NFL Week 9 preview: truths or trends?

The 2016 NFL season is already halfway through, and with Week 9 being the legitimate anchor, the analysis and projections so far reflect either truths or trends.

Rather than analyzing each team’s personal, many projections in the NFL tend to be based on early trends or “fan favorites”. Some of the trending teams in the NFL right now, might just drift the wrong direction.

There is only a handful of real topflight quarterbacks in the NFL nowadays, and this makes it easier for such picks or predictions to fall into the mix of trends.

The Atlanta Falcons
certainly do have a top-tier quarterback they can count on, and that is Matt Ryan. Atlanta’s arsenal of weapons led by ‘Matty Ice’ and the No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL, Julio Jones, make the Falcons a dangerous team in the NFC.

The Philadelphia Eagles
are another interesting team in the NFC, and is currently a legitimate sleeper under the new rookie sensation Carson Wentz. The No.2 overall pick shows poise,
ability, and toughness in his early success as a rookie – which has to make Eagles fans excited, or at least optimistic.

Philly is also sparked by a tenacious defensive front-seven, recording over two sacks a game followed by a total of six interceptions. This well-rounded team is accredited to the new chemistry under Doug Peterson, giving this Eagles team new energy.

Another legitimate truth this NFL season is the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers have proved that they are a team to be deal with, certainly with their tough
defensive front, under rookie sensation – Joey Bosa. San Diego is bolstered also with great quarterback play once again, and Phillip Rivers is more than ready to lead his team to one more playoff run before his retirement questions comes into play.

Despite being 5-0, and having one of the best defenses in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings appears to be a mere trend.

After a ‘Halloween-like’ performance against the Bears Monday night, Minnesota showed its weakness as the top trend in the NFL. The Vikings revealed
their flaw on the offensive line, failing to protect Bradford, and the running game – giving up six sacks and only recording 58 yards total on the ground.

Their injuries on the running game are proving to be a concern, as Bradford appears to looking for more options on offense in his humble 200-yd effort.

The NFC favorites have a long road ahead of them, especially with the Cowboys currently rolling.

Derek Carr certainly inspired his young and talented Oakland Raiders last year as rookie, and plans to continue his roll, leading the AFC West with a 6-2 record.  With the help of star receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, Carr’s passing trio looks to be a dangerous one.

The elite offense of the Raiders is accompanied by a variety of running backs who can efficiently carry the rock, but are dealing without their top tier running back for the time being. With Latavius Murray set to return soon, it will be up too DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard, and Jamize Olawale to produce valuable yards to keep their offense stay well-balanced.

Though Oakland’s running backs are filling in the void for Murray, their offense still lies more heavily on the passing game. The Raiders need to stay healthy and well balanced as a team to be one of NFL’s truths rather than
trends.

Photo by Joe Bielawa [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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