What we learned from Sunday's Week 9 games

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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Here's what we've learned from Sunday's Week 9 games:

Baltimore Ravens 37, New England Patriots 20


1. How New England's Boogeymen defense, regarded through eight games as potentially the NFL's best ever, would fare against a wholly unique talent in Lamar Jackson and Baltimore's run-heavy approach dominated programming leading up to their first meeting. On Sunday night, we got our answer: Not well. Led by the elusive Jackson (163 passing yards, 61 rushing yards), Baltimore scored four offensive touchdowns, matching the number of scores the Patriots' defense had allowed prior to Sunday night; Jackson was responsible for three of them, two by land, one by air. More impressive than the Ravens reaching the end zone was how they got there. Baltimore started the game with three straight scoring drives totaling 13:42 of game time. After letting New England back into things, the Ravens embarked on just two second-half scoring drives, with a miserable Tom Brady interception sandwiched in between. The marches lasted 14 plays each for a combined 17:44, resulted in 12 first downs and ended in Baltimore reaching pay dirt both times. In keeping Brady off the field, the Ravens killed two birds with one stone, playing complete offensive football while relegating the master game-manager in TB12 to the sidelines. Mark Ingram (115 yards) enjoyed his best outing since Week 3; a healthy Marquise Brown (48 yards) gave New England fits early with his speed; and Baltimore's three-headed tight-end threat occupied space in the middle of the field. The Ravens were the better team on Sunday night, led by the better quarterback, too.

2. The Patriots' bend-don't-break offense couldn't keep pace with Baltimore, even as they tried to hurry up in playing catch-up. New England's pass-heavy attack (46 attempts to 17 carries) leaned on its receivers -- Julian Edelman (89 yards) and newcomer Mohamed Sanu (81) became the first Patriots pair to each record 10-plus receptions in a game since Edelman and Danny Amendola in 2013 -- but also subjected Brady to more harassment than usual. The future Hall of Famer took two sacks and was hit 10 times by a rejuvenated Ravens pass rush starring Matt Judon and Patrick Onwuasor. New England's ground game was ineffectual yet again. Worst of all, the Patriots made uncharacteristic mistakes. After Baltimore gifted New England a fumble in its red zone in the first half, the Patriots failed to convert it into six. Down just four points at half, the Patriots were moving on their first drive of the second half until Edelman fumbled on a first-down reception. Ravens corner Marlon Humphrey was there to clean up the mess and take the ball to the house to extend a lead that Baltimore hadn't lost all the game and never would.

3. The undefeated season is no more. New England's imperfect performance on Sunday night meant the end to its "bid" for a perfect season and to replicating the magic of 2007. This doesn't mean the Patriots are no longer the cream of the AFC -- Baltimore, Houston and Kansas City are all less well-rounded at this point in the season. But any narrative hanging over the Patriots' collective head regarding chasing "16-0" is now migrating west to San Francisco, where the 49ers are still unbeaten at 8-0 until their Monday night matchup with Seattle. New England's loss is likely a blessing in disguise; the humbled Patriots can regroup over their Week 10 bye and refuel to take on stiffer competition deeper into autumn. This one's over. They're on to Philadelphia.

-- Jeremy Bergman

Seattle Seahawks 40, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34 (OT)


1. This game had some of everything -- big defensive plays, clutch touchdowns, costly missed FGs -- but, in the end, it was Russell Wilson (29-of-43, 378 yards, 5 TDs) notching his fourth game-winning drive this season, and the 27th of his career. After kicker Jason Myers' missed 40-yard FG sent the 34-all game to OT, Wilson went to work, completing four of his eight attempts for 70 yards, including a 29-yard beauty to rookie D.K. Metcalf to get to the Tampa Bay 6. After Chris Carson was forced back four yards on the 16th carry of his busy day, Wilson found tight end Jacob Hollister on a 10-yard pass to give Seattle a dramatic 40-34 win. Hollister (4/37/2) and Metcalf (6/123/1), who had the highlight of the day with a 53-yard TD catch, were amazing through the air and Carson (16/105) was the same on the ground but we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the undeniable connection between Wilson and wide receiver Tyler Lockett. The veteran was two yards shy of setting a new season-high but he put on an absolute show with 13 receptions for 152 yards and two TDs. The newly acquired Josh Gordon will soon join the ranks, giving Wilson another lethal target, but the chemistry between the long-time teammates, as well as the developing bond with Wilson and Metcalf, should still be enough to keep Seattle's offense rolling for the rest of 2019.

2. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is but there's just something about playing on the road that ignites this Buccaneers offense. Entering Week 9, Tampa was tied for the 13th most points per game (24.0) in the NFL in games played at home; on the road, the Bucs average 29.6, good enough for fourth-most. Their 2-6 record indicates a team out of the hunt, but the team has had some competitive games, and this one was another addition to the catalog. Much like how this game had some of everything, we were again treated to the full Jameis Winston experience: one moment he'll make a maddening throw or turn the ball over in a head-scratching fashion and the next he's making sweet music with wide receiver Mike Evans (12/180/1) playing second fiddle. Winston went 29-of-44 for 335 yards, two scores and no picks; he even nearly outdueled Wilson in what may go down as one of the most exciting games of the season. Tampa continues to slip further down the NFC South but, when you consider that this was their fifth one-score loss (four road games) of 2019, it makes you start to wonder what could've been.

3. This game saw some spectacular all-around offense but both defenses made timely plays in their own right, despite the 74 combined points. For the Bucs, the pass-rush was elite for most of the game, sacking Wilson three times and hitting him a total 11 times. Rookie linebacker Devin White was a monster with season-high 12 combined tackles, two QB hits and a pair of forced fumbles; fellow LB Lavonte David brought the energy with eight combined tackles and a Wilson sack for a loss of 14 yards. The Seahawks weren't quite as successful getting to Winston (two sacks, 3 QB hits) but stepped up when needed; LB Mychal Kendricks' forced fumble, moments after White's second FF was recovered to give Tampa good field position, resulted in a 36-yard return from defensive end Rasheem Green and a 22-yard Myers field goal not long after that to tie the game at 27 late in the fourth.

-- Jelani Scott

Oakland Raiders 31, Detroit Lions 24


1. For the first time since Week 2, the Oakland Coliseum played host to a Raiders game, and what a game it was. The Raiders and visiting Lions went back and forth for the full 60 with their standing in their respective divisions on the line. In a contest where lead changes were more frequent than punts, Oakland scored last and made the last stand. Following a four-punt exchange of possession, the Lions tied the Raiders at 24 with a J.D. McKissic-heavy drive. Oakland followed by leaning on a pass-catching back of its own: Jalen Richard. The longtime Raiders back touched the ball on four straight plays which totaled 68 yards and picked up three first downs. From the red zone with just over two minutes left, Derek Carr (289 yards, 2 TDs) found sure-handed rookie (and Raiders leading receiver on the day) Hunter Renfrow in the end zone for what would be the game-winning score.

Not to be outdone, Matthew Stafford (406 yards, 3 TDs, INT) stormed right down the field helped by penalties and the speed of Kenny Golladay (4 rec, 132 yards, TD). But once inside the 10-yard line, Detroit crumbled. Stafford scrambled for four yards, was sacked for 10 and then found third-string tight end Logan Thomas in the middle of the field. Bailed out by a Jon Gruden timeout with eight seconds left, the Lions had one more shot to tie from the OAK 1. Lions OC Darrell Bevell called a weak-side play-action boot with the intention of Stafford finding a leaking Thomas or Jesse James in the end zone. But under pressure on the boot, Stafford lobbed an off-balance prayer to Thomas in the back of the end zone. Blanketed by Karl Joseph, Thomas couldn't corral it, and the Lions' last roar fell to a whimper.

