Every game during the NFL season tells a story. GIFs -- pronounced "gifs", "jifs" or "gee-oafs" -- can do the same thing. Let's explain the world of Week 9 through GIFs.
It was sold as a GOAT-off, a showdown between two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. But by the time the final seconds ticked off the clock Sunday night, an all-too-familiar realization had set in. The real debate isn't so much about who's the better quarterback between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, but instead a conversation about what one quarterback has and the other does not.
Brady has Bill Belichick -- and all of the accompanying structure, strategic acumen and personnel advantages. Brady made some big throws on Sunday night, but the game ball clearly goes to Belichick, who put together another master game plan despite the absence of All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski and starting running back Sony Michel.
Rodgers, meanwhile, has been chained to Mike McCarthy for his entire starting career. Opinions on the Pack coach vary, but results tell the story of a team that has consistently underachieved in the years since Rodgers hoisted the Lombardi Trophy way back in February of 2011. The disparity goes deeper than just the coach, though. When the Patriots need it, supporting players step up. On Sunday night, it was recently acquired wide receiver Josh Gordon sliding into the playmaker role and defensive lineman Lawrence Guy forcing the momentum-shifting Aaron Jones fumble in the fourth quarter. Jones' costly turnover came one week after Ty Montgomery's late-game fumble kept Rodgers off the field in the final minutes of a narrow loss to the Rams.
Why can't the Packers ever seem to put it together? Is it coaching? The players? The front office? Whatever it is, the quarterback deserves better. Tom Brady is the GOAT, but he's also landed in the GOAT position for a quarterback. If roles were reversed, would we be lamenting Brady's lack of support and dearth of Super Bowl appearances? I know my answer.
And here's your latest reminder that the Browns traded Josh Gordon -- a troubled but unquestionably dynamic game-changing wide receiver -- to the NFL's greatest dynasty ever for the price of a fifth-round draft pick. Why didn't we, as a people, do more to stop this? The ultimate result could not have been more apparent.
Aw, who's a good sports dog? You're a good sports dog!
Philip Rivers is so sick of his kickers being terrible. Can you blame him? This has been going on for two years now. Above is Rivers' reaction after Caleb Sturgis missed a PAT following the Bolts' first touchdown. Sturgis would miss another extra point and a field goal, miscues that made the Chargers' win over the Seahawks way more stressful than it had any right to be. On Monday, the Bolts cut ties with Sturgis. Smart move, but probably meaningless given the ancient voodoo curse that follows this franchise up and down the California coast.
Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks, who now sit atop the Team Celebrations Power Rankings after another strong synchronized performance during Sunday's loss to the Chargers. The Eagles had previously owned the No. 1 spot in the rankings, though they'd been pretty much coasting on their considerable achievements of a year ago. I love how tight this dance is. This has to take a decent amount of practice! I wonder where these practices take place? Doug Baldwin's hotel room? Just a guess.
The best individual celebration for Week 9 goes to Saints tight end Benjamin Watson, who made a very public announcement that he and his wife, Kirsten, are expecting twins. After his 13-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees, Watson stuffed the ball under his jersey and held out five fingers on one hand and two on the other. Benjamin and Kirsten have five children -- the twins will give them a lucky seven. "We're really excited, and we want everybody to pray for us," Watson said after the game. OK!
No. Just no.
Here's something we haven't seen this year: Rams coach Sean McVay looking frustrated on the sideline. You don't get much of that when your team jumps out to an 8-0 start. The Saints came out on top Sunday, and let's hope this isn't the only time these two teams play this season. A rematch in the NFC Championship Game would be straight glorious.
Oh, Chucky. It will definitely get better. Well, it will probably get better. OK, it could get better. Hang in there, Raiders fans.
Until next week.