Week 9 in the NFL was a huge Bills win as Josh Allen and his Buffalo offense overtook MVP leaders Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. The chiefs narrowly escaped a surprise from the panthers, the falcons managed to avoid another lead, and Dalvin Cook ran wild for the Vikings again. Jacksonville’s Jake Luton almost took a win on his debut, and Alex Smith stepped below the middle in a loss for Washington.
By the late afternoon window, the Chargers lost heartbreakingly to the Raiders, Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins defeated Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, and the Steelers went undefeated by surviving against the Cowboys.
All of that and more at Week 9’s NFL Nation’s Biggest Food Stands.
Jump to a matchup:
BAL-IND | SEA-BUF | CAR-KC
CHI-TEN | DET-MIN | DEN-ATL
NYG-WSH | HOU-JAX | LV-LAC
MIA-ARI | PIT-DAL | GB-SF
Outstanding Artist: Ravens CB Marcus Peters, 5 tackles, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble
Quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens showed they can overcome adversity. Jackson completed all 10 of his passes in the second half when Baltimore caught up from a half-time deficit for the first time since 2016. This was a tough week for the Ravens, who lost All-Pros and lost Ronnie Stanley to an ankle at the end of the season injury, got All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey tested positive for COVID-19 and trained without six defensive players because they did identified as close contacts with Humphrey. But Baltimore rebounded and eliminated the Colts in the second half to improve to 6-2. Raven coach John Harbaugh said the word to describe his team was “steadfastness”. “You understand the severity of this victory,” said Harbaugh. – Jamison Hensley
Next game: at Patriots (8:20 p.m. ET, Sunday)
The loss was hard to swallow, and now the Colts have health concerns in some key offensive positions with a short week to prepare for their AFC South counterpart, Tennessee. Tight end Jack Doyle must clear concussion protocol to play the Titans on Thursday, and receiver T.Y. Hilton’s availability will also be in the air after missing Sunday’s game with a groin injury in the first half of the eighth week game in Detroit. – Mike Wells
Next game: at Titans (8:20 p.m. ET, Thursday)
Outstanding Artist: Bills QB Josh Allen, 415 passing yards, 3 TDs (and 1 rushing TD)
Allen has fought against teams with records of at least three games over .500 in his career, but this was his signature moment. He was consistently harassed (sacked seven times) but had reached a career high of 415 yards and three touchdowns. He overtook the league’s MVP leader in Russell Wilson and returned to the level he had shown in the first four weeks of the season. The win on Sunday was a monumental start to a difficult four-game stretch in which it was the turn of the Cardinals, Chargers and 49ers. – Marcel Louis-Jacques
Next game: at Cardinals (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday)
So much for the signs of improvement the Seahawks’ embattled defense showed last week. And so much for the idea that it would continue on Sunday when safety Jamal Adams is back on the line-up and the defensive end Carlos Dunlap makes his Seattle debut. Adams and Dunlap did their part, combining 2.5 of the Seahawks’ seven sacks as the team drew up another lightning-heavy game plan. But Allen was otherwise dealing with the Seattle Defense, highlighting the downside of bringing in additional defenders after a mobile quarterback with weapons. As badly as the Seahawks were injured again on Defense Sunday – Seattle never allowed 44 points or more under coach Pete Carroll – there was no way they could break four Wilson turnovers. – Brady Henderson
Next game: at Rams (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)
Russell Wilson battles the Bills’ defense with two interceptions and two fiddles when the Seahawks lose 44-34 to the Bills.
Outstanding Artist: Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill, 113 reception yards, 2 TDs
How long can the Chiefs live with Harrison Butker’s struggle for extra points? He missed his sixth PAT of the season against the Panthers on Sunday and it cost them almost a game this time. Butker remains dependable on longer kicks, but his battles with PATs will be a problem as the Chiefs get into a tough stretch of the schedule and then into the playoffs. – Adam Teicher
Next game: at Raiders (8:20 p.m. ET, Sunday November 22)
Christian McCaffrey reminded everyone of what we already knew before he missed six games with a bad ankle sprain: He’s the best all-purpose player in the league. He rushed 18 times for 69 yards and one touchdown and caught nine passes for 105 yards and one touchdown in the loss to Kansas City. The Panthers reminded everyone that with their fourth consecutive loss, they are still not good enough to beat an elite team, especially one with great receivers like the Chiefs. Secondary education must be an important focus for Carolina (3-6) in the off-season. – David Newton
Next game: Buccaneers (1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday)
Outstanding Artist: Titans LB Jayon Brown, 10 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 sack, 1 tackle for a loss
The Titans were without Jadeveon Clowney (knee) but eventually managed to get a steady pass rush, albeit against a Bear offensive line that was without some of their starters. Tennessee had three sacks, which was the most in a single game this season. The Titans’ third-down defense also showed a huge improvement, allowing the bears to first down on two of their 15 third-down opportunities. – Turron Davenport
Next game: Colts (8:20 p.m. ET, Thursday)
It’s hard to find the right words to describe how pathetic the bears are on the offensive. The Bears, the NFL’s most punished team, repeatedly sabotaged all scoring opportunities by routinely self-destructing at critical moments, including not one but two consecutive offensive penalties in four-loss games. The Titans entered Week 9 as the league’s worst defense against the third loss, and the Bears went 2-15 on the third loss. Tennessee struggled to stop the run year-round, allowing 128 rushing yards per game – until the bears got to Nashville. The bears ran a total of 56 meters. The bears went from 5-1 to 5-4 in an instant. – Jeff Dickerson
