For Week Nine, we selected the Chicago Bears as our suicide pool pick. While it wasn’t the blowout Pro Football 101 predicted, the Bears did hold on to pull out the 27-23 victory over the Detroit Lions.
That’s the beauty of suicide pools...point spreads are meaningless. For Week 10, there are a few solid options: the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins, but our choice is the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals have a chance to take one step closer to winning its first NFC West Championship when they take on the San Francisco 49ers this Monday night. Sitting at 5-3, it’s a long way back in the team’s rear view mirror to see the Niners/Seahawks/Rams and their 2-6 records respectively.
Here’s how we see this game playing out. Offensively, we think the Cardinals will come out passing from the get-go. Rookie RB Tim Hightower had a very impressive game vs. the Rams last week, but the 'Niners are fairly strong against the run, and star LB Patrick Willis doesn’t usually allow a lot of big plays to happen (on the ground).
This brings us to the good news: The secondary does. We like the Fitzgerald/Boldin/Breaston trio to run circles around the 'Niners’ defensive backs and for the offense to put up between 24-34 points.
Defensively, Arizona is a much stouter unit in the desert. Not sure if it’s something in the air, but they really get after the QB. The only offensive weapon that can hurt them is RB Frank Gore, but we see them making a concerted effort to take him out of the gameplan and put the team’s fate solely in the hands of QB Shaun Hill, who will be making his first start of the season.
So, with no threat of a running game, look for the Cards’ front seven to bring a lot of pressure and force Hill into sacks and turnovers. And look for the final score to be somewhere in the vicinity of 31-14 or 34-17, and for you to move on to Week 11 in your suicide pool.
Week 9 - Chicago Bears
Week 8 - New York Jets
Week 7 - Houston Texans
Week 6 - Philadelphia Eagles
Week 5 - Carolina Panthers
Week 4 - Buffalo Bills