Fifth-year quarterback Charlie Whitehurst will make his first NFL start Sunday against the New York Giants, replacing injured starter Matt Hasselbeck.
I forgot to post my predictions for Week 8, but I went a pedestrian 8-5. Still leading my group of friends, though!
Last week's record: 8-5
2010 season record: 72-45 (61.5%)
Falcons over Buccaneers — I like the way Josh Freeman is playing, but the Buccaneers' defense is sorely lacking. I'll take the more experienced Falcons team at home.
Bills over Bears — This is a hard pick, because Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing well and the Bills have to win sometime. They have a decent shot at home against a Bears team that has lost to some pretty bad teams recently, so I'll give them the nod here.
Patriots over Browns — In what is definitely one of the most lopsided matchups of the week, I don't expect any surprises. New England should handle the Browns handily.
Jets over Lions — You have to love Detroit's handful of great, young players like Ndamukong Suh and Calvin Johnson, but as a team, they aren't yet ready to compete with the likes of New York.
Vikings over Cardinals — The Vikings are mess right now and could be without a big weapon on offense in Percy Harvin, but I still don't expect the quarterbackless Cardinals to beat them.
Saints over Panthers — The Saints are coming off a big win against the Steelers and should continue to roll with an easy win over the Panthers.
Ravens over Dolphins — The Dolphins are 4-0 on the road this season, but that's mostly the result of their three toughest opponents coming at home. It's hard to imagine Miami beating a very talented and complete Ravens squad in Baltimore.
Texans over Chargers — This is a hard matchup to pick, because both teams are underachieving this year. San Diego will probably be without their biggest offensive weapon on Antonio Gates, so I'll go with Houston.
Giants over Seahawks — A quarterback (Charlie Whitehurst) with no career passes in five seasons plus multiple offensive tackle injuries plus the Giants' stellar pass rush equals a recipe for disaster in Seattle.
Raiders over Chiefs — This is an extremely tough game to pick, but the Raiders are playing well right now and are carrying some momentum into a big divisional showdown. I'll take Oakland at home.
Colts over Eagles — Philadelphia might be getting DeSean Jackson back, but I rarely bet against Peyton Manning. I'm not doing so here.
Packers over Cowboys — The Cowboys' season is just about over with Tony Romo's injury, and I don't expect them to be able to keep up with the Packers at home.
Steelers over Bengals — Pittsburgh is coming off a surprising loss to an underachieving Saints team, but I think they'll get back on track against a Bengals squad that is even more so.
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Chris J. Nelson majored in journalism at Georgia State University and is currently a programming coordinator for Turner Sports in Atlanta. He operates his own Miami Dolphins website, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight, and he can be followed on Twitter here.