2. Josh Jacobs' Offensive Rookie of the Year bid is picking up steam. While Gardner Minshew laid an egg overseas, Jacobs proved to be the backbone of Oakland's victory over Detroit. Jacobs carried the ball for a career-high 28 times for 120 yards and two scores in the win, extending the Raiders' scoring drives and helping Oakland win the time of possession battle for the first half. A revelation through eight games, Jacobs has already broken the franchise's rookie record for rushing yards in a season (740), passing the great Marcus Allen in the process. Carr is having an outstanding season in his second go-around with Jon Gruden, but Oakland's offense would be nothing without Jacobs, who is the figurehead of a strong rookie class in Mike Mayock's first year as general manager. It was a credit to all involved that Oakland came away with the win without right tackle Trent Brown who left with a knee injury and never returned. Injury aside, there's reason to celebrate in the East Bay: The Raiders (4-4) are right in the thick of the wild-card race and 1.5 games behind Kansas City in the AFC West.

3. In a possession game like this one, you can't afford to make the most mistakes. Detroit was that side on Sunday, committing two turnovers in its first four drives in a first half that featured zero punts. Dynamic offensive performances from Golladay and Marvin Jones (8 rec, 126 yards, TD) went wasted by Stafford's first-quarter fumble and his second-quarter deep interception to an acrobatic Daryl Worley. Bevell's play call on the goal line at game's end should also count as a costly blunder. The Lions made five trips inside Oakland's 30-yard line and came away with 14 points. Detroit (3-4-1) needed this win to get a leg up in the competitive NFC North on a day when all three of its division rivals lost. Instead, the Lions wasted opportunities on the field and off it.

-- Jeremy Bergman

Denver Broncos 24, Cleveland Browns 19


1. With Joe Flacco on injured reserve, Brandon Allen's Week 9 cameo will turn into a leading role for the foreseeable future, which begs the question, "How did he do in his NFL debut?" Well, he did just enough to position the Broncos (3-6) for a 24-19 win and end their two-game losing streak. The 27-year-old Allen was efficient on the day, completing 12 of his 20 attempts for 193 yards and two TDs with no turnovers and a 125.6 passer rating. His pair of scores came in spectacular fashion, thanks to the extra effort shown by Courtland Sutton on a 21-yard catch that would make Randy Moss proud and a 75-yard catch-and-run TD from rookie Noah Fant but Allen deserves credit for putting the ball where his guys could make a play. Sutton ended with five catches for 56 yards while Fant shook off the sluggish start to his career and added three catches for 115 yards in his best showing of the year. Even RB Phillip Lindsay looked like the explosive rookie we saw in 2018, rushing the ball nine times for 92 yards, including a season-best 30-yard TD run in the third. Yes, Denver went 3-of-9 on third down, Allen took three sacks and Lindsay's score was the team's only second-half points but, for at least this Sunday, the Broncos can enjoy putting forth their most energetic display in weeks.

2. The plethora of offensive weapons has yet to produce the plethora of victories many foresaw for the Browns, who fell to 2-6 after another stop-and-go afternoon. For the first time this season, Baker Mayfield (27-of-42, 273 yards, TD) avoided throwing an INT but still produced just one TD in a game for the seventh time in his eight starts. The Browns punched in only one of their five red zone trips and converted six of their 15 third-down conversions. The O-line allowed Mayfield to take multiple sacks in a game (2) for the seventh time while RB Nick Chubb couldn't find gaps to burst through and was held to 65 yards on 20 carries, his second-lowest of '19. Perhaps the most frustrating plays came on the team's two failed fourth-down attempts; Mayfield came up short on a run on fourth-and-1 from the DEN 5 in the third and he logged an incompletion to Jarvis Landry on fourth-and-4 from the DEN 28 with 3:23 remaining in the game. Landry and Odell Beckham combined for 11 receptions for 138 yards and a TD (Landry) but it wasn't nearly enough for an efficient Browns offense, who had 30 more plays than Denver (43) in the loss.

