In the NFL Week 9 recap, Dallas Cowboys Greg Hardy is back in the news again with even more controversy. Recently, photos were released to the public as evidence of Hardy’s domestic violence against his girlfriend, Nicole Holder. Since then, it appears that these images placed a grim cloud over Sunday’s match-up between the Cowboys and Eagles. It was so grim that even announcer Cris Collinsworth was having a difficult time putting everything into proper perspective. “We’re going to call the game. … We’re as uncomfortable as anybody is with what we saw in those pictures,” said Collinsworth during his coverage on Sunday.
With built up anger over both the Hardy incident and the relatively short amount of time he served in suspension – Hardy originally was suspended for 10 games by the league. He sat out 15 games in 2014 on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, but saw his suspension reduced to four by an arbitrator following an appeal by the NFL Players Association – might have also propelled the Eagles in an overtime victory. At least that’s what two different offensive linemen said afterward.
“Anytime I got a chance to put a little extra mustard on a block, I tried,” Eagles tackle Lane Johnson told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He wasn’t all that emotional in the game. I don’t know if the stuff got to him on the news, but he seemed out of it a little bit.”
The other offensive linemen Lane Johnson reported that, “There are three (types) of people I have zero respect for in this world,” he told the Philadelphia Daily News. “It’s people who hit women, people who molest children, and rapists. I’m glad he didn’t have a good day and … I don’t know. I think it’s a joke a guy like that is able to play this quickly.”
No matter how hard Hardy reportedly tries to adjust his attitude following the scandal, a 140 character tweet apologizing for his actions to his fans, isn’t enough for many football fans.
In other news, the Buffalo Bills were able to sweep the Miami Dolphins as the Bills won 33-17.
The Bills offense proved to be dangerous as they had all cylinders firing with Tyrod Taylor back on the field after he was deemed healthy and effective to play after his knee injury. LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams both went over 100 yards rushing, and Sammy Watkins was the star receiver as he was able to provide for his team.
Watkins talked about how he wanted a bigger role on the offense and he got exactly that during Sunday’s game as he was able to walk off the field with a career-high of 168 yards on eight receptions. Watkins touchdown, which was a perfectly thrown ball from Taylor, show-cased Watkins explosiveness as he ran 44 yards, blowing away Miami’s Bret Grimes in coverage.
The Dolphins can now be considered one of the weaker teams in the NFL right now as they have been humiliated in consecutive blowouts against their division rivals. After Sunday’s loss, the Dolphins are now 0-4 in the AFC East and have been out-scored in a total of 132-52 in there four straight losses.
In the Minnesota and St. Louis match-up, the running back match-up of Rams’ Todd Gurley versus Vikings’ Adrian Peterson failed to live up to expectations as both defences held them back. Although the two dynamic players were able to be accounted for 252 yards and 58 touches combined, the longest run of the day went for just 16 yards. Peterson also seemed to be having a rough game as he fumbled on back-to-back plays and was unable to break tackles to get a long run.
It appears that the Vikings may also have some issues next week as they face the Oakland Raiders. During last Sunday’s game, Vikings’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a concussion after taking a vicious hit from St. Louis’ LaMarcus Joyner as Bridgewater gave himself up by sliding on the play. Viking’s coach Mike Zimmer was furious over the hit as Bridgewater was hit again just below the knee upon releasing a pass.
Prior to the injury, Bridgewater seemed to be scattered on the field and failed to make connection to a few open receivers but was able to take the lead as they scored a six-yard touchdown and a two-point conversion in the third quarter.
Vikings’ nose tackle Linval Joseph should be a shoe-in for the Pro Bowl season this year after his performance on Sunday. Linval was a key factor in holding St. Louis’ Gurley under the century mark for the first time in over a month. He was able to also register three tackles for a loss, four more solo tackles and 0.5 sacks. When asked how coach Zimmer feels about Joseph’s game, he said that Joseph is perhaps the best nose tackle he has ever coached.
Assistant Sports Editor