The NFL's Biggest Surprises Of Week 9: Dolphins Are Contenders
The Steelers In The Race For First Place In Their Division
Just a half of a game behind the Bengals, the Steelers are in second place in the AFC North. At 3-3 after Week 6, the Steelers were considered the worst in their division, but they have come back, outscoring their past three opponents 124-80. The Bengals and Browns have struggled to carve out wins against seemingly inferior teams, while the last time that the Ravens have beaten a team with a record of .500 or better was in Week 3. Considering the standings, this division still looks to be up for grabs, but the Steelers are the hottest of them all right now.
The Chargers Were Shut Down At Home By The Dolphins
Ryan Tannehill put up the best numbers of his career, leading the Dolphins to a 37-0 victory over the now 5-4 Chargers. The Chargers are now on a three-game losing streak, which may be detrimental to their playoff run. The Dolphins on the other hand, are 5-3 and have put up three excellent performances in the row. After this game, Miami is now in close competition with the Patriots (7-2) and the Bills (5-3) for the AFC East title.
The Rams Upset The 49ers In Santa Clara
This game may be remembered by the controversial call at the end, but what one of the most notable occurances is that the Rams have held star running back Frank Gore to just 87 yards off of 30 carries in their two games this year. They also improved tremendously in coverage, as Colin Kaepernick threw for 106 yards and two touchdowns less than he had in their Week 6 match-up. The Rams may still buried in the NFC West race, though, as their offense cannot be relied on to put up points.
Peyton Manning And The Broncos' Offense Was Held To Just 21 Points
The Patriots' defense has been solid as of recently, even with key losses, but each of the Patriots' past three opponents put up more points than the Broncos. The Bills, Jets, and Bears are all ranked in the bottom half of the league in points per game, but they put up 22, 25, and 23 points against the Patriots, respectively. The Broncos, who have averaged more than 30 points per game, put up just 21, while Peyton Manning threw the ball a season-high 57 times.
The Raiders Are One Of The League's Most Competitive Teams
Calling the Raiders one of the most competitive teams in the NFL may be a bit of a stretch, but look at what they have done against great teams. Of their eight losses, they have lost four by one possession or less, and three of those games came against contenders. The Patriots, Seahawks, and Chargers are all very talented teams, but they beat the Raiders just by a combined 16 points. A touchdown for the Raiders would have won games against the Seahawks and the Chargers, while it would have tied things up against the Patriots. What is more impressive is that they were able to hold their own in Seattle and Foxborough, two of the hardest fields to play in as the away team.