Whenever NFL RedZone host Scott Hanson says “BYE-magddon” there’s reason to be concerned about the quality of NFL football on television that particular Sunday. For the first of two weeks this season, six teams were on a bye. Four teams were on a bye Week 7, and that was the most unentertaining week of NFL football this season.
Last season’s Week 7 BYE-mageddon resulted in not a single game that Sunday finishing with a one-score margin of victory, and the Thursday and Monday games that did were as thrilling as the fireworks that are sold in the grocery store. After witnessing last season’s dud of a week with six teams on bye, the NFL added a second BYE-mageddon this season.
If that week of NFL action provides half of the entertainment that yesterday did, football fans be prepared to leave your seat as often as Hanson does. Not only were many of the Week 9 games close, a few teams that were perceived to be good — but not elite — let it be known that they are ready to take on all comers.
Hopefully Tuesday’s midterm elections will also bring some unexpected positivity.
Geno Smith goes on a late-game tear and now the Seahawks are 6-3
There was every reason to count the Seahawks out after Smith’s pick-six, midway through the third quarter. The Seahawks’ passing offense was largely ineffective up until that point, and that big play was just what the Arizona Cardinals needed to take the lead at home.
For the rest of the game, all but one Seahawks’ possession would end in a touchdown. The one that didn’t would be the final plays in which they took a knee to run out the clock. Smith led the Seahawks on two 13-play drives after the pick-six that would end in touchdowns. Their third touchdown drive was spearheaded by a swing pass to Noah Fant on third-and-3 that went for 51 yards.
Little was expected from the Seattle Seahawks this season after being the only team in the NFC West that didn’t make the playoffs last year. With a slim division lead they could’ve crumbled and put their 2022 playoff hopes in jeopardy after that pick-six, but they responded and now sit at 6-3. The Seahawks also have a quarterback who is one of the best statistical performers in the league at his position.
The New York Jets are neither a joke nor a fluke
Zach Wilson is not doing much to separate himself from the BYU quarterbacks not named Steve Young, who failed to statistically produce in the NFL the way that they did in college. He plays for the Jets, which would normally warrant his performance to be graded on a curve, but that grace is not needed this year.
Through eight games, the Jets were 5-3 and on Sunday knocked off arguably the best team in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills. Wilson’s performance did little to prove he was worth the 2021 No. 2 overall pick, but a strong defensive performance and rushing attack led the way to a victory at MetLife Stadium.
The Jets were down 14-3 with six-and-a-half minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter, and only gave up three points the rest of the game. Josh Allen threw two interceptions and no touchdowns, while only averaging six yards per completion. He was great on the ground, rushing for 86 yards and two scores, but no one else for the Bills with multiple rushing attempts averaged four yards per carry.
While the Bills averaged more yards per carry as a team, the Jets rushed for 40 more total yards and got strong performances out of multiple players. Combine that with their defense putting a padlock on the Bills’ passing attack, and the Jets appear to be more than an early-season feel-good story. They are a team that is standing out in the NFL’s best division. And head coach Robert Saleh still has those receipts.
Count out the Tennessee Titans at your own peril
Injuries are again coming for the Titans. Also, this season, instead of four games, they will go 17 games, and likely through the end of time, without A.J. Brown’s services as they traded him to the 8-0 Philadelphia Eagles. First-round draft pick Treylon Burks was supposed to help ease some of the pain of that loss to the Titans’ wide receiver corps but he is currently on injured reserve. Up and down the Titans’ depth chart they have been without key players for much of the season, and Derrick Henry hadn’t often looked like one of the world’s greatest athletic specimens since suffering that foot injury in 2021. Even starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been on the inactive list for consecutive weeks.
On Sunday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs, The Titans held Patrick Mahomes’ offense to 20 points and pushed the game to overtime. Henry looked like the athletic specimen that he was at Alabama, and rookie third-round pick Malik Willis put together a respectable effort on offense even though he didn’t complete a single pass to a wide receiver.
The Titans defense made Mahomes uncomfortable for much of the night, and his runs on the Chiefs’ final drive in regulation accounted for all of the success that they had on the ground. While the Chiefs pulled out the victory, the Titans put the rest of the AFC on notice. They aren’t a team only capable of beating teams like the Las Vegas Raiders, Indianapolis Colts, and Washington Commanders. Come playoff time, winning the AFC Championship will require taking down last season’s No. 1 seed.