• Jake Klausner

NFL Week 9 Predictions



Fresh off an exciting week eight, we look forward to hopefully yet another exciting weekend of football.



New York Jets (2-5) vs. Indianapolis Colts (3-5) Thursday 8:20 p.m. ET

TV: FOX/NFL NET Line: IND -10.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- The Jets are flying high after their colossal victory last weekend against Cincinnati. Mike White is fresh off his Player of the Week honors and is looking to build on his last week's success. RB Michael Carter is also starting to fill into his role nicely, as he has had solid games in back-to-back weeks. However, this offense is starting to revolve around White. I know it's only one week, but I think the Jets may have found something in this guy. We will have to see how it plays out.


- What has happened to Carson Wentz these past couple of weeks? After not turning the ball over in the first five weeks, he now has back-back weeks with at least one interception. The Colts have the luxury of playing at home, which they will have the crowd on their side. It also helps to have a guy like Jonathan Taylor as your running back. The dude has been a menace running the football, sitting second in total rushing yards behind Derrick Henry. Now, with Henry out, Taylor has a chance to overtake him.



PREDICTION:


While every part of me wants to pick the Jets, I have to be innovative and go with my brain. The Colts are at home, and Carson Wentz should bounce back and have a clean game of football. I also want to give the Jets at least another week to prove themselves. Pick: IND -10.5



Atlanta Falcons (3-4) vs. New Orleans Saints (5-2) Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: NO -6.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- After Calvin Ridley announced that he was taking a break from the game, the Falcons find themselves in a bit of a hole. Matt Ryan is now without his top target, which means someone else will have to emerge. That guy is Kyle Pitts. After a quiet game last week, Pitts has to get himself involved next week, as he has proven his ability to catch the football in the open space. Ryan also has to be willing to spread the football around against a tough Saints' defense


- New Orleans will be without Jameis Winston for the remainder of the season. Now, they won't be without their top receiver in Michael Thomas, who hasn't played all season. However, I don't see that stopping them. They have too much talent on both sides of the ball, and also, Trevor Siemian is an established starter. That doesn't mean he is a good quarterback; they still have to get Alvin Kamara the ball if they want to win the game.





PREDICTION:


As a die-hard Falcons fan, you would think I would pick the Falcons, but I'm not. I don't think this game will be close. The fact that the spread is where it is means nothing to me. The Saints will win this game by a lot. Pick: NO: -6.0


Cleveland Browns (4-4) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (5-3) Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: CIN -2.5



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- We are one day past the trade deadline, and Odell Beckham Jr. is still a Brown. There's been some criticism surrounding Beckham ever since his dad criticized Baker Mayfield for not throwing it to an open Beckham in their loss to Pittsburgh last week. Despite all the negativity, I do think Cleveland's offense will bounce back against the Bengals. Not to mention, Myles Garrett has 10.5 sacks through eight weeks, which leads the league.


- The Bengals are reeling from their terrible loss to the New York Jets. This game is a rivalry game, which means Joe Burrow and this offense will need to show up. Ja'Marr Chase continues to be Burrow's go-to guy, and they've got other weapons too, like Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon, to name a few.



PREDICTION:


Despite the firepower both offenses possess, I'm expecting a low-scoring defensive affair. Both defenses can get to the quarterback, and I see a lot of that happening. This game is too close to call, but I'll go with the Bengals to get a bounce-back victory at home.


Pick: CIN -2.0



Denver Broncos (4-4) vs. Dallas Cowboys (6-1) Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: DAL -9.5



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- The Denver Broncos are not a good team, yet they find a way to win. I'm not sure how they do it, but they have a stellar defense, so I guess that's how. The offense has been struggling, with Teddy Bridgewater turning the ball over late in the game.


- The Cowboys are a scary team in the NFC. After winning last week with their backup quarterback, they get Dak back this week, which means they will have a team filled with weapons. Not to mention, their defense is pretty good too.



PREDICTION:


I expect the Cowboys' offense to be too much for Denver's defense. The combo of Dak and Zeke and receivers like CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper will overpower the strong Bronco defense. I expect the Dallas Cowboys to win for the seventh-straight time. Pick: DAL -9.5



Houston Texans (1-7) vs. Miami Dolphins (1-7) Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: MIA -6.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- I don't know if I'm even going to watch this game. The matchup speaks for itself. The Texans and the Dolphins are two of the worst teams in the NFL. The only thing worth noting about this game is that the loser of this game will set themselves up perfectly for next year's first overall pick.


