Rich Davis and Sal Licata make some predictions for the upcoming Week 9 NFL games — including the upcoming the Saints and Jets game….
Some points of interest to watch for this week….
STILL IN THE MIX
History shows that a losing record at this point in the season does not negate a team’s chances of making the playoffs. Since 2000, 32 teams have reached the halfway point of their season with a .500 or below winning percentage and proceeded to the playoffs, including at least one in each season.
GOING WEST: Through Week 8, teams in the AFC West (Kansas City, 8-0; Denver, 7-1; San Diego, 4-3; Oakland, 3-4) have a combined 22-8 (.733) record this season.
With Kansas City (at Buffalo), Oakland (vs. Philadelphia) and San Diego (at Washington) in action in Week 9 and Denver on a bye, the AFC West can challenge for the highest winning percentage by a division through nine weeks of a season since 1970.
The NFL season enters November on Sunday and three active quarterbacks – Dallas’ Tony Romo (21-4, .840), Baltimore’s Joe Flacco (17-5, .773) and New England’s Tom Brady (33-10, .767) – are among the best in November and look to improve their winning percentages in the month among starting quarterbacks (minimum 20 starts) in the Super Bowl era.
Romo, who ranks first overall among the group, and the Cowboys will host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Flacco’s (.773) and Brady’s (.767) November winning percentages are currently fourth and fifth, respectively. Flacco and the Ravens will travel to face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Brady will aim to improve his November mark against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
FULL OF SACKS
Entering Week 9, four players – the Indianapolis Colts’ Robert Mathis (11.5), the Kansas City Chiefs’ Justin Houston (11), the Buffalo Bills’ Mario Williams (11) and the St. Louis Rams’ Robert Quinn(10) – have already reached double-digit sacks this season. If at least two more players reach 10 sacks in Week 9, 2013 would be the first season in which six players registered 10 or more sacks through the first nine weeks of a season since 1982.
St. Louis head coach Jeff Fisher and the Rams will host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Fisher spent 17 seasons (1994-2010) as the Oilers/Titans head coach and guided the franchise to six playoff appearances, three division titles, two AFC championship games, and one Super Bowl appearance.
On Sunday, Fisher will join Pro Football Hall of Famer Curly Lambeau as the only head coaches in NFL history to face a team he led for at least 17 seasons.