The Games that Shaped the 2019 Season: Week 9

The 2019 season began on September 5th 2019 and culminated at Super Bowl LIV on February 5th 2020. However, in between those games at Soldier Field in Chicago and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, the season took a number of twists, all of which impacted the path to Super Bowl LIV for many teams. In this series we will take a look back at the games that shaped the 2019 NFL season, with this article focusing on Week 9.

Week 9 was a fun one in the NFL, with some high scoring games and eight of the 14 being decided by eight points or less. At this point of the season, all 32 teams are reaching the mid-point of their season and every game is crucial. Whether that is in terms of fighting for the playoffs or for seeding, every loss hurts and every win is crucial. Let’s take a look at three games where the results had a lasting effect on the outcome of the season.

Minnesota Vikings 23 - 26 Kansas City Chiefs

This game was a huge clash between the 6-2 Minnesota Vikings and 5-3 Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium. For the second week running the Chiefs would be without their number one QB in Patrick Mahomes, while the Vikings were looking to keep the pressure up on the Green Bay Packers.

Matt Moore took advantage of the high-octane Chiefs offense to throw for 275 yards as the Chiefs demonstrated there is more to them than just Mahomes. The two teams traded blows back and forth with the Vikings taking a 23-20 lead with 11 minutes remaining. They would hold that lead until 2:36 was on the clock, before Harrison Butker brought the Chiefs level with a 54-yard field goal. Butker would be the hero in the dying seconds, giving the Chiefs the lead with a 44-yard effort in the last seconds of the game.

What was the games significance?

After the Packers had beaten the Mahomes-less Chiefs the week before it was imperative that the Vikings followed suit to keep pace in the NFC North. However, they could not, and pretty much from this point on the division felt like the Packers to lose.

For the Chiefs it was crucial to split the two games they played without Mahomes. With the Patriots, Ravens and Bills all looking strong, the tussle for a bye week and the number one seed would be crucial. At 6-3 the Chiefs kept themselves in the hunt for a playoff bye week, which they would go on to clinch by the skin of their teeth in Week 17.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34 - 40 Seattle Seahawks

NFL 2019 Week 9

The first half of the season had been a strange period for the Buccaneers. They had demonstrated a lot of promise, but ultimately fallen away as they entered this game in Seattle at 2-5. This was also the last in a string of five games in row that were played away from Raymond James Stadium. As for Seattle, at 6-2, they were facing an incredible fight for their division and for those all important bye week spots in the NFC.

This Buccaneers exploded out of the blocks in this one, jumping out to a 21-7 lead midway through the second quarter. Entering the fourth quarter the game was delicately poised at 24-21. The fourth quarter was extremely entertaining. Three field goals and two touchdowns left the teams all-square at 34-34, with the Buccaneers needing a touchdown in the final minute to force over time. 

Unfortunately for the Buccaneers they would never touch the ball in overtime and the Seahawks marched down the field to win the game on a Jacob Hollister 10-yard touchdown. 

What was the games significance?

From a Buccaneers point of view this result was a tale of their season, close but not good enough. They had lost close games against the Giants in Week 4, the Saints in Week 5 and the Titans in Week 7. In a different season, with different luck they could easily have been sitting here at 6-2 or 5-3 and alive in the playoff race. Instead, they were barely still fighting for air in a conference that would require 10 wins to make the playoffs.

This game was a huge moment for a Seahawks team that was heading into San Francisco on Monday Night Football for the first of their two clashes. The Seahawks were likely aware by this point that 12 wins was almost going to be a minimum requirement to win this division, with 13 potentially needed for a bye week. This victory kept both of those hopes alive heading into one of the most important games of the season.

New England Patriots 20 - 37 Baltimore Ravens

This Sunday Night Football clash was surrounded with excitement. What would Bill Belichick have up his sleeve to stop this juggarnaut Ravens offense? Were the Patriots going to conquer the hottest team in the AFC and remain unbeaten heading into their bye?

The Ravens came out of their bye week in scolding form, jumping out to a 17-0 lead. The Patriots would keep them close, closing in to 17-13 at half time and then 24-20 heading into the third quarter. However, this game never felt like it was going to go the way of the Patriots, and the Ravens piled on 13 points in the fourth quarter to run out comfortable 37-20 victors.

What was the games significance?

This game saw the Ravens cement their position as the AFC team to beat. Under the light show at M&T Bank Stadium this felt like the performance of the best team in the conference. The only question marks coming out of the game were whether the Ravens freshness of the bye was the difference, or had Belichick and the Patriots played possum to keep more up their sleeve for the future. However, those questions should take nothing away from one of the most dominant performances we had seen in 2019.

After a weak schedule through the first eight weeks this was really the first time we saw the Patriots tested, and they failed miserably. Their defense largely had no answers for the Ravens offense, while their offense was clinging on by the skin of its teeth. The signs had been there that the Patriots record through eight weeks was flattering on their performances, but this was the real wake up call that just maybe 2019 was not going to be their year.

Ben Rolfe

Head of NFL Content



Image credit: Denny Medley / USA TODAY Sports & Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports