We are deep into the current NFL season, as game week 9 has just been completed. This week began on Thursday, with the Indianapolis Colts making light work of the New York Jets (45-30) and ended on Monday night, with the Pittsburgh Steelers just about edging past the Chicago Bears, with the final score 29-27. In between these 2 games, we had 12 other matches, all of which provided entertainment and intrigue.
If you were using betmgm sportsbook bonus to bet on these games you would have been either overjoyed if you picked the likes of the Atlanta Falcons or the Arizona Cardinals, as they always looked like the obvious winners. However, if you’d picked the favorite in the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos game, or the match between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills, you possibly wouldn’t have been quite so thrilled.
Let’s take a look at some of these fixtures, as well as a few of the other games from this week, and then look ahead to some of the matchups we have to look forward to in game week 10.
Jaguars surprising everyone
One of the poorest teams in the NFL this year have been the Jaguars. They had only won 1 of their opening 7 fixtures, which didn’t even take place in North America. It was against the Miami Dolphins, which was one of the games played in London this year, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This was the only brief moment of relief, in what has otherwise been a tough year for Head coach Urban Meyer.
Therefore, no one expected them to get anything from their game against the Bills. By contrast, they had been in fine form, sitting on top of the AFC East. They had won 4 out of their previous 5, with the only defeat coming against the Tennessee Titans, who themselves had found real form after a poor start.
However, the bookmakers would have been extremely surprised to see the Jaguars come out on top in this game, with the score ending 9-6 to the Jaguars. Will it turn their season around? Will this shock defeat hamper the Bills chance of making the playoffs? Both of these are quite possible right now.
The Bills take on the Jets next week, which should be a great game to get back on track, whilst the Jaguars face off against the Colts.
The Titans in pole position in the AFC South
The Tennessee Titans had a mixed start to their campaign this time out. A loss to the Cardinals was how they began the season, before picking up wins against the Seahawks and the Colts. The real low point came in game week 4, where they lost to the Jets, who at that time looked absolutely hopeless. It must have been a very tough result to take, and surely would have led to a lot of tough love in the Titans camp.
Clearly whatever was said in the aftermath has worked, as they have been on an impressive winning streak ever since. Yes, they would always have been expected to beat the Jaguars, and even the Kansas City Chiefs given their current state, but wins over the Bills and the LA Rams are particularly impressive.
They have 2 more favorable fixtures coming up, first against the New Orleans Saints, then another home fixture against the Houston Texans, who are another woeful team right now. Beat their fellow AFC South sides in the coming weeks, and we can see them making the playoffs, and possibly going even further.
Browns and Bengals scrapping it out
If we head over to the AFC North, we see the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals sitting at the bottom of the standings. However, this is one of the closest conferences in the NFL, with the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers ahead of them have similar records, having each played one game less.
This meant that the clash between the Browns and the Bengals was incredibly important for both sides’ slim chances of making it into the postseason. It began very evenly, with the game tied at 7-7 after the first quarter. However, by halftime the Browns had really stamped their authority on the game, racing into a 24-10 lead. They also dominated the 2nd half, with the final score ending up as 41-16 to the side from Cleveland.
It will come as a real blow to the Bengals, who will need to regroup during their bye week, before they head off to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders. The Browns, meanwhile, have a tough assignment next away to the Patriots, before a much simpler task against the fairly awful Detroit Lions. Beyond that, the doubleheader against the Ravens will really decide how the AFC North is going to finish this year.