NFL Picks Week 9: Postseason Sleepers That Will Earn Wins

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NFL Picks Week 9: Postseason Sleepers That Will Earn Wins
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Week 9 of the 2013 NFL regular season has begun, and all eyes are on the Super Bowl contenders. Numerous teams have displayed the look of a postseason force, but many squads are still searching for their identities.

Which postseason sleepers will move one step closer toward pulling off surprising postseason appearances with big wins in Week 9?

NFL Week 9 Predictions
Date Road Team Prediction Home Team
Thursday, Oct. 31 Cincinnati Bengals 34-24 Miami Dolphins
Sunday, Nov. 3 Kansas City Chiefs 21-16 Buffalo Bills
Sunday, Nov. 3 Minnesota Vikings 20-33 Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, Nov. 3 Tennessee Titans 20-12 St. Louis Rams
Sunday, Nov. 3 New Orleans Saints 28-17 New York Jets
Sunday, Nov. 3 San Diego Chargers 28-24 Washington Redskins
Sunday, Nov. 3 Atlanta Falcons 16-21 Carolina Panthers
Sunday, Nov. 3 Philadelphia Eagles 27-30 Oakland Raiders
Sunday, Nov. 3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14-34 Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, Nov. 3 Baltimore Ravens 34-20 Cleveland Browns
Sunday, Nov. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers 31-35 New England Patriots
Sunday, Nov. 3 Indianapolis Colts 17-21 Houston Texans
Monday, Nov. 4 Chicago Bears 21-35 Green Bay Packers

Week 6: 10-3, Season: 70-36

Tennessee Titans (3-4) at St. Louis Rams (3-5)

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Date: Sunday, Nov. 3

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET


Prediction: 20-12, Titans

The Tennessee Titans are 3-4, the St. Louis Rams are 3-5, and Super Bowl XXXIV was a long time ago. In 2013, the Rams seem to be getting further from contending, with Sam Bradford out for the season, and the Titans are getting closer, with Jake Locker returning from injury.

Those two trends will continue in Week 9.

Which team will win?

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The Titans have lost three in a row since starting at 3-1, losing by no more than 14 points to the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. The offense has faltered, but the Titans defense has remained strong throughout the season.

Coming out of a bye week, look for Locker and Co. to take down St. Louis for a crucial road win.

Chris Johnson is due for a big game, and the Rams happen to boast the No. 23 run defense. The Titans defense, meanwhile, is No. 7 against the pass, and St. Louis has a backup player in to relieve Bradford at the quarterback position.

It'll be an ugly game, but Tennessee will move back to .500.

San Diego Chargers (4-3) at Washington Redskins (2-5)

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Date: Sunday, Nov. 3

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET


Prediction: 28-24, Chargers

The general consensus about the San Diego Chargers appears to be that they will collapse at one point or another. It happened during every season in which Norv Turner was head coach, as the Chargers would start hot but crash toward the end.

Don't expect the same result under Mike McCoy.

Which team will win?

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The Chargers are currently 4-3 with an elite quarterback in Philip Rivers and a running back who's finally finding his form in Ryan Mathews. Despite playing with a relatively nameless receiving corps, Rivers has managed to limit turnovers and consistently light up the scoreboard.

In Week 9, San Diego will take its No. 6 passing offense up against the Washington Redskins and their No. 28 pass defense.

Washington has Robert Griffin III and a recently awakened pass rush, but Rivers has been one of the best players in the NFL. Washington's defense is an extreme liability, and with RG3's underreported inaccuracy, San Diego will be in position to win.

Unlike teams of past seasons, look for San Diego to close out.

Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) at Oakland Raiders (3-4)

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Date: Sunday, Oct. 3

Time: 4:05 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

Prediction: 30-27, Raiders

Readers need not tell me that the Oakland Raiders won't make the playoffs. I won't put up much of a fight about that. Oakland has promising pieces for future seasons, but this team doesn't look like a contender in 2013.

With games against the 3-5 Philadelphia Eagles in Week 9 and the 2-6 New York Giants in Week 10, however, the 3-4 Raiders could be 5-4 entering their final stretch.

Which team will win?

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Oakland currently has the No. 5 rushing offense and the No. 6 rushing defense in the NFL. The Eagles are just as strong on the ground, but with quarterback questions, the potential is present for yet another letdown in Week 9.

At Oakland, expect that to happen.

The Raiders are 3-1 at home during the 2013 regular season, most recently defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers. Terrelle Pryor has been a dominant dual-threat quarterback, and Darren McFadden is starting to find his groove. That spells trouble for the Eagles.

Philadelphia's downward spiral will continue, and Oakland will move to .500.

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