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Five Biggest Meltdowns Of NFL Week 9

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Five Biggest Meltdowns In The NFL Week 9

Mike Smith
Josh D. Weiss - US PRESSWIRE

Haters gonna hate.

Every week in the NFL, we are treated to great spectacles of sport. The finest athletes performing at the highest levels, bringing us superhuman feats of athleticism. Then there's also the flubs, the blunder, the meltdowns that remind us that they're still human. Some more than others, of course. Theses will be where we focus on today.

There were plenty of major storylines to be following in Week 9 action. There were countless teams desperate to get a win to avoid falling into obscurity just past the halfway point of the season. While some rose to the challenge and have found some new life for the home stretch, others reminded us why they were in dire straits to begin with.

So who came up short when their team needed them the most? Which boneheaded mistake will end up costing some coach his job? Which fan base can all collectively point at this week and laugh at their collective misfortunes while silently thanking the football fates that we aren’t them?

This week, the Arizona Cardinals got their winning done early this year, the Tennessee Titans do exactly one thing right, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders take their cues from college kids, the Dallas Cowboys play like the Dallas Cowboys, and the New York Giants are lucky to only be the second-worst thing to happen in New Jersey this week.

So come along as we count down the five biggest meltdowns to happen in the NFL for Week 9. Bring on the disappointment!

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5. Arizona Cardinals have their four wins on the year, will be taking rest of season off

John Skelton
Benny Sieu - US PRESSWIRE

You're in good hands Arizona.

Remember after the first month of the season when the Arizona Cardinals were 4-0, in first place of the NFC West and looking like they might be one of the surprise teams of this season? That sure was a crazy time, wasn't it?

Since then, Arizona has reverted back to the Cardinals that we all know and are comfortable with, losing their fifth straight game to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. John Skelton continues to look lost, continuing his Skelton-like streak of consecutive games with at least one interception (12 and counting!), and the defense forgot how to guard anybody. Though in their defense, it was Tom Crabtree's birthday. Pretty thoughtful of them to think of him like that.

So now the Cardinals hit their bye week and head coach Ken Whisenhunt has questions to answer. How can the defense get fixed? Can anyone throw the ball to Larry Fitzgerald? Who are those guys playing offensive line? Should Kevin Kolb or John Skelton start at quarterback?

That last question makes Ken sit in the dark listening to the Cure and remembering that one time he almost won the Super Bowl. So sad.

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4. On the bright side, the Tennessee Titans didn't kick it to Devin Hester

Matt Hasselbeck
Don McPeak - US PRESSWIRE

Please don't hit me, please don't hit me...

The Chicago Bears own the second-best record in the NFL, but have had some questions about their offense. Jay Cutler was expected to explode this season after being reunited with his former best buds Brandon Marshall and Marshall's emotional baggage. Things haven't been going quite as smoothly as expected, however, and the offense has been up and down causing offensive coordinator Mike Tice to feel a little pressure.

Well, enter teh Tennessee Titans, the cure for what ails ya! The Titans had no answer for anything that the Bears were doing on offense or defense, giving up three touchdowns to the Cutler-Marshall connection, getting a punt blocked for another score, and extending the Bears' streak of defensive touchdowns with a pick-six for Brian Urlacher. He looked like he was carrying a load in his pants as he ran down the field, but style doesn't count. Only touchdowns.

The Titans, apparently yearning for those sweet dog days of summer, mustered a baseball-like five points in the first half before finding the endzone twice in the second half to put a little shine on the horse-apple that was a 51-20 beatdown.

The only person who didn't score on the day, it seems, was Devin Hester in the return game, so at least there's that, Titans fans!

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3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders agree: Defense is for chumps

Josh Freeman
Cary Edmonson - US PRESSWIRE

"HE WON'T TACKLE" #Truth

Is there a tax on defense in the state of California that teams just aren't interested in paying?

One day after the USC Trojans and Oregon Ducks clashed in the Coliseum and seemingly scored ALL THE POINTS, Tamapa Bay went into the Black Hole to face off with the Raiders and proved that you don't have to be in college to not play any defense.

