Week 9 NFL Predictions by Bradford Brooks
As the National Football League enters into week 9, many teams are heating up entering in the second half of the season. While others are plunging down in the weekly power rankings. Check out the Score’s predictions for Sunday’s best matchups.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5) at New Orleans Saints (5-2)
When: Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (Fox), Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
The New Orleans Saints are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now, on a five-game winning streak for the first time since 2013. The top five ranked offense of the Saints has been rolling, led by Veteran QB Drew Brees and the two headed monster rushing attack of Mark Ingram and rookie dual threat running back Alvin Kamara.
The Buccaneers on the other hand have dropped five games in a row and franchise signal caller Jameis Winston has been battling a sore throwing shoulder since the loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 15, however Winston who has not missed a start in three seasons, was listed as “limited” on Wednesday. The Bucs offense has lacked consistency this season as they currently have a -2 turnover ratio and turned the ball over three times last week in their loss against the Carolina Panthers.
Tampa Bay’s defense will have a tough time matching up with balanced attack of New Orleans, so expect the Saints to consistently run the ball.
Prediction: Saints will win this 31 to 21
Atlanta Falcons (4-3) at Carolina Panthers (5-3)
When: Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (Fox), Bank Of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
The current and former NFC champions, will square off, as the division rival Falcons take on the Carolina Panthers. The Falcons who snapped a three game losing streak last week will look to earn their first division win on the season. Both teams have dealt with a lack offense this season.
Now without Kelvin Benjamin the Panthers will have to look towards players like wide receiver Devin Funchess, rookie wide receiver Curtis Samuel, and rookie running back Christian McCaffrey in the passing game. Both of these teams’ defenses have been able to keep them in games all season, so expect for this to be a tough and hard fought divisional game.
Prediction: Panthers win 23 to 17
Los Angeles: Rams (5-2) at New York Giants (1-6)
When: Sunday, November 5, 1:00 PM ET (Fox) MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Both the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants are coming off of bye weeks entering this matchup. The revamped Rams are a half game out of first place in the NFC West, led by new their new head coach Sean McVay, a more comfortable second year signal caller in Jared Goff, a rejuvenated Todd Gurley, with an upgraded offensive line, and a stout defense, what’s not to like about the Los Angeles Rams? Meanwhile the Giants season has not gone according to plan. The offense which was invested in heavily this offseason has not lived up to expectations as they are only averaging 16 points per game which ranks 30th in the entire league. The Giants have also been without a collection of key starters on both sides of the ball, which include star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and defensive end Oliver Vernon. Coming off of bye weeks NFL teams can be a little bit unpredictable. However the Giants simply don’t have the firepower to keep up with the Rams.
Prediction: Rams win 28 to 10
Baltimore Ravens (4-4) at Tennessee Titans (4-3)
When: Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (CBS), LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee
The Tennessee Titans control their own destiny as they currently are tied for the top spot in the AFC South with the Jacksonville Jaguars, for the chance to capture a division title has possibly became a two team race with the Indianapolis Colts placing quarterback Andrew Luck on injured reserve, and rookie sensation Deshaun Watson, tearing his ACL in practice.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is looking like he’s back to being a 100 percent after coming off the bye week. The key word in this game though is inconsistency as both the Ravens and Titans offenses haven’t been very sharp this season.
The Ravens need everything they can get from their offense as they rank 27th in total offense and dead last in the passing game. Even with Joe Flacco under center, the Ravens offense and 30th ranked run defense won’t be enough to hold up against the Titans in this game
Prediction: Titans win 16 to 13
Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3)
When: Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (CBS), EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
This is going to a tough and physical football game. The Bengals are ranked fifth in total defense this year and The Jaguars are sixth.
Jacksonville who lead the NFL in rushing yards per game, will also have their rookie running back Leonard Fournette back in the lineup. Jacksonville has the secondary that could shut down Cincinnati’s passing attack as they lead the league in pass defense and the Bengals offense features only one major threat in wide receiver A.J. Green.
The Bengals offense will have their work cut out for them against one the best defenses in the NFL. The Jaguars will have to rely heavily on their rushing attack and their defense because quarterback Blake Bortles has played hot and cold all season. Bortles has also had at least one turnover in five of the seven Jaguars games.
But in a game that will come down to defense and running the football expect for Jacksonville to have the advantage.
Prediction: Jaguars win 24 to 20
Denver Broncos (3-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (7-1)
When: Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (CBS), Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Philadelphia Eagles are flying high and have the best record in the NFL at 7-1 and will look to extend their winning streak.
Meanwhile the Broncos have lost three straight games and recently made a switch at quarterback, re-signing Brock Osweiler after former starter Trevor Siemian tossed 10 interceptions this season and threw a career high of three interceptions against the Kansas City Chiefs in their most recent game. The Broncos have beat themselves as they have turned the ball over 17 times, the second highest in the league.
