Watkins toasted Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes, reaching a season-high 21.27 mph on a 44-yard touchdown and 19.80 mph on a 63-yard juggling catch. This was his first game of the season with multiple max speeds as ball carrier over 17.00 mph, a sign that Taylor is finally finding him with open space to run after the catch.
McCoy and Williams combined not only for 222 rushing yards, but also reeled off three of the week's five fastest rushing touchdowns, per Next Gen Stats. Williams became the seventh player in NFL history to score a touchdown in each of his first five career games.
Taylor authored one of the most efficient quarterback performances of the season, completing 11 of 12 passes for 181 yards and a sterling 146.5 passer rating.
Here's what else we learned from Next Gen Stats in Week 9:
- After witnessing Blaine Gabbert's flameout in Jacksonville, we can all be forgiven for forgetting that he is one of the most dynamic athletes at his position. Gabbert recorded the two highest quarterback speeds of the week at 20.95 and 20.15 mph. To put those numbers into perspective, Marcus Mariota (21.72 mph) and Mike Vick (21.15 mph) are the only quarterbacks with faster speeds this season.
- How important is Ben Roethlisberger to the Steelers' offense? Antonio Brown has averaged 10 receptions and 153 yards in the five games Roethlisberger has started compared to four catches and 59 yards with Vick or Landry Jones under center. Brown earned his money versus the Raiders, covering a total distance of 613 yards as a ball carrier on his 284 receiving yards. Next Gen Stats tells us those 613 yards are 184 more than any other wide receiver has run with the ball in his hands this year. Brown also led all NFL players in distance traveled from the line of scrimmage in Week 9, totaling 1,811 yards -- or just over a mile.
- Thanks in large part to poor blocking, Adrian Peterson's yards-after-contact average is down from previous seasons. If you're seeking evidence that he still has extraordinary short-area bust, though, Peterson reached 19.62 mph on a six-yard touchdown run versus the Rams. Of the eight other rushing touchdowns from that distance this season, no player has topped 17.00 mph.
- Speaking of short-area burst, Jacksonville's Telvin Smith is the gold standard for speed at linebacker. Smith recorded two of the five fastest outside linebacker speeds in Week 9, which means he now boasts four of the seven fastest speeds at the position this season.