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AFC Week 9 Preview

Athletes in Motion
Athletes in Motion
November 5, 2015
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AFC Week 9 Preview

Sports Analyst Tim CarrollTim is a freelance Sports Reporter with previous work in the Daily Vidette at Illinois State University.

Thursday 5 November, 2015

Cleveland Browns (2-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-0)


When week 9 hits in the regular season, we have a pretty good idea about most teams in the NFL. It’s clear that these teams are on completely different ends of the spectrum. The Browns have officially given up on the season, and are reportedly letting Johnny Manziel see the field this week. The Bengals though will be giving him all he can handle, as their defense will pin their ears back to get after Johnny Football to see if he’s for real. Andy Dalton will likely be torching the Browns D on the other end, as this one could get ugly early. With that being said, I’m extremely excited to see Manziel lead the team, knowing that there is still a substantial amount of football to be played, we may really find out about Johnny Football.

Prediction: Cincinnati 34, Cleveland 21.

Sunday 8 November, 2015

Washington Redskins (3-4) at New England Patriots (7-0)


The Redskins have managed to hang around the NFC East race due to the fact that they’re arguably the healthiest team in the division. At this point though, the Cowboys are getting healthy, and the other teams are more talented than the Redskins. Expect them to fall behind, especially with this game against the Patriots looming. Tom Brady has continued his tear all season, and won’t likely have much trouble against a middle-of-the-road Washington defense. Brady has only thrown 1 interception this season, and he’s on pace for just 5,200 passing yards and 46 touchdowns. Expect this one to be over early.

Prediction: New England 41, Washington 20.

Miami Dolphins (3-4) at Buffalo Bills (3-4)


A couple of victims of the Patriots square-off Sunday, as both teams look to get their season on the right track. Tyrod Taylor is expected to start after missing the last 2 games. A once promising season for Buffalo is now in jeopardy. A win this week though could go a long way towards a wild-card run. The Dolphins are also expecting to make a run, despite a blowout loss to New England. They feel good and seem to be back on track. With that being said, this game will come down to which defense makes more plays. If Suh and Wake can get after Taylor, or the Mario Williams and Co. can get after Tannehill, that team will definitely have the upper-hand. Expect a hard-fought game.

Prediction: Buffalo 26, Miami 20.


Jacksonville (2-5) at New York Jets (4-3)

jets logo

A huge question looms for the Jets, following 2 straight losses, Ryan Fitzpatrick is willing to gut it out despite his thumb injury and keep plugging away. A loss could derail the season, but a win could put them in prime position to grab a wild-card spot that could pair them with the Colts in the wild-card round, a team they beat in Indy already. The Jaguars are looking the other way; despite their young talent, they clearly don’t have the depth and firepower to compete on a regular basis. Blake Bortles may have a bright future, but he doesn’t have the offensive line or defense to back him up.

Prediction: New York 24, Jacksonville 17.

Oakland Raiders (4-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4)


The Raiders are feeling good after a few solid victories. They are another team looking to make a playoff run for the first time in a while. Derek Carr is playing at a level that older brother David Carr could only dream about (to be fair, he also isn’t getting driven into the ground every play). The Steelers finally got their whole repertoire of offensive players last week, with Big Ben coming back from his injury, but things took another bad turn as LeVeon Bell went down for the year with a torn MCL. The Steelers could still get into the playoffs, but without Bell in the backfield, the Super Bowl doesn’t seem realistic anymore.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 26, Oakland 24.

Denver Broncos (7-0) at Indianapolis Colts (3-5)


The Broncos get their first crack at the team that eliminated them last season in the divisional round of the playoffs. They get them while they are down as well. Everyone on the Colts is playing below their potential, especially Andrew Luck, who is only responsible for 1 of their 3 wins this year. Chuck Pagano is on the hotseat, and everyone in the organization could be out of a job, except Luck (for obvious, franchise quarterback reasons). Despite this, they are still the favorite in the AFC South purely because Andrew Luck is capable of great things, and everyone else in the AFC South is either mediocre or worse. The Broncos, meanwhile, are winning in ways you wouldn’t expect. That defense is possibly the most talented in the league, and Peyton Manning is simply playing well enough to let them dominate games with putting pressure on them. This game has all the makings of a revenge-blowout.

Prediction: Denver 31, Indianapolis 14.

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