3. Facing Allen was supposed to result in a feast for the Browns defense but DC Steve Wilks' group failed to make the most of the opportunity. They brought the new QB down three times but couldn't put together key stops when needed. Down 5 with less than 9:30 to go, Denver was facing third-and-4 from its own 31 when DT Sheldon Richardson was hit with a roughing the passer penalty and extended the Broncos drive. It shaved more time off the clock and, while the Browns had a chance on their ensuing possession, Cleveland turned the ball over on downs and put the pressure back on its defense. On second-and-9 with 2:36 left, Lindsay took off for a 16-yard run to ice the game. A stop there could have led to another Browns shot but it wasn't meant to be. Allen is now 1-0 in his NFL career.

-- Jelani Scott

Los Angeles Chargers 26, Green Bay Packers 11


1. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram dominated a good Packers offensive line, the Chargers' run D smothered ball-carriers, and the back end blanketed Davante Adams and the Green Bay receiver corps. L.A. won at every level, putting a pummeling on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense until garbage time. The Chargers D held Green Bay to just 60 yards through three quarters, and the Pack didn't cross the 100-yard barrier until under the 10-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Bosa set up shop in the Green Bay backfield, constantly harassing Rodgers to the tune of 1.5 sacks, four QB hits and a bevy of other pressures. L.A. lining up Bosa and Ingram on the same side befuddled the Packers early and discombobulated the Green Bay offense. The Chargers held MVP candidate Rodgers to 161 yards and one score, much coming late with L.A. playing off-coverage, and held Aaron Jones to just 29 scrimmage yards. Gus Bradley's squad held Green Bay to 2-of-10 on third down, a masterful job on a key down, and just 184 total yards. The Chargers came in desperate for a win, and their defense led the way by dismantling Rodgers' offense.

2. Firing offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt seemed to wake up a slumbering Chargers offense. The play-calling wasn't substantially different than what we've seen. What was different was quarterback Philip Rivers playing possessed. The L.A. QB was locked in from the jump, throwing darts over the middle and getting rid of the ball quickly before the Packers pass rush could converge. Rivers and the Chargers offense moved the ball at will between the 20s against Green Bay. Splash plays to Mike Williams (3/111) were accompanied by chain-moving passes and timely runs. The Chargers converted 24 first downs compared to 13 for Green Bay. Melvin Gordon played his best since ending his holdout, looking much more decisive, compiling a season-high 80 yards rushing, and pounded in two touchdowns. The Chargers' run game, which had been stymied for weeks, churned out the clock late, generated 160 rush yards on the day, and kept Rodgers on the sideline, earning a 35:51-24:09 time of possession advantage. The tilt was even more lopsided than the scoreboard indicated. The Chargers settled for four field goals and went 2-for-5 in the red zone. The stalls didn't matter this time as L.A. dominated all three phases Sunday.

3. As depressing as the loss was for Green Bay, the Packers (7-2) lost zero ground in their streak to the NFC North title. The rest of their division rivals all lost, as the NFC North went 0-4 on the day, including 0-3 against the AFC West on the road. Bumps like Sunday come during an NFL season. Green Bay still controls the division. Bouncing back against Carolina next week will show what Matt LaFleur's team is made of in 2019. For L.A., the victory pushes them to 4-5, into the thick of the AFC playoff race. With two pivotal division games on tap -- at Raiders, vs. Chiefs -- Anthony Lynn's team will need to keep the intensity with which it played Sunday.

-- Kevin Patra

Kansas City Chiefs 26, Minnesota Vikings 23


1. A countdown and the eager awaiting of Patrick Mahomes' return to the field continues for the Chiefs. But upon this Sunday, the Chiefs found a huge victory to be had, one that demonstrated their intangibles as much as anything else. Kicker Harrison Butker booted the definition of a no-doubter when he kicked a 44-yard game-winning field goal to lift the Chiefs past the Vikings at Arrowhead Stadium. For a second straight start, Moore, who amazingly didn't even play in 2018, did just enough, navigating game-tying and game-winning drives in the fourth quarter. He clearly was upset in settling for a field goal to tie it in the fourth, but a win was had and that's all that mattered on a day in which the Chiefs (6-3) fended off the Vikings (6-3) despite not having Mahomes, left tackle Eric Fisher and defensive ends Frank Clark and Alex Okafor. "Entire team win," said Moore, who was 25-of-35 for 275 yards, a touchdown and a 103.9 rating, following the game. "We needed to win at home and we found a way to pull it out. Amazing." It was a team win. Tyreek Hill had six grabs for 140 yards, a score and made at least two acrobatic catches. Damien Williams burst through for a 91-yard score on a 125-yard day. The defense, for all the knocks it gets, did its part as well, holding the Vikings' No. 3 overall offense to 308 yards. Moore fumbled twice and was sacked five times, but he stood tall and the Chiefs stood up to the challenge to come away the victors. For all the speed and skill that the Chiefs have, today was about digging deep and displaying fortitude and that's what won the day -- from the backup QB to the struggling defense to the clutch kicker.

2. Ugly but effective. It's not a Hallmark card, but it was an apt description of Kirk Cousins' day in Arrowhead Stadium for the first three quarters. But at the end of the day, the Vikings lost and Cousins came up short once more when he needed to come up clutch. If you're a Super Bowl contender, winning on the road against an injury-depleted foe is what you do. With 2:30 to go in the game and the score tied at 23, Cousins and the Vikings set up at their 25-yard line, 75 yards from glory. Three plays and -7 yards later, they punted. Cousins had three touchdown passes, connected with eight receivers and had a 94.2 rating. Stefon Diggs had one catch. Dalvin Cook had only 71 yards and 3.4 yards per carry. This loss doesn't fall squarely upon the shoulders of Cousins, but quite obviously, neither does a win.

3. On a day in which big names didn't exactly come up clutch, Harrison Butker was an iceman when it came to pressure. He made good on all six of his kicks, including four field goals. Late in the fourth quarter, he tied it with a 54-yard field that had no doubt from whence it left his boot. With the game tied, Matt Moore found Tyreek Hill for a 13-yard gain to the Minnesota 39 and Butker was well within range once again. Lined up with three seconds on the clock and a win at his foot, Butker absolutely drilled a 44-yard game-winner. Only then did he show any kind of emotion, celebrating wildly at the conclusion of a triumph had upon the strength of his long leg and steely demeanor.

-- Grant Gordon

Pittsburgh Steelers 26, Indianapolis Colts 24


1. It wasn't pretty, but Mike Tomlin will take the gift W. Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a potential game-winning field goal in the final minutes after holder Rigoberto Sanchez failed to spin the laces out, and the Steelers held on for dear life for a needed home win. With the offense treading water in a three-foot pool, Pittsburgh's defense made several big plays that changed the completion of the tilt. Minkah Fitzpatrick once again proved his worth with a 96-yard pick-six late in the first half as the Colts were driving to extend their 10-3 lead. In six games with Pittsburgh, Fitzpatrick has been a big difference-maker, compiling four interceptions, six passes defended, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Pittsburgh's defense also forced a Brian Hoyer fumble at midfield, and the special teams added a fumble recovery and a blocked extra point. T.J. Watt was a menace off the edge, gobbling up 1.5 sacks and three QB hits and lived in the Colts backfield. In all, Pittsburgh's D gave up yards Sunday but made enough big plays to carry a limp offense.

2. Already playing without star receiver T.Y. Hilton, the Colts lost quarterback Jacoby Brissett early in the second quarter to a knee injury. Backup Brian Hoyer entered and tossed a TD on his first throw of the season. The veteran got battered by the blitz-happy Steelers, taking four sacks, but moved the ball well for stretches and threw three touchdowns. Zach Pascal (5/76/1) and rookie Parris Campbell (5/53; 27 rush yards) filled in well for Hilton with each making some spectacular plays to give the Colts a shot to win. Hoyer proved he's more than capable enough to move Frank Reich's offense if Brissett is out for a significant amount of time. Penalties, turnovers and missed kicks, however, will leave Indy with a bitter taste in its mouth after just missing a chance to steal a road win.

