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2017 SQ Insiders: Week 9

Austin Taliaferro

With the NFC South as competitive as ever, who will prevail when the Falcons fly into Carolina?

Last week the NFL was pretty much chalk, allowing our insiders to make up some serious ground picking all but two or three games correctly a piece. This week may turn out to be more of the same, but there are some games worth mentioning.

The first is the Atlanta Falcons taking on the Carolina Panthers. The Saints have a grip on the NFC South lead, but whoever wins this game will be in great position to catch them. Our insiders have the Falcons coming out on top by five points.

The other interesting matchup comes between the Chiefs and Cowboys. Kansas City has been rolling this season and while Dallas has struggled, they seem to have gotten back on track with back-to-back wins. However, our insiders clearly think that losing Zeke (at least as of the writing of this intro) will be too much to handle and have the Kansas City Chiefs winning by nine.

Check out these and other matchups down below!

Matchup

Mitch B

Nick C

Adrian N

Baltimore at Tennessee
Tampa Bay at New Orleans
LA Rams at NY Giants
Denver at Philadelphia
Atlanta at Carolina
Cincinnati at Jacksonville
Indianapolis at Houston
Arizona at San Francisco
Washington at Seattle
Kansas City at Dallas
Oakland at Miami
Detroit at Green Bay
Total Record

