There are a couple of games that are generating quite a bit of buzz entering Week 9, but there are some other very intriguing matchups that are getting overlooked.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots are getting a ton of national attention right now, mostly due to the fact that they've been arguably the most successful franchises in this millennium. Due to the nature of their rivalry, the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have been frequently talked about and will be playing on Monday Night Football.
Let's take a look at a complete list of predictions for Week 9, followed by a breakdown of some of the most underrated games.
San Diego Chargers (4-3) at Washington Redskins (2-5)
|NFL Week 9 Predictions|
|Kansas City Chiefs||24-14||Buffalo Bills|
|Minnesota Vikings||20-28||Dallas Cowboys|
|Tennessee Titans||24-10||St. Louis Rams|
|New Orleans Saints||30-17||New York Jets|
|San Diego Chargers||28-31||Washington Redskins|
|Atlanta Falcons||14-28||Carolina Panthers|
|Philadelphia Eagles||17-21||Oakland Raiders|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneeers||20-30||Seattle Seahawks|
|Baltimore Ravens||14-20||Cleveland Browns|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||21-28||New England Patriots|
|Indianapolis Colts||31-14||Houston Texans|
|Chicago Bears||20-35||Green Bay Packers|
|Predictions by Tyler Brooke|
Date: Sunday, Nov. 3
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Prediction: 31-28, Redskins
It's unlikely that either of these teams are going to the playoffs at the end of the year. However, both of them are trying to at least have respectable seasons and are starting to turn things around, which means that this could be a close battle.
After losing to the Oakland Raiders in Week 5, the San Diego Chargers have won two straight games, including a big win over the Indianapolis Colts. They allowed just 15 points in those two games, and it looks like they're finally starting to turn things around defensively.
Philip Rivers continues to have a very underrated season, throwing for 2,132 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions while completing an impressive 73.9 percent of his passes. If he continues this pace, he will break his career-high with a 111.1 passer rating.
The Washington Redskins actually looked like they had a shot to win against the Denver Broncos after going up 21-7 on a DeAngelo Hall pick-six in the third quarter. Unfortunately, they gave up 38 unanswered points and got blown out after that.
Robert Griffin III had a very bad game, but we've seen him look more comfortable on his knee. He's not shy of running the ball anymore and is stepping into more of his throws.
What's killing the Redskins isn't the offense; it's the defense. It's allowing 397.1 yards and 32.7 points per game, the second-worst in the NFL.
I think we saw some life in the Redskins defense before the collapse in the fourth quarter, and that should carry over in this one. RGIII will finally have a big game and carry his team to a much-needed win.
Tennessee Titans (3-4) at St. Louis Rams (3-5)
Date: Sunday, Nov. 3
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Prediction: 24-10, Titans
No one is talking about this game, but a win for the Tennessee Titans could actually put them in the playoff race in the AFC.
A lot of credit has to go to Jake Locker for improving quite a bit as a passer when healthy this season. So far, he's thrown for 1,047 yards, eight touchdowns and only one interception in just five games.
The secondary for the Titans has been huge this year. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty have the second- and third-highest grades for cornerbacks behind Darrelle Revis.
The St. Louis Rams will be without Sam Bradford for the rest of the season, but that didn't keep them from nearly taking down the Seattle Seahawks. Still, Kellen Clemens isn't going to get the job done on an offense that is already struggling to score points.
The other side of the ball is filled with tons of talent but is struggling with consistency. Robert Quinn and Chris Long have been spectacular at getting to the opposing quarterback, combining for 15.5 sacks on the year.
The Titans should be able to win this one, and that would move them to 4-4 for the season. Looking at their remaining schedule, it isn't out of the question to think that they could win eight or nine games and actually be in the playoff race at the end of the year.
Baltimore Ravens (3-4) at Cleveland Browns (3-5)
Date: Sunday, Nov. 3
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Prediction: 20-14 Browns
The Cincinnati Bengals may have the lead in the AFC North for now, but with the injuries they've suffered over the past couple of weeks, one of these two teams might be able to make a run in the division over the second half of the season.
After winning the Super Bowl just under nine months ago, the Baltimore Ravens are now looking at potentially being under .500 halfway through the year. The biggest issue has been the lack of a running game, despite having Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce in the backfield.
Football Outsiders has the Ravens as the worst offensive line in regards to run blocking in the entire NFL. They're only running for 2.8 yards per carry, which is crazy considering the success they've had on the ground in previous years.
Trading Trent Richardson seemed to have ignited a spark in the locker room for the Cleveland Browns, winning three straight games after sending him off. Unfortunately, that spark seemed to die after Brian Hoyer was lost for the season with a torn ACL.
The Browns decided to start Jason Campbell last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, and it nearly resulted in a win. Campbell threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns with a 105.4 passer rating. According to Mary Kay Cabot from Cleveland.com, Campbell will start once again against the Ravens.
When Brandon Weeden has started, this team has struggled. When other QBs have played, they've done well. I expect that we will see more of the same in this one, and that the Browns will be able to pick up another big win.