Five things we learned from NFL Week 9

Jay Asser 00:07 08/11/2016
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What did you make of the action stateside?

Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

Here’s our five takeaways from the weekend’s games:

BIG BEN ISN’T BACK TO HIS BEST

Even though Ben Roethlisberger was healthy enough to play, it’s worth wondering if Pittsburgh would have been better of playing back-up QB Landry Jones again. Roethlisberger was extremely rusty in his return from a knee injury and the offence sputtered out with a hugely underwhelming performance in the 21-14 defeat to Baltimore.

AJAYI NOT JUST A FLASH IN THE PAN

Miami’s running back Jay Ajayi didn’t eclipse 200 rushing yards for the third straight game, but he still compiled 111 yards on 24 carries. RBs, more than any other position, shine bright for a stretch before burning out, but after another impressive showing, Ajayi put to rest any scepticism he’s a one (or two) hit wonder. Miami have someone they can lean on.

MICHAEL THOMAS HAS ARRIVED

Drew Brees is pretty spoiled for weapons in New Orleans, but a rookie has emerged as his new favourite target. In the win over San Francisco, wide receiver Michael Thomas grabbed five receptions for 73 yards and two touchdowns, including a jaw-dropping score that showed he can reel in almost any pass thrown his way. Just what the Saints need, more firepower.

PACKERS ARE A TEASE

Just when it seems like Aaron Rodgers’ famous spelling of the word ‘relax’ is about to ring true, Green Bay go and drop another game. While their defence hasn’t helped by allowing at least 31 points the past two weeks, Rodgers and Co once again struggled in the loss to Indianapolis, finding little rhythm until the fourth quarter in a comeback attempt that fell short.

SMALL MARGIN OF ERROR FOR MINN

It’s not hard to figure out why the Vikings have dropped three straight following a flawless 5-0 start to the season. Because of their offensive limitations, the defence has to be nearly perfect and it just hasn’t been as other-worldly as it was through the first five games. A more up-tempo approach under Pat Shurmur may or may not help.

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