One of the best quarterbacks in the game today put up a stinker in NFL Week 9, while down in South Beach FitzMagic made an appearance.
As usual, there was plenty of really great quarterback play, and some downright nauseating games put on record around the league this week.
These are the best and worst performances from NFL Week 9.
Best: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson has been one of the best quarterbacks on a near-weekly basis this season. On Sunday as his Texans battled the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, he once again was phenomenal. Especially for a guy who thought he lost his eyeball just a week ago.
It wasn’t one of the most jaw-dropping statistical lines we’ve seen from Watson, but the third-year quarterback did everything right as the Texans won a big game. He threw for 201 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-28 passing and added 37 yards on the ground. Watson also pulled a rabbit out of his hat at one point, after which he did the famous Michael Jordan shrug.
It’s just that kind of year for this young superstar.
Worst: Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 9 may have led to the end of Minshew Mania. Prior to Sunday’s game, it was reported that head coach Doug Marrone could pull Gardner Minshew in favor of Nick Foles going forward if he struggled. Unfortunately for the sixth-round rookie, he had the worst game of his season in a losing cause.
Minshew managed to complete just 27-of-47 attempts. He did go for 309 yards through the air but threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles.
It was just a brutal game at the worst possible time against a Houston defense that appeared to be ripe for the picking.
Best: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins
For one week, the FitzMagic was back in Miami. Going against a New York Jets team that was absolutely decimated by injuries, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins feasted en route to their first win of the 2019 season.
Completing 24-of-36 attempts, Fitzpatrick passed for 288 yards and three touchdowns. One of them was aided by a magnificent one-handed grab by DeVante Parker, who has is having his best year to date this season.
Worst: Dwayne Haskins, Washington Redskins
The best thing we can say about Dwayne Haskins’ performance in Week 9 against the Buffalo Bills is that he did not turn the ball over. Considering his previous performances this year, that’s a marked improvement.
Still, Haskins did have a rough go of it. The rookie out of Ohio State netted just 116 yards passing on 24 attempts. Despite a brilliant day by 34-year-old running back Adrian Peterson, the Redskins managed just three field goals in the game and were blown out, 24-9.
Best: Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Piling up a mountain of stats does not always equate to being the best. We saw this firsthand Sunday in Oakland as Matthew Stafford eclipsed 400 yards and threw three touchdowns in a losing cause. Stafford also turned the ball over twice. Meanwhile, his counterpart Derek Carr played a darn-near flawless game as the Raiders won, 31-24.
Carr and the Raiders pounded Detroit’s defense with a relentless rushing attack. But when it was time to unleash the passing game, Carr did not disappoint. He completed 20-of-31 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner late in the fourth quarter.
Worst: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The past couple of weeks, you’d be hard pressed to find a quarterback hotter than Aaron Rodgers. On Sunday as the Packers visited the Los Angeles Chargers, he was shut down until garbage time.
Leading an offensive attack that garnered a grand total of 184 yards and 11 points, Rodgers was vastly outplayed by Philip Rivers. The future Hall of Famer was held to just 139 net yards on 23-of-35 passing. It’s pretty remarkable no matter what the circumstances, but even more so this weekend as Davante Adams was back in action after missing the entire month of October with a toe injury.
Best: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Seattle’s defense had a rough go of it Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but thankfully Russell Wilson was ready to play Superman and save the day.
Coming into NFL Week 9, Wilson had thrown 17 touchdowns and just one interception. He’s been on another level this season. On Sunday, he was indomitable. Passing for an absurd 378 yards and five touchdowns, he willed his team to victory, coming through with big throw after big throw in clutch situations.
Worst: Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
After two very good outings in his first starts with the Titans, Ryan Tannehill took a step backward on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. Tennessee put up a ton of offense against a very good Carolina defense, but Tannehill made a couple of bad throws that derailed the team’s chance of winning.
Tannehill turned it over twice on interceptions. The first led to a touchdown for the Panthers on their next offensive drive. The second occurred midway through the fourth quarter as the Titans were attempting to come back.
Best: Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
After being spoken of as a complementary component for weeks, thanks to San Francisco’s dominant run game and defense, Week 9 provided Jimmy Garoppolo with the chance to prove he’s a franchise passer.
The Arizona Cardinals did a good job shutting down the run game, and San Francisco’s defense wasn’t all that effective at keeping Kyler Murray and Co. in check. Needing a huge game from Garoppolo, the 49ers got it.
Completing 28-of-37 passes for 317 yards, Garoppolo also tossed four touchdowns, and San Francisco’s offense didn’t turn the ball over once. That’s the main reason they walked out of Glendale with an eighth straight win and lead the NFC midway through the season.
Worst: Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
Last weekend, we wrote that the Bears had to seriously consider moving on from Mitchell Trubisky. Then, things got even worse for Trubisky and Chicago’s offense Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
By halftime, the Bears had a grand total of nine yards of offense. Trubisky had completed just four passes for 12 yards, but after accounting for his 23 yards lost on three sacks, that became a negative net total.
Trubisky did open the second half with a beautiful 53-yard toss to a wide-open Taylor Gabriel, and the Bears managed to score two touchdowns. But Trubisky still finished with 102 net passing yards on 21 attempts as the Bears netted 164 yards of total offense and lost 22-14.
Best: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
It’s rare to see a young quarterback have a decent game against the New England Patriots. On Sunday night, Lamar Jackson not only had a decent game, he and the Ravens took it to the defending champs with a dominant showing.
It got started early, as the Ravens marched 75 yards in 11 plays to open the game with a touchdown run by Jackson that saw him literally dancing into the end zone. Jackson rushed for 61 yards and went on to score a second rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter to ice the game.
It wasn’t just his legs that did the trick, though. Jackson was efficient in the passing game, completing 17-of-23 attempts for 163 yards with one touchdown and, most importantly, no interceptions. Jackson played a flawless game and has the Ravens soaring into Week 10 atop the NFC North with a record of 6-2.
Not bad for a receiver, eh Bill Polian?