The Eagles offense though has been spectacular, quarterback Carson Wentz leads the league with 19 touchdown passes and the Eagles are the only team to score 20 or more points in every game this season. Philadelphia also improved its roster before the trade deadline by acquiring running back Jay Ajayi from the Miami Dolphins. Pairing Ajayi with LeGarrette Blount who leads the Eagles in rushing will definitely help.
The Eagles have been clicking on all cylinders, so look for them to continue rolling.
Prediction: Eagles win 27 to 20
Indianapolis Colts (2-6) at Houston Texans (3-4)
When: Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (CBS), NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
Quarterback Deshaun Watson was on fire since taking over as the starting quarterback, but after reportedly tearing ACL during practice on Thursday, he is officially out for the season.
The Texans will now have to insert Tom Savage back into the lineup as the starter. Savage who was benched in favor of Watson didn’t make it through a full game after opening the season as the starter. He passed for only 62 yards, fumbled twice and took six sacks in one half before getting benched. Replacing Watson’s production will be a difficult task.
Meanwhile for the Colts their problem is their inability to score enough points and the points they are allowing. Indianapolis ranks 25th in points scored and dead last in points allowed. Even without Watson, the Texans will find a way to come out of this game on top.
Prediction: Texans win 21 to 10
Washington Redskins (3-4) at Seattle Seahawks (5-2)
When: Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET (Fox), CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
Seattle is coming off arguably the best game against the Texans so far this season and were able to capture their fourth straight victory. Even though they have continued to find ways to win, this is not the Seattle team that we are used to seeing. The rushing attack is ranked 21st in the league only averaging 97.6 yards per game and their defense hasn’t been the same dominant force that they usually are having the 2oth ranked run defense. On the other hand Washington has suffered a ton of injuries this season especially on their offensive line as they a minus three of their starting linemen. The banged up Skins will have their hands full Sunday as they try to contain Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson.
Prediction: Seahawks 31 to 24
Arizona Cardinals (3-4) at San Francisco 49ers (0-8)
When: Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET (Fox), Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
The winless 49ers believe that they have found their future franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, who they acquired during the trade deadline from the New England Patriots. However the 49ers are scheduled to start rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard for the third consecutive game.
The Cardinals have lost two of their last three and are going on road where they will be eyeing for their sixth straight victory over the 49ers. Drew Stanton will make his first start for Arizona as starter Carson Palmer is sidelined with an injury.
The winless 49ers will be desperate in this game and even though he isn’t starting don’t be surprised is Jimmy Garoppolo makes an appearance in this game and help lead San Francisco to an upset for their first win of the season.
Prediction: 49ers win 20 to 17
Kansas City Chiefs (6-2) at Dallas Cowboys (4-3)
When: Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS), AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Over the past two weeks the Dallas Cowboys running game has heated back up and running back Ezekiel Elliott will play Sunday for the Cowboys as the running back was granted an administrative stay in his suspension case. Having Elliot back will definitely help as the Chiefs have the 28th ranked run defense.
But the Chiefs have been rolling, lead by NFL MVP contender quarterback Alex Smith and stellar rookie running back Kareem Hunt who is leading the NFL in rushing yards.
Dallas young secondary has had a lot of struggles versus dynamic offenses but coming off two straight victories and playing at home, expect for a great game in Dallas where the Cowboys pulling of an upset lead by their rushing attack to beat the Chiefs.
Prediction: Cowboys win 34 to 31
Oakland Raiders (3-5) at Miami Dolphins (4-3)
When: Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET (NBC), Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
Coming into the season the Raiders had huge expectations after making it back to the playoffs in over a decade. However the Raiders have failed to have the start that they expected, the offensive line has not lived up to the success that they had last year, and this offense is just simply to talented to be performing how they are.
This is a must win game for Oakland if they want to keep any chances of them making it back to the playoffs. Oakland will get running back Marshawn Lynch back from a one game suspension.
The Dolphins who have been one of the most underperforming offenses this season rank dead least in total yards per game. They will gain starting quarterback Jay Cutler and the team’s leading receiver Devante Parker back in the lineup.
With both teams desperate for a win to stay alive and keep the playoff hopes this will be a very scrappy game that will come down to who wants it more. Expect Derek Carr and company to find away in this Sunday night matchup.
Prediction: Raiders win 27 to 10
Detroit Lions (3-4) at Green Bay Packers (4-3)
When: Monday at 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN), Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
It’s never an easy task for a team to win on the road, especially when at Lambeau field. But when the Packers don’t have quarterback Aaron Rodgers under center, it sure makes it a whole lot easier. The Packers looked like a serious Super Bowl contender until Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone.
Detroit has the third most takeaways currently with 16 which include 10 interceptions on the year. Brett Hundley who made his first start as a quarterback last week against the Saints, already has thrown 4 interceptions in his two games in the absence of Rodgers.
Both of the games which Hundley has played ended with him with a sub-40 passer rating. Ultimately the game will come to Hundley and if can limit his mistakes and protect the ball.
Prediction: Lions win 28 to 17