The midpoint of any season is always an invitation to reflect on what has happened and more importantly how it has happened.
If we look at the data, this year the meaningless results and tight scores have generated great content for the conversations around the National Football League. So far, 55 games have been decided by a touchdown, the most ever at this point in the season.
Along with this, the average margin of difference on the boards has been 9.52, the lowest during the first eight weeks of the calendar since 1970. 10 of the 15 games in Week 8 entered the fourth quarter with less than eight points difference.
Some call it parity, others mediocrity, the truth is that this year it seems that there is no team labeled as “the weakest rival”, nor the overwhelming team. Anyone can defeat anyone, although for now the exception to the rule is the philadelphia eagleswho have not suffered defeat and seek the first 8-0 start in franchise history.
Only two matchups this weekend will be between teams with winning records (Bills vs. Jets and Chiefs vs. Titans) and despite that, oddsmakers are predicting that the winners will do so with at least a touchdown lead.
The league is as messy as a piña colada.
November football has arrived, temperatures will begin to drop and the atmosphere will be impregnated with Christmas aromas. With the first snowfalls, the clogging in the aerial game will be more evident and the runners will take on a greater role than they already have.
The 2022 season has the highest yardage average since 1970 per rush on each play (4.54) and averaged 240 yards per game, the most since 1987.
This is the kind of football that old fans love and they boast as the purest.
The truth is that defenses earlier in the season were adjusted to improve pass coverage and now the offense has changed direction to take the rougher, less spectacular route.
Many teams that we expected to be good are not meeting expectations, several of them with quarterbacks that will be part of the Hall of Fame in the future like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Matthew Stafford. The change in defensive systems is one of the causes.
The trade deadline is Tuesday in the afternoon and now it is time to look forward.
The Monday Night Football matchup will be game number 136officially marking the midpoint of the 2022 NFL schedule.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Titans at Chiefs (-12):
After taking a week off, the Chiefs jump back on the scene with the most attractive game of the weekend.
Under the lights of Sunday Night, Arrowhead lights up to receive the Tennessee Titans, the team with the most streak along with the Philadelphia Eagles.
There’s enough talent on both sides of the ball to hold out until the end as AFC Super Bowl contenders. It’s not for nothing that the Chiefs have three wins in their most recent four games, all against playoff teams in 2021.
The bye period has always been a blessing for coach Andy Reid, who seems to refresh his ideas every time a bye knocks on his door. Reid’s teams are 20-3 after a week without activity. In fact, the Chiefs haven’t lost in their last nine games after taking a bye.
Although on this occasion, time occupied him for something else. Britt Reid, Andy’s son and a former assistant coach within the organization, was sentenced to three years in prison for felony driving under the influence of alcohol.
patrick mahomes remains one of the biggest faces in the league. He leads the NFL with 20 touchdown passes and also in passing yards (.308.4) per game.
Tennessee finished last year as the top seed in the AFC and it was largely thanks to running back Derrick Henry, an American muscle man who last Sunday recorded his sixth career performance with at least 200 rushing yards, tying Adrian Peterson and OJ Simpson for the most in National Football League history.
Titans 24-30 Chiefs
Eagles (-14) at Texans:
The list of games in November begins with the team that has displayed the best football against another that seems to be building the Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona because there is no glimpse of when it can finish its reconstruction.
The Eagles visit the Texans on the same day the Phillies host the Astros in Game 5 of the World Series that could define the title for the Phillis if the Astros don’t win tonight to level the series. Rivalry x2.
The Eagles are looking to start a season 8-0 for the first time in franchise history. Many of those wins have come thanks to quarterback Jalen Hurts’ two-way talent and careful handling of the ball. Philadelphia has only suffered two turnovers thus far, becoming only the second team in the Super Bowl era with two interferences or fumbles in its first seven games of a season. They join the 2017 Kansas City Chiefs.
Counting last season, Hurts has won 10 consecutive games as the starting quarterback, the longest streak for any man who has taken the ball under center in an Eagles uniform.
Eagles 28-17 Texans
Rams at Buccaneers (-3)
The two most recent Super Bowl winners meet midway through this season.
It will be the 27th time this has happened and the eighth in the most recent 20 season.
Good news for Los Angeles Rams fans is that the team that won the last edition so far has won in six.
The bad news is that Tom Brady is in front of him and he is hungry for victory after accumulating three losses in a row.
Brady with 99,836 yards is 164 yards away from becoming the first man in National Football League history with 10,000 career yards. Brady has the most regular season passing yards (86,787) and postseason passing yards (13,049) of all time and has led the NFL in passing yards four times (2005, 2007, 2017 and 2021) during his 23-year career.
Buccaneers 17-21 Rams
TWO MINUTE DRILL
Chargers (-3.5) at Falcons:
Atlanta begins to believe that it is a playoff team. Justin Herbert has a 102.7 rating with six touchdowns and an interception on the road. Chargers 24-28 Falcons
Dolphins (-5) at Bears:
Chicago’s defense was shredded on the ground by the Cowboys last week, and that means Raheem Moster could have a field day in Chicago. Dolphins 24-17 Chicago
Panthers at Bengals (-7.5):
Cincinnati has a short week seeing the previous Monday Night played. Joe Burrow is averaging 384 passing yards with five touchdowns in his last two home games. Panthers 14-24 Bengals
Packers (-3.5) at Lions: Two teams with hurt defenses but attractive offenses. The Packers showed life against Buffalo, while the Lions couldn’t take the Lions shootout. Packers 24-21 Lions
Colts at Patriots (-5.5):
For a long time this confrontation was the most anticipated of the year to see Peyton Manning and Tom Brady face to face. That is already part of the history books and now we have to settle for seeing Sam Ehlinger and Mac Jones. Colts 17-24 Patriots
Bills (-13) at Jets:
The Bills arrive mounted as the best team in the AFC and with four wins in a row. Josh Allen has totaled 2,198 passing yards and 306 rushing yards and leads all players with 357.7 combined yards. Bills 28-24 Jets
Minnesota (-3.5) in Commanders:
Washington has two road wins in the last three weeks against NFC North opponents, but the Vikings are hot. Vikings 30-24 Commanders
Raiders (-1.5) at Jaguars:
Two teams with only two wins this year, it’s the worst invitation since your aunt asked you to tea. Raiders 14-17 Jaguars
Seahawks at Cardinals (-2):
Seattle is 2-2 on the road. Seahawks 20-17 Cardinals
Ravens (-2.5) at Saints:
The Ravens could be 8-0 if they hadn’t lost the leads they gained in three losses. Ravens 28-21 Saints
In the line of play
|Eagles at Texans||Over 44.5|
|Chargers at Falcons||Falcons +3.5 Under|
|Dolphins at Bears||Under 44.5|
|Panthers at Bengals||Under 42.5|
|Packers at Lions||Packers-3.5|
|Colts at Patriots||Colts +5.5|
|bills on jets||Jets +12.5 Under 46|
|Vikings in Commanders||Vikings-3.5|
|Raiders at Jaguars||Under 47.5|
|Seahawks at Cardinals||Under 50.5|
|Rams at Buccaneers||rams +3|
|Titans at Chiefs||Titan +12|
|Ravens at Saints||Over 48.5|
In the past week: 7-8
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At last! The NFL Week 9 picks have arrived