This Week in the NFL – Week 9, 2023

Welcome to another installment of my weekly NFL Column. My goal is to watch everything so that you don’t have to. I will present to you the best games to watch back; the craziest moments; the best individual performances and the season-long stat leaders and records. I will also be previewing the upcoming gameweek, too.

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, check in each week.

Not everybody in the UK has the ability to watch almost 20 hours of live NFL every week, but I’ll make sure you don’t miss anything you’d wish you didn’t. Without further delay…

This is what happened This Week in the NFL.

Game of the Week

If you can only watch one full game in its entirety, watch this one:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Houston Texans

This was my easiest choice of the entire season so far, without a doubt. Redzone was absolutely epic this week, and the game of the week – and one of the games of the season – was this matchup between the Bucs and the Houston Texans. 

I genuinely don’t want to say a single word that could be deemed a spoiler. Watch this game. 

Seriously, don’t read on until you have at the very least watched the highlights. This was a blast! 

Other games to watch back

Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons

Upset of the Week

Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons

In a vacuum, you would think that it’s not possible for either victory in this game to be considered an upset. However, very early in the game, the Vikings’ rookie quarterback Jaren Hall took got injured at the end of just their second drive of the game. This meant that Josh Dobbs had to take over with the score tied at 3-3 with more than 3 quarters to go. 

Yes, the Josh Dobbs who only joined the team 5 days ago. 

Minnesota Vikings 31 – 28 Atlanta Falcons

Despite the fact that not only did Dobbs not know the playbook, he also didn’t know anybody’s names – he proved that he is one of the most resilient and determined players in the league.

It didn’t look good, after he concluded his very first drive by giving up a safety. However, as he got a little bit more comfortable throughout the game, it became clear that his combination of determination and athleticism, he was going to be able to put the Vikings in a position to win this game. Dobbs literally went from learning the offensive line’s cadence on the sideline to leading a game-winning drive within a couple of hours. 

Absolutely epic. 

Winners and Losers


Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)

Kansas City Chiefs (7-2)

Minnesota Vikings (5-4)

Cleveland Browns (5-3)

Green Bay Packers (3-5)

Washington Commanders (4-5)

New Orleans Saints (5-4)

Baltimore Ravens (7-2)

Houston Texans (4-4)

Indianapolis Colts (4-5)

Las Vegas Raiders (4-5)

Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)

Los Angeles Chargers (4-4)


Tennessee Titans (3-5)

Miami Dolphins (6-3)

Atlanta Falcons (4-5)

Arizona Cardinals (1-8)

Los Angeles Rams (3-6)

New England Patriots (2-7)

Chicago Bears (2-7)

Seattle Seahawks (5-3)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)

Carolina Panthers (1-7)

New York Giants (2-7)

Dallas Cowboys (5-3)

New York Jets (4-4)

Teams on Bye

Denver Broncos (3-5)

Detroit Lions (5-2)

San Francisco 49ers (5-3)

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-2)

Standout Individual Performers

C.J. Stroud, QB, Houston Texans

71.4% completion rate, 470 passing yards and 5 TD’s. 147.8 Quarterback Rating. 

If you took my advice and watched this Texans vs Bucs game, or watched the game play out live, you don’t need me to tell you twice. C.J. Stroud went absolutely NUCLEAR this week. The Texans QB announced himself as a truly elite QB, with the greatest statistical game a rookie quarterback has ever had. Ever. 

He completed 30 of his 42 pass attempts (71.4%) for an all-time rookie record 470 passing yards! He also threw 5 TD’s, to four different receivers, in the epic win. Stroud earned a 147.8 Quarterback Rating and proved that he is as clutch as they come, calmly executing a gorgeous game-winning drive, which he was able to do in under 40 seconds. 

Tank Dell, WR, Houston Texans

6 receptions on 11 targets for 114 receiving yards and 2 TD’s. 

Speaking of that game-winning drive, the touchdown that sealed the game came by way of Stroud’s fellow rookie, Tank Dell. Coming back from injury, Dell was back firing on all cylinders again this week, and his connection with his quarterback continues to grow. He finished the game with 114 yards on 6 receptions and scored twice. 

The trust between these two was showcased perfectly on the two final plays of the winning drive. Stroud found Dell on a deep crosser for 26 yards to put them in a position to aim for the end zone, and then hit him again the very next play for a 15-yard TD. Epic. 

Noah Brown, WR, Houston Texans

6 receptions on 6 targets for 153 receiving yards and a TD. 

The Texans’ leading receiver, though, came in the unlikely form of Noah Brown. The 27-year-old is the WR3 on the team, but this week he was ruthlessly efficient. He caught all 6 of his targets and converted them into 153 receiving yards, including a huge 75-yard TD reception. 

Dalton Schultz, TE, Houston Texans 

10 receptions on 11 targets for 130 receiving yards and a TD. 

While he didn’t quite muster up as many yards as Brown or as many TD’s as Dell, Dalton Schultz was the man who Stroud connected with most often. He was tied with Tank for the team-leading 11 targets, but was able to haul in 10 of them. The ex-Cowboy converted those 10 catches into 130 receiving yards and a touchdown of his own. 

Kenny Moore, CB, Indianapolis Colts

7 solo tackles and an assist, plus two pick-sixes with a total of 115 return yards! 

Okay, now that we’re done talking about the insanity that was the Texans passing offense, let’s flip to defense. The defensive player of the week this week was Kenny Moore. The Colts cornerback had a very solid 7 solo tackles as well as one assist, and completely dominated rookie QB Bryce Young. 

