Dreams are starting to take shape and fortunes are starting to be told. No, I’m not talking about fortune telling. I’m talking about NFL football. Week 9 is gonna be a good one! Here is my predictions for Week 9 in the NFL!
NY Jets vs Buffalo
The Jets head to the Ralph to take on the Bills in this AFC grudge match. The Jets were off last weekend and should be rested. Hopefully within that week of resting, the offense has had time to build some chemistry. QB Mark Sanchez needs the running game to continue to aid his play. If Shonn Greene and LT show up, expect more one-on-one matchups outside, and that’s advantage Jets. The Jets also need to make sure they find S George Wilson. He’s having an MVP year and is the Bills best defensive playmaker.
Fitzpatrick finally got paid and went out and led his team to a win last week vs the Redskins. Expect Fitz to have more of a challenge this week with the Jets getting back to stop the run. More will be on his shoulders to beat the Jets defensively. TE Scott Chandler could be a big factor because the Jets are weakest at S and Chandler is a matchup problem for a lot of teams. Expect this game to be tight, but the Jets will fall again. The Bills will have the home crowd and they have the best QB on the field in this matchup.
Prediction: Buffalo 24, NY Jets 20
Seattle vs Dallas
The Seahawks head to the Lone Star State to take on a Dallas team still smarting from last week’s thumping by Philadelphia. Seattle is a welcomed sight for the Cowboys due to their ineptitude offensively. With either Tavaris Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst at QB, the passing game has been inconsistent at best. And to go with that, the running game hasn’t exactly been great either. Expect the Seahawks to have problems moving the ball and expect them to have problems containing Cowboys OLB Demarcus Ware. To be honest, the only guy I see that could have a good day this game for Seattle is TE Zach Miller because the Cowboys can’t cover TEs, especially with ILB Sean Lee out of the game.
Tony Romo has to be protected from Tony Romo. And that falls on offensive coordinator/Head coach Jason Garrett. Expect Garrett to run the football right at the Seahawks with RB Demarco Murray. Once the running game gets going, then everything else will fall in place. If the Cowboys come out trying to pass the ball all over the yard, they will not win, or it will be close at least. Either way, I think Dallas wins this game.
Prediction: Dallas 27, Seattle 10
Atlanta vs Indianapolis
The Falcons head to Nap Town to take on the Colts. QB Matt Ryan has gotten back to being who he is. Part of that reason is the re-dedication to the running game. If the Falcons stick to their script of using the running game to set up the play-action pass, they should be fine in Indy. If they become a passing team again, expect DE Dwight Freeney, DE Robert Mathis and crew to put tremendous pressure on Ryan and keep this game close.
QB Curtis Painter has filled in for Peyton this year and he hasn’t done an awful job. Sure, he isn’t Peyton and he’s made mistakes, but he’s not been the reason for their loses for the most part. For the Colts, to keep it close offensively, they must have production from the running game. Look for RB Delone Carter to get some more touches because he’s been the most effective of the running backs for the Colts. If Carter gets going, that opens up the field for Painter to hit those play-action passes to TE Dallas Clark, WR Pierre Garcon and WR Reggie Wayne. Ultimately, the Colts will fight hard but they just don’t have enough to get it done.
Prediction: Atlanta 31, Indianapolis 17
Miami vs Kansas City
The Dolphins continue their nightmare as they head to the Midwest to take on a resurgent Kansas City team. QB Matt Moore has been inconsistent for the Dolphins as a starter. I expect more inconsistencies this week as he is playing against a Chiefs team that can bring pressure with the likes of OLB Tamba Hali. A matchup to watch will be WR Brandon Marshall vs CB Brandon Flowers. Flowers is one of the best corners in the NFL and no one talks about him.
QB Matt Cassel found his stride a little bit last week, but this week he should light the Dolphins up. Cassel has to consistently attack the Dolphins secondary because they have been giving up the ghost all year long. Expect some big plays to WRs Dwayne Bowe and Jonathan Baldwin. And maybe we will see WR Steve Breaston show up and get off the milk carton. This game has the potential to either get way out of hand or be real close. Its all in the hands of the Chiefs offense.
