NFL talking points: Jackson ends Pats' streak, Browns a disaster again, Chargers show potential
By James Simpson - @JS_Football
Last Updated: 05/11/19 10:54am
Week Nine of the NFL season is in the books. What were the biggest takeaways from the action?
As we have now passed the mid-point of the season and every team has played at least eight games, it is becoming ever more clear which teams are contenders and which are heading towards a disastrous season.
Week Nine Results
|San Francisco 49ers 28-25 Arizona Cardinals (Thursday)|
|Houston Texans 26-3 Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Washington Redskins 9-24 Buffalo Bills|
|New York Jets 18-26 Miami Dolphins|
|Chicago Bears 14-22 Philadelphia Eagles|
|Indianapolis Colts 24-26 Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Tennessee Titans 20-30 Carolina Panthers|
|Detroit Lions 24-31 Oakland Raiders|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34-40 Seattle Seahawks (OT)|
|Cleveland Browns 19-24 Denver Broncos|
|Green Bay Packers 11-26 Los Angeles Chargers|
|New England Patriots 20-37 Baltimore Ravens|
|Dallas Cowboys 37-18 New York Giants (Monday)|
Let's get straight into some of the big talking points after another exciting NFL Sunday on Sky Sports...
Lamar Jackson really can do it all
How great was Jackson against the Patriots on Sunday Night Football? The passing stats weren’t off the charts (17 of 23 for 163 yards and a touchdown) but he made big plays in big moments and his extraordinary rushing ability was on show again.
Jackson ran 16 times for 61 yards, but added two touchdowns and made defenders miss in the backfield and in space. Plenty of credit should go to Baltimore’s offensive line and entire defense, too, because the Patriots were out-played and out-muscled - the Ravens had 210 rushing yards, which was above their already league-best average.
It’s just the halfway point in the season, but Jackson broke Michael Vick's record (576) for the most rushing yards by a quarterback through his team's first eight games of a season in NFL history and ended the day on 637. How will teams stop him?
Browns in turmoil... again
Despite all the offseason hype, all the excitement and the trash-talk out of Cleveland, Baker Mayfield and the Browns fell to 2-6 on the season with a 24-19 loss to Denver.
There was yet more drama as Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry were told to change their cleats at half-time or they would not be allowed back on the field. What is going on?
After such a promising end to last season, the Browns look lost with head coach Freddie Kitchens at the helm, and they are perhaps even more disappointing under Kitchens than under Hue Jackson with his 3-36-1 record! At least with Jackson, we thought they would be bad each and every week...
Stat of the day: A Trio of Allens
To make matters worse for Cleveland, their opposition QB in that loss was 2016 sixth-round pick Brandon Allen, who bounced around as a backup from the Jaguars to Rams to Broncos and made his first start on Sunday as a 27-year-old.
He had a clean game, going 12 of 20 for 193 yards, two touchdowns and no picks despite not throwing a pass in the league before that outing.
Meanwhile, the Bills got back to winning ways against the woeful 1-8 Redskins, while Carolina also bounced back with a victory over Tennessee.
Those results meant that, for the first time in the Super Bowl era, three quarterbacks with the same surname (Brandon Allen, Josh Allen and Kyle Allen) went 3-0 in the same week!
Move over Johnsons (Brad, Doug and Rob in 2000, 0-3) and Wilsons (Dave, Marc and Wade in 1984, 1-2), these Allens are winners.
Dolphins beat Jets but nobody wins
Miami are finally off the mark - and their fans probably don’t know whether to laugh or cry. They can't even tank properly!
In seriousness, the win shows how bad of a state the Jets are in, but also does damage to Miami’s apparent attempt to tank for the No 1 overall NFL Draft pick in 2020.
After last week's Jamal Adams no-trade saga, it's no surprise that there is unrest for New York, and head coach Adam Gase is struggling again after losing 16 of his last 21 games between Miami last year and New York this year.
Will he last until the end of the season?
Winning ways for AFC West, NFC North teams all falter
How good did the Chargers look in their win against the Packers? That was much closer to what we expected from a team that went 12-4 last season.
They absolutely dominated in all phases, racking up 442 yards compared to Green Bay's 184.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, also pulled off an impressive win over Minnesota, who had won four straight coming in. We don't know how long Matt Moore will have to step in for Patrick Mahomes, but head coach Andy Reid will know he doesn't need to rush the reigning MVP back.
We mentioned the Broncos’ win, but the Raiders also delivered with a strong performance in their homecoming after a long road run.
That meant every team in the AFC West won to keep the division tight and extremely intriguing. The Chargers and Chiefs play each other twice in the second half of season, and those contests will go a long way to determining the winner here.
Three of those AFC West wins were over NFC North teams, and the Bears also lost their fourth straight with a 22-14 defeat in Philadelphia.
We have been talking up the strength of the North all season, but it showed cracks on Sunday.
49ers last undefeated team standing
Through it all, the San Francisco 49ers could sit back, relax and watch the Patriots fall, leaving them as the league’s final undefeated team after they took care of business with a win on Thursday Night Football over the Cardinals.
It has been a miraculous turnaround for the Niners, who have had records of 5-11, 2-14, 6-10 and 4-12 over the last four seasons, and Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan must be in the mix for the Comeback Player and Coach of the Year awards at the mid-point.
However, the second half of the season will be tough - two ties against Seattle, including next Monday night, and games against Green Bay, Baltimore and New Orleans will show the Super Bowl potential of this team.
For now, they will be enjoying themselves at the top.
Plays of the Week
We leave you with the best plays from Sunday's action. What was your favourite?