NFL Week Nine Preview:
by Matt Magill
Game of the Week:
Broncos at Raiders – Sunday at 830. A very good Raiders offense vs. a great Broncos defense. This should be impressive to watch. Can Derek Carr keep up the momentum from his historic week last week, or does the quality of opponent affect him? It should be an entertaining game, if nothing else.
Time to do Yardwork Game of the Week:
Jets at Dolphins – Sunday at 1. Division games shouldn’t end up on this list, by rule. But when the two teams involved are this paltry, I don’t have a choice. The big question here is “how many yards does Jay Ajayi rack up against this crappy defense?”
Storylines for the Week:
Can the Bucs keep pace with the Falcons? Expect defense to be an unknown commodity on Thursday night…and somewhere Roger Goodell is laughing to himself, rubbing his hands together like Skeletor when his plan has finally come together.
I know I said this last week, but can the Vikings right the ship? You can have the best defense in the world, but your offense has to be able to score some points, and the Vikings are not showing that is even a possibility right now. I thought the Bears would have been the cure, but the Lions are better than the Bears…so who knows.
Philly had their hearts broken on Sunday night, and now they get a rested Giants team. Odell, fresh off his honeymoon with the kicking net (I think they went to Cabo) has to get his head in the game as he’s been pretty lackluster all year, and this Giants team does not have enough weapons to compete when he doesn’t show up.
The Jags are still not good, and the Chiefs, even with a banged up running back corps, are looking like a playoff team (especially that defense). Don’t look for a big week from anyone wearing a kitty-cat on the side of their helmet.
Do the Cowboys fall asleep at the wheel and let the Browns steal one this week after an emotional win on Sunday? This is probably a better test of Garrett’s coaching ability than anything. The Browns have looked better since McCown took up the quarterback mantle, but does that translate into a win against the NFC favorite?
Ravens vs. Steelers just doesn’t feel the same when it’s Landry Jones vs. the crappy version of Joe Flacco we have seen this year.
Either Drew Brees passes for 600 yards against the 49ers this weekend, or he only plays a half and they are up by 40 at the break.
The Rams have been known to sneak up on teams that overlook them, but the Panthers are trying to claw their way back into respectability if not a playoff spot. I wouldn’t expect much besides tears from Cam, but Jonathan Stewart could have a big day.
If Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are back to being a dominant offense, they can definitely handle a shootout with the Colts, because that’s probably what it’s going to be because of the Packers’ banged up defense and the Colts’ nonexistent one.
Two teams that no one really wants to play in the Titans and Chargers square off. Who is left standing when the dust settles? I feel like Rivers finds a way to get it done, but wouldn’t be surprised if it goes the other way.
The Seahawks aren’t who we thought they were, and the Bills are probably exactly who we thought they were. I’m not sure if Buffalo’s offense is good enough to score against the Seahawks unless McCoy is 100% healthy, and that hasn’t been the case since 2005.
Cleveland is 0-5. Their next five games are:
At Tennessee – Nope!
At Cincinnati – Not even close!
Home for the Jets – The Jets tried to give it away, they really did. But the Browns couldn’t get it done.
Home for the Cowboys
Do they start 0-10 or can they squeeze a win out of that schedule?