NFL Game Picks: Week 9
The playoff picture is