NFL Game Recaps: Week 9, 2023

C.J. Stroud




NFL Game Recaps of previous weeks and seasons can be found via links at the bottom of the page.


Steelers 20, Titans 16
  • Will Levis had a great performance in his initial start versus the Falcons last week, but this was his first real test. Mike Tomlin is one of the best defensive-minded coaches in the NFL, so he undoubtedly would be able to confuse the second-round rookie quarterback with some of his defensive schemes.

    Levis had some incredible luck on his opening drive, as four Pittsburgh penalties allowed the possession to continue, setting up a score. Levis then caught fire for the rest of the first half. He delivered multiple downfield strikes to DeAndre Hopkins and Kyle Phillips, eventually giving his team a 16-13 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Levis even had a great moment in the final frame where he was backed up on his own goal line, yet delivered a 21-yard pass to Treylon Burks on play-action.

    This, however, was it for Levis, as he regressed in the second half, failing to complete half of his passes following intermission (10-of-22 for 109 yards.) It was only a matter of time before the Steelers would get going, and Pittsburgh had an adventurous drive in the middle of the fourth quarter. It began when Kenny Pickett missed Diontae Johnson on a routine pass near midfield, but then was able to hit Johnson for a 32-yard pass down the sideline on third down. Jaylen Warren then broke free and appeared to score a touchdown, but was ruled out of bounds at the 1-yard line. The Steelers followed that by shooting themselves in the foot with a false start penalty. Johnson then dropped a touchdown, but a defensive holding penalty bailed out Pittsburgh. Pickett ultimately went back to Johnson for a touchdown to go up 20-16 with a few minutes remaining.

    The Titans had two more chances after that. The first was a great one because of a penalty-aided kickoff return, but some bad play-calling forced Levis into a fourth-and-4. His pass sailed out of bounds toward Burks, who was severely injured on the play. Following a Pittsburgh punt, Levis nearly drove the length of the field, thanks to a 29-yard pass to Chris Moore, but a shot to the end zone was intercepted, ending the game.

  • Levis had a strong game overall, going 22-of-39 for 262 yards and the interception at the very end. He played well considering that he was going against a defensive mastermind on just three days of preparation. The Titans certainly have to be optimistic about Levis’ outlook through two games.

    On the other end of the spectrum, Pickett won this game, but had some struggles. He missed several receivers and shouldn’t have put his team in position to lose. He went 19-of-30 for 160 yards and a touchdown. He was robbed of a second score when George Pickens couldn’t get two feet inbounds in the end zone.

  • Speaking of Pickens, he struggled with two catches for minus-1 yards. He should have been able to score a touchdown, but his second foot couldn’t land inbounds. Conversely, Johnson led all players in receiving with seven grabs for 90 yards and a touchdown.

    As for the Tennessee receivers, Hopkins had four receptions for 60 yards, but didn’t catch a single pass after halftime. This allowed Phillips (4-68) to pace the Titans in receiving.

  • Shockingly, Derrick Henry didn’t lead all rushers in this contest, though he was able to score. He rumbled for 75 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. He was beaten by Warren, who was excellent with 88 yards on only 11 attempts. Najee Harris (16-69) also found the end zone, but he dropped a pass.


  • Chiefs 21, Dolphins 14
  • The Dolphins entered this game being criticized for not beating any of the tough competition they’ve faced this year. They had a chance to silence their critics with a victory over the Chiefs. Instead, it was the usual – but a bit different this time.

    The reason Miami hasn’t been able to defeat its top competition has been its defense. That looked like it was going to be the case again when the Chiefs went down the field for a quick touchdown to start the game, but Kansas City scored just seven offensive points after that. Instead, it was the Dolphins offense that struggled, failing to score until late in the morning. In fact, the offense was responsible for seven of the Chiefs’ points on a Tyreek Hill fumble.

    The Dolphins couldn’t sustain consistent drives because they continuously shot themselves in the foot with dumb penalties. They failed to convert a third down until after halftime for this reason. However, Miami finally got its act together in the second half. It tightened the margin from 21-0 to 21-14, and it had two chances to tie the game in the final quarter. The first drive was ruined by a horrible run by Salvon Ahmed that lost too much yardage. The second possession featured an ugly duck from Tua Tagovailoa, failing to connect with an open receiver. Tagovailoa then dropped the ensuing snap on fourth down, ending the game.

  • Both quarterbacks were disappointments in this game. Tagovailoa, in addition to his late-game blunders, Tagovailoa was 21-of-34 for just 193 yards and a touchdown. Patrick Mahomes, meanwhile, had an incredible opening drive, but couldn’t do much afterward. He went 20-of-30 for 185 yards and two touchdowns. He also lost a fumble.

