Wow. The Vikings have lost three in a row, the Broncos are now in third place in their division and the Bills are no longer relevant. Well, at the last one makes sense. It was a wild Week 9 of NFL betting. Let’s look back at lessons learned week 9 and get ready for this week:
Lessons Learned Week 9
1. The myth that even a half healthy Big Ben can save the Steelers is no longer. Pittsburgh had such high hopes this season. What the hell has happened? So inconsistent on defense.
2. The Seahawks are looking better and better. If Jimmy Graham is going to be vintage the rest of the way it’s a game-changer in the NFC.
3. We said it last week and we’ll say it again: why are the Browns still in the NFL? I don’t care what the money line is against them each week, you have to lay the money and bet it.
4. The Giants are for real. They spent a lot on remodeling the D and Eli is looking better and better each week. We think that the G-Men could actually give the Cowboys a run for the division – if Dak Prescott gets hurt, that is.
5. Fool’s gold. That’s what Miami getting back to .500 is for Fins fans. This is not a good team. To think that they will be competitive down the stretch versus contenders is downright silly.
6. Hmmm, the Saints are also .500. Even with a bad defense, you have to respect the pedigree of coach Payton and of Drew Brees. Plus there’s the whole dome advantage. If they beat Denver this week then I will admit that they are a playoff contender.
7. Stop thinking that Aaron Rodgers is the savior of the Packers. Their D just isn’t what it used to be. And the Packers have no running game at all. Why would opposing teams play anything other than nickel and dime packages?
8. The Ravens are an interesting bunch. Good coaching. Good QB (if healthy). Some good defensive players. Scrappy wide receivers. Not a lot of elite talent, though. I’m not sure what their ceiling is. I am stumped at this point.
9. Yes, the Falcons are for real and will probably win their division. Are they built for a long playoff run? That’s really have to their defense – although hanging on versus Green Bay a couple of weeks ago was impressive.
10. The Lions are 5-4 and battling for a division title. Stunning, right? Much respect to Jim Caldwell for getting his team to play a little above their heads right now.
11. The Jets need to trade off their top assets and tank for a top three pick. Plain and simple.
12. It’s hard to know whether the Panthers’ D has rebounded and is ready for a run, or if they looked good because they played the Rams.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.