Week 9 in the NFL was highlighted by a matchup between two of the greatest quarterbacks in league history. Additionally, there was a battle between the two best teams in the NFC, as well as other big games in the second half of the regular season. Here are the news and notes in the NFL.
Brady, Pats beat Rodgers, Packers 31-17
Tom Brady threw for 294 yards and a touchdown and James White ran for two scores as the Patriots went on to defeat the Packers 31-17. It was just the second meeting between Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers finished with 259 yards and two touchdowns. Jimmy Graham and Davante Adams each reeled in a touchdown from Rodgers, while Aaron Jones led all rushers in the game with 76 yards on 14 carries, but fumbled late in the 3rd quarter with the game tied at 17. After Jones’ costly fumble, White scored his second touchdown of the day. Then in the next possession, Josh Gordon connected with Brady for a 55-yard touchdown. Gordon finished with five catches for 130 yards along with the late score.
After a 1-2 start, the Patriots have won six games in a row and now find themselves at 7-2. For the Packers, their second loss in a row dropped them to 3-4-1, and 0-4 on the road.
Saints hand Rams first loss 45-35
Drew Brees threw for 346 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-breaking 72-yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas to lead the Saints to a 45-35 victory for the Rams. Alvin Kamara also played a huge role, scoring three times in the first half.
The Saints, now 7-1 after their seventh win in a row, jumped out to a 35-17 halftime lead. The Rams tied the game up at 35 thanks to touchdown catches from Malcolm Brown and Cooper Kupp. Jared Goff finished with 391 yards and three touchdowns. New Orleans’ Will Lutz kicked a 54-yard field goal to regain the lead before Thomas’ long touchdown sealed the win for the Saints. Thomas finished with a club-record 211 yards on 12 catches.
The Rams suffered their first loss of the season and now sit at 8-1. Both teams, along with the Chiefs, are the only one-loss teams in the NFL.
Around the League
Around the rest of the league, the Bears got two defensive touchdowns to crush the Bills 41-9. Patrick Mahomes threw for another three touchdowns to help the Chiefs cruise past the Browns 37-21. In a pair of divisional games, Dolphins beat the Jets 13-6, and the Vikings rolled past the Lions 24-9.
Julio Jones caught his first touchdown of the year, one of four touchdowns thrown by Matt Ryan, as the Falcons stomped the Redskins 38-14. For the rest of the early games, the Panthers 42-28 victory of the Buccaneers pushed them to 6-2, and James Connor’s huge day on the ground propelled the Steelers to a 23-16 win over the Ravens.
In the afternoon, Brandon McManus missed the game-winning field goal for Denver as the Texans held on for the 19-17 win over the Broncos. And Melvin Gordon’s 113 yards and one touchdown helped the Chargers beat the Seahawks in Seattle 25-17.
Week 9 will officially wrap up tonight in Dallas. In a battle of 3-4 teams, the Titans are at the Cowboys for Monday Night Football.