3 Potential NFL Upsets in Week 9

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Like clockwork, there has been a significant upset — sometimes more than one — in every week of the 2014 NFL season. In Week 8, it was the Washington Redskins who pulled off the shocking upset of the week. They were double-digit underdogs going into their game against the Dallas Cowboys, but behind the play of Colt McCoy pulled off a stunning 20-17 upset on Monday Night Football. Who will be the team to surprise the league in Week 9? Here’s a look at three potential NFL upsets in Week 9.

All statistics are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.

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San Diego Chargers (5-3 overall, 2-2 road) over Miami Dolphins (4-3 overall, 1-2 home)

Point spread: Dolphins favored by 2.5 points

On paper, this looks like an even matchup across the board. The Dolphins are coming off of back-to-back road wins against the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Chargers are coming off back-to-back division losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. The Dolphins have been surprisingly better on the road in 2014, and despite coming away with two wins, their offense has struggled mightily in the last two weeks. The X factor in this matchup of teams that have both been heavily reliant on their defenses will likely be quarterback play. MVP candidate Philip Rivers gives the Chargers a huge advantage over the Dolphins at the quarterback position, and his play should give San Diego a great chance at upsetting the Dolphins in Miami.

Chargers key offensive statistics:

  • 353.3 total yards per game (15th)
  • 267.5 passing yards per game (8th)
  • 85.8 rushing yards per game (30th)
  • 25.6 points per game (9th)

Chargers key defensive statistics:

  • 330.0 total yards allowed per game (10th)
  • 219.1 net passing yards allowed per game (6th)
  • 110.9 rushing yards allowed per game (14th)
  • 18.6 points allowed per game (4th)

Dolphins key offensive statistics:

  • 355.0 total yards per game (13th)
  • 217.0 passing yards per game (25th)
  • 138.0 rushing yards per game (6th)
  • 24.9 points per game (12th)

Dolphins key defensive statistics:

  • 322.7 total yards allowed per game (7th)
  • 211.6 net passing yards allowed per game (3rd)
  • 111.1 rushing yards allowed per game (15th)
  • 21.6 points allowed per game (11th)

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Arizona Cardinals (6-1 overall, 2-1 road) over Dallas Cowboys (6-2 overall, 3-2 home)

Point spread: Cowboys favored by 4 points

With the status of Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo up in the air for this game, the Cowboys are prime suspects to be upset in Week 9 against the Cardinals. With that aside, even if Romo plays, the Cardinals match up well against the Cowboys. Arizona has been one of the best teams in the league against the run, and Dallas’s running game has been its lifeblood in 2014. Possibly the most important fact to note heading into this game is that the Cardinals are +9 in turnover differential, and in both of the Cowboys’ losses in 2014, turnovers have been what has ultimately done them in.

Cardinals key offensive statistics:

  • 329.1 total yards per game (24th)
  • 240.3 passing yards per game (15th)
  • 88.9 rushing yards per game (28th)
  • 23.4 points per game (15th)

Cardinals key defensive statistics:

  • 380.7 total yards allowed per game (25th)
  • 302.9 net passing yards allowed per game (32nd)
  • 77.9 rushing yards allowed per game (3rd)
  • 19.9 points allowed per game (5th)

Cowboys key offensive statistics:

  • 401.3 total yards per game (4th)
  • 240.1 passing yards per game (16th)
  • 161.1 rushing yards per game (1st)
  • 26.6 points per game (8th)

Cowboys key defensive statistics:

  • 352.0 total yards allowed per game (14th)
  • 237.4 net passing yards allowed per game (15th)
  • 114.6 rushing yards allowed per game (19th)
  • 20.9 points allowed per game (9th)

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Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3 overall, 3-1 home) over Baltimore Ravens (5-3 overall, 2-2 road)

Point spread: Ravens favored by 1.5 points 

This divisional rivalry game is sure to get chippy, as these two teams don’t particularly care for each other. The Ravens crushed the Steelers 26-6 at home in Week 2, so the Steelers will be out for revenge in Week 9. Following an embarrassing Week 6 loss to the Cleveland Browns, the Steelers offense, particularly quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, has flat out been on fire. The Ravens are coming into the game with the 22nd-ranked pass defense in the league, which could spell trouble for Baltimore if they let Roethlisberger find his groove early in this game. The Steelers have also been a seemingly different team at home this year, boasting one the best home-field advantages in all of professional football. It’s not very often that a team as talented as the Pittsburgh Steelers enter a home game as an underdog, meaning this game has upset written all over it.

Steelers key offensive statistics:

  • 418.3 total yards per game (3rd)
  • 291.1 passing yards per game (4th)
  • 127.1 rushing yards per game (9th)
  • 25.6 points per game (9th)

Steelers key defensive statistics:

  • 357.9 total yards allowed per game (16th)
  • 250.1 net passing yards allowed per game (19th)
  • 107.8 rushing yards allowed per game (11th)
  • 24.5 points allowed per game (21st)

Ravens key offensive statistics:

  • 375.5 total yards per game (9th)
  • 247.1 passing yards per game (13th)
  • 128.4 rushing yards per game (8th)
  • 27.1 points per game (7th)

Ravens key defensive statistics:

  • 346.4 total yards allowed per game (14th)
  • 256.0 net passing yards allowed per game (22nd)
  • 90.4 rushing yards allowed per game (7th)
  • 16.4 points allowed per game (2nd)