NFL Picks Week 9: Picking the Winners of Every Game
As week 8 of the NFL season comes to a close, let's look ahead to week 9 and make some predictions about the games.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will be hosting the Baltimore Ravens, in what has to be considered the weeks most intriguing matchup.
On the opposite side of the coin, the Arizona Cardinals will be hosting the St. Louis Rams in a battle of the 1-6 teams.
Without further ado, let's get on with the predictions.
Jet @ Bills
The Buffalo Bills are one of the surprise teams of the season. Ryan Fitzpatrick has helped his side get off to a 5-2 start.
With quality home wins over the Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, the Bills have won four in a row at home for the first time since 1995.
The New York Jets have had a much rougher start to the season. Rex Ryan's squad has gotten off to a 4-3 start.
Despite their winning record, the Jets have fallen to every quality opponent they've faced. With losses to the Baltimore Ravens, the Raiders and the Patriots, the Jets will look to prove themselves against the Bills.
The Jets' offense should not give the Bills' defense a lot of trouble on Sunday. The Bills also face a favorable matchup for their offense.
Fred Jackson has been a revelation this season. In fact, the Bills have the league's fourth best rushing game.
The Jets have the league's sixth worst rushing defense, so they are going to have to step it up if they hope to get a win.
Predicted Winner: Buffalo Bills
Seahawks @ Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are a struggling team. They're 3-4, and their only quality win has been their overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Their latest casualty was their 34-7 thrashing at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles. Still, the Cowboys have a lot of talent on their team.
The Seattle Seahawks are having a terrible season. Their offense has struggled, as evidenced by them averaging 80.5 rushing yards per game, the worst in the NFL.
They've lost three of their four road games this season, and this one should add to that total.
Dallas has the NFL's best rush defense, allowing just 69.7 rushing yards to their opponents. This means that Seattle will have no choice but to pass.
For some teams, this wouldn't be a problem, however the Seahawks do not have any good quarterbacks.
Finally, the Dallas Cowboys have to win this game. If they fail to win they'll fall to 3-5 and that is just not going to happen.
Predicted Winner: Dallas Cowboys
Falcons @ Colts
This really is an unnecessary slide, but I guess I'll just lay down some facts for everyone.
The Atlanta Falcons are 4-3 with wins that include the Philadelphia Eagles and the Detroit Lions. They have quality players that are under performing so far this season.
Their offense features Michael Turner, Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. That is a lot of talent, and it has to be said that with more focus, this team could be at least 5-2.
The Indianapolis Colts are 0-8.
Predicted Winner: Atlanta Falcons
Dolphins @ Chiefs
Not many people have noticed, but the Kansas City Chiefs are getting better. Their real test will be tonight's matchup against the San Diego Chargers, but the Chiefs are on a hot streak regardless.
They're 3-3 and they've developed and gotten better over the course of the season. The best evidence would be their first and last game.
The Chiefs opened the season with a 41-7 home loss to the Buffalo Bills. In their last game, the Chiefs shut out the Oakland Raiders 28-0 in Oakland.
The Dolphins have yet to win a game this season. They lost most recently to the New York Giants in a heartbreaking fashion.
With Chad Henne out, Matt Moore has stepped in as quarterback. It has to be said that he has been pretty poor.
The Chiefs have looked much better in recent weeks, and this should be nothing other than a routine win for Matt Cassel and company.
Predicted Winner: Kansas City Chiefs
Buccaneers @ Saints
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers kind of got screwed on this one. They really couldn't be facing off against the New Orleans Saints on a worse week.
The Saints are going to be coming off of their embarrassing 31-21 loss to the formerly winless St. Louis Rams.
Drew Brees is not going to enjoy that, and he's going to have his Saint fired up for this home match against their division rivals.
Tampa Bay is going to be coming off of their bye week. The Buccaneers are 4-3 so far this season. Their most notable win of the season was actually against the Saints in week 6.
While some might argue that a previous win will add to the Buccaneers confidence, it is also going to add to the Saints' hunger.
There's no way that New Orleans is going to lose this one.
Predicted Winner: New Orleans Saints
49ers @ Redskins
This has the potential to be a great game. The San Francisco 49ers are going to be traveling away to face the Washington Redskins.
The Redskins are fresh off a shut out loss to the Buffalo Bills in Canada. It was the first time that Redskins' coach Mike Shanahan has ever been shut out.
On the other side of the coin, the 49ers are going to be coming into this game full of confidence. The Niners are 6-1 for the first time since 1998.
Although his team is 6-1, it would appear that 49er coach Jim Harbaugh is not going to let his team rest on their laurels.
It's also worth noting that the 49ers are undefeated on the road so far this season, with wins over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Detroit Lions.
The Redskins are worthy opponents, but this season we've learned to never bet against Jim Harbaugh.
Predicted Winner: San Francisco 49ers
Browns @ Texans
The Houston Texans are a weird football team. There are weeks in which they look fantastic and then there are weeks in which they look dreadful.
Gary Kubiak's team has started the season 5-3. They'll be hosting the 3-4 Cleveland Browns, who are fresh off a loss in San Francisco.
