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NFL Column: Week 9 filled with bench clearing brawls

By MATTHEW ROLISON

Week Nine of the NFL season was filled with numerous fights and blowouts, with a total of five NFL players ejected in the brawls on Sunday.

Cincinnati Bengals superstar wide receiver A.J. Green and Jacksonville Jaguars young cornerback Jalen Ramsey started the fights in the second quarter after Ramsey shoved Green. Green responded in a viciuous way by putting Ramsey in a headlock and bringing him to the ground, throwing numerous punches.The Jaguars came out on top on this game, winning handily by a score of 23-7.

Soon after the incident, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston and New Orleans Saints rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore started fighting, leading to Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans pushing Lattimore from behind. Oddly enough, not a single player in this incident was ejected. However, Evans will serve a one game suspension for attacking Lattimore. The Saints eventually blew out the Buccaneers, winning 30-10.

The third fight occurred in the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals game. C.J. Beathard, 49ers quarterback, took a late hit while he was sliding to the ground, causing a bunch of players to rush to his defense. Cardinals defensive end Frostee Rucker knocked 49ers running back Carlos Hyde down and led to both players being ejected. The 49ers fell in this matchup, with the Cardinals besting them 20-10. The 49ers remain as one of two winless NFL teams.

Ezekiel Elliott, star Dallas Cowboys running back, has had a lot of controversy surrounding him this season. Prior to Week One, Elliott was faced with a six-game suspension for supposedly assaulting his girlfriend. Week Nine just ended and he is yet to sit out one game this year since he has continually appealed and fought off the suspension. Elliott is making the most of his playing time, rushing for a total of 783 yards on 191 rushes, reaching the end zone seven times thus far. The Cowboys defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 28-17, extending their record to 5-3.

After a hot start, the Chiefs have slid the past few weeks, losing three of their last four games. Elliott’s suspension will continue to be up in the air until the court makes a decision in which he can no longer appeal. The Cowboys playoff hopes will take a major hit if Elliott is suspended with no opportunity to appeal.

Meanwhile the Los Angeles Rams crushed the struggling New York Giants 51-17, extending their record to 6-2 on the year. Jared Goff, the Rams quarterback, threw for four touchdowns and 311 yards, completing 14-out-of-22 passes. Rams running back Todd Gurley rushed for two touchdowns on 16 carries for 59 yards.

The Philadelphia Eagles also went off against the Denver Broncos, dominating in a 51-23 victory. The Eagles currently hold the best record in the league at 8-1. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz added four touchdown passes for 199 yards, completing 15-out-of-27 pass attempts.

Wentz has solidified his spot as the front runner for NFL’s Most Valuable Player award, leading the league in touchdowns thus far with 23. Newly acquired star running back Jay Ajayi also rushed for 77 yards and one touchdown on eight carries in his first game with the Eagles.

In the few rare close games of the weekend, the Oakland Raiders defeated the Miami Dolphins 27-24 on Sunday Night Football. The Carolina Panthers took a three point win over division rival Atlanta Falcons, 20-17. And the Tennessee Titans won by three against the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 23-20. The Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks game was settled by three points as well, with Washington coming out on top 17-14 after quarterback Kirk Cousins led a game winning drive late in the fourth quarter.

The NFL season is just past its halfway point, and there’s no superior team at this point. The Eagles have been dominant, but lack the experience to be declared a clear leader in the Super Bowl race. Only time will tell who will be dancing in the confetti at the end of the year.

Matthew Rolison can be reached at matthew.rolison@spartans.ut.edu 

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