3. The Steelers offense looked broken with a jittery Mason Rudolph and no consistent ground game to speak of sans James Conner. Rudolph dinked-and-dunked his way inefficiently all game, and his pocket presence was skittish at best. Even with the offense scuffling (273 total yards), Pittsburgh moved to .500 (4-4), keeping themselves alive in the AFC playoff race. They'll need more out of the offense if they're going to beat teams that aren't injury-riddled like the Colts were Sunday. For Indy, the loss drops them to 5-3, behind the Texans in the AFC South. It's a loss Reich's squad could rue coughing up down the stretch of the season.

-- Kevin Patra

Philadelphia Eagles 22, Chicago Bears 14


1. The last time the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears squared off it was in the 2018 Wild Card Game when the Bears' Super Bowl hopes were dashed by Cody Parkey's double doink. Looking to exorcise their recent demons on offense and defense, the Bears came into the tilt hoping to turn around their 2019 campaign and capture the comeback magic of the Washington Nationals. But none of that happened, and the Bears (3-5) incurred their fourth straight loss on the year. The Bears' offense got off to a horrendous start. Chicago didn't get a first down until late into the second quarter (with 45 seconds to play in the half); the Bears were also 0-6 on third-down conversions in the first half. Signal-caller Mitchell Trubisky had another abysmal outing, completing just 10 passes for 125 yards. The extra film study and Matt Nagy's power point on the Nationals' run clearly didn't help. Rookie running back David Montgomery continues to be the sole bright spot on the Bears' offense, scoring the team's two touchdowns in the game. Montgomery is tied with Raiders running back Josh Jacobs for most TDs among rookie backs. Nagy and Co. need to stop making excusing and make changes with upcoming tilts against the Lions and Rams.

2. Like the Bears' offense, the defense continues to play sloppy and had another game full of miscues and several offsides penalties. By midway through the second quarter, the Bears' D jumped offsides four times. The Eagles (5-4) capitalized off the Bears' lack of discipline and took a 12-0 lead into the half. Carson Wentz, who like Trubisky was looking for consistency himself, threw for 239 yards (26-for-39) and one touchdown. Wentz had DeSean Jackson back on the field Sunday after the receiver was out for several weeks due to an abdominal injury. Jackson's day ended early, though, after one catch. Obviously airing it out worked well against a struggling Bears secondary and avoiding Khalil Mack at all costs.

3. Two Eagles had a chance to get revenge on their former squad. Eagles running back Jordan Howard, who was traded to Philly by Chicago this offseason, toted the ball 19 times for 82 yards and one touchdown. Receiver Alshon Jeffery's day wasn't so great. Jeffery nearly cost the Eagles the game as the Bears attempted a second-half rally. The veteran wideout had three drive-ending third-down drops. Jeffery has dealt with injury this season and hasn't looked like his old self. With his recent struggles it will be interesting how the Eagles use him going forward since he's been so inconsistent.

-- Andie Hagemann

Houston Texans 26, Jacksonville Jaguars 3


1. Deshaun Watson's MVP campaign went global on Sunday. Though the NFL's final London game this season wasn't exactly riveting, Watson's versatile and remarkable skill set was showcased in all facets as the Texans won a key AFC South game. Despite missing standout left tackle Laremy Tunsil, the Texans offensive line had a solid day, allowing just one sack, but much of that was Watson, who wiggled and slipped through potential sacks and improvised success. Perhaps never before has watching a quarterback stay alive from would-be sackers been such a highlight as it is with Watson. The signal-caller's fleet feet added 37 yards on the ground as the Texans turned in a huge day on the ground with 216 yards rushing, keyed by Carlos Hyde's 160 yards in 19 carries. Watson (22-of-28 for 201 yards, two touchdowns) was also excellently efficient with his arm, as the Texans (6-3) downed the Jaguars (4-5) for the fourth straight time and Watson improved to 4-0 against Duval. Watson might well be the NFL's best this season and now he can make that claim on two continents.

