NFL Week 9 Picks: Decoding The Games of a Crazy Season

Byes: Patriots, Bengals, Texans, Redskins, Bears, Cardinals


Previous Results

Week 1: 9-7

Week 2: 9-7

Week 3: 9-7

Week 4: 8-7

Week 5: 9-5

Week 6: 9-6

Week 7: 9-5-1

Week 8: 6-6-1

Total through Week 8: 68-50-2
This year’s been a very confusing year, like 8 said in my midseason report. Sometimes, you get lucky and have a great week for fantasy or pick ’em. Other times, you have a nightmarish week. I’ve been very streaky in picks, but really, this has been the toughest season to pick in a while. But it’s also so confusing that if you’re lucky, you can match-up to experts. I match up to some, but some are also ahead of me, especially after last week. I went 6-6-1, and I’m hoping this week brings improvement. How do you think I’ll do. Comment your picks.
Lock Of The Week
Cowboys, 34, Browns, 15

Okay, like I said, I’ve been pretty impressed by the Cowboys offense. I think today, since the Cowboys have a spotty defense, there will be some moments when the Browns may take advantage of that, and Dak Prescott will throw to come back, and other times when the Browns are just being the Browns, and letting Dallas take a bit of a lead, and letting Ezekiel Elliott run wild, even with Jamie Collins in at linebacker. I think Collins just doesn’t fit the system in Cleveland. The Pats practically gave him away. I really didn’t like the trade. Back to the match-up, the Browns, like I said, are still the Browns, so the Cowboys should have an easy win all together. I don’t think the Browns have a chance in this game. There are only so many games left I can categorize as winnable for them. The Browns are in danger of going winless, unless they pull a major upset. That won’t happen this week, as a strong Dallas offense makes it look easy against the Browns D.

Upset Of The Week
49ers, 27, Saints, 20

I know people are saying the Saints are on to something, but the 49ers haven’t been terrible this season. They have shown the ability to score, surprisingly, and in a reasonable home match-up, I wouldn’t be surprised if they won. The Saints defense is just not acceptable, and is a defense for teams that need to put up points to take advantage of, even the teams that have offensive problems themselves. The Saints offense will put up a fight, but the Saints offense has began to slump a little bit, and the 49ers defense is really underrated. If they put up enough on offense, taking advantage of the bad defense, and their own defense comes through and prevents the Saints offense from breaking out of their slump, they can win this thing.

Dolphins, 27, Jets, 20

This may actually be an interesting match-up, a watchable game.  But why?  This is two mediocre to bad teams in an unpredictable but likely meaningless clash.  Well for one thing, the modern NFL fan has a fantasy focus, and they’re intrigued by some of the fantasy match-ups in this game.  The defenses are only okay for these two teams, not great, and these offenses have some intriguing players, especially for fantasy.  There’s match-ups like Jarvis Landry trying to prove that Revis Island is no longer an island.  It’ll be fun to watch Brandon Marshall go wild against an easy secondary.  It’s also a grudge match.  But I think at home, the Dolphins improved offense will show up, and the Jets offense may have a good fantasy performance, but in the end, the confidence they get from a home match-up should help them outscore the Jets.  What I used to say is, two close teams, home team wins.  Sometimes now, I feel that it’s stupid, but it still applies sometimes.  This is one of those games.
Ravens, 26, Steelers, 24

A lot of people think the Steelers are taking this game.  But the one thing that holds the Steelers up is when they’re healthy, their offense is dominant.  But they’re not at full health.  Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown are back, but you can’t guarantee the usual performance in their first games back.  Brown actually only missed part of a game and a bye, but still.  The Ravens are pretty much healthy, and their offense may have an opportunity, especially at home.  This is really a battle of who can score more.  A healthy Ravens offense, in my opinion, tops a banged up Steelers offense, at home at least.  I think the Ravens will win, but in a grudge match.  I agree with NFL Network that they will beat each other up to try and get the win. But in the end, it goes back to who can score more and take advantage of a mediocre opposing defense.

Chiefs, 36, Jaguars, 29

Despite a good Chiefs defense, this will be an offensive shootout.  The Chiefs have the offense to take advantage of a Jags defense that hasn’t been great.  The Jaguars may be able to refurbish their offense with Greg Olson fired.  They were supposed to be a bounce back offense.  Maybe we’ll see that now.  Maybe Greg Olson just didn’t fit in with the rebuilt, revamped offense.  Finding a new offensive coordinator was a good move, and an interesting way to experiment with the offense.  If something’s not working, something needs to change to make it better.  Maybe that was what they needed.  But in the end, the Chiefs should outscore them.  Whatever their offense doesn’t score, their defense makes up.  The Chiefs could become a dangerous team if they keep this up.  The Jags would be doing the AFC West a favor by winning.  But the odds are definitely against them.

