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NFC Week 9 Preview

Athletes in Motion
Athletes in Motion
November 6, 2015
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NFC Week 9 Preview

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

Sunday 8 November, 2015

Green Bay Packers (6-1) at Carolina Panthers (7-0)


The Green Bay Packers suffered their first loss of the season last week against the also undefeated Broncos. Now they have to play another dominant defense on the road again. The Panthers seem to be a much more vulnerable team. While Peyton Manning has been questioned about being an effective quarterback still, the rest of the offense seems to be right. The Panthers meanwhile, are nothing without Cam Newton. If the Packers defense can get after Cam, they stand a chance to upset them in Carolina. Aaron Rodgers will be doubly motivated to get back on track following what could be considered his worst career game.

Prediction: Green Bay 24, Carolina 21.

Tennessee Titans (1-6) at New Orleans Saints (4-4)


The Titans have nearly hit rock-bottom. It’s clear as day now their opening blowout of Tampa was a fluke (not that Mariota is a bust or anything). Ken Whisenhunt has been fired, and Mike Mularkey is set to take over in the interim. I would expect this team to take a Miami-like jump in the next game here, but they’re going up against a Saints team that is coming off a historic offensive performance. Drew Brees is looking to make another playoff run. He’s tired of playing for these middling teams, and seems like he’s going to get hot here on this stretch run. Watch out for these Saints, but I will not be surprised of the Titans play reasonably well.

Prediction: New Orleans 34, Tennessee 20.

St. Louis Rams (4-3) at Minnesota Vikings (5-2)


These two smash-mouth football teams will square off Sunday in what might be the most exciting game of the day. Green Bay at Carolina will be in the running, but there’s just a great, old-fashioned feel to this game that makes the kid in me smile. Watching Todd Gurley and Adrian Peterson square off against each other’s defenses will be truly entertaining on all levels. Both quarterbacks have talent, but these defenses are fierce, and may give them trouble. The game may come down to which team’s ex-factors make a big play, whether that’s Tavon Austin of the Rams or Cordarrelle Patterson/Marcus Sherels of the Vikings.

Prediction: St. Louis 21, Minnesota 17.


New York Giants (4-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4)


The Bucs are coming off a big win in Atlanta, and at 3-4, they may be in position to make a run at a playoff spot. The Odds are definitely against them, but with that victory things are definitely looking up for Lovie Smith’s bunch. With that being said the Giants lost a thriller in the Bayou. No one can blame Eli though, as 49 points says he did everything he was supposed to do. Eli will be looking to capitalize on the fact that Tony Romo is still not quite all the way back. If the Giants build up a big enough lead in the East, their likely won’t be enough time or games left for the Cowboys to get back in it.

Prediction: New York 31, Tampa Bay 27.

Atlanta Falcons (6-2) at San Francisco 49ers (2-6)


The Falcons started off 5-0, and then they hit a snag, losing 2 out of 3. Many would guess that this is when they fall apart, but they’ve hit a relatively easy part of their schedule; with the 49ers and Blaine Gabbert to take out in San Fran, and then hosting the struggling Colts at home. This is when they could really get going again before playing Minnesota, Tampa again, and Carolina. The 49ers have seemingly given up on the Colin Kaepernick era, opting to go with Blaine Gabbert, who was booed out of Jacksonville before finding his way to the Bay Area as a back-up. The schedule broke just right for these Falcons to get going again, expect it to happen.

Prediction: Atlanta 24, San Francisco 20.

Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) at Dallas Cowboys (2-5)


The Eagles are the NFL’s biggest disappointment. Even with the Colts at 3-5, some experts saw the missing offensive line and weak defense. Everyone seemed to pick the Eagles to at least make the playoffs, expecting historic running totals in Chip Kelly’s true takeover of an NFL franchise. But that has clearly been a total failure. Even if the Eagles manage to finish with a winning record, there’s not enough firepower to be a real threat. The Cowboys still are not at 100%, and it doesn’t look like Dez Bryant will get back to what he’s capable of until Romo sees the field, so this may be a lost season for Dallas.

Prediction: Philadelphia 23, Dallas 14.

Monday 9 November, 2015

Chicago Bears (2-5) at San Diego Chargers (2-6)


In what may be the worst Monday Night Football game of the season, the Bears play the Chargers in what some want to try and make a rivalry game between Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers. Since, ya know, they played in the same division from 2006-2008, and have played once since, so things are really tense between Rivers and Jay… I like a good quarterback rivalry, even a mediocre quarterback rivalry, but they actually have to see each other more than every few years for it to count. The Bears are rebuilding, and the Chargers are looking like they may need to rebuild. Expect a good game in the sense that the score will likely be close, and not much else.

Prediction: Chicago 23, San Diego 19.

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