The Huddle: NFL Week Nine

We're taking a look at the Falcons, Raiders, and Vikings this week in The Huddle!
We’re taking a look at the Falcons, Raiders, and Vikings this week in The Huddle!

Heading into Week Nine of the NFL season, our panel takes a quick peek at the statement game from Atlanta, the continuing strong season of the Raiders, and what Norv Turner’s abrupt resignation means for the surprising Vikings. So, grab that jersey and get inside The Huddle!

Kickoff questions:

1. Thoughts on the Falcons topping GB: Surprise or Statement?

2. Two straight weeks with a tie? WTF?

3. Thoughts on the winning ways of the Raiders?

Just how good are the Raiders with QB Derek Carr? Our guys are split.
Just how good are the Raiders with QB Derek Carr? Our guys are split.

J Arsenio D’Amato:

Atlanta definitely made a statement edging Green Bay in that shootout.

Hopefully the NFL won’t panic because of the recent ties and tinker with the overtime format. They already improved it significantly over the former sudden death system, and it is superior to the horrendous NCAAF overtime. There are already too many injuries and you can’t have guys out there forever. Occasional ties are going to happen and there is nothing wrong with that, especially at the end of the season when it will be easy to figure out playoff tie breakers.

The Raiders and Derek Carr are legit, especially with the tough part of their schedule out of the way. Jack Del Rio is taking advantage of his second coaching chance. Let’s see if they can continue their winning ways at home in what is turning out to be the toughest division in football.

JT Rozzero:

It’s amazing that the Raiders are as successful they are despite all the penalties. They are first in the league in penalties by a wide margin and yesterday should have probably dominated Tampa, but they let the Bucs hang around before finally putting the game away with minutes to go. That said, they are clearly a top three AFC team right now until Pittsburgh gets their shit back together.

The Falcons got a huge win, but they aren’t going far with that defense. Tampa blew a golden opportunity to keep close to the front of the division… But guess what, the Saints and Panthers are still hanging in striking distance after key wins [Sunday].

Roger Morrissette:

I’m on record saying the Falcons are for real and that was a nice win, especially with Rodgers playing at a high level. To me, they are the same as the Steelers: No defense but an offense that can score with anyone.

I don’t have much on the ties… Just a fluke.

To me the Raiders are pretenders. They’ve been very fortunate with all the fourth down magic. With that said, pretty much everyone has some warts outside of New England, and the Raiders could certainly make the playoffs.

I’m curious as to everyone’s thoughts on the Cowboys. For three quarters, Dak looked very much like a fourth-round rookie, and only the terrible Smallwood fumble kept them in that game.

Do you guys think the specter of Romo is impacting Prescott? I do and I think Tony is your starter within the next four weeks. If I were the Cowboys, I would seriously consider trading Romo. Dak is the future and a benching would murder his confidence.

J Arsenio D’Amato:

Dak was playing at such a high level for a rookie and it was a combination of his play leveling off and also a fierce Eagles defense that dominated for three quarters. Romo is like a son to Jerry Jones, who wants nothing more than to get him a Super Bowl win.

Despite a shaky game against Philly this week, Dak Prescott has the Cowboys at 6-1.
Despite a shaky game against Philly this week, Dak Prescott has the Cowboys at 6-1.

Joel Barnhart:

Cam Newton: Idiot or legit gripes?

J Arsenio D’Amato:

A little of both on Cam. He takes a lot of hits to the head that less athletic, more fragile QBs get protected from. The first game of the year at Denver set the tone for the season as [the Broncos] were allowed to tee off on him and go unpenalized. Unfortunately, Cam comes off as unlikable in most of his post-game pressers, as he is still young and a little immature in his presentation.

JT Rozzero:

Jets just signed C.J. Spiller.

Roger Morrissette:

They have the market cornered on pass-catching running backs

It remains to be seen how the exodus of offensive coordinator Norv Turner affects the Vikings' strong season.
It remains to be seen how the exodus of offensive coordinator Norv Turner affects the Vikings’ strong season.

JT Rozzero:

Norv Turner resigned; is Minnesota’s dream season crumbling?

Roger Morrissette:

Their offense has been beyond horrible the last couple of weeks. Bradford is turning into the pumpkin many predicted. Their line is a mess. Their defense is good enough to keep them in contention, but the offense needs to at least be slightly below average.

I’m not sure they get it turned around. Big home game for them this week against the Lions. Stafford should be good for a minimum of 20, even against the Minnesota D. I’m not sure the Vikes can match that, even against Detroit’s porous D.

J Arsenio D’Amato:

It was shocking how Jordan Howard ran wild on their defense. That’s two no shows in a row on the road. Elite teams win on the road, and it looks like only Dallas and Seattle are elite in the NFC.

For what it’s worth, Pat Shurmur takes over as OC and was Bradford’s OC previously in St. Louis and Philadelphia. Not an extensive history of overwhelming success there.

With that, we wrap for Week Nine! Enjoy the action this week, Place to Be Nation and catch us next time… inside The Huddle!

Author: Joel Barnhart

A big-time baseball nerd, Joel is currently teaching English as a Second Language in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to his MLB passion, he enjoys good whiskey, good music, good movies, and good friends. He is currently engaged in an ongoing 12-year online debate over the merits of bubble wrap.