Takeaways from NFL Week 9
Matt Patricia's days in Detroit are numbered.
Going into the season, the mandate from ownership in Detroit was "Playoffs or bust." (I'm paraphrasing, of course.) Now, eight games into the season, the team is 3-5 overall and 0-3 in the division. In almost three years, Patricia has completely dismantled a team that had earned some respect and is a combined 0-10 against the Vikings and Mitch Trubisky-led Bears (face palm). The defense from the "defensive guru" has been a nightmare and gave up its most rushing yards since 2009 on Sunday. It's obvious this isn't working. Time to move on.
Raheem Morris might be a solid coach.
We knew he had been at least a decent defensive coordinator in the past and he's been a head guy before. As the interim coach in Atlanta, he is 3-1 and has them playing much better. He probably won't get a head coaching position this offseason, but he has shown he's capable.
The Bills can find offense when they need it.
In my preview for the week, I said I wasn't sure Buffalo could keep up with Seattle's offense, and the Bills proved me wrong. Instead of the usual ground-led attack, Josh Allen and company came out and attacked the Seahawks' struggling secondary to the tune of 415 yards and three touchdowns. Seattle did find its footing in the second half, but the Bills showed they can hang.
Are the almost Panthers good?
Ignore the 3-6 record for a minute. Carolina played the defending Super Bowl champs--with one of the best offenses in recent history-- down to the wire. The Panthers took an early lead and seemingly answered every punch Kansas City threw the rest of the game. Joey Slye's 68 yard field goal attempt at the end of the game was well wide, but Carolina definitely turned some heads . They've lost some games they shouldn't have, but this performance was impressive.
Even when they're bad, Pittsburgh wins
Say what you want about the record of the teams they've played, but the Steelers are 8-0 for the first time in the franchise's long, storied history. They did not look good against a bad Cowboys team but turned it on when they needed to. Take the win and move on.
The Dolphins may be a playoff team
I've heard this said about Mike Vrabel, but I think it applies to Brian Flores, too. "He's the defensive genius the Lions thought they were getting in Matt Patricia." Flores replaced Patricia as defensive coordinator in New England, and in just year two in Miami, has the Dolphins in second place in the AFC East with the league's top scoring defense. The turn-around is far from complete, but Miami has won four games in a row and beaten some good teams. The Dolphins currently hold the final AFC playoff spot, so it's definitely heading in the right direction.
The Saints are in the driver's seat in the NFC South.
It appeared as if the torch was being passed to the Buccaneers, and Sunday night's game was supposed to be the official passing. However, New Orleans came out and annihilated Tampa, holding the powerful offense virtually lifeless while scoring 31 first half points. The Saints outplayed the Bucs in every way to reclaim their division. There's still a long way to go, but New Orleans is in control.