The major news that broke late in the week as the NFL heads into Week Nine is that Houston Texans sensational rookie quarterback Desahun Watson has been lost for the rest of the season after suffering a torn ACL (right knee) in practice on Thursday.
That is a tough break not only for the Texans, but also for the NFL as Watson has brought a breath of fresh air with his play through the first seven games the Texans played. The rookie was sporting a 103.0 QB rating along with 19 touchdown passes (tied for league lead), eight interceptions and 1,699 yards.
The team will definitely miss him the rest of the way as they already are without J.J. Watt and Matt Cushing on the defense.
The Indianapolis Colts (who play Houston this Sunday) finally pulled the plug on Andrew Luck for the 2017 season by putting him on the injured reserve list. Luck has not played a single down this season, so the Colts will be looking to play out the schedule and look to next year.
Also possibly going on the "non active" list is Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys running back), who is eventually going to have to serve a six-game suspension for violating the league's domestic behavioral policy. He has been appealing it, but a district judge in a court in New York ruled he must serve the suspension. However, on Friday it was ruled Elliott could play this week against Kansas City.
Stay tuned on this one.
As for football, Elliott has been on a roll of late for the Cowboys (4-3) as he has eight touchdowns (six rushing and two receiving) to go with 690 yards rushing, which is currently third best in the league. Dallas will be hosting the Kansas City Chiefs (6-2) this Sunday afternoon in a huge inter-conference showdown.
Some other games of significance include the Seattle Seahawks (5-2) hosting the Washington Redskins (3-4) on Sunday. The Seahawks are coming off the wildest game yet this season, a 41-38 last second thriller which they won against the Houston Texans. The Redskins were soundly beaten at home by the Cowboys last week.
The Philadelphia Eagles (NFL best record of 7-1) will be at home facing the slumping Denver Broncos (3-4), who were manhandled on Monday night in Kansas City. The Eagles have won six in a row after last week's 33-10 pasting of the winless San Francisco 49ers.
The rest of the action for Week Nine is previewed in capsule style format with the (red hot) Heftyinfo predictions following. (Note- Heftyinfo is 26-2 the past two weeks picking the winners)
Atlanta (4-3) at Carolina (5-3) - This is a big game in the NFC South as both teams are right behind the New Orleans Saints for first place. Toss up.
Cincinnati (3-4) at Jacksonville (4-3) - This game could go either way and might come down to the final possession.
Tampa Bay (2-5) at New Orleans (5-2) - The biggest disappointment on the road against perhaps the biggest surprise team in the NFC so far. Take the Saints.
LA Rams (5-2) at NY Giants (1-6) - Upset Alert? It could happen and IF the Giants win this game, it really wouldn't be that big of a surprise.
Baltimore (4-4) at Tennessee (4-3) - The Titans would love to get on a roll, starting with this home game. The Ravens are banged up.
Arizona (3-4) at San Francisco (0-8) - Can the49ers finally get a win? Perhaps because the Cardinals will be without injured starting QB Carson Palmer.
Oakland (3-5) at Miami (4-3) - The Sunday night game featuring two under achieving teams. Flip a coin in this one.
Detroit (3-4) at Green Bay (4-3) - The Lions could very easily beat the Packers this week as reality sets in on the green and gold minus QB Aaron Rodgers.
The Heftyinfo picks for Week Nine . . . . . (Home teams are listed in bold; Lock of the Week is listed in BOLD CAPS)
Buffalo over NY Jets
Carolina over Atlanta
Houston over Indianapolis
Cincinnati over Jacksonville
NEW ORLEANS over Tampa Bay
NY Giants over LA Rams
Philadelphia over Denver
Tennessee over Baltimore
Arizona over San Francisco
Seattle over Washington
Dallas over Kansas City
Oakland over Miami
Detroit over Green Bay
Last Week's Record - 12-1
SEASON RECORD - 77-42
Lock of the Week Record - 6-2