2. Nearly 60 years prior, a quartet of moptops out of England caused a worldwide stir called Beatlemania. On Sunday, a mustache, a headband and another type of mania touched down in England, but Minshew Mania had its worst performance yet. Three turnovers (two interceptions, one fumble lost) in the fourth quarter will be the lasting impression from London, but, in reality, Minshew (27-of-47 for 309 yards, 59.6 passer rating) struggled right along with the rest of the team. Chris Conley had a horrendous day dropping the ball, D.J. Chark (four catches for 32 yards on nine targets), in the midst of a stellar season, was bottled up and Leonard Fournette (11 carries for season-low 40 yards), also chugging along with a terrific campaign, found the same fate. But as the Nick Foles-or-Minshew debate gets going, Sunday is a stain on the rookie's brief resume that will be difficult to wash away.

3. In its first outing sans J.J. Watt in 2019, the Texans' defense responded with its finest defensive performance of the year, allowing a season-low three points, forcing four turnovers and keying a crucial division win. Houston's defense was dominant in all facets, notching four sacks and holding the Leonard Fournette-led running game to 74 yards. It would be silly to predict Watt's absence won't have a negative effect at some point, but on this Sunday, Gareon Conley (eight tackles, two passes defended), Zach Cunningham (eight tackles, fumble recovery), Brennan Scarlett (two sacks) and a mammoth team effort were dominant without their most dominant player.

-- Grant Gordon

Buffalo Bills 24, Washington Redskins 9


1. If the Redskins weren't, well, the Redskins, the Bills might've lost this game. But instead they won 24-9. The Bills (6-2) are the lowest scoring team with a winning record, but they didn't look like it today. Buffalo came out of the gate running the ball against a bad run defense. The offensive line was blocking great for rookie running back Devin Singletary, who had 79 scrimmage yards on six touches in the first quarter. He finished the game with 140 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. Josh Allen now has seven games with both a passing and rushing touchdown, which is the fourth-most ever by a QB in his first two seasons, per the Bills.

2. In his first NFL start at quarterback, Dwayne Haskins wasn't great, but he wasn't bad. He completed 15 of 22 attempts for 144 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions but took four sacks. He made a few great throws but just couldn't convert on third downs. For a chunk of the game, Washington (1-8) had more yards than Buffalo, but mistakes and missed opportunities had them settling for field goals. After the game, interim coach Bill Callahan said he doesn't know yet if Haskins will start at QB after the bye week. This is the first time in franchise history that the Redskins have gone three consecutive weeks without a touchdown.

3. Adrian Peterson was the one positive thing for the Redskins offense. The 34-year-old was running folks over today. He had 121 total yards at the half. The Bills defense just couldn't stop him, and he just refused to be tackled. Peterson finished with 130 scrimmage yards.

-- Lakisha Wesseling

Carolina Panthers 30, Tennessee Titans 20


1. The Panthers enjoyed a surprising get-right day on offense seven days after getting shellacked by the 49ers. The Titans entered the day with the league's No. 4 scoring defense, but after a slow start Kyle Allen started getting the ball in the hands of his playmakers (namely Christian McCaffrey) and Carolina's skill players shined. McCaffrey continued his excellent first half with three more touchdowns (one receiving, two on the ground) and 166 yards from scrimmage -- a performance punctuated by a 58-yard score where he exploded through a crease at the line of scrimmage and outran the defense for six.

Receivers D.J. Moore (seven catches, 101 yards) and Curtis Samuel (3/64/1) both made plays to remind you why Carolina (5-3) is high on its young wideout duo. And Allen did a good job of eliminating the mistakes that plagued him against S.F. Performances like Sunday's remind you why Carolina remains a playoff dark horse in the NFC.

