Dalvin Cook, Vikings
Sep 24, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball during the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Week 9 reaction: Notes and observations

The NFL Week 9 slate was a wild one on Sunday. These are the top reactions from a weekend that cleared up some questions.

– The Miami Dolphins are rolling. After losing three straight with Tua Tagovailoa beat up, the Hawaiian has gotten healthy and is playing the best football of his career. Miami beat the Chicago Bears 35-32 on Sunday at Solider Field, and Tagovailoa threw three more touchdowns, giving him 15 for the year. Can the Dolphins ride what has become an elite offense to an AFC East title? It seems very possible.

 

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– It’s all over for the Las Vegas Raiders by NFL Week 9. After blowing their third lead of 17+ points this season, the Raiders are now 2-6. As a result, they’re in last place of the AFC West. Throughout the offseason, Las Vegas was talked about as a team that could win the division and perhaps make a run in the playoffs after being one-and-done in the postseason last year. Instead, the Raiders won’t get anywhere near an 18th game.

– Patrick Mahomes might be taking the lead in the MVP race. After winning 20-17over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday night, the Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback accounted for 509 total yards and two touchdowns. All told, Mahomes now leads the league in passing yards and touchdown passes, while the Chiefs are 6-2 and tied for the AFC’s best record alongside the Buffalo Bills. On pace to throw for more than 5,500 yards, Mahomes might win his second MVP if he keeps up this trajectory.

 

Read: Saints Announce Michael Thomas Is Out For The Rest Of The Season

 

The Minnesota Vikings are deserving of praise. They are sitting 7-1 after beating the Washington Commanders. While Minnesota has won a litany of one-score games, there’s credit to be handed out. Both the offense and defense are executing in the fourth quarter this year, once again shown by Sunday’s effort which saw the Vikings score the final 13 points against the Commanders over the final 15 minutes. Up next? A road trip to Buffalo.

– It might be time to call the Green Bay Packers what they are: bad. The Packers are 3-6 and 4.5 games behind the Vikings in the NFC North. It’s going to be wild card or bust at this juncture. Looking at Green Bay’s recent fie-game losing streak, there’s little evidence of a team ready to break out.

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