Week nine saw fresh faces at quarterback but was light at performances by running backs and tight ends. Overall, the numbers weren’t great outside of two Texans.
Eight rookie Quarterbacks played in week nine. That’s a quarter of the league. CJ Stroud continues his fantastic season, but what might be most interesting is Aidan O’Connell and Will Levis are taking over as starters for potentially the rest of the season. Tommy Devito is going to get a chance to do the same.
Something is going to have to change in the league. There is a mix of overvaluing mediocre QB play (Daniel Jones, Kyler Murray, David Carr) and undervaluing the need for quality backups. Teams can’t just give up and hope for a top draft pick to save them, and they can’t go all in on average quarterbacks.
CJ Stroud, Texans
Week 9: 30-42, 470 yards, 5 TDs | 10 yards rushing
Season: 173-279, 2270 yards, 14 TDs, 1 INT | 78 yards, 1 TD
Stroud had three receivers with over 100 yards. His WR room is a bit messy, but there is long-term talent with Tank Dell, Nico Collins, John Metchie, and Xavier Hutchinson. Stroud looks like he is going to settle in as a top ten QB.
Will Levis, Titans
Week 9: 22-39, 262 yards, 1 INT| 2 yards
Season: 41-68, 500 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT| 13 yards
Levis is going to be starting going forward in Tennessee. He will get every chance to be the long-term starter there. Game two wasn’t nearly as good as his first game, but Levis still had over 250 yards and completed passes to eight different receivers.
Tyson Bagent, Bears
Week 9: 18-30, 220 yards, 2 TDs, 3Ints | 70 yards
2023: 74-110, 697 yards, 3 TDs, 6 Ints | 97 yards, 2 TDs
Justin Fields might be back this week, sending Bagent back to the bench. The surprising undrafted free agent who won the backup job in the offseason turned into a surprisingly somewhat capable starter. He has likely earned his way into being the Bears’ backup QB for years to come.
The Rest of Week 9
- Aidan O’Connell, Raiders – 16-25, 209 yards
- Tommy Devito, Giants – 15-20, 175 yards, 1 TD, 2 Ints | 17 yards
- Bryce Young, Texans – 24-39, 173 yards, 1 TD, 3 Ints | 41 yards
- Jaren Hall, Vikings – 5-6, 78 yards | 11 yards
- Clayton Tune, Cardinals – 11-20, 58 yards, 2 Ints | 28 yards
The running back class remains unpredictable. Keaton Mitchell was healthy and running well as the number two back in Baltimore. Bijan Robinson was solid again, but the rest of the rookie running backs were silent.
Keaton Mitchell, Ravens
Week 9: 9 carries, 138 yards, 1 TD | 1 catch, -4 yards
Mitchell shined bright in his first real snaps. Baltimore will continue to focus on the run, and Mitchell should find a spot as a nice change of pace to Gus Edwards.
Bijan Robinson, Falcons
Week 9: 11 carries, 51 yards | 2 catches, 8 yards
2023: 100 carries, 517 yards, 1 TD | 28 catches, 197 yards, 2 TDs
Bijan is solid without any breakout plays. He was actually out carried by Tyler Allgeier 12-11. Fans and pundits are questioning his usage, and Arthur Smith might be on the hot seat.
Emanuel Wilson, Packers
Week 9: 4 carries, 43 yards
2023: 11 carries, 73 yards| 3 catches, 14 yards
Wilson is hanging around as the third back on a deep running back team. He can’t be counted on for much this year, but he could have a solid rotational role next year if AJ Dillon isn’t back.
The Rest of Week 9
- Kendre Miller, Saints – 1 carry, 0 yards | 1 catch, 31 yards
- Tyjae Spears, Titans – 5 carries, 18 yards | 4 catches, 4 yards
- Roschon Johnson, Bears – 2 carries, 6 yards | 1 catch, 9 yards
- Zach Charbonnet, Seahawks – 2 carries, 4 yards | 1 catch, 5 yards
Eighteen wide receivers had catches in week nine, led by a two-score performance from Tank Dell.
Tank Dell, Texans
Week 9: 6 catches, 114 yards, 2 TDs
2023: 28 catches, 454 yards, 4 TDs
Dell leads the great group of rookie wide receivers in week nine. He wasn’t efficient, catching six balls on 11 targets, but those 11 targets show he is a centerpiece of the offense. There will always be questions about his size, but the Texans will find ways to get him open in space.
Jaxon Smith-Ngiba, Seahawks
Week 9: 6 catches, 63 yards
2023: 29 catches, 272 yards, 3 TDs
After a slow start, Smith-Ngiba has been solid since the bye. His targets have been steady. From weeks six to week nine, he has been WR33. The future is a bit cloudy with DJ Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but it’s bright.
Demario Douglas, Patriots
Week 9: 5 catches, 55 yards
2023: 24 catches, 268 yards
The Patriots are struggling, but Douglas has been a bright spot the last three weeks. His role is growing. He has led the WR group in snaps the last two weeks.
Jordan Addison, Vikings
Week 9: 5 catches, 52 yards
2023: 41 catches, 534 yards, 7 TDs
Addison is solid, no matter who is playing QB. Addison led all Vikings wideouts in targets, catches, and yards. That should continue until Justin Jefferson returns, sooner than later.
Tre Tucker, Raiders
Week 9: 2 catches, 52 yards
2023: 6 catches, 125 yards
Tucker is just starting to warm up. He went without a catch for the first five weeks but has caught two passes in three of the last four games. Tucker isn’t getting many targets but has been efficient over that time, with six catches on eight targets. The Raiders being unable to trade Hunter Renfrow didn’t help his cause.
The Rest of Week 9
- Trey Palmer, Bucs – 3 catches, 51 yards
- Dontayvion Wicks, Packers – 4 catches 49 yards
- Puka Nacua, Rams – 3 catches, 32 yards
- Xavier Gipson, Jets – 2 catches, 32 yards
- Jayden Reed, Packers – 3 catches, 19 yards
- Rashee Rice, Chiefs – 2 catches, 17 yards
- Quentin Johnston, Chargers – 2 catches, 14 yards
- Zay Flowers, Ravens – 1 catch, 11 yards
- Josh Downs, Colts – 1 catch, 10 yards
- Andrei Iosivas, Bengals – 1 catch, 9 yards
- Jonathan Mingo, Panthers – 1 catch, 5 yards
- Cedric Tillman, Browns – 1 catch, 3 yards
- Darius Davis, Chargers – 1 catch (PR for TD)
Dalton Kincaid and Luke Musgrave were the only tight ends with decent numbers in week nine. Michael Mayer hangs around while Sam LaPorta is on bye.
Dalton Kincaid, Bills
Week 9: 10 catches, 81 yards
2023: 40 catches, 339 yards, 1 TD
Kincaid had ten catches on 11 targets. He led the Bills in targets and catches. The Bengals are pretty terrible against tight ends, and Kincaid is on pace for 80 catches.
Luke Musgrave, Packers
Week 9: 3 catches, 51 yards, 1 TD
2023: 27 catches, 249 yards, 1 TD
I would bet pretty heavily on Musgrave in the long term. He seems to be the most consistent of the young pass catchers in Green Bay and is standing out early, which is rare for tight ends.
The Rest of Week 9
- Michael Mayer, Raiders – 2 catches, 11 yards
- Darnell Washington, Steelers – 1 catch, 7 yards
- Luke Schoonmaker, Cowboys – 1 catch
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