2. The Titans (4-5) will bemoan their slow start as a key reason for this loss. Tennessee was shut out in the first half, undone by lackluster offense and self-inflicted wounds. The Titans entered halftime with 114 total yards, five first downs, two turnovers, two missed kicks and six penalties for 58 yards. Running back Derrick Henry also was a non-factor early with just two carries in the first two quarters. By the time the Titans woke from their slumber they trailed by 17. They tried to make a game of it as Henry re-emerged with two touchdowns in the second half, but never were able to cut the Panthers' lead to single digits.

3. Ron Rivera lived up to his Riverboat Ron moniker Sunday with two gutsy decisions on fourth down that led directly to 14 points. Facing fourth-and-2 in the second quarter from the Titans' 7, Rivera opted against a field goal and kept his offense of the field. The decision was notable considering up to that point his offense had struggled to find its footing against a stout Titans defense. But Norv Turner drew up a beauty of a play-call that led to Allen finding a wide open McCaffrey for an easy TD and a 10-0 lead. Then in the second half after the Titans scored their first TD of the game, Rivera caught Tennessee by surprise with a fake punt from his own 36 that special teamer Colin Jones converted for a first down. That drive ended in another TD for Carolina as Rivera's gambles paid off doubly en route to victory.

-- David Ely

Miami Dolphins 26, New York Jets 18


1. In a game that likely would've left fans of both teams unbothered regardless of the outcome, the pendulum finally swung in favor of the winless Dolphins (1-7). It was by no means a classic -- first game since Week 14, 1994 both teams recorded a safety, per NFL Research -- but Miami conjured up a 26-18 victory, thanks to an on-brand performance from the equally woeful Jets (1-7) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (24-of-36, 288 yards, 3 TDs, 0 int.) dialing up the right dose of 'FitzMagic'. Miami jumped out to an early 21-12 halftime lead -- the most points they've scored in a half in 2019 -- courtesy of Fitzpatrick doing his best Dan Marino impression and becoming the first Fins QB to throw three or more TDs in the first half against the Jets since Marino did so in Week 3, 1986, according to NFL Research. Wideout DeVante Parker (4/57/1) punched in one of those scores on a difficult, one-hand 17-yard grab while the other two went to WR Preston Williams (5/57/2). Tight end Mike Gesicki also managed to constantly gash the Jets' D en route to a career-best six-catch, 95-yard day. The offense cooled off considerably in the second half but, with things coming up all Miami in this one, the team still pulled off another first, ending their season-long third-quarter scoring drought (57-0) after a 26-yard Jason Sanders field goal. What a rush.

2. Sam Darnold (27-of-39, 260 yards, TD, INT) and the Jets put the OFF in offense against Miami, and it was, at times, hard to watch. After a sharp 11-play, 75-yard series to give the Jets their second opening drive score of the year, things went quickly downhill from there. Jamison Crowder (8/83/1) was the beneficiary of the lone touchdown and corralled some of Darnold's best throws but there was little to speak of outside of that. Le'Veon Bell had another tough day on the ground with 17 carries for 66 yards, WR Robby Anderson went 2-of-4 for 33 yards and the remaining 13 Jets points would come from kicker Sam Ficken (3-of-4) and a botched Miami QB sneak from their own 1-yard line. The results of the game may have been different had Ryan Griffin's toe-dragging TD catch to cut the lead to seven not been reversed late in the second but who really knows; Darnold would throw a sloppy pick on the very next play. Overall, the Jets finished 5-of-14 on third down and 1-of-3 in the redzone.

3. When Darnold returned to lead the Jets past the Cowboys in Week 6, there was a buzz surrounding the team. They've dropped three straight in the weeks since and, while that can happen to any team, defeats like the one they took today look worse when a number of costly errors are involved. Coming into Week 9 as the NFL's ninth-most penalized team, the Jets were hit with 10 total penalties for a difference of 105 yards; the aforementioned goal-line pick and a fumble-turned-safety from the New York 7 after an ill-timed snap from backup center Jonotthan Harrison also left a stain on the box score. In all, New York's offense has coughed up 10 turnovers and the team has been outscored 88-33 since the Dallas game. Darnold has also taken 12 sacks in that span. Ouch.

-- Jelani Scott

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