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NFL Week 9: Did anyone bother practicing this offseason? Top teams and star QBs continue to struggle.

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have lost five straight.Paul Sancya/Associated Press

There’s a famous NFL Films clip of Vince Lombardi that you probably have seen countless times. The coach stands on the sideline and shouts to no one in particular: “What the hell is going on out here?

That is the overarching question to all of the great quarterbacks and head coaches in the NFL. What were you guys doing all offseason? Did anyone bother practicing?

The 2022 NFL season continues to be a slog. Leaguewide scoring remains at the lowest clip since 2010 at 43.6 points per game. The leaguewide passer rating is 4 to 5 points lower than the last two years. The teams and quarterback matchups that were supposed to be carrying the NFL are turning into duds. Sunday’s slate of games was among the ugliest yet.


Whatever teams did to prepare for this season, it’s not working — which is where we begin the Week 9 review:

▪ The biggest disappointment is Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. They dropped to 3-6 with their fifth straight loss, this one a disheartening 15-9 defeat at the hands of the Lions. Rodgers, the two-time reigning MVP, had only his second three-interception game since 2009, and all three picks came inside the red zone.

Rodgers is 3-6 for the first time in his career, and the Packers are 27th in scoring at 17.1 points per game. Rodgers looks like Tom Brady did in 2019 — frustrated with the receivers provided to him by management, but reaching acceptance that it’s probably not going to get any better.

“This is a lot of life lessons for sure this year,” Rodgers said.

Tom Brady became the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 100,000 yards in a career — even though he averaged just 4.8 yards per attempt on Sunday.Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

▪ Brady and the Bucs finally won, but it was still ugly. Brady needed 58 pass attempts to get his 280 yards, and came away with a 16-13 win only because the Rams inexplicably played soft zone coverage on the final drive of the game.


The Bucs snapped a three-game losing streak to improve to 4-5 and inch ahead of the Falcons for first place in the NFC South. But they were supposed to be the cream of the NFC this year, and instead their offense is broken and their games are boring. Tampa Bay is 25th in scoring (18.2 points per game), and dead last in rushing attempts, yards, and rushing average.

▪ The Bucs were lucky to play the one team perhaps more broken than they are. The Rams dropped to 3-5, becoming just the third Super Bowl champion this century to be under .500 after eight games (2006 Steelers and 2013 Ravens).

The Rams have injury issues on the offensive line, Matthew Stafford has been dealing with an elbow problem since the offseason, and the offense looks like it misses Robert Woods and Odell Beckham. But maybe the Rams just partied too hard after their Super Bowl win.

They are 29th in scoring (16.4 points per game), with just 131 points through eight games, compared with 245 last year. In Sunday’s loss, the Rams achieved nine first downs and gained 206 yards, the second-fewest in coach Sean McVay’s six seasons.

“Changes have to be made,” McVay said after the loss, the Rams’ fourth in five games.

Kyler Murray and the Cardinals are 3-6.Jeff Lewis/Associated Press

▪ Kyler Murray, who is supposed to be leading the Cardinals to new heights in his fourth season, dropped to 3-6 on the year with a 31-21 loss to Seattle. The Cardinals gained just 262 total yards and were in the game only because of a Zaven Collins pick-6. Murray’s 6.02 yards per attempt this year rank 33rd out of 35 quarterbacks.


▪ Josh McDaniels, Derek Carr, and the Raiders continue to be one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments, losing, 27-20, to Jacksonville to drop to 2-6. Carr’s numbers are significantly down — his completion percentage is down 6 full points from last year — and on Sunday, he threw for just 36 yards after halftime as the Raiders were shut out.

▪ Justin Herbert and the Chargers beat the Falcons to improve to 5-3, but their fireworks in the offseason — big contracts for J.C. Jackson, Khalil Mack, and Mike Williams — haven’t translated on the field. Herbert’s yards per attempt have dropped from 7.5 to 6.4, and the Chargers are averaging 23 points per game, compared with 28 last year.

▪ And of course there’s Matt Ryan and the Colts, who were supposed to be a dominant team in the trenches but instead have completely fallen apart.