  • The Dolphins made sure to limit Kansas City’s offense but constantly smothering Travis Kelce with constant double teams. This was why Kelce was limited to three catches for only 14 yards. Noah Gray actually led the Chiefs in receiving with three grabs for 34 yards. Rashee Rice (2-17) and Jerick McKinnon (2-22) caught Mahomes’ touchdowns. Rice drew a defensive holding penalty.

  • Kansas City didn’t have much luck running the ball. Isiah Pacheco rushed for 66 yards on 16 carries. He was outgained by Raheem Mostert even though Mostert didn’t have much of an opportunity to run the ball because of the constant deficit. Mostert dashed for 85 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.

  • Hill was the top receiver in this game, but had just 62 receiving yards on his eight catches in addition to his crucial lost fumble. Jaylen Waddle (3-42) got banged up in the first quarter and was limping around a lot. Waddle was wide open for a touchdown in the second half, but Tagovailoa didn’t see him.


  • Vikings 31, Falcons 28
  • This game didn’t exactly go according to plan for the Vikings. With Kirk Cousins out for the year, Kevin O’Connell envisioned starting Jaren Hall for a game or two until Joshua Dobbs was integrated into the offense. Hall got the nod in this game and had the Vikings in the red zone. He began 5-of-6 for 78 yards, but missed T.J. Hockenson for a touchdown. The poor pass ended up costing him more than initially expected because he suffered a concussion on the next play.

    Dobbs was forced into action earlier than anticipated, and the early returns were disastrous. Dobbs initially took a sack in the end zone for a safety, then lost a fumble on a strip-sack to set up the Falcons with a field goal on a short field. Dobbs finally got a good drive going, but nearly got K.J. Osborn killed on a pass over the middle of the field. Osborn was down for several minutes in a scary moment, but was carted off while sitting.

    It looked like the Falcons would run away with an easy victory, but the Vikings stormed back with Dobbs improving his play as the afternoon progressed. That didn’t initially appear to be the case in the second half when Dobbs lost a fumble on a strip-sack and then botched a snap in the red zone. Dobbs, however, continued to improve as the second half progressed. He made some great red zone scrambles and engineered multiple scoring drives, including one in the final minute that featured a successful scramble on third down. He drilled Brandon Powell for the decisive score on third down, improving the Vikings to 5-4.

    Dobbs finished 20-of-30 for 158 yards and two touchdowns to go along with seven scrambles for 66 rushing yards and a third score. Dobbs will be better when he has more experience and gets Christian Darrisaw and Justin Jefferson back from injury.

  • Hall wasn’t the only member of Minnesota’s backfield who got injured. Cam Akers also left the game with an ankle injury, which presented an unanticipated problem because he was the emergency third quarterback. Alexander Mattison handled the entire workload, which didn’t amount to much on the ground, with Mattison mustering only 44 yards on 16 carries. Mattison was at least able to catch a touchdown, as he had two receptions that went for 49 yards.

  • Only two Vikings finished ahead of Mattison on the receiving list. Hockenson led the way with seven grabs for 69 yards, while Jordan Addison snatched five balls for 52 yards.

  • Amazingly, the only player in this game who hit the century mark in receiving yardage was Jonnu Smith, thanks to a 60-yard score. Smith had five catches for 100 yards and the touchdown. Kyle Pitts had four receptions for 56 yards. Mack Hollins (3-36) left the game with an injury.

  • Taylor Heinicke did a decent job filling in for the benched Desmond Ridder. He went 21-of-38 for 268 yards, a touchdown and an interception on a telegraphed throw. Heinicke led a touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, but was upstaged by Dobbs.

  • Arthur Smith was up to his old tricks regarding his running back rotation. He inexplicably gave Tyler Allgeier more carries than Bijan Robinson, 12-11. Predictably, Robinson outgained Allgeier, 51-39, though Allgeier scored a touchdown.


  • Browns 27, Cardinals 0
  • No one really expected Arizona’s offense to do anything with Clayton Tune making his first start against Cleveland’s elite defense. What wasn’t quite known was how the Browns’ offense would perform. Deshaun Watson was making his return from a rotator cuff injury for the second time. His initial attempt was a disaster in what was nearly a quick, two-interception dud against the Colts.

    Watson’s second try initially looked like history would repeat itself. Watson heaved a low pass on fourth down early in the afternoon, drawing some boos from the crowd. However, Watson redeemed himself on the next possession when he connected on a 59-yard bomb to Amari Cooper. Watson eventually hit Cooper for a touchdown, albeit on a deflection. This gave the Browns a 13-0 lead heading into intermission.

    Watson continued to improve as the afternoon progressed. He was incredibly sharp in the second half, going 8-of-10 for 83 yards and a score following intermission. In total, Watson was 19-of-30 for 219 yards and two touchdowns. This should have Cleveland supporters feeling very optimistic, but perhaps not with the major injury the team suffered in the second half. That would be to Jedrick Wills, who was in tears when carted off the field. Wills is a talented left tackle who will sorely be missed.

  • Cleveland’s best offensive producer was Cooper, who had a monstrous performance. He caught all five of his targets for 139 yards and a touchdown. He was the only Cleveland player with more than 33 receiving yards. David Njoku (4-26) caught Watson’s other score.

  • Jerome Ford didn’t have much success running on the Cardinals, managing just 44 yards on 20 carries. However, he was able to be a big part of the passing game with five catches for 33 receiving yards. Kareem Hunt (14-38) scored a touchdown.

  • As for the Cardinals, Clayton Tune was an abomination with just 58 passing yards on 11-of-20 attempts. He threw two interceptions, with one of the picks being nowhere near any of his receivers. Tune was at least able to lead his team in rushing (28 yards), but was horrendous as a passer.

  • Outside of Tune, Arizona got nothing on the ground. Keontay Ingram otherwise led the Cardinals in rushing with just eight yards on nine carries.

  • Marquise Brown (4-24) and Trey McBride (3-22) were the only Arizona players with more than five receiving yards. They’ll have a chance to be productive when Kyler Murray presumably returns next week.


  • Packers 20, Rams 3
  • The Packers prevailed by 17 points to stop their four-game losing streak. However, this score isn’t indicative of how the game went. The Packers were up just 7-3 at halftime and 10-3 following the third quarter, as both teams had some hideous offensive performances. This wasn’t quite the Jets-Giants display from Week 8, but it was enough to set offenses back a couple of decades rather than half a century.

    For the Rams, Brett Rypien was horrendous as Matthew Stafford’s replacement. He was guilty of two turnovers, a fumble on a strip-sack following a botched snap and an interception on a floated pass. Rypien gave the Rams no chance to sustain drives, going 5-of-14 on third down and accumulating only 187 net yards. Rypien finished 13-of-28 for 130 yards.

  • Despite this horrendous play from Rypien, the Rams were never trailing by more than one score until the final minutes of the game. This is because the Packers were nearly as incompetent offensively as Los Angeles was. The Packers were responsible for two fumbles from Dontayvion Wicks and Aaron Jones. “No Cookie” Jordan Love also had Christian Watson open for a deep pass, but missed him.

    Love was otherwise accurate, going 20-of-26 for 228 yards and a touchdown. He ultimately connected with Luke Musgrave, who led the team with 51 yards on three catches. The Rams have shown no ability to stop the pass recently, so it was inevitable that Love would put the game out of reach.

  • The top offensive producer in this game was Jones. Aside from fumbling, he played well, rushing for 73 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. He also caught four passes for 26 receiving yards. A.J. Dillon chipped in with 40 yards on nine attempts.

  • Surprisingly, the Rams couldn’t run the ball on the Packers’ usually woeful run defense at all. Royce Freeman was limited to 32 yards on 12 carries, which includes a failed try on fourth down. Darrell Henderson was even worse with only 19 yards on 10 attempts.

  • With Rypien struggling, Cooper Kupp secured only two of his seven targets for 48 yards. Puka Nacua had similar numbers – three catches, 32 yards – and he was also guilty of an offensive pass interference penalty to negate a reception of his.


  • Redskins 20, Patriots 17
  • The Patriots entered this week with the worst record in the conference, but they had an easy matchup against a secondary that hasn’t been able to stop any passing attacks this season. This would have been a nice opportunity for Mac Jones to put together strong performance to convince the coaching staff that he’s worthy of being the starter again next year.

    Instead, Jones gave the Patriots every reason to tank for Caleb Williams and Drake Maye. He was pitiful against the Redskins despite not having to go against the pass-rushing duo of Chase Young and Montez Sweat. Jones missed a wide-open Tyquan Thornton on a fourth down. He then should have thrown an interception in the second half, but Jalen Reagor needed to break up the pass. Jones ultimately threw an interception at the end of the game while trying to put together a game-tying drive. He wasn’t at fault for this last blunder, as the ball bounced off JuJu Smith-Schuster’s hands. Jakobi Meyers’ replacement disappointed once again.

    Jones finished 22-of-44 for 220 yards, one touchdown and an interception. If he couldn’t produce against the Redskins, he is definitely a lost cause. New England will have to continue losing to obtain Williams or Maye.

  • The Redskins couldn’t quite put the Patriots away despite Jones’ ineptitude. This is because they were guilty of incompetence as well. Brian Robinson lost a fumble in the opening half, and then Sam Howell ruined a potential scoring opportunity with an interception that was late across his body and thrown right to Kyle Dugger in the end zone.

    However, Howell and the Redskins got their act together in the second half. They took the lead in the third quarter and maintained the advantage in the final frame. Howell finished 29-of-45 for 325 yards, one touchdown and the interception.

  • Both running backs pleased their fantasy owners in this game. Despite the fumble, Robinson was able to rush for 63 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Rhamondre Stevenson was even better with 87 yards and a score on just nine attempts. He also caught four passes for 42 receiving yards.

  • Stevenson finished third on the Patriots in receiving. The only players ahead of him were Demario Douglas (5-55) and Smith-Schuster (6-51). Douglas was a very popular DFS pick this week, but Noah Brown was a far better pivot.

  • The leading receiver in this game was Terry McLaurin, who broke the trend of Patriots slowing down No. 1 receivers this year. McLaurin caught five passes for 73 yards, barely edging out Jahan Dotson (4-69), who scored a touchdown.


  • Ravens 37, Seahawks 3
  • These teams entered this game with similar records, but there’s no mistaking the disparity between the talent level of the Ravens and Seahawks after this game. This contest was so lopsided that Taylor Huntley saw plenty of action in the second half once Baltimore pulled its starters.

    Despite the blowout, this was just a 17-3 affair at halftime. The Ravens made some mistakes to delay the inevitable. Lamar Jackson and Odell Beckham Jr. both lost fumbles in the opening half, but Seattle couldn’t take advantage because it made its own blunders. The rundown would be Jaxson Smith-Njigba dropping a pass on the opening third down of the game, then a Geno Smith interception on an overthrow. Smith also lost a fumble on a strip-sack following Beckham’s fumble.

    The Ravens finally got their act together in the second half. Jackson completed 7-of-8 passes following intermission, while the Ravens pounded the ball successfully into a Seattle defense that was previously known to be good versus the run. Before long, Huntley was in the game.

  • Jackson finished the game 21-of-26 for 187 yards following a slow start. He also scrambled 10 times for 60 rushing yards. Jackson played very well, but his fantasy owners are extremely disappointed with the output, as Jackson didn’t account for any touchdowns.

  • So, who scored the touchdowns when Jackson was in the game? Two of the scores came via Gus Edwards, who managed to find the end zone twice despite getting only five carries. His five attempts went for 52 yards. Meanwhile, undrafted rookie Keaton Mitchell displayed his game-breaking speed on his 60-yard touchdown run. Mitchell dashed for 138 yards on nine attempts to go along with his touchdown. He needs to be added in all fantasy formats.

  • With Jackson not passing very much, many of the receiving numbers were suppressed. For instance, Zay Flowers caught only one pass for 11 yards. On the other end of the spectrum, Mark Andrews reeled in nine of his 10 targets for 80 yards.

  • As for the Seahawks, Smith had a dreadful performance with the aforementioned mistakes. He failed to complete half of his passes, going 13-of-28 for 157 yards and the interception.

  • Despite his initial drop, Smith-Njigba found a way to lead the Seahawks in receiving with six grabs for 63 yards. D.K. Metcalf made a 50-yard reception, but that was his only catch of the day. Tyler Lockett saw the most targets (8), but reeled in only three of them for 32 yards.

  • It shouldn’t surprise you that Kenneth Walker couldn’t accomplish much in the constant deficit. His nine carries went for only 16 yards.


  • Texans 39, Buccaneers 37
  • Of all the games this week, the Texans and Buccaneers contest turning into the highest-scoring shootout may not have gotten many votes. Yet, these teams went back and forth all afternoon, with touchdowns being scored in every quarter. The Buccaneers had the early lead, but the Texans came charging back with numerous scores. Houston was forced into constantly going on fourth down because their kicker, Ka’imi Fairbairn suffered an injury. Despite this, the Texans prevailed at the very end, with C.J. Stroud leading the final scoring drive, hitting Tank Dell for what was the decisive score.

    Stroud was incredibly clutch in the fourth quarter, and he was much better in the second half than he was in the first. Stroud logged just 157 passing yards at halftime, yet he neared 500 by the end of the game. The Buccaneers had no answer for him, though they appeared to stop him once in the final quarter, forcing a fourth down inside the 10-yard line. Undaunted, Stroud found Dalton Schultz in the end zone to take the lead. The Buccaneers were able to re-take the lead, but Stroud had the last laugh on a 75-yard touchdown drive that spanned only 40 seconds.

    Stroud finished 30-of-42 for 470 yards and five touchdowns. This set the record for most passing yards by a rookie quarterback in a single game, breaking Marc Bulger’ former mark. This was an easy matchup against a pass-funnel defense, but Stroud still deserves a ton of credit for being so terrific despite his inexperience.

  • The Buccaneers, meanwhile, had some offensive explosions themselves. Baker Mayfield did a great job of navigating the pocket at times. He delivered some big completions, including a 53-yard bomb to Mike Evans that was nearly a touchdown. Mayfield was just unfortunate to not possess the ball last as Stroud did, aside from one final play with barely any time remaining.

    Mayfield finished 21-of-30 for 265 yards and two touchdowns. As with Stroud, this was an easier matchup for Mayfield. If there’s any negative to say about it, Mayfield was not very good on third down, which was a strength of his early in the season.

  • There were some exceptional receiving numbers, mostly from Houston’s side. Noah Brown came out of nowhere to lead the Texans in receiving with six catches for 153 yards and a touchdown. Dalton Schultz was next with a ridiculous 10 grabs for 130 yards and a score, with his only blemish being an early lost fumble to set up a Tampa score. Tank Dell was third on the box score, and yet he still had six grabs for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Nico Collins also found the end zone with three receptions for 54 yards.

    As for the Buccaneer receivers, Evans led the way with four catches for 87 yards. Cade Otton was right behind Evans with six receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns. Chris Godwin, conversely, was a disappointment with a 2-16 line.

  • Of the two teams, the Buccaneers ran better than the Texans. Rachaad White exploited a soft Houston run defense with 73 yards and two two touchdowns on 20 carries. Conversely, Devin Singletary started in favor of the injured Dameon Pierce. Singletary mustered only 26 yards on 13 attempts.


  • Saints 24, Bears 17
    By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: How did the Saints not cover this game? It felt like they had a million opportunities to convert a field goal at the end. Of course, when I had the Cardinals versus Seattle, the Seahawks easily got the front-door cover.

  • The two franchises that were coached by the great Mike Ditka ended up having a productive day for both teams. The Saints improved to 5-4 with the win, while Chicago stayed in the hunt for the No. 1 pick of the 2024 NFL Draft after losing despite playing tough football for three quarters. Paulson Adebo had an incredible game for New Orleans with two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery to lead the defense, which as a whole produced five turnovers.


  • The Bears took the opening drive down the field, with Tyson Bagent converting a fourth-and-2 with his legs and then finding Cole Kmet (6-55-2) in the end zone from 18 yards. After Bagent got the ball back, he threw a bad pass that was picked off by Adebo to set up the New Orleans offense at the Chicago 45. The Saints moved the ball into the red zone, and on third-and-goal, Derek Carr connected with Chris Olave for a score. Chicago responding drive saw Darnell Mooney making a superb run after a catch for a 39-yard gain. Bagent then used his legs to convert a fourth-and-12 before he found Kmet again for a nine-yard touchdown to make the score 14-7 Chicago.

    The New Orleans offense got moving with Carr using his tight ends for three big completions, including a short touchdown pass on third-and-goal to Taysom Hill. Bagent continued to move the ball well for Chicago, but Cairo Santos banged a field goal off the upright, which left things tied at 14 going into the locker room.

    Early in the third quarter, Chicago’s D.J. Moore (3-44) was stripped of the ball by Adebo, who recovered the fumble at the Chicago 39. The Saints soon hit a 55-yard field goal to take a 17-14 lead. Bagent continued to move the ball well and led a game-tying field goal drive. After trading some punts, Hill and Alvin Kamara both had big runs to set up a first-and-goal. Hill then found Juwan Johnson open in the back of the end zone to give the Saints a 24-17 lead.

    Promptly, Marcus Maye made a phenomenal interception to get New Orleans set up in Chicago territory. The Bears’ defense, however, managed to stuff a fourth-and-1 for no gain to stay in the game. The New Orleans offense could not do anything despite getting good field position following another Adebo interception, and New Orleans also missed a 47-yard field goal to keep things a one-score game. Bagent had one more chance with 2:26 remaining. However, Demario Davis strip-sacked him, and Pete Werner recovered the ball to clinch the win for the Saints.


  • Carr completed 25-of-34 passes for 211 yards and two touchdonws. He didn’t turn the ball over.


