NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 9 One Up, One Down For All 32 Teams: Justin Fields shines, Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen struggle

Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) makes a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Fields‘ ascent: The Chicago Bears signal-caller continues to look like the most consistent quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft class, earning a 79.4 offensive grade in Week 9.

Trevor Lawrence bounces back: The 2021 No. 1 overall pick had his best passing performance of the season en route to an 87.6 overall mark.

• A case of the dropsies: Mike Evans led Buccaneers pass-catchers with two drops on Sunday.

Estimated Reading Time: 10 mins

JUMP TO A TEAM:

ARZ | ATL | BLT | BUF | CAR | CIN | CHI | CLE | DEN | DAL | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LVR | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH


ARIZONA CARDINALS

One up: CB Marco Wilson

Key grade: 75.1 defensive grade

Wilson was targeted just once and didn’t allow a completion to Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith in Sunday’s loss.

One down: C Billy Price

Key grade: 44.1 pass-blocking grade

Price allowed two sacks and three total pressures on Sunday.


ATLANTA FALCONS

One up: RB Tyler Allgeier

Key grade: 90.2 rushing grade

Cordarrelle Patterson ran for two touchdowns, but the rookie Allgeier carried the ball 10 times for 99 yards with five forced missed tackles and 67 yards after contact. He added a 24-yard catch, as well, in Sunday’s loss to the Chargers.

One down: CB Cornell Armstrong

Key grade: 39.0 coverage grade

Armstrong let up nine catches on 10 targets for 87 yards and six total first downs in coverage to a team that was missing its two best wide receivers.


BALTIMORE RAVENS

One up: QB Lamar Jackson

Key grade: 81.6 offensive grade

Jackson combined a 90.7 rushing grade with a 64.9 passing grade in Monday night's win over the Saints. He made two big-time throws and didn't have any turnover-worthy plays. He also forced six missed tackles and picked up 42 of his 82 rushing yards after contact.

One down: CB Marcus Peters

Key grade: 50.6 coverage grade

Peters let up three catches on five targets for 68 yards with a bizarre touchdown. Peters didn't fully push Saints tight end Juwan Johnson out of bounds after a reception, and the rest of Baltimore's defense gave up on the play as Johnson ran down the sideline for the score.


BUFFALO BILLS

One up: LB Tremaine Edmunds

Key grade: 83.0 defensive grade

Edmunds wasn’t targeted in 28 coverage snaps and made four total defensive stops in Sunday’s loss to the Jets.

One down: QB Josh Allen

Key grade: 48.1 passing grade

It was a very rare “down” performance for Allen, who coupled just one big-time throw with four turnover-worthy plays while going 18-of-34 for 205 yards with no passing touchdowns and two interceptions while fumbling twice. Allen was great as a runner, carrying the ball nine times for 86 yards and two rushing touchdowns.


CAROLINA PANTHERS

One up: LT Ikem Ekownu

Key grade: 81.7 offensive grade

The sixth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft has settled in very nicely in pass protection after a shaky start to the season. He let up just two pressures.

One down: QB P.J. Walker

Key grade: 26.3 passing grade

The magic wore out. Walker was benched at halftime for Baker Mayfield after starting the game 3-of-10 for nine yards with two interceptions in Sunday’s loss to the Bengals.


CHICAGO BEARS

One up: QB Justin Fields

Key grade: 79.4 offensive grade

Fields is currently looking like the best quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft class. He tossed three touchdowns with one big-time throw and carried the ball 15 times for 178 rushing yards with one touchdown, 118 yards after contact and eight forced missed tackles in the Week 9 loss to the Dolphins.

One down: CB Kyler Gordon

Key grade: 35.7 coverage grade

It’s a thankless job to cover Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The rookie cornerback let up four catches on six targets for 55 yards with two first downs.


CINCINNATI BENGALS

One up: RB Joe Mixon

Key grade: 93.4 offensive grade

Mixon came into Week 9 with just three combined rushing and receiving touchdowns. He scored five total touchdowns in Sunday’s win over the Panthers. He picked up 104 of his 153 rushing yards after contact, caught four passes for 58 yards and forced nine total missed tackles.

One down: LT Jonah Williams

Key grade: 52.5 offensive grade

After letting up a sack in Sunday’s win over Carolina, Williams has now allowed four sacks in the past two weeks. Williams relinquished three total pressures in Week 9.


CLEVELAND BROWNS: BYE WEEK


DALLAS COWBOYS: BYE WEEK


DENVER BRONCOS: BYE WEEK


DETROIT LIONS

One up: S Kerby Joseph

Key grade: 83.7 coverage grade

A concussion knocked Joseph out of the game, but he intercepted two passes and forced another incompletion on 27 coverage snaps in the Week 9 win over the Packers.

One down: QB Jared Goff

Key grade: 47.1 passing grade

Goff threw two touchdowns but didn’t make any big-time throws and had two turnover-worthy plays in Sunday’s win over Green Bay.


GREEN BAY PACKERS

One up: OL Zach Tom

Key grade: 83.3 pass-blocking grade

The rookie split his snaps between left tackle and right guard and didn't give up a single pressure in Sunday’s loss to Detroit.

One down: QB Aaron Rodgers

Key grade: 59.9 passing grade

Rodgers played poorly in Sunday's loss to the Lions, and it was only his third-lowest graded game of the season. The four-time NFL MVP went 23-of-43 for 291 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. He made two big-time throws and two turnover-worthy plays with a season-low 64.1% adjusted completion percentage.


HOUSTON TEXANS

One up: RB Dameon Pierce

Key grade: 90.0 rushing grade

The 2022 fourth-round pick already looks like one of the best running backs in the NFL as a rookie. He carried the ball 27 times for 139 yards, and 102 of those yards came after contact. He also forced nine missed tackles in Houston’s Week 9 loss to the Eagles.

One down: S Jonathan Owens

Key grade: 35.2 coverage grade

Owens has been solid this season, but he allowed four catches on four targets for 59 yards and two touchdowns to Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts for a perfect 158.3 passer rating into his coverage.


INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

One up: DI DeForest Buckner

Key grade: 79.8 pass-rush grade

The Colts’ defense played great in their 26-3 loss to the Patriots. New England scored a touchdown on defense and blocked a punt leading to an offensive touchdown on a short field, but otherwise, Indianapolis held the Patriots to four field goals. Buckner finished with a sack, a quarterback hit and four total pressures.

One down: QB Sam Ehlinger

Key grade: 42.1 passing grade

After consecutive losses to the Commanders and Patriots, the Colts might want to turn to Nick Foles or see if Matt Ryan looks better coming off an injury if Ehlinger's struggles continue. Ehlinger made one big-time throw and one turnover-worthy play. He went just 15-of-29 for 102 yards with an interception and was sacked nine times.


JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

One up: QB Trevor Lawrence

Key grade: 87.1 passing grade

Lawrence has had some tough games this season, so let’s give him credit when it’s due. He went 25-of-31 for 235 yards with one touchdown pass and one big-time throw, and he didn’t make any turnover-worthy plays while coming back to beat the Raiders on Sunday.

One down: RT Jawaan Taylor

Key grade: 28.0 run-blocking grade

Taylor struggled as a run-blocker and also was beaten by his defender five times in pass protection.


KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

One up: CB L'Jarius Sneed

Key grade: 92.5 coverage grade

The third-year pro is having a stellar season. He let up just one two-yard catch on five targets and forced two incompletions in Sunday night's overtime win over the Titans.

One down: S Juan Thornhill

Key grade: 47.7 coverage grade

The Chiefs allowed only five completions to Titans quarterback Malik Willis. Thornhill let up two of them on two targets for 34 yards and two first downs.


LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

One up: WR Davante Adams

Key grade: 86.7 receiving grade

Adams bounced back after having one of the worst performances of his career in Week 8 with 10 catches on 17 targets for 146 yards with two touchdowns, six first downs and two contested catches.

One down: LG Dylan Parham

Key grade: 16.6 pass-blocking grade

The rookie out of Memphis was charged with surrendering six total pressures in Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars.


LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

One up: CB Michael Davis

Key grade: 70.6 coverage grade

Davis forced two incompletions and allowed only three catches on nine targets for 18 yards and zero first downs in Sunday’s win over the Falcons.

One down: LB Drue Tranquill

Key grade: 37.4 coverage grade

Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota was going after Tranquill all game. The linebacker relinquished four catches on four targets for 44 yards with three first downs.


LOS ANGELES RAMS

One up: CB Troy Hill

Key grade: 90.3 coverage grade

Hill was a monster in the slot, allowing just 13 yards on four catches and eight targets with two forced incompletions.

One down: QB Matthew Stafford

Key grade: 53.8 passing grade

Stafford had three big-time throws and two turnover-worthy plays while completing just 13-of-27 passing attempts for 170 yards.


MIAMI DOLPHINS

One up: WR Tyreek Hill

Key grade: 92.7 receiving grade

Hill caught seven passes on seven targets for 143 yards, and six of those receptions were explosive plays. He caught his first receiving touchdown since Week 2 but had his fifth game this season with over 140 receiving yards.

