So, Week 9 was apparently the week of the upset, with the Jaguars beating the Bills, the Broncos beating the Cowboys, and the Giants beating the Raiders. That the Eagles lost to the Chargers wasn’t entirely surprising, but perhaps that it came down to a last-minute field goal was a bit unexpected.
Within all the chaos there were quite a few notable performances by former Eagles throughout the league, and a few roster moves that saw Philadelphia alumni preparing to suit up in a new city.
Here’s how things went in Week 9 for some former Eagles:
Thursday Night Football
The Indianapolis Colts bounced back from their overtime loss to the Titans in Week 8 and were able to secure a win over the New York Jets on to open Week 9, 45-30 — and that score makes it look a lot closer than it was. Quarterback Carson Wentz played 100 percent of the offensive snaps, which was a little surprising since things kind of turned to garbage time in the third quarter.
Still, Wentz made up for his poorly timed turnovers the week prior, and finished the game with zero interceptions and zero fumbles, while also going 22-of-30 attempts, his second-best completion percentage of the season (73.33), for 272 yards and three touchdowns. He actually finished Thursday night’s game with his highest QB rating of the season, 134.3, and once again proved he can be elite, just not exactly consistently.
With Braden Smith back from injury, Matt Pryor has lost his starting role. Pryor didn’t see any offensive snaps in Week 8 and got just 27 percent of snaps in Week 9. Head coach Frank Reich admitted it would be hard to pull Pryor from the starting line-up once Smith was ready to return, but ultimately the team signed Smith to a $70 million extension this offseason, so they clearly see him as their guy.
For the Colts’ defense, safety Andrew Sendejo made his fifth start of the season, recording just three total tackles — and blowing almost just as many coverages.
The most surprising thing about that Colts' penalty is that it wasn't Andrew Sendejo.— Daily Norseman: Drew Pearson still pushed off (@DailyNorseman) November 5, 2021
From special teams to starter
Former Eagles special teams captain Rudy Ford has been chipping away at the Jaguars and on Sunday against the Bills got his first start of the season as the nickel corner and may have just secured the job moving forward. Not only did Ford have a season-high seven total tackles, and three passes defended, but he also made his first-career interception. He finished the game having lined up for 99 percent of the defensive snaps.
The Rudy Ford INT off Josh Allenpic.twitter.com/O2VKaw04n7— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 7, 2021
Jenkins continues his availability streak
There was some concern earlier last week that veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins might miss his first game since 2013 after sitting out of practice the first few days and returning in a limited role on Thursday and Friday. Fortunately, the rest was enough for Jenkins’ ankle to feel well enough for him to not only be active and play for the Saints on Sunday, but to take 100 percent of the defensive snaps.
The Week 9 game marked Jenkins’ 127th consecutive game — so much for all those concerns in Philly about paying the man a fair contract due to his age...
Means injured on first FR this year
Defensive end Stevens Means has been a starter for the Falcons this entire season and has taken over 70 percent of their defensive reps. Through eight games, he only recorded 17 total tackles, including two for loss and two QB hits. The former Eagle finally got his moment in Week 9 against the Saints, scooping up a fumble and returning it 32 yards to put the Falcons offense near the goal line, but the DE wasn’t celebrating. In fact, he struggled to get up afterward, and it was out the rest of the game with a knee injury.
Texans are collecting former Eagles
The current NFL roster with the most Philadelphia alumni is by far the Houston Texans: Danny Amendola, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Cam Johnston, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Tremon Smith, and Eric Wilson.
The Texans claimed linebacker Eric Wilson off waivers after he was released by the Eagles, but he was inactive this week. Also inactive on Sunday was Cre’Von LeBlanc who was elevated from the practice squad just over a week ago.
In the loss to the Dolphins, they tried to get wide receiver Danny Amendola more involved, but he connected with Tyrod Taylor on just 3 of his 7 targets, netting 49 yards and a season-high 16.33 yards per catch. Taylor had a wide open Amedola in the endzone but underthrew the ball, and on another attempt to get to the WR, threw deep into coverage resulting in an interception. The Texans did try to have Amendola attempt a pass, as well, but that didn’t work out either.
Tried to get tricky with Danny Amendola. Underthrew a pass to Brandin Cooks.— Brooks Kubena (@BKubena) November 7, 2021
As for the rest of the former Eagles, linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill had eight total tackles, his second-most this season, including one for loss, and a forced fumble. And on special teams, Cameron Johnston had five punts for 235 yards, averaging 47 yards per put, and Tremon Smith had one kick return for 18 yards.
Hollins gets 3rd start for Miami
Wide receiver Mack Hollins has gotten a few opportunities to show his value on offense for the Dolphins, including on Sunday against the Texans. In his third start of the season, Hollins went 3-of-6 targets for 22 yards and one touchdown.
We also got a chance to learn that Hollins lets neighborhood kids help him practice in a pretty hilarious way.
Roster moves, bye week, and other notables
- After sitting out in Week 8, and failing to garner a trade ahead of the deadline, the Rams officially released DeSean Jackson. The veteran WR cleared waivers and will end up signing with the Raiders.
- Four teams were on Bye in Week 9: Detroit Lions (Halapoulivaati Vaitai), Seattle Seahawks (Sidney Jones, Ryan Neal), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Andrew Adams), Washington Football Team (DeAndre Carter).
- Tight end Eric Tomlinson had his first catch of the 2021 NFL season for the Baltimore Ravens, good for seven yards. He’s seen between 10 and 35 percent of the offensive snaps through nine games, and a smattering of special teams contributions.
- There were a lot of storylines this week about the Packers-Chiefs matchup, with Aaron Rodgers missing the game due to Covid and yadda, yadda, yadda — but without the QB, Green Bay ended up taking a loss. As for the former Eagles suiting up in green and yellow, Rasul Douglas had four total tackles, Chandon Sullivan had five total tackles including one for loss, and OT Dennis Kelly returned from a back injury that kept him sidelined in Week 8.
- The Patriots got an easy win over the Panthers on Sunday, but despite WR Nelson Agholor seeing a big bump in offensive snaps, up to 87 percent, he saw ZERO targets or touches the entire matchup. On defense, safety Jalen Mills had a meh of a day with just two tackles and one pass breakup.
- Zach Ertz and Jordan Hicks are still lighting things up for the Arizona Cardinals and both contributed in big ways in Week 9. Ertz finished the game 3-of-5 targets for 27 yards, and also took his first special teams rep of the season. Hicks had a season-high two fumble recoveries, in addition to his eight total tackles, including one for loss.