NFL Week 9 Picks are coming at you like Republican voters on election day.
What big games are on tap for Sunday? Can Dallas end its slide against Green Bay Monday night, or is the Cowboys' season effectively over?
How will Pittsburgh rebound against division rival Cincinnati following its loss in New Orleans?
What about the Jets, who are coming off a shutout loss at home against the Packers last week? Can the Jets get back on track in Detroit Sunday?
First-place Kansas City will head to Oakland in a showdown between the two top teams in the AFC West. Yes, you read that right. The Raiders are on a roll after two straight blowout wins. Kansas City is quietly putting together a solid season.
Tampa Bay will visit Atlanta with first place in the NFC South on the line, and New England will head to much-improved Cleveland as Bill Belichick takes on former cohort Eric Mangini.
Plus, Indianapolis, coming off Monday's night's win against Houston, heads to Philadelphia, which will have Michael Vick back for his first start since a Week 4 loss to Washington.
The second straight week that the NFL will dip into international waters.
Chicago (4-3) is coming off its bye week, while Buffalo (0-7) is still searching for its first win.
Buffalo seems to be playing better in recent weeks, with two overtime losses in the last two weeks against Baltimore and Kansas City, respectively.
Why Chicago will win: Jay Cutler doesn't get beat up quite as badly because he hands the ball off to Matt Forte and Chester all game against Buffalo's 32nd ranked rushing defense. The Chicago defense is still pretty stout, allowing just four TD passes all season.
Why Buffalo will win: The Bills are overdue, and Ryan Fitzpatrick has been playing remarkably well. Plus, there is no way Mike Martz will run the ball as much as he should, which means Jay Cutler will continue to take some licks.
Prediction: Bills 24, Bears 13. The feel good story of the week!
The Jets got embarrassed last week at home, scoring as many points as I did for the Lakers on opening night.
Detroit, led by the return of Matthew Stafford and his four touchdown passes, pulled away for a win against Washington last week.
Why the Jets will win: The Jets are averaging over 182 rushing yards in road games this season, which should bode well for Shonn Greene and LaDanian Tomlinson. They will get back to the run this week. In each of their losses, they passed the ball more than they ran it.
Why the Lions will win: Stafford will continue his rise, Calvin Johnson will have a huge game and the Lions defense will try to take away the run and make Mark Sanchez beat them.
Prediction: Jets 24, Lions 21
Miami (4-3) is unbeaten in road games this season (4-0), but is having all kinds of problems scoring touchdowns. In a 22-14 win against Cincinnati last week, Dan Carpenter kicked five field goals. The Dolphins have scored just two touchdowns in their last two games, while Carpenter has kicked 10 field goals.
Baltimore (5-2) still boasts one of the fiercest defenses in the league and a much-improved offense. They are coming off a bye week and should be well-rested.
Why Miami will win: Road dominance and Dan Carpenter.
Why Baltimore will win: The Ravens have more playmakers and can keep the Dolphins out of the end zone.
Prediction: Ravens 27, Dolphins 9
You could call this a must-win game for both teams. For San Diego (3-5), they are seeking to turn around their fortunes after a bad start.
For Houston (4-3), the second half of its season looks very formidable with games at the New York Jets, at home against Tennessee, at Philadelphia, at home against Baltimore and at Tennessee coming up. That's a pretty brutal-looking stretch.
Why San Diego will win: Phillip Rivers is having a monster season. He's already set an NFL record for passing yards through the first eight games of the season with 2,649. He has his sights on Dan Marino's NFL record of 5,084 yards set in 1984. And guess where Houston's pass defense is ranked? If you said "last," you are correct. The Chargers also boast the league's best defense.
Why Houston will win: Offensive balance. Arian Foster is having a breakout year, and Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson is as good a quarterback/receiver pairing as it gets. But will Johnson be healthy after aggravating his ankle sprain last week against the Colts? Also, San Diego is 0-4 on the road.
Prediction: San Diego 31, Houston 20
Tampa Bay (5-2) is living up to coach Raheem Morris's statement that his team is "the best team in the NFC," at least with its record.
The Bucs keep finding ways to win games.
Atlanta (5-2) will probably have plenty to say about Morris's claims. First place in the NFC South will be on the line.
Why Tampa Bay will win: Defense. Defense. Defense. The Bucs lead the league with a plus-8 turnover margin and have collected 14 interceptions. Plus, the emergence of LeGarrette Blount will help spread the defense out.
Why Atlanta will win: Michael Turner. Expect to see a steady dose against the Bucs' 18th ranked defense against the run. The Falcons are also coming off a bye week, while the Bucs fought hard to beat Arizona last week.
Prediction: Atlanta 24, Tampa Bay 10
New Orleans (5-3) got back on track with a win against Pittsburgh last week.
Carolina (1-6) continues to struggle in what appears to be the swan song for coach John Fox. But Fox has an 11-6 career record against the Saints.
Why New Orleans will win: The offense is clicking, despite not having much of a running game. Carolina is terrible. That's reason enough.
Why Carolina will win: As bad as the offense has been, the defense is pretty strong. The Panthers are fourth overall in the league and fifth against the pass. The defense will need to force some turnovers to have a chance.
