Midway through the 2013 NFL season, we've seen more than a few conceptions meet a miserable fate, and every new week presents a new set of conundrums.
Week 9 presents some intriguing matchups that feature teams that match up well against one another—even if that means both teams are equally bad.
There's only one game on the schedule this weekend featuring two teams with winning records. You'll have to wait until Monday Night Football to watch that one, as the Chicago Bears travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers in an NFC North clash.
Here's a look at every game on the schedule, along with predicted winners for each one. Following is a closer examination of the most intriguing games this weekend.
|Cincinnati Bengals||Miami Dolphins||Bengals|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Buffalo Bills||Chiefs|
|Minnesota Vikings||Dallas Cowboys||Cowboys|
|Tennessee Titans||St. Louis Rams||Titans|
|New Orleans Saints||New York Jets||Saints|
|San Diego Chargers||Washington Redskins||Redskins|
|Atlanta Falcons||Carolina Panthers||Panthers|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Oakland Raiders||Raiders|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Seattle Seahawks||Seahawks|
|Baltimore Ravens||Cleveland Browns||Ravens|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||New England Patriots||Patriots|
|Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans||Texans|
|Chicago Bears||Green Bay Packers||Packers|
Tennessee at St. Louis
The Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Rams both enter this game with three wins, and while both are long shots to make the postseason, they are still formidable opponents
Tennessee is currently in second place in the AFC South with a record of 3-4, while St. Louis is in fourth place in the NFC West at 3-5. The Titans have lost three straight games, and the Rams have lost two in a row.
St. Louis nearly took down the mighty Seattle Seahawks on national television on Monday night, falling just a yard short of the goal line with time expiring.
The Titans also played the Seahawks tough, losing by just seven points in Seattle.
Needless to say, these two squads are evenly matched.
However, I like Jake Locker more than I like Kellen Clemens, and with Zac Stacy coming into this contest banged up with an ankle injury, the Rams are likely doomed at home.
Final Score: Titans win 23-17.
Philadelphia at Oakland
Nobody predicted the Raiders would have a better record than the Eagles midway through this season. However, that's what we're looking at heading into Week 9 when Philly travels to Oakland for a critical road matchup the Eagles must win to stay pace in the NFC East.
At 3-5, the Eagles have lost two games in a row, and the team's highly anticipated high-powered offense has failed to materialize.
Oakland, on the other hand, has won two of its last three games and two in a row at home, beating the San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Michael Vick is out of this upcoming game with his hamstring injury, and Nick Foles will start in his stead, as noted by the Eagles on Twitter:
Coach Kelly: Nick Foles will be our starting quarterback this week and he'll take first-team reps to prepare for #PHIvsOAK.— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 30, 2013
Foles was embarrassingly ineffective in his last outing, passing for just 80 yards on 29 attempts before leaving the game against the Dallas Cowboys with a concussion two weeks ago.
Terrelle Pryor will outplay Foles at home and direct his team to its fourth win of the season.
Final Score: Raiders win 24-21.
Pittsburgh at New England
Looking at the standings, this game shouldn't even be close.
New England leads the AFC East by two games with a 6-2 record, while Pittsburgh is currently occupying the AFC North's basement with a record of 2-5.
But the Steelers have won two of three games heading into Week 9, just like the Patriots, and Dick LeBeau's defense is starting to look like itself again after a couple of early-season hiccups against the Cincinnati Bengals and Minnesota Vikings.
Which team will win?
The Patriots are seriously banged up on both sides of the ball. Landing Isaac Sopoaga will likely help New England stop the run, but he won't be of any help against the pass, which is where Pittsburgh's offense is the most dangerous.
Tom Brady has found ways to win this year, and he'll do it again this Sunday against the Steelers
Final Score: Patriots win 27-24.
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