NFL Week 9: Overcoming The Odds – 3 Games to Watch

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Richard Graves

Presenter, Writer and Broadcaster

Mahomes & the Chiefs take on Henry & the Titans. Super Bowl Champions clash but who will wake from their slumber and can Tua & the Dolphins close the gap on Buffalo?


Miami Dolphins (5-3) @ Chicago Bears (3-5) (Miami Dolphins -4.5)

The Dolphins return to winning ways has coincided with the return to fitness of their starting QB, Tua Tagovailoa.  There are 2-0 since he returned with wins over the Steelers and a high scoring victory against the Detroit Lions. In a competitive AFC East, it leaves them 3rd – 2 games back from the division leading Buffalo Bills but they do hold the tie breaker over them.

In contrast – despite a big win in New England 2 weeks ago – it appears the Chicago Bears are now in full rebuilding mode. This week they traded away LB Roquan Smith, having already traded pass rusher, Robert Quinn to the Eagles!

The Bears run the ball better than anyone else in the NFL this season- they’re averaging over 180 rushing yards per game – but the Dolphins defense is ranked 6th defending the run.  If they can control the line of scrimmage, then expect this game to take on a similar feel to last weeks game when the Bears lost in Dallas. Like the Cowboys, Miami have big play threats and can take the top off a defense which is awful against the run – only Houston is worse this season – and has now traded away two of its standout players.

Miami will win this game and cover the line in the process

PICK: Miami Dolphins -4.5


LA Rams (3-4) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5) (Buccaneers win)

This matchup sees the winners of the last two Super Bowls go head to head – but neither will be winning this year’s Super Bowl.  The Rams went all in to win another Lombardi trophy last season and it paid off! Key players in that team are now gone though and its showing – especially on offense where they are averaging under 17 points per game this season.

The Buccaneers have been dealing with their fair share of injury problems, but that can’t hide their short comings as well. Tom Brady has had his own issues to deal with off the field, but on it his performances and the offense as a whole have fallen well below the standards expected in Tampa. The Buccaneers are 1-5 through their last 6 games! They average 18.3 points per game this season. They badly need a get right game and are fortunate to be in a division where the Atlanta Falcons lead – just one game ahead of them with a 4-4 record.

This game maybe that game. Star wide receiver Cooper Kupp left last week’s defeat to the 49ers with an ankle injury. The Rams offensive line still can’t protect QB Matthew Stafford – they’ve given up 24 sacks this season. Although the Buccaneers are without LB Shaq Barrett, with home field advantage, their offense has been scoring marginally more points, they have more weapons and defensively they’ve been better.  The form of both teams means only a brave man would take on the spread for this game, but the Buccaneers have enough to win it outright.

PICK: Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win


Tennessee Titans (5-2) @ Kansas City Chiefs (5-2) (Chiefs Over 29.5 Points)

The Tennessee Titans head into Arrowhead riding a 5 game winning streak and last week won with their backup rookie QB attempting just 10 passes! In part, that was possible because Derrick Henry had a day against the Houston Texans – rushing for over 200 yards and a TD.  He battered them into submission!

The Chiefs are coming off a bye week and are well rested. Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL’s number 1 ranked scoring offense. A unit, which put up 44 points on the road in San Francisco on their last outing and look to be firing on all cylinders.

For that reason, the Chiefs are heavy 12.5 point favourites going into this matchup. The Titans can draw inspiration from recent history though – they’ve won 4 of the last 5 regular season meetings between these two sides. Even so, it’s tough to make an argument for them this weekend.  Whilst their 5-2 record is the same as Kansas City’s, Tennessee have only met two opponents with winning records this season (Giants and Bills) and they lost to both of them. The Chiefs have scored 30 points or more in 3 of their last 4 games.  Add into the equation, Arrowhead stadium, Sunday night on Prime Time viewing – and the Chiefs having an extra week to prepare for this game….

Expect Mahomes and the Chiefs to put on a show, to win this game and score plenty of points in doing so.

PICK: Kansas City Chiefs over 29.5 points


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