The second half of the season starts this week. And as usual, the contenders have made themselves evident who they are at this time. Along with the teams that have shown to be contenders, there are some that have shown that they have a long way to go. Just like some teams have shown to be contenders or pretenders, there are some that have yet to wake up but are hovering around the edges of the playoffs. If those hovering around are to make the playoffs, then this is the week they need to make their move. Time is running out and those teams need to make some things happen. And for that to happen, players need make some things happen as well. Welcome to a crucial week in the NFL. Let’s get into the General’s proclamations for Week 9 in the NFL!
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- The Bucs defense has been quite interesting this year to say the least. And on national television against one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, they may get embarrassed. Look for the Falcons to put up forty points on the Bucs in this one.
- The offense of the Bucs has been interesting as well, almost exclusively becoming a passing team. And in this one, things will be no different. Jameis Winston will throw the football at least forty-five times in this game.
- The Falcons defense has been led in sacks by linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. And in this game, he will add to his sack total by collecting two more sacks. This was what they expected from Beasley last year and he is giving them exactly what they need.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
- The Lions offense have been a little up and down this year at times. But in this game, expect them to be on again. The Vikings have been struggling defensively, mainly because of them being on the field a lot of the game. I don’t expect that to change in this one as the Lions get at least 24 points against the Minnesota defense.
- The Vikings have struggled offensively and the blame starts with their offensive line. Look for them to give up at least three sacks in this game as they try hard to protect Sam Bradford but fail in some of those aspects.
- There has to be some questions as to how the Vikings offense will be since their offensive coordinator, Norv Turner, has recently resigned. Well, with whatever that plan may be, it must include stretching the field some. And if that is the case, look for Stephon Diggs to get at least get two chances to make a big play deep. And Bradford will connect on one of those chances for at least a twenty yard completion.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
- The Eagles lost a tough one to the Cowboys last week, but that does not mean they did not do some good things. Well, in this one, I think they rediscover the tight end position. Look for the Carson Wentz to complete at least five passes to that position in this one.
- The chemistry between Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. is starting to get better and better. And with the defensive backs that Philadelphia has, look at their chemistry to look even better. Expect Beckham Jr. to go for over 100 yards receiving along with one touchdown and one touchdown celebration that probably no one will understand.
- The defenses in this one have had good moments and bad moments too. And this game will be the perfect reflection of that. Look for both defenses to make a big mistake that cost them and also look for both defenses to force a big turnover that helps them out.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
- The Jets have been underwhelming this year offensively. But in this game, look for the defense to be underwhelming stopping the run. Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi has been incredible the last two games. He may not get 200 yards in this one, but he will surely make the Jets work defensively, accumulating 150 yards rushing and a touchdown.
- The Jets are looking again to have Ryan Fitzpatrick to be the starter this week. And we all know of his struggles. But he will be facing one guy that can break any quarterback out of a struggle and his name is Byron Maxwell. The Dolphins corner will be targeted in this game by the Jets. And expect him to live up to his nickname, Burnt Toast, when he is torched by any pick of Jets wide receivers for a big play or two in this game.
- Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been best when he has not had to lead the team and be the frontline guy. Ajayi has afforded him that during his hot streak. And in this one, he shall afford him that again. Look for Tannehill to not have a spectacular game numbers-wise, but look for him to get at least 180 yards passing with no interceptions and one touchdown pass.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs
- The Jaguars looked bad last week versus the Tennessee Titans last week, especially offensively. Well, this week they fired their offensive coordinator. But the bad thing for them is that change will not count for much. The Jags will have at least two turnovers offensively as things get even worse for them on that side of the ball.
- The Chiefs will be playing without starting quarterback Alex Smith. Well, having a backup that played in your system for a while is not a bad option. Look for Nick Foles to step in and throw for three touchdowns and 200 yards passing.
- The Chiefs secondary has been a little quiet recently. Well, that stops this week as their veteran safety, Eric Berry, collects an interception in this game.
Dallas Cowboys at Cleveland Browns
- The Cowboys had a great comeback versus the Eagles last week. Fortunately for them, this week does not have the same amount of drama. The Cowboys will not trail in this game at all. Not even by a field goal.
- The Browns will fight, don’t get it twisted. And the face of that fight will be wide receiver Tyrelle Pryor. The quarterback turned wide receiver will take advantage of a wounded Cowboys secondary. Look for him to get about 100 yards receiving and a touchdown or two.
- The Cowboys have the rookie tandem of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott playing well right now. Well, in this game, Elliott will continue to show why he is the NFL’s leading rusher. Behind that excellent offensive line, look for Elliot to rush for 180 yards and two touchdowns, as the Browns defensive line will be on skates in this one.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
- The Steelers have an explosive offense and the Ravens have to be on their toes in this one. Well, Big Ben may be back and that could get the Steelers going. Look for the Steelers to score at least 25 points in this game.
- The Ravens have had a carousel at running back this season. And in this game, don’t expect that to change. Look for the Ravens to use at least three running backs in this game, as they try to manufacture the running game in this one.
- The Steelers defense needs someone to step up and rush the passer consistently. And in this game, maybe they take a step towards that with an unlikely guy. Former first-round pick Jarvis Jones will end up having two sacks in this game, shocking all those that follow this team.
New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers
- The Saints got a much-needed win last week versus the Seattle Seahawks. But what they did not get is a good performance from running back Mark Ingram. Look for the Saints to give him another chance after the message was sent to him last week about fumbling the football. And with that chance, look for Ingram to get 100 yards rushing.
- The 49ers are coming off a bye week. And during that time, the team probably had some time to work on a few things. Well, one of those things should be getting wide receiver Torrey Smith lose deep. And in this one, expect the speedy wide receiver to catch the Saints slipping a little bit as he coasts for a big gain of over 40 yards in this one.
- Both the Saints and the 49ers can give up some points. But in this one, the team that makes the best defensive play can win the game. Now this may not win the game, but outside linebacker Aaron Lynch will sure try to help make it happen as he gets two sacks in this game.
Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams
- The Panthers got healthy last week at the expense of the Arizona Cardinals. And a big reason was because of their defense. They played like they did last season and probably will play like that in this game. Look for the Panthers to force at least two turnovers in this game and continue the defensive roll out of the bye week.
- The Rams have yet to have that monster game from their star running back Todd Gurley. Well, he may not have a superstar-type game, but he will be active in this one. Look for Gurley to have 120 total yards from scrimmage and one touchdown.
- Cam Newton talked to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this week regarding the questionable hits he has taken that have not been flagged. Well in this game, expect Cam to get a call that he is not used to getting. A ref will actually throw a flag that entails the explanation of roughing the passer against the Rams involving Cam Newton.
Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers
- The Colts have been up and down all season long. Well, expect them to be a little bit more down in this one than up because there may not be any TY Hilton. Look for the Colts to score less than seventeen points in this game.
- The Packers have lost running back after running back this season. And in this game, you may as well say they don’t have one. So expect quarterback Aaron Rodgers to sling it around in this one. Expect him to throw 40-50 times in this game.
- The Colts have a touch challenge this week running the football. The Packers are tough to run against. And in this game, look for them to stop the Colts running game dead in their tracks. The Colts will not run for over 70 yards.
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers
- The Tennessee Titans come into this game winners of three of their last four games. And the key to that has been the running game. Expect the Titans to do what they do and run the football like they can. DeMarco Murray should total 140 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
- On the flipside, the Titans defense has had good times and bad times this year and it has all depended on their pass rush. Well in this one, look for the Titans pass rush to slow just a little bit. And because of that, Phillip Rivers will throw for nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns against an average Titans secondary.
- The Chargers are trying to get back on the winning side while the Titans are trying to start a winning streak. And all the while, both coaches can make some questionable decisions. Look for both coaches to try their best to lose this game by making a head-scratching decision.
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders
- The Broncos need their running game to step up and need it to step up now. In this game, they get to face an underperforming Oakland defense. And that will be just what the Broncos running game needs. Look for them to average four yards per carry as they reach 100+ yards rushing as a team.
- The Raiders offense is lethal and they are led by quarterback Derek Carr. The MVP candidate has been on fire this season, but he faces a little bit of a challenge in the Denver secondary. But like anything, the best players rise to the occasion and Carr will rise up. Look for him to throw for 300 yards and two touchdowns, including one more to his tight end Michael Rivera.
- Khalil Mack has not been the guy he was last season, but the Raiders have been able to overcome that. Well, look for the Raiders to finally get to see the guy they saw last season again. Mack will get two sacks in this game.
Buffalo Bills at Seattle Seahawks
- The Bills have got their season back on track and that has happened all because of the running game. But in this one, expect the running of Tyrod Taylor to make some things happen. Look for the Seahawks to get some of the same medicine Russell Wilson has been giving to Seahawks opponents with 80 yards rushing against the Seattle defense.
- Percy Harvin decided to come out of retirement this week. And while it was inauspicious that he came back this week against a team that he was traded from because of issues between Harvin and the team. Well, his comeback this week will not be something he will write home about. Look for him to maybe get one catch for the Bills in this game if that at all.
- The Seahawks pass rush will be missing veteran Michael Bennett this week, as he is out due to knee surgery. Expect the pass rush to pick up where he left off though, as Frank Clark will be pressed into a bigger role. And just like he has all season, he will make a few plays. Look for him to have a couple sacks and bring the energy he always does.
Week Nine is upon us. Enjoy the games!