Things We Learned In NFL Week 9
Philadelphia and Dallas got big inter-conference wins on Sunday. Here's what we learned from Week 9 of the 2017 NFL season:
Beast Mode Helped the Raiders Win
Marshawn Lynch ran for two touchdowns in his return from a one-game suspension for shoving an official, and the Oakland Raiders beat the Miami Dolphins 27-24 on Sunday night. Derek Carr threw for 300 yards and a touchdown for Oakland (4-5).
Lynch's first score came in the third quarter on a 22-yard run, his longest this season. He finished with 57 yards on 14 carries.
Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler, who returned after missing a game with injured ribs, was 34 for 42 passing for 311 yards and three touchdowns for Miami (4-4). He completed his first 16 passes, but the Dolphins never led after the second quarter.
Raiders tight end Jared Cook had eight catches for 126 yards. Oakland climbed into second place in the AFC West with the win.
The Cowboys Got a Huge Victory Over the Chiefs
Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes to Cole Beasley and ran for another score, and the Dallas Cowboys held off the Kansas City Chiefs, 28-17, on Sunday. Ezekiel Elliott carried 27 times for 93 yards and a score for Dallas (5-3), which thoroughly outplayed Kansas City (6-3).
Thanks to a fast start, the Cowboys led 14-3 with 13 seconds left in the first half, before the Chiefs narrowed the deficit with a quick strike, 56-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith to Tyreek Hill two seconds before halftime.
Kansas City marched for a go-ahead touchdown on the opening drive of the second half, but Dallas surged back, taking the lead for good on Elliot's 2-yard run with 3:29 to play in the third quarter.
Prescott finished with 249 yards passing. Terrance Williams led the Cowboys with nine catches for 141 yards.
Smith threw for 263 yards -- and his first interception of the season -- for the Chiefs.
The Eagles Looked Super
Carson Wentz threw four touchdown passes and the Philadelphia Eagles crushed the Denver Broncos, 51-23, on Sunday. Running back Corey Clement scored three times for Philadelphia (8-1), which won their seventh consecutive game; they own the league's best record.
Newly acquired running back Jay Ajayi ran for 77 yards and a touchdown for the Eagles. Philly embarrassed the NFL's top-ranked defense, scoring 51 points and rolling up 419 yards of offense.
Denver (3-5) started human punchline Brock Osweiler at quarterback in place of the chronically ineffective Trevor Siemian. Osweiler threw for 208 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions. The Broncos lost their fourth game in a row. They play the Patriots next Sunday in prime time.
The Panthers Rallied Past the Falcons
Cam Newton ran for 86 yards and a touchdown, and the Carolina Panthers beat the Atlanta Falcons 20-17 on Sunday in a key NFC South game. Carolina (6-3) rallied from a 10-0 deficit in the first half, scoring two touchdowns in the closing minutes of the second quarter and holding on for the win.
Panthers rookie Christian McCaffrey ran for a career-high 66 yards in the victory. Carolina stayed a half-game behind the NFC South-leading Saints, who beat Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Matt Ryan threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception for Atlanta (4-4).
Falcons all-world wide receiver Julio Jones dropped a certain 39-yard touchdown pass with 8:12 left that could've helped his team win the crucial game.
There Were Three High-Profile Fights
Three high-profile fights marred a Sunday of competitive games in the NFL. All involved highly skilled players who scrapped with opponents well past the end of plays.
Cincinnati receiver A.J. Green and Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey were ejected for fighting just before halftime of Sunday's 23-7 Jags win over the Bengals. The Pro Bowl wide receiver and the brash young cornerback scuffled after Ramsey knocked Green to the ground on a running play. Green responded by pushing Ramsey to the turf and punching him repeatedly. Players from both sidelines joined the brawl before coaches and officials pulled them all apart.
In New Orleans, Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston, who was sitting out this week with an injury, poked Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore after a play. When Lattimore pushed Winston in return, Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans clobbered the defensive back, inciting a melee in the 30-10 Tampa loss. Evans was penalized for unnecessary roughness.
Finally, three players were ejected after a late fight in Arizona's 20-10 win over San Francisco: Cardinals defensive tackle Frostee Rucker and linebacker Haason Reddick and 49ers running back Carlos Hyde. The ruckus started after Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea hit 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard in the helmet after the QB slid on a scramble. Bethea was penalized for unneccessary roughness, but the scrap afterward featured Rucker shoving Hyde to the ground and the running back punching at the linebacker as he rose.
The three incidents aren't necessarily damning, but given the league's persistent image problems this season, the fights can't make NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell happy.
The Colts Upset the Desahun Watson-less Texans
T.Y. Hilton had five catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns and the Indianapolis Colts held on to beat the Houston Texans, 20-14, on Sunday.
Houston (3-5) nearly rallied to a win behind backup quarterback Tom Savage, but he was stripped of the ball in the red zone on the final play of the game by linebacker Jabaal Sheard, allowing Indianapolis (3-6) to clinch the victory.
Savage started for the Texans after rookie sensation Deshaun Watson was lost for the season with a torn knee ligament earlier this week. Watson cheered his teammates from the sideline of NRG Stadium. Injuries to him and defensive star J.J. Watt earlier in the year will likely sabotage the team's chances at a playoff berth.
The Colts know all about QB injuries: Indy placed franchise quarterback Andrew Luck on injured reserve earlier this week. He had not started a game this season and will not play until 2018 at the earliest. Luck's replacement, Jacoby Brissett, threw for 308 yards and the two scores to Hilton.
Thursday, November 2
N.Y. Jets 34, Buffalo 21
Sunday November 5
Tennessee 23, Baltimore 20
New Orleans 30, Tampa Bay 10
L.A. Rams 51, N.Y. Giants 17
Jacksonville 23, Cincinnati 7
Washington 17, Seattle 14
Arizona 20, San Francisco 10
Chicago, Cleveland, Minnesota, New England, Pittsburgh, L.A. Chargers