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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / NFL Week 9 Takeaways: The AFC North is good, Bills in trouble, Stroud is special, the Giants are bad, and much more

NFL Week 9 Takeaways: The AFC North is good, Bills in trouble, Stroud is special, the Giants are bad, and much more

Publish Date: 11/06/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Week 9 Takeaways

1) Is Joe Burrow now in the MVP race?

Yes. Since his return from a right calf injury, Burrow has led the Bengals offense to two outstanding performances while defeating dSuper Bowl contenders San Francisco and Buffalo consecutive weeks – including 31-of-44 passing for 348 yards against Buffalo! If this success continues into the back half of the regular season, Burrow will certainly garner MVP consideration. Burrow is special when healthy, and the race between the Bengals, Ravens, and Browns will be epic.

2) The Bills are in trouble

At 5-4, being in trouble is obvious. The defensive backfield has been bad over the last month, and the defense as a whole is beaten up. The run game against Cincinnati was anemic. Throw in a shoulder injury to Josh Allen, and the Bills have significant issues to overcome.

3) C.J. Stroud is special

Stroud is only the sixth player in NFL history to record at least 450 passing yards, five passing touchdowns, and no interceptions in one game – his 470 passing yards set an NFL rookie record! If Stroud continues to play like he did on Sunday, the Texans could be a playoff team. Just think what happens in Houston when they get more talent surrounding him in the coming years.

4) Could the Cowboys make a Wild Card run to the Super Bowl

The Loss for Dallas puts them 2.5 games back, yet only two teams – Philadelphia and Detroit – have more wins than them in total victories; four of their next five games will take place at AT&T Stadium, where they have won 11 straight contests since last November. This Loss has decreased their margin for error significantly. They must depend on Philadelphia losing as much as possible to compete for a division championship; currently, their only possible chance could be via wild card play-in. The Coaching of Mike McCarthy left much to be desired, as it usually does in Dallas. They are talented enough to make a run, but we will see.

5) The Raiders played the right man at QB, finally

Rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell more than met expectations by simply playing error-free football. He completed 16 of 25 passes for 209 yards without an interception and without losing his composure. The rookie made an excellent impression, looking confident, poised, and under control throughout. I loved O’Connell when he was at Purdue and think that he should have been the starter a month ago. This team was a lot better coached than they were under the guidance of Josh McDaniels, but it would not have taken much.

6) The Giants might end up historically bad

The Giants are now 2-7 after getting routed by a Raiders team with an interim coach and rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones appears out long-term due to knee injury; therefore it could only get worse from here; we may see high draft picks come draft day as this team may require another quarterback should Jones’ injury become more serious; we will learn much about Coach Brian Daboll in regards to whether he’s capable of keeping this team together over the second half of this season. I think Daboll is a good Football coach, but he doesn’t have the players to do it right now, and Quarterback Mike Devito is bad.

7) The Vikings overcame many obstacles on Sunday

By the end of the first quarter, the Vikings had fallen to their No. 4 quarterback Joshua Dobbs and played without two of their top three receivers, Justin Jefferson and K.J. Osborn; Cam Akers left due to an ankle injury and left tackle Christian Darrisaw was inactive with a groin strain, yet they managed to score 31 points and make a comeback that included forcing consecutive turnovers by their defense resulting in 10 points gained during third-quarter play. The Vikings have little left but heart and a good coach.

8) Sam Howell is the man in Washington

Sam Howell is giving Washington plenty of reason to believe him. Howell recently threw for 325 yards and one touchdown after amassing 397 against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, making plays both running and throwing- although making one wrong decision, which resulted in an intercepted throw late in the first half, doesn’t change the fact that the Commanders believe so strongly in him.

9) The Ravens defense has been scary

The Baltimore Ravens lead the NFL with 13.8 points allowed per game, their lowest mark in this category since their legendary 2000 defense. Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald has them attacking from all angles; more sacks (four) than points given up in this win over Seattle. Defensive tackle Justin Madubuike (7.5 sacks total), set a team record with at least half-sack in six straight games, while safety Geno Stone made his NFL-leading sixth interception.

10) Do the Browns have the Offense to make a deep run

After being out for four games with a rotator cuff strain in his throwing shoulder, Watson finally returned. Although much of his passing game struggled initially, Watson saved his best throw for Amari Cooper late in the fourth quarter: a 49-yard strike. With Watson back, Cleveland now faces two key AFC North opponents, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, that they must sweep to claim command of their division; if Watson could go back to what he was a few years ago, the Browns could be a playoff team. That is an enormous if right now.

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