Not even a week after being traded to the Vikings, Josh Dobbs was unexpectedly thrust into action against the Falcons. For a quarterback, there may not be a tougher situation to deal with in the sport. There are so many new things to learn on a new team, and you’re throwing to guys you’ve never played with before in your life. However, against all the odds, Dobbs got the job done in spectacular fashion. He ended the Week 9 tilt with 20 completions on 30 attempts for 158 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winning pass with 27 seconds left. He also ran the ball seven times for 66 yards and another score. It’s understandable why the Cardinals traded him away, but what a story it was for the Minnesota Vikings and Josh Dobbs this week.
Josh McDaniels was fired as the head coach of the Raiders last week and the team immediately got better. Things had been going downhill in Vegas for a while with McDaniels, and it became clear that a change was needed. What wasn’t clear, though, was how much different this team would look with him gone. In Antonio Pierce’s Week 9 debut as head coach, the Raiders got their biggest win of the year in a dominating 30-6 performance against the Giants. New York certainly isn’t cream of the crop, but heading into the week, Vegas’ highest point total in a game was 21. Now, Pierce will look to prove that his team really has turned a page with the other New York team coming to town next Sunday.
The Offensive Rookie of the Year race may have been wrapped up in Week 9 by C.J. Stroud. Stroud delivered one of the best performances of the year on Sunday, throwing for 470 yards and five touchdowns, the last of which came with ten seconds left in the game. His effort was good enough to break the rookie record for passing yards in an afternoon, and the 14:1 TD/INT ratio that he now has is easily the best in the league. Stroud will almost certainly be a star in Houston for years to come, and with the talented young receivers that he has around him right now, the future for the Texans is very bright.
Poor Saquon Barkley, man. He’s been stuck in New York for his whole career, and things quite possibly have never been worse. Daniel Jones is out for the season and Tyrod Taylor may be done as well, leaving the quarterbacking duties up to rookie Tommy DeVito and newly signed Matt Barkley. In other words, the Giants might not win another game this year. Because of the issues under centre for the foreseeable future, Barkley will see a massive workload. Usually, this would be a great thing for a running back, but when it comes with defenses only keying on you because you’re the only threat on the field, things can get very frustrating very quickly. The Giants have scored 39 points in their last four games, and I don’t expect much to change.
They came into Week 9 at the top of their division with five wins in their last six games, but the Seahawks may not be the team some people thought they were. Geno Smith and the ‘Hawks got absolutely bullied in Baltimore, managing to score just 3 points while allowing 37. The defence kept them around for a while, but Seattle’s offensive struggles were very apparent all afternoon. Smith has now turned the ball over eight times in his last four games, and while Seattle is still in a decent spot moving forward, the turnovers are starting to become a concern. The Seahawks will play Washington and Los Angeles before a four-week gauntlet where they’ll see Dallas, Philly, and San Francisco twice. If Smith and the offence can’t figure things out now, this team could slide out of the playoff picture quickly.
The Cowboys probably deserved a win in Week 9 against the Eagles, which makes the loss even more heartbreaking. Between a fourth down catch that was inches short of the endzone, Dak stepping out of bounds on the two-point conversion, and Ceedee Lamb coming up just short on the last pass of the game, this loss to their division rivals was an extremely tough pill to swallow. With the defeat, Dallas is now two games back of Philadelphia for the lead in the NFC East and will have a very difficult path to get back to the top. For the fans, there really isn’t even much you can blame this game on. Dak was terrific, the defence got timely stops, Philly wasn’t playing their best, and they still came away with a loss. The team is still in a fine spot, but this one had to sting.