Giants, 38, Eagles, 36

We have another offensive shootout right here.  I think both of these defenses are overrated, and in the right conditions, these offenses can go wild.  I think this is another battle of who scores more.  The Giants may be a bit short at running back, but OBJ and the receivers should take advantage of cornerback problems for Philly.  The Eagles offense will take advantage of the Giants’ weak spots too.  They have a very balanced offense, but not as many stars at the positions they need them at in this match-up.  That will cost them.  The Giants have an offense like that, that fits to annihilate the Eagles defense.  This just isn’t the match-up for the Eagles in the end, even if they do score a lot.  Eli Manning and his offense will have control of the match-up.

Vikings, 24, Lions, 23

Especially at home, the Vikings will take advantage of the Lions weak defense.  One thing they can do if they don’t score enough even after that, is release a rear defense of their own.  This underrated Lions offense could surprise some teams, but is no match for the Vikings defense at home in their new stadium.  The Lions will embarrass themselves against the Vikings.  They will be under a lot of pressure in a stadium filled with big fans of the Vikings big D.  The Vikings will score enough that even against the tough Lions offense, the Vikings defense will be able to contain their opponent to just a little bit less.  It will be close to an upset, but an upset’s not happening.

Chargers, 27, Titans, 23

The Titans offense has improved greatly and the Chargers defense is an easy target, but the Chargers have shown that even with several setbacks, they are sleepers.  They’re the fourth team in a tough division, but outside of the division, they may sometimes play like a pretty good team.  They’re just nowhere near as good as the teams in their division.  The AFC West this season is amazing, in my opinion.  They will take advantage of an even easier target in the Titans defense, and grab the win at home.

Packers, 37, Colts, 30

Even with Randall Cobb out, I think the Packers take the win here.  The Colts don’t have the greatest defense, and Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson will take advantage of it.  This will be an offensive battle, but the Packers defense is tough, the Colts offense is struggling and the all the Packers offense was missing last season was Jordy Nelson.  This year, there offense should be and has been on fire, despite the fact that Eddie Lacy got hurt and probably ruined his good days for good.  They will overwhelm the Colts defense, and should definitely outscore their offense.  This is Green Bay’s to win, especially at home with the Colts, who are struggling.

Panthers, 30, Rams, 17

I don’t think the Panthers are making the playoffs, but I do think they’ll win some more games in this second half.  The Rams are going to start losing some games until they give Jared Goff a try too. Case Keenum will not last forever as the Rams’ starter.  The Rams will look desperate in this game.  Their passing game is their weak spot, so they can’t take advantage of the weak secondary.  Todd Gurley meanwhile, will be annihilated by the mighty Carolina pass rush.  The Rams do have a tough defense, but no matter how little the Panthers offense puts up, the Rams offense is the perfect fit for annihilation from the Carolina D, and they will hold the Rams to very minimal scoring.

Raiders, 19, Broncos, 16

This is one of the most watchable games of the week.  This is a really intriguing grudge match between two of the strong AFC West teams.  The Broncos defense is very tough, but the Raiders have a clutch offense to work past it.  Their defense is also very underrated and should be able to hold a banged up Broncos offense to less than 20 points.  Meanwhile, the Raiders should outscore the Broncos, just barely.  It may take a miraculous comeback, but they’re good at that.  They’ll use their late game strength to take care of a Broncos defense at will already be tired and ready to end the game by then.  At home, I think the Raiders should be able to pull off something like that, based on the way Derek Carr has played lately.

Seahawks, 23, Bills, 9

The Bills offense has so many injuries, that especially against the tough Seahawks defense, they won’t be able to score much.  The Seahawks don’t have a dominant offense, but this will be a game of defense.  It doesn’t matter if the Seahawks don’t have great offense.  They’ll hold the banged up Bills offense to under 20 points, and take advantage of the fact that the young Bills defense is only decent, and is still developing.  Even with LeSean McCoy, the Seahawks defense is just too strong to be beaten at home, by a team without their best receiver, with their running back just coming back from injury, and with a QB who’s better at running than throwing.  They just won’t let it happen.

Thursday Night’s Game
Falcons, 19, Buccaneers, 6

I originally would’ve picked the Bucs here, but I’m not surprised Atlanta won.  I’m facing the facts here.  The Falcons, at least through the regular season, are the real deal.  Especially without practically all their RBs and Vincent Jackson, the Bucs offense will not score enough to even come close to what Atlanta’s now revamped offense can do.  The defense is better too.  I’m also realizing that the Bucs defense isn’t as underrated as I said they were.  The one thing I am surprised by is the score.  The Bucs scored 28 points, and the Falcons scored 43 points to still fend them off after that.  I expected a game where the Bucs would fail to score, and the Falcons wouldn’t have to put in too much effort on offense to win.
So, that pretty much sums up my predictions for the week.  Again, please comment your thoughts.

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