Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

The Ravens (6-2) grew their lead in the AFC North in Week 8 while the Bengals, Browns and Steelers all sit at 4-3. Here are our predictions for Week 9:

Tennessee Titans (3-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3): The Steelers had an ugly loss to the Jaguars in Week 8 in which they saw QB Kenny Pickett and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick go down with injuries and never return. Pittsburgh can’t sit and think about it too much either playing on a short week. The offense continues to struggle, ranking as the third worst in total yards per game (271.7) and fourth worst in points per game (16.1), and the defense will be without Fitzpatrick on “Thursday Night Football.”

There is some good news, however. Pickett told reporters on Tuesday that he is playing “for sure.” Titans QB Will Levis, Tennessee’s 2023 second-round pick, is expected to start once again as QB Ryan Tannehill recovers from a high-ankle sprain. Levis is coming off an impressive four-touchdown debut, but Mike Tomlin will have his defense ready to make a difference in prime time to avoid falling to .500.

PREDICTION: Steelers, 20-17

Seattle Seahawks (5-2) at Baltimore Ravens (6-2): The Ravens are one of the hottest teams in the NFL and tied for the best record in the AFC. QB Lamar Jackson is getting better every week in new offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s offense and may just find himself in contention for MVP by season’s end. The 2019 NFL MVP has thrown for 1,767 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions while also posting 380 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

That doesn’t bold well for the Seahawks, who have allowed the 11th most passing yards per game (234.3). To make matters worse for Seattle, Baltimore’s defense is playing lights out as well, allowing the fewest points per game (15.1) and second fewest total yards per game (276.5). The Seahawks will still be a tough out, especially after acquiring Pro Bowl DL Leonard Williams from the Giants at the trade deadline, but the home-field advantage could be the difference in this one.

PREDICTION: Ravens, 28-23

Arizona Cardinals (1-7) at Cleveland Browns (4-3): The Browns’ Week 8 loss to the Seahawks proved how much they miss QB Deshaun Watson. Backup QB P.J. Walker has now thrown for 618 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions in three games. Cleveland’s defense is still dominant, allowing the fewest total yards per game (260) in the league, but the team needs better quarterback play if it hopes to make it to the postseason.

Luckily for the Browns, they get to host the Cardinals, who have the worst record in football. Arizona has played teams tough this year, but it made another switch at quarterback this week after trading Joshua Dobbs to the Vikings. Rookie QB Clayton Tune, a 2023 fifth-round pick, will likely start as QB Kyler Murray nears his return. It could be a very long day for the rookie’s NFL debut against one of the league’s top defenses.

PREDICTION: Browns, 24-13

Buffalo Bills (5-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-3): Following a rough 1-3 start to the season during which QB Joe Burrow was clearly not healthy while dealing with a calf injury, the Bengals seem to be officially back. On Cincinnati’s three-game win streak, Burrow has thrown for 785 yards, eight touchdowns and just two interceptions. The defense, which has allowed the sixth most total yards per game (370.7), also got back to creating splash plays, forcing three turnovers against the talented 49ers offense in Week 8.

The Bills will be quite the challenge. They are averaging the fourth most points per game (27.8) and allowing the third fewest points per game (17). However, QB Josh Allen has turned the football over 10 times this season (eight interceptions, two fumbles). If the Bengals can continued making splash plays on defense and playing at a high level on offense, they’ll get the win and have the rest of the league kicking itself for letting them stick around.

PREDICTION: Bengals, 31-27

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The post Week 9 AFC North predictions: The division sweeps at home appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

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