Upsets and razor-thin wins abound in week nine matchups that saw the Cleveland Browns upset the New England Patriots, and the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings squeaked by with victories against the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals respectively. Another theme that was prevalent in week nine action was coaches being on the chopping block in both Dallas and Minnesota, as the once promising teams appear destined for playoff misses this season.
With the New England Patriots team of 2010 being hailed as the team that has returned to the dynasty form of the 2000s, the Pats’ trip to Cleveland was to be nothing more than a minor speed bump on their way to certain Super Bowl victory. However, the Brown’s had other plans, and with the help of rookie quarterback Colt McCoy and third year running back Peyton Hillis, the Brown’s ended up claiming a 34-14 victory at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Hillis was especially effective against a banged-up looking Patriots secondary, rushing for 184 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries.
While the Patriots were battling for their lives in Cleveland, the New York Jets were involved in a shootout at Ford Field in Detroit. Being down 20-10 until the end of the fourth quarter, they were able to tie the game up and grab a win in overtime. Mark Sanchez proved why he is largely considered one of the premier young quarterbacks in the league against the Lions, throwing game changing passes to Santonio Holmes and Braylond Edwards that shifted the momentum of the game. Sanchez capped off his 323 yard passing performance with a one-yard touchdown run, putting the Jets in field goal range in overtime to allow New York to go 6-2, winning the game 23-20.
As has been the case for the entire 2010 NFL season, where there is the Minnesota Vikings, there is gossip. This week news surrounded Randy Moss’s quick departure from Minnesota after only a month with his former team. After grabbing 13 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns in four games with his former squad, Moss was cut in a move that has placed Vikings’ head coach Brad Childress in hot water with Zygi Wilf, owner of the Vikings. Wilf has claimed that the move was not okayed by him, and that Childress acted alone in cutting the star wide-out. Moss was criticized by teammates after praising his former team, the New England Patriots, who beat the Minnesota Vikings the week before.
The dismantling of the Dallas Cowboys continued, as the squad from Texas was annihilated right before our eyes Sunday night in a devastating 45-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The question after the game that was on everybody’s mind was the fate of Cowboys’ head coach Wade Phillips, and whether or not owner Jerry Jones would renege on his promise to keep the coach on for the remainder of the season. With such an embarrassing loss on primetime television, the fate of Phillips should not even be up for debate. The Cowboys’ did not just lose, they essentially gave up in their game against Green Bay. This points towards an intense lack of motivation that has permeated the organization, leaving Philips departure as the only solution.