PREDICTION:


- As I said, this game is not amusing whatsoever. However, I do think Tua will have an excellent game for the Dolphins, and I think they pull it out. Pick: MIA -6.5



Las Vegas Raiders (5-2) vs. New York Giants (2-6) Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: LV -3.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- Who would've thought the Raiders would be in first place in the AFC West? Derek Carr has put up solid numbers, but he will be without his speed threat in the form of Henry Ruggs III. Ruggs III got released from the team on Tuesday after getting arrested on a DUI charge resulting in death.


- The Giants are one of those teams that, despite the record, figure out a way to stay in games. QB Daniel Jones has done it with his arms, his legs, and even his hands. However, Injuries have been a concern with Kadaious Toney getting hurt last week and Kenny Golladay on the fence for this coming week. If they play, that will be huge for Jones and the Giant offense.



PREDICTION:


- I think the Giants can pull off the shocker at home this week. Vegas is a solid team, but I think the grittiness of the New York Giants will help them prevail. Pick: NYG +3.0



New England Patriots (4-4) vs. Carolina Panthers (4-4) Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: NE -3.5



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- For the past couple of weeks, I've been talking about how the Patriots continue to improve each week. They are coming off a solid performance against the L.A. Chargers, headlined by a fantastic defensive showing. Bill Belichick shows his trust in rookie QB Mac Jones by letting him open up a bit downfield. Not to mention, their defense has many playmakers.


- The Panthers were finally able to snap their losing skid, but it possibly came at a cost. Sam Darnold suffered a massive blow towards the final minutes last week against the Falcons. Darnold is currently listed as questionable for Sunday's game due to a concussion, and he will likely be a game-time decision. P.J. Walker would start in his place.



PREDICTION:


I'm starting to get behind the play of Mac Jones and the Patriots. Although the Panthers have a great defense, the Patriots offense will be too much, and New England will prevail.

Pick: NE -3.5



Buffalo Bills (5-2) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: BUF -14.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- After a slow start in the first half last week against Miami, Josh Allen, and the Bills came alive in the second half. The AFC has been competitive this season, but it would be the Buffalo Bills if I had to pick a team to make it from the AFC. Out of all the teams, the Bills might be the most complete team in the AFC. Josh Allen is putting up a strong case for the MVP, and their defense is making lots of plays as well.

- We may be seeing a dumpster fire brewing in Jacksonville. The team looks lost under head coach Urban Meyer, and I don't see them getting behind him anytime soon. Meyer needs a change in character or something. He has to start realizing that it isn't college football anymore, or he could be pulling a Bobby Petrino. I know Falcons fans want to forget about him.


PREDICTION:


This game could get ugly fast. Josh Allen and the Bills' offense will be too much for the Jags, and I think they cover with ease. Pick: BUF -14.5



Minnesota Vikings (3-4) vs. Baltimore Ravens (5-2) Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: BAL -6.0



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- It wasn't a good offensive showing last week for the Vikings. On SNF, Minnesota managed just over 250 yards of total offense. That's shocking, considering this is a team that consists of Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, and Justin Jefferson. Kirk Cousins has put up some solid numbers this season, but they will need some help from him if they want to be the Ravens this weekend.


- As for the Ravens, they now sit atop the AFC North after Cincinnati's loss. Coming off their bye week, Lamar Jackson and Ravens' running attacks will look to get back on track. While their defense continues to be a liability, Jackson is putting up MVP numbers, and when you've got receivers like Marquese Brown, and Mark Andrews, you can see just how it can happen.



PREDICTION:


If this game were in Minnesota, I'd lean towards the Vikings, but I'm siding with Lamar on this one since it's in Baltimore. Please give me the Ravens! Pick: BAL: -6.0



LA Chargers (4-3) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: LAC -1.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- After starting the season off 4-1, the Chargers are in the midst of a two-game losing streak. Justin Herbert has regressed a bit in his throwing, and Brendan Staley is getting some criticism thrown his way after starting the season so well. They have to be careful this week because the Eagles are capable of surprising some teams.


- The Eagles are coming off a dominant win over Detroit, emphasizing the ground game. I think if they want to win this week, they have to stay true to their identity. Jalen Hurts can't make any dumb plays that we've been accustomed to seeing out of him. If the defense can force Herbert to make bad throws, Philly may have a shot in this one.



