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#pounditFriday, December 3, 2021

5 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 9

Tom Brady Bucs

We are now into the second half of the NFL season, and it’s clear that some teams are already playing out the string. It’s also clear that there are a few surprising teams very much in contention.

There were plenty of memorable performances — not all of them good. Here are five that stood out for all the wrong reasons.

Tom Brady, QB, Bucs

Fans were pumped for a “Sunday Night Football” matchup between the division leaders in the NFC South and two of the best quarterbacks in the league’s history. They wound up getting a one-sided blowout and shockingly inept performance from Tampa Bay. The Bucs rushed for 8 — yes, 8 — yards in the game. Tom Brady threw three interceptions and didn’t even get the Bucs on the board until six minutes left in the game. The offense began with four straight 3-and-outs. Brady is coming off a couple of really nice games, but the Saints sure have seemed to have his number this season. The 35-point margin of defeat goes down as the worst of Brady’s career.

Los Angeles Chargers

It’s almost remarkable how consistent the Chargers are when it comes to finding new ways to lose. After a series of brutal defeats, it looked like they’d nabbed one as time expired on Sunday, with Donald Parham Jr. hauling in a touchdown catch. On review, the referees saw that Parham did not make the catch, consigning the Chargers to another defeat. This has to be taking a toll on the Chargers mentally. The frustration can only be growing inside that locker room.

Kliff Kingsbury, coach, Cardinals

There’s no clear reason for it, but Kingsbury just doesn’t seem to trust Kyler Murray in key situations. With the Cardinals down three points and 5:20 left in the fourth, Kingsbury opted to go for it on 4th-and-1 from the Miami 40. Instead of giving the ball to Murray, he tried to run the ball with Chase Edmonds, who was stuffed at the line. Murray is a dynamic playmaker and Arizona’s biggest weapon on offense. Kingsbury has to let him try to make a play there, even if it’s a sneak.

Seahawks’ pass defense

One of the league’s worst units got torched again on Sunday in a big way. The Bills posted 386 passing yards, dominating against Seattle’s beleaguered secondary. That issue remains the biggest hurdle the Seahawks face as they try to mount a deep playoff run. Russell Wilson turned the ball over four times, which is unacceptable, but he’s rarely been the problem. This defense is not good enough to pick up the offense when it fails. That’s a bad sign for their long-term hopes.

Chicago Bears’ offense

It feels like a long time ago that the Bears were 5-1. Their offense is a disaster right now, tallying just 56 rushing yards as a team in Sunday’s loss to Tennessee. Nick Foles is not a good enough quarterback to compensate for that lack of firepower on the ground. The Bears also took consecutive penalties on fourth down plays, suggesting a major lack of discipline. Their season is spiraling away from them quickly.

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