NFL

NFL Week 9 – Interesting Matchup Statistics, News and Notes

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Cleveland and Cincinnati started Week 9 off with the Bengals hammering the Browns 31-10.

Johnny Manziel avoided turnovers, but the success in the win column still eludes the second-year quarterback.  Andy Dalton continues to raise his level of play which the Bengals hope will come to a climatic peak when the playoffs arrive.

Below are some interesting morsels for each Week 9 matchup.

Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Browns: Coincidence or not, the completion percentage between Johnny Manziel and Tim Tebow are a bit striking. In Tebow’s three years in the NFL, his completion percentage per season was 50 percent (2010), 46.5 percent (2011) and 75 percent (2012). Over Manziel’s last three games he’s completed 80 percent, 50 percent and 45 percent. Tebow’s average overall was 57.1 percent and Manziel’s is 58.3 percent.

Bengals: The Bengals improved to 8-0 for the first time in the history of the Cincinnati franchise, and have reached their longest winning streak within a single season.

Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills

Dolphins: Miami leads the all-time series, 58-44-1, but are losers of four of the last five contests against the Bills. The last time Miami won in Buffalo was 2011 and Matt Moore was the quarterback. His top receiver was Brandon Marshall and the teams leading running back was Reggie Bush.

Bills: Last season the Bills led the entire league with 54 quarterback sacks and were the only team in the NFL to have more than 50 sacks. Buffalo currently ranks 29th in the league and have only brought the opposing quarterback down 11 times.

Green Bay Packers vs. Carolina Panthers

Packers: The last time Aaron Rodgers was held below 100 yards passing was back in 2013 in a loss to the Chicago Bears.  In his next game, a Packers win, Rodgers threw for 318 passing yards and two touchdowns. Last week against the Denver Broncos, Rodgers was held under 100 yards passing and Green Bay lost the game.  If history repeats itself then the Panthers are getting their first loss of the year versus the Packers.

Panthers: The Panthers almost lost at home in a thunderstorm against a dome team (Indianapolis Colts) that surrendered four turnovers. Carolina is 7-0 after the win, and have done it against opponents with a 22-31 overall record, and have not beaten a football that has a winning record. Throw plenty of caution to the wind this weekend when the 6-1 Packers travel to Carolina, if you think the Panthers will reach 8-0.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets

Jaguars: Jacksonville doesn’t win much and they win even less on the road. The Jaguars are currently on an 11-game losing streak on the road that dates back to 2013. Ironically, that same season they were winners of three straight road games, and only four for the season.

Jets: The Jets are losers of two straight games and it possibly coincides with the lack of their potent running attack or more importantly, running back Chris Ivory. When Ivory averages more 1.77 yards per carry the Jets win and when he doesn’t they lose. In the four wins with Ivory in the lineup, his average yards per carry was 5.41 and he averaged 115 rushing yards. In the two losses, he averaged 1.77 yards per carry and 29 rushing yards per game.

St. Louis Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings

Rams: Rookie Todd Gurley looks to extend his 100-yard per game rushing streak to five against the very tough Vikings defense. Currently, Gurley is the only running back in the league averaging over 100 yards per game (115). Minnesota ranks 15th overall in rushing yards allowed, and have allowed two 100-yard single game rushers this season.

Vikings: Second year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has never won four straight games in his career. The Vikings, winners of their last three, can help Bridgewater achieve a stepping stone goal with a win over the Rams.

Washington Redskins vs. New England Patriots

Redskins: Kirk Cousins is known as an interception-prone quarterback and rightfully so, because he has never gone two straight games without throwing a pick. Cousins makes his 17th start versus New England and hopes to go two consecutive games avoiding the dreaded pick for the first time in his career.

Patriots: Everyone always says that as long as the Patriots have Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, the team is in good hands.  It’s tough to argue, and when you realize that Belichick is the teams all-time winningest coach (182) and Brady, the Patriots all-time leader in passing yards (55,668) it cements the theory. What really isolates them both in that category is knowing that their all-time leading rusher, Sam Cunningham played from 1973-1982 and ended his career with 5,453 rushing yards. Their all-time leading receiver (10,352) Stanley Morgan, played in New England from 1977-1989.

Tennessee Titans vs. New Orleans Saints

Titans: Stability is the foundation for every young quarterback with a productive future. Kudos, Tennessee for allowing your franchise rookie quarterback to play under his second head coach in only his sixth NFL start. Ken Whisenhunt was fired this week and Mike Mularkey replaces him.

