Now that the playoff chase is starting to heat up, Week 9 of the NFL is shaping up to be an exciting week of football.
The best way to make the playoffs is to win on your home turf. If a team takes care of business at home, it'll have more margin for error on the road.
It doesn't always work out that way, though. Teams get upset at home all the time.
Before getting into the home teams that are destined to lose this week, we'll predict the outcome of every game on tap.
|Week 9 NFL Picks|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Buffalo Bills||Chiefs|
|Minnesota Vikings||Dallas Cowboys||Vikings|
|Tennessee Titans||St. Louis Rams||Titans|
|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||Ravens|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||New England Patriots||Patriots|
|Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans||Colts|
|Chicago Bears||Green Bay Packers||Bears|
The Cowboys host the Minnesota Vikings this weekend, and while it looks like the 'Boys should take this one easily on paper, this is a team in disarray.
The true story behind Dez Bryant's tirade on the sidelines may never come out, but it does point to at least one thing—locker-room tension. The Cowboys seem to be falling apart at the seams. They lost a winnable game against Detroit and have yet to take advantage of a weak NFC East.
Think about this: The New York Giants, who started the season 0-6, are only two games behind the Cowboys for the division lead. Yikes.
It does not help that Dallas has an awful defense. They have the worst pass defense in the league, giving up an average of 315.4 yards per game. They also allow almost 23 points per game, including 30 or more points four times.
The Vikings aren't great, but Adrian Peterson is due for a big game. The Cowboys give up an average of 107.1 rushing yards per game. Peterson hasn't been as good as he was last year, although that's to be expected considering how remarkable his season was a year ago.
The Vikings are going to run the ball with authority and I think the Cowboys will struggle with Cordarrelle Patterson's speed. Look for the Vikes to pull off the upset by a score of 17-14.
The Redskins have a prime opportunity to take a decisive step in the NFC East, especially if my prediction of the Cowboys losing comes true.
However, they won't be able to take advantage of it.
Hosting the San Diego Chargers, the Redskins defense will just be too overmatched to have a chance.
The Redskins allow 273.7 passing yards per game, which is 28th in the league. They also give up 123.4 yards per game on the ground, which is 30th in the league. On the whole, they concede nearly 33 points per game.
The Chargers, on the other hand, have a high-flying offense. They have the sixth-ranked pass offense in the league, throwing for 294.1 yards per game. They score an average of 24 points per game. He probably won't win it, but Philip Rivers is having a MVP-type season, throwing for 2,132 yards, 15 touchdowns and only five interceptions.
The Chargers are going to put up a lot of points and Rivers is going to have huge fantasy day. This one could get ugly. The Bolts will win this one by a score of 45-20.
Green Bay Packers
You would think that the Packers would have an easy time against Josh McCown and the Chicago Bears.
McCown was actually great in relief of Jay Cutler against the Washington Redskins, throwing for 204 yards and score while completing 70 percent of his passes.
Yes, it's a small sample size against a bad defense, but McCown is competent enough to get the job done.
Plus, he's going up against a Green Bay defense that is not that good. The Pack give up 247.6 yards per game in the air, which is 20th in the league.
With Charles Woodson gone, it seems like the secondary hasn't been able to hold it together. It is going to struggle mightily with the dynamic duo of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. The two have combined for 1,101 yards and seven touchdowns.
That's not to mention tight end Martellus Bennett, who has 356 receiving yards, and Matt Forte, who has caught 35 balls out of the backfield.
The Bears offense is legit. It is going to torch the Packers defense and Chicago will win this game by a score of 38-30.