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Josh's NFL Week 9 Picks
New Orleans at Carolina
New Orleans seemed to have gotten back on track last week after beating the Packers at home, but this week they go to Carolina to face off against the division leader. The Panthers are coming off a somewhat pathetic performance against the Seahawks, losing 9-13. I think this should be a good game, but we haven’t really seen a close game on Thursday night yet this year. The Panthers are getting three points, in this one.
Tampa bay at Cleveland
The Bucs played terrible against the Vikings last week, and I don’t think they are going to fare any better this week against the Browns. Cleveland is coming off a win against Oakland last week, and they looked pretty good overall. I think the fans are going to be really into this game, with the chance to improve to 5-3 and LeBron is back and playing this weekend. Cleveland is in a good mood, and I think their mood improves with a win. Give the points, I think the Browns win by a touchdown.
Arizona at Dallas
The Cardinals are coming into Dallas on a three game winning streak. Their rush defense is nasty, and I think Demarco Murray may be held to under 100 yards for the first time this season. Where the Card’s rush defense is great, their passing defense is the worst in the league in terms of yards allowed, but that can be attributed to who they have played so far: Chargers, Giants, 49ers, Broncos, Washington, and Philadelphia. All teams that can put up big numbers in the passing game. I find this game intriguing and will definitely be the early game I watch. I think the key for the Cowboys is Romo; I think he needs to be good this week, getting the ball to play makers through the air, and not turning the ball over. I think the Cardinals will go in and get the win, but I’ll take the points for sure.
Philadelphia at Houston
Last week the Cardinals blitzed the heck out of Nick Foles, and maybe that is the key to success in stopping the Eagles…getting pressure. However, JJ Watt is going to get pressure by himself, and if Clowney is back from his week one injury, I think it could be a long day for the Eagles. The thing that worries me about the Texans is they have only beaten one team with a winning record, the Bills. However, I think that may change this week. The Eagles are going into Houston as a two point favorite. I like the Texans to win, but give me the points.
Will Rex Ryan be the Jet's head coach next year?
NY Jets at Kansas City
The Jets are a mess. They have lost 7 straight, but I think I’m going to pick them to win. If Michael Vick can prevent turnovers (I know that’s a BIG IF), they aren’t a terrible team. They are just struggling right now. Four of their losses they were a score away from winning or evening the score. Last week against the Bills is just something you’re not going to see every day… six turnovers by your quarterbacks isn’t going to happen again anytime soon. The Jet’s defense is pretty good overall, and I think they will be able to stop the Chiefs this week. Plus the Chiefs are giving ten points. YES PLEASE.
Jacksonville at Cincinnati
Through seven games, Andy Dalton has only thrown six touchdown passes, which seems really low. He doesn’t have numbers that suggest he is worth the contract that he received in the offseason… even though his contract is deceptively terrible. He has helped his team find ways to win this year, and I guess that is really all that matters. The Jags looked pretty solid against the Browns a couple weeks ago, but then just laid an egg this past weekend. Even with how poorly Jacksonville has looked, I think they will be alright this week and do a decent job. The Bengals are still hurt and struggling, and I think Denard Robinson is proving that there is a place for him in the NFL as a running back after two 100 yard weeks in a row.
San Diego at Miami
I really want to pick Miami in this game, let’s see if I can talk myself into it. The Chargers are traveling across the country to play an early one o’clock game. The Dolphins are playing really well right now, and probably should be on a four game winning streak if it wasn’t for the pesky Packers and Aaron Rogers’ late game heroics. The Chargers are on a two game losing streak, and they have had everything knocked out of them the last two weeks. However, they have had ten days to prepare for the Dolphins. I think they trip to the East Coast and the fact the Dolphins are playing well is enough for them to get the win laying the one and a half.
Washington at Minnesota
BIG WIN for Washington on Monday night. It’s a shorter week as they played on Monday, but RGIII is back. I actually don’t think that is a good idea, I think he should sit out one more week, as next week is their BYE and get a little healthier. Regardless, he is back and ready to go. I think it will give the team another spark and I think Minnesota will have difficulties keeping up. Washington is going to blitz Bridgewater all day and he will struggle. The line is even. I’m picking Washington straight up.
