By Joe Clark, Sports Editor
Week 9 in the NFL was the perfect example of the parity that exists in the league. Not only did the 1-6 Jacksonville Jaguars upset the 5-2 Buffalo Bills that featured some Josh Allen-on-Josh Allen crime, but the Broncos upset the Cowboys and the Browns sent the Bengals into the AFC North basement with a 41-16 blowout win. Let’s dive into some of the results from a wild Sunday in the NFL.
The old adage of “Any Given Sunday” came into play when the Bills traveled to Jacksonville and lost. Buffalo was favored by 14.5 points, but couldn’t muster a touchdown and lost a 9-6 field goal battle against the Jags. Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen had a sack, an interception and a forced fumble against the Bills and their starting quarterback Josh Allen.
Jaguars kicker Matthew Wright has helped provide some joy to Duval County, kicking a game-winner in their first win and accounting for their only scoring in this game with three field goals. Not only has Wright shown himself to be a pretty good kicker, but he also has a career waiting for him at Lockheed Martin, where he’s worked on-and-off since his college days as a systems engineer.
In Dallas, the 6-1 Cowboys were heavy favorites against the visiting Denver Broncos, but Denver had other plans in their 30-16 win that was 30-0 until two late Dallas touchdowns.
Denver’s ground attack was what they envisioned it would be when they traded up for a second-round pick to take running back Javonte Williams. Williams ran for 111 yards on 17 carries, while Melvin Gordon III contributed 21 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown. Rookie linebacker Jonathon Cooper also had two sacks for Denver, who improved to 5-4 on the season.
In the Buckeye State Rivalry, the Odell Beckham-less Browns looked as good as ever in a 41-16 win over the Bengals. Denzel Ward returned a Joe Burrow interception 99 yards for a touchdown, and Nick Chubb did Nick Chubb things, running for 137 yards and two touchdowns on just 14 carries.
The Browns improved to 5-4 while dropping the Bengals to 5-4, but the win gives the Browns the tiebreaker to jump past the Bengals, who went from first to last in the AFC North in the span of two weeks. The hardest division in football won’t get any easier for Cincinnati, with the Ravens gaining a game on the Bengals thanks to a come from behind win over the Vikings today and the Steelers having the opportunity to gain a game with a win over the Bears tonight.
If Sunday showed us anything, it’s that the NFL is still wide open and anyone can beat anyone. That’s what makes the league so fun to watch, and the next few weeks should keep providing endless entertainment.