NFL Football 2013: 5 Things We Learned From Week 9
Week 9 of the 2013 NFL season illustrated that no lead is safe, and no outcome is a given. Here’s what we learned on Sunday:
NFL Head Coach Is a Stressful Job
The Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans each suffered the temporary loss of their respective head coaches this weekend. While Denver was on bye when John Fox was taken to a hospital after suffering light-headedness while playing golf in the Charlotte area on Saturday, the Texans (2-6) led 21-3 over Indianapolis (6-2) at the half when Houston head coach Gary Kubiak collapsed on Sunday night. He was taken by ambulance to an area hospital with a diagnosis pending. The Colts rallied past the Texans in his absence, escaping with a 27-24 win. The health issues that both Fox and Kubiak suffered in mid-season illustrate the toll that the job takes.
The Chiefs Are Undefeated…and Lucky
Kansas City (9-0) trailed 10-3 in the second half and was backed up to its own goal line when Bills’ undrafted rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel made a dreadful mistake. He missed the wide open Stevie Johnson, but hit Chiefs’ corner Sean Smith right in the hands with an interception that was returned 100 yards for the tying score. Buffalo (3-6) seemed to have the game very much in command before the pick-six, but Kansas City rallied afterward, ending up with a 23-13 win. No one doubts the Chiefs’ talent, but wins like this affirm their good fortune, too.
Nick Foles Is the Eagles’ Quarterback
After faring poorly before leaving a loss against Dallas with a concussion a few weeks ago, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles seemed to have played his way out of the starting job with Philadelphia (4-5). On Sunday, Foles restated his case with an NFL record-tying seven touchdown passes against the Raiders in the Eagles’ 49-20 win over Oakland (3-5). Foles victimized the Raiders’ secondary for 406 yards, while completing 79 percent of his passes. So far this season, Foles has thrown 13 touchdowns and no interceptions. It’s hard to imagine anyone — including head coach Chip Kelly — making a case for Michael Vick to return to the starting job once his injured hamstring is fully healed.
The Jets Only Win on Odd-Numbered Weeks
When Cincinnati blew out the Jets (5-4) last week, it seemed to hint that New York’s run of good luck in 2013 might be over. No problem: the Jets relied on their skill to breeze past New Orleans (6-2) on Sunday, 26-20, as former Saints’ running back Chris Ivory victimized his former team for 138 yards and a score. The victory was New York’s fifth on an odd-numbered week; the team has lost on all even-numbered weeks in 2013. The trend makes Rex Ryan’s team destined to be mediocre. Even still, the Jets remain in the AFC playoff hunt.
The Seahawks Are Only as Good as They Need to Be
Despite possessing the NFC’s best record, Seattle (8-1) hardly seems like a juggernaut. For the second consecutive week, the Seahawks narrowly escaped a loss when they rallied from a 21-0 deficit to beat Tampa Bay (0-8) on Sunday, 27-24, in overtime. Pete Carroll’s team has developed a propensity to play to the level of its opposition, but a team with Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch shouldn’t need overtime to beat a Buccaneers’ team led by quarterback Mike Glennon.