NFL 2017: Week 9 Hot Takes – Here come the Rams, there go the Texans

Week 9 lacked the top billing of other weeks, but it was still a wild one with a lot of room for hot takes

With the Patriots, Steelers, Vikings, and Browns on a bye this week, a lot of the certainties of the league disappeared. As a result there were some unexpected results and performances this week. Here are our hot takes…

The Rams offense is the best in the NFL

another 50-burger from the Rams, this time in a situation that is usually kryptonite for good teams. They are a west coast team going east for a 1pm start against a good defense. Normally that will cause a letdown from an offense, only Jared Goff does not play by those rules.

He came out and lit up the MetLife Stadium to the tune of 311 yards and four touchdowns on just 14 completions with a run game that wasn’t really working.

No one is talking about Jared Goff as an MVP candidate, but they should. The Rams lead the NFL in points per game with 32.9, he has 8.32 yards per attempt and just four interceptions so far. That sounds like an MVP to me.

The NFL isn’t fun

I have football fatigue. Ok, so maybe it’s because my Patriots didn’t play this week, but tell me who was really able to get excited about the games this weekend? Deshaun Watson wasn’t there, the Raiders and Miami played in prime time, Leonard Fournette got benched, and a usually fun Detroit-Green Bay matchup is marred by the lack of Aaron Rodgers.

Football needs it’s stars, and with the Steelers and Patriots out this week, there were none around. You couldn’t even get that excited about the Eagles because they were playing Brock Osweiler!

I love football, but man 2017 has been a slog.

Jameis Winston is no franchise quarterback

The Bucs leading man got knocked out of the game again as his shoulder injury reared it’s head thanks to a great game from Cam Jordan, but even when he was under center not only were his passes poor but his command of the offense was awful as well. Crowd noise played it’s part in multiple false starts and delay of game penalties, but a good quarterback can work through that. Winston may be a “great locker room guy” and the whole team may be willing to follow him into battle, but it’s starting to become clear that he is a long way from being THE guy.

It’s important to remember that he is still young, that guys like Matthew Stafford needed far more than three years to become a real difference-maker at quarterback, but the next generation of passers is catching, and passing, Winston now. And that should worry all Bucs fans.

The Chiefs are just as fallible as anyone else

We thought they were the new, hot, thing in the AFC. And then they go and lose three of four games and shoot themselves in the foot.

Kansas City’s offense couldn’t take advantage of a poor Cowboys defense, with Alex Smith throwing his first interception of the year and Kareem Hunt picking up just 61 yards. They couldn’t convert on third down, but the Cowboys could. With a good balanced attack the Cowboys were able to move the ball well on a Chiefs defense that is good on paper but hasn’t lived up to it’s billing for a while now. Without Eric Berry holes are appearing over the middle and they simply couldn’t get off the field, with Dallas picking up 58% of third downs.

Kansas City still lead the way in the AFC West, but they have now slipped behind the Patriots and Steelers in the race for home field advantage.

Earl Thomas is the key to it all

The Seattle defense had to go without Earl Thomas again last night, and we saw the same kind of inability to play the “Seahawks Way” as we did when he broke his leg last season. We know that Thomas is good, but nothing highlights a safety’s importance like his absence and on Sunday we saw once again that the Legion of Boom and everything else the Seahawks do is run through #29.

Houston are done

Deshaun Watson’s ACL injury during the week was a blow to everyone. He was incredibly fun to watch, he brought DeAndre Hopkins back from his 2016 exile, and he kept the Texans competitive.

Without him, everything turned to dust. Tom Savage was, by his own admission, terrible and they fell to the Colts who have been dire all year. Without Watson the Texans are going nowhere, bringing the AFC South race down to Tennessee and Jacksonville. While Houston celebrated bringing one championship home, they lost any chance of another with Watson’s injury.

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Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.


I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.