Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson
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Previewing Week 9 in the NFL, with a recap of last week, predictions, as well as a “what to watch for” in the upcoming slate of games.

The NFL regular season will be past its midway mark after this upcoming week. Isn’t that depressing? It literally felt like yesterday we were previewing Week 1, discussing the New England Patriots-Pittsburgh Steelers “Sunday Night Football” matchup.

But, whether we like it or not, Week 9 has arrived, and there’s a lot in store for NFL fans. Just like always, we’ll be recapping the previous week along with telling you what to watch for in the upcoming slate of games.

That being said, let’s get to it.

Week 8 Final Scores // Prediction Results

  • Washington Redskins 9 at Minnesota Vikings 19 (Correct)
  • Cincinnati Bengals 10 at Los Angeles Rams 24 (Correct)
  • Arizona Cardinals 9 at New Orleans Saints 31 (Correct)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23 at Tennessee Titans 27 (Correct)
  • Denver Broncos 13 at Indianapolis Colts 15 (Correct)
  • Seattle Seahawks 27 at Atlanta Falcons 20 (Correct)
  • Philadelphia Eagles 31 at Buffalo Bills 13 (Incorrect)
  • Los Angeles Chargers 17 at Chicago Bears 16 (Correct)
  • New York Giants 26 at Detroit Lions 31 (Correct)
  • New York Jets 15 at Jacksonville Jaguars 29 (Correct)
  • Carolina Panthers 13 at San Francisco 49ers 51 (Incorrect)
  • Cleveland Browns 13 at New England Patriots 27 (Correct)
  • Oakland Raiders 24 at Houston Texans 27 (Correct)
  • Green Bay Packers 31 at Kansas City Chiefs 24 (Correct)
  • Miami Dolphins 14 at Pittsburgh Steelers 27 (Correct)
  • Week 8 Results: 13-2
  • Overall Results: 81-40

Recap: What we saw during Week 8

Drew Brees finally returned to the field for the Saints after suffering a torn ligament in his thumb during Week 2. Did he lose a step? Of course not. Brees completed 34 of his 43 throws for 373 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception in the 31-9 rout of the Cardinals.

Ryan Tannehill has improved to 2-0 as the Titans starting quarterback. He replaced Marcus Mariota in the midst of a Week 6 loss to the Broncos. Tannehill went 21-for-33 through the air with 193 yards and three touchdowns. The Titans defeated the Buccaneers 27-23.

We saw the Colts, led by quarterback Jacoby Brissett, remain at the top of the AFC North division with a 15-13 win over the Broncos.

The Eagles showed that the battle for the eventual NFC East division title will be a close one. Sitting in second place, the Eagles ousted the Bills by a score of 31-13. The Philly run game was very impressive in this matchup. Jordan Howard carried the ball 23 times for 96 yards and a touchdown. Rookie Miles Sanders racked up three carries for 74 yards and a 65-yard score.

We saw the Bears’ kicking and point-scoring woes continue. Kicker Eddy Pineiro missed a potential game-winning 41-yard field goal as time expired. Chicago fell to the Chargers by a score of 17-16. Despite outgaining the Chargers in total yards (388-231), the Bears conjured up just one touchdown on the day.

The 49ers continue to solidify themselves as one of the top defenses in the NFL. In a 51-13 rout of Kyle Allen and the Panthers, the San Francisco defense allowed just 230 total yards (100 passing and 130 rushing). Along with racking up seven sacks, the defense forced seven punts and four turnovers (three picks and one lost fumble).

A dominant AFC quarterback battle was held in Houston on Sunday between Derek Carr of the Raiders and Deshaun Watson of the Texans. Carr went 18-for-30 for 285 yards and three touchdowns, while Watson went 27-for-39 for 279 yards and three scores. Houston came away with the win by a score of 27-24.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers continued his remarkable season. In the midst of Green Bay improving to 7-1 with a 31-24 win over the Chiefs, Rodgers completed 23 of his 33 throws for 305 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Aaron Jones was a big help for the Packers as well. He racked up 67 rushing yards on 13 carries as well as caught seven balls for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Jones finished with 226 all-purpose yards.

Preview: What to watch for during Week 9 in the NFL

Houston Texans (5-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4) – Sunday, Nov. 3, 9:30 a.m. ET

It’s another early London game that we’ll have the opportunity to watch prior to the early afternoon slate, and boy is it shaping up to be a good one.

This is a huge battle when you consider either team’s placement in the AFC South standings. The Colts are 5-2, the Texans are 5-3, and the Jaguars are 4-4. Despite the Jaguars being in third place in that division, they only have one less victory than the division leader. Barring how the Colts’ and Titans’ games go this week, it’ll be very interesting to see how this division looks on Sunday night.

All I’m saying is, it could look a lot different.

Nonetheless, fans will receive a battle between two young AFC quarterbacks in Deshaun Watson and Gardner Minshew early in the morning. Kudos to us.

