Week 9 of the NFL season represents the halfway point of the regular season and both conferences are really taking shape.
With the trade deadline gone, teams will have to improve in-house from now on.
The Kansas City Chiefs got the better of the Miami Dolphins in the NFL’s first time playing in Frankfurt, despite their offense not quite looking at its' explosive best.
Lamar Jackson continued his impressive record against NFC teams in a dominant win for the Baltimore Ravens over the Seattle Seahawks, while C.J. Stroud moved closer to Offensive Rookie of the Year honors with a record-breaking day.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ offense was held to just nine points in a Week 8 loss to the Denver Broncos, so Patrick Mahomes and company were looking to bounce back when they took on the Miami Dolphins in Frankfurt, Germany.
After a Mahomes touchdown pass to Rashee Rice on the opening drive it looked like the Chiefs were back in business, but their offense only managed one other score and they only had two other possessions in which they produced more than one first down.
A fumble return from Bryan Cook took the Chiefs to a 21-0 lead at the half and their defense held up in the second half, limiting the league-leading offense to just 14 points to seal the win and improve to 7-2.
Outside of Travis Kelce, the Chiefs lack real consistent threats in their receiving corps and they need that to be more explosive. Nine different players caught passes on Sunday, proving that they don't have many consistent targets.
Nevertheless, a team that can keep winning when they are not quite at their best is a dangerous one and Kansas City remains the +450 favorites to win the Super Bowl.
C.J. Stroud threw an NFL rookie record of 470 yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, capping off an impressive day by leading the Houston Texans to a game-winning drive in the final minute.
The rookie had five touchdowns and has still thrown just one interception all season.
Stroud is -500 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year and is already being labelled a top-15 quarterback in the league in some quarters.
His connection with Noah Brown was key against the Bucs, with the receiver having a career-best game of six receptions for 153 yards.
Stroud continues to improve the players around him and the Texans are now 4-4 in the AFC South. Next week's matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals will be a big test for Stroud, but he has passed almost every one to date.
Lamar Jackson’s impressive record against NFC teams continued in Week 9 as he led the Baltimore Ravens to a 37-3 win over the Seattle Seahawks, who topped the NFC West coming into Sunday.
Baltimore rushed for 298 yards in the win, the fourth-most in franchise history, and their team looks like one of the most balanced in the AFC at the moment.
Their offense has now managed at least 30 points in their third-straight game and their defense has allowed just 124 points this year, the fewest in the NFL.
The Ravens are improving, and are now +900 to win the Super Bowl.
The Buffalo Bills came into Week 9 looking to prove that they were back after losses against the New England Patriots and the Jacksonville Jaguars, coupled with less than impressive wins over the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, they gave up 21 points in the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals and failed in their attempted comeback, losing 24-18.
Buffalo are 1-3 on the road as a result and their lack of running game plus too many turnovers continue to hurt the team.
Of their 68 yards rushing, 44 came courtesy of quarterback Josh Allen as James Cook and Latavius Murray combined for only 24 yards.
Rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid fumbled early in the fourth quarter to set up a 20-yard field goal for the Bengals which sealed their win.
The Bills will need to improve in those two areas if they are to have a major say in the Super Bowl conversation, and they are now +1600 to win it.