What do you take away with week 9 in the books? (well almost)

My, my, my, the dogpound has woken up haven't they?  After taking care of the saints in NO, and going through the bye week, they take care of the #1 AFC team (record wise of course).  What do we make of them?  I think they are the real deal as they hung in with Pittsburgh at Heinz Field.  However, I see  teams not taking them lightly from here on out.

I really believe that Detroit would've won had Matthew Stafford not gotten hurt in the 4th quarter.  Move aside Fragile Fred and make room for Mattress Matt.  Jets did not deserve to win that game.  But alas they did.  In my eyes,the Jests are not as good as their record indicates.  Detroit, on the other hand, is not as bad as their record indicates either. 

Atlanta is for real and a good team to boot.  However, Tampa Bay came close to pulling off the upset.  I don't think the game was as close as the score shows (TB did have a long pick 6 in the 4th quarter...again).  But Tamp Bay needs to show that they can beat the upper echeleon teams, not just hang with them.  They did do better than I thought they would.  Losing Roddy White seemed to put Atlanta into a funk though. If he's out for a considerable time, they could be in trouble.

Saints played predictably against the Panthers.  Granted the score was close in the 1st quarter but once Jonathan Stewart and Matt Moore went out, the Saints tscrewed on the clamps and were able to dominate '09 style.  They look like they have sobered up from their SUper Bowl hangover.

Baltimore beat Miami, with no doubt, I might add.  Baltimore was in control all game and Miami never found their footing.  That will happen after 3 straight games versus AFC North foes.  The lost snapped Miami's 4 game road win streak.  The Ravens had the lead all game and never really looked in trouble at all.  Obviously, this team will likely be the team to beat in the AFC.

The Chargers remind me of Back to the Future.  It seems that every year they start off 2-5, 3-6, 4-6, 3-5, or what have you, and yet, just like in the past, their future result is always the same as they are back in the hunt for the AFC West.  Mind you that KC and Oakland both have to come to SD.  This is their first road win on the year and the Texans have imploded after a promising start.  But the AFC south is tough with the Colts and Titans residing there.  After this flop, the Texans are going nowheres!!

The Raiders comeback victory against the Chiefs is what this team needed.  After 2 blowout wins, they had a close game and managed to win.  Oakland looks to have gained steam going forth, and could be a headache for any team down the stretch.  Their defense has finally learned how to stop the run and are looking ahead to a playoff spot.  No team should sleep on the Raiders.  They are looking like a contender after three straight victories.  The Chiefs played well enough to win too, but in the end folded like a cheap lawn chair.  They will be a team to be reckoned with though and should provide a fight in every game they are in.

The Giants manhandled Seattle. They are the top team in the NFC at the moment and continue to dominate defensively.  I know, I know, you asking me how they gave up a TD to a backup quarterback in his first game ever?  I don't know either but they did, also, interestingly enough, they didn't get one sack and whitehurst managed to play the whole game (something that 5, yes, 5!, quarterbacks couldn't previously against the Giants).

The Eagles played a pretty good game against a banged up Colts team.  I have to give credit to the colts for staying with Philly until the end.  WIth the short week and the number of injuries they've had, they still almost eked out a win.  Philly's defense was good when it needed to be and man, isn't Desean Jackson a treat to watch?  I guess good things do come in small packages, huh?  Philly will be a threat down the stretch, as long as VIck stays healthy.  The Colts are still in the mix for the playoffs but cannot afford anymore injuries.  Prayers go out to Austin Collie, and although the hit was legal and the player should not be fined, it was another scary incident.

The Bears beat the Bills.  The Bills reamin at 0-8.  The Bears have a winning record but seriously, can you really think they are playoff material right now.  I don't.  If you had the misfortune of watching this game, and if you did, it was probably for fantasy purposes.  This was the dog of week....blecch!

The Vikings squeaked out a win against the visitng Cardinals in a game that was clearly Arizona's to lose.  I'm not sure what's more surprising, Favre's 469 passing yards, which is a career high, or the Cardinals actually having a chance at pulling out a victory?  In any case, neither team will be there come playoff time, but they both have an outside shot of still being there at the end.  Don't count on it though...

There are two games that I have yet to cover since they have not been played yet.  The Packeers take on the lowly Cowboys and should roll in that game.  But stranger things have happened.  WIth that said, I still see the Pack winning by 10,  27-17.

The Steelers travel to Cincy for  their third consecutive road game and while that would take a toll on any team, the steelers seem to thrive on it.  Look for a hard fought victory by the Steelers in a 24-14 win.

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