2016 NFL Predictions Week Nine
Who would have thought that we would see a tie game for the second consecutive week? As mentioned last week, this could hurt the Redskins chances for the playoffs. The season is halfway through, so now we should get to see teams' true colors.
Bye: Cardinals, Bears, Bengals, Texans, Patriots, Redskins
Falcons @ Buccaneers: The Falcons have been the better team since they played Tampa Bay in the season opener. On a short week, how will Tampa Bay do after playing nearly five quarters in a loss and how about the Falcons having anything left in the tank, emotionally, after the big win versus Green Bay? Atlanta will get their revenge.
Lions @ Vikings: Can the Vikings lose a third consecutive game? After the surprising resignation of Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner, the season could spiral downward for Minnesota. *Lee Corso pen* There is still hope. Pat Shurmur has coached Sam Bradford before while with the Rams (in 2010) and the Eagles last year. Shurmur knows his strengths and was a voice in trading for the former first round draft pick in August. Look for the quick passing game to reemerge which partly helped Minnesota start strong in the season.
Eagles @ Giants: The Eagles special teams takes a bit of a hit after Josh Huff's release. Darren Sproles hasn't had a kick return for a touchdown since 2008 (Maybe I jinxed it for the Giants), and I don't see much punting on New York's part (Sproles has 7 touchdowns off of a punt return in his career).
Jets @ Dolphins: The Jay Ajayi bus will take a pit stop against the Jets 4th ranked rush defense. Meaning the game will fall on Ryan Tannehill's shoulders. Miami's rush defense will feel the affect their run game has done against opposing teams.
Jaguars @ Chiefs: The Chiefs have lost two of their last 17 regular season games going back to last season. The Jaguars have won six games in that same span. A good defensive performance last week should carry over against the lifeless Jacksonville offense.
Cowboys @ Browns: Allowing nearly 30 points per game, the Browns will be in catch-up mode throughout this contest with Dallas and their explosive trio of Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and...Cole Beasley. With Dez Bryant commanding the most attention, the opportunity is there for Beasley to have another good game.
Steelers @ Ravens: This game could come down to if Ben Roethlisberger plays or not. With both teams coming off a bye, the 45th meeting in this rivalry should be a fun one to watch. The Ravens haven't had much offensive success as of late which would be hard for them to keep up with Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Luckily, the Ravens don't have much of a run game which has haunted Pittsburgh in recent weeks.
Saints @ 49ers: A possible return of Carlos Hyde could give a boost for San Francisco's offense. The Saints offensive line has done pretty well protecting Drew Brees (only allowing 11 sacks) which could come to Colin Kaepernick matching throw-for-throw with the future Hall of Famer. That feat looks achievable against New Orleans defense.
Panthers @ Rams: The Rams were able to win three games despite Todd Gurley not having rushed for 100 yards in a game. Bold prediction: Don't think he will eclipse the century mark at all this season. The key will be the Rams defense vs Cam Newton. A surprising win last week could turn Carolina's season around. A second consecutive win will bring hope.
Colts @ Packers: What was thought as a lifeless offense suddenly came to life (Frankenstein's monster?) last week for the Packers. This is a huge story as Green Bay could be a dangerous team to face come playoff time. Their defense isn't bad either. With the Colts not having much success running the ball here, Andrew Luck will be asked to again to come up big.
Titans @ Chargers: An AFC slug fest has come upon us with these defenses in the top six in fewest rushing yards allowed per game. The Chargers have been in nearly every game, but unfortunately have stuttered at the end. Another shining moment for Marcus Mariota.
Broncos @ Raiders: An important division game here as both teams won't meet again until the last game of the season. The last time they met with the same record was during the early stages of the 2012 season. Both teams were 1-2 with Denver making the playoffs and Oakland sitting at home at the end. The Raiders are obviously a different team than four years ago, as I expect them to get past New Years this year. The Denver secondary could be the toughest test for Oakland's hot offense.
Bills @ Seahawks: #RexRyan2020 or #PeteCarroll2020 It is the day before the presidential election and both of these teams are trying to make their case for the playoffs. The Bills are on the outside looking in, as we speak. Cast my vote for Seattle.
2016 Record: 67-51-2
Last Week: 7-5-1