2021 Season: Week 9 Sunday Storylines

(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Nate Polvogt (@JeNateJackFF)
The Lateral Contributor

Just when you thought this 2021 season couldn't get any weirder, it does. Week 9 was a mess. We saw Jacksonville beat the Buffalo Bills in a strange contest that saw Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen sack, intercept and recover a fumble from Bills quarterback Josh Allen. Read that again, I'll wait. 

Jordan Love outscored Patrick Mahomes II in fantasy despite a losing effort, the Titans essentially blew out the Rams, the Baker Mayfield-led Browns destroyed a talented Bengals squad & the 6-1 Dallas Cowboys we're dismantled by the 4-4 Denver Broncos. If you ever thought you knew anything about football, last week put you back in your place. With all the madness, for myself, there were three key takeaways. 

Patrick Mahomes II Is Becoming A Problem 

Yes, Patrick Mahomes II, former NFL and Super Bowl MVP, is becoming a problem in fantasy football. I know you don't want to hear it, because I don't either, but facts are facts. Over the last three weeks he is averaging 10.39 fantasy points per game. In that span, he has as many interceptions as touchdowns (2), completing only 57.5 percent of his passes. If you've been watching him, the best way to put it is that he looks lost. 

Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce draw blanket coverage on every snap. Despite best efforts, Mecole Hardman is still not producing. Darrel Williams has been ineffective at times, and even when effective, not impactful. This team is a conundrum, and Mahomes is the core. Ruh ROH

I'm not completely ready to bail on Patrick yet. We see these things happen. It's a three game fantasy-scoring drought. He could easily correct it and be absolutely fine the rest of the season. He could also not be able to get out of his own head and continue to have the yips. 

This is a situation I recommend paying close attention to over the next two weeks. The Chiefs have to travel to Las Vegas and then get Dallas at home before their bye week. What Mahomes II does will be very telling. Can he rebound? Does he flounder? Does he become a liability in fantasy football?

Kliff Kingsbury Is A Good Coach

When Kingsbury took over as the Arizona Cardinals head coach in 2019, his first job as a coach in the NFL, a lot of people, myself included, had serious questions about what the Arizona front office was thinking. Granted, they had been bad the season before (3-13), so anything seemed better than what coach Steve Wilks brought to the table. But was Kingsbury really fit to coach in the NFL? He was coming from a Texas Tech program that finished above .500 only once (8-5 in his first season, 2013) in his six seasons as the head coach. Furthermore, Texas Tech ran a spread offense that isn't remotely close to an NFL-style offense. 

Two and a half seasons later, he seems to have turned this Cardinals team around. They are currently sitting at 8-1, the best record in the league. Without starting quarterback and MVP-candidate Kyler Murray and all-pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Kingsbury coached a Colt McCoy-led team to a 31-17 victory over division rival San Francisco. Their lone loss was the week prior on Thursday night to the Green Bay Packers. Kliff has this team rolling, and he showed Sunday that he can do it with adversity. 

Arizona is leading their division, which is no small feat given they are competing against a talented Los Angeles Rams squad and the perennially dangerous Seattle Seahawks. James Conner is fantasy-relevant this season when most had written him off. Chase Edmonds has been a solid volume play when healthy. Zach Ertz looks reinvigorated after being traded two weeks ago. DeAndre Hopkins has yet again been a beast, Christian Kirk has been solid and A.J. Green looks like a new man. This team is good and Kingsbury can take a lot of credit for it. If he takes this team to a Super Bowl this season, I think we can all agree we were wrong on the Cardinals hiring back in 2019. 

Week 9 Was An Anomaly

We thought the Week 7 bye-maggedon was bad, and then Week 9 was all like, "hold my beer." Oof. If you called Jacksonville beating Buffalo in a field goal shoot-out 9-6, The Los Angeles Rams getting handled by the Tennessee Titans, or the Dak Prescott-led Dallas Cowboys being held scoreless through three quarters against the Denver Broncos, I'm going to need your phone number. 

As a fantasy manager, this past weekend was an absolute hell scape. We had Chase Edmonds go down early, handing James Conner the bulk of the work in Arizona. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford could not even manage a whopping 15 fantasy points while Josh Allen did not even muster 10! Both were outscored by Cardinals back-up Colt McCoy who had 16.26. Blast-from-the-past running back Jordan Howard managed to lead all Eagles rushers in carries (17) and yards (71). 

So, what does it all mean? Absolutely nothing. This week was an anomaly and I'm throwing most of it out the window. As with anything in life, sometimes weird things happen that defy explanation. This was one of those times. Jacksonville is not a better team than Buffalo. Josh Allen will be fine. So will Matthew Stafford. The Eagle's are still bad, they just got lucky in exploiting the Chargers atrocious run defense. The Bengals are still good, they just happened to face a reinvigorated Browns team that seemed to finally be able to focus in the absence of Odell Beckham Jr. Don't panic. Everything will be fine. 

Heyo! Thanks for reading along for my Week 9 takeaways. You can find me and more of my work on Twitter @JeNateJackFF. Got questions? Shoot me an email at natepolvogt@gmail.com. See you next week!

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