NFL week 9 had seven former Knights on bye weeks to take in their alma mater’s exciting victory. Many of the games were blowouts at halftime, though the final scores had slightly narrower margins.
Logan Ryan (Titans) hosted Baltimore. The final was 23-20, but the score got close only after a late touchdown with little time left. Ryan added six tackles and two passes defended. His unit intercepted Joe Flacco, brother of Rutgers quarterback Tom, twice and held Baltimore to 261 yards passing which is impressive considering Tennessee allowed most of those via dink and dunks late in the game. The AFC South is wide open and after early season struggles had many give up Tennessee for dead, they are now 5-3.
Brandon Coleman and the Saints hosted the Bucs. This game got completely out of hand early, 30-3 at one point. The Bucs added a late TD to make it 30-10 as New Orleans was content to run out the clock up so big in the second half. Coleman caught only one pass for 7 yards, but the Saints were super efficient and earned their sixth straight win after two opening season losses. New Orleans is now 6-2, the second best record in the entire league.
Kevin Snyder of the Broncos returned east to take on the local Eagles. Despite a QB switch to Brock Osweiler, Denver was pummeled 51-23. Snyder recorded no stats and the Broncos are left looking for ways to save their season. Philly on the other hand has the best record in the NFL at 7-1 and the numbers show that is no mirage.
Mohamed Sanu and the Falcons traveled the short distance to Carolina. Atlanta had a 10-0 lead after a Sanu score, but the Panthers put up 20 straight. Unlike virtually every other game Sunday, this one was a battle all the way through as the NFC South powers came down to the final drive. Carolina held on for a 20-17 victory to reach 6-3 while the Falcons dropped to 4-4. Sanu caught all three of his targets for 23 yards and the aforementioned TD.
Bengals Clark Harris and Tyler Kroft hosted the Jags who signed then released Jonathan Freeny. Cinci was down 10-0 and scuffling after star wideout A.J. Green was ejected. Kroft did his part hauling in a 54 yard catch (clip below) after leaping and taking the ball from two defenders, spinning off them, and showing a little speed. He made one other catch for 25 yards but the Bengals fell 23-7 in the swamp.
Leonte Carroo’s Dolphins were on Sunday Night football hosting the still Oakland Raiders. The Fins couldn’t be much worse than their previous primetime appearance against Baltimore on Thursday Night a week ago. Jay Cutler returned to action without running back Jay Ajayi who was traded to Philly at the deadline. Miami went back to their overly predictable three receiver, one tight end sets but kept it close before falling 27-24. After his encouraging performance a week ago, Carroo did not have the same repore with Cutler as Miami backup Matt Moore and was not targeted.
Steve Longa (Lions) had Monday Night against hated rival Green Bay. The Packers awoke from their offensive slumber by tallying two touchdowns in the 4th quarter but it was too little too late as they fell 30-17 at home. Both squads now sit 4-4, two games behind first place Minnesota.
Bye: Jason McCourty and Kenny Britt of Cleveland, Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon (Patriots). Michael Burton, Marcus Cooper, and Andrew DePaola (Chicago)
Local scores: Jets 34, Bills 21. (Thursday) ... Rams 51, Giants 17.
Practice squads: Andre Patton (Chargers), Carlton Agudosi (Cardinals)
With so many Knights on bye, the Canadian report was published Sunday also.
Knights in the Pros flashback ... Week 9 1987.
Carl Howard did not win many accolades at Rutgers despite plenty of solid play, so it was a little bit of a surprise when he caught on with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 1984. After spending time with Tampa Bay, he caught on with the local New York Jets in 1985, serving as a backup defensive back in an era where nickel and dime packages were still uncommon.
Howard recorded the first stat of the season with a surprising sack in 1987 Week 8, but not much was expected of him in Week 9 when the Kansas City Chiefs led by All-Pro Deron Cherry hosted New York in a rare (at the time) battle of former Knights DBs. Perhaps it was seeing Cherry in the scarlet on the other side, but whatever it was, Carl had the best game of his career. The field goal fogfest saw only one touchdown as the Jets led 13-9 in the 4th quarter. With Kansas City hoping to take the lead, Howard recorded the first interception of his career setting up a Jets field goal to push the advantage to 16-9. Howard then tallied the second interception of his career with 90 seconds remaining to ice the game.
The Jets reached 5-4 on the campaign with the win. Howard would add another the following week but the Jets would win only one more on the year. The Irvington Tech product remained with the Jets through the 1990 season. Post career, Howard appears to have surfaced in the insurance industry and now owns a staffing firm.