By Eric Jacinto, Matt Koontz and Mike B
The second half of the 2018 NFL season, features some key games: the Pittsburgh Steelers play the Baltimore Ravens for the second time this season; the Ravens beat them 26-14 in Pittsburgh in week four. One of the biggest games of the weekend and possibly the season so far is the undefeated Los Angeles Rams travel to the "Big Easy" to play Drew Brees and the 6-1 New Orleans Saints, this game could very well decide home field in the NFC. The Atlanta Falcons head to DC to play the 5-2, NFC East leaders the Washington Redskins. Finally, in the "Main Event" of Week Nine is Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers playing Tom Brady and the 6-2 New England Patriots.
Week 8 Results:
Week 9 Predictions:
Sunday, November 4, 2018:
Chicago Bears, (4-3) @ Buffalo Bills, (2-6), FOX:
The Bears aren’t that great, 3rd best in the division. The Bills are without Derek Anderson and Nathan Peterman is playing QB this weekend. The Bills are already picking up the loss with him at QB entering this weekend. The Bears are going to be wary of the Bills strong defense though as it could cause Trubisky some struggles. Final Score: Bears 29 - Bills; Matt K
Eric's Final Score: Bears 24 - Bills 10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (3-4) @ Carolina Panthers, (5-2), Fox:
Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the starting QB for the Bucs once again. This time isn’t due to a suspension, Jameis messed up last week and lost the starting job. The Bucs need to find a way to get their pass game going if they want to win this game. The Panthers stunned me last week at home by dominating the Ravens in a game I thought their offensive line wouldn’t be able to handle. The Panthers are surprising me this season more and more and DJ Moore has shown the talent I knew he had way before he was drafted. They have something special here. Final Score: Panthers 27 - Buccaneers 23; Matt K
Eric's Final Score: Panthers 34 - Buccaneers 20
Kansas City Chiefs, (7-1) @ Cleveland Browns, (2-5-1), CBS:
The Chiefs are the best AFC team I truly believe that 100%. Their defense isn’t by any means good, but they have shown some signs of improvement over the past week or so. Patrick Mahomes is a super stud and should be expected to torch the Browns defense. The Browns have fired their head coach Hue Jackson. Greg Williams their DC will now be the head coach for now. People think the Browns have a bunch of pieces, but they have a starting QB who isn’t ready to be the starter yet at the NFL level. They are a 4-11-1 team this season honestly. Final Score: Chiefs 37 - Browns 24; Matt K
Eric's Final Score: Chiefs 41 - Browns 14
New York Jets, (3-5) @ Miami Dolphins, (4-4), CBS:
This game is a hard one to predict. The Jets are a team with growing pains, but for the most part are competitive even in losses. Darnold has the arm to win games, but he needs a better supporting cast than the one he was provided. The Dolphins need to honestly ask which QB is better for them, Tannehill or Osweiler? Their defense is decent but exhausted as the team’s offense has been too inconsistent. They are dead in the water at this point in the division race as they have let the Patriots basically feel safe from any danger from division opponents. The Dolphins now will be playing for a long shot at the wild card.
Final Score: Jets 23 - Dolphins 19; Matt K
Eric's Final Score: Dolphins 27 - Jets 24
Pittsburgh Steelers, (4-2-1) @ Baltimore Ravens, (4-4), CBS:
The Steelers are honestly better off without Le’Veon so it seems as James Conner is the monster, we said he would be 2 years ago. The Steelers lost to the Ravens already this year in Pittsburgh and if they lose this one, they let Baltimore right back into this division race. If they win this game, they might knock the Ravens out of the division race already as it would make the Ravens 1-3 in division. The Ravens under Harbaugh, over the past 3 years have been very inconsistent and play way worse on the road than they have at home. I believe it is time for Harbaugh to move on as his time in Baltimore seems to be coming to an end. The Ravens have a great defense, but the offense has just been far too inconsistent. Ravens at home though make this one better. Final Score: Ravens 24 - Steelers 18; Matt K
Eric's Final Score: Steelers 24 - Ravens 22
Detroit Lions, (3-4) @ Minnesota Vikings, (4-3-1), FOX:
The Lions were just smoked at home in all aspects of the game against the Seahawks last week. They are an even worse team on the road which doesn’t really leave them much to look forward to as they head to Minneapolis this week to take on the best team in their division. Detroit is also now without Golden Tate who was clearly their best WR and will hurt their offensive production even more. The Vikings on the other hand are coming off a loss to the Saints who I believe are the 2nd best team in the NFL. The Vikes are a good team with the capability of a deep playoff run later this year. They need to open up the Lions defense with their pass game and then let LatMurray run loose on them late once they get a big lead.
Final Score: Vikings 30 - Lions 17; Matt K
Eric's Final Score: Vikings 31 Lions 17
Atlanta Falcons, (3-4) @ Washington Redskins, FOX:
The Falcons are coming off a bye week. That won’t change the fact that their defense is beat up and terrible. The offense is a great one even without Devonta Freeman. I am glad Calvin Ridley is going to be healthy after the bye because he is a lot of fun to watch. The Skins are much better than I thought before the year. The Skins already sneaky and stellar defense gained HaHa Clinton-Dix which can only make them even more incredible. Alex Smith is a great player and Chris Thompson has been a great help to their offense. Final Score: Redskins 26 - Falcons 24; Matt K
Eric's Final Score: Redskins 34 - Falcons 24
Houston Texans, (5-3) @ Denver Broncos, (3-5), CBS:
The Texans are quickly becoming one of the best teams in the league. Now they have added even more firepower to this team by getting DT in a trade from the team they actually play this week. They have won 5 in a row and look incredible right now. The defense is really starting to become an extremely reliable unit with JJ Watt really stepping up and making an impact on almost every play even without wrapping up the QB. The Broncos offense lost a major piece, but Courtland Sutton is a very talented rookie that they can trust. I believe Case Keenum is not going to get them to the next level. He is a game manager, but not a game winning QB. Final Score: Texans 31 - Broncos 27 ; Matt K
Eric's Final Score: Broncos 23 - Texans 20
Los Angeles Chargers, (5-2) @ Seattle Seahawks, (4-3), CBS:
The Chargers are a great NFL team with Bosa returning soon they can only get better. Rivers is playing silently at an MVP level and getting no respect as such. Melvin Gordon also playing at an MVP level make this offense lethal, and good enough to carry them to the next level. The Seahawks started slow and has us all doubting them, but just like Pete Carroll fashion here they come. The Seahawks lead the league in rushing attempts and their ground game with their trio is working well. I am excited for this game as it should be one heck of a game. Final Score: Chargers 26 - Seahawks 24; Matt K
Eric's Final Score: Chargers 26 - Seahawks 20 OT
Los Angeles Rams, (8-0) @ New Orleans Saints, (6-1), FOX:
The Rams got lucky last week in a game where they were a large favorite. I honestly do not believe they are the best team in the league and this game will be interesting for sure. Gurley might be the best running back in the league and Goff might be dominating but their defense can be beat. The Saints are in my eyes the better team in this game. Brees is playing at Drew Brees level and their running backs are elite. The pass rush that the Saints defense has been starting to get is really making their defense better than it used to be. I 100% believe in the Saints. Final Score: Saints 34 - Rams 32; Matt K
Eric's Final Score: Saints 24 - Rams 20
Sunday Night Football, 8:20PM ET, NBC:
Green Bay Packers, (3-3-1) @ New England Patriots, (6-2)
The Packers are coming off a tough loss to the Rams in which I truly believe if Ty Montgomery didn’t fumble that kick return the Packers would have handed the Rams their first loss. The Packers I will be making a special note on this coming week with my power rankings that are returning this week. The Patriots are one of the best teams in the entire league. I believe James White has been their best player this year on their roster. I know Brady is having a great year but White has helped them dominate so many games. This will be the best game of the week and Brady and Rodgers will be slinging it out between two of the best to ever do it. The home team wins this one because they are at home.
Final Score: Patriots 30 - Packers 28; Matt K
Eric's Final Score: Packers 31 Patriots 28
Monday Night Football, 8:15PM ET, ESPN:
Tennessee Titans, (3-4) @ Dallas Cowboys, (3-4):
Both teams are coming off a bye week. The Titans have been skidding bad since their hot start and their lack of an offense is a large part of that. I believe this game will be a defensive battle and the Titans defense is good enough to handle a defensive battle for 60 minutes. The Cowboys since we have last seen them have added Amari Cooper which isn’t as great as some people are making it seem to be but they did gain a nice weapon nonetheless. The Cowboys have a great defense and we all know what their run game can do. We just need to see if Amari Cooper can help elevate their terrible passing offense.
Final Score: Cowboys 20 - Titans 16; Matt K
Eric's Final Score: Cowboys 24 Titans 12
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.