Prediction: Saints 34, Panthers 7
This game is even more intriguing just because of the storylines involving the head coaches.
Cleveland (2-5) routed New Orleans two weeks ago in the Superdome and appears to be playing very competitive football.
New England (6-1) has the best record in the league.
Now, Cleveland is where Bill Belichick got his head coaching start, a wildly unsuccessful tenure with the Browns right before owner Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore in 1996.
Eric Mangini used to work for Belichick in New England and was the person who helped expose the whole "Spygate" scandal a few years ago. Their relationship remains a tad frosty as a result.
Why New England will win: The Patriots are more battled-tested, with wins against San Diego, Baltimore and Minnesota in successive weeks. They seem to have regained their killer instinct. Plus, Belichick would love nothing more than to stick a knife in Mangini, who may lose his job at the end of the season.
Why Cleveland will win: The Browns are playing with a lot of confidence right now, and Mangini would love to stick it to his former boss.
Prediction: Patriots 27, Browns 13
How much farther can the Vikings fall? It has been quite the season of discontent, with a never-ending carousel of distractions. Between Brett Favre and Randy Moss, it's spelled nothing but trouble for a team thought to be Super Bowl contenders.
Minnesota (2-5) got beat up last week in a loss to New England.
Arizona (3-4) can't seem to get going after Kurt Warner's retirement.
We have two teams headed in the same direction, but who will get there the fastest?
Why Minnesota will win: Brett Favre eliminates his mistakes and Adrian Peterson explodes for his best game of the season.
Why Arizona will win: Max Hall figures out that Larry Fitzgerald can still play a little bit.
Prediction: Vikings 31, Cardinals 20
The Giants (5-2) are coming off their bye week, while the Seahawks (4-3) might be in need of one after getting pasted by Oakland last week.
Both teams are in first place in their divisions, but Seattle hardly has reason to celebrate.
Why the Giants will win: The G-men still have one of the most dominant defensive front-fours in the league and have tallied 24 sacks this season. Seattle left tackle Russell Okung is still out with a knee injury, as is his backup. The Giants also have the No. 3 rush defense in the league.
Why the Seahawks will win: Unsteady play of Eli Manning could lead to some points off turnovers.
Prediction: Giants 24, Seahawks 20
These games used to mean everything in battle for supremacy in the AFC West. In recent years, well, not so much.
But Oakland (4-4) is the hottest team in the league at the moment, scoring 92 points in its last two games, both blowout wins.
Kansas City (5-2) is the surprise of the league this season and is getting it done on offense and defense, with former Patriots brain-trust members Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennell calling the shots for Todd Haley.
Why Oakland will win: The second-best running game in the NFL, led by the resurgence of Darren McFadden. A two-game win streak has them playing with confidence. A punishing and opportunistic defense.
Why Kansas City will win: Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles are the top rushing attack in the league. The Chiefs allow a measly 17.4 points per game, fifth best in the league.
Prediction: Chiefs 21, Raiders 20
Indianapolis (5-2) is back in first place in the AFC South despite being very banged up.
Philadelphia (4-3) will get Michael Vick back under center this week after breaking his ribs in Week 4. The Eagles are coming off their bye week and should be well rested. The game following a bye week also bodes well for Andy Reid, who is 11-0 in his career in games after bye weeks.
Why Indianapolis will win: Peyton Manning has never lost against Philadelphia, sporting a perfect 3-0 mark. Plus, he's Peyton Manning. Despite injuries to Dallas Clark, Austin Collie and Joseph Addai, the Colts managed to beat the Houston Texans Monday night.
Why Philadelphia will win: The Eagles are rested, the Colts had a short week and are banged up. Michael Vick is back and will give the offense an added dimension.
Prediction: Eagles 31, Colts 28
This game looked really good on paper at the beginning of the year.
But with the Cowboys' free fall at warp speed, the best they can hope for now is to play spoiler.
Green Bay (5-3) blanked the Jets last week in New York, a testament to their powerful defense.
Dallas (1-6) appeared to give up last week in an embarrassing loss at home against Jacksonville.
Why Green Bay will win: Aaron Rodgers will carve up the Dallas secondary, and the Packers defense will feast on Jon Kitna through a terrible Cowboys' offensive line.
Why Dallas will win: It's got to happen sooner or later this season that they put things together.
Prediction: Green Bay 27, Dallas 13
Pittsburgh (5-2) lost its first game with Ben Roethlisberger back under center last week in New Orleans, dropping it into a first-place tie with Baltimore in the AFC North.
Cincinnati (2-5) can't seem to get it together and are in the midst of a four-game losing streak. After going 6-0 in the division last season and making the playoffs, you have to wonder what's going on.
Why Pittsburgh will win: History. Pittsburgh leads the series 48-32, with a 5-2 edge under the bright Monday Night lights. Mike Tomlin (5-0) has never lost a game on Monday nights as the Steelers coach. And the defense is exceptionally good.
Why Cincinnati will win: They are playing at home with their backs against the wall. They need to show they are still hungry.
Prediction: Steelers 31, Bengals 17