Last Week’s Record: 11-5
Overall Season Record: 62-44
Titans @ Steelers
This Thursday night matchup should be a close game. Will Levis shined in his NFL debut on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Throwing three touchdown passes to DeAndre Hopkins, Levis added a new dimension to the Tennessee offense. The deep threat helped the Titans a few seasons ago, especially with A.J. Brown. If Hopkins can provide this deep threat with Levis as Brown did with Tannehill, Tennessee could win this game. The key to the Steelers winning this game is their struggling offense. In games where Pittsburgh has scored more than 10 points, the Steelers are undefeated. Pittsburgh’s defense has carried their offense this season, giving them good field positioning and causing the second-most turnovers. The Mike-Tomlin defense should be able to handle a rookie quarterback on a short week and win this game.
Steelers 20, Titans 13
Game of the Week: Dolphins @ Chiefs
This year’s first Germany game should be one of the best games of the season. Tyreek Hill should continue his historic pace in his first game against his former team. Hill already has over 1,000 yards and is well on pace to break Calvin Johnson’s record for most yards in a season (1,964). Kansas City’s secondary might end up deciding the game, as Tyreek Hill’s production has been the indicator of success for the Dolphins this season. The Chiefs have struggled offensively in multiple games this season, including last week against Denver. Miami has only improved defensively recently, getting Jalen Ramsey back from injury last week. While Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce have one of the best connections in recent NFL history, the newer duo of Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill will likely outduel them on Sunday.
Dolphins 28, Chiefs 20
Vikings @ Falcons
Two new starting quarterbacks are facing off as the Minnesota Vikings lost Kirk Cousins due to a torn Achilles, and the Atlanta Falcons benched Desmond Ridder. Jaren Hall and Taylor Heinicke are the two starting quarterbacks this week, and in their first starts for these teams, both offenses could struggle. The Falcons’ offense does rely more on the run game than Minnesota’s, giving them a slight advantage offensively. Bijan Robinson will need to be used in a big way this week, getting more work than his previous two games, where he only touched the ball 13 times combined. If Robinson is used to the extent that one would expect a top 10 draft pick would be used, Atlanta should coast through this game. However, Robinson’s workload has not been consistent throughout the season.
Falcons 27, Vikings 13
Cardinals @ Browns
After trading Joshua Dobbs, the Arizona Cardinals may be left with Clayton Tune at quarterback this week, as Kyler Murray may not return until next week. The health of Murray will likely determine how well Arizona can play against Cleveland this week. While the Browns’ defense has allowed 62 points in their last two games, they are still one of the best defenses in the league. This defense should be able to help Cleveland win another game. While their offense may struggle with P.J. Walker getting another start, Walker has kept the Browns competitive in each game he has played. While the Cardinals have stayed competitive in a few games without Murray, it is hard to imagine Clayton Tune will be able to handle this Cleveland defense in potentially his first NFL start.
Browns 23, Cardinals 15
Rams @ Packers
The Green Bay Packers are currently on a four-game losing streak, the second largest in the NFL. Their offense has struggled since Week 3, not scoring more than 20 points during this stretch. The only bright spot on the Green Bay offense is Aaron Jones. However, his limited workload affects how much he can impact a game. Not receiving 10 carries in any game this season, it seems like Jones may still be easing into the game plan from a hamstring injury that caused him to miss Weeks 2, 3, and 5. While the Packers may struggle offensively this week, the Los Angeles Rams could struggle as well. Matthew Stafford is questionable this week with a thumb injury, and Brett Rypien would be in line to start if Stafford is unable to play. These two teams will likely struggle to score, but the Rams have the better supporting cast around their quarterback. Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua are two of the best receivers in the league, and they should be able to work well with whatever quarterback they play with. On the other hand, Green Bay’s receivers have not been great this season. Los Angeles should win this week regardless of their starting quarterback.
Rams 20, Packers 10
Commanders @ Patriots
The New England Patriots have struggled on both sides of the ball this season, scoring the second-fewest points per game (14.8) and allowing the seventh-most (26.0). While their Week 9 opponent, the Washington Commanders, have a better record, this game could still be close. The Commanders have the second-worst defense in the NFL when it comes to points allowed per game (28.5). If New England can get things going with either Mac Jones or Rhamondre Stevenson this week, they could have a chance at defeating Washington. However, through eight games, the Patriots have only scored more than 20 points once. The Commanders' offense may end up putting together just a few scoring drives, but that might be enough to take down New England.
Commanders 17, Patriots 13
Bears @ Saints
The New Orleans Saints face off against the Chicago Bears in their Week 9 matchup. The Saints should take this game due to their defense alone. Their defense is top 10 in points allowed per game and total yards allowed per game. With Tyson Bagent at quarterback against this defense, the Bears will likely struggle offensively. Both their passing and rushing game struggles without Justin Fields, as he is a dual threat, being one of the best rushing quarterbacks in the league. Without their starting running back Khalil Herbert, the Bears will be without their top two rushers on the season. It is hard to envision a way that Chicago can match Derek Carr and the Saints in Week 9.
Saints 24, Bears 6
Seahawks @ Ravens
The Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens play in one of the better matchups of the week. The Seahawks are first in the NFC West after the 49ers lost three straight games. While their win last week against the Browns was important, how they won was concerning. Seattle only scored in the first quarter, and before their game-winning touchdown with 38 seconds remaining, they did not score for the rest of the game. The Seahawks had five drives ending after three plays, giving their defense a tough task to stay on the field for so long. However, their defense proved they can get stops throughout the game. This defensive performance will be needed to defeat a Baltimore offense that has scored at least 24 points in each of their past three games. Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards are thriving on the ground, averaging a combined 100 yards per game on the ground in their past three games. The Ravens' rushing attack, along with their improved passing game led by Mark Andrews, should be able to take down Seattle in Week 9.
Ravens 31, Seahawks 21
Buccaneers @ Texans
After losing to the Carolina Panthers, the Houston Texans are looking to bounce back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Houston’s offense has struggled in their past few games in comparison to their hot start. Their lack of a rushing attack has hurt them in recent weeks, as Dameon Pierce averages three yards per carry. This struggle for the Texans’ offense could be prominent against the Buccaneers, who allow the 10th least yards per game on the ground. While they struggled last week against the Bills, Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay offense should bounce back against Houston.
Buccaneers 24, Texans 17
Colts @ Panthers
While the Indianapolis Colts are on a three-game losing streak, they should beat the Carolina Panthers, who won their first game last week. The reason why Indianapolis has struggled in their past few weeks is due to their defensive struggles. The Colts have allowed 38 points per game over their past three games, the highest amount in the league over that span. However, the Panthers have not been able to score at a rate like that all season. As long as Indianapolis’ defense can keep this game manageable, the Colts' offense should be able to win this game for them. Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss continue to impress as one of the best running back duos in the league, and Michael Pittman has been great in the receiving game as well. While Bryce Young has continued to improve throughout the season, he likely doesn’t have enough help in the running game to game-manage his way to a win this week.
Colts 31, Panthers 17
Giants @ Raiders
After firing their head coach and general manager, the Las Vegas Raiders look to turn their season around. This game against the New York Giants is a game that Las Vegas likely sees as a “must-win” game if they want to compete for a potential playoff spot. The Raiders are likely to use Josh Jacobs like they did at times last week against the Detroit Lions. In a second-quarter drive, Jacobs received seven carries, resulting in a touchdown. If the Raiders continue to give their star running back the ball, they should see continued success throughout the season. The New York Giants struggled heavily last week against the Jets, as they passed for seven yards. Including sacks, New York lost nine yards on passing plays. If Daniel Jones does not return this week, their offensive struggles will likely continue with either Tyrod Taylor or Tommy DeVito at quarterback. Unless Saquon Barkley can continue his success carrying the ball more than 30 times as he did last week, the Giants offense will continue to struggle to move the ball.
Raiders 17, Giants 13
Cowboys @ Eagles
The Dallas Cowboys face off against the Philadelphia Eagles for the first time this season. While the Cowboys have been impressive this season, beating teams by 20 points or more four times this season, they have not played a very difficult schedule. On the other hand, the Eagles have played in five one-possession games this season, winning four of them. The experience of playing in close games should help Philadelphia this week, as this divisional matchup should be close. Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ offense have thrived this season, but so have the Dak Prescott-led Cowboys. While this game should be close, Philadelphia’s record in one-possession games should be an indicator of their success against Dallas. The Cowboys have also only played two games against teams that are currently over .500, going 1-1 in the two games. This game will come down to if Dallas can get stops throughout the game, which is hard against the offense that has perfected the “tush push,” almost guaranteeing them one yard in short-yardage scenarios. The Philadelphia should win this game and push their record to 8-1 on the season.
Eagles 27, Cowboys 24
Bills @ Bengals
The Buffalo Bills take on the Cincinnati Bengals in one of the best matchups of Week 9. The Bengals have begun to look like Super Bowl contenders again after defeating the 49ers by 14 points. Joe Burrow seems to be fully back from a calf injury that kept him out of preseason and affected his play to begin the season. The Bills’ defense has played well for the majority of the season, making this matchup a good one. This game will come down to how Buffalo’s offense performs. If Josh Alen turns the ball over multiple times, the Bills will likely lose the game. Cincinnati’s defense is top-five in takeaways this season, giving them the edge over Buffalo in Week 9.
Bengals 31, Bills 27
Chargers @ Jets
The New York Jets are on a three-game winning streak heading into their Week 9 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. New York’s defense has been the main reason why they have won their last two games, as they held their opponents to 24 points combined. The Jets’s offense, however, has continued to struggle at times. New York has only scored more than 20 points once since Week 1. Their offensive success will be a big factor in whether they win or lose this week. The Chargers’ offense has struggled against some of the top-end defenses this season. The Jets, having one of the better defenses in the league, could again win because of their defensive abilities. However, Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen have one of the best connections in the NFL right now. While New York could put Sauce Gardner on Allen to shadow him all game, Allen’s route-running ability allows for him to get open against even the best cornerbacks in the league. Their success on the ground should also improve as Austin Ekeler continues to increase his workload following an ankle injury that kept him out three games.
Chargers 24, Jets 16