Week 9 in review

What a week! The Patriots lose to the Browns, the Colts go down in Philly, Detroit nearly beats the Jets and the Steelers almost lost the first game in their franchise history after leading by 20+ points.

We’re now halfway through the 2010 season, and there is still so much to be determined. The AFC East, AFC North and the NFC South all have two teams with six wins. Altogether, the Jets, Patriots, Ravens, Steelers, Falcons, Saints, Packers and Giants all have six wins.

Who’s the best team in the league? Well, you can’t determine that because the season is still on-going. However, you can see how really good teams (all teams in the NFL with six wins) stack up against other really good teams:

  • New York Jets: 1-2 (beat NE at home, lost to BAL at home and GB at home)
  • New England Patriots: 1-1 (beat BAL at home, lost to NYJ on the road)
  • Baltimore Ravens: 2-1 (beat NYJ on the road and PIT on the road, lost to NE on the road)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 1-2 (beat ATL at home, lost to BAL at home and NO on the road)
  • New York Giants: N/A (haven’t played/not scheduled to play any team with six wins)
  • Green Bay Packers: 1-0 (beat NYJ on the road)
  • New Orleans Saints: 1-1 (beat PIT at home, lost to ATL at home)

According to those stats, the Ravens have been the best of the best, while playing all three of those games on the road.

Still, there are eight more regular season games to go, so anything could happen.

With that said, here are my weekly awards:

Offensive player of the week: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

  • 27/34 (79.4%), 289 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT; 5 rushes, 41 yards

Defensive player of the week: Clay Matthews, OLB, Green Bay Packers

  • 4 tackles (3 solo), 1 sack, 2 tfl, 2 pd, 1 INT (62-yard return TD)

Highlight of the week: Domata Peko erases Troy Polamalu

As far as picks, here are the week 9 results:

Mike’s picks: 3-2 (8-7 overall)

Rob’s picks: 3-2 (8-7 overall)

Yet another close week between Rob and I. But this week’s games should be really entertaining. Two of the games we pick this week will have both teams with the same record: 6-2.

Speaking of Rob, here is his take on all of the action in week 9.

Well, what can I say? Week 9 was an exciting week to say the least. Let me start by congratulating a member of the AFC North, the Cleveland Browns, for putting a whooping on the New England Patriots in the Dog Pound and winning by 20 points, (34-14).

I’d also like to commend Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson on an outstanding performance after returning from their respective injuries and holding on to defeat the ever-competitive Indianapolis Colts.

And as we have already reported, Wade Philips was fired after getting absolutely destroyed by the Green Bay Packers, 45-7, and starting the season with a 1-7 record. Phillips is being replaced by interim head coach Jason Garrett (who was once the leading candidate for the job a few years ago).

There were a few overtime thrillers this week. First up, the 2-5 Minnesota Vikings, with Brad Childress’ and Brett Favre’s jobs on the line barely came away with a win on Sunday over the Arizona Cardinals.

Favre summoned whatever magic he has left and lead his team back into the game scoring 14 points in the 4th quarter. The leg of Ryan Longwell saved the day in overtime (and maybe the Vikings season), making the final score 27-24.

The next overtime game might come as a surprise to many.

At the start of the 2010 season I’m sure people saw the week 9 Chiefs/Raiders game as of little concern. It turned out to be quite the opposite.

Both teams are hitting their strides, and both have  talented young players making plays each and every week. This week, Raiders WR Jacoby Ford made a 47-yard catch over the middle to set-up the game winning 33-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski. Well done Raiders.

The final overtime game comes from the Motor City. This game happened to be my upset pick of the week…thank goodness for the spread. The Jets got a few gifts and made a few key plays when it mattered most to help boost them over the Lions.

Although the Lions controlled most of the game, they missed an extra point that would later come back to haunt them. In the third quarter rookie defensive tackle Nadamukong Suh attempted an extra point (kicker Jason Hanson was hurt) and missed after hitting the upright, leaving the score at 13-10.