52-3751-3848-41


Matchup

Avg Score

Winner

Why They’ll Win

Why They May Not

Baltimore at Tennessee14-23One of Tennessee’s few strengths this year has been the running game, with 124.6 yards per game on the ground. Stopping the run happens to be one of the Ravens’ biggest struggles, as they are currently the third-worst team against the rush. Expect the Titans to feed DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry as much as possible on their way to a win.The Ravens are coming off a 40-0 beatdown of Miami and may have some newfound confidence. Meanwhile, the Titans’ only two October wins came against the Colts and Browns. The Ravens are no juggernaut, but if Tennessee thinks they can squeak by again, they may be mistaken.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans26-32Not only are the Saints riding a five-game win streak, but they have the second-best offense in football. They have a home matchup against the Bucs, who have the 29th-ranked defense, four straight losses, and zero road wins. Do I need to say more?While the Bucs have been cold, they’ve also been very close to wins against strong opponents like New England and Buffalo. If Ryan Fitzpatrick gets the nod, he may actually provide a boost to the offense, as Jameis Winston has been downright miserable at certain points this season. A win is unlikely, but can’t be ruled out in a divisional matchup.
LA Rams at NY Giants28-18The Rams have won four of five and are ranked ninth in total offense, while the Giants have the sixth-worst defense in the league. Road wins are never easy to come by, but the Rams should have an easy time against a struggling defense and a lifeless offense.The Giants proved they can pull off an unlikely win when they beat Denver back in Week 6. They’ll need their front seven to slow down Todd Gurley in hopes that Jared Goff will have to shoulder the load. Should they force a couple turnovers, the Giants have a shot to win what could be a trap game for the Rams.
Denver at Philadelphia19-26Did anyone think the Philadelphia Eagles would be the best team in the league halfway through the season? They have one of the scariest offenses in the league and quarterback Carson Wentz is a surprise MVP candidate.If any defense can stop the Eagles, it’s Denver’s. They’ve allowed the fewest yards in the NFL by over 200, and have perhaps the scariest cornerback duo in Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib. If they can torment Wentz, the Eagles might be getting their second loss of the season.
Atlanta at Carolina26-24Matt Ryan looked like an MVP quarterback against the Jets last week in the pouring rain, throwing for 254 yards and two touchdowns with no picks. Now that Mohammed Sanu is back and healthy, the Falcons offense looks to terrorize Carolina’s defense.If quarterback Cam Newton can cut down on turnovers, the Panthers have a good shot at winning. Unfortunately for Carolina, Newton has thrown six interceptions in his last three games. In fact, this season he’s already thrown more picks (11) than his entire 2015 MVP season (10). Against the Falcons’ defense, though, Cam has a chance to rebound.
Cincinnati at Jacksonville14-21The Jags are coming off of a bye week and still boast the league’s best pass defense. Meanwhile, Cincinnati just eked out a win against the Colts last week and sit at 30th in total offense this season. Look for the Jags to keep riding Leonard Fournette while forcing Andy Dalton into some mistakes.The Jaguars have yet to win a game in their own stadium this season and Cincy quietly has the league’s fifth-best defense in yards allowed. The Bengals will have to shut down Leonard Fournette and make Blake Bortles throw the ball if they want a shot at this one.
Indianapolis at Houston19-33After putting up 38 points on the Seahawks and 34 points on the Chiefs, it’s safe to say that the Texans have good offense. The Colts give up the second most yards on defense and the most points per game. Deshaun Watson should have a field day on Sunday, fantasy owners you are in for a good one.The only saving grace for the Colts is that the Texans haven’t played great defense either. Currently, they are ranked 18th in yards and 29th in points per game respectively, which means we should have a good ol’ fashioned shootout on our hands. If the Colts get the ball last, they could manage to win this game depending on how the game is going.
Arizona at San Francisco22-16Neither of these two teams have much going for them, but Arizona is just slightly better. The team is in shambles and must now turn to Drew Stanton at QB, which will likely be a disaster. In the end, he has more experience than C.J. Beathard and that may make the difference.The 49ers’ 0-8 record is ugly, but they’ve been very close in several contests. If there’s any game they can win this season, it’s a home matchup with a deteriorating Cardinals team. The 49ers must lean on the run to protect the ball, but if they can do so successfully, a win is well within reach.
Washington at Seattle21-28Seattle has proven that they can beat you with defense and that they can beat you with offense. At full strength, it would likely be hard for the Skins to win but with injuries across their entire offensive line as well as to pass blocker and star tight-end Jordan Reed, the Seahawks defensive fire power should have Cousins and the Skins retreating all game.Kirk Cousins has played well this season and ranks ahead of Russell Wilson in QBR (5th vs 9th). If he can maintain that level of play and Josh Doctson or Terrelle Pryor can step up their game, they may have just enough to squeak by a menacing Seattle team on the road
Kansas City at Dallas28-27The Chiefs have probably the best quarterback-running back tandem in the league right now in Alex Smith and Kareem Hunt. If the Chiefs offense gets going, it’ll be near impossible to stop them, especially for a struggling Cowboys defense.It’s as simple as getting running back Ezekiel Elliott going. In games in which Elliott has rushed for over 100 yards, the Cowboys are 3-1, and in games where he has rushed for fewer, they are 1-2. If Zeke gets hot, the Chiefs’ defense may have a lot to handle.
Oakland at Miami24-13After losing by 40 points and getting shut out against the Ravens, it’s tough for anyone to pick the Dolphins and be confident about it. Conversely. The Raiders looked good the last time they played and were able to pull off a huge upset win over the Kansas City Chiefs. If Derek Carr performs anywhere near how he played in that game, then the Raiders will be a hard out for Miami.The Dolphins have shown an ability to bounce back from bad performances. After getting shut out in London against the Saints early in the season, they came back and beat the Titans the following week. With similarly resilient wins overcoming massive 2nd half deficits against the Falcons and Jets, the Dolphins have shown the mental fortitude necessary to move on a win an important game, especially one being played at home.
Detroit at Green Bay27-21Without Aaron Rodgers, no one is afraid to see the Green Bay Packers on their schedule. In his last outing, completed under 50% of his passes, was intercepted, and did not throw for a touchdown. That was against the Saints. Things do not get any easier with the Lions who but for a busted coverage 97 yard TD to Juju Smith-Schuster on SNF, held the Steelers in check last week.The one shining hope for the Packers has been the emergence of running back Aaron Jones. After Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams suffered injuries in the same game, Jones began receiving the majority of the carries. Jones has rushed for over 125 yards in two of three games, giving some balance to a generally one-dimensional offense.

Edited by Brian Kang.

SQuiz
How many TDs does Devonta Freeman have through Week 8 of the 2017 NFL season?
Created 11/1/17
  1. 5
  2. 7
  3. 9
  4. 11

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