DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Tuesday brought America and the world an event that will have reverberations for years to come. Yes, the NFL trading deadline came and went. (And we also had some kind of political election in the US.) Although teams prefer to build organically, sometimes the right change can change an organization forever. Meanwhile, we also are releasing this week’s CDN NFL 2020 Week 9 NFL Preview. But back to trading deadlines for a moment…
Some NFL trading deadline lore
The 1983 Los Angeles Raiders were a good team that became a great team with one great trade right before the deadline. Adding Patriots cornerback Mike Haynes to their roster gave the Raiders the greatest cornerback tandem ever. Haynes and Lester Hayes locked down opposing passing games and won the Silver and Black a Super Bowl.
In 2010 the Buffalo Bills had a talented running back who was yet to become a household name. After being traded to the Seattle Seahawks, Marshawn Lynch became a hero for the ages. “Beast Mode” ran over the heavily favored Saints in the 2010 playoffs. Lynch won a Super Bowl in 2013, but was denied a second Super Bowl in 2014 when he was not given the ball at the one yard line.
Bobby Layne was more than just the greatest quarterback in Detroit Lions history. He was also perhaps the greatest emotional leader in the game on and off the field. As the late Art Donovan used to say about Layne, “When Bobby said play, you played. When Bobby said drink, you drank.” During the 1958 season, the three time NFL champion was traded by owner William Clay Ford to Pittsburgh. Layne cursed the team and said they would never win another championship without him. Since 1957, the Lions have won only one playoff game, in 1991. The curse of Bobby Layne continues.
As for that NFL 2020 trading deadline…
2020 was a relatively quiet season fro a trading standpoint. Try naming a single major trade. Then again, a no-name today could become a star tomorrow.
So we can focus on the chaos of the world, or relax, open a cold beverage, and enjoy the beautiful controlled chaos between the lines. An NFL Sunday is something that letterheads at this trading deadline should not trade for everything.
With that, here is the NFL 2020 Week 9 Preview and Bettor’s Guide, with point spreads provided by DraftKings and all times Eastern.
Thursday, November 5, 2020, 8:20 p.m.
While the usual suspects are still counting and recounting votes in Wisconsin to make things turn out just right, Wisconsin’s team, the Green Bay Packers, are out in San Francisco tonight, looking for their own version of recount. Better yet, the Packers get to kick off this week’s NFL 2020 Week 9 Preview and Bettor’s Guide
Green Bay Packers (-2.5) at San Francisco 49ers —
Last year the 49ers throttled the Packers twice, including in the NFC Title Game. Last year the 49ers had a nasty defense and a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo. This year they have neither. Nick Mullens has played well as a backup. The Packers suffered a shocking home loss to lowly Minnesota. But division rivalries often produce those results. Expect Aaron Rodgers to rebound. Packers cover.
Sunday, November 8, 2020, 1:00 p.m.
As always, this week’s trading deadline diversions notwithstanding, Sunday features the bulk of NFL 2020 Week 9 action.
Seattle Seahawks (-3) at Buffalo Bills —
The Bills find themselves coming off an emotional win over New England. Meanwhile, the Seahawks rebounded from their only loss of the year. Buffalo continues to play well, but Russell Wilson is playing on another level. Go with the hot passing hand. Seahawks cover.
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) at Indianapolis Colts —
Despite losing a heartbreaker at home to Pittsburgh, Baltimore yet remains a well-oiled machine in all three phases of the game. Lamar Jackson should have a much easier time slicing and dicing the Indianapolis defense. Ravens cover.
Houston Texans (-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars —
Both these teams boast horrendous 1-6 W-L records. Asking a team to go on the road and cover a relatively high spread in a division game is too much to ask. Gardner Minshew runs hot and cold. Upset special, Jaguars win outright.
Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans (-5.5) —
The Titans stumbled at Cincinnati last week while the Bears are the Rodney Dangerfield of teams with a winning record. The Bears still have not found an answer at offense to complement their defense. In the fourth quarter, the battle will be Derrick Henry against Khalil Mack. Titans win but fail to cover.
Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs (-11.5) —
The Chiefs sometimes start slow because they get bored. Their offense is so good that they can rack up touchdowns in bunches in a very short period of time. The Panthers do not have anywhere near the defense necessary to stop Patrick Mahomes. Chiefs cover.
New York Giants at Washington Election Frauds (-3) —
In their earlier game, a failed 2-point conversion on the final play gave the Giants a one point win. That one victory separates the Giants from being the Jets. Washington may not have a name, but at 2-5 they actually remain serious contenders in the NFC Least. Daniel Jones is expected to throw a touchdown pass to each team. Non-Redskins cover.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-3) —
Matthew Stafford came in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID. Stafford could play Sunday, but Minnesota may have turned a corner with their big win at Green Bay. The running game and defense returned to what Mike Zimmer teams have frequently delivered before this year. Give the Vikings the benefit of the doubt to see if they are improving. Vikings cover.
Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons (-4) —
The Broncos showed a ton of heart in overcoming a 21 point third quarter deficit last week against the Chargers. The Falcons blow leads. Vic Fangio’s defense keeps holding it together despite tough injuries. Upset special, Broncos win outright.
Sunday, November 8, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
The late-afternoon round.
Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5) —
The Raiders have not played home games in Los Angeles in over 25 years. But when they play the Chargers it feels like a Raiders home game. The offense showed resiliency in a smashmouth win at Cleveland in the windy Lake Erie-driven cold. Yet the defense remains a question mark. Justin Herbert is for real. It’s not his fault his defense blew a 21-point second half lead against Denver. The Raiders have a better running game in Josh Jacobs. Upset special, Raiders win outright.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-13.5) at Dallas Cowboys —
The Steelers normally play down to the level of their competition. But in 2020, this Mike Tomlin team feels different. The NFL’s lone unbeaten team toughed out a big win at hated Baltimore. The Cowboys are awful, the spread is high, but rookie Ben DiNucci is not ready to be playing yet. The Steelers may come out flat after their big emotional win, but the Dallas offense under Mike McCarthy is lifeless. Steelers cover.
Miami Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals (-4.5) —
The Dolphins managed only 145 yards of total offense in Tua Tagovailoa’s first start. But the Dolphins somehow won over a good Rams team. The Cardinals can play with the league’s best when their offense is clicking. Expect Kyler Murray to run and throw wild. Cardinals cover.
Sunday, November 8, 2020, 8:00 p.m.
The evening round.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4.5) —
Drew Brees out-dueled Tom Brady in New Orleans, and this rematch is on Brady’s home turf. In some weeks, the Buccaneers look unstoppable, but they barely survived the pathetic Giants. The Saints won a tough overtime game at Chicago. This could come down to who has the ball last. At home, Brady will barely get his revenge. Buccaneers win but fail to cover.
Monday, November 9, 2020, 8:20 p.m.
New England Patriots (-7.5) at New York Jets —
The Patriots are awful despite giving Buffalo a serious run for their money last week. The Jets are not the worst team in the history of the NFL, but they are halfway to 0-16. If the Patriots lose this game, expect Bill Belichick to fire the entire roster. The spread is high, but an angry Belichick never passes up an opportunity to humiliate the Jets. Patriots cover.
And that’s a wrap for this week’s NFL 2020 Week 9 Preview and Bettor’s Guide. But stay tuned to CDN. We’ll be back.
— Headline image: NFL football. Image courtesy of NFL.com