The Pittsburgh Steelers stayed undefeated… barely. Add in New Orleans Saints domination and you get week nine. Here are five NFL storylines from our football analyst Wade Zanchetta.
Defenceless in Seattle
The Seattle Seahawks continued their atrocious stretch of defence in week nine. So far this year they have allowed at least 30 points in half of their games. The latest team to take advantage of the Seahawks poor play was Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills who recorded 415 yards through the air enroute to their 44-34 win.
The outburst of scoring from the Bills coupled with Russell Wilson’s four turnovers left Seattle with a 6-2 record. It leaves their division lead down to just one game, with the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals hot on their heels.
The worst news for Seattle is that Jamal Adams, the safety they gave up a ton of capital for, has been a glaring weakness in coverage with teams trying to match receivers against him in the slot frequently. Seattle needs to figure out how to hold a team to less than 20 points before they can be taken as serious contenders.
Top in the game?
Davante Adams put on yet another show against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football as he racked up 173 yards and a touchdown on 10 receptions. This marks the third time he has gone over 150 yards while only playing in six of his team’s eight games.
While Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers were playing against a depleted 49ers team, their defence has been relatively consistent all season leaving the door open for the question of best receiver in the game to come up.
Adams certainly deserves credit as he now has 53 receptions for 675 yards and eight touchdowns while looking unguardable against corners around the league. After he tore apart the 49ers, he will turn his attention to the Jacksonville Jaguars back in Green Bay to continue his outstanding play.
The New Orleans Saints are the first divisional rival to sweep Tom Brady in his 20 year career after they dismantled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-3 on Sunday Night Football. While Brady put out one of his worst performances in pewter and red, the bigger story comes from the Tampa defence which has been stout all season long.
The Bucs defence gave up over 400 yards of offence to the Saints while also allowing their opposition to go five of seven in the red zone. They will have to rebound quickly as they have the Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Rams, and Kansas City Chiefs, three teams that can score points at ease, up next in their schedule.
As for Brady’s lackluster outing, the offence as a whole failed to establish any rhythm resulting in a low time of possession which did not help the team when the game started to get out of hand.
K1 vs. Tua
In a matchup of two young, undersized superstars, Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa did not disappoint from the desert as the Miami Dolphins won 34-31 over the Arizona Cardinals. Tua was able to rack up 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his second career start. The poise and short area athleticism shown by the left-handed quarterback is extremely promising for the Dolphins coaching staff to see.
As for Murray, who continues to quietly make a case for MVP, he was unstoppable as he had 283 yards and three touchdowns through the air while adding 106 yards and another touchdown on the ground against a stout Dolphins defence.
Despite the loss, Arizona continues to impress everyone this season as head coach Kliff Kingsbury has proven to be one of the best young minds in football as well as a great leader for the foreseeable future of the franchise.
Joe Cool Returns
The New York Jets remain winless, but former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco pushed the New England Patriots to the brink. Flacco seemed to be playing like his 2012 season as he threw for three touchdowns and 262 yards in the team’s 30-27 loss.
Filling in for Sam Darnold who is out with a shoulder injury, the veteran quarterback was able to evade the pass rush with the quick game and keep the defence on their heels with a pair of deep balls. The balance in their offence kept them in the game until late.
As for the Patriots, the Cam Newton experiment is over. Yes, even after a win. Newton now has just two touchdown passes through week nine and has shown the same inconsistency in the passing game he had previously in Carolina.
While he will still have to play out the season as their starter, it is clear that the longest NFL dynasty needs to retool their roster and bring in a new franchise quarterback.
Don’t forget to take a look at the storylines from week eight as well and see what has changed.