NFL Best and Worst of Week 9

Best: The Josh Allen Bowl. Jags LB Josh Allen had probably the best game of his career, while QB Josh Allen had the worst game of his career. Jags Josh Allen had the chance to make NFL history as the first player to sack an opposing QB who shared the same name, and he did that and more. The Jags LB has had a relatively quiet, yet productive, start to his career for being a top 10 pick in 2019, but has largely been overshadowed by the Bills QB as the better Josh Allen in the league. But the Jacksonville Josh Allen was the best Josh Allen on the field during the during the week 9 matchup. Josh Allen not only sacked Josh Allen, but he also intercepted a pass, and recovered a Josh Allen fumble! This was arguably not the craziest thing to happen in that game, as the Jags ended upsetting the Bills, 6-9. This game will no doubt go down as one of the strangest entertaining games in NFL history.

Worst: As stated above, the Bills lost to the lowly Jags. This was a trap game of the week. Last week it was the Jets over the Bengals, this week it was the Jags over the Bills. Jacksonville had little to hope for going into the game facing off against one of the top teams in the league. Buffalo’s offense was poised to dominate, but instead they crumbled. They turned the ball over 3 times, had 301 total yards, and 2 field goals against one of the worst defenses in the league. The Bills were only able to reach the red zone once all game. This is concerning to say the least. They need to come out and obliterate their next opponent if they want to be taken seriously in the AFC playoff race. It should be easy, they face the Jets next week. Unless they play like they did Sunday, but that cant happen twice in a row. Right?

Best: It seems that Baker Mayfield is completely fine without Odell Beckham Jr. in the lineup. It makes no logical sense but for whatever reason, Baker plays better football without him. There was a lot of drama before Sunday’s game regarding Baker and Odell’s relationship. So much so, that Cleveland decided to release the WR shortly after the trade deadline. Why they didn’t trade him to New Orleans or Baltimore, two teams in desperate need of a pass catcher to get something in return, is baffling. But the Browns QB has a passer rating of 96.4 with 6,648 yards, 41 TDs and 17 picks in 26 games without Odell. He has a passer rating of 84.8 with 6,384 yards, 42 TDs and 29 picks in 28 games WITH Odell. This Sunday, the Browns offense scored on every possession in the first half. Baker was 7/8 with a perfect passer rating and finished the game 14 of 21 with 218 yards and 2 TDs. Not incredible stats but the ground game dominated the Bengals defense all game. Maybe Baker and Odell are better off divorced.

Worst: Almost every team that had a playoff spot, or were in playoff contention, took an L this week. Cincinnati had the wildcard position, they lost to Cleveland. The first place Dallas Cowboys lost to Denver. The first place Buffalo Bills lost. New Orleans held a wildcard spot in the NFC, they lost to Atlanta. The Raiders were the number 2 seed in the AFC, they got upset by the Giants. Green Bay was 7-1, lost the Kansas City. On Sunday Night, the Titans pulled off the upset against the powerhouse that is the 7-1 Rams. The only teams that had a better record than their opponent that won their games were Indianapolis, Arizona, Baltimore and the LA Chargers. This was clearly not the week to have a winning record.

Best: Cordarrelle Patterson is a swiss army knife that only Falcons head coach Arthur Smith was able unlock. The 4-Time All Pro Kick Returner has been in the league for a while and has played for several teams in his wild NFL career. He was drafted in 2013 as a return specialist by the Vikings, had stints in New England, Oakland, before Raiders moved to Las Vegas, and Chicago before landing in Atlanta this year. For his first three teams he was mainly used as a kick returner and wide receiver. But it wasn’t until Chicago when he started taking snaps at running back, due to the Bears RB room becoming thin from injuries. However, Matt Nagy had no idea what he lucked into as he let Patterson walk this offseason allowing him to sign with Atlanta. In his first 8 games with Atlanta, he has 737 yards from scrimmage and 7 total TDs. Its not all impressive stats, but also his ability to make plays when his team needs him. This week, down by one against New Orleans with less than a minute left, the Falcons needed someone to make a play. Cue Cordarrelle. He makes a great catch skirting the sideline and manage to stay inbounds for a 64 yard catch and run, putting them at the 11 yd line. Atlanta gets the upset win thanks to their swiss army knife. Patterson has by far been the best offensive weapon for Matt Ryan. He’s almost a lock for another All Pro this season, but maybe he can get it as a running back now that his rushing skills have been unlocked.

Worst: The NFL officiating being under intense scrutiny every week is nothing new, but it seemed to reach its ugly peak on Monday night. The week 9 schedule says that the matchup was Pittsburgh vs Chicago, but what we really saw was the Pittsburgh and the refs vs Chicago. The Bears racked up an insane 12 penalties for a total of 115 yards. Some were deserved, but it seemed like every other penalty against Chicago was straight up awful officiating. From a questionable, non contact cut block negating a TD, good pass defense being called pass interference, and Big Ben getting hit on the ground by his own teammate being called for roughing the passer, the Bears were helpless and at the mercy of Tony Corrente’s crew. The Bears are a bad team and when you’re a bad team you make mistakes. When you are a bad team playing against the referees and playing surprisingly well against a much better opponent like the Steelers, the bad calls are going to be magnified. Let bad teams beat themselves. They don’t need the refs help. There were several missed calls that should have gone in the Bears favor that, for whatever reason, weren’t called. Justin Fields got hit late after a throw. No flag. Fields escapes the pocket and slides, albeit rather late, but still gets rocked by a defender. No flag. I have to think that if that’s Brady or Mahomes or Rodgers, they get that call every time. The roughing the passer penalty is one of the most confusing and baffling penalties because we as fans, never get a clear description of what actually constitutes roughing the passer. You cant graze their helmet, land on them or even tackle them. The most popular penalty during Monday night was the “taunting penalty” by Bears LB Cassius Marsh. Marsh made a great play sacking Big Ben late in the game forcing a punt. That would have given his team the chance to go down and take the lead. But he did something so awful and inexcusable after the play. He took a few steps toward the Pittsburgh bench and stared at them for several seconds. Get this man out of the NFL! He was taunting the entire sideline! Players cannot show emotion at all! If that’s not bad enough, for whatever reason, Corrente hip-checked Marsh before he decided to throw the flag for taunting. It was a truly baffling string of events. Pittsburgh got an automatic first down and went down the field to extend their lead with a field goal. This new taunting rule is so ridiculous because you give the refs free reign to make judgment calls that decide the game. The game was between Chicago and Pittsburgh, but the refs decide to make the game about them, instead. Rules should be clear and rigid, and the fact that some penalties require the refs to make judgment calls should not be deciding games. Just wait until this happens in a playoff game.

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