Week 9 Late Game Previews

Week 9 Late Game Previews


Photo Courtesy of Robert Robinson

Houston Texans (5-3) vs. Denver Broncos (4-5)

Preview

This game will be an interesting one to watch after what happened at the trade deadline. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas will be playing at Mile High Stadium in his first game as a Texan since being traded. He joins a Texans offense that has been rolling lately, and they will be matched up with a Broncos team that came just short of knocking off the Chiefs last week. With that being said, Denver will be facing their second high-powered offense in a row in what should be a very fun game to watch.


Players to watch

For the Texans, all eyes will be on the newly acquired Thomas who will suit up for the first time against his former team. He will make a very dangerous duo with DeAndre Hopkins, who has been tremendous so far this season. It will be up to Von Miller and the rest of this Denver defense to put pressure on Deshaun Watson in order to take those two explosive receivers out of the game. For Denver, Emmanuel Sanders will now be the clear-cut number one receiver and rookie Courtland Sutton will be looking to fill the void left behind by Thomas.


Keys to the game

Houston Texans

  • Establish the run

  • Limit turnovers

  • Capitalize on big play opportunities

Denver Broncos

  • Put pressure on Watson

  • Lock down Hopkins

  • Get Keenum going early


Injury list

Houston Texans

  • Aaron Colvin, CB - Ankle (Questionable)

  • Zach Cunningham, ILB - Knee (Out)

  • Johnathan Joseph, CB - MCL (Questionable)

  • Keke Coutee, WR - Hamstring (Questionable)

  • Andre Hal, DB - Shoulder (Questionable)

  • Jadeveon Clowney, DE - Groin (Questionable)

Denver Broncos

  • DaeSean Hamilton, WR - Knee (Out)

  • Brandon Marshall, ILB - Knee (Out)

  • Royce Freeman, RB - Ankle (Questionable)

  • Darian Stewart, SS - Neck (Out)

  • Bradley Robey, CB - Ankle (Out)

Top 5 Fantasy Players

  • DeAndre Hopkins, WR (HOU)

  • Emmanuel Sanders, WR (DEN)

  • Deshaun Watson, QB (HOU)

  • Lamar Miller, RB (HOU)

  • Phillip Lindsay, RB (DEN)

Prediction

This game is a tough one to predict. Houston has been rolling lately and will face a Denver team that is still trying to piece things together. However, I still view this Denver defense as dangerous enough to keep things interesting. I have this one coming down to the fourth quarter, and the Texans offense wearing down the Denver secondary to pull away with the victory.


Final Score: Texans 28, Broncos 21


Written by: Ryan Lippert



Los Angeles Chargers (5-2) vs. Seattle Seahawks (4-3)

Preview

Two of the hottest teams in the league are set to square of at Centurylink Field in Seattle. The Chargers are riding a 4 game win streak, while Seattle has won 4 of the last 5. That lone loss came at the hands of the undefeated Rams. Both teams are in second within their division looking to extend their runs in hopes of catching KC and LAR. This matchup has the makings to be one of the premier games of week 9, as both are desperate for a win to keep the division lead in site.


Players to watch

The Chargers offense has been hot through the first 8 weeks of the season and Phillip Rivers, Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen are the three reasons why. With Melvin Gordon returning from Injury, the ground game should take off opening passing lanes for the future Hall of Fame signal caller, Philip Rivers. Seahawks offensive line may need to have the best game of the year in order to keep Russell Wilson upright who has been unstoppable over the past three weeks, posting 3 touchdowns and an average passer rating of 138.7. With the Seahawks running a league leading 55%, Chris Carson will need to have a big game for the Seahawks to pull off a win; he has accrued two consecutive 100 yard rushing performances. On the defensive side, Frank Clark will be charged with pressuring Rivers, and defending LAC’s elite ground game.


Keys to the game

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Contain Russell Wilson

  • Win the Battle in the Trenches

  • Control the Clock

Seattle Seahawks

  • Stop Melvin Gordon

  • Pressure Philip Rivers

  • Force Turnovers


Injury list

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Joey Bosa, DE - Foot (Out)

  • Chris Landrum, DE - Hip (Out)

  • Kyzir White, LB - Knee (Out)

  • Melvin Gordon, RB - Hamstring (Questionable)

Seattle Seahawks

  • Neiko Thorpe, CB - Groin (Doubtful)

  • Jordon Simmons, OG - Calf (Questionable)

  • Chris Carson, RB - Hip (Questionable)

  • Bradley Mcdougald, FS - Knee (Questionable)

  • K.J. Wright, LB - Knee (Questionable)

Top 5 Fantasy Players

  • Melvin Gordon

  • Philip Rivers

  • Russell Wilson

  • Chris Carson

  • Keenan Allen

Prediction

Over the course of NFL history, the Chargers and Seahawks have played 50 times with the Hawks edging out LAC 26-24; however, over their last three matchups, Los Angeles has taken the win. Expect this to be a high scoring game with a lot of offensive output and stellar play from both units. It could easily come down to the last play of the game; however, the Chargers are a more well rounded team and should put it away near the beginning of the final quarter. Chargers will take it of the back of Melvin Gordon’s two total touchdowns and 100 yard performance.


Final Score: Chargers 34, Seahawks 23


Written by: Jason Feiner



Los Angeles Rams (8-0) vs. New Orleans Saints (6-1)

Preview

It’s a battle of NFC powerhouses as the Los Angeles Rams put their undefeated record on the line against the New Orleans Saints. The Rams are coming off a scare from last week, only winning against Green Bay because former player Ty Montgomery fumbled a kickoff, allowing the Rams to run out the clock. The Saints, meanwhile, are coming off a revenge game against the Minnesota Vikings, 30-20, and are looking to be the next challenger to derail a perfect season. This game is very tough to call, and it might be the best game of this season.