  • Kamara ran for 26 yards on nine carries and had four receptions for 44 yards.


  • Olave caught six balls for 46 yards and a touchdown.


  • Bagent completed 18-of-30 passes for 220 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.


  • D’Onta Foreman ran for 83 yards on 20 carries.


  • Mooney had five receptions for 82 yards.



  • Colts 27, Panthers 13
    By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: If Emmitt Smith were still announcing for ESPN, he’d say that Bryce Young got debacled by the Colts defense. How do you throw a pick-six twice to the same player in the same game!?

  • The Panthers gave up a ton to get Bryce Young, and the second guessing of that move is only going to get louder given how Young stunk up the field against the Colts. Kenny Moore II had two pick-sixes amongst Young’s three interceptions. Indianapolis improved to 4-5, while Carolina’s loss helped Chicago’s hope of landing the No. 1 pick of the 2024 NFL Draft.


  • The Panthers caught the first break of the game, recovering a muffed point to set up Young just before midfield, but a DeForest Buckner sack snuffed out the possession. The Colts moved into Carolina territory, but a Panthers goal-line stand forced a field goal. Midway through the second quarter, Indianapolis put a drive together with a screen pass to Jonathan Taylor going for a 10-yard touchdown. A 46-yard kick return and a 20-yard run by Chuba Hubbard netted a field goal for Carolina to cut the Colts’ lead to 10-3.

    Indianapolis had a mini-drive that ended with Matt Gay drilling a 57-yard field goal to go up 13-3. In the final seconds before the half, Young was pressured and made a terrible throw that was easily intercepted by Moore, who returned the pass 49 yards for a touchdown to put the Colts up 20-3 at the intermission.

    In the third quarter, Young converted a fourth down with a pass to Tommy Tremble and finished the drive with a touchdown pass to D.J. Chark. After a Colts punt, Young found Hayden Hurst in busted coverage for a 48-yard completion. But then Young overthrew a screen pass, which Moore – again – picked off. Moore then raced 64 yards down the sideline for a touchdown that made the score 27-10 Colts. Carolina responded with a field goal drive that turned it into a two-score game. After an Indianapolis punt, Young threw a floater in the middle of the field that dropped to Colts linebacker Segun Alibi for Young’s third interception. That turnover essentially clinched the win for Indianapolis.


  • Gardner Minshew completed 17-of-26 passes for 127 yards and an interception.


  • Taylor ran for 47 yards on 18 carries and notched five receptions for 22 yards and a touchdown.


  • Michael Pittman Jr. had eight catches for 64 yards.


  • Young completed 24-of-39 passes for 173 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.


  • Hubbard ran for 58 yards on 16 carries.


  • Adam Thielen had five catches for only 29 yards.



  • Raiders 30, Giants 6
  • Aside from a game in which they scored on a safety at the very end, the Raiders, under Josh McDaniels, failed to reach 20 points in any game this year. McDaniels is an offensive coach, yet the Raiders not only cracked 20, but reached 30 in their first game following McDaniels’ firing.

    Aside from the improved coaching, the Raiders were able to benefit from superior quarterbacking. Whereas Jimmy Garoppolo was playing miserably, Aidan O’Connell was a breath of fresh air. While Garoppolo released passes slowly and held on to the ball in the pocket forever, O’Connell released passes quickly and was able to pick apart the Giants secondary as a consequence.

    O’Connell went 16-of-25 for 209 yards. He didn’t take a single sack, which is significant because the Giants are capable of putting tons of pressure on the quarterback. This was a radical change from the Monday night game in which Garoppolo was sacked on countless occasions.

  • While the Raiders had an improved offense from a new quarterback, the Giants didn’t benefit at all from Daniel Jones’ return. That’s because Jones didn’t last very long. Jones injured his knee on one play in the opening half and tried to remain in the game. His knee buckled on the very next play, forcing him out of the game. It’s been reported that he has likely torn his ACL.

    With Tyrod Taylor also unavailable, the Giants were forced to turn to Tommy DeVito once again. The results were predictably disastrous. DeVito managed to complete most of his passes – 15-of-20 for 175 yards and one touchdown – but most of the yardage came in garbage time. He took eight sacks because he held the ball for an eternity. He also threw two interceptions, one of which was a horrendous decision into double coverage.

  • It’s worth noting that Jones didn’t look very sharp prior to getting hurt. He was only 4-of-9 for 25 yards. Jones missed Jalin Hyatt on two deep shots, one of which would have gone for a touchdown.

