05 November 2015

2015 NFL Predictions: Week 9

We are around the midseason point of the 2015 NFL season (read my midseason awards) and I will be willing that at this point, you were not expecting the Raiders to be a playoff contender. But look at where we are, they are in the playoffs if the season were to end today. To quote a friend of mine: How bout dat?

Oakland is in action this week at Pittsburgh. Continue for my predictions of that game and all others for Week 9.

Last Week: 9-5
2015: 76-62
Locks: 7-1

Thursday, November 5th
Browns (2-6) vs. Bengals (7-0) - NFLN, 8:25
Cleveland Browns (2015 - Pres)Cincinnati Bengals (2004 - Pres)
Andy Dalton is certainly not the same quarterback at night as he has been in early games, but there is no question that he has been very good this year. What will make him better is that Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill will have plenty of room to run against a truly pitiful run defense of the Browns. Unless Johnny Manziel plays like it's 2012, Cincinnati will get the win.
Bengals 27 Browns 14

Sunday, November 8th
Packers (6-1) vs. Panthers (7-0) - Fox, 1:00
Green Bay Packers (1980 - Pres)Carolina Panthers (2012 - Pres)
I think after a very disappointing performance against the Broncos on Sunday night, there are some real questions about the Packers and especially when they play a strong defense. Carolina is not as good defensively as Denver is, but it is still a solid unit. However, I like the Packers to bounce back and a big reason why is that there are few quarterbacks better at coming off a loss than Aaron Rodgers.
Packers 30 Panthers 26

Washington (3-4) vs. Patriots (7-0) - Fox, 1:00
Washington Redskins (1965 - 1969)New England Patriots (1993 - 1999)
After another impressive victory on Thursday night for the Patriots, the talk of another undefeated season is starting to arise. While we can debate whether it is too early for such a discussion, I see nothing to have me think that their spotless record will be stained by Washington. And no, I don't think that Kirk Cousins has turned the corner after leading that comeback against the Buccaneers. New England is my Lock of the Week.
Patriots 31 Washington 13

Titans (1-6) vs. Saints (4-4) - CBS, 1:00
Tennessee Titans (1999 - Pres)New Orleans Saints (1967 - 1984)
Remember how Ken Whisenhunt almost won a Super Bowl? Since then, his teams have gone 21-50 and now has been fired twice after the Titans fired him on Tuesday. We shouldn't expect anything different since Marcus Mariota is not healthy, the roster is still terrible and Mike Mularkey is probably a downgrade at head coach. The Saints are showing a little bit of life and they will sail here.
Saints 30 Titans 10

Dolphins (3-4) vs. Bills (3-4) - CBS, 1:00
Miami Dolphins (1974 - 1989)Buffalo Bills (1974 - Pres)
Rex Ryan had to spend some of the bye week fending off talk about whether he has lost the locker room after a dreadful performance in London against Jacksonville. They do get Tyrod Taylor back and so that should help out, but there still are a number of issues with this team that they have got to get fixed. Miami got drilled by New England this past Thursday but I think they'll get a nice road win in Orchard Park.
Dolphins 21 Bills 17

Rams (4-3) vs. Vikings (5-2) - Fox, 1:00
St. Louis Rams (1995 - 1999)Minnesota Vikings (1998 - Pres)
You have got a couple of playoff contenders right here that are powered by strong defenses with excellent rushing attacks. We all know about Adrian Peterson but you could make a case that Todd Gurley may be not only the better running back here, but he may have already become the best running back in the NFL. And then not only that, the Rams are a little better against the run than the Vikings are. I like St. Louis.
Rams 15 Vikings 10

Jaguars (2-5) vs. Jets (4-3) - CBS, 1:00
Jacksonville Jaguars (2013 - Pres)New York Jets (1963 - 1963)
So it looks like Ryan Fitzpatrick will ultimately be starting for the Jets on Sunday and while he probably is the best quarterback on the roster, I doubt that he is 100%. Is a less than fully healthy Fitzpatrick a better option than Geno Smith or rookie Bryce Petty? I'm not sure but ultimately, I don't think it matters. Their defense will rebound from a bad performance in Oakland and they'll take out the Jaguars.
Jets 19 Jaguars 14

