Decyfr’s Week 9 Roundup

Week 9 saw Frankfurt host its first-ever NFL game with a nail-biting finish between two of the best teams in the league. Elsewhere, six rookie quarterbacks started games, including a record-breaking performance from C.J. Stroud. Here is Decyfr’s roundup of the action.

Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons

Final Score: 31 – 28

Josh Dobbs, Minnesota’s replacement for the injured Kirk Cousins, only arrived on Tuesday and was thrust into Sunday’s game. Despite that, his performance against Atlanta was exemplary. Dobbs threw for 158 yards, and two touchdowns, and led the team in rushing yards with 66. One of those rushing attempts went for a touchdown in a remarkable 18-yard scramble. Dobbs also led a game-winning drive in the final two minutes, sealing the victory with a six-yard pass to Brandon Powell for the score. The defeat for Atlanta drops them to 4-5 and leaves the team second in the NFC South.

Player of The Game: Josh Dobbs, Quarterback, Minnesota Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Houston Texans

Final Score: 37 – 39

The second overall draft pick in the 2023 draft, C.J. Stroud propelled himself to frontrunner for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Stroud set the record for the most single-game passing yards by a rookie with 470 as well as throwing a staggering five touchdowns. The most impressive being a 15-yard completion to Tank Dell for a last-gasp game-winning touchdown on a 75-yard drive that took the team just 40 seconds to complete.

The Texans also had four 2-point conversion attempts after an injury to kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn ruled him out of the game. This meant backup veteran running back, Dare Ogunbowale was forced to deputise on kicking duties, even converting a 29-yard field goal. Houston are now 4-4, whilst Tampa Bay, who have lost the last four games since coming off their bye week, slump to 3-5 and sit third in the NFC South.

Player Of The Game: C.J. Stroud, Quarterback, Houston Texans

Seattle Seahawks @ Baltimore Ravens

Final Score: 3 – 37

In front of a packed M&T Bank stadium, undrafted rookie running back Keaton Mitchell stole the show. Mitchell had zero carries in the NFL coming into this week and finished with nine carries for 138 yards and a touchdown. Also, offseason acquisition Odell Beckham Jr celebrated his birthday with his first touchdown in a Ravens uniform on a six-yard pass from Tyler Huntley, who replaced Lamar Jackson at the end of the third quarter due to injury. Jackson and Huntley threw a combined 225 yards with a single touchdown whilst Jackson had another dominant performance on the ground with 60 yards from 10 rushes, with his longest being a 26-yard carry. The result means Baltimore are 7-2 and sit comfortably atop their division whilst Seattle’s loss means the San Francisco 49ers now jump ahead of them for the lead in the NFC West, despite being on their bye week.

Player Of The Game: Keaton Mitchell, Running Back, Baltimore Ravens.

New York Giants @ Las Vegas Raiders

Final Score: 6 – 30

After former Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels was fired earlier in the week, it was Antonio Pierce’s job to step in and man the ship on an interim basis. It was a coaching debut to remember for Pierce as the offensive unit, led by rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell, put on a dominant display against a New York Giants side that has struggled all season. O’Connell threw for 209 yards on 16 passes while franchise running back Josh Jacobs ran for 98 yards with two touchdowns.

One of the stars of the game, defensive end Maxx Crosby, recorded eight tackles including three sacks combining for a loss of 12 yards. Crosby dominated the Giants’ offensive line and his performance helped lift the Raiders off the bottom of the AFC West. The Giants, however, lost quarterback Daniel Jones for the season with an ACL injury, meaning rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito is likely to become their starter going forward. The Giants have three more games before their bye week at Dallas, Washington and New England with the team now at 2-7.

Player Of The Game: Maxx Crosby, Defensive End, Las Vegas Raiders.

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles

Final Score: 23 – 28

Two of the NFC’s best met at Lincoln Financial Field this week as the Philadelphia Eagles narrowly avoided defeat against their bitter divisional rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns with one for himself on the ground whilst the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott threw for an impressive 374 yards and three touchdowns, with star receiver CeeDee Lamb hauling in 191 yards. The difference between the two sides was the Eagles’ ability to close out the game on defense, with Dallas failing to execute in a high-pressure situation. Prescott stepped out of bounds on a 2-point conversion attempt, meaning the Cowboys had to score a touchdown on the final drive of the game.

With 46 seconds remaining, and with Dallas up to the 11-yard line, Prescott was sacked twice putting them outside the red zone on third down. On the final play of the game, Prescott found Lamb with a 23-yard pass to the Eagles’ four-yard line when Sydney Brown forced a fumble which was recovered by Reed Blankenship sealing the win for Philadelphia. Dallas now sit at 5-3 whilst Philadelphia progresses to 8-1 and maintains the best record in the NFL.

Player Of The Game: Jalen Hurts, Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles.

Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals

Final Score: 18 – 24

The Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals last played each other in the divisional round of the 2022 playoffs, with the Bengals coming away as victors. It was the same outcome this time round as Joe Burrow threw for 348 yards and two touchdowns. Josh Allen threw for 258 yards and a touchdown, also rushing one in himself but he was, notably, intercepted once by Cam Taylor-Britt. The Bengals’ defense stood firm towards the end of the game until the Bills scored with a successful field goal attempt with three and a half minutes left. However, excellent clock management gave the Bengals the ball for the remainder of the game and handed them their fourth consecutive victory, keeping them in the hunt in the AFC North. Meanwhile, Buffalo remains second in the AFC West but drops to 5-4.

Player Of The Game: Joe Burrow, Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals

Los Angeles Chargers @ New York Jets

Final Score: 27 – 6

Monday Night Football gave us one of the strongest defensive showings by the Los Angeles Chargers this season. The Chargers sacked quarterback Zach Wilson eight times for a loss of 57 yards, with Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack and Tuli Tuipulotu all registering two or more sacks. The Chargers’ special teams also had a game to remember with punt returner Derius Davis returning a punt 87 yards for a touchdown, one minute and 35 seconds into the game.

The big storyline, however, was undoubtedly Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen reaching 10,000 career receiving yards, joining players such as Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Evans, Marvin Harrison and Michael Irvin to achieve such a milestone at one franchise. Los Angeles now moves to 4-4 with the New York Jets joining them with the same record.

Player Of The Game: Joey Bosa, Linebacker, Los Angeles Chargers.

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