Players to watch

The quarterbacks will be on display in this contest, as Drew Brees looks to add some more yards to his career record while Jared Goff looks to continue this torrid pace he’s been on since head coach Sean McVay came into the fold. Todd Gurley has proven to be the best running back in the NFL, mainly because he’s available and puts the team first, which is a plus. The Saints, meanwhile, still boast their two-headed monster of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, so look for the trenches to have some big plays being made. Brandin Cooks will be returning to the Superdome for the first time since being traded from New Orleans to New England to Los Angeles, so he will be looking to make another big play and show off his otherworld speed. And also, look for Michael Thomas to add some more catches and keep pace to set the season record.


Keys to the game

Los Angeles

  • Get Gurley rolling

  • Utilize play-action

  • Generate pressure up front

  • Don’t let Brees get hot

New Orleans

  • Get Brees rolling early

  • Stop Gurley from making big plays

  • Make the Rams one-dimensional

Injury list

Los Angeles Rams

  • Sam Shields, CB - Illness (Questionable)

New Orleans Saints

  • Marcus Davenport, DE- Toe (Out)

Top 5 Fantasy Players

  • Drew Brees, QB (NO)

  • Alvin Kamara, RB (NO)

  • Jared Goff, QB (LAR)

  • Todd Gurley, RB (LAR)

  • Michael Thomas, WR (NO)

Prediction

This game is truly hard to predict, because both teams are playing lights out. Drew Brees continues to solidify himself as one of the best quarterbacks in football, yet he’s never really faced a team before that is as complete as this Rams team is. Los Angeles is fully in a “Super Bowl or bust” mentality, and if they don’t make it to Atlanta in February, this season was all for naught. Brees will have one chance late in this contest to send the Saints fans home happy, but it won’t come to fruition. Rams improve to 9-0, but there will definitely be more questions than answers afterwards.


Final Score: Los Angeles 27, New Orleans 21


Written by: Joe Carlino




Green Bay Packers (3-3-1) vs. New England Patriots (6-2)

Preview

The Packers are coming off a two-point loss to the Los Angeles Rams and face another daunting task on the road against the New England Patriots, who are one of the toughest teams when playing at home. The Packers have dropped two of their last three games and look to get back on track. On the other hand, the Patriots are red-hot after winning their fifth straight game, defeating the Bills on Monday Night Football in Buffalo 25-6. This is a must-win game for the Packers, who could potentially drop to last in their tough division with a loss in New England. The Patriots, meanwhile, are looking to prove that they can beat one game’s best quarterbacks and cement themselves as one of the top teams in the NFL.


Players to watch

Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers will be the focal points of this game no doubt, but they can’t do it alone. Davante Adams will have his work cut out for him against Stephon Gilmore, who has been playing lights out this year. Aaron Jones will have to step up as well if the Packers want to have any chance in this game, but Kyle Van Noy and a gimpy Dont’a Hightower will try to stop him. The Patriots are still struggling to find a run game with Sony Michel out, and James White has struggled between the tackles. Look for Julian Edelman to run through the air in this one against a secondary that needs Bashaud Breeland to step up after losing HaHa Clinton-Dix. Can Rob Gronkowski step up with Clinton-Dix gone?


Keys to the game

Green Bay Packers

  • Keep Brady off of the field

  • Get Aaron Jones 20 carries

  • Inside pressure to make Brady uncomfortable

New England Patriots

  • Control the clock

  • Stifle their running game

  • Don’t let Rodgers beat you

Injury list

Green Bay Packers

  • Geronimo Allison, WR - Hamstring/Groin (Doubtful)

  • Randall Cobb, WR - Hamstring (Questionable)

  • Nick Perry, OLB - Ankle (Questionable)

  • Jermaine Whitehead, S - Back (Questionable)

New England Patriots

  • Shaq Mason, OG - Calf (Out)

  • Brian Schwenke, OG - Foot (Out)

  • Trent Brown, OT - Ankle (Questionable)

  • Marcus Cannon, OT - Concussion (Questionable)

  • Joe Cardona, LS - Shoulder (Questionable)

  • Julian Edelman, WR - Ankle (Questionable)

  • Josh Gordon, WR - Hamstring (Questionable)

  • Nicholas Grigsby, LB - Illness (Questionable)

  • Geneo Grissom, DL - Ankle (Questionable)

  • Rob Gronkowski, TE - Ankle/Back (Questionable)

  • Dont’a Hightower, LB - Knee (Questionable)

  • Jacob Hollister, TE - Hamstring (Questionable)

  • Sony Michel, RB - Knee (Questionable)

  • Cordarrelle Patterson, WR - Neck (Questionable)

  • John Simon, DE - Knee (Questionable)

Top 5 Fantasy Players

  • Tom Brady, QB (NE)

  • Aaron Rodgers, QB (GB)

  • Davante Adams, WR (GB)

  • Aaron Jones, RB (GB)

  • James White, RB (NE)

Prediction

Aaron Rodgers has a knack for keeping games close no matter the matchup. Rodgers will more than likely will his team towards a close victory, but ultimately come up short. The Packers have yet to put up a complete performance on both sides of the ball this year, which is why they haven’t been able to win close games. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are on a roll right now, and it is extremely tough for opposing teams to win in Gillette Stadium in the first place. I don’t see Green Bay putting all together on the road in Foxboro.


Final Score: Patriots 34, Packers 31


Written by: George Haraktsis


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