Prediction: Kansas City 24, Miami 13
Tampa Bay vs New Orleans
The Bucs head to the Crescent City to take on a New Orleans squad that got embarrassed by thr hapless Rams last weekend. Expect the Saints to come out fired up. QB Josh Freeman and crew must weather the storm. And for Freeman, he must value the football. He has been trying to throw into double and triple coverage and trying to make plays out of nothing. He has to take what the defense gives him and get some help from his running game.
New Orleans is a team that is an enigma. They have been electrifying at times and disappointing. At others. Expect the Saints to come out looking for revenge. And that smells trouble for the Bucs. QB Drew Brees will have all but one of his weapons on display, RB Mark Ingram. Expect the other RBs to pick up the slack and expect the Saints to get revenge on the Bucs and redeem themselves from last week’s disappointment.
Prediction: New Orleans 27, Tampa Bay 20
San Francisco vs Washington
The 49ers head East to take on the Washington Redskins. The Redskins have been fading fast and its a mystery who will be at QB. The reason I say that is because when you have two QBs, you don’t have a QB. For the Redskins to win, they must have something from the running game. They also must have something from the QB position. Its gonna be tough sledding against the 49ers stingy defense.
QB Alex Smith has been playing mistake-free football. His chances have been limited due to the success of the running game and the offensive scheme, but in this case, less is more. Smith must continue to take care of the ball and also keep feeding the ball to RB Frank Gore. Gore has been a beast this year. Expect the 49ers to challenge the Redskins defense in the running game. Ultimately, the strength and toughness of the 49ers in the run game will wear the Redskins down. That’s and a sprinkling in of precise passes.
Prediction: San Francisco 31, Washington 13
Cleveland vs Houston
The Browns head to H-town to take on the Houston Texans. QB Colt McCoy and crew have been slowed offensively. Expect more of the same this week due to the lack of a healthy Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty. These two RBs will be on the shelf this weekend more than likely. The onus will be on McCoy to make plays in the passing game and that won’t be easy with the likes of CB Jonathan Joseph lurking in the Houston secondary.
RB Arian Foster should be licking his chops going into this week. He’s going against a team that allowed RB Frank Gore to run wild last week. Expect Foster left, Foster right and Foster up the middle. It could be a long day for the Browns defense getting off the field. And the sad thing is the passing game for the Texans is potent too.
Prediction: Houston 31, Cleveland 14
Cincinnati vs Tennessee
The surprising Bengals head to Tennessee to take on the Titans. QB andy Dalton has been better than expected this year. He’s been helped by a good running game, led by RB Cedric Benson. Expect the Bengals to try and establist the run first. If they do that, then they will have the Titans defense on their collective heels. For the Titans, if they stop the run, they make Andy Dalton try to beat them in the passing game.
QB Matt Hasselbeck has been a great pickup so far for the Titans. Now the Titans need the running game to reappear. Some are quick to point to Chris Johnson as the issue, but the real issue is the offensive line. They have become a pass-first blocking line. For the Titans to win this game, their offensive line must find that mean streak and that road raider style that they had in the past to clear holes for Johnson and Ringer. That and the constant veteran presence of Hasselbeck will lead the Titans to victory vs the Bengals.
Prediction: Tennessee 23, Cincinnati 17
Denver vs Oakland
The Broncos head to The Black Hole to take on the Raiders. Expect the Raiders to bring a ton of pressure to rattle QB Tim Tebow. Tebow must diagnose the defense and make plays, whether with his feet or with his legs. Tebow must also get rid of the ball quicker. The one positive for the Broncos against the Raiders is the Raiders are a bad pass defense.
QB Carson Palmer has had a week of learning the offense, so hopefully he will be better this time out. Expect him to get help from his running game, even though Darren McFadden may be out. Also, look for the young WRs to step up and make some plays against an atrocious defense in Denver.