Next game: Vikings (8:15 p.m. ET, Monday November 16)
Outstanding Artist: Wikinger RB Dalvin Cook, 206 rushing yards, 2 TDs (and 46 receiving yards)
Dalvin Cook should be in the MVP conversation. The retreating Vikings overtook Derrick Henry’s fast lead (858 yards) despite missing a game and a half due to injury, and are one of two running backs who rested an average of more than 100 yards per game. His influence on the Vikings is immense, and that’s not only due to his efforts to accelerate and catch the ball, but also to play back-to-back at a distance of more than 200 meters. Cook made a key block on Irv Smith Jr.’s second touchdown and routinely helped Minnesota stay out of the area of third relegation. “He’ll do anything,” said coach Mike Zimmer. “That’s why he’s a captain. That’s why he comes to work every day. He’s a great leader, he’s energetic and the people in the locker room really love him.” – Courtney Cronin
Next game: at Bears (8:15 p.m. ET, Monday November 16)
Lions coach Matt Patricia saw five double-digit losses to Minnesota, nine straight losses in the division, and very little progress after two and a half seasons in his tenure as head coach. Inconsistency is still Detroit’s only consistency, and errors pile up. Run defense is poor, allowing 275 yards of rushing, including more than 200 for Cook. For the second straight week, the Lions had only 10 men on the field in one critical game. And Patricia could only point out minor things when asked where he had seen improvements since week 1. “You know, obviously the punt rush, I thought that would be good for another week in a row. So that was consistent. But overall everything just has to be more consistent for it to work together, not a phase here and a phase there.” – Michael Rothstein
Next game: Washington (1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday)
Dalvin Cook avoids being attacked and finds an opening for a 70-yard touchdown, his second score of the game.
Outstanding Artist: Falcons QB Matt Ryan, 284 yards, 3 TDs
The Falcons are still on the rise under interim trainer Raheem Morris, which makes them a team that can look ahead to the second half of the season despite their terrible start. The Falcons (3-6) improved to 3-1 since splitting up with Dan Quinn and raising Morris. They still have a big hole to climb out of after a 5-0 start, but after they parted in week 10, they play two of their next three games against the rival Saints, which gives them a chance to move forward on the promotion the NFC south basement. – Tim McManus
Next game: at the Saints (1 p.m. ET, Sunday November 22)
For the fifth time in their last seven games, the Broncos were at least 10 points behind at halftime on Sunday when the Falcons were leading 20-3 and quarterback Matt Ryan passed 216 yards. The Broncos kept the Falcons at 105 yards total in the second half, while their own offensive scored 24 points in the third and fourth quarters combined. And again it wasn’t enough. The Broncos are improving significantly, but they won’t be a playoff team until they are far better at minimizing the mistakes of the seasoned players who stay in the line-up. – Jeff Legwold
Next game: at Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday)
Outstanding Artist: Giants CB Logan Ryan, 6 tackles, the game-winning interception
Coach Joe Judge stressed that he had to finish before and during the Sunday game. The Giants eventually did so against Washington. Though the 17-point halftone almost evaporated, the Giants held on, so maybe they finally figured that out. Quarterback Daniel Jones has failed to make sales for the first time this year, and now the Giants (2-7) are really close to the NFC East Race. They have a big game against the Eagles (3-4-1) next Sunday. – Jordan Raanan
Next game: Eagles (1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday)
Washington coach Ron Rivera will be staying with the quarterback with veteran Alex Smith, who looked sharp at times but also threw three picks in the New York loss after Kyle Allen tore his ankle. Rivera’s other option was to return to senior quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. In truth, neither option is a great option and probably won’t be available next season either. Smith’s age and goal make him expendable after this season, while Haskins disappointed the coaches and others in the organization with their poor preparation habits. At 2-6, Washington is in the division race on behalf only, unless there is an unexpected run. – John Keim
Next game: at Lions (1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday)
Outstanding Artist: Texans WR Will Fuller V, 100 reception yards, 1 TD
The Texans chose to let receiver Fuller play his option for the fifth year rather than signing the often injured receiver for a contract extension. With five catches for 100 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, Fuller again made a strong case for Houston to sign him again – or for another team to sign him on a big deal if he becomes a free agent. Fuller set the Texans franchise record on Sunday when he received a touchdown in his sixth straight game. – Sarah Barshop
Next game: in Browns (1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday)
Rookie quarterback Jake Luton almost led the Jaguars into overtime against the Texans in his first game since last November with Oregon State … but his two-point switch pass didn’t work. However, he’s been good enough (304 yards, TD pass, TD run, and an INT) to at least make the Jaguars’ QB situation interesting when Gardner Minshew II returns from his thumb injury. This was the Jaguars’ next win since the season opener, in large part due to Luton leading the team on a two-minute drive. – Mike DiRocco
Next game: at Packers (1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday)
Deshaun Watson swims it for Will Fuller V, who kicks off the Jaguars defense for a 77-yard touchdown.
