The results of Week 9 in the NFL only reinforced the league’s “Any Given Sunday” mantra.
Fans went in feeling confident about their team’s chances to take care of business, or steadfast in the survivor pool or parlay selections.
After the conclusion of Sunday’s games, however, there were many puzzling results across the league that left us scratching our heads.
While the NFC has proven to be more top-heavy than the AFC thus far, no team was immune to a possible upset in Week 9.
Let’s take a closer look at three teams in the conference that took a step back this weekend.
3. Dallas Cowboys
Even though the Denver Broncos came into Sunday’s matchup in Dallas with a respectable 4-4 record, it seemed like a tall task for them go on the road and defeat the high-powered Cowboys offense.
The tea leaves were set up for a Cowboys coronation, but the exact opposite happened.
The Broncos came in with a definitive plan, and executed it to perfection.
It led to the Cowboys’ offense barely being on the field in the first three quarters.
In addition to the time of possession being weighted heavily in Denver’s favor, Dallas also uncharacteristically missed throws and dropped passes.
It was a disappointing showing from the NFC East leaders.
And the game ball goes to … @CutonDime25’s got you, Teddy 🧤🧤!
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) November 8, 2021
2. Green Bay Packers
After it was announced that starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers would not be available for Green Bay’s matchup in Kansas City, hopes for a road victory for the 7-1 Packers diminished significantly.
It wasn’t a crime to lose to the defending AFC champions at Arrowhead Stadium, but how limited they looked offensively was the real cause for concern.
Green Bay spent a first-round pick on quarterback Jordan Love in the 2020 draft, and early returns on that were not good.
Love’s performance may not truly indicate a step backwards for the Packers in the 2021 campaign, but they have to be concerned that they might be taking a step back in their near future.
It seems clear that Rodgers would like to leave Green Bay after this season, and Sunday’s performance might indicate that their 2022 starter might not be on the team.
1. Los Angeles Rams
The final surprising outcome came on Sunday Night Football, where the Los Angeles Rams fell to the Tennessee Titans at home.
Even without Derrick Henry, the Titans have talent throughout the roster, and they figured to make things interesting.
However, they did more than that—they actually manhandled one of the NFC’s best teams.
Logic dictated that the Titans would have a tough time getting anything going on the ground against such a stacked Rams front seven.
That largely turned out to be the case, but quarterback Ryan Tannehill was able to make plays when it mattered most.
On the other side of the ball, Matthew Stafford threw two back-breaking interceptions.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) November 8, 2021
It wasn’t necessarily a surprise that Los Angeles lost, but how they lost was a pretty opening development.