One down: RT Brandon Shell

Key grade: 56.2 pass-blocking grade

The Dolphins’ offensive line did a solid job of protecting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but Shell did allow three hurries in Sunday’s win over the Bears.


MINNESOTA VIKINGS

One up: LB Jordan Hicks

Key grade: 92.5 defensive grade

Hicks forced an incompletion in coverage, allowed just two catches on three targets for 23 yards and made six defensive stops in the run game.

One down: LG Ezra Cleveland

Key grade: 0.0 pass-blocking grade

It was a tough day for Cleveland, who surrendered nine total pressures, including five quarterback hits, in Sunday’s win over the Commanders.


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

One up: LB Josh Uche

Key grade: 86.0 pass-rush grade

Uche and fellow edge defender Matthew Judon both finished with three sacks in a win over the Indianapolis Colts. Only one of Uche’s four pressures was unblocked, whereas three of Judon’s were.

One down: LG Cole Strange

Key grade: 0.0 pass-blocking grade

Strange, New England’s 2022 first-round pick, has now been benched in two straight games for Isaiah Wynn. Neither player is playing particularly well. Strange allowed one pressure on just six pass-blocking snaps.


NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

One up: LT James Hurst

Key grade: 85.0 pass-blocking grade

Hurst raised his season pass-blocking grade to an 80.5 mark with Monday night's performance in the Saints' loss to the Ravens. He let up just two hurries all game.

One down: NT Malcolm Roach

Key grade: 31.7 run defense grade

The entire Saints' defense struggled to defend the run against Lamar Jackson and co. Monday night. Roach missed two tackles on 22 run defense snaps in the middle of New Orleans' defense.


NEW YORK GIANTS: BYE WEEK


NEW YORK JETS

One up: EDGE John Franklin-Myers

Key grade: 74.5 defensive grade

Franklin-Myers has quietly been one of the NFL’s best pass-rushers this season. He added another quarterback hit and five total pressures in Sunday’s win over the Bills. He beat his defender an additional three times.

One down: CB D.J. Reed Jr.

Key grade: 59.3 coverage grade

Reed has been great this season, but he let up three catches on six targets for 39 yards and three first downs in coverage. He did force an incompletion, however.


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

One up: TE Dallas Goedert

Key grade: 93.0 receiving grade

Goedert was wide-open all game and finished with eight catches on nine targets for 100 yards with a touchdown as Philly’s leading receiver.

One down: LT Jordan Mailata

Key grade: 45.9 pass-blocking grade

Heading into Week 9, Mailata had let up only two sacks on the season. He surrendered another two against Houston’s pass rush in the Eagles’ Week 9 win. He allowed two hurries, as well.


PITTSBURGH STEELERS: BYE WEEK


SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: BYE WEEK


SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

One up: TE Noah Fant

Key grade: 84.6 receiving grade

Fant had a breakout performance in his ninth game with the Seahawks, catching five passes on six targets for 96 yards with 71 of those coming after the catch. He made three explosive plays and picked up four first downs.

One down: WR D’Wayne Eskridge

Key grade: 50.6 receiving grade

Eskridge played 27 receiving snaps, was targeted twice and didn’t catch any passes with a borderline drop.


TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

One up: RT Tristan Wirfs

Key grade: 79.2 pass-blocking grade

Wirfs didn't allow a single pressure on 60 pass-blocking snaps. He was beaten by his defender three times, but none led to pressure.

One down: WR Mike Evans

Key grade: 50.7 receiving grade

Evans led Bucs receivers with two drops. He caught just five passes on 10 targets for 40 yards.


TENNESSEE TITANS

One up: TE Chigoziem Okonkwo

Key grade: 86.0 receiving grade

The rookie tight end accounted for 48 of the Titans' 80 passing yards on one catch in Sunday night's overtime loss to the Chiefs. He picked up 52 of those yards after the catch and 47 after contact. He also graded out well as a blocker to earn an 81.3 overall offensive grade.

One down: RG Nate Davis

Key grade: 18.4 pass-blocking grade

Davis gave up two hurries and was beaten by his defender once more on just 24 pass-blocking reps.


WASHINGTON COMMANDERS

One up: LB Jamin Davis

Key grade: 84.7 pass-rush grade

Davis rushed the passer just seven times. He tallied four pressures on those snaps for a 57.1% pressure rate.

One down: QB Taylor Heinicke

Key grade: 46.3 passing grade

The Commanders had won two straight with Heinicke at quarterback before a last-second loss to the Vikings on Sunday. Heinicke was 15-of-28 for 149 yards with no big-time throws and two turnover-worthy plays.

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