NFL Week 9 Predictions: Picking Winners for Sunday's Closest Games
Although some of the NFL's best teams are on bye this week, there are still certain to be a number of close games throughout the weekend.
The only game of Week 9 that features two teams with winning records is Monday night's battle between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. However, there are three matchups between teams with the exact same number of wins, and all of them should be close.
According to Vegas Insider, there are four games expected to be decided by less than a field goal. These games are often tough to predict, but here is some help with a breakdown of each.
San Diego Chargers (PK) at Washington Redskins
Every time it seems like Robert Griffin III is ready to break out, he comes back with a poor showing. He only completed half of his passes last week against the Denver Broncos to go with two interceptions.
To make matters worse, he barely ran the ball, totaling seven yards on five carries. His mobility had helped him a lot over the previous two games, but he stayed in the pocket in this one.
If he continues this ineffective level of play, it is hard to imagine the Redskins getting too much done on the offensive end, even against a poor defense.
Meanwhile, Philip Rivers has continued his great level of play while completing 73.9 percent of his passes. This has helped sustain drives and control the football, which will lead to a big win for the Chargers.
Prediction: Chargers 28, Redskins 20
Philadelphia Eagles (+2.5) at Oakland Raiders
After beating the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, the Raiders are now 3-0 at home when Terrelle Pryor starts. While the quarterback still needs to gain consistency, he proved that he is capable of making big plays to help his team win.
This will come up often against the Eagles defense, which ranks 31st in the league in yards allowed per game.
Pryor and Darren McFadden will continue to make a formidable rushing tandem which will cause Philadelphia problems throughout the game.
Additionally, the Eagles offense has only scored three points in the past two weeks. Until this problem is fixed, it is hard to imagine this team beating anyone.
Prediction: Raiders 24, Eagles 13
Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) at Cleveland Browns
Cleveland might be on its third quarterback, but Jason Campbell actually played well last week against an elite Chiefs defense. He avoided pressure and threw for 293 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
This will serve the team well against another defense that knows how to get to the quarterback. If the veteran can remain calm in the pocket, he should have another strong day.
Of course, the big problem for the Ravens so far is on the offensive end. The unit has been held to less than 20 points in each of the last two weeks, mostly due to the ineffectiveness of the run game, which ranks 28th in the NFL in yards per game.
Joe Flacco does not have enough weapons to make up for this, especially when Torrey Smith has to go against Joe Haden for most of the game. Cleveland will keep this a low-scoring game and squeak out an upset victory.
Prediction: Browns 17, Ravens 14
Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) at Houston Texans
After five straight losses, it is almost impossible to trust the Houston Texans. Although the defense continues to play well, the offense has been a serious problem this year.
Case Keenum might not have thrown a pick-six like his predecessors at quarterback, but he still has a slow release and gives opponents more of a chance to get to him. Things will also be more difficult for him with Arian Foster questionable as a game-time decision.
The improved Indianapolis defense should be able to slow down this attack, especially fresh off a bye.
Andrew Luck and company will then be able to score enough points to secure a victory and take a stranglehold on the AFC South.
Prediction: Colts 27, Texans 10
|Atlanta Falcons||Carolina Panthers||Panthers|
|Minnesota Vikings||Dallas Cowboys||Cowboys|
|New Orleans Saints||New York Jets||Saints|
|Tennessee Titans||St. Louis Rams||Titans|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Buffalo Bills||Chiefs|
|San Diego Chargers||Washington Redskins||Chargers|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Oakland Raiders||Raiders|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Seattle Seahawks||Seahawks|
|Baltimore Ravens||Cleveland Browns||Browns|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||New England Patriots||Patriots|
|Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans||Colts|
|Chicago Bears||Green Bay Packers||Packers|
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