From No Good To Very Bad: The Worst Of Week 9 In The NFL
Week 9 ended with the Bears beating the Chargers; and with half of the regular season behind us, that could have been a very depressing night for football fans. And yet there is light at the end of the tunnel! For the first time in NFL history, three teams sit undefeated at 8-0.
Not only that, but it's hard to tell which team has the best chance to make it all the way to 16-0. In all likelihood, it will not be any of them, as we have seen just how hard that truly is. But still, why not mull it over a little?
The New England Patriots are easily the most consistent team of the group and should be feared when it comes time for the postseason, but they are currently struggling through serious injury issues on their offensive line and just lost star running back Dion Lewis to a torn ACL.
The Bengals have a fairly easy schedule for the rest of the year outside of two tough road games in Arizona and Denver, but they are still figuring out their identity as a winning organization and their character will get tested down the stretch.
And the Panthers have the league's best rushing offense with the two-headed monster that is Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart, but they are middle of the pack in just about every other offensive and defensive team stat and their one-dimensionality could prove to be their downfall.
Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos are stewing quietly over their unfathomable loss to the Indianapolis Colts this past Sunday. Despite the fact that Andrew Luck has been borderline bad this year and the Broncos defense has been one of the best overall squads we've seen in years, the Colts pulled off the victory; effectively spoiling the Broncos' chance to play spoiler against the Patriots if Brady and Co. show up to Mile High at 11-0 in Week 11.
I've been saying all season that if anyone deserves a defense to carry them to the playoffs, it's Peyton Manning. And Andrew Luck should watch Manning's career trajectory more closely than ever because he's already on his way to being his spitting image; a very successful quarterback with one Super Bowl win over a shitty team and a neck made entirely of the same stuff they build space ships with.
Despite the fact that Peyton has earned the right to be given some slack after years of producing record-smashing offensive performances, it's hard not to look at the uncanny resemblance between his and Luck's statistics from last Sunday; and the biggest difference as well.
That's ridiculous. The literal difference between winning that game and losing it was two interceptions by the guy with the better defense and the definitively better secondary. If the Broncos can't depend on Manning to be the difference in a game against himself but with a shittier defense, then they may just be in bigger trouble than everyone thinks.
And they definitely better get their shit together before Week 11.
Of course, the following players and teams are already in trouble. Let's all point and laugh at the rest of the worst in week 9.
Lowest Completion Percentage
Johnny Manziel (CLE): 45.5
Lowest Passer Rating
Teddy Bridgewater (MIN): 62.4
Most Sack Yards Lost
Blake Bortles (JAX): 43 yards
Fewest Rushing Yards (Min. 10 attempts)
Devonta Freeman (ATL): 12 yards on 12 attempts
Fewest Receiving Yards (Min. 9 targets)
Richard Rodgers (GB): 19 yards on 9 targets
Fewest Total First Downs
Cleveland Browns: 13 total
Jaguars and Raiders: 4 turnovers each
Most Penalty Yards
Buffalo Bills: 94 penalty yards
Lowest Time of Possession
Denver Broncos: 21 minutes, 21 seconds
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