NFL: Week 9 Picks

Half the season down, another half to go. The Eagles have the best record in football at the halfway point, and two teams remain win-less.

Bye Week: Browns, Chargers, Vikings, Steelers, Patriots and Bears.

Thursday Night Football

  • Bills @ Jets: This AFC East match-up features one of the best defenses in the league and a Jets team struggling to finish off games. New York’s last 5 games have been within 5 points, but their ability to pull out close wins has turned into a three game losing streak. Buffalo has seen Tyrod Taylor get better, LeSean McCoy start to return to his usual explosive self, and a new weapon in Kelvin Benjamin means this team is ready to challenge the Pats for the East. BUFFALO WINS
Sunday 1PM Games
  • Buccaneers @ Saints: New Orleans is one of the hottest teams in the league, despite a couple down games from Drew Brees. Mark Ingram is tearing up opposing defensive lines, and the Saints own defense looks revitalized.  The Bucs are heading in the opposite direction, having lost four straight, and at the bottom of the AFC South. The offense couldn’t get anything going a week ago, and the defense has been struggling the past few. It’s a bad combination to head into New Orleans with, especially since Brees is due to break out. NEW ORLEANS WINS
  • Falcons @ Panthers:  This is a big NFC South match-up, as both teams find themselves looking up at the Saints. Atlanta has been shaky after coming out of the gate scoring at will. Carolina is starting to turn things around, but traded their top receiver this week. Their defense is starting to round into form, but I don’t get the move. I’m not sure I like my pick, but I’m going with a big day from De’Vonta Freeman that leads to a Falcons road win. ATLANTA WINS
  • Rams @ Giants: One of the best scoring teams in the league, takes on one of the worst. And New York’s problems continue coming off the bye week as another big piece on defense is suspended. They’ve got to hope the running game shows up to help out Eli Manning and the depleted passing attack. But with what Todd Gurley has done this season, and what the Los Angeles defense can do, I don’t see the Giants picking up their first home win of the season this week. LOS ANGELES WINS
  • Ravens @ Titans: The Ravens are a weird team that I just can’t put my finger on, which means their 4-4 record makes sense to me. They can’t seem to put more than a couple good games in a row, but bounce back pretty quickly as well.  Tennessee’s offense has not been what I thought it could be this season. Lingering injuries are part of it, and the Titans up and down defense isn’t helping. I think it’ll be close, something the Titans should be used to this season, but I’m taking Joe Flacco and company in this one. BALTIMORE WINS
  • Bengals @ Jaguars: Cincinnati is another AFC North team that has been hard to figure out this season. The defense has been pretty good, but the offense doesn’t seem to do enough to finish off games. The Jaguars defense has shown they can shut down just about anyone, and help their offense by putting up points on the board.  Blake Bortles is coming off a career day passing, and they have two rushers capable of putting up 100-plus performances. JACKSONVILLE WINS
  • Broncos @ Eagles: Denver is making a change at quarterback after losing three straight games. Brock Osweiler is getting the call under center this weekend.  They’ll need all the help they can get against the team with the best record in the NFL. Philly only got stronger during the week, adding another weapon on offense in running back Jay Ajayi. We’ve seen the Broncos defense flourish this season, but the Eagles defense is outperforming them, and will get the Eagles to 8-1 this week. PHILADELPHIA WINS
  • Colts @ Texans: Indianapolis is officially without Andrew Luck for the remainder of the season. Jacoby Brissett has had some good moments taking over for Luck, but the offense only seems to have one real weapon in T.Y. Hilton, and if he’s shut down, that’s about it. Houston got similar awful news about their quarterback, finding out Thursday that Deshaun Watson tore his ACL in practice. On pace to shatter rookie records, Watson was poised to obliterate the Colts defense, which is allowing the most points per game in the league. Whether they bring someone else in at the 11th hour, or go back to original starter Tom Savage, I still like the home team. HOUSTON WINS
 
Sunday 4/4:25PM Games
  • Redskins @ Seahawks: Washington has been pretty up and down so far this season, and are just 1-2 on the road. They need a lot more from their running game, which would help them win the close games. The Seahawks come in flying high, on a four game win-streak and tied atop the NFC West division. They were tested last weekend by Deshaun Watson and the Texans explosive offense. But Seattle’s offense is playing better as of late, and they survived for the shootout win. The Skins offense hasn’t shown the ability to put up near 40 points this season, and I don’t think they’ll be able to this weekend if needed. SEATTLE WINS
  • Cardinals @ 49ers: Both teams enter action featuring new starting quarterbacks. Drew Stanton gets the call for an injured Carson Palmer. Stanton has had success filling in for Palmer, and the Cardinals could use better, more consistent play on offense. Their defense hasn’t been what they’d been the last few years either, and this week could be a good chance to get back on track. San Francisco is one of two team still looking to get into the win column, and they turn to newly acquired Jimmy Garoppolo to help. The Niners have been close in most of their games this season, and while I believe Garoppolo can help, I’m not sure he’ll be acclimated to the offense to get the win this weekend. ARIZONA WINS
  • Chiefs @ Cowboys: The Chiefs are starting to run away with the AFC West, something I didn’t think would be so easy. They got back in the win column after losing two straight with an easy win over the Broncos on Monday night. So on a short week, they look to get their 7th win of the season. Dallas continues to deal with the weekly can Ezekiel Elliot play or not questions. And winners of two straight, a big reason why had been nearly 300 rushing yards from Elliot in that span. With or without the second year back, this was always going to be a pretty good game, and a game about controlling clock. Kareem Hunt has helped Kansas City do that all year, and now that Alex Smith is getting big performances from guys like Travis Kelce again in the passing game, I think they get it done on the road. KANSAS CITY WINS
Sunday Night Football
  • Raiders @ Dolphins: In a curious move, the 4-3 Dolphins traded away their star running back Jay Ajayi, who admittedly hasn’t had the season he had a year ago, to the Eagles. Miami is winning games despite giving up more points than they’ve scored overall this season. Oakland is coming off an ugly loss to another AFC East team, a much better Bills team. But I think the Raiders can find a way to put up the offensive numbers they did against the Chiefs two weeks ago again on the road this week, and get back on track. OAKLAND WINS
Monday Night Football
  • Lions @ Packers: Much like the Falcons-Panthers game, this is a big NFC battle, as both teams are chasing the Vikings. Detroit fell at home last week despite a huge passing day from Matt Stafford. The Lions couldn’t finish off drives, never finding the end-zone against the Steelers. Green Bay is coming off their bye-week, and hope Brett Hundley has gotten accustomed to first team snaps. This should be a close game, as most divisional match-ups tend to be. But I think the Packers ability to run the ball, whether with Ty Montgomery or Aaron Jones, will be the difference. GREEN BAY WINS
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