Outstanding Artist: Raiders CB Isaiah Johnson: 2 end zone pass separations in the last two games to end the game.
Check the first box on the Las Vegas Raiders three-game march through AFC West. With a 31:26 win at the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, the Raiders not only improved to 5-3, but, perhaps more importantly, to 2-0 in the division. The next two weeks at home are the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs on the program, who received their only loss of the season from Las Vegas. The Raiders, missing both offensive tackles, gave themselves a bigger opportunity to actually make some noise in the second half of the season. – Paul Gutierrez
Next game: Broncos (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday)
The Chargers found yet another way to lose a game, this time in the last game after an obvious touchdown catch from Donald Parham Jr. was undone with instant replay. That now gives the Chargers six losses by a total of 24 points in 2020 and a 3-15 record in one-score games from last season. A Chargers assistant coach came out of his driver’s seat gasping and roaring, thinking his team had won, only to find out the truth on the way to the locker room. It was such a season. – Shelley Smith
Next game: at Dolphins (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday)
Outstanding Artist: Dolphins DE Shaq Lawson: 36 Yard Fumble Return TD by Emmanuel Ogbah Strip Sack.
A year before the “tanking” talk, the Dolphins are playoff contenders. The Dolphins are 5-3 after winning their fourth straight game, including consecutive wins against NFC West playoff contenders at the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals. The Dolphins are no accident, and thanks to an aggressive defense and an exciting young quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, they could sneak into the playoffs a year earlier. – Cameron Wolfe
Next game: Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday)
Despite aiming for a career height of 106 meters, Kyler Murray proved he can’t do everything in Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins. The rest of the ongoing game didn’t show up and a few questionable playcalls from Kliff Kingsbury will linger. In order for Arizona to become a player on NFC West, it needs to find ways the rest of the offensive can play enough games to influence and take some of the responsibility for winning Murray’s shoulders. – Josh Weinfuss
Next game: Bills (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday)
Tua Tagovailoa throws two touchdowns as he leads the Dolphins to a 34-31 win over the Cardinals.
Outstanding Artist: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: 306 meters, 3 TD
It was another ugly win for the Pittsburgh Steelers – but it was a win. The Steelers are 8-0 for the first time in franchise history but they did it after leaving their biggest deficit of the season with 13 points. But for another week the defense has shown that they can do the big games if necessary. Minkah Fitzpatrick had two stops in the end zone of the second half, including an interception and a pass separation at the end of the game. T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward also got the bag of the day, bringing Garrett Gilbert a minute and a half ahead of fourth place. After the game, Roethlisberger joked that he was “getting too old for that”, but he enjoys winning – and so do the Steelers. – Brooke Pryor
Next game: Bengals (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)
The Dallas Cowboys lost better to the Steelers, but better wasn’t good enough. They are still dropping leads of 13 and 10 points due to offensive sales and untimely penalties. The cowboys’ two freebies have been converted into six Steelers points. The defensive penalties wiped out a snack bar in the fourth quarter and a potential scenario for fourth relegation. With 2-7 and four losers in a row, the Cowboys haven’t been eliminated from the NFC East race, but they’re also not exactly there when they enter their bye week. “There are no moral victories here,” said Ezekiel Elliott. “We’re still here to win football games and we have to find ways to win. We’re going back to the lab and getting better.” – Todd Archer
Next game: with the Vikings (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday November 22)
Outstanding Artist: Packer WR Davante Adams, 173 receiving yards, 1 TD
No, the Packers didn’t add a recipient – or anyone else – before last week’s close of trading. But as long as they have recipient Davante Adams, it might not matter. In another game where almost everyone knew the ball was going to Adams, the 49ers still couldn’t stop it. As telepathic as Aaron Rodgers and former Packers star Jordy Nelson were, the Packers quarterback appears to have transferred that superpower to Adams. Yes, the 49ers were a shell of the team that blew up the Packers twice last season, but this game will be remembered by Rodgers’ go-to guy as another standout feat. – Rob Demovsky
Next game: Jaguars (1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday)
For the 49ers, the road to the end of the season looks like an arduous march towards an off-season of uncertainty. The Niners managed to stay afloat in eight games, but with a $ 80.8 million cap in the injured reserve they were simply unmanned and overwhelmed by the Packers on Thursday night. That could become a trend as San Francisco has yet to grapple with what is considered to be one of the top three toughest in the league the rest of the way. All of this means the last seven games are likely to result in an increased focus on what is to come in the off-season, which is a disappointing chance for the defending NFC master. – Nick Wagoner
Next game: at the Saints (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)