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The Hudsucker Presents NFL Weekly: Week 9 – Tighten Those Laces!

This year our writers are teaming up to bring you weekly football coverage! Each week, a few of our writers will be sharing their thoughts and highlights from games they’ve watched. Who were the winners this week? Who remains undefeated? Which team will come out victorious at the end of the 2013-2014 season? 

As of Week 8 there might be a clear ranking in the NFL among who are the best teams, but Week 9 has shown us that anything can still happen in any given Sunday. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were incredibly close to finally getting their first win over Seattle this past week but were at least a field goal short; the Saints lost to the Jets in a game our writer is still reeling from; the Bengals lost their first game in weeks; the Browns are now on their third QB this season; and the Kansas City Chiefs are still undefeated. The playoff picture still looks relatively scrambled to really see any true contenders but as we head into Thursday Night Football, an evident fact is with the plays this week, everyone is vulnerable at this stage in the game and needs to tighten their laces!

The second half of the season will be wide open to a lot of changes (or not…?) but is there any team that looks defiantly fierce? Our favorite NFL trio, Chris HillTania Hussain and Andrew Rogers team up and share some highlights from their favorite games and what they thought of the plays. Do you agree with our writers?

New Orleans Saints at New York Jets

Image Credit: Washington Post/AP Photo

Jets, 26-20

Andrew:

Excuse me, I still need a moment after this game…

Well, this is a great opportunity to talk about what my team did wrong. Number one, there were a lot of key injuries. Without Colston and Sproles, our O-Line had a hard time maintaining their usual rhythm. Graham had two great TDs, despite his ankle injury but there were also some crazy deflections off the hands of Nick Toon. I still see a lot of promise in the two Kennys: Stills & Vaccaro, but I think the weaknesses in our running game (and the defenses ability to stop Ivory and the Jets running game) were the biggest problems in this game. Something to work on for next week boys, because the Panthers are catching up. We’ve really got to pull our socks up before the Sunday night game against the Cowboys. But good on the Jets for pulling quite a few upsets this season. They’re certainly not the hot mess they were last season.

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers

Image Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America

Panthers, 34-10

Chris:

Watching this game was like watching a wounded animal try to fight off a predator: you know it’s only a matter if time before they wear down and ultimately succumb. Can you guess which one was which? The Falcons are a very poor team. Injuries aside, both offensive and defensive lines couldn’t contain their counterparts or Cam. Matt Ryan is a 100 million dollar quarterback – but only if he has 100 million dollars worth of talent around him.

I like Carolina’s receivers. Smith and Lafell both made a lot if difficult catches. There is coming a point where I’d rather have Mike Tolbert than SJax…

Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders

Image Credit: AP Photo/Getty Images

Eagles, 49-20

Andrew:

Wow. I don’t think anyone could have seen Foles performance in this game coming. I mean, sure, he was up against the Raiders, but the fact that he tied Peyton Manning’s recently set touchdown record shows a whole lot of promise for the guy in the weeks to come. He, like the Bears & Packers, is in one of those close divisions where a performance like this could give the playoff-favored Cowboys a run for the money if the Eagles go on a win streak from here on out. Another one of those stories that will be interesting to watch in the final few weeks of the regular season.

Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

Image Credit: Boston Herald/AP Photo

Patriots, 55-31

Andrew:

Well, up until the end of the third quarter, this looked like any other Pats game this season. The Brady bunch were playing okay, but not stellar and the Steelers were putting up a good fight for a 2-5 team. But then someone gave Brady a Red Bull and it was all over. 31 points in the final 15 minutes of the game? Yeah. That’s the Brady that Pats fans and the media know and love. We’ve been waiting for that guy all season, so it’ll be interesting to see if he’s here to stay in the next game or if it was just a stroke of luck and the Steelers just gave up.

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

Image Credit: Getty Images/NFL

Colts, 27-24

Tania:

How exciting was this game?! Well, it was also incredibly nerve-wracking too. Houston dominated Indianapolis for almost three quarters and then poof, magic! Indy QB Andrew Luck and WR T.Y Hilton scored for 3 TDs in the final quarter, proving the 2012 No. 1 overall pick was a great option over the 2012 undrafted free agent, QB Case Keenum of the Houston Texans. It was amazing to see that last-minute-magic and how the Colts made a comeback so late in the game, though I will be honest, it’s really stress inducing. The Colts were down 21-3 at halftime, and then down 24-6 late in the third quarter, but they managed and they did it. Luck has had many comeback plays but nothing like this. We really didn’t see the Colts being themselves in the first 30 minutes of the game and that was worrisome because you wonder, well, why can’t they spread this magic throughout the game instead of showcasing their strength under pressure? The Colts offensive lined was tackled left and right by the Texans, and the receivers were not exactly up for catching Luck’s balls tonight. It’s enough stress as WR Reggie Wayne is out for the year and not at Luck’s side, but T.Y Hilton has really blossomed this season, racking up 121 yards and 3 TDs with his QB against Houston.

Houston played great but then near the end of the game, got really sloppy and that’s not good for any game. It’s so important–especially this far in the game–to be consistent in order to prevail over the others. I predict the Colts will play efficiently over the Rams this coming Sunday as they head back to Indy and play at Lucas Oil; and the Texans will beat the Cardinals in a really tight game….which can go any other way though with the Cardinals record.

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

Image Credit: Allen Frederickson/NFL

Bears, 27-20

Andrew:

I’m pretty sure there was a scream heard round the world as Rodgers walked off the field with his collarbone injury. Still, even without the guy, this game was one to watch as these division rivals battled it out for another all-important win on their quest to be the team in the playoffs. I think with Cutler and Rodgers out, it could be the Lions division to lose with Stafford and Johnson in tow but we’ll see how things shake out over the next few weeks. I do have a lot of sympathy for those with Rodgers as their QB in fantasy though. That said, Matt Forte had quite the game and might have been the linchpin in the Bears victory.

Chris:

That injury to ARod looked nasty, but not as nasty as the two sacks on Seneca Wallace that ended the game. Green Bay needs to fix that line…Even if Eddie Lacy is the real deal. Can anyone really guard Alshon or Marshall? They are a complete mismatch for all the DBs out there.

Who are you rooting for? What games did you watch? Let us know what you thought of this ninth week of NFL by sounding off in the comments below.

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