NFL Picks Week 9: Road Teams Sure to Emerge Victorious in Tough Environments

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistOctober 31, 2013

Oct 20, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts fullback Stanley Havili (39) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Luck (12) during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The best teams in the NFL can consistently win on the road.

A road win is hard to come by, as the travel aspect combined with the change in how calls on both sides of the ball are made in a loud environment certainly play a major factor in the oft-advertised home-field advantage.

As much as a home field can help its team to a win, nothing can make up for a simple talent disparity. Week 9 features several contests in which the visiting teams are sure to disappoint the fans in attendance.

They are as follows.

NFL Week 9 Picks
Cincinnati Bengals Miami Dolphins Bengals
Kansas City Chiefs Buffalo Bills Chiefs
Minnesota Vikings Dallas Cowboys Cowboys
Tennessee Titans St. Louis Rams Titans
New Orleans Saints New York Jets Saints
San Diego Chargers Washington Redskins Chargers
Atlanta Falcons Carolina Panthers Panthers
Philadelphia Eagles Oakland Raiders Raiders
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Seattle Seahawks Seahawks
Baltimore Ravens Cleveland Browns Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers New England Patriots Steelers
Indianapolis Colts Houston Texans Colts
Chicago Bears Green Bay Packers Packers
Chris Roling's Predictions


Tennessee Titans Down St. Louis Rams

As much as Jeff Fisher would surely love a win when his former team visits St. Louis, the Tennessee Titans are too much for the Rams regardless of the locale.

Oct 28, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

There's something to be said for how well the Rams played on Monday against Seattle, as Robert Quinn and Co. sacked Russell Wilson seven times en route to a 14-9 loss. However, that short layover and an emotional loss will work against the Rams.

Tennessee finally got quarterback Jake Locker back, and while he managed over 300 yards against San Francisco two weeks ago, the majority came after the team was already down 24-0.

The Titans got off to a 3-1 start with Locker under center before his injury, and things will get back to normal after a bye week against St. Louis. Locker will be effective along with his running game thanks to a defense that allows 116 rushing yards per game.

Prediction: Titans 30, Rams 17


Pittsburgh Steelers Upset New England Patriots

Former AFC powerhouses in Pittsburgh and New England have not been very good this season, although New England has managed a 6-2 record.

Tom Brady is not his usual self and has thrown just nine touchdowns and surpassed the 300-yard mark once—Rob Gronkowski's return has done little to help the issue.

The game may be in Foxborough, where New England has won every game this season, but Brady's ineffectiveness will finally be exposed, as Pittsburgh touts the second-best pass defense in the NFL with only 181 yards allowed per game.

Pittsburgh will be able to get back to basics and control the game via the run. Rookie back Le'Veon Bell has been extremely impressive as a power runner and now sees a soft New England defense that ranks second-to-last in the NFL with 130.8 yards allowed per game on the ground.

Bell and the Steelers will move past New England in a bit of a shocker.

Prediction: Steelers 27, Patriots 24


Indianapolis Colts Sneak By Houston Texans

Last year this battle between AFC South rivals was for supremacy in the division.

Now it's simply a case of Indianapolis marching onward to the playoffs and Houston fighting to remain relevant.

The Texans received a boost from quarterback Case Keenum two weeks ago against Kansas City as he threw for over 200 yards in a loss, but the inexperienced quarterback may be without both Arian Foster and Ben Tate, per Kevin Bowen, who reports for the Colts' official site:

Indianapolis has a horrible defense against the run as the unit allows over 122 yards per game, but if Foster and Tate are limited at best, that will force Keenum into a one-dimensional attack through the air, which is preferable as the Colts' defensive strength.

Andrew Luck will face an uphill battle against the league's best pass defense, but his top-10 rushing attack will allow the Colts to grind out a win over the injury-plagued Texans.

Prediction: Colts 27, Texans 24


Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling


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