(No movie quote of the day since there will be two posts today)
Quick note: Yet another tie this weekend, the NFL has got to change that rule. This is America, we play to win. Anyway, here are the matchups for week nine:
Week eight record: 9-3-1 (73.1 percent)
2016 record: 65-53-2 (55 percent)
All-time record: 217-158-2 (57.8 percent)
Atlanta Falcons (5-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4)
Raymond James Stadium
Line: ATL -4.5
Even though Tampa Bay beat Atlanta in the first week of the season, that was a different Falcons team. Matt Ryan is playing at a high level, and Tampa Bay ranks in the bottom half of the league in pass defense. This could be a shootout, but I think the Falcons are the better team right now.
Prediction: Falcons 31, Buccaneers 28
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) at Baltimore Ravens (3-4)
M&T Bank Stadium
Line: BAL -2.5
I’ve said since the start of the regular season that I thought that Baltimore was overrated. Pittsburgh’s defense isn’t great, but Baltimore ranks in the bottom half of the league in passing and rushing offense. Even though Pittsburgh is banged up, I still like the Steelers to win, especially if Roethlisberger comes back.
Prediction: Steelers 24, Ravens 22
Dallas Cowboys (6-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-8)
Line: DAL -7
Cleveland has to get a win at some point, but there’s no way I can pick the Browns to win this game over Dallas. The Cowboys are having a great run since week one, and I can’t pick against them. Cleveland’s defense is terrible and I don’t think the Browns will be able to slow down Ezekiel Elliott.
Prediction: Cowboys 31, Browns 19
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)
Kansas City, Mo.
Line: KC -7.5
Alex Smith won’t play this game, which means Nick Foles will be the starter for Kansas City. I don’t see much of a drop off between Smith and Foles though. Jacksonville is terrible all around. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the toughest places to play. I think Kansas City’s defense is the difference maker in this game, and will force Blake Bortles to make mistakes.
Prediction: Chiefs 30, Jaguars 20
New York Jets (3-5) at Miami Dolphins (3-4)
Hard Rock Stadium
Line: MIA -3.5
Miami has been playing well recently – mostly because of Jay Ajayi’s play at running back. The Dolphins are coming off a bye week and have had more time to prepare, and have a pretty good defense. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been awful on the road this season. I expect the Jets’ struggles to continue.
Prediction: Dolphins 26, Jets 20
Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) at New York Giants (4-3)
East Rutherford, N. J.
Line: NYG -2.5
Carson Wentz has not been playing well recently and it has caused Philadelphia’s offense to sputter. The Giants are winners of two games in a row and had a bye week last week, and therefore have had more time to prepare. I think the Giants’ passing attack and the crowd at MetLife Stadium will be too much for the Eagles.
Prediction: Giants 27, Eagles 24
Detroit Lions (4-4) at Minnesota Vikings (5-2)
U. S. Bank Stadium
Line: MIN -6
After getting off to a 5-0 start, Minnesota now looks incredibly vulnerable. Sam Bradford is back to being horrible, and the Vikings’ defense hasn’t been as good the last two weeks as it has been this season. Matt Stafford has been excellent this year, and Minnesota’s defense made Jay Cutler look like a superstar Monday. Minnesota’s offensive line is awful in pass protection and Detroit has a pretty good sack defense. Also, the Vikings also will have a short week to prepare. Call me crazy, but I smell an upset.
Prediction: Lions 20, Vikings 17
Carolina Panthers (2-5) at Los Angeles Rams (3-4)
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Line: CAR -3
Los Angeles isn’t playing well right now – losing three games in a row. Case Keenum has thrown seven interceptions the last three games and Todd Gurley has rushed for over 80 yards just once this season. I just don’t think the Rams have the offense to outscore Cam Newton and Carolina’s offense. Even though it’s a long road trip, I think the Panthers get it done.
Prediction: Panthers 23, Rams 17
New Orleans Saints (3-4) at San Francisco 49ers (1-6)
Santa Clara, Calif.
Line: NO -4.5
I don’t think New Orleans is that good, but San Francisco is terrible. The 49ers have been struggling on both sides of the ball during their six-game losing streak. They’ve scored 20 points or more just twice since week one, and have given up 30 points or more five times during the same stretch. The Saints have a really good offense that should move the ball at will against San Francisco’s defense.
Prediction: Saints 31, 49ers 19
Tennessee Titans (4-4) at San Diego Chargers (3-5)
Line: SD -4.5
San Diego was awful last week against Denver and Tennessee is playing well right now – winners of three of its last four games. San Diego’s defense is terrible and Marcus Mariota has been great the last month. However, it’s along road trip for the Titans and I think the Chargers find a way to slow down Mariota.
Prediction: Chargers 27, Titans 21
Indianapolis Colts (3-5) at Green Bay Packers (4-3)
Green Bay, Wis.
Line: GB -7.5
Green Bay’s defense is banged up right now and I expect Andrew Luck and the Colts’ offense to score points. However, it looks like Aaron Rodgers is “back” and the Colts have one of the worst defenses in the league. I think the Lambeau Field crowd helps lift the Packers’ defense to get some stops, but I think Green Bay wins in a shootout.
Prediction: Packers 38, Colts 33
Buffalo Bills (4-4) at Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1)
Line: SEA -7
Buffalo leads the league in sacks, and Seattle has a porous offensive line. If this game were in Buffalo, I’d pick the Bills in a heartbeat. However, Seattle is the toughest place to play in the NFL and I can’t see Tyrod Taylor moving the ball against the Seahawks’ defense and scoring enough points to win. I think Russell Wilson finds a way to avoid Buffalo’s pass rush and leads Seattle to a win.
Prediction: Seahawks 24, Bills 17
Game of the week:
Denver Broncos (6-2) at Oakland Raiders (6-2)
Line: OAK -1
Both of these defenses are playing lights out. I think I have to go with Oakland though. I know Denver’s defense is great, but Derek Carr has been fantastic this season and is emerging as a legit MVP candidate. I think Denver’s offense will struggle to score points, and I think Khalil Mack will have a great game against Denver’s subpar offensive line, so, that should slow down Denver’s offense.
Prediction: Raiders 21, Broncos 18
Teams with a bye:
New England Patriots
Thanks for reading
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