One of the greatest post-game rants by an NFL head coach ever was Monday, October 16, 2006, in Phoenix. The Arizona Cardinals blew a 23-3 third-quarter lead and lost to the unbeaten Chicago Bears. Cards coach Denny Green then spouted the infamous: “They are who we thought they were!” speech.
What does that have to do with Week 9 of the 2018 season? The Bears are 10-point favorites on the NFL Week 9 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com at the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. It’s the biggest Chicago has been favored on the road since that Arizona classic. The Bills are easily the NFL’s worst offensive team, on a short week, and have to turn back to interception machine Nathan Peterman at quarterback due to injuries. Chicago has won just three of its past 19 road games straight up.
Two games clearly stand apart in Week 9: Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints in the Sunday afternoon late window, and Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots in the prime-time game. The former could be an NFC title game preview, while the latter a Super Bowl preview – although obviously, both can’t be true because the Packers also play in the NFC.
The Rams are the NFL’s only unbeaten team – after barely escaping the Packers last Sunday – and 8-0 for the first time since 1969, which was right before the AFL-NFL merger. Los Angeles is the 25th team in the Super Bowl era to start 8-0, and eight of the previous 24 won it all. Alas, the Rams are 1.5-point underdogs at the 6-1 Saints. The winner has a crucial tiebreaker for the NFC’s top seed. New Orleans is 2-6 ATS in the past eight against the Rams.
Two of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks in history will meet for only the second and quite possibly last time when the Packers visit New England. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady previously met in 2014 and the Packers won at home. In 2010 when the teams played, Rodgers was hurt. Hard to believe they haven’t met in a Super Bowl, and time is running out on Brady’s career.
The Patriots are 6-point betting favorites for a game that should draw the biggest regular-season TV ratings of the year. Green Bay is just 3-7 ATS in its past 10 overall and its playoff hopes will be in jeopardy with another loss.
History varies on what teams do when a head coach is fired midseason. Some find a spark, some go in the tank and some just continue on as they were. The Cleveland Browns will find out Sunday what that’s like as they play for the first time since ownership fired Hue Jackson along with offensive coordinator Todd Haley. The Browns are +9 against the visiting Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have the AFC’s best record at 7-1 but are 0-3 ATS in the past three in this series.