they fix a weak run defense.

6) No Kyler, no problem

With star quarterback Kyler Murray out for Arizona, the Cardinals trotted out Colt McCoy and a receiving corps that lacked DeAndre Hopkins on Sunday and proceeded to rack up 437 yards of offense, go 7 for 15 on third down and dominate time of possession 36:47-23:13. This was a massive win for the Cardinals as it’s always a big win when your star quarterback is out, and the rest of the team responds as the Cardinals did on Sunday. The Cardinals are the best team in the NFL at this point in the season.

7) The Broncos are back

Hopes were running high in Denver after the Broncos had gotten off to a 3-0 start; the problem was that all three wins came against maybe the worst teams in the NFL. Once the competition ramped up, the broncos withered up and looked ready to die. That was until Sunday when the Broncos defense stepped up on the road and dominated the Dallas Cowboys. The run game was effective, and Teddy Bridgewater played well. Can the broncos build off this win?

8) The Patriots are challenging the Bills in the east.

The New England Patriots are starting to roll, and the Buffalo Bills all of a sudden are having issues. The Bills looked poised to run away with the AFC East, which has changed in three weeks. Mac Jones had played well up until yesterday and looked to be progressing. He might not have had a great game on Sunday, but Jones has played better than almost anybody expected coming out of College. On Sunday, Mac joined Andrew Luck and Dak Prescott as the only rookies since the NFL merger to have five-plus wins, 10-plus passing touchdowns, and 2,000-plus passing yards in their first nine career games.

9) No lead is safe in the NFL

Lamar Jackson and the ravens had to overcome two separate 14 point deficit’s in Sunday’s game against the Vikings; Jackson was great in the fourth quarter and helped lead a comeback that keeps the ravens atop the AFC North for yet another week.

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