NFL

NFL Week 9 Picks: Breaking Down Trickiest Games on Sunday's Schedule

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16:  Mario Williams #94 of the Buffalo Bills rushes against the Kansas City Chiefs at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 16, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Jesse ReedCorrespondent INovember 3, 2013

Sunday's slate of NFL games features a few head-scratching matchups that aren't easy to decipher, as the teams involved are tightly matched. 

Chances are, you're going to spend at least five minutes waffling over which team to pick, only to change your mind at the last second before the game starts. It's the same quandary fantasy football owners face every weekend—a veritable fit of tinkering that usually ends with stifled tears and a pint. 

As an alternate solution to your problem, here's a look at every game on Sunday, followed by a closer examination of the trickiest games on the schedule.

NFL Week 9 Picks: Sunday's Games
AWAYHOMEPREDICTED WINNER
Kansas City ChiefsBuffalo BillsChiefs
Minnesota VikingsDallas CowboysCowboys
Tennessee TitansSt. Louis RamsTitans
New Orleans SaintsNew York JetsSaints
San Diego ChargersWashington RedskinsRedskins
Atlanta FalconsCarolina PanthersPanthers
Philadelphia EaglesOakland RaidersRaiders
Tampa Bay BuccaneersSeattle SeahawksSeahawks
Baltimore RavensCleveland BrownsRavens
Pittsburgh SteelersNew England PatriotsPatriots
Indianapolis ColtsHouston TexansTexans
ESPN.com

Kansas City at Buffalo

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On the surface, this game could be considered an easy one to call. Kansas City is undefeated at 8-0, while Buffalo is sitting at 3-5.

However, once you take a closer look at Buffalo's losses and its wins, you begin to realize this Bills team is quite capable of knocking off the last undefeated team in the league. 

The Bills nearly beat the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals, losing to these three teams by a combined 12 points. 

/Getty Images

Utilizing a potent rushing attack that ranks No. 7 in the league and a defensive front that has terrorized opposing offenses with 27 sacks this year, Buffalo has the potential to shut down Kansas City's offense at home on Sunday. 

Kansas City hasn't allowed more than 17 points in all eight games this season, but Buffalo might not need to score more to win.

Final Score: Bills win 17-14.

 

San Diego at Washington

October 6, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) passes the football against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After a bye in Week 7, the San Diego Chargers enter the second half of the season with a record of 4-3—in good shape for the playoff push.

Philip Rivers has played well this year, throwing 15 touchdowns compared to just five interceptions. Logic dictates he'll thrive on Sunday going up against Washington, which has allowed 117 points in its last three games—two of which were losses.

However, San Diego hasn't been particularly strong on the road this season, with a record of 2-2, having beaten the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars while losing to the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders.

On top of that, the Redskins recently won a shootout against Chicago at home, and this team took a 7-7 tie into halftime against the Broncos in Denver this past weekend. 

Final Score: Redskins win 35-31.

 

Baltimore at Cleveland

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This battle for AFC North mediocrity is the trickiest matchup on the schedule on Sunday. 

After enduring a couple of miserable outings from Brandon Weeden, Cleveland finally made the decision to roll with veteran quarterback Jason Campbell in Week 8 against Kansas City, and he performed admirably in defeat, throwing two touchdowns and zero interceptions while getting sacked just once by the terrifying defense of the Chiefs.

It was an improvement, but the Browns still lost their third game in a row.

Baltimore, meanwhile, laid low this past weekend on its bye, but two straight close losses followed this team into the break. 

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Ray Rice has been a missing man for the most part this season for the Ravens. He's averaging just 2.8 yards per carry, hasn't yet cracked the 75-yard mark on the ground and has carried the ball more than 20 times just once this season. 

Rice will continue to struggle against Cleveland, which features one of the league's most underrated defenses.

Final Score: Browns win 20-17.

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 

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