Tennessee Titans (4-4) at Carolina Panthers (4-3) – Sunday, Nov. 3, 1:00 p.m. ET

It’s clear the Saints are the best team in the NFC South division. That means Carolina will need to compete for a Wild Card spot down the stretch. Last week’s blowout loss to the 49ers didn’t help, so they’ll need to bounce back in a big way against the Titans this Sunday.

This is a big opportunity for Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen to redeem himself as well. In last week’s defeat, he completed just 19 of his 37 throws for 158 yards and three picks. He was also sacked seven times.

At 4-4, the Titans are just one victory behind the AFC South-leading Colts. A win here over the Panthers will be huge for them in what’s shaping up to be a very tight and competitive division.

Minnesota Vikings (6-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) – Sunday, Nov. 3, 1:00 p.m. ET

Both of these teams need big wins, but for different reasons. The Vikings are a game back in the NFC North, as the Packers stand at 7-1. Any win is crucial from now on when it comes to the fight for that division title.

Minnesota gained 434 total yards in last week’s win over the Redskins, however, only found the end zone once. They’ll need to make sure those point-scoring woes don’t continue this week.

The Chiefs in first place in the AFC West by 1.5 games over the Oakland Raiders. But they’re still without their star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City needs to win games prior to his return so they don’t dig too deep of a hole for Mahomes to climb out of.

Chicago Bears (3-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-4) – Sunday, Nov. 3, 1:00 p.m. ET

The Bears desperately need a win after losing their last three matchups. At 3-4, they’ve officially dug themselves a deep hole in the competitive NFC North which includes the 7-1 Packers and the 6-2 Vikings. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky will be looking to prove his doubters wrong and come away with a huge, bounce-back victory at Lincoln Financial Field.

For Philadelphia, they’re just .5 games behind the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East lead.  A win, paired with a Cowboys loss to the Giants on Monday night, would propel the Eagles into first place. However, this win over the Bears needs to occur first.

If they can score points on this Chicago defense as well as contain head coach Matt Nagy’s offense, Philly should be able to pull away with the win.

Detroit Lions (3-3-1) at Oakland Raiders (3-4) – Sunday, Nov. 3, 4:05 p.m. ET

Detroit is far back in the NFC North but still has a chance to make some noise down the stretch. Right now, they’re 3.0 games back with nine to play. A second consecutive win will keep them on the right track, especially with the division rival-Bears and the Cowboys coming up in the two games after that.

Oakland is currently 1.5 games back in the AFC West. I cannot stress enough how much they need to take advantage of the string of games they have coming up. With Patrick Mahomes out for the division-leading Chiefs, Oakland needs to make up for lost ground and climb the standings. A big win over the Lions will contribute to that.

New England Patriots (8-0) at Baltimore Ravens (5-2) – Sunday, Nov. 3, 8:20 p.m. ET

This is the best game of the week, without a doubt. Too top-tier AFC teams battling it out on “Sunday Night Football.” Not to mention, a six-time Super Bowl champion in Tom Brady going up against one of the premier young quarterbacks in the game in Lamar Jackson.

Baltimore’s offense is second in total offense (434.9 yards-per-game), first in rushing (204.1 yards-per-game), and second in scoring (30.6 points-per-game).

New England’s defense is second in yards allowed (234 yards-per-game), second in passing yards allowed (148.4 yards-per-game), fourth in rushing yards allowed (85.3 yards-per-game), and first in points allowed (7.6 points-per-game).

Those numbers should get you extra excited for this one, as this is shaping up to be one of the great battles of the regular season thus far.

Week 9 Predictions (In bold) (All times ET)

  • Thursday, Oct. 31, 8:20 p.m. – 49ers (7-0) at Cardinals (3-4-1)
  • Sunday, Nov. 3, 9:30 a.m. – Texans (5-3) at Jaguars (4-4)
  • Sunday, Nov. 3, 1:00 p.m. – Redskins (1-7) at Bills (5-2)
  • Sunday, Nov. 3, 1:00 p.m. – Titans (4-4) at Panthers (4-3)
  • Sunday, Nov. 3, 1:00 p.m. – Vikings (6-2) at Chiefs (5-3)
  • Sunday, Nov. 3, 1:00 p.m. – Jets (1-6) at Dolphins (0-7)
  • Sunday, Nov. 3, 1:00 p.m. – Bears (3-4) at Eagles (4-4)
  • Sunday, Nov. 3, 1:00 p.m. – Colts (5-2) at Steelers (3-4)
  • Sunday, Nov. 3, 4:05 p.m. – Lions (3-3-1) at Raiders (3-4)
  • Sunday, Nov. 3, 4:05 p.m. – Buccaneers (2-5) at Seahawks (6-2)
  • Sunday, Nov. 3, 4:25 p.m. – Browns (2-5) at Broncos (2-6)
  • Sunday, Nov. 3, 4:25 p.m. – Packers (7-1) at Chargers (3-5)
  • Sunday, Nov. 3, 8:20 p.m. – Patriots (8-0) at Ravens (5-2)
  • Monday, Nov. 4, 8:15 p.m. – Cowboys (4-3) at Giants (2-6)

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.