Week 9 of the NFL regular season is already upon us, and it’s time to pick which teams will win Sunday’s marquee matchups.
Each of the following teams will steal the show this week and walk away from the most exciting games with a hard-fought victory.
All stats via NFL.com.
|Away Team||Home Team||Spread||Predicted Winner|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Miami Dolphins||Bengals -2.5||Bengals|
|Atlanta Falcons||Carolina Panthers||Panthers -7.5||Panthers|
|Minnesota Vikings||Dallas Cowboys||Cowboys -10.5||Cowboys|
|New Orleans Saints||New York Jets||Saints -5.5||Saints|
|Tennessee Titans||St. Louis Rams||Titans -4||Titans|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Buffalo Bills||Chiefs -3.5||Chiefs|
|San Diego Chargers||Washington Redskins||Pick 'em||Chargers|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Oakland Raiders||Eagles -1.5||Eagles|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Seattle Seahawks||Seahawks -17||Seahawks|
|Baltimore Ravens||Cleveland Browns||Ravens -3||Ravens|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||New England Patriots||Patriots -7||Patriots|
|Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans||Colts -2.5||Colts|
|Chicago Bears||Green Bay Packers||Packers -11||Packers|
*Spreads via FootballLocks.com.
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
Both the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans are coming off of a Week 8 bye, and it is imperative that each franchise walks out of this Sunday Night Football matchup with the victory.
The Colts have lost wide receiver Reggie Wayne for the season with a knee injury, but with the improved rushing attack led by newly acquired back Trent Richardson and Andrew Luck under center, the future is still very bright this season.
On the other hand, the wheels are coming off in Houston. With Matt Schaub benched this week in favor of Case Keenum, per Deepi Sidhu of HoustonTexans.com, the Texans will be looking for their third win of the season. That’s not good for a team many considered legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
While Houston’s No. 1 ranked pass defense led by end J.J. Watt will give Luck a tough time all day (allowing just 145.6 yards per game), the Colts ninth-ranked rushing attack will destroy the Texans 28th-ranked run defense (allowing 122.1 yards per game).
Predicted Final Score: Indianapolis 27, Houston 21
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots
The New England Patriots were able to squeeze out a win over the Miami Dolphins this week, but the team has been a shell of the perennial Super Bowl contenders they have been over the last five seasons.
With a pass offense ranked 23rd in the NFL (only amassing 209.4 yards per game), Tom Brady and the Patriots offense have been playing poorly all season. The hope is that the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski to elite status continues this week, and the team has the weapon it needs to be viable contenders.
Pittsburgh is another team not living up to the franchise’s high expectations. After winning only two games all season, the Steelers are coming off of a heartbreaking loss to the lowly Oakland Raiders.
If New England can get the rushing attack moving consistently—led by the trio of Stevan Ridley, LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden—the Patriots will be able to gouge Pittsburgh’s 27th-ranked run defense (allowing 121.9 yards per game).
Predicted Final Score: New England 31, Pittsburgh 20
San Diego Chargers at Washington Redskins
The San Diego Chargers and the Washington Redskins aren’t typical rivals with a long history, but as two of the best offensive units in the league, Sunday's matchup has the potential to be a high-scoring shootout.
San Diego is coming off of a bye week, and the team looks as healthy as it has been all season. Led by Philip Rivers and the Chargers sixth-ranked pass attack, the away team will look to exploit the putrid Washington defense.
The Redskins are 28th against the pass (allowing 273.7 yards per game) and 30th against the run (allowing 123.4 yards per game).
Washington’s star quarterback Robert Griffin III has once again reemerged as the dual-threat star that could single-handily change the fortune of the team, but whether he will be able to keep up with the scoring pace of San Diego will be the ultimate test.
Predicted Final Score: San Diego 33, Washington 30