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NFL Week 9 Recap: The Beasts of the AFC East

The New York Jets' stunning upset win over the Buffalo Bills has many NFL fans and experts talking

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 3 months ago 6 min read

With the New York Jets racking up win after win after win, the question is asked every week: When do we start taking them seriously? Though the Jets have played better than they have been in the last decade, they still hadn't established themselves as anything more than a disruptor, though there is nothing wrong with being a disruptor. Disruptors get some attention, but that's still not the same level as being a contender. The test came with this week's divisional battle against the Buffalo Bills, and yes, this was the Jets' biggest tests in many, many years.

And when the final whistle sounded, the Jets ended up passing said test. They defeated the Bills by a score of 20-17, despite nearly losing quarterback Zach Wilson to injury. The Jets are no longer disruptors. They are a serious threat now. At 6-3, a half game behind the Bills, and one up on the season series, the New York Jets are a huge threat to reach the postseason for the first time since 2010, and could possibly win the AFC East. It'll be tough, though. The Miami Dolphins are also 6-3 following their 35-32 win over the Chicago Bears, and the New England Patriots won, 26-3, over the Indianapolis Colts, putting every AFC East team over .500.

Frank Reich out as Colts coach, Jeff Saturday in as interim HC

Speaking of the Colts, the loss to the Patriots marked the end of Frank Reich as Indy's head coach, as he was fired early on Monday morning. Reich's coaching career began in Indy, but he wouldn't become a head coach until the 2018 season, when the Colts hired him following a two-season stint as offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles, with the second year being Philly's championship season. Reich went 40-33-1 in 4.5 seasons as Colts head coach, a stint that saw the Colts reach the playoffs twice, and have a disappointing finish to the 2021 regular season. The Colts are 3-5-1 halfway into this season; a distant second place in the AFC South. It didn't take long for the Colts to find Reich's placement, as they hired Jeff Saturday as their interim coach. Saturday spent nearly his entire playing career on the Colts' offensive line, and enters this stint with no head coaching experience.

Joe Mixon scored five touchdowns in Cincy's 42-21 win over the Panthers

The Cincinnati Bengals had only six days to make up for that terrible divisional loss to the Cleveland Browns, though thanks to Daylight Savings Time ending, they did have an extra hour. I guess the extra 60 minutes helped, as the Bengals blasted the Carolina Panthers, 42-21, in a game that saw Cincy up 35-0 at halftime! Other than the score, the story of the game was Joe Mixon--the Bengals runningback had a game for the ages. My thought as I followed this via NFL Redzone: "Thank God none of my fantasy teams are playing against him this week." Why do I say that? Let's go to the numbers.

Scoring for runningbacks goes like this: one point per every 10 yards, and rushing touchdowns are six points each. Reception rules (including PPR) also apply. Mixon had 153 rushing yards (15.3 points) and four touchdowns (24 points), as well as four receptions (4 points) for 58 yards (5.8 points) and a touchdown (6 points). Five touchdowns alone, that's 30 points! With everything else added, that gave Mixon a grand total of 55.1 fantasy points, which is nearly double the total of the second place RB for Week 9 (Seattle's Kenneth Walker III with 27.9 points). Again, so glad none of my opponents had Mixon this week.

The Green Bay Packers may be screwed, but they may not be the only ones. A game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Rams meant a possible beginning of the end for the team who lost, and thanks to some last second heroics, it was the Rams who ended up on the losing end of the rematch of last year's Divisional Playoff. The game saw Tom Brady become the first QB to reach 100,000 career passing yards, and the win moved the Bucs back into a first place tie at 4-5 (the Atlanta Falcons lost at home to the Los Angeles Chargers on the final seconds). The Rams dropped to 3-5 at the halfway point of the season, and from the looks of it, the defending Super Bowl Champions could be in deep trouble. The Seattle Seahawks increased their NFC West lead with their win over the Arizona Cardinals, and the Rams are also one game behind a 49ers team who beat them twice this year. They have a lot of work to do in the second half.

Remember when we thought that someone other than the Kansas City Chiefs would win the AFC West this season? Yeah, that's clearly not going to happen. The Raiders are a mess, the Broncos are a joke, and while the Chargers are looking good, they have nothing on the Chiefs right now. Sunday Night Football started slow for the Chiefs, as the Tennessee Titans had a pretty good lead late in the game. Of course, it became Patrick Mahomes' time to shine--timely passes, a touchdown run, and a two-point conversion run tied the game, and overtime would be needed between these two playoff bound teams. KC struck first with a field goal, and the defense did the rest. The Chiefs won, 20-17, and moved into a tie with the Bills for the top spot in the AFC.

Lamar Jackson has had an interesting week, which includes being in attendance at All Elite Wrestling's Dynamite program in Baltimore--and being called out by Chris Jericho. Regarding the football field, Jackson continued to show out, throwing his 100th career touchdown pass, and leading the Baltimore Ravens to a 27-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. Seriously, the Ravens better pay Lamar what he wants. The man represents 90% of the team's offense (Justin Tucker represents the remaining 10%). Lamar is the most disrespected quarterback in the entire league, not only because the Ravens don't bother to put players around him, but you also have devout racists who say that Lamar is "a runningback pretending to be a QB," even though Josh Allen plays the exact same way and gets pomp and circumstance.

So the season is halfway over. Nine weeks down, nine to go. The Philadelphia Eagles are still undefeated. The AFC race is cluttered, as we all expected. The NFC South is getting worse. The Rams are in deep trouble, as are the Packers. For my story about the Packers, check out the link below:

Week 10 will kick off with the Carolina Panthers hosting the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football; the second meeting in three weeks. The week also features the NFL's first game in Munich, Germany, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers facing off against the Seattle Seahawks. Sunday Night Football will feature the Los Angeles Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers, and Monday Night Football will be an NFC East battle between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Commanders.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

Born on March 18, 1985. I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also love movies--especially comedy and horror--and among my favorite TV shows are The Simpsons and Family Guy

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