NFL: Week 9 Picks

We’re nearing the halfway point of the season, with some teams already 8-games in.  The time to start thinking playoff picture is here, so look out for my midway thoughts next week after all teams have played at least half their schedule.

As for my picks, after a poor week 7, I rebounded going 11-4 last week, improving my season total to 75-45.  There are 6 teams on their bye here in week 9 (Falcons, Bears, Bills, Lions, Packers & Titans)… so basically the entire NFC North.

Thursday Night Football

  • Saints @ Panthers: It’s an important game in the NFC South, but it’s not as important as I thought it might be.  Not only did I think these would be the teams battling for the division title, I thought these were two teams that could challenge for a top seed in the conference.  Yet here we are, with both teams under .500. Again, I would’ve said preseason that Carolina’s defense plus the home crowd would give them the edge, but this isn’t the same defense of a year ago.  So for that reason, I think Drew Brees and company find a way to get their high powered offense going on the road. NEW ORLEANS WINS

Sunday 1PM Games

  • Buccaneers @ Browns: Tampa Bay is not good.  I thought they would be when the season started, but that was a bad call.  Cleveland has been better than most thought, and they rebounded a week ago after a bad loss to Jacksonville, even if it was against the Raiders.  I like the Browns to be a very surprising 5-3 come the start of week 10.  CLEVELAND WINS
  • Cardinals @ Cowboys: Another big match-up for the Cardinals, and despite being on the road, I think they come out with another win over the NFC East.  It’s not guaranteed that Tony Romo will be on the field for Dallas after injuring his back on a huge hit on Monday night.  Sure, DeMarco Murray is going to get his yards, but if Brandon Weedon is the starter, Arizona’s defense is going to have a field day.  And to be completely honest, I’d probably pick the Cards even if Romo was healthy. ARIZONA WINS
  • Eagles @ Texans: Philly has been near the top of the league all season, and for good reason.  But I was much more impressed with them last season when the were the surprise NFC East champs.  LeSean McCoy hasn’t been great, and Nick Foles was never going to be as mistake free two years in a row.  Houston is worlds better than last seasons disappointing team and find themselves at .500.  JJ Watt is going to have a field day and I think the Texans get above that .500 mark. HOUSTON WINS
  • Jaguars @ Bengals: Jacksonville couldn’t follow up their first win of the season in week 8, while Cincy bounced back from a few bad outings to pick up a much needed win in the division.  While the Bengals still didnt look crisp, they are better than the Jags and playing at home should help as well. CINCINNATI WINS
  • Chargers @ Dolphins: Both teams have been pretty good this season.  San Diego is struggling a bit of late, losing two i a row, with Miami winning their last two.  Miami is home and playing better, but I think the Chargers find a way to shake off the bad vibes of the past couple weeks and get their 6th win of the season, keeping the pressure on Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the AFC West. SAN DIEGO WINS
  • Redskins @ Vikings: Both teams enter action in the cellar of their respective divisions with identical 3-5 records. Washington is coming off a road win against the NFC East leading Cowboys.  Minnesota too is coming off a road win, theirs coming against a less than impress Bucs team.  So who continues their winning ways?  I say the Vikings at home.  RGIII is making his return for Washington, and I just don’t see that going well against a decent Minnesota defense. MINNESOTA WINS

Sunday 4/4:25 Games

  • Rams @ 49ers: The Ram defense is not good, and I thought that would be their strength.  San Fran has been quite up and down, but they have been better of late, winners of 3 out of their last 4 after a 1-2 start.  Add to that, the Niners need this one and they’re at home. SAN FRANCISCO WINS
  • Broncos @ Patriots: This right here, is the game of the week.  An AFC Championship rematch… Brady vs Manning… and the two best teams in the conference.  Denver has the best record in the league at 6-1, and has only faced one team that is below .500.  As for New England, after concern Tom Brady was declining, the Pats have reeled off 4-straight wins, 3 of which came in dominating fashion.  So who wins this one? DENVER WINS
  • Raiders @ Seahawks: This isn’t the same Seattle squad that won the Superbowl a season ago.  They’ve got some off-the-field issues to go with a lack of crispness in all facets of the game. That being said, they are home, and they have the worst team in the league on teh docket. SEATTLE WINS

Sunday Night Football

  • Ravens @ Steelers: Ben Roethlisbeger is starting to feel it.  6 TD passes a week ago to help improve the Steelers to 5-3, tying them with Baltimore in an ultra-competitive AFC North division.  This is an important match-up for that and many reasons.  The Ravens fell to Cincy a week ago, and have already defeated Pitt this season, so it’ll be tough to do it again.  But with how up-and-down both teams have looked, I’m taking a leap here and taking Baltimore on the road, because after all, the Steelers defense is suspect and Joe Flacco has been known to put up some big numbers this season himself. BALTIMORE WINS

Monday Night Football

  • Colts @ Giants: Indianapolis can’t be happy with the defensive effort they put forward a week ago after 5 straight wins to rebound from an 0-2 start.  New York is fresh off a bye, but still won’t have starting running back Rashad Jennings back.  Eli Manning is on a great stretch, but the Giants have lost their last two in the division, setting them back. So what gives?  I think the game means more to New York, who has played better at home than on the road early on in the season.  So I’m thinking this is a true turning point, and Manning finds a way to further expose the Colts defense at home.  NEW YORK WINS

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