The first-place teams on Sunday performed poorly.
Duck Prescott returned to the lineup for Dallas (6–2) and the Cowboys did not score until Denver took a 30–0 lead in the fourth quarter on the road.
Josh Allen had three turnovers and the Buffalo Bills (5-3) shamefully showed no discipline Losing 9-6 in unhappy Jacksonville.
Without Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers could not achieve (7-2) Enough offense to lift Kansas City up on rookie Jordan Love’s debut.
After an emotional week, the Las Vegas Raiders (5-2) lost 23-16 to the Giants.
The other winning teams had a tough day at home. The Saints (5-3) lost their first game at Atlanta to Jameis Winston. Rams (7-2) were routed by the AFC south-leading Titans, who won their first game after losing to Derrick Henry. The Bengals (5-4) were blown away by Brown for their second consecutive loss after a 5-2 start.
The winning two teams fought for victory. The Ravens (6-2) needed overtime to handle the Vikings. The Chargers (5-3) beat Philadelphia on a late field goal.
Overall, the division leaders were 3–4 and the home teams 5–7. Three clubs favored to win by seven or more points lost outright.
Week 9 will serve as a prime example for any coach looking to issue an “Any Sunday” warning to their players before a game. Of course, they’ve heard it before.
“Winning a football game is hard no matter what you play,” Allen said. “We’re all big guys. We all get paid to play this game. He came out. They wanted more of it.”
Bill is a puzzle. They were the odds-on favorites to win the Super Bowl, but could not beat the team that had lost 21 of their last 23 matches. His high-powered offense has not been sharp in consecutive games, including last week’s win over Miami.
Tennessee’s win with Buffalo’s loss and the Titans (7-2) last month mean the Bills have an uphill battle to get the No. 1 seed in the AFC. All they need to do is stop New England (5-4) to win the AFC East.
The Cowboys won six in a row before the inconsistent Broncos dominated them.
Dallas coach Mike McCarthy said, “The message is don’t take the cheese, and frankly we were the outcoach, we were all the way out.” “This is the first time I’ve clearly felt that our energy was no more than that of our opponent. It’s disappointing.”
Moving towards the second half, the conference race is wide open.
The Titans are at the forefront of the AFC after their convincing win on the road against Los Angeles. But they still have to play without Henry for a long time.
Baltimore has overcome several injuries to lead the AFC North. The Ravens have a tough schedule in the last nine after road games in Miami and Chicago.
The Bills may still have the most talented roster ever, despite recent struggles. The Chargers, Browns, Raiders and Chiefs also have a shot at being in late January.
Arizona (8-1) NFC leads the race, but the Cardinals already lost at home to the Packers with Rodgers. Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers (6-2) saw three teams lose. And, Cowboys and Rams will bounce back after a defeat.
It certainly won’t be the last topsy-turvy weekend in the NFL this season.
NWN Pro Football Writers Mark Long and Schuyler Dixon contributed.
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