Week 9 NFL Preview

Big Nick Evans is back with his Week 9 NFL Predictions, as well as some nonsense about baseball being boring or something.

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Week 9 NFL Preview

Matt Ryan looks to upset a dominant Redskins team this week

Matt Ryan looks to upset a dominant Redskins team this week

Matt Ryan looks to upset a dominant Redskins team this week

Matt Ryan looks to upset a dominant Redskins team this week

Nick Evans, Senior Sports Contributor

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The Red Sox won The World Series. I repeat, the Boston Red Sox won THE WORLD SERIES. As a Boston sports fan, I am writing this in preparation of going to the championship parade and I am still in shock. With this being said, I love the NFL more than the MLB. Baseball just seems to take too long, but during MLB playoffs, I feel enthralled for however long the game is… even if it’s 18 innings and goes till 3:30 am. With that, I am ecstatic for the Sox, but I am excited to change my main focus to the talented Celtics, and the dominant Patriots. Week 9 of the NFL season is upon us, and after last week’s article (a hefty four pages), I am excited to continue to analyze and break down the weekly games. Let’s get into the week 9 matchups.


Let me start with the teams on byes this weak: Arizona, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Philadelphia.

These teams will not have a change in, record, but as the trade deadline came to a close, the Philadelphia Eagles traded away a couple of late draft picks for pro-bowl receiver Golden Tate. Tate will be a great weapon for QB Carson Wentz, who has been alright since the return of his ACL injury since last year. I expect the Eagles to make a strong run for the dismal NFC East.


Thursday Night Football:

Oakland Raiders (1-6) at San Francisco 49ers (1-7)

This game is the epitome of a terrible TNF game. This game is simple to pick, I’m taking the home team of San Francisco. The 49ers have at least shown they can put up points, looking back to two weeks ago against the Packers when they put up 30. I expect the 49ers to make their horrendous record a little better by improving to 2-7 and the Raiders to remain with only one win.


Washington Redskins (5-2) at Atlanta Falcons (3-4)

I am very excited to watch this game. This is my upset of the week. The Falcons are coming off a solid win streak, and need to keep it rolling if they want a chance at the playoffs. They are facing a very questionable Redskins team. The ‘Skins are 5-2, and my question is… HOW? This team just finds a way to win, but they don’t have great playmakers or a face for the franchise. I’m taking the Falcons, who need a win, especially at home. I expect QB Matt Ryan to keep the ball moving on offense and put up points. With that, I expect the Redskins to not be able to keep up on the scoreboard. I expect the Redskins to fall to 5-3 and the Falcons to soar to 4-4.


Detroit Lions (3-4) at Minnesota Vikings (4-3-1)

The Lions are coming off a tough loss to the Seahawks. This week will be very interesting for the Lions offense due to the fact that they gave away one of Matthew Stafford’s favorite weapons, WR Golden Tate. On the other side of the ball, WR Adam Thielen has been playing phenomenal football, surpassing 100 yards of receiving every game this year. With the dual threat of Thelin and WR Stefon Diggs, the Vikings should be able to move the ball very well down the field. With the question marks in the Lions offense, I expect them to fall to 3-5 and the Vikings to rise to 5-3-1.


Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2-1) at Baltimore Ravens (4-4)

The Steelers are going another week without Le’veon Bell… but who cares. James Conner is an elite talent and should hold the starting job if/when Bell comes back. With that, I believe the Steelers offense is one of the best in the NFL. They also have a stout run defense. With that, I expect the Ravens to not produce the points that the Steelers will be able to score. I’m taking the Steelers, who will arrive at 5-2-1, which puts the Ravens a game below .500 at 4-5.


Kansas City Chiefs (7-1) at Cleveland Browns (2-5-1)

Yes, I want to pick the Browns. The Browns just fired Head Coach Hue Jackson… finally. This offense might start to be able to move the football. The Browns have some offensive weapons (WR Jarvis Landry, RB Nick Chubb, TE David Njoku) that should be able to score. The Browns have a competent QB in Baker Mayfield. Once again, I want to pick the Browns, at home… but I can’t. The Chiefs are rolling. They have one loss which came to the Patriots in Foxborough. This Chiefs team just puts up points. Halfway through the year, QB Patrick Mahomes has my vote for MVP. I’ll take the Chiefs to improve to 8-1 and the Browns to remain in the last place in the AFC North, with a record of 2-6-1.


New York Jets (3-5) at Miami Dolphins (4-4)

In this divisional clash of mediocre AFC East teams, the losing team in this contest will have a very hard time making the playoffs. That being said, this should be a good game. Miami proved last Thursday that they can put up points with Brock Osweiler at QB. Osweiler, while not being as elite as Joe Flacco, is competent enough for a 4-4 Dolphins team. On the other side of the football, the Jets have had games this year where they have put up points and their defense looking legit, while also having games where they get blown out. I’ll take Miami at home, just because the Jets have struggled lately on offense, and need big plays to score. I expect the ‘Phins to rise to 5-4 and the Jets crash to 3-6.


Chicago Bears (4-3) at Buffalo Bills (2-6)

The Bills played very well on MNF against the Patriots last week, even though they came out with a loss. The Bills have a legitimately good defense, but their offense can’t put up points. For the Bears, Mitch Trubisky has been phenomenal. This game is a simple choice, I’ll take the Bears to improve to 5-3 and the Bills to fall to 2-7.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) at Carolina Panthers (5-2)

The Buccaneers are trying to find a win to get back to 4-4, and I think they find it. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (FITZMAGIC) will get the start, and when he is in the zone, he knows how to tear up the defense. The Bucs have plenty of weapons on offense, but their defense is putrid, to say the least. The Panthers should also be able to put up points, with Cam Newton playing great football (personally I think he should be in the MVP conversation). This game will be a shootout, but I’ll take the Bucs to improve to .500 at 4-4 and the Panthers to fall to 5-3.


Los Angeles Chargers (5-2) at Seattle Seahawks (4-3)

On paper, this game should be close, but I am feeling a blowout. The Chargers are coming off a bye, and have been able to prepare for two weeks for the Seahawks. I believe Seattle’s offense is big play dependent, but won’t be able to keep up with the rushing attack of the Chargers, led by RBs Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekler. I’ll take the Bolts to go to 6-2 and the Seahawks to fall to 4-4.


Houston Texans (5-3) at Denver Broncos (3-5)

The Broncos defense is not what it use to be, and their offense has been lackluster. Even though they are at home, I have to take the Texans. The Texans have a great QB in Deshaun Watson and have one of the most talented pass catchers in the NFL in WR DeAndre Hopkins. I would take the Broncos in the upset, but because RB Lamar Miller has been running so well, I expect the Texans to take the lead, and then be able to run out the clock by rushing. Give me the Texans improving to 6-3 as the Broncos fall to 3-6.


Los Angeles Rams (8-0) at New Orleans Saints (6-1)

This could be an NFC Championship preview. The Rams offense has been phenomenal. QB Jared Goff, for the Rams, has been a completion percentage of 67%, hitting his three talented receivers  (Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp). Also, Todd Gurley has been an absolute touchdown machine, producing at least one touchdown a game this season. The Rams defense is also elite, with Aaron Donald being able to produce a pass rush on every play. On the other side of the football, there is future Hall of Fame QB, Drew Brees. This game will be great, and I’ll take the experience of Brees to have the Saints to the win. Expect the Saints to march to 7-1 and the Rams to finally lose, and fall to 8-1.



Green Bay Packers (3-3-1) at New England Patriots (6-2)

Finally, Rodgers V. Brady… round 2. This game is my game of the week, even though the 6-1 Saints are playing the undefeated Rams. The first time QBs Brady and Rodgers faced, was in 2014, and the Packers got the win. This time, both teams are loaded with offensive weapons and have defense’s that struggle. I expect a high scoring game. With the emergence of Packers RB Arron Jones, I wanted to take the Packers, but if rookie RB Sony Michel plays, I believe the Patriots offense will be too much for the porous Packers defense. I’ll take the Pats to improve to 7-2 and the Pack to fall to 3-4-1.



Tennessee Titans (3-4) at Dallas Cowboys (3-4)

This game should be fun to watch. I’m expecting some 2016 Cowboys to flash against this Titans team. Last week I wrote about how the acquisition of WR Amari Cooper should help the spread the field, which will allow both RB Ezekiel Elliott and QB Dak Prescott run. Marcus Mariota, the Titans QB, has struggled lately, so I’ll take the Cowboys to improve to 4-4 and the Titans to fall to 3-5.


Last week I was 10-4, I hope to go perfect this week, but the NFL is always unpredictable… which is why I love it.


Nick Evans is a beat writer and sports contributor on the Spinnaker Website. He’s also a big witchcraft guy.