We have passed the halfway point in the season and we’ve experienced a lot of highs and lows. Your favorite team has either established themselves as contenders or pretenders at this point and you pretty much know whether they have a shot at the playoffs by now.
This has been one of the strangest seasons in recent memory with so many teams at the top of the league and so many teams in the cellar. The idea of parity in the league has apparently been thrown out the window at this point.
There are multiple teams that are undefeated or have only one loss. There are also multiple teams that are yet to win or have only one victory. As far as Free NFL Picks go this should be an interesting last half of the season. Here is what to expect in the ninth week of the season.
Kansas City vs. Jacksonville (Jacksonville -6.5) This game features two teams that have been pretty bad so far this season. The Jags are favorites in this one, but this could be one of the most winnable games the Chiefs have had all year. The Chiefs managed to go on the road and win at Washington a few weeks back and this game is very similar. The Jags have already lost to the winless Titans and 41-0 to the Seahawks. There are definitely better games out there to watch this weekend.
Baltimore vs. Cincinnati (Baltimore -3) The Bengals have already managed to beat the Ravens once this season and they look to sweep them on the year. The Ravens are coming off of a big win against the undefeated Denver Broncos last week. Joe Flacco and Carson Palmer are both playing well this season and this should be an interesting battle at the quarterback position.
Houston vs. Indianapolis (Indianapolis -9) The Colts are still perfect and Peyton Manning is on pace to break Dan Marino’s all-time record for passing yards in a season. The Colts are very good this year and should be considered Super Bowl contenders again. On the other side of the ball, the Texans have been great on offense this year. Matt Schaub has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league so far. The Texans have a big question mark in the running game after last week's game. Their starter, Steve Slaton, was benched after his first carry of the game was a fumble. He was replaced by Ryan Moats who went on to score three touchdowns and rush for over 100 yards. It will be tough for them to decide who should get the majority of the carries.
Washington vs. Atlanta (Atlanta -10) The Falcons lost a tough game to the Saints last week on Monday Night Football. This game should be substantially easier for them as the Redskins are awful right now. They had the easiest schedule in the league during the first seven games of the year and still only managed to win two games. The Falcons have a strong offense and it will be difficult for the Redskins to stop them the whole game.
Green Bay vs. Tampa Bay (Green Bay -9.5) Now that the Brett Favre/Green Bay saga is officially done for the year, the Packers can get back to focusing on winning again. The Bucs have been terrible this year and are currently winless on the season. Aaron Rodgers should easily pick apart the Bucs' defense and Ryan Grant will have his way with them as well.
Arizona vs. Chicago (Chicago -3) Both teams have been a bit up and down on the season. The Cardinals have not been nearly as explosive on offense this season, however, their defense has improved. They are playing pretty good now and the Bears are not bad either. This should be one of the more entertaining games of the week.
Miami vs. New England (New England -10.5) This will be one of the most widely televised games of the week. The Patriots look to continue on their winning ways and the Dolphins try to get their season turned around. The Dolphins have played well but have had one of the most difficult schedules of any team. They played the Saints tough a few weeks ago and they will give the Patriots a good game with the Wildcat.
Detroit vs. Seattle (Seattle -10) The Lions allowed the winless Rams to get their first win of the season last week. They have played pretty badly again this year and the rebuilding project is going slowly. The Seahawks have looked up and down and lost to the Cowboys pretty handily last week. They should have an easier go of it this week against the lowly Lions.
Tennessee vs. San Francisco (San Francisco -4) The Niners took the undefeated Colts down to the wire last weekend and this week they are only four point favorites against a one-win team. Such is life in the NFL. The Titans played better last week with Vince Young under center, and they hope to continue the momentum against San Francisco.
San Diego vs. New York Giants (New York -5) The Giants have lost three in a row and look to be on a downward spiral. This week they get the inconsistent Chargers who have been playing well in recent weeks. The Chargers are always one of the most talented teams and usually find ways to lose. Therefore, this one is a toss up between two underachieving teams.
Dallas vs. Philadelphia (Philadelphia -3) The Dallas Cowboys have looked much better ever since they nearly lost in overtime to the Chiefs. They beat the Falcons and Seahawks pretty easily and this week they get a real test. If you're looking for Winning NFL Picks, the Eagles dismantled the Giants last week and this week they look to keep it going. Will we get to see the Eagles team that messed around and lost to the Raiders? Or will we see the team that destroyed the Giants last week? Only time will tell.
Pittsburgh vs. Denver (Pittsburgh -3) The Steelers and Broncos square off on Monday Night Football this week. The Broncos proved that they are not unbeatable last week in a blowout loss to the Ravens. The Steelers have played good lately and are the favorites going into this one. Looks like another classic Monday Night Football matchup.
Check out Vernon Croy’s Expert NFL Picks for Week Nine!