A look back at Week 9 of the 2017 NFL season:
1. The Chiefs appear to be fading and suffered a 28-17 loss to the Cowboys, their third in four games after a 5-0 start. The Cowboys held Kareem Hunt to 37 yards on nine carries and ended Alex Smith’s NFL record streak of 237 passes without an interception. Meanwhile, the 6-3 Cowboys are 3-0 since losing to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers but aren’t likely to catch Philadelphia in the NFC East and are probably fighting for a wild-card spot. And the loss of Ezekiel Elliott for six games will make it more difficult for them to make the playoffs.
2. The Los Angeles Rams are on a pace to become first team to lead the league in scoring after being last the previous year when they routed the New York Giants, 51-17. The Rams even got a 52-yard touchdown on a screen pass to Robert Woods on third-and-33. Not too many plays in the playbook for third-and-33. In New York, the fans are saying the Giants have quit, but the Rams’ performance was still impressive as they scored on eight of their first nine possessions. An interesting sidelight to the win is that the Rams’ coach Sean McVay is the grandson of John McVay, who was coaching the Giants when Herman Edwards scored on Joe Piscarik’s fumble – the Miracle in the Meadowlands — at the end of a game against the Eagles in 1978. That led to a shakeup in the Giants’ organization. McVay, who went on to become an executive with the 49ers, was fired and George Young was hired as general manager and built a team that won two Super Bowls on his watch.
3. The Eagles get a bye this week but don’t seem to need it because they are clicking on all cylinders. They boosted their record to 8-1 with a 51-33 rout of the Broncos. The Broncos are noted for their defense, but were no match for the Eagles offense as Carson Wentz threw four touchdown passes to boost his league leading total to 23. And they got immediate dividends on the trade for Jay Ajayi as he ran eight times for 77 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown run. The only team in the league with just one loss, the Eagles seem to be on their way to getting the top seed in the NFC.
4. In what may be a good omen for the New Orleans Saints, they are the third team in the Super Bowl era to start off 0-2 and then win six in a row. The other two were the 1993 Cowboys and the 2007 Giants, who both won the Super Bowl. The Cowboys’ slow start, though, was caused by Emmitt Smith’s holdout that year. The Saints easily beat a disappointing Tampa Bay team, 30-10, but are just a half-game ahead of the 6-3 Carolina Panthers.
5. Kirk Cousins’ contract is up at the end of the year, and he is putting himself in position to get a big new deal with the Washington Redskins or another team if he hits free agency. He piloted the Redskins to a 17-14 victory over Seattle by leading the team on a late, game-winning touchdown drive even though four offensive linemen were out. The Redskins are 4-4 and will have to fight for a wild card spot, but Cousins is having a contract year.