NFL Week Nine Predictions: New England Patriots Edge Out Denver

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Nov 24, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback

Tom Brady

(12) shouts to the fans before start of the game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Here are my week nine NFL predictions:

Patriots 31 Broncos 28

This one is going to be a thriller.

Peyton versus Brady for the 16th time. It doesn’t get any better than this. Both teams are on fire right now, and they will collide tomorrow afternoon at Gillette Stadium

To me, the key to winning this game comes in the trenches. If the Pats can protect Brady, and get to Manning, they will come out victorious. However if DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller get to Brady early, and nobody touches Manning on the other side, Denver may run away with it. Denver’s pass defense has some holes once you get past their pass rush, and given time, Brady will have no problem moving the ball against them. But Ware and Miller are two of the best in the business, which means New England’s tackles have to come ready to play.

On the other side of the ball, someone needs to step up on the Patriots’ front line, or else Manning is going to light the Pats up. In my eyes, the Pats have the best secondary in the league, but if you can’t get pressure on Manning it doesn’t matter who you have back there. From an individual matchup standpoint, the Pats will be able to handle Denver’s weapons. But someone, whether it is Akeem Ayers, Dominique Easley, Dont’a Hightower, or Rob Ninkovich needs to have themselves a day and get in Manning’s face.

I believe the Pats will come out looking for some revenge from last year’s loss in the AFC Championship game, and aided by the chilly weather, will win this game.

Browns 27 Buccaneers 26

Cleveland is a surprising 4-3, and Brian Hoyer and company now get the opportunity to go up against a horrific Tampa Bay team. The Bucs are 1-6, and rank dead last in the league in total defense. I do think the Bucs will put up a fight behind Mike Glennon, but the Browns are getting their fifth win.

Cardinals 27 Cowboys 21

Arizona has one of the best run defenses in the league, and they blitz like none other. That is why they will beat a reeling Dallas Cowboys team tomorrow. Tony Romo struggled against Washington’s blitzes on Monday night football last week, and now that he is less than 100%, things in that department may get a whole lot worse this week. The Cardinals love to bring the blitz, and that will work to perfection tomorrow in Dallas.

Eagles 31 Texans 21

Put simply: I’m taking Nick Foles over Ryan Fitzpatrick every single day of the week. Houston’s defense (J.J. Watt) will make a few big plays to help make the game interesting, but Philadelphia’s offense has too many weapons for them to contain. Eagles pull away late and get the double digit win.

Chiefs 28 Jets 13

The Jets made a quarterback change this week by starting Michael Vick instead of Geno Smith, but it won’t help them one bit. The Jets are a mediocre football team, and while Kansas City is only 4-3, they have proven that they can hang with the best teams in the league (Broncos, Patriots), so New York will be no trouble for them.