Welcome to my NFL Week 9 Picks. I went 8-5 last week, placing my overall record at 61-58. How will I do in this week’s slate of games? Read below and comment with your thoughts. This week will be full of close games and shocking upsets. Keep reading to see how I think Week 9 will unfold.
Teams on Bye: Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers
Note: In the images, the team on the top is the road team, and the team on the bottom is the home team.
Lock of the Week
QB Carson Palmer may be out but that won’t stop the Cardinals from winning this game. QB Drew Stanton won’t produce as much as Palmer would but he has enough experience to lead the Cardinals to victory. I also expect RB Adrian Peterson to do well and rush for his second 100-yard game in 3 games with the Cardinals.
The 49ers offense will miss standout WR Pierre Garcon. Even if new QB Jimmy Garoppolo sees the field, he will have limited weapons to help him through the air. They need to rebuild and it starts at WR now that they traded for the apparent QB of the future.
Upset of the Week
This could be the most exciting divisional game of the season. Expect the Bucs offense to explode, carried by 150+ rushing yards and 350+ passing yards and at least 5 TDs. The Saints young defense has been good lately but will be overmatched by the versatile Tampa Bay offense. Watch for WR DeSean Jackson to have an especially big game as the Saints haven’t established a second starting corner behind Marshon Lattimore.
The Saints offense has been clicking so expect QB Drew Brees to have a big game. The Buccaneers D will struggle to cover the Saints’ playmakers. But the Bucs will outlast New Orleans in a shootout.
TNF (Posted to Twitter on Thursday Night)
The Bills offense will kick into gear in this game after the recent acquisition of WR Kelvin Benjamin. The Jets will struggle early but they’ll get their run game working later on. However, the Bills will continue to look good defensively, picking off Jets QB Josh McCown multiple times. In the end, the Bills will be too much for the Jets on both sides of the ball.
The Titans offense will bounce back after the bye week even against the tough Ravens defensive front. The offensive line will protect QB Marcus Mariota well and he will have the time to get into a good rhythm. The Ravens will also do well offensively continuing their momentum from last week. But they won’t produce enough with their receivers banged-up and the Titans will hold on to win the game.
The Jaguars offense will look better in this game. RB Leonard Fournette has not returned, but young standout WR Dede Westbrook has. Both players are expected to start in this game. Westbrook is one of my breakout candidates so I expect he will lead the Jags in receiving today with a 100-yard game and a TD. Both defenses will be tough and keep the game low scoring. But the Jags will be able to produce just enough offense with Westbrook back.
QB Deshaun Watson may be out for the season but this offense will still thrive with Tom Savage connecting with an array of top Houston receiving weapons they have. Tom Savage could have a big game against a Colts defense that has struggled all year. The Texans defense that is normally a dominant force may struggle especially with almost all of their top pass rushers hurt. As a result, QB Jacoby Brissett will have time to find his receivers. The Texans offense will be too much and the Colts will fall short in this division battle.
This game could make for some sloppy football. The Eagles offense won’t look the same against Denver’s No Fly Zone and Denver’s offense won’t look much better as they turn to QB Brock Osweiler. The last time Osweiler had a half decent game was back in 2015 when he filled in for Peyton Manning. The Eagles will win in the end as Denver continues to fall short on the road.
Even with WR Sterling Shepard back, the Giants will continue to struggle offensively because QB Eli Manning will be scrambling all day against a tough Rams defensive front. The Giants O-Line has had problems for almost 2 years especially against strong D-Lines. Rams QB Jared Goff will have a good game against a tough Giants D, especially because CB Janoris Jenkins won’t be playing due to a team suspension. The Giants will keep RB Todd Gurley to a sub-par game but in the end, the Rams offense will do just enough as their defense dominates.
The loss of WR Kelvin Benjamin will have a huge impact on Carolina’s offense. Who’s their #1 receiver now? That’s the same question people had when Benjamin tore his ACL in 2015. While the Panthers lack a #1, WR Julio Jones will dominate for the Falcons against the Panthers’ weak secondary. The Panthers will find a way to score with their young receiving corp but in the end, Julio Jones will have his best game of the season, and lead Atlanta to victory.
The Redskins offense has the potential to dominate but has been struggling lately, and the Seahawks defense will continue to slow them down. The Seahawks will also continue their own offensive momentum after holding on to beat the Texans 41-38 last week. They will hold off the Redskins in a back and forth game at home with the 12th man providing the 1 point edge.
How did RB Ezekiel Elliott get out of his suspension again? At this rate, he might play the entire season. However, he will fail to score against a tough Chiefs defensive front even though he may play well. The Chiefs defense will be strong in the red zone, holding the Cowboys without a TD in more than half of their red zone drives. However, the Cowboys will keep their offensive momentum going with Elliott active once again and win the game at home.
The return of RB Marshawn Lynch will help establish Oakland’s run game which will set up the pass plays in red zone situations. I expect Lynch to return surprisingly strong after struggling to produce prior to his suspension. The Dolphins offense will still do OK but will struggle with their run game with RB Jay Ajayi now an Eagle. In the end, QB Derek Carr and the Raiders offense will lead Oakland to victory in primetime.
QB Brett Hundley will have a decent game, scoring 2 TD, but the young QB will have problems under the pressure of primetime. Lions QB Matthew Stafford will have the better game between the two of them, whether he has deep threat Kenny Golladay or not. The Lions will win a low scoring game despite the fact that the Lions offense has not done well of late. With Hundley starting in only his second game of his career, the pressure of primetime will be too much and the Lions will win this big division showdown.
That’s all for my picks this week. Comment with your thoughts, and stay tuned for more! NFL articles.