NFL Quick Pick: Complete Week Nine Schedule, Vegas Lines, Stats, VAVEL Picks

NFL Quick Pick: Complete Week Nine Schedule, Vegas Lines, Stats, VAVEL Picks

6-1 Green Bay Packers at 7-0 Carolina Panthers is the marquee matchup as the NFL heads into Week 9.

harold-connett
Harold Connett

It's Week 9 in the NFL and the playoff picture begins to come into view.  After this week every team will have played half their games, with the contenders beginning to separate themselves from the pretenders.

For the first time in NFL history the league has four teams, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, undefeated at 7-0.

Injuries to star players around the league are threatening to change the fortunes of teams who have been experiencing promising seasons.  

Week 8 saw another devastating blow to the Pittsburgh Steelers and their playoff hopes as running back Le'Veon Bell was lost for the season after suffering a torn MCL in their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.  


Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs through the tackle attempt Josh Mauga #90 of the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium during the fourth quarter of the game on October 25, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri.
(Oct. 24, 2015 - Source: Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

The New York Jets, who currently hold the second wildcard in the AFC, saw quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick go down after he suffered torn ligaments in his left thumb in their loss to the Oakland Raiders. Fitzpatrick hopes to avoid surgery until the offseason and make it back this Sunday to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars. How much pain Fitzpatrick can tolerate in the thumb of his non-throwing hand will determine how effective Fitzpatrick will be and how long the Jets will have their starting quarterback behind center.

NFL Week 9 Schedule (Byes: Cardinals, Chiefs, Lions, Ravens, Seahawks, Texans)
Thursday, November 5 Time (EST) TV Line (Westgate Superbook)
Browns (2-6) @ Bengals (7-0) 8:25 PM NFLN Bengals -11.5
Sunday, November 8 Time (EST) TV Line (Westgate Superbook)
Packers (6-1) @ Panthers (7-0) 1:00 PM FOX Packers 2.5
Redskins (3-4) @ Patriots (7-0) 1:00 PM FOX Patriots 14
Titans (1-6) @ Saints (4-4) 1:00 PM CBS Saints -8
Dolphins (3-4) @ Bills (3-4) 1:00 PM CBS Bills -3
Rams (4-3) @ Vikings (5-2) 1:00 PM FOX Vikings -1.5
Jaguars (2-5) @ Jets (4-3) 1:00 PM CBS Jets -7.5
Raiders (4-3) @ Steelers (4-4) 1:00 PM CBS Steelers -4.5
Giants (4-3) @ Buccaneers (3-4) 4:05 PM FOX Giants -2.5
Falcons (6-2) @ 49ers (2-6) 4:05 PM FOX Falcons -7
Broncos (7-0) @ Colts (3-5) 4:25 PM CBS Broncos -5
Eagles (3-4) @ Cowboys (2-5) 8:30 PM NBC Eagles -2.5
Monday, November 9 Time (EST) TV Line (Westgate Superbook)
Bears (2-5) @ Chargers (2-6) 8:30 PM ESPN Chargers -4

Spotlight Game: 

Green Bay Packers - Carolina Panthers

The battle for home-field advantage positioning will be on the line as the Green Bay Packers head into Bank of America Stadium to take on the Carolina Panthers.

For the first time in franchise history, the Panthers find themselves undefeated at 7-0. The Panthers hold a one-game lead over the Atlanta Falcons for first place in the NFC South, and a one-game lead over the Packers for NFC home-field advantage.

The Panthers have been winning despite the loss of their top wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin in training camp. Carolina remains undefeated thanks to their ninth-ranked defense (allowing 342.3 total yards per game) and the arm and legs of quarterback Cam Newton (117-216, 1,523 yds, 11 TD, 8 INT, 286 rushing yds). Their offense has been unconventional, but when you have a 6-foot-5, 240 lb quarterback who can throw from the pocket as well as barrel down the field like a fullback, you can throw conventionality out the window.

The Packers are 2.5-point favorite over the Panthers despite coming off their first loss of the year against the Denver Broncos. Aaron Rodgers played the worst game of his career on Sunday night as the Broncos defense held the reigning MVP to just 77 yards passing and no touchdowns. Head coach Mike McCarthy called the loss a "humbling experience."


Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is sacked by Von Miller #58 and Antonio Smith #90 of the Denver Broncos in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 1, 2015 in Denver, Colorado.
(Oct. 31, 2015 - Source: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images North America) 

Packers wide receivers were unable to get open against the Broncos secondary and the offensive line struggled to hold off the pass rush that led to Rodgers being sacked three times. This week, Green Bay has been concentrating on fixing the offensive problems that plagued them in the Mile High City. Going up against the Carolina defense won't be any easier for Green Bay on Sunday.

Stats:

AFC Playoff Chase

Seed Team Overall Record Conference Record How They Got Here Wildcard Round
1 Denver Broncos 7-0 4-0 AFC West leader.  Wins strength of schedule tie breaker over New England and Cincinnati. Bye
2 New England Patriots 7-0 6-0 AFC East leader.  Wins strength of schedule tie breaker over Cincinnati. Bye
3 Cincinnati Bengals 7-0 6-0 AFC North leader. vs Jets
4 Indianapolis Colts 3-5 3-3 AFC South leader.  Wins head-to-head matchup versus Houston Texans. vs Raiders
5 Oakland Raiders 4-3 4-2 First wildcard.  Defeated New York Jets in Week 7. At Colts
6 New York Jets 4-3 3-2 Second wildcard At Bengals

Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos throws a pass against the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 1, 2015 in Denver, Colorado.
(Oct. 31, 2015 - Source: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images North America)
NFC Playoff Chase
Seed Team Overall Record Conference Record How They Got Here Wildcard Round
1 Carolina Panthers 7-0 4-0 NFC South leaders Bye
2 Green Bay Packers 6-1 4-0 NFC North leaders Bye
3 Arizona Cardinals 6-2 4-1 NFC West leaders vs Vikings
4 New York Giants 4-4 3-4 NFC East leaders vs Falcons
5 Atlanta Falcons 6-2 4-2 First wildcard at Giants
6 Minnesota Vikings 5-2 3-1 Second wildcard at  Vikings

Luke Kuechly #59 of the Carolina Panthers catches an inteception in overtime against the Indianapolis Colts during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 2, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
(Nov. 2, 2015 - Source: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)
League Leaders
Passing Team Yards Tackles Team Total
Philip Rivers SD 2,753 D'Qwell Jackson IND 92
Rushing     Sacks    
Devonta Freeman ATL 709 Chandler Jones NE 8.5
      J.J. Watt HOU 8.5
Receiving     Interceptions    
Julio Jones ATL 892 Charles Woodson OAK 5

Devonta Freeman #24 of the Atlanta Falcons runs the ball past Johnthan Banks #27 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at the Georgia Dome on November 1, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Oct. 31, 2015 - Source: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images North America)
Team Leaders
Offense YPG Defense YPG
Total Offense   Total Defense  
San Diego Chargers 423.2 Denver Broncos 261.1
Passing   Passing  
San Diego Chargers 336.9 Denver Broncos 171.9
Rushing   Rushing  
Carolina Panthers 144.0 New York Jets 78.1

Stats via nfl.com 


Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 and the San Diego Chargers huddle on the field during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 12, 2015 in San Diego, California.
(Oct. 11, 2015 - Source: Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America)
VAVEL NFL Writers Picks
  Eastern Connett Wahlgren Zevchik Alberto Barratt Bagay Boal Williams Blakely
CLE @ CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CLE CIN CIN
GB @ CAR GB CAR CAR GB CAR GB CAR GB CAR CAR
WSH @ NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE
TEN @ NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
MIA @ BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF MIA MIA BUF MIA MIA MIA
STL @ MIN MIN MIN MIN STL STL MIN MIN STL MIN MIN
JAX @ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ JAX NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ
OAK @ PIT PIT OAK OAK PIT PIT OAK PIT PIT PIT OAK
NYG @ TB NYG NYG TB NYG NYG TB TB NYG TB NYG
ATL @ SF ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL
DEN @ IND DEN DEN  DEN DEN DEN DEN DEN DEN DEN DEN
PHI @ DAL PHI PHI PHI DAL PHI PHI DAL DAL PHI PHI
CHI @ SD SD SD SD SD SD CHI SD SD SD CHI
Last Week 8-6 11-3 12-2 7-7 8-6  6-8 10-4 9-5 9-5 10-4
This Week 8-5 8-5 7-6 5-8 7-6 6-7 7-6 4-9 7-6 8-5
Overall 88-44 85-47 83-49 79-53 80-52 79-53 79-53 76-56 79-53 79-53
   Taylor Buckley Bowen Hunsicker #Graham *Evans *Frank *Huff **Tall +White
CLE @ CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN
GB @ CAR CAR GB GB GB GB GB GB GB CAR GB
WSH @ NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE
TEN @ NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
MIA @ BUF BUF BUF MIA BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF MIA BUF
STL @ MIN STL STL STL STL STL STL STL MIN STL STL
JAX @ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ
OAK @ PIT PIT PIT OAK PIT OAK OAK PIT PIT OAK PIT
NYG @ TB NYG NYG NYG TB TB NYG NYG NYG NYG TB
ATL @ SF ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL
DEN @ IND DEN DEN DEN DEN DEN DEN DEN DEN DEN DEN
PHI @ DAL DAL PHI DAL PHI DAL PHI PHI DAL DAL DAL
CHI @ SD SD SD SD SD SD SD SD SD CHI SD
Last Week 9-5 8-6 6-8 10-4 8-6 9-5 8-6 10-4 9-5 8-6
This Week 7-6 7-6 4-9 6-7 4-9 6-7 7-6 7-6 5-7 5-8
Overall 78-54 77-55 72-60 72-60 71-45 71-46 71-46 64-53 57-42 50-35

Pick in BOLD denotes a correct pick.  *Did not pick in Week 1.  **Did not pick in Week 1 and Week 3.  +Did not pick in Week 1-3.  #Did not pick in Week 6.

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