Week 9 is going to be a great weekend in NFL football – a round full of rivalries and intense games. You could dedicate your entire Sunday (Monday morning AEDT) to being glued in front of the TV, switching between seven different games at a time. But I like to focus on the quality of the match-up.
Here are the games most worthy of your attention this weekend:
Miami Dolphins v New York Jets at Miami – 5.00am (AEDT), Monday
As a Fins fan, this game is a must-watch for me. There are rivalries, and then there are mortal enemies. The animosity between these franchises partially stems from the Dolphins-Jets AFC East division, but mostly from the fact that Jets fans keep moving to South Florida, and Dolphins fans keep moving to New York.
Although neither team will likely have a shot at being a division champ in a long time thanks to the Patriots, it’s still fun to watch them duke it out every season. The Jets barely squeezed by with a narrow victory over the worst team in the NFL, the Browns, last week, whereas the Dolphins seem to have gotten their act together with two big wins against the Steelers and Bills.
The Dolphins will probably win, but if there has ever been a team to mess things up it’s this team (or the Jets, for that matter).
Keep it rolling. 🚂 🐬 👊 pic.twitter.com/DMAX1U3WaM
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) October 28, 2016
Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore – 5.00am (AEDT), Monday
The Steelers-Ravens rivalry is one of the fiercest and oldest in the NFL. Both teams are in the AFC North, and are the only two teams in this division to win a Super Bowl. Just because neither team is as strong a contender for Super Bowl 2017 as they were a few years ago, that doesn’t mean that the intensity will die down.
This is going to be like watch two has-been, punch-drunk guys go at it in a bar: you’ll see some sloppy plays, maybe some injuries, some good hits, and even some impressive moves.
It isn’t clear if the Steelers will be able to field some of their best players: injured QB Ben Roethlisberger, defensive end Cam Heyward or tackle Marcus Gilbert. But even then, Pittsburgh still has a slight edge. The Ravens are coming off four straight losses, with their last loss to the NY Jets. This doesn’t mean the Steelers are much better, as they got destroyed by the Dolphins a few games ago.
My prediction is the Steelers will take advantage of the Ravens slip-ups and win by a 10-point margin.
Post-Gazette: On the Steelers: Catching Ravens in a four-game losing skid might not equal perfect timing: The… https://t.co/3WeoMUiFJR
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@Stillers) November 2, 2016
New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles – 5.00am (AEDT), Monday
Ok, when I promised you wouldn’t have to flip channels, it was only wishful thinking. The Eagles-Giants rivalry is one for the books. It is frequently referred to as one of the top NFL rivalries of all time.
The Giants lead the series 85-81, but something tells me Carson Wentz is going to make light work of the Giants this weekend. Losing to two fellow NFC East teams back-to-back just isn’t a good look for the Eagles, and the Giants have been struggling all season. This game could go either way, but the Eagles are my pick.
Time to bounce back.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) November 1, 2016
Oakland Raiders v Denver Broncos at Oakland at 12:30pm (AEDT), Monday
The Raiders have had a pretty dramatic season, while the opposite is true for the 2016 Super Bowl champs they will be facing this Sunday. Both teams are tied at 6-2 in the AFC West and this will be a pivotal game for the rest of the season.
It’s going to be close one in Oakland, but the Raiders should win if they can get past the steely Broncos defense.
An AFC West battle in prime time.
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) November 2, 2016