Steel City building ground
By Keegan Godwin (TheLorian)
The rise of the Dolphins? What’s up with Los Angeles? Are the Steelers legit?
Week 9 featured some crazy games and some crazy stat lines throughout the league. The week started out with a Thursday night matchup between Aaron Rodger’s and the Green Bay Packers taking on the injury-riddled San Francisco 49ers. The Packers were fresh off a devastating loss to their rivals in Minnesota and were looking for a strong rebound. Green Bay was looking to add a wide receiver at the trade deadline, specifically Texans wide receiver Will Fuller V to pair with Packers wide receiver Davante Adams who has eight touchdowns on the season, second-most in the league despite missing two games. Unable to create a package for Fuller at the deadline, the Packers had to lean heavily on Adams since a core injury sidelined wide receiver Allen Lazard for Thursday’s game. Right from kickoff, Aaron Rodgers and his wide receivers got to work. Rodgers would finish the game with 305 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Adams had 10 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown, Marquez Valdes-Scantling had two catches for 53 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Packers easily defeated the 49ers 34-17.
The undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Dallas to play the Cowboys in a Sunday afternoon thriller. The Cowboys have been riddled with injuries this season, losing their star quarterback Dak Prescott to a gruesome leg injury earlier this season. Since then, they have struggled to get their footing in a struggling NFC East division, falling to 2-6 prior to the matchup against Pittsburgh. The Steelers, on the other hand, have had everything going perfect for them this season. And Sunday afternoon was no different. Pittsburgh started slow, going down big to Dallas at halftime and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leaving the game briefly. However, the Steelers managed to score 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, led by Roethlisberger’s 306 yards and three touchdowns to move Pittsburgh to 8-0 on the season.
Chargers fans are, yet again, disappointed in another missed opportunity to close a game as they fall to 2-6 on the season. The Chargers, who are starting to become notorious for blowing leads, had the opportunity to turn their misfortune around against the Las Vegas Raiders this Sunday. The Chargers held a three point lead at halftime, giving fans flashbacks already. In the second half, the Raiders would take a five point lead with time for one final drive for the Chargers. With one play left in the game, Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert threw a fade to wide receiver Donald Parham Jr. that was initially ruled a touchdown. However, after further review, the call was overturned as Parham did not have possession of the ball, costing the Chargers the game. The Chargers had an opportunity to win a crucial game, but a costly error led to another close loss. The offense here is not the problem – the Los Angeles offense is ranked second on the ESPN rankings. It seems to be that a combination of a mediocre defense and an inability to close out games is costing the Chargers an opportunity at a breakout season. At least they redesigned their uniforms this season.
In one of the most shocking upsets of the week, the Miami Dolphins defeated the Arizona Cardinals 34-31 to move both teams to 5-3 on the season. With the Dolphins under new leadership of the No. 5 pick Tua Tagovailoa. After getting his first start last week, fans were unsure how he would bounce back after an average game. Tagovailoa would throw two touchdowns and rack up 248 yards in the Dolphins victory. But Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray would respond with his own four total touchdowns and 389 total yards. Arizona wide receiver Christian Kirk would lead the team with five receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown. The Dolphins defense continued to make their statements as the number one defense in the league with another defensive touchdown after recovering a fumble in the first quarter. The Dolphins have only had one winning season in the past ten years and they are looking to make it into the playoffs.
Week 10 is set to feature big matchups between the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks, the Steelers looks to continue their undefeated streak against the Cincinnati Bengals, and Monday Night Football features one of the best rivalries in all of football, the Chicago Bears versus the Minnesota Vikings.