Week 9 of the NFL season produced more of the same for the Dolphins who again struggled and the Ravens who continue to dominate.
Dolphins Crumble (Again)
The narrative remains for the Miami Dolphins.
In going down 21-14 to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Dolphins have now lost nine straight games to teams with a winning record.
“We knew going into this game, if we lose, what the narrative would be and that’s fair,” said McDaniel.
The comeback was on late. With just over a minute left, Cedrick Wilson Jr. should have scored the game-tying touchdown but Tua Tagovailoa threw early and the opportunity went begging. He couldn’t even collect the snap on the following down, ending hopes of a comeback and narrative-changing win.
As a result, the Dolphins are a team that beats up on bad ones but fails to get over the hump against any good ones. The combined record of the teams they have beaten to start the NFL season is 11-27. That hasn’t stopped plenty from finding ways to justify Miami’s struggles, though…
The Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles are the only teams in the NFL undefeated at home.
Eagles road opponents: Patriots, Bucs, Rams, Jets, Commanders. 16-24
Dolphins road opponents: Chargers, Patriots, Bills, Eagles, Chiefs. 25-18
That’s the difference.
— Mike Williams (@SelfMade0602) November 6, 2023
Numbers sway opinions. For most, those historically good offensive numbers to start the season justified what they saw. Even the markets bought in for the Dolphins to be relatively short underdogs against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
But at the end of Week 9, the Dolphins are a good team but they’re not great yet. You need to prove it more than once before being considered a genuine Super Bowl LVIII contender. At $10 and on the fourth line of betting after Week 8, drifting to $13 feels right until we see Miami beat one or two half-decent teams.
That opportunity won’t come for a while when they host the Las Vegas Raiders after the bye.
…another big Baltimore Ravens win.
For the second time in 3 weeks, the Ravens broadcast has changed to another game due to competitive reasons
— Stuckey (@Stuckey2) November 5, 2023
We’ve been waxing lyrical about the Ravens for weeks here with little to show for it in the markets. They’re still out at $9 to win Super Bowl LVIII with Lamar Jackson an appealing $5.50 to win the Most Valuable Player award.
In stark contrast to the Dolphins who have been hyped up throughout the season, the Ravens are 3-0 against teams with a winning record. Like the Dolphins, the Ravens have historically good numbers to back things up. They currently rank third in DVOA all-time. Beating good teams matters and they have managed to do as much. Two weeks against the Cincinnati Bengals is when we will really learn about Baltimore’s Super Bowl credentials.
Baltimore is doing it on both sides of the ball. In Week 9 they kept the Seattle Seahawks to just one drive of over 50 yards. Eight Seahawks drives failed to crack 11 yards. That is the difference between them and some of the other teams flirting with the likes of Kansas City and Philadelphia. The Dolphins and 49ers started the NFL season hot, but the Ravens look the most likely to sustain it.
Now is the time to catch them in the Super Bowl winner market.
Don’t Forget About The Chiefs
It’s easy to look past the Kansas City Chiefs. It seems as though they’re doing what they have done for years to be Super Bowl LVIII favourites at $5 with Patrick Mahomes still holding a mortgage on the first line of betting in the MVP market at $3.50.
However, their offence ranks 12th in the NFL and this is the lowest-scoring Chiefs offence of the Mahomes era. This isn’t the typical Chiefs as seen in Mahomes’ season-low 185 yards against the Dolphins.
It’s all about this much-improved defence…
— Tony Holzman-Escareno (@FrontOfficeNFL) November 6, 2023
Concerns around the offensive end are valid but not a major drama right now. They’re doing enough to win and we know how quickly they can turn things around late in the season. If they can keep this up on the defensive end and play Mahomes and the offence into form by the playoffs, it’s difficult to imagine anybody beating them.
CJ Stroud is the real deal.
He flew out of the blocks to start the NFL season but a couple of quiet weeks took the shine off. Perhaps the cat was out of the bag and teams had enough vision of the rookie quarterback to contain him?
He had 47 seconds to travel 75 yards and win the game this week. Six plays later he threw for his fifth touchdown of the game and set a new rookie record for passing yards in a game with 470 yards. In the process, he became the sixth player in NFL history to record 450 passing yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Goodness CJ Stroud!!!! What a game for the Rook!! 470 yards passing and 5 TDs including the game winning drive with 46 seconds to go. Demeco got him a great one!
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) November 5, 2023
The Offensive Rookie of the Year race is over already. Stroud looks every bit like a long-term NFL quarterback and the Texans, while still a fair way off the pace this year overall, can confidently plan for the future around their man.
New Coach Bounce For Raiders
You could feel it in his media appearance during the week. In the wake of Josh McDaniels’ firing, interim head coach Antonio Pierce instantly transformed the vibe around the Las Vegas Raiders.
He spoke with passion and purpose. In hindsight, it’s no surprise to see that transpire on the field as the Raiders thumped the New York Giants 30-6.
Beating the Giants isn’t a notable achievement in isolation. They’re a bad football team and were made worse with Daniel Jones going down with an injury early. However, it’s a team the Raiders needed to win if they’re to start separating themselves from the really bad teams.
#Raiders double digit wins since 2022:
Under Josh McDaniels: 1
Under Antonio Pierce: 1
Pierce was interim HC for the 1st time today after McDaniels’ 25 games.
Don’t tell me beating a bad team doesn’t mean much to this group of Raiders. They’ve had 2 dominant wins in 2 years.
— Moe Moton (@MoeMoton) November 6, 2023
Also of note, Aidan O’Connell replaced Jimmy Garoppolo to connect on 16 of his 29 attempts for 209 yards. He didn’t look out of place and should retain the job moving forward. Josh Jacobs played out one of his better games this season to rush for 98 yards and two touchdowns, too.
How much of this can be attributed to the new coach bounce? Are the Raiders really on the up with McDaniels in the rearview mirror?
They’ll need to show us something against the Jets as $2.15 and +2.5 favourites in Week 10.
TOP 6 SUPER BOWL LVIII ODDS
|TEAM||CURRENT PRICE||LAST WEEK’S PRICE|
|Kansas City Chiefs||$5.50||$6|
|San Francisco 49ers||$6.50||$6.50|