Kingshark Line for NFL Week 9:
Second Half of Season Begins Now- We are now officially two months into the five month NFL Season (if you count the post season). It is now the first weekend of November. The weather is going to get colder, and it is getting dark earlier (Daylight Savings Time ends 2am Sunday). Through the first eight weeks of the season were are seeing the powerhouses for this season emerge and the lesser teams already starting to fall by the wayside (with a few having done that within the first few weeks of the season). It’s safe to say at the midway point that the Broncos, Seawhawks, Colts, 49ers, Packers, Chiefs, Patriots, Saints and likely the Bengals are all looking very strong for January football. It’s safe the say that someone is going to win the NFC East, and whoever does will be the "de facto" fourth seed in the NFC post season irregardless of their record. Teams such as the Bears, Lions, the second place teams in the NFC West and AFC West, just maybe even the Panthers are the best Wild Card candidates.
Disappointments- The first two teams that come to mind here are the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Baring a Cincinnati collapse there is a good possibility the Ravens (3-4) may become one of those rare defending champions who may not make the post season the following year. However with nine games left Baltimore is also the best bet to turn their season around too. The Steelers are just too synonymous with winning football which makes it very strange to look at them and see a team that is 2-5 and most likely going nowhere. The Atlanta Falcons after falling 15 yards short of the Super Bowl last year at 2-5 are likely getting nowhere near it this year. The New York Giants (2-6) are either even a bigger disappointment than the Falcons, or perhaps did not foresee changes that may need to be made maybe about a year ago. Houston at (2-5) has a problem or a few hundred. The Texans are toast. Buffalo, NY Jets, Philadelphia, Washington, Cleveland, St Louis are annual disappointments because it’s who they are and what they do. Only in Buffalo, Cleveland, and St Louis can you be a disappointment yet at the same time (and sometimes in the same game) meet expectations.
Hitting the Links in January- Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Houston for certain are making tee times for January. If this was European Soccer, these teams would be in a lower division next year. Whoever does not win the NFC East will be on the courses as well along with likely Tennessee, Arizona, and all the teams mentioned in the “Disappointments” paragraph.
Upticks- Miami, Oakland, and possibly Carolina too are in these category. More than likely none of these teams are in the postseason (the Panthers do have some shot), but are showing signs of rebuilding stable programs. The jury is still out in San Diego though if the team finishes with a decent mark it is a credit to the players and there coaching staff. The Chargers are probably an 8-8 team when it’s all said and done, however after being ransacked by the last regime this is not a bad way to start a new era. They will still need a rebuild however.
WTF Moment of Week 8- That would be the last four plays of the game the Rams tried to run against the Seahawks last Monday Night from inside the Seattle 5 yard line. Especially the last play when the Rams tried that 2 yard Hail Mary play. Really?
Kingshark Line for Week 9- This week has already had a first for the season, and that is the Kingshark Line’s first Thursday Night loss of the season. When Cameron Wake sacked Cincinnati's QB Andy Dalton for a safety in overtime Thursday Night, Miami had a 22-20 win. It marked only the third time since 1998 that an overtime game had ended on a walk-off safety. The Kingshark Line went 27-24 for the Bengals, Mr Wake said “Not so fast Kingshark Line”. Well done Mr Wake. Even with that, the Kingshark was still 12-1 in Week 8 (would trade that for 11-2 and a St Louis Rams win in second). Overall the KSL is sitting nice at 84-37 for the season (.694 percentage). This week it's the Cardinals, Broncos, Lions, Jaguars, Giants, 49ers turns for their bye weeks. As for NFL Week 9, here's what the Kingshark Line sees:
Kansas City@Buffalo (CBS)- The Chiefs hit the road for the first time in almost a month as they pay a visit to Buffalo to take on the Bills. The Chiefs are the last undefeated team in the NFL for 2013 at 8-0. The Chiefs in the last two weeks have won some relatively close games against the Texans and Browns. The Bills split two road games over the last two weeks winning in Miami before getting throttled by a strong Saints team. The Bills are one of the toughest home teams in the NFL regardless of record and the Chiefs will have their hands full. If Kansas City can pass this road test they will feel very good about themselves. The Bills will throw everything they can and there is a potential for an upset here. Don’t be surprised if that happens. Otherwise the Chiefs take a close one. Chiefs 20 Bills 17.
Tennessee@St Louis (CBS)- The Titans return to action after a Week 8 bye to try to get back in contention in the AFC South as they travel 310 miles from Nashville to St Louis. The Rams are coming off their best game of the season even though at the end the offense clearly did not know what plays to run when it mattered the most. The Rams defense has to be angry and maybe asking “What more do we have to do, maybe just be the offense too?” Maybe. The Titans got hammered by the 49ers in Nashville two weeks ago and are anxious to get back on track against their former coach Jeff Fisher. The good news for the Titans is that without Sam Bradford the Rams can’t do much. Jake Locker with two weeks rest may bring more to the table. The Rams defense here wins the battle again...but the offense loses the war...again .... Titans 17 Rams 13.
New Orleans@NY Jets (FOX)- The Saints go marching into the Meadowlands to take on the NY Jets. The Saints last week handled business at home versus the Bills. Meanwhile the Jets got manhandled in Cincinnati. The Jets wont be that bad twice in a row, but just don’t have a team that can keep up with the Saints either. Drew Brees out duels Geno Smith. New Orleans pulls away in the second half. Saints 34 Jets 20.
San Diego@Washington (CBS)- The Chargers are coming off of their Week 8 bye to take on a Redskins team that has many things that are just going wrong in a classical team melt down. Last week the Redskins stayed with the Broncos in Denver for three quarters and actually led by 14 points at one juncture. Then the fourth quarter came around and Denver outscored Washington 31-0 and never looked back. RGIII is under fire in Washington as there are reports of a divided lockeroom in DC. Basically what this means is that the Redskins are acting like the government. They way they have played this year one would think they are being run by the government as well. Phillip Rivers should have a good day as the Chargers are well rested. Chargers 31 Redskins 24.
Minnesota@Dallas (FOX)- The Cowboys are returning home to Jerryworld after splitting a two game road trip at Philly and Detroit. The Cowboys actually have played decent football in spots this year however tend to get in their own way on the way to would could be more wins. Minnesota meanwhile is simply gawd awful and easily the worst team in football not named Jacksonville or Tampa Bay. Outside of Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen few others have stepped up for the Vikings. The Cowboys given the situation with the NFC East need this game more and really have no excuses to burn here. Tony Romo should have a good passing day, and maybe Dez Bryant keeps his cool. He will need to going forward. Cowboys 24 Vikings 10.
Atlanta@Carolina (FOX)- The Falcons fly...err, limp into Charlotte for an in-division match versus the Panthers. Right now the Falcons are four games behind the NFC South leading Saints and likely will not catch them. To have any post season shot the Falcons need to start making hay against the Panthers, who they trail by two games. The Panthers meanwhile really have had only one truly bad game this season and have been steady otherwise. Carolina needs a win to keep pace with the Saints themselves and believes they can get to the post season. Again, the Falcons are missing key pieces. It hurt them last week in Arizona, it won’t help them here either. It will be a closer game, but the Panthers get the nod at home. Panthers 30 Falcons 23.
Tampa Bay@Seattle (FOX)- This is a match between two franchises who both came into the NFL in 1976. So much for what they have in common. Fast forward to 2013. Tampa at 0-8 has one thing in common with the ‘76 expansion club. Seattle meanwhile has become a bona fide powerhouse now and is atop the NFC West at 7-1. This one will only be an upset if it’s not over before halftime. Easily the lock of the week. Seahawks 38 Buccaneers 9.