Raiders (4-3) vs. Steelers (4-4) - CBS, 1:00
This has now become a key matchup in the wild card race as the Raiders are currently in and the Steelers are currently a half game back. Pittsburgh will now have to fight hard in the playoff race as they are without Le'Veon Bell for the season but a better performance from Ben Roethlisberger as he continues to get back from his knee injury should help against the second worst pass defense in the NFL.
Steelers 28 Raiders 26

Giants (4-4) vs. Buccaneers (3-4) - Fox, 4:05
New York Giants (1976 - 1999)Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1997 - 2013)
It is never a great sign when your quarterback throws for 350 and six touchdowns and not only do you lose, your quarterback got outplayed. That goes to show how bad the pass defense is for the Giants, statistically the worst pass defense in the NFL. Therefore, the Giants are going to have to get into shootouts to win games but the Buccaneers have a decent pass defense, unlike the Saints. Jameis Winston is continuing to get better and he will get his team to .500.
Buccaneers 35 Giants 31

Falcons (6-2) vs. 49ers (2-6) - Fox, 4:05
Atlanta Falcons (2003 - Pres)San Francisco 49ers (1968 - 1995)
The Falcons may have been exposed as a little bit of a fraud when, after surviving a number of close calls against mediocre competition, they lost in overtime to the Bucs at home. A good development for them is that the 49ers are a dumpster fire and are starting the immortal, almost iconic Blaine "Sunshine" Gabbert at quarterback. What a time to be alive.
Falcons 17 49ers 0

Broncos (7-0) vs. Colts (3-5) - CBS, 4:25
Denver Broncos (1997 - Pres)Indianapolis Colts (1984 - 2001)
We have to give credit where credit is due because the Denver offense actually looked pretty good this Sunday in a convincing win over the Packers. And now you know that Peyton Manning will have some motivation after the Colts upset his team in the playoffs. Fortunately for him, the Colts continue to struggle with turnovers and bad defense.
Broncos 24 Colts 14

Eagles (3-4) vs. Cowboys (2-5) - NBC, 8:30
Philadelphia Eagles (1987 - 1995)Dallas Cowboys (1964 - Pres)
John Breech of CBS is always good for some nifty stats and here's a good one: Tony Romo still leads the Cowboys in touchdown passes with a hearty three. That's telling, and it helps to show how the Cowboys have now lost five straight since Romo got injured. That also makes it hard to bet on this team even as the Eagles have their own problems with Sam Bradford struggling to power the offense in his own right.
Eagles 26 Cowboys 20

Monday, November 9th
Bears (2-5) vs. Chargers (2-6) - ESPN, 8:30
Chicago Bears (1963 - 1992)San Diego Chargers (2007 - Pres)
Neither of these teams are any good as their combined 4-11 records will show. The Chargers have lost four games in a row while the Bears have lost only two in a row but to be fair, all of those loses could have been won by either team. Being without Keenan Allen will not help Philip Rivers out but he has been putting up some big numbers and I think that probably will continue here.
Chargers 25 Bears 22


  1. Hi Ben
    In all honesty I think Week 9 has four possible LOTWs and you chose one of them. I was stuck between Cleveland at Cincy, Titans at NO and Atlanta at the 49ers and finally chose Titans at Saints in favour of New Orleans of course. It's not that the Saints are so great as an all-round team because their defence is woeful. But the Titans are the Titanic of the NFL and everyone would love to play them right now.

  2. The Cowboys will destroy the Eagles on Sunday Night. The Eagles have no answer to blocking Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, especially, with Peter's out. Cowboys win big. Cowboys 33 Eagles 20. How About Them Cowboys! I