NFL round-up: Patrick Mahomes the hero and Kirk Cousins living his best life 2 weeks ago

NFL round-up: Patrick Mahomes the hero and Kirk Cousins living his best life

When it comes to late drama, the NFL delivered again with eight of the weekend's match-ups finishing as one-score games, and a few surprises thrown in, to boot.

In the early window, there were even three games simultaneously tied with a 17-17 scoreline and with less than two minutes left in each of the contests. When it was all said and done, Patrick Mahomes and Kirk Cousins (especially!) could celebrate.

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To get you up to speed on all things pigskin David McDonnell of Smashmouting Football runs through all the close calls and shocks in Week 9 of the NFL.


Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Titans v Chiefs 

First I’m going to start with what turned out to be arguably the best game of the day.

In boxing, they say styles make fights and this was a contest between the team that loves to run the ball against the side that loves to throw the ball, when the Titans visited the Chiefs in the late kick-off.

Tennessee were extremely physical throughout, particularly on defence and they gave the Kansas O-line all they wanted of it and more. At the start of the second quarter Patrick Mahomes threw quickly to Mecole Hardman and wideout stepped inside a challenge to score the opening touchdown.

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Tennessee came primed for battle and went to boss the game for the rest of the half.

They put their ambition behind their talented running-back Derek Henry and he was essentially unstoppable as he routinely gained yardage and took off on long forays upfield.  His threat opened up the read-option for rookie QB Malik Willis and the two, in tandem, were dangerous in the opening half. Henry ran in from close range on their first drive of the second quarter and on their next possession, he broke a tackle and set off on a 56-yard run.

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Willis then found Austin Hooper with a back-shoulder throw to bring the play to the one-yard line and Henry did the honours by adding his second touchdown.

The Titans running game was motoring. In contrast the Chiefs rushing attack was non-existent and they only managed five yards of running offence in the whole first half. Mahomes was picked off by Roger McCreary, which ended up with the Titans extending their lead to 17-9 and by the start of the fourth quarter the Chiefs had seven consecutive possessions with zero points.

By this stage Kansas were giving Willis one-on-one coverage to all his receivers but he couldn’t take advantage. The Titans passing statistics in the second half added up minus-two yards as the Chiefs loaded the box, and Willis only completed five passes all night. In direct contrast, the Kansas QB threw 68 times completing 43.

In the fourth quarter, Mahomes grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and he ran 20 yards to pick up an important first down on third and 17.

He ended the drive by setting off on a scramble and weaving his way into the endzone for a touchdown.

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Mahomes then ran to the left pylon to convert the two-point conversion to tie the game 17-17!  In overtime, Mahomes again led his team upfield and Harrison Butker made up for missing two earlier attempts by kicking the winning score.

Bills v Jets

With the trifecta of games that were tied 17-17 with under two minutes remaining, the most surprising situation of the three was the New York Jets tying with the Super Bowl favourites Buffalo Bills.

It looked business as usual when Josh Allen ran in for his second rushing TD from 25 yards to give the Bills a 14-3 lead but he struggled from then on getting sacked five fives and intercepted twice. The game was stopped in the third quarter when a camera hung unconventionally over the field.

The Jets defence has been excellent all season and Allen was made to pay for some errant throwing by being intercepted by rookie phenom corner-back Sauce Gardner.

The Jets O-line became the dominant unit on the field and just like last week against the Packers, the Bills defence struggled to stop the run. On first and goal, Zach Wilson threw to James Robinson who saw himself into the endzone to give the Jets a three-point lead.

Although Tyler Bass soon tied the game, the Jets took a late lead when ‘Greg the Leg’ Zeurlein kicked Gang Green back in front. It gave MVP candidate Josh Allen a chance to drive down the field for the win but the Jets defence stopped him getting any yardage to hold out for a massive win for Robert Salah’s men.

Vikings v Commanders 

The second game tied at 17-17 entering the final moments was at FedEx Field where Kirk Cousins returned for his first game in the US capital since he left Washington as a free agent in 2018. On his first drive he found Justin Jefferson but his counterpart Taylor Heineke hit back when Curtis Samuel came up with a great catch, despite being surrounded by three defensive backs.

When Cousins was later intercepted, the home crowd started chanting ‘We like that’ and they took a 7-16 lead when Heineke found Dax Milne on a whip-route in the endzone. Cousins was a man about business and when Heinicke was intercepted by Harrison Smith, Cousins found Dalvin Cook with a deft pass at the back of the endzone to tie the game.

The Vikes added a late field goal with 12 seconds left, and victory was their's.

Footage on the Vikings' flight back to Minnesota showed QB Kirk Cousins living his best life:

Ravens go 6-3 on Monday Night Football

The Ravens continue to look stronger by the week and they had little trouble getting the better of the Saints in the Superdome on Monday Night Football.

The Ravens defence has a great mix of youth and experience and new addition Roquan Smith adds leadership to a room with Justin Houston and Calais Campbell. Houston in particular had an excellent game with two and a half sacks and an interception.

This Ravens side are getting healthier and are looking very formidable on offence and defence. A Super Bowl threat for sure.

*For more on the Dolphins outgunning the Bears, the Packers losing again and the rest of Week 9, check out Smashmouting Football, and give them a follow on Twitter.