Saints: While the Seattle Seahawks search for ways to incorporate former Saints tight end Jimmy Graham into their offense, the Saints might have found his replacement. Ben Watson played in the shadows of Graham and is enjoying a resurgence in production. Over the last three games, he has caught 23 passes and prior to that it took him 11 games to reach 23 catches.

Oakland Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Raiders: Oakland’s recent brand of football over the last decade has left a lot to be desired.  It’s awful to be honest, but against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the mystique of the Silver-N-Black magically comes to life. The Raiders are 4-1 against the Steelers over their last five games.

Pittsburgh: The Steelers are 0-1 this season with Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant together on the field. That was the much anticipated combination many wanted to see, and then Bell tore his MCL and will be out for the year. DeAngelo Williams has stepped up brilliantly in his absence, but the loss of Bell leaves plenty left to think, “what if?”

New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Giants: New York is currently 4-4 in a very soft NFC East division. Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning have won two Super Bowls in New York and during each of those seasons, the Giants were 6-2 after eight games. In each of those Super Bowl years, the Giants sort of fell apart down the stretch (9-7 in 2007 and 10-6 in 2011) before catching fire in the playoffs. New York will have to adjust their normal trip to the Super Bowl under their current record. A strong finish is needed due to a lackluster start.

Buccaneers: Rookie quarterback and No. 1 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, Jameis Winston is quieting his critics. Winston has helped the Buccaneers achieve a 3-4 overall record and has already eclipsed last years win total of two games.

Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers

Falcons: Atlanta needs to score points! When the Falcons were 5-0, they were averaging 32.4 points per game.  Since encountering their first loss (Week 6), the Falcons are averaging 17 points per game, and have lost two of their last three games.

49ers: Blaine Gabbert gets the starting nod over Colin Kaepernick. It should be interesting to see how the philosophy of the 49ers’ offense changes without the mobile ability Kaepernick added to the quarterback position. Gabbert has appeared in 29 games with 191 total rushing yards, that averages to roughly seven yards per game. Kaepernick amassed 1,832 rushing yards in 56 appearances for a game average of 33 yards per game.

Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts

Broncos: Peyton Manning has won at least 10 games in each of his last 12 seasons. That’s an incredible streak and over the duration of his NFL life, he has quarterbacked a team that has won 10 or more games in 15 of his 17 seasons. Currently, the Broncos are 7-0 and barring a catastrophic collapse, Manning will be part of another double-digit winning season.

Colts: Andrew Luck replaced Manning as the franchise’s quarterback of the future in 2011. Luck shares in the similarities of winning 10 or more games per season. With Luck at quarterback, the Colts have gone 11-5 (2012-14) and if Luck wants to keep the streak alive, Indianapolis will have to go at least 7-1 down the stretch.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys

Eagles: The quarterback takes the brunt of abuse when things aren’t going well and that is becoming the case in Philadelphia for signal-caller Sam Bradford. The Eagles aren’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard and the struggles are beginning to be aimed at Bradford. In his defense, he is coming off a knee surgery, playing in a new offense and that offense is filled with new faces. He is completing 62 percent of his passes and that’s a career high.

Cowboys: The Dallas Cowboys have taken a lot of criticism signing Greg Hardy. The flamboyant defensive end had his domestic violence charges expunged and his impact in Dallas since returning from suspension has been exactly what the Cowboys want. More importantly what they need. In these three games in Dallas, Hardy has had two sacks and one interception.

Chicago Bears vs. San Diego Chargers

Bears: Chicago ranks ninth in total defense in the NFL – Now, can you name two or three Chicago Bears on their defense? Exclude yourself if you live in the 312 area code. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has done a terrific job developing a defense filled with a lot names that do not include Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs or Charles Tillman.

Chargers: Philip Rivers is the quarterback of the No. 1 offense in the NFL, and the top passing offense as well.  The Chargers are averaging 336.9 passing yards per game. The Bears are fourth-best passing defense in the league allowing 214.3 passing yards per game. Quietly, this contest should turn out to be very interesting, even if their records do not indicate it.


About Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte is an NFL writer for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade. His background includes being staff for the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game as a talent evaluator for player personnel along with an internship scouting with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League. Bo’s draft background includes working for the NFL Draft Bible and currently owns and operates College2Pro.com. He has done radio spots on NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN and their affiliates in different markets around the country. Bo covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers along with other colleges in the northeast.