Jordan Love isn’t ready to step in at quarterback, the Titans proved they can beat a top foe without Derrick Henry, the Bills may not be a Super Bowl contender if they can’t improve their running game and the Super Bowl race is wide open.
Those were some of the conclusions after the ninth week of the season, which is virtually the halfway mark of the league’s first 17-game season.
Just a week ago, the Cowboys, Rams and Bills were all considered prime Super Bowl contenders, but they all were upset to scramble the Super Bowl picture.
Arizona, playing without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, showed it can win without its two best offensive players by beating the fading 49ers to boost its record to 8-1, the best in football. The 49ers dropped to 3-5.
But behind the Cardinals are six teams with between two and four losses in the NFC and 11 in the AFC. With 14 teams getting playoff spots, those 18 teams are all in playoff hunt.
Even the four five loss teams can’t be counted out.
This is parity run wild.
As far as division races, Tennessee, Dallas and Green Bay all have a three-game lead in their divisions, but Tennessee will have to play the rest of the regular season without Henry. They beat the Rams without him, but they will miss him down the stretch.
Dallas remains a puzzle. They won last week with Cooper Rush only to get smoked by Denver after Dak Prescott returned, 30-16.
Buffalo was considered a contender but is now 5-3 after losing two of the last three. The problem is their running game has collapsed and they are the worst rushing team in the league the last three weeks. They now only lead the Patriots by a game and play them twice in second half of the year.
And Green Bay’s future looks up in the air after the Aaron Rodgers Covid fiasco and the fact that Love struggled when he started for Rodgers against the Chiefs.
Baltimore leads the AFC Central at 6-2 but Pittsburgh is 5-3 and Browns and Bengals are 5-4 so it is wide open.
Cincinnati is fading after a fast start.The AFC West is also wide open with Chargers and Raiders at 5-3 and Chiefs and Broncos at 5-4.
The NFC South and West are both two team races. In the South, the Bucs are6-2 and the Saints 5-3 and in the Wet, the Cards are 8-1 and the Rams 7-2.