NFL: Week 9 Picks

Thursday Night Football

  • Falcons @ Buccaneers: Atlanta escaped week 8 with a shootout win over the Packers, while Tampa Bay fell in overtime to Oakland. This is a big game for the NFC South rivals.  A Falcons win puts them three games ahead of the Bucs, making their division lead a comfortable one.  Tampa Bay had a really tough time stopping the pass game of Derek Carr and the Raiders in their loss last week, and it won’t be any easier this week against the league’s top passer in Matt Ryan.  This has the potential to be a shootout, and one of the more entertaining Thursday Night games this season.  I like the birds on the road and another big day for Ryan to Julio Jones a la Carr to Amari Cooper on Sunday. ATLANTA WINS

Sunday 1PM Games

  • Lions @ Vikings: After starting 5-0, the Vikings have come off their bye week looking nothing like the league’s last undefeated squad after 6 weeks.  Their offense hasn’t been as affected, and now their Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner has stepped down following a Monday Night loss to the bottom-dwelling Chicago Bears. Detroit had been on a three-game winning streak of their own entering week 8, when they took on a desperate Texans squad and scored just 13 points.  So who gets back in the win column this weekend? As much as I like Matthew Stafford more than Sam Bradford, I still trust Minnesota’s defense a whole heck of a lot more than Detroit’s, so I’m taking the home team on Sunday.  MINNESOTA WINS
  • Steelers @ Ravens: There’s a small chance Ben Roethlisberger is back on the field Sunday, as he is listed as questionable. And Pittsburgh could use him following tw straight losses.  The offense hasn’t been as efficient without him.  As for the Ravens, Baltimore has been in a free fall since starting the season 3-0.  They’re not playing too badly on either side of the ball, they just can’t win close games.  If Roethlisberger does play, this could end differently, but I’ll take the Ravens to snap their four game slide. BALTIMORE WINS
  • Jets @ Dolphins: New York is on the upswing after a five game losing streak.  They still haven’t played great, but they’re figuring it on offensively.  Miami is also on a two game win streak entering this matchup of AFC foes, also figuring out things offensively after a slow start.  Both teams defenses haven’t played up to expectations but the Jets have had better performances and I expect them to get the win this week. NEW YORK WINS
  • Cowboys @ Browns: Cleveland remains win-less at the midway point of the season, while Dallas holds the best record in the NFC. The Browns have been close a couple of times, including last week when they held a lead for most of the day against the Jets. The Cowboys have been playing great on both ends all season, and I expect them to have an easy time against the Browns.  They’re healthy and doing a great job offensively in particular. DALLAS WINS
  • Jaguars @ Chiefs: Jacksonville has relied too heavily on their big pass play ability, and it’s backfired.  They’re not scoring points like they thought they would before the season.  Kansas City is trending up in a tight AFC West division, defeating three teams in a row that all have the potential to put up big offensive numbers.  The Chiefs have lived without Jamaal Charles’ big play making ability and Alex Smith has been a great game manager.  I still like the Jaguars offensive weapons, but KC’s defense has been too good of late for an upset here. KANSAS CITY WINS
  • Eagles @ Giants: It’s the first meeting of the season between these two NFC East foes, and the winner stays in second place behind the Cowboys in the division. New York has won its last two games, Philadelphia has lost three of their last four. Neither team has gotten what they’ve wanted out of their run game, but both have the ability to get things going in the pass game. This is going to be a close game, as most between teams in the NFC East tend to be, but with a rested and health trending up, I like New York to get their fifth win of the season. NEW YORK WINS

Sunday 4/425 PM Games

  • Panthers @ Rams: Carolina got back in the win column last week, with their best combo of offensive and defense since their first win of the season. Cam Newton still wasn’t at his best, but the defense shut down the Cardinals running game, allowing them to overcome a bid day from Carson Palmer.  LA is coming off their bye and a three-game losing streak. Their run game isn’t great, and Case Keenum made some of the worst throws anyone ever has in their week 7 loss to New York.  If he does anything like that this week, the Panthers defense will have a field day.  CAROLINA WINS
  • Saints @ 49ers: New Orleans has won three of their last four, and is coming off a big win over the Seahawks. San Francisco changed quarterbacks, but it didn’t do anything to help avoid a six game losing streak.  If the Saints could stop Seattle last week, they shouldn’t have a problem this week with the 49ers bottom 10 scoring offense. NEW ORLEANS WINS
  • Titans @ Chargers: Tennessee started week 8 on Thursday night with an easy win over the Jaguars, thanks to a big night from their offense.  DeMarco Murray finished with over 100 yards and two touchdowns on the ground again. San Diego lost another close game, despite a good day on offense after a two game winning streak.  The Titans are in the hunt for the AFC South title at 4-4, while the Chargers are the lone sub-500 team in the AFC West.  That being said, I have a feeling that San Diego will pull this one out. SAN DIEGO WINS
  • Colts @ Packers: Two quarterbacks with the ability to air the ball out take the field in Green Bay this weekend. Both teams are coming off a loss, and both find themselves looking up at teams in their divisions.  Indianapolis’ biggest problems are on the ground and defensively (not exactly small problems).  Green Bay has a similar problem on the ground, but for the most part, they’re fine defensively.  Aaron Rodgers doesn’t lose at home, and he won’t buck the trend this week. GREEN BAY WINS

Sunday Night Football

  • Broncos @ Raiders: This is the game of the week, as both teams enter tied atop the AFC West, and with Kanass City just a game back, the loser could be pushed into third place in the division.  Oakland needed overtime to avoid a loss to the Bucs in week 8.  And they’ve done very well on the road of late, winners of five straight away from home.  Denver’s defense looks like it’s finding its form again, and the offense, despite the loss of their lead back CJ Anderson, is coming together as well. This could be a low scoring game, but I expect it to come down to the fourth quarter.  As much as I like Derek Carr more than Trevor Siemian, I like the Broncos defense better than the Raiders.  The ability to make a late stop will be the difference.  DENVER WINS

Monday Night Football

  • Bills @ Seahawks: Both of these teams have put up incredible defensive performances this season.  They are alos both coming off losses in week 8 to teams that are under .500.  So which one can cap off week 9 with a win? LeSean McCoy has been the biggest reason the Bills offense has been so good this year, but his injury is a concern.  Seattle’s offense has been less than stellar the last two weeks, especially lacking on the ground.  That being said, I think the Seahawks get back on track at home this week. SEATTLE WINS
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