  • Jones’ injury spoiled what easily could have been a great battle between two of the better running backs in the NFL. Saquon Barkley had a solid outing despite the quarterback injury, rushing for 90 yards on only 16 carries. He also caught three passes for 23 receiving yards. Jacobs outgained Barkley on the ground with 98 yards on 26 carries, and he also scored twice. Shockingly, Jacobs didn’t log a single target.

  • Despite DeVito’s miserable quarterbacking, Darius Slayton was able to lead both teams in receiving with four catches for 59 yards. Daniel Bellinger, playing in favor of Darren Waller, was next with three grabs for 43 yards. Wan’Dale Robinson (4-35) snatched DeVito’s sole touchdown in garbage time.

  • As for the Raiders’ receiving corps, they weren’t led by Davante Adams (4-34) or Jakobi Meyers (2-38), though Meyers scored on an end-around. Instead, it was someone named Tre Tucker, a third-round rookie. Tucker caught two balls for 52 yards, thanks to a 50-yard bomb.


  • Eagles 28, Cowboys 23
  • Football is a game of inches, and we saw a clear example of that in this NFC East affair. The Eagles prevailed over the Cowboys to improve to 8-1, but a couple of inches the other way, and Dallas would have pulled the upset.

    The first instance of this occurred when Dak Prescott hit rookie tight end Luke Schoonmaker for what appeared to be a touchdown on a fourth-down play. However, replay review showed that Schoomaker’s knee was down when the ball was inches shy of the goal line, resulting in a turnover on downs. Not much later, Dak Prescott scored a touchdown and then tried a two-point conversion. Prescott appeared to scamper into the end zone, but replay review revealed that Prescott stepped out of bounds when the ball was once again inches shy of the goal line. This failed two-point try made the margin five instead of three, which was significant late when the Cowboys marched deep into Philadelphia territory twice, but came up short on both occasions because they had to go for the touchdown rather than kick a field goal.

    Still, Dallas had a chance. Thanks to multiple penalties, the Cowboys reached the red zone in the final minute. However, Prescott took a sack and then was guilty of a delay of game. Those five yards made a difference because Prescott’s final pass to CeeDee Lamb went to the 4-yard line as time expired.

  • A couple of other key moments in this game went Philadelphia’s way. Early on, Jalen Hurts fumbled, but the ball popped right to him. Much later, D’Andre Swift fumbled in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles were able to recover despite Dallas nearly securing it. Swift mustered just 43 yards on 18 carries, and he was vultured by Kenneth Gainwell (3-22) early in the game.

  • Prescott had a brilliant game for the most part. Staring down a great Philadelphia pass rush, Prescott went 29-of-44 for 374 yards and three touchdowns. He missed out on a fourth score because of the Schoonmaker incident.

  • Prescott logged way more yardage than Hurts, who injured his knee in the second quarter. hurts, however, was able to remain in the game and perform well. He misfired on just six occasions, going 17-of-23 for 207 yards and two touchdowns. He also scrambled 10 times for 36 rushing yards and a score.

  • A.J. Brown has been the best receiver in the NFL this year not named Tyreek Hill, but he had fewer yards than two players on the Cowboys. That would be Lamb, who caught 11 of his 16 targets for 191 yards, and Jake Ferguson (7-91), who reeled in a touchdown. Jalen Tolbert (3-49) also scored.

    As for Brown, he paced the Eagles in receiving with seven catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. DeVonta Smith (3-51) also scored.

  • Dallas also had the top rusher in this game. Tony Pollard edged out Swift, rushing for 51 yards on 12 attempts. He caught three passes as well, but for only 12 receiving yards. He was guilty of a drop.


  • Bengals 24, Bills 18
  • The Bengals were suddenly favored over the Bills after being underdogs on the advance line. There was plenty of optimism for Joe Burrow after what he did versus the 49ers, but the sharp bettors were skeptical; they bet Buffalo because of Burrow’s small sample size of success following his poor start to the season.

    Burrow made the sharps eat their losing tickets, as he sliced through Buffalo’s injury-ravaged defense with ease. He helped establish a quick lead that the Bengals held throughout the entire evening. Cincinnati led by multiple scores for most of the night, but even when the Bills drew to within six at the very end, Burrow had the answer. He floated a precise pass to Tyler Boyd for 32 yards to help ice the game. Cincinnati, as a result, improved to 5-3, while the Bills dropped to a disappointing 5-4 record.

    Burrow finished 31-of-44 for 348 yards and two touchdowns. The sharps can believe whatever they want, but it’s incredibly obvious that Burrow is back, and as a consequence, Cincinnati is poised to make another run deep into the playoffs.

  • On the other side of the coin, the Bills continued to struggle defensively. They’ve been ravaged by injury, and it didn’t help that Micah Hyde got hurt in the second half. Offensively, Josh Allen underwhelmed for most of the night. He produced in garbage time, but it seemed as though the offense as a whole was spinning its tires the entire night.

    Allen finished 26-of-38 for 258 yards, one touchdown and an interception on a telegraphed pass. Allen also rushed for 44 yards and a touchdown on eight scrambles, but some of his positive production came on the team’s final drive in a 24-10 game when the Bengals began playing a prevent defense.

  • There was a scary moment for the Bengals, as Ja’Marr Chase hurt his back in the second half. Chase missed some action, but was eventually able to return to action. Still, the damage was done, as he caught just four passes for 41 yards. With Chase struggling, Tee Higgins took over with eight receptions for 110 yards. Drew Sample (3-30) and Irv Smith Jr. (3-26) caught Burrow’s touchdowns.

  • It was no surprise as to who caught Allen’s touchdown. That was Stefon Diggs, who reeled in six of his seven targets for 86 yards and a touchdown. Dalton Kincaid was right behind him on the stat sheet with 10 receptions for 81 yards. Kincaid had a huge lost fumble in the red zone while down 21-10 in the third quarter.

  • Neither team got much from their running games. Joe Mixon scored a touchdown, but mustered only 37 yards on 14 carries. The Bills, meanwhile, didn’t really bother with James Cook; he had 20 yards on six attempts. He also caught four balls for 19 receiving yards.


  • Chargers 27, Jets 6
  • When the Vikings lost Kirk Cousins for the season, they had a plan. They traded for Josh Dobbs almost instantly, a move that paid off the following week when Dobbs took the field for a concussed Jaren Hall and led the team to victory. Conversely, the Jets did absolutely nothing in response to Aaron Rodgers’ injury. They believed Zach Wilson, and only Zach Wilson would lead the team to a playoff berth in an impossible AFC. This arrogance and incompetence will be their unraveling, which is what we witnessed in this game.

    Things went south for the Jets quickly. They surrendered a touchdown on a punt return and then there were three lost fumbles by offensive players, one by each of the key members of the scoring unit. Wilson’s lost fumble came on a strip-sack when he held the ball for an eternity on third down. This sort of lackluster pocket presence was commonplace in this contest, as Wilson took six sacks from the Chargers front. The sixth and final sack resulted in yet another fumble when Khalil Mack stripped the ball. The Chargers returned it to the Jets’ 2-yard line and scored a touchdown to finally put this game out of reach.

    Because of the punt return and countless fumbles, the Chargers prevailed by three touchdowns. However, they were outgained by the Jets in total net yards (even before the final garbage drive) and yards per play. The Jets’ constant mistakes dug them into a hole, but Wilson’s poor play couldn’t get them out of it. Thanks to Wilson’s miserable pocket presence, New York was just 3-of-17 on third down. Wilson finished the game 33-of-49 for a hollow 263 yards.

  • The Jets defense did a great job on the Chargers offense aside from one drive early in the evening. The Chargers accumulated just 191 net yards, as Justin Herbert went 16-of-30 for 136 yards. He didn’t throw an interception, but easily could have when safety Jordan Whitehead dropped an easy pick. Herbert was constantly swarmed, taking five sacks. It’s a shame for the Jets defense that this performance was wasted by such an inept offense.

  • The top receiver in this game was Garrett Wilson, who caught seven of his 13 targets for 80 yards, but he made mistakes as well. He lost a fumble and dropped a deep pass. He and Tyler Conklin (6-66) were the only Jets with more than 32 receiving yards.

    Wilson barely edged out Keenan Allen for the most receiving yards in this contest, as Allen hauled in eight of his nine targets for 77 yards despite being in a difficult matchup. No other Charger topped 23 receiving yards.

  • Like the two Wilsons, Breece Hall lost a fumble when he dropped a pitch. Hall also had plays of 20 and 18 yards negated by a pair of penalties. He managed just 50 yards on 16 carries. He caught four passes, but accumulated just 10 receiving yards. His counterpart, Austin Ekeler, also had a disappointing receiving night with just two grabs for 23 receiving yards, thanks to a pair of drops. Ekeler rushed for 47 yards on 14 attempts, but scored twice.


  • For more thoughts, check out my updated NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Tuesday morning.



    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22


    2024 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 21


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19


    NFL Picks - Feb. 12








    2023: 2023 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 11
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    2009: Live 2009 NFL Draft Blog - April 25
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    Super Bowl XLIII Live Blog