Week 9 NFL Picks: Struggling Favorites That Will Be Tested

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer INovember 2, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 28:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins drops back to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on October 28, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

It's easy to say a football team is going to dominate based on its record or its brand name, but sometimes it's not as simple as that.

When you are out of sync, a lot of bad can happen. As a fan in San Francisco once told me, "You just gotta go with the flow, man."

Well, several favorites this week aren't exactly "one" with the world at the present moment. They also face some teams that have something that can make life difficult on them.

Here's a look at some favorites who will be tested in Week 9 of the 2012-2013 NFL campaign.



Baltimore Ravens (at Cleveland Browns)

I don't know what happened to the Ravens in last week's 43-13 loss to the Houston Texans, but all I know is it wasn't good. Quarterback Joe Flacco was particularly horrid, going 21-of-43 for 147 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Then, you look at the Ravens' four straight wins before that and realize they won by a combined 13 points, including a 23-16 victory over Cleveland in Week 4.

Cleveland has won two of its last three games after losing its first five contests and the defense has allowed a decent 6.9 yards per pass attempt while notching 10 interceptions.

This could be a closer game than expected.

Prediction: Baltimore 24, Cleveland 17



Detroit Lions (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

Given the Lions are a pass-happy team and the Jaguars have a decent pass defense, Jacksonville has the potential to limit Detroit's offense in this contest.

Jacksonville has allowed a respectable 6.9 yards per pass attempt and nine passing touchdowns in seven games this season. 

Aaron Rodgers averaged just 5.3 yards per attempt against the Jaguars last week.

Prediction: Detroit 24, Jacksonville 16



Washington Redskins (vs. Carolina Panthers)

Washington's pass defense has been plain ugly this season. 

The Redskins have allowed 7.9 yards per pass attempt (26th in the NFL) and 19 passing touchdowns (most in the league).

While Cam Newton and the Panthers haven't exactly been the offensive juggernaut we expected them to be headed into the season, this team always has the potential to explode with its talent.

Prediction: Washington 27, Carolina 24


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