15 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 9
Cincinnati Bengals’ offense
Jacksonville’s defense looks more and more like the real deal with each passing week, but that still offers little excuse for the performance the Cincinnati offense put up on Sunday. Andy Dalton managed just 10 completions and 136 yards, while Joe Mixon’s 31 yards accounted for the entirety of the running game. In total, Cincinnati amassed only 148 yards of total offense and eight total first downs. They went a pathetic 1-of-8 on third-down conversions and failed to extend drives. They possessed the ball for just 19:46. Those are a lot of really ugly numbers for the 3-5 squad.
Landon Collins, S, Giants
Fans watching the Giants-Rams game on Sunday saw a lot of Landon Collins. Or more precisely, they saw a lot of the back of Collins’ jersey. New York gave up 51 points to the Rams, including consecutive plays of more than 50 yards in the second quarter. Collins appeared to be beat badly on Sammy Watkins’ 67-yard touchdown catch to put the Rams up 24-7. He got out of position on the Robert Woods 52-yard touchdown on a 3rd-and-33 play and really should have been the one to make the tackle on the play. Collins did have seven tackles to lead the team, but that wasn’t nearly as high as it should have been. Pro Football Focus gave him a lowly 34.4 grade on the game.
Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
On the surface, Jones’ day was fine. He comfortably led the Falcons with 118 yards receiving on six catches, even if he didn’t get into the end zone. That last bit is the important one, though.
Jones’ day could have been so much better had he just managed to reel in an easy pass in the end zone. Atlanta ended up losing by three points, so you know they wish they had that touchdown.
Jones’ overall numbers look nice, but the Falcons pay Jones to make big plays like that, especially in a 20-17 game against a division rival.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Seahawks
Seahawks coaches spent much of the week talking up Lacy. They said he’d start, and Pete Carroll more or less pledged to really lean on him against the Washington Redskins despite his disappointing season so far. It had to be looked at as a big chance for Lacy to establish himself as a player Seattle could rely on going forward.
Lacy got six carries for 20 yards on Sunday, then promptly exited with a groin injury. The bad day is not entirely his fault, but if that was Lacy’s last chance to make an impression on the Seahawks, he didn’t pass the test. Meanwhile, Chris Carson, who got injured in Week 4, remains the team’s leading rusher with 208 yards on the season. That’s embarrassing.
Eli Manning, QB, Giants
It’s safe to say that this was one of Manning’s worst performances in the NFL. His stat line was alright — 220 yards, a pair of touchdowns, and only one interception — but in reality, he was a mess. He missed throws, he overthrew open receivers, he looked inexplicably jittery, and he was a huge reason the Giants were so awful on Sunday. You know it’s bad when the prospect of benching Manning isn’t outright dismissed by the coaching staff. He really missed not having Odell Beckham Jr. in this one.
Tom Savage, QB, Texans
The difference between Savage and Deshaun Watson could not have been more pronounced on Sunday as the Texans dropped a home game to the lowly Indianapolis Colts. The one highlight for Savage was that he managed his first career passing touchdown, but his day was awful otherwise. He completed just 19 of his 44 pass attempts and didn’t show much of a feel for moving the ball or anticipating pressure or coverage. He’s just not an NFL-caliber starter, and the Texans are in deep trouble from here on out, especially if they have to choose between Savage, TJ Yates, and Matt McGloin.
Referees’ handlings of ejections
There were two high-profile incidents in the NFL on Sunday, and the referees messed up an aspect of both of them. In Jacksonville, cornerback Jalen Ramsey and wide receiver A.J. Green got tangled up, with Green throwing several punches and deservedly getting ejected. It was hard to see what Ramsey did to get ejected. Ramsey’s shove on Green instigated things and was provided as the reason for the ejection, but the shove wasn’t particularly violent, and Green’s reaction was not remotely proportional.
Similarly, in New Orleans, when wide receiver Mike Evans blindsided cornerback Marshon Lattimore in a sideline scuffle, Evans was somehow allowed to stay on the field — a decision that surprised even him.
In one instance, officials were too harsh. In another, they weren’t nearly harsh enough. That sends a very inconsistent message.