Prediction: Oakland 24, Denver 13
NY Giants vs New England
The Giants head to Boston to take on Tom Brady and the Patriots. QB Eli Manning carried his team last week. Now I don’t expect that to happen again, but I do expect him to have a good game. Look for the Giants to use the pass to set up the run, especially with all the good, young receivers they have. New England must get some pressure on Eli to knock him off his mark.
The New England offense is Tom Brady. I’m not saying he does everything for them. After all, he is a QB and doesn’t catch his own passes, but he is the barometer for the Pats offense, and perhaps the Pats team as a whole. Expect Brady to come out and hit all his weapons with pinpoint passes, but that’s only if the Giants pressure doesn’t get to him. The group of pass rushers the Giants have could cause problems for the Patriots if they don’t account for them.
Prediction: New England 31, NY Giants 24
St. Louis vs Arizona
The Rams are flying high after their big win. Expect them to be riding that confidence into the Desert. The main thing that will help the Rams this game is if they stay focused on getting the running game going. RB Steven Jackson is the most important player on this team. If he gets going, everything else on offense will open up for the Rams, especially against the hapless Cardinals.
News is out that QB Kevin Kolb will not play. With that being said, backup QB John Skelton must step up and into his role. Bad thing is, I don’t think he can. And Coach Steve Spagnolo is known to be a mad scientist defensively. Expect him to try to confuse Skelton all game. The only way Arizona fights what Coach Spags does if with the running game. I expect that Skelton will not get it all figured out. He’s gonna fail Coach Spags test.
Prediction: St. Louis 20, Arizona 17
Green Bay vs San Diego
The Pack head west to take on the Chargers in San Diego. QB Aaron Rodgers has been spectacular this year. Expect him to come out slinging the ball again this game. And the crazy thing is the Chargers can’t do anything about it. The passing game, along with the run mixed in, could bring lots of pain to Chargers fans this weekend.
QB Phillip Rivers has been off all year. He’s been turning the ball over with interceptions and fumbles all year long. Expect him to step it up this game though. When great QBs face great QBs, greatness comes out of the QB that was struggling. A guy that may be due for a big game this week is WR Vincent Jackson. For as good as the Pack have been on defense, they have had some struggles in pass defense. All in all, I don’t know if those struggle get show because the Chargers will shoot themselves in the foot again, like usual.
Prediction: Green Bay 38, San Diego 24
Baltimore vs Pittsburgh
The Ravens head to the Big Ketchup Bottle to take on the Steelers. The Steelers will be bent on revenge this game, so expect them to come out with a lot of energy, especially defensively. Its gonna hurt that OLB Lamar Woodley will be out, but OLB James Harrison could be back though. Even with those guys possibly out, I still expect them to put heat on Ravens QB Joe Flacco. And as inconsistent as the Ravens have been offensively, the Ravens could help them out with some turnovers. The Ravens must get their most important offensive player, RB Ray Rice, as many touches as possible.
For the Ravens D, the mission is simple: stop the run and put pressure on Big Ben. These two things will be key to watch. Expect Big Ben and crew to counteract that with the quick passing game and quick hitters in the run game. Big Ben will have to play well, but RB Rashard Mendenhall and the offensive line will have to carry this one home for the Steelers to win. I think the crowd along with the revenge factor will help the Steelers win this ballgame.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 17, Baltimore 13
Chicago vs Philadelphia
The Bears are heading into the Big Link to take on a resurgent Eagles team. For the Eagles to win, they must get RB LeSean McCoy involved in the game. He needs at least 25 touches to affect the game. And with 25 touches, I mean runs. The Eagles must use the run to protect Vick and to help setup the big plays to their bevy of weapons. For the Bears, they must know where WR DeSean Jackson is at all times.
For the Bears, they must come out and run the football at the Eagles. Even though the Eagles had a good game stopping the run last week, I’m curious to see if they can do it two weeks in a row. QB Jay Cutler must be careful with the football and get the football to RB Matt Forte as many times as possible. He’s the barometer for this team. This one should be close, but I just think its tough to hold down the Eagles and their playmakers all game long.
Prediction: Philly 34, Chicago 20
These are my predictions for the week. Let the games begin!!!