Sunday, November 27, 2022

Jet’s Upset of the Year tops the 10 NFL takeaways from Week 9

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The New York Jets defense came of age and legitimized the AFC East race by delivering one of the monumental upsets of the NFL season, 20-17 against the Buffalo Bills.

When Josh Allen’s “Hail Mary to Field Goal” territory destined for Gabriel Davis was cut short by Jets star rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner with 33 seconds left, Robert Saleh’s Jets confirmed their season and canceled theirs once and for all Presence in the AFC Playoff Chase.

There’s no doubt about the Jets now. Saleh’s team is real.

New York’s character shone from start to finish, holding Allen for 205 yards — 69 below his season average — and holding the typically turbocharged Bills to just 17 points. Offensively, the Jets leveled Buffalo’s front seven 86 yards – mostly on the ground – on a march to the game-winning field goal with 1:43 remaining.

These jets pack a punch and are here to stay.

For every haymaker the Bills threw in the Jets’ way, such as a Von Miller stripsack from quarterback Zach Wilson at 6:21 in the third quarter, the Jets countered; like a Gardner interception in the following series.

Sunday was an old-fashioned slugfest in the Jersey marshes as Saleh’s Jets defense slammed the door on the Bills’ last comeback hopes.

Almost as impressive as beating an AFC Super Bowl heavyweight and division rival, New York held Allen without a touchdown pass for the first time since Week 16 of the 2021 season.

“That was a huge step forward,” a Jets front office worker told Heavy after Sunday’s win. “And an even bigger confidence boost.”

There’s something fitting about Wilson managing a chaotic game to perfection, Gardner stepping up and making the kind of plays he’s been making all season to seal the win, and the Jets’ young stars fueling the excitement of the year.

Wins like the Jets over the Bills are the kind that permeates the culture Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas want to build.

Here are 10 takeaways from Sunday’s Week 9 promotion.

Tom Brady wasn’t going to go quietly into the night or let the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season go by.

Just when it looked like Father Time had caught Brady in his hourglass, Buccaneers wide receiver Scotty Miller dropped a pass that caught his hands at the back of the endzone and eventually returned the ball to the Rams, with the Chance to thwart the ice In-game, the GOAT summoned yet another round of late-game heroics.

The clock at Raymond James Stadium showed 35 seconds left, the scoreboard showed Rams 16, Buccaneers 13, and then Brady rewrote the script into a more familiar ending.

Just six games and 33 seconds later, Brady Buccaneers tight end Cade Otton found the flat on the flat, practically coming in for a game-winning 1-yard touchdown. Ballgame, 16-13 Buccaneers, Brady’s 54th win of the game to make history.

Had Brady failed again at another big point in 2022, the Buccaneers would have hobbled to Munich for next Sunday’s showdown, with the Seahawks losing four straight games. But Tampa’s postseason hopes remain alive after Brady drank from the fountain of youth, there remains an opportunity for that team to return to the postseason with three division games remaining in an NFC South they now lead 4-5.

Tampa is living on a razor’s edge, but as of Sunday at least, Brady still seems to have what it takes to lead the Buccaneers through the upcoming tests of this distance run.

It’s truly amazing what a difference demanding a quarterback’s gifts can make.

On Sunday in Chicago against the Miami Dolphins, the Bears let go of Justin Fields.

Five days after acquiring wide receiver Chase Claypool in a blockbuster trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy appeared to have tailored the game plan to Fields’ strengths.

Fields responded in kind, completing 17 of 23 passes for 123 yards with a career-high 3 touchdowns.

While the Bears’ comeback bid fell short at 35-32, it’s almost off the bigger point. Fields and the bears seem to have found each other out.

With 11:20 still in the third quarter, Fields saw the seas parting along the line of scrimmage as cover in downfield blocked his receivers before leading the Dolphins’ defense for the kind of 61-yard touchdown scramble that he made a routine in Ohio, slicing and dicing federal lands.

Finally freelancing, Fields rushed for 178 yards, the most by a quarterback in a regular-season game, and led Chicago almost all the way back by scoring 4 total touchdowns.

“The combination of having him lead the football and his familiarity with the new playbook was really strong,” an NFC scout told Heavy from Fields.

During Sunday’s game, Fields rewarded the coaching staff’s persistent efforts to build a scheme around his best attributes.

The 23-year-old looked more confident than ever, both with his arm and on the run. Fields’ coming-of-age performance was particularly impressive because she came up against a defense that entered 6th place against run on Sunday, keeping opponents at just 100.6 rushing yards per game.

If Week 9 provides a glimpse into the next phase of Fields’ development, Chicago will be well served by Cap Space and Draft Capital added by general manager Ryan Poles before the NFL trade deadline to continue building the bears around Fields does on best.

Tyreek Hill’s season of ridiculous productivity continues.

To say that Hill’s connection with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was immediate and productive wouldn’t do it justice.

Hill reaches new heights every week.

Just six games and 33 seconds later, Brady Buccaneers tight end Cade Otton found the flat on the flat, practically coming in for a game-winning 1-yard touchdown. Ballgame, 16-13 Buccaneers, Brady’s 54th win of the game to make history.

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