The best teams in the NFL can consistently win on the road.
A road win is hard to come by, as the travel aspect combined with the change in how calls on both sides of the ball are made in a loud environment certainly play a major factor in the oft-advertised home-field advantage.
As much as a home field can help its team to a win, nothing can make up for a simple talent disparity. Week 9 features several contests in which the visiting teams are sure to disappoint the fans in attendance.
They are as follows.
|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||Chargers|
|Atlanta Falcons||Carolina Panthers||Panthers|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Oakland Raiders||Raiders|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Seattle Seahawks||Seahawks|
|Baltimore Ravens||Cleveland Browns||Browns|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||New England Patriots||Steelers|
|Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans||Colts|
|Chicago Bears||Green Bay Packers||Packers|
Chris Roling's Predictions
Tennessee Titans Down St. Louis Rams
As much as Jeff Fisher would surely love a win when his former team visits St. Louis, the Tennessee Titans are too much for the Rams regardless of the locale.
There's something to be said for how well the Rams played on Monday against Seattle, as Robert Quinn and Co. sacked Russell Wilson seven times en route to a 14-9 loss. However, that short layover and an emotional loss will work against the Rams.
Tennessee finally got quarterback Jake Locker back, and while he managed over 300 yards against San Francisco two weeks ago, the majority came after the team was already down 24-0.
The Titans got off to a 3-1 start with Locker under center before his injury, and things will get back to normal after a bye week against St. Louis. Locker will be effective along with his running game thanks to a defense that allows 116 rushing yards per game.
Prediction: Titans 30, Rams 17
Pittsburgh Steelers Upset New England Patriots
Former AFC powerhouses in Pittsburgh and New England have not been very good this season, although New England has managed a 6-2 record.
Tom Brady is not his usual self and has thrown just nine touchdowns and surpassed the 300-yard mark once—Rob Gronkowski's return has done little to help the issue.
Tom Brady has an NFL-high 76 off-target passes this season, 15 more than the next-closest QB (Eli Manning)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 29, 2013
Among 36 qualifying quarterbacks in the NFL this season, Tom Brady ranks 31st in completion percentage (55.4%).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 27, 2013
Which team wins?
The game may be in Foxborough, where New England has won every game this season, but Brady's ineffectiveness will finally be exposed, as Pittsburgh touts the second-best pass defense in the NFL with only 181 yards allowed per game.
Pittsburgh will be able to get back to basics and control the game via the run. Rookie back Le'Veon Bell has been extremely impressive as a power runner and now sees a soft New England defense that ranks second-to-last in the NFL with 130.8 yards allowed per game on the ground.
Bell and the Steelers will move past New England in a bit of a shocker.
Prediction: Steelers 27, Patriots 24
Indianapolis Colts Sneak By Houston Texans
Last year this battle between AFC South rivals was for supremacy in the division.
Now it's simply a case of Indianapolis marching onward to the playoffs and Houston fighting to remain relevant.
The Texans received a boost from quarterback Case Keenum two weeks ago against Kansas City as he threw for over 200 yards in a loss, but the inexperienced quarterback may be without both Arian Foster and Ben Tate, per Kevin Bowen, who reports for the Colts' official site:
Gary Kubiak on Indy conference call said Arian Foster and Ben Tate will be "very limited" at today's practice, likely game-time decisions— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) October 30, 2013
Indianapolis has a horrible defense against the run as the unit allows over 122 yards per game, but if Foster and Tate are limited at best, that will force Keenum into a one-dimensional attack through the air, which is preferable as the Colts' defensive strength.
Andrew Luck will face an uphill battle against the league's best pass defense, but his top-10 rushing attack will allow the Colts to grind out a win over the injury-plagued Texans.
Prediction: Colts 27, Texans 24
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling