Week 9 NFL Picks: Predicting the Biggest Blowouts of Upcoming Weekend
On paper, Week 9 of the NFL season figures to have a few games with blowout potential.
Multiple top teams are facing weaker opponents this week, and there's no doubt there will be some lopsided affairs. There are usually one or two games like that every week, but there's potential for more in Week 9.
Last week's biggest blowouts were somewhat surprising. The Cincinnati Bengals trounced the New York Jets 49-9, and the San Francisco 49ers ran all over the Jacksonville Jaguars, 42-10.
Expect more blowouts in Week 9. If you love offense, you'll want to tune in to these contests.
New Orleans Saints at New York Jets
The 6-1 New Orleans Saints travel to Metlife Stadium to take on the 4-4 New York Jets in Week 9, and Geno Smith will be looking to right the ship after his worst loss as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Smith totaled just 159 yards with two interceptions, but there were other key factors in his team's loss. The defense couldn't stop Andy Dalton (five passing touchdowns) and wide receiver Marvin Jones (four receiving touchdowns).
If they couldn't stop Dalton and Jones, there's a great chance they won't be able to stop Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham. The two form one of the best quarterback-receiver combos in the NFL, and the Jets will have a difficult time slowing them down.
While suggesting the Jets will lose by 40 points in back-to-back weeks is unreasonable, there's a strong chance this game isn't even close. Coming back from a big loss like that is important for Smith, but he's going up against an even more potent opponent this week.
The Saints will roll through the Jets this week by a score of 38-13, and expect to see gaudy numbers from Brees.
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a tough loss to the Oakland Raiders, and Tom Brady is having the most unsuccessful season of his NFL career in terms of personal stats.
He has completed just 55.7 percent of his passes and has just nine touchdowns through eight games, and the lack of consistency from his wide receivers has really hurt his numbers. With so many new faces in and out of the lineup each week, it has been difficult for him to establish any chemistry with them.
Regardless, I predict he'll have his best game of the season against Pittsburgh. He and Danny Amendola should hook up for a touchdown, and expect him to find Kenbrell Thompkins for a few deep balls as well.
The emergence of running back Stevan Ridley has given New England another dimension to its offense, and another strong week for him will help to make Week 9's game against the Steelers a blowout. He has four rushing touchdowns in the past three weeks, and there's a great chance he'll tally another one on a goal-line carry this week.
Brady will lead New England to a decisive win against Pittsburgh, 35-17.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson and Co. enter Week 9 having barely held off the St. Louis Rams in Week 8, but their offense is certainly due for big week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Sidney Rice is out for the rest of the year with a torn ACL, reports John Breech of CBSSports.com, but Percy Harvin could also be activated for the game, reports Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Theoretically, Harvin would essentially replace Rice's role with the team.
Which team will have the largest margin of victory?
The Seahawks are due for a big offensive outing. They've scored 14 points or less in two of the past three weeks, and it's time for Marshawn Lynch and Wilson to have big weeks. Lynch hasn't eclipsed 100 rushing yards since Week 5, and he definitely has the chance to do that against a defense that has struggled in recent weeks.
Another reason this game has "blowout" written all over it is the futility of the Bucs offense. Mike Glennon is learning on the fly as a starting quarterback, and he's yet to really show any positive results. The Seahawks' dominant defense will thrive and force erratic throws from him all game.
Seattle will manhandle Tampa Bay, 38-10.
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