In overtime, none other than the Super Bowl XLIII MVP, Santonio Holmes, came up with 52-yard catch to set-up the game winning field goal by Nick Folk.

Last on my list for story lines in week 9 is something that is a bit upsetting to me.

No doubt that Coach Jim Harbaugh runs a tight ship in Baltimore, with plenty of discipline no matter who you are, which is the way it should be.

On Sunday the Ravens beat the Dolphins 26-10. But what is in question here is an incident that came about late in the game when Ravens FB Le’Ron McClain allegedly spat in Dolphins LB Channing Crowder’s face.

Not many people saw this as it wasn’t in focus on CBS. However, a local Miami station did capture some evidence of what some people think definitely shows McClain spitting in Crowder’s face.

Here is the video of the incident. Take a look and decide for yourself.

I do know that before the game Crowder called Ravens WR Derrick Mason “The Old Guy” and that Crowder does have a tendency to talk some trash. But regardless of what was said, there is no excuse for McClain (if he did it) to spit in any players face, NO MATTER WHAT.

Players of the Week

Offense: Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland Browns

  • 29 carries, 184 yards, 2 TD (long 35 yd, 6.3 yd per carry avg)

There were a few players who had very good numbers offensively, but my offensive player of the week award goes to Peyton Hillis. His performance on the ground helped the Browns dominate the Patriots who came into the game at 6-1.

Hillis has been really making a name for himself the past few weeks by his grind-it-out, downhill running style, and the Browns are loving the hard work he is putting in week after week.

Defense: Clay Matthews, OLB, Green Bay Packers

  • 4 tackles (3 solo), 1 sack, 2 tfl, 2 pd, 1 INT (62-yard return TD)

This guy Clay Matthews is an absolute beast. He is a QB’s worst nightmare and he continues to wreak havoc against opposing offenses, game-in and game-out.

His league-leading 10.5 sacks through nine games has the Packers at 6-3 and atop the NFC North. Matthews made tackles, tackles for losses, defended passes, had a sack, and returned an interception for a touchdown.

Matthews is making a very, very strong push for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.

Every week I have a “Standout Player of the Week” which goes to a player who really stands out, makes a difference and plays hard. This guy doesn’t necessarily have to have the best numbers that week. This is almost like an unsung hero award. It’s a combination of a player’s work ethic, his current status as a player in the NFL/with his current team and his ability to have an impact on a game.

Week 9 Standout Player of the Week: Terrell Owens, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

  • 10 catches, 141 yards, 2 TD

In the past, T.O. has been a loud mouth and a hot head.

This year in Cincinnati, he has been nothing but a humble, hard working guy.

Through week 9, he has 55 catches (tying his 2009 total), 770 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Furthermore, Owens became apart of NFL history by becoming one of three wide receivers to a have at least 150 TD receptions in their career (finished the game with 151).

C’mon Man!

There was more than one “C’mon Man” this week so here goes my list.

  • Jim Schwartz: Due to an injury to the kicker you decide to use rookie DT Nadamukong Suh to attempt an extra point (which he missed) in a close game against a very good NYJ team?…”C’Mon Man!”
  • Chad Ochocinco: You’re pouting all game about getting the ball and walking off the field of play during a potential game-winning 4th quarter drive?…”C’Mon Man!”
  • Le’Ron McClain: Sspitting in Channing Crowder’s face? Did he do it or not? Doesn’t matter. The fact that there was questionable video evidence and player accusations of him spitting in another players face…”C’Mon Man!”

That’s all I have for now. Hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned this week for some big games, starting Thursday night, with the Ravens (6-2) traveling to Atlanta to face the Falcons (6-2).

Take it easy. Bobby.

We hope you enjoyed it, and like Rob said, week 10 figures to be even better!

Thanks for reading.

-Mike

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