Week Nine in the NFL throws up arguably the most highly-anticipated quarter-back showdown in recent regular season history.
Tom Brady’s New England Patriots have won five straight to move to 6-2 but will be put to the test when Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay head to Foxborough on Monday.
If that isn’t exciting enough, there’s the small matter of the top two in the NFC going head-to-head.
Let’s start with that NFC battle. It takes a brave man to back against the 8-0 Los Angeles Rams but in the New Orleans Saints on home soil, they look to have finally met their match.
They came close to defeat to the Packers last week but got out of jail again, four of their last five wins having been by seven points or less.
Meanwhile, the Saints posted arguably their most impressive victory of the season when they got the better of the Minnesota Vikings 20-30 on the road, stretching their winning run to six on the bounce.
Talisman Drew Brees only threw for 120 yards in that game with the running back duo of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara working in perfect harmony and you’d expect Brees to have a bounce-back game on Sunday.
The Rams will match the Kamara/Ingram duo with Todd Gurley, who scored his 11th touchdown of the season last week.
He’ll probably add to that tally but the Saints have the top rushing defence in the league and that could be just the edge they need to end LA’s streak.
The Packers lost a heart-breaker to the Rams last week and now face another tough road game against the in-form Pats.
It might be too early to say this is a must-win game for Green Bay but they are starting to fall behind in the NFC North.
This is only the second time Rodgers will have faced off against Brady and given the quality of the two quarterbacks, it is no surprise to see the over/under line set at 57 points.
New England had been averaging nearly 40 points a game before Monday’s below-par 25-6 win at Buffalo Bills.
The Pats still fail to convince, particularly on defence, and with Green Bay having shown up really well last week, we are taking the Packers to cover the spread.
Kansas City are the final pick to heap more misery on the hapless Cleveland Browns, who sacked head coach Hugh Jackson this week.
Defensive co-ordinator Gregg Williams has been appointed interim head coach and faces a difficult first test in the 7-1 Chiefs.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes continues to light up the NFL, recording his 26th TD of the season in the win over Denver last week.
He leads a high-powered offense that has covered the spread in six of the last seven meetings with AFC sides.
As for the Browns, they are near the bottom of nearly every offensive stat, while their defence has stopped making plays, making the Chiefs a solid choice to cover the handicap on the road.
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