NFL 2019 Week 9 Predictions

Last week I dismantled the Philadelphia Eagles in a scathing preview of their matchup against the Buffalo Bills. I attacked their subpar rushing attack and equally bad defense. They responded with 218 rushing yards and held Josh Allen to under 170 yards through the air.


I was wrong, and I won't shy away from it, but, to stroke my own ego, I finished last week with a record of 12-3 and bringing my season total to 85-37. In other words, one bad game won't define my season, but the BushLeagueSports game of the week could go a long way to deciding the premier team in the NFL.


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (8-0) vs BALTIMORE RAVENS (5-2)

(via CBS Sports)

The story of the New England Patriots' season thus far has not been the ageless wonder that is Tom Brady but rather their number two ranked defense. Totaling a league-leading 19 interceptions and being the highest-scoring defense in the NFL has propelled New England to the top of the AFC.


While not anything new if you've been watching the NFL for the last two decades, New England's defense is giving up a historical 7.6 points per game. Their opponents have been lackluster (five ranking 24th and below), but there is no denying the greatness of what the Patriots have done over the course of eight weeks.


This week New England will face their toughest battle yet as the Baltimore Ravens boast the league's second-ranked offense. Behind the legs and arm of Lamar Jackson, the Ravens are averaging 30.6 points per game, good for second in the league.

Lamar Jackson become the first player in the Super Bowl Era with 200 passing yards and 150 rushing yards in a game (via The Ringer)

The Ravens don't have a standout name on offense other than Jackon and possibly running back Mark Ingram, but that has been enough to be tied for the second-best record in the AFC.


Jackson has carried the offense into Kansas City and almost knocked off what many would consider the best quarterback in the league, Patrick Mahomes. Despite Baltimore's loss, Jackson held his own throwing for 267 yards and rushing for 46 including a touchdown.


The biggest question facing Jackson was how he could adapt to the NFL style of play. Many, including myself, were skeptical of Jackson's throwing ability. Thus far, he's quieted the haters and even joked about the stigma that he's a running back.


Jackson still isn't the best thrower, but he has a respectable 11 touchdowns and 63.3 completion percentage. He also has something New England has not seen this season.


Since making his debut, Jackson has totaled 1,271 yards, eight touchdowns and is averaging 5.5 yards on the ground. The last time the Patriots played against a quarterback with the dual-threat capabilities of Jackson, they lost 41-34.


The game was in 2012 against former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who totaled four touchdowns and 249 yards. At one point, San Francisco was up 31-10 heading into the fourth quarter.

Tom Brady currently has a 64.7comp%, 2,251 yards, 13 TD's while leading the Patriots seventh-best passing offense (via SportsRants)

Once again, this is the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady-led New England Patriots, that are currently playing defense at a historic level. To say Jackson can do what Kaepernick did in 2012 would not be out of the question, and a mediocre New England offense could gift Jackson the chance at the biggest upset of the season.


The Patriots offense ranks 16th in the NFL due in part to the poor performance of the rushing attack, which sits at 23rd. The Patriots don't rush for the yard a top tier team would, but they score at the rate an elite rushing attack does. The Patriots are tied for second with 12 touchdowns to which the Ravens counter with the third-best rushing defense in the NFL.


Sunday Night Football will be a battle of opposing styles of a play and one that has seen the Patriots falter in the past.


Verdict:

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens have the keys to success to beat the mighty New England Patriots. The combination of Jackson's legs and improved passing ability can be a nightmare fo any team.


The Patriots have shown a history of being perceptible to running quarterback with the ability to make the safe pass and extend the drive. The Ravens offense ranks near the top of the NFL, and their defense can tackle any threat New England throws at them.


New England defense is the second-best, to some the best, in the league. The Patriots top the NFL in turnovers and are the league's highest-scoring defense, making any mistake almost fatal.


The Ravens will have to allow Jackson to play his game and work with what New England will give him.


Tom Brady, the GOAT, will always be a presence, and at this point in his career doesn't even need to be mentioned. He's the greatest quarterback to ever play the game and will be on the top of his game in primetime.


With that said, history tends to repeat itself, so why not this Sunday?


Final Score: Ravens 26, Patriots 24


Week 9 Predictions:


49ers (7-0) vs. Cardinals (3-4-1) - 49ers 30, Cardinals 17


Texans (5-3) vs. Jaguars (4-4) - Texans 27, Jaguars 24


Bears (3-4) vs. Eagles (4-4) - Eagles 26, Bears 23


Vikings (6-2) vs. Chiefs (5-3) - Vikings 28, Chiefs 23


Steelers (3-4) vs. Colts (5-2) - Colts 30, Steelers 20


Jets (1-6) vs. Dolphins (0-7) - Dolphins 24, Jets 23


Redskins (1-7) vs. Bills (5-2) - Bills 27, Redskins 16


Titans (4-4) vs. Panthers (4-3) - Panthers 26, Titans 24


Lions (3-3-1) vs. Raiders (3-4) - Lions 30, Raiders 23


Buccaneers (2-5) vs. Seahawks (6-2) - Seahawks 31, Bucs 20


Packers (7-1) vs. Chargers (3-5) - Packers 28, Chargers 24


Browns (2-5) vs. Broncos (2-6) - Browns 26, Broncos 16


Cowboys (4-3) vs. Giants (2-6) - Cowboys 33, Giants 20


Bye Week: New Orleans Saints, LA Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons


Record: 85-37

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