NFL Quick Hits: Week Nine

The Quick Hits are back after being away last Sunday. Plenty of thoughts and nuggets to go around after yet another surprising and interesting NFL Sunday.

  • How about that Sunday nighter to cap a crazy Sunday of football? The Texans duo of Case Keenum and Andre Johnson bullied the Colts in the first half, but this is about the turnaround and coaching adjustments by Indianapolis. Indy proved they are a championship quality team because they didn’t panic. They adjusted, limiting Johnson to 1 reception for 14 yards after an 8 catch for 215 yards 1st Half, and they won 27-24.
  • More important than the game, my best to Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak. It sounds like whatever happened to him wasn’t immediately serious, but I hope they can figure out what happened for sure and get him the help he needs to avoid something really bad.
  • Now we shift to the week’s first Overtime game. The Thursday nighter in Miami was a Halloween special with the appropriately attired Bengals being the victim for the most part. They lost their best defensive player, Geno Atkins, to a torn ACL, then lost the game on a walk off safety. (Only the 3rd time that’s ever happened) After being the AFC Offensive Player of the Month, Andy Dalton delivered a no touchdown, three interception performance. BUT Cincinnati does have Gio Bernard.
  • As for the winning team, what a performance to bounce back from four straight losses and knock off one of the hottest teams in football. Miami piled up a season high 157 rushing yards, and the defense caused four turnovers with five sacks. With all the negatives surrounding the Dolphins, it was good for them to get the focus back on the field.
  • From one OT thriller to another…Redskins-Chargers had a ridiculous amount of oddities. San Diego hadn’t blocked a field goal in 11 years, yet blocked two in the 1st half. Robert Griffin III had a pass intercepted in the end zone for a touchdown. Washington held San Diego out of the end zone in the game’s final :30 after the Chargers had 1st and Goal from inside the 1. There was excitement to spare, and Darell Young became the first running back since Jerome Bettis to score three touchdowns with 12-or-less rushing yards.
  • Another week, another NFL record. Nick Foles pulled his best Peyton Manning impression (making people wondering if Manning, on his Bye week, was actually playing for the Eagles). He became the 7th quarterback to ever throw 7 TD passes, and he’s the first to do it in less than three quarters. Mike Vick might not play again for Philadelphia.
  • How ’bout them Cowboys? A week after allowing a last minute touchdown to lose a game, they scored one to win. Dallas didn’t play well. How could they if it took a last minute touchdown to beat Minnesota? But they got the win, and the turning point actually came in the 3rd Quarter. The Vikes controlled the first half. Then, in a span of 10 seconds, Jason Witten caught a TD pass, Cordarrelle Patterson botched the kick off return, knocking it out of bounds at his own 5, and Christian Ponder was strip sacked on the next play, giving the Cowboys a second touchdown and a 20-10 lead.
  • Another point about Dallas: They need DeMarco Murray in the lineup. The burst he gives out of the backfield is special, but it’s just tough to keep him off the injury report.
  • The Chiefs are 9-0, and they did it without scoring an offensive touchdown. Kansas City had a 100-yd interception return touchdown and Tamba Hali scooped up a fumble and took it to paydirt. KC hasn’t allowed more than 17 points in a single game all year.
  • Speaking of good defense, how about Carolina? The Panthers gave up a 1st Half touchdown for the first time this season, but the Falcons had no answer for the now 5-3 team. Carolina is incredibly good right out of the gate on the defensive side. They have only allowed five 1st Quarter points this year and that lone touchdown in the 1st Half. The Panthers are only a game out of 1st in the NFC South.
  • Why are they only a game back? The J-E-T-S. New York went to the ground on offense and intercepted Drew Brees twice, and they shocked the Saints 26-20. The Jets have now won in every odd numbered week and lost in all the even numbered ones. Lucky for them, they’re on the Bye in Week Ten, so that could set them up to get ahead of the eight ball on that trend.
  • Good for the Rams for finally scoring their first rushing touchdown of the season (they got two of them), but they were overshadowed by Chris Johnson’s first two touchdown runs of the year. The Titans won 28-21 to get back to .500.
  • The Seahawks just keep trolling the NFL week in and week out. This week they decided to spot the winless Buccaneers 21 points before coming back to win. Sometimes you wonder if this team is just looking for a new challenge. Russell Wilson wasn’t sharp, but Marshawn Lynch was great in the win.
  • Even though they lost, Mike James proved he might be a legitimate NFL running back, and Mike Glennon continued to show he has a future in this league. Even with no wins, there’s plenty to be excited about with this team. They’ll win a game soon.
  • All the Fantasy football prognosticators said Tom Brady’s in a slump and owners should bench him this week. I hope nobody listened. Brady had the 3rd highest passing total of his career (432 yards), and he spread it around with three receivers topping 100 yards. It was a sad, sad day for the Steelers, giving up the most points and yards in their storied history.
  • And let’s close it out with the Browns getting to 4-5. They snapped a streak of 11-straight losses to the Ravens and handed John Harbaugh his first loss after a Bye week in his young career. The Browns are a different team when Brandon Weeden isn’t playing quarterback, and this team has the tools to hang around the playoff race.