Philadelphia@Oakland (FOX)- The Raiders are once again favorites at home as they look to take on an Eagles team that has struggled for most of the season. After two bad home losses, the Eagles could not get out of Philly fast enough where they have now lost 10 straight home games. All three of their wins are on the road. More than likely it will be former USC Trojans QB Matt Barkley starting for the Eagles. The Raiders meanwhile had a strong showing in a 21-18 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. The Silver and Black are playing solid football in a lot of areas this season and have been an interesting team to watch. Right now, the Eagles are clearly on the downslide but at least are out of the Philly fishbowl. However going into the Black Hole won’t be the most ideal place to try and pick up their season either. Terrelle Pryor may have the perfect storm brewing in his favor as the Eagles have one of the lesser pass defenses in the NFL. Raiders with a win also reach the .500 mark as well. Raiders 27 Eagles 16.
Pittsburgh@New England (CBS)- The Patriots play host the the Steelers in a game that looked like a surefire marque matchup when the schedule came out back in April. This could still be a good game though the Steelers honestly have lost a lot of their swagger this season. The Steelers can barely run the ball these days and this has made Ben Roethlisberger’s job much harder. The same can’t be said for Tom Brady who last week against Miami again showed why he’s still arguably the most consistent QB in the NFL. The Patriots however also know you can’t take any opponent for granted even if they are having an off year. The Steelers defense did have a strong second half in Oakland last Sunday, and if they take that into Foxboro that gives them a fighting chance here. It will still be a very tall order against Brady & Company however. Patriots 23 Steelers 17.
Baltimore@Cleveland (CBS)- The Ravens are coming off their bye week well rested and looking to return to their winning ways following four tough losses in their first seven games. The Browns gave the undefeated Chiefs all they could handle in Kansas City last Sunday. A win for the Ravens gets them back to .500 and gives them a shot at the AFC North with eight game remaining. The Browns and their fans would love nothing better than to deny their original franchise that opportunity. The problem here is that neither Jason Campbell or Brandon Weeden are going to intimidate a defense such as Baltimore’s with the Ravens' big game experience. Defensively the Browns have given up an average of 27 points a game since Week 5. Does not bode well for Cleveland on the whole. Ravens 20 Browns 13.
Indianapolis@Houston (NBC)- The Colts make their second Sunday Night Football appearance in three weeks as this time they are on the road in Houston. The Texans meanwhile have lost five on a row as they are watching this season get away from them. In their last game two weeks ago the Texans maybe played their best game of the season in a one point loss at Kansas City where they were a heavy underdog. The Colts are coming off a Week 8 bye after an emotional six-point win over the Broncos at home. The Colts are a team that has more than enough weapons to get the job done. Their last road game was a hiccup in San Diego were they were caught looking ahead. This won’t be the case here. The Texans will at least make a decent showing but they don’t have the manpower to stop Andrew Luck and the Colts offense (even without Reggie Wayne). Colts 31 Texans 17.
Chicago@Green Bay (ESPN)- The longest running rivalry in the NFL continues Monday Night as the Bears visit the Packers at the semi-frozen tundra of Lambeau Field (Hey, it’s early November. Just give it a few weeks). This 187th match between the two storied franchises is for first place in the NFC North. Aaron Rogers has lead the Packers to four straight wins after a 1-2 start while the Bears at 4-3 are hanging in. The Bears have the advantage of having 15 days rest before entering this game coming off of their Week 8 bye. Jay Cutler could start after suffering a groin injury in Washington two weeks ago. In his last 10 games against the Bears, Rogers is 8-2, with the two losses coming on Monday Night games (both in Chicago). Again another tough match is to be expected here with maybe weather being a factor. This will be close but the Packers with a full weeks rest look locked and loaded for a strong second half of the season. Packers 34 Bears 27.
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*Mandatory Disclaimer: The Kingshark Line is stickily for entertainment purposes only. I have the same exact information that anyone else has and do not claim to know any more or less than the next guy. This is not to promote or encourage gambling on football or any other sport. No point spreads are played here or implied in any way. Scores are for entertainment purposes only and are only based on team trends, team reports, etc. There is no inside information given here or implied. This is just for your information and entertainment. Enjoy the games.