Harv currently writes for Abstract Sports, the Sports History Network, and the magazine Gridiron Greats. Harv wrote the published book "Pro Football's Most Passionate Fans" and as a professional writer has had articles published in an array of sports publications.
NFL Week 9 Short Takes
Another week down in the NFL and we still have a team that has yet to lose and another squad who hasn’t seen a W put up in their season standings. The Pittsburgh Steelers squeaked out a victory in Dallas to move to 8-0 the first time in team history they have begun a season by winning the first eight games, and the New York Jets are off to their worst start in franchise history dropping their first nine games.
Let’s roll with the punches and see who scored knockouts last weekend and on Monday night and who got KO’d.
New England Patriots 30 / New York Jets 27: So close for the Green and White. A game they probably should have won. The Patriots avoided a five-game losing streak for the first time in something like 25 years. That would have been a total embarrassment for Bill Belichick. Interesting is the first season without Tom Brady leading the offense in a long time and New England is struggling. There is more to it than just not having Brady but still, New England fans are accustomed to this. For the Jets, their schedule ahead is brutal. They probably won’t win one game in 2020.
Green Bay Packers 34 / San Francisco 49ers 17: Who is the NFC’s best team right now? It was thought to be Seattle. New Orleans made a statement in Tampa last Sunday night. But it may very well be Aaron Rodgers and the Packers who took it to the 49ers. The Packers have scored more than 40 twice this season and more than 30 in their other victories. For San Francisco, it looks like they are heading from first to worst as they hold the basement position in the NFC West.
Baltimore Ravens 24 / Indianapolis Colts 10: This game was close for a bit but then the Ravens took over. In several weeks they get another shot at the Steelers but Lamar Jackson will have to improve dramatically before then if Baltimore is to challenge the Steelers. The Colts are still in the race in their division just one game behind Tennessee.
Kansas City Chiefs 33 / Carolina Panthers 31: Respect to the Panthers for holding their own against the world champions. The Chiefs are still many people’s #1 despite Pittsburgh’s 8-0 record. Former Steeler Le’Veon Bell was not impressive for the third straight game now playing with K.C.
Tennessee Titans 24 / Chicago Bears 17: The Bears are fading fast with three straight losses and now at 5-4. The Titans got a much-needed win after dropping two straight.
Atlanta Falcons 34 / Denver Broncos 27: It seems the Falcons are starting to right their ship with two straight wins. Denver may have the rookie of the year at quarterback if Joe Burrow does not get it.
Minnesota Vikings 34 / Detroit Lions 20: This is the Vikings team we were expecting this season. Detroit is well...Detroit.
Houston Texans 27 / Jacksonville Jaguars 25: Yikes, Seven straight losses after a season-opening win for the Jaguars. It doesn’t get any worse than that. The Texans are not much better.
New York Giants 23 / Washington Football Team 20: Another quarterback in Washington goes down with a bad leg injury so it’s back to Alex Smith. Both teams simply trying to make something of an injury-riddled season.
Buffalo Bills 44 / Seattle Seahawks 34: The Bills are for real. You can put money on that now. Seattle is beginning to fade a bit but hanging on to a small division lead.
Las Vegas Raiders 31 / Los Angeles Chargers 26: There are some who believe the Raiders are one of the AFC’s best teams. They get a shot at the Chiefs again in two weeks after beating them earlier this season.
Miami Dolphins 34 / Arizona Cardinals 31: Shootout in the desert. The advantage to the surprising Dolphins. Kyle Murray is shutting the mouths of any critics. Tua Tagovailoa seems to be the real deal.
Pittsburgh Steelers 24 / Dallas Cowboys 19: A sign of a really good football team is when they win despite playing poorly. Pittsburgh’s defense was soft in the first half and then tightened the nooses in the second. Credit to Dallas for playing hard but the Steelers have only two difficult challenges the rest of the way...Buffalo on the road and Baltimore at home. Win those two and we might be seeing an undefeated season.
New Orleans Saints 38 / Tama Bay Buccaneers 3: This was supposed to be a great game and a statement game for Tom Brady and the Bucs. NOT. What an embarrassment and for “Terrific Tom” he scored the lowest QBR since ESPN started tracking it. If he keeps this up it will cement the proof of what I’ve believed all along...that he was a product of the system in New England and while being an excellent quarterback he is nowhere near being the GOAT.