It would be foolish to think that the Texans aren't favored in this one. With Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, Kevin Walter and their fantastic tight ends, the Texans really should not be losing this game.
Having said that, this is exactly the kind of game that has troubled the Texans in the past.
The Texans are a team that find a way to play down to lesser opponents.
Browns quarterback Colt McCoy has been impressive in his first NFL season. The Browns rank 22nd in passing yards per game.
They also boast the league's best pass defense, allowing just 171.5 passing yards per game.
I've got a bad feeling about the Texans, and that is what I'm basing this decision on.
Predicted Winner: Cleveland Browns
Bengals @ Titans
The Cincinnati Bengals have been impressive this season. They've managed a 5-2 start and they boast the league's best total defense.
The Tennessee Titans have also been impressive, especially considering they have been without star receiver Kenny Britt since week 4.
The Titans are 4-3 and rank second in their division behind the Houston Texans. Matt Hasselback has really been fantastic for the Titans this season.
This may well be the game of the week. Both of these teams have their strengths and weaknesses.
The Titans have a decent passing game but are the worst rushing team in the league.
The Bengals are mediocre offensively but boast a fantastic defense.
The Bengals are 3-1 away from home, and they face the Titans who are 3-1 at home.
This is a tough one to predict, but I feel like the home field advantage is going to push the Titans just enough for a victory.
Predicted Winner: Tennessee Titans
Broncos @ Raiders
The Denver Broncos looked absolutely hopeless against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Tim Tebow finally came crashing down to earth as he endured a 45-10 loss.
Carson Palmer's season debut was arguably worse. The new addition to the Oakland Raiders took the field and led his team to a 28-0 shut out loss at home to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Raiders are going to have a couple of advantages in this matchup. The first being that they are coming off a bye week.
The bye week will have given Carson Palmer time to learn the offense and gel with his teammates. This is going to be a huge advantage that should help the Raiders.
The second advantage that the Raiders will enjoy is the fact that they're playing at home. The Broncos are a dismal 1-2 away from home this season.
It's tough to see the Broncos winning this game, and the Raiders will be liking their chances.
Predicted Winner: Oakland Raiders
Giants @ Patriots
The New England Patriots will be looking to rebound from a disappointing loss in Pittsburgh. Bill Belichik's team fell to 5-2 and they'll no doubt be starving for a win.
The New York Giants are also 5-2, but have attained that record in a much less impressive fashion. The Giants most recent loss was a shock home defeat to the Seattle Seahawks.
In all honesty, there is not point in discussing this any further. The game is in New England and the Patriots will be looking for a win.
Predicted Winner: New England Patriots
Rams @ Cardinals
What a matchup this one is! The battle of the 1-6s.
The Arizona Cardinals were oh so close to improving to 2-5 but the Baltimore Ravens had other plans for Kevin Kolb and company.
The Cardinals have suffered a number of heartbreaking losses and they are severely under performing. This is a team that was expected to be a decent squad, however they've proved to be anything but.
The St. Louis Rams are coming off of a stunning home victory over the New Orleans Saints. They're going to be full of confidence and they'll be hungry for win number two.
The Cardinals have talented players in Beanie Wells and Larry Fitzgerald and the Rams have Stephen Jackson.
On paper, the Cardinals should just be able to nick this one. But I believe that the Rams are going to ride the confidence of their previous win and improve to 2-6.
Predicted Winner: St. Louis Rams
Packers @ Chargers
I'm going to disclose something right off the bat here, I hate the San Diego Chargers. Phillip Rivers is one of the most overrated quarterbacks in my opinion and the Chargers never perform to their abilities.
The Green Bay Packers are the team that I think are going to win the Super Bowl this year. Even when they seem to be playing poorly, the Packers find a way to win.
I'm not going to waste anymore time on this game.
Predicted Winner: Green Bay Packers.
Ravens @ Steelers
This would have to be the favorite for game of the week. The two AFC powerhouses are meeting for the only time this season in Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off of a hard-fought win over the New England Patriots, and they're going to have to put in a similar performance if they want to beat the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens were losing most of the game last Sunday. However they found a way to overcome the Arizona Cardinals and improve to 5-2 on the season.
The Steelers looked good against the Patriots last week, and the Ravens have looked poor in the last two weeks.
Mike Tomlin and the Steelers should be able to come out victorious in this one.
Predicted Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers
Bears @ Eagles
This Monday night game is going to a good one. The Chicago Bears will be coming off of their bye week to face the red-hot Philadelphia Eagles.
If the Bears used their bye week to their advantage they should have a chance against an Eagles team that has shown some weaknesses this year.
The Bears have also looked good in recent weeks, having won three of their last four games. Matt Forte has been outstanding and the Eagles allow the 9th most rushing yards per game to their opponents.
The Eagles look unreal against the Cowboys on Sunday night. LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick provide a great offensive spark and they've both had great seasons.
This is a tough one to call, mainly because of the fact that Chicago will be coming off of a bye week.
Still, the game is being played in Philadelphia, and it's hard to predict an Eagles loss after their performance against the Cowboys.
Predicted Winner: Philadelphia Eagles