Moore intercepted the young signal-caller twice, returning both of them for pick-sixes! He amassed 115 return yards between them. When you consider the fact that Indianapolis only won the game by 14 points, you can justifiably say that Kenny Moore literally won them the game. 

Maxx Crosby, DE, Las Vegas Raiders

6 solo tackles and 2 assists, including 3.0 Sacks.

The Raiders are back. Having finally fired Josh McDaniels, there is a renewed sense of passion and energy in the dressing room and, boy did it show on Sunday. The offense looked better and oh boy, that defense balled out. The leader of the defensive dominance will be unsurprising, as superstar edge rusher Mad Maxx Crosby decimated the Giants. He made 8 combined tackles, 6 of which were solo efforts, and had a hat-trick of sacks – the third time in his career he has had 3+. Las Vegas are going to run through walls for Antonio Pierce, and Crosby will leave the biggest hole in that wall of anybody. 

Ju’Whaun Bentley, LB, New England Patriots

10 solo tackles and 3 assists, including 2.0 Sacks. 

A player who deserves a lot more praise than he gets, Ju’Whaun Bentley has been at the heart of the Patriots defense for a few years now. The linebacker is a tackle machine – as was no different this week, with him making a whopping 10 solo tackles and 3 assists. However, this week he also added 2.0 Sacks to the regularly scheduled programming. The Patriots lost, but that was through no fault of Bentley’s. 

Rachaad White, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

20 carries for 73 rushing yards and 2 TD’s, plus 4 receptions for 46 yards. 

In that absolutely amazing Houston Tampa matchup, it was always going to be difficult for whichever team took the L. The Buccaneers offense was running largely through their young running back, Rachaad White. He had a career-high 24 touches, 20 coming on the ground and 4 coming through the air. He had 73 rushing yards and found the end zone twice, while adding 4 receptions for 46 receiving yards.

Joey Bosa, DE, Los Angeles Chargers

3 solo tackles and 3 assists, including 2.5 Sacks, plus a forced fumble and fumble recovery.

The Los Angeles Chargers offense wasn’t exactly flying high on Monday Night Football, however, the defense was able to hold the Jets down to secure the win anyway. The leader on that front was defensive end Joey Bosa. He made 3 solo tackles and had 3 assists, including 2.5 Sacks. 

Amari Cooper, WR, Cleveland Browns

5 receptions on 5 targets for 139 receiving yards and a TD. 

The Cleveland Browns have very much been a defense-first team this year, and that was certainly no different on Sunday. However, this week the star performer in their comfortable 27-0 win this weekend was Amari Cooper. He was targeted 5 times and he caught all of them for 139 receiving yards and a TD. 

Jonnu Smith, TE, Atlanta Falcons 

5 receptions on 6 targets for 100 receiving yards and a TD. 

The Atlanta Falcons offense is an enigma. I will be happy to say in this public forum that I do not approve of the actions of Arthur Smith (Let Bijan Cook!). I hate that Kyle Pitts has become irrelevant and I want to see more of Robinson getting the ball in his hands. However, I have to acknowledge that Jonnu Smith looked great this week. He caught 5 of his 6 targets for 100 receiving yards and a TD. I’m stil angry that they tried to hand it off to him by the goal line, though.

Cole Kmet, TE, Chicago Bears

6 receptions on 8 targets for 55 yards and 2 TD’s. 

The Chicago Bears aren’t doing particularly well this season. The defense isn’t what it once was and the offense has been stagnant. This week, however, there was one bright spot this week in the form of their tight end Cole Kmet. He was targeted 8 times by stand-in QB Tyson Bagent, and he caught 6 of them. On top of a solid 55 receiving yards, he also added 2 TD’s. 

Stat Leaders Through Week 9

Passing Yards – Tua Tagovailoa MIA, 2609

Passing TD’s – Tua Tagovailoa MIA, 19

Rushing Yards – Christian McCaffrey SF, 652

Rushing TD’s – Raheem Mostert MIA, 11

Receiving Yards – Tyreek Hill MIA, 1076

Receiving TD’s – Tyreek Hill MIA, 8

Total TD’s – Christian McCaffrey SF and Raheem Mostert SF, 13

Tackles (combined) – Zaire Franklin IND, 102

Sacks – Danielle Hunter MIN, 10.0

Interceptions – Geno Stone BAL, 6

Week 10  Preview – What to watch

Teams on Bye

Kansas City Chiefs (7-2)

Los Angeles Rams (3-6)

Miami Dolphins (6-3)

Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)

Week 10 Best Games

Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions @ Los Angeles Chargers

San Francisco 49ers @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Tyler’s Bold Week 10 Prediction

The Houston Texans will upset the Cincinnati Bengals on their home turf. 

Week 10 Storylines

The Tank Bowl! On prime time, no less… Panthers @ Bears, TNF

Once an epic rivalry, now not so much, in the final International game of the year. Colts @ Patriots, 2:30pm

Can C.J. Stroud prove himself against one of the best young QB’s in the league? Texans @ Bengals, 6pm

How good will Josh Dobbs be with a full week of prep and some confidence? Saints @ Vikings, 6pm

Two 3-5 teams who could use a win to build some momentum. Titans @ Buccaneers, 6pm

Two of the better defenses in the league collide. 49ers @ Jaguars, 6pm

A huge AFC North rivalry that promises drama. Browns @ Ravens, 6pm

The return of Kyler Murray, who would rather be playing Call of Duty. Falcons @ Cardinals, 9:05pm

The Lions come fresh off a bye week and head to Los Angeles. Lions @ Chargers, 9:05pm

Will a revitalised Las Vegas continue to build momentum against a struggling New York offense? Jets @ Raiders, SNF