▪ The biggest takeaway is that NFL offenses are so bad this year that you don’t need a great quarterback to be competitive. Look at the 6-3 Jets with Zach Wilson, 6-3 Seahawks with Geno Smith (who actually is playing pretty well), 6-2 Giants with Daniel Jones, 5-4 Patriots with Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe, 4-5 Commanders with Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke, and 4-5 Falcons with Marcus Mariota.


I’m not sure if any of these teams are Super Bowl contenders, but offenses are so unproductive that the old-fashioned formula of playing good defense and safe football is making a comeback in 2022.

Quick hits

▪ The key to the Jets’ upset over the Bills was no secret — limiting Wilson’s impact on the game. He completed 18 of 25 passes for 154 yards, with only three attempts that traveled more than 10 yards in the air. But he threw a touchdown pass and, most importantly, didn’t throw any interceptions.

▪ The Bills are still 6-2 and No. 1 in the AFC despite their loss to the Jets, though they’re now 0-2 in the AFC East. But the loss may have been disastrous for the Bills’ Super Bowl hopes, as Josh Allen suffered a potentially serious injury to his throwing elbow in the closing minutes. Bills coach Sean McDermott had no update on Monday, which only raised the anxiety levels in western New York.

▪ The Bears offense has scored 33, 29, and 32 points in consecutive games because they have finally unleashed Justin Fields on designed runs. Fields averaged 8.4 rushes for 38.8 yards in his first five games, and 12.3 rushes for 102 yards his last four. This Sunday, he rushed for 178 and a TD in a loss to the Dolphins, setting a single-game record for rushing yards by a QB in the regular season (Mike Vick, 173).


▪ How about that Kevin O’Connell? His Vikings are 7-1, they overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Commanders, and on Friday night his wife had their fourth child, a girl.

▪ Race for the No. 1 pick: The 1-6-1 Texans are a tie ahead of the 2-7 Panthers, who trailed, 35-0, at halftime of their loss to the Bengals and fired two defensive assistants Monday. The Lions win improved them to 2-6, a half-game ahead of Carolina. Pittsburgh and Vegas both sit at 2-6. The Colts dropped to 3-5-1, and are still the 10th seed in AFC, but will be falling fast.

Tracking former Patriots

▪ 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Browns QB Jacoby Brissett, Giants coach Brian Daboll: All had byes this week.

▪ Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson: Returned to the lineup after a four-game injury absence and rushed for 44 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to the Chargers.

▪ Raiders coach Josh McDaniels: A two-week road trip resulted in a shutout loss in New Orleans and a 27-20 loss to the Jaguars in which the Raiders became the first team in NFL history to blow three different 17-point leads in a season — and they still have nine games to go.

The Raiders were a 10-7 team last year, and frustration is high over this year’s 2-6 record. It doesn’t help that star receiver Davante Adams said after the game, “There’s no reason why we should be losing games like this.”

It would be madness for Raiders owner Mark Davis to consider firing McDaniels after just one season, after allowing him to revamp the entire football operation. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.

▪ Titans coach Mike Vrabel: Took the Chiefs to overtime with his backup rookie QB completing just five passes. The 5-3 Titans may not have the talent to be a top contender this year, but Vrabel once again has built a tough, smart, physical team.

Stats of the week

▪ Chargers-Falcons, Jets-Bills, Vikings-Commanders, and Chiefs-Titans each had a 20-17 score, just the second time in NFL history that four games had the same score on the same day, according to STATS. On Oct. 5, 1924, there were four games that ended 3-0.

▪ The Eagles improved to 8-0. None of the last 11 teams to start 8-0 won the Super Bowl. The last to do it was the 2009 Saints.

▪ Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes became the first player in the Super Bowl era with 400 passing yards and 60 rushing yards in the same game.

▪ The Bears became the first team since the 1976 Steelers to rush for 225 yards in four straight games.

▪ Brady cracked 100,000 career passing yards in the win over the Rams, and also authored his 55th game-winning drive, breaking a tie with Peyton Manning for most in NFL history.

Ben Volin can be reached at ben.volin@globe.com.