It's important to note that this game was a 3-0 defensive struggle after one quarter. But things got out of hand in a hurry as the Bucs outlasted the Raiders 42-32 thanks to rookie running back Doug Martin's 251-yard, four-touchdown performance. He broke off runs of 45, 67, and 70 yards to become the first running back in history to score three rushing touchdowns of 40-yards or more in a single game.

Not to be outdone, the Buccaneers defense did their best to make Carson Palmer look like he had just stepped out of a time machine from 2005 and not like the guy who Oakland last season traded all their draft picks for the rest of time for when he had spent most the year sitting on his couch. Palmer finished the day with 414 yards passing four touchdowns.

However, he is still Carson Palmer, so he added three interceptions to his stat sheet, including a late pick that led the Martin's one-yard touchdown (BORING) to ice the game. Some things are just universal like that, no matter how little defense gets played.

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2. Tony Romo CAN lead his team down the field, simply chooses not to

Jason Garrett
Josh D. Weiss - US PRESSWIRE

Are you guys hiring?

The Dallas Cowboys have stumbled early in the season and all the usual grumblings that come with the Cowboys' struggles have started up. Is this team talented enough? Is Jason Garrett the right coach for this team? Is Jerry Jones really crazy? (Answers: No, probably not, most definitely)

But all that grumbling around Jerry's World didn't stop people from picking the Cowboys to upend the Atlanta Falcons and end their perfect season on Sunday night. Then the Cowboys offense took the field and those people felt a lot worse about their picks. Tony Romo was throwing hitch routes to the sideline intended for a 13-foot tall wide receiver. Unfortunately, Dez Bryant and Miles Austin clock in just over 6-foot, so it didn't quite work out.

But it wouldn't be a Cowboys' loss if they didn't fill their fans with hope before falling to a crushing defeat. After three and a half quarters of herping and derping all over the field for six points, Romo locked in and led a deadly efficient drive down the field. He was accurate, made good decision, his receivers didn't drop passes and the offensive line gave good production. In short, it was a perfect storm of un-Cowboy like football proficiency that resulted in a 21-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Ogletree and cut the Falcons lead to 16-13.

Chris Collinsworth summed it up best after the drive, saying: "Um, where has THAT been all night?" While nobody knows for sure, it went right back there again as the Cowboys couldn't do a thing the rest of the way and basically lost to Matt Bryant, 19-13.

The only explanation: Tony Romo hates all y'all. He's out there with the ability to move the offense like a hot knife through butter, he just chooses not to cause everybody's a jerk. You sure showed them, Tony!

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1. New York Giants going through some stuff, Pittsburgh Steelers do not care

Eli and Ben
The Star-Ledger - US PRESSWIRE

CLASS OF 2004 RULES

The East Coast has been had a tough week and the state of New Jersey in particular is in the middle of a massive recovery from the damage from Superstorm Sandy. Thousands remain without heat, electricity, or the ability to gas up their own car, but the New York Giants took the field to try and give the citizens of the New York/New Jersey area something to feel good about, if only for a few hours.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, however, didn't care about any of that. The visiting team flew in the day of the game and laid a phsyical beating on the Giants, even momentarily knocking the dancing shoes off Victor Cruz. But despite the Steelers' physical brand of football, they were still down 10 points going into the fourth quarter.

With a 10-point lead, the Giants defensive line and Mr. Fourth-Quarter, Eli Manning, the Giants should have had this one in the bag, right? NOPE. After a 51-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace, who the Giants seem to have forgotten is REALLY FAST, Isaac Redman took it in from one-yard out to cap off his 147-yard performance and give the Steelers the lead with four minutes to play.

And what about Mr. Fourth-Quarter? Well he forgot his cape in this game (probably packed his fairy wings on accident), fnishing the day 10-of-24 for just 125 yards with an interception. In the fourth quarter, Eli's bread and butter time, the Giants failed to get a single first down. Not even one on accident. Zero. That makes it difficult to win football games.

So the Giants couldn't give their fans the the gift of a momentary distraction. But they did give them the gift of the biggest meltdown in the entire NFL! That is so...much worse. Way to ruin everything Steelers...and Eli...but mostly Eli.