Washington straight up
St. Louis at San Francisco
I have been much higher on the Rams than most this year, but I don’t think they win this game, and I don’t think it will be close. The 49ers are getting healthy, and they were already playing pretty well. They are coming off a BYE and they aren’t looking past the Rams, especially after watching them beat the Seahawks, they won’t be getting surprised this week. The Rams can take the points, they aren’t winning this game.
Who has had the better career?
Denver at New England
The marquee matchup of the week. Brady vs Manning, Manning vs Brady, how lucky have we been to be able to experience the wonderfulness that is this rivalry. I will get into the Manning vs Brady rivalry in a later article, hopefully in the next couple days, but I am focusing on the game itself here. Denver is a three point favorite in Foxborough, which I think they can cover. The Broncos defense is significantly better this year than last, the one thing that really worries me is Peyton at New England. He hasn’t won many games up there, but I think his team is better than it has ever been, and I think he will. Both of these quarterbacks are coming off historic Octobers, but one of them is about to lose.
Oakland at Seattle
Seattle has been playing like dirt the last few weeks. I think they are going to win this game, but they are giving fifteen points to the Raiders. I don’t know if Seattle can score fifteen points. However, even though that number is ridiculous, I don’t think Seattle’s offense is going to have to score fifteen to cover, I think their defense will get them a score or two. They are playing against a young quarterback at home. I think they will eat him up.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh
Big Ben is coming off one of the most impressive quarterbacking games in NFL History, but can he back it up with yet another great performance? I don’t think that will be the case. The Ravens have been playing well ever since their loss to the Colts, they lost last week, even though some would say they should have won. I personally think Steve Smith Sr did push off, but I don’t think he will this week. Even though Big Ben won’t have a game like he had last week, I think the Steelers and their defense will be able to get the win.
Pittsburgh straight up
Indianapolis at NY Giants
The Colts’ defense was embarrassed last week by the Steelers, I don’t think Chuck Pagano will let that happen again. Since Pagano took over the Colts’ he has only lost back to back games once, and that was at the beginning of this year. The Colts gave up 51 points last week, but only after a late safety did the game ever feel like the Steelers were going to win. In fact it felt like the momentum had swung and the Colts were going to actually be able to pull it off. The Giants are on a two game losing streak and I think that streak extends to three games this week.
The Falcons needed this BYE week desperately. They are rocking a five game losing streak, and are on their way back from London. I think they will be able to go into the BYE, regroup and come out on the other side with a win. They play the Bucs, who they have already beat 56-14 earlier this year.
The Bills are playing well right now, on a two game winning streak, and going into a bye at the perfect time as they play the Chiefs after the bye. The Chiefs are playing well right now as well, and giving the Bills an extra week to prepare, should help them drastically if they want to keep pace with the Patriots, who I think will lose another game this week.
If there was any team that absolutely needed a BYE this week, it was the Bears. They are struggling in all facets of the game. The unfortunate thing for the Bears is not only do they have a BYE, so do the Packers, who they play next weekend. Not only do they play the Packers, they play at Lambeau Field.
The Lions are thankful for this BYE as they travel back from London, but not only that, they are playing against a hot Dolphins team next week, and this gives them ample time to get ready for that matchup. The Lions Defense is insane, and hopefully they can get some offensive weapons back after the BYE.
I don’t think the Packers are panicking after their loss to the Saints, I mean, R-E-L-A-X… right? After the Pack’s last loss, they played the Bears and they blew them out. I don’t see any reason why it would be any different next week. Rogers has a tweaked hamstring and the extra time to rest will be huge for Green Bay.
The Titans are taking this BYE happily, and hoping the Steelers and Ravens beat each other up a lot this week. They play the Ravens next week, followed by the Steelers the following week. Jake Locker should be back, but at this rate, he will be hurt by the end of the first quarter next week. Unfortunately for the Titans, they just aren’t a good team, and where this BYE week is a nice week off, it isn’t really going to help them much.