PREDICTION:


- I see this being a close game, but the Chargers have struggled in close contests as of late. They had a chance against the Patriots, but a late pick-six cost them. I think the Philly faithful will help the Eagles to fly towards a victory. Jalen Hurts will do enough on the ground, and they will get the job done. Pick: PHI +1.5



Green Bay Packers (7-1) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (4-4) Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: KC -7.5



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- The Packers are without Aaron Rodgers after testing positive for COVID. Jordan Love will get the start over him. This is an essential game for Jordan Love because he will likely be the guy moving forward once Rodgers leaves. Despite not having Rodgers, Davante Adams and Allen Lazard will be ready to go for the Pack after missing last week's game due to the COVID.


- The Chiefs still have a lot of work to do despite getting back to .500 last week. Patrick Mahomes can't have the same game he had against the Giants if they want to win this week. K.C. has to limit the turnovers, and the defense has to get stops as well. If they let Jordan Love score on them, it will be a long day for the Chiefs. I feel like the reason for Mahomes' decline has been because he has to score on each possession.


PREDICTION:


Despite K.C.'s struggles, I have a feeling they turned it around this week. Patrick Mahomes will have a game with no turnovers, and the Chiefs' offense will explode out of the gates. The Chiefs win this one big. Pick: KC -7.5



Arizona Cardinals (7-1) vs. San Francisco 49ers (3-4) Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: EVEN


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- Kyler Murray is good to go on Sunday. Murray had some concerns after he limped off the field after Thursday's game against the Packers. While that is good news, they still could be without a key contributor on offense. DeAndre Hopkins' status leading up to the game remains in doubt. The Cardinals could potentially be without their top wideout after failing to practice due to a hamstring injury. If that is the case, Murray will still have other options, like A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, and Zach Ertz. The possibilities are endless.


- For the Niners, it's all about keeping that consistency. After a solid showing against the Bears, Kyle Shanahan will hopefully hand the Cardinals their second-straight loss. Jimmy Garoppolo had a solid showing last week, but the Q.B. has been inconsistent this year. Look to see somewhat of a balanced attack on offense from Shanahan against a tough Cardinals defense.



PREDICTION:


Divisional games are always entertaining, and I don't see it playing out any differently here. Kyler Murray will put on another show for the people, and the defense will force Jimmy G under pressure, and the Cardinals will pull away late. Pick: ARI



Tennessee Titans (6-2) vs. LA Rams (7-1) Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET

TV: NBC Line: LAR -7.5



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- How will the Titans perform without Derrek Henry? Without the giant running back in their backfield, this is an entirely different Titans' offense. Now, they are going to have to rely heavily on the arm of Ryan Tannehill. Tennessee did acquire Adrian Peterson, but he is ancient, and I'm not sure how much of a factor he will be.


- While the Titans lost a player, the Rams gained one. After signing Von Miller at the trade deadline, they seem to be gambling on this year being the year. So far, it seems to be looking that way. Matthew Stafford has completely transformed himself into more of an elite-level quarterback. With elite playmakers on both sides of the ball, the Rams could be the team to beat on the NFC side.


PREDICTION:


- Without Henry, the Titans don't have an identity on offense. Because of this, the Rams will expose the Titans, and Matthew Stafford will do his thing. Pick: LAR -7.5



Chicago Bears (3-5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) Monday 8:15 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN Line: PIT -6.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- Justin Fields seems to be moving in the right direction. However, I can't say the same for the rest of the team. I got to think that Bears fans are tired of the mediocrity and what Matt Nagy has done since becoming the head coach. The defense is older than it once was, and it is starting to show. If they want to win this game, they have to continue to rely on the running game from guys like Justin Fields and Khalil Herbert.


- The Steelers have had an up-and-down year. The one thing that has remained consistent has been the play of the Steeler defense. When T.J. Watt is on the field, you best run away from him because he's coming for you. Najee Harris continues to get the majority of the looks on offense on the offensive side, but I think Tomlin will open up the playbook a bit on Monday and allow Big Ben to throw it downfield.



PREDICTION:


- Believe it or not, I think Pittsburgh's offense will show up tonight. We will get a typically defensive performance out of T.J. Watt and the boys, but I think this is the game where Najee proves his worth. Pick: PIT -6.5


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Jake Klausner covers all things sports for ThePyrrhic.com. Keep your eyes peeled for NFL Analysis, World Series Recaps, and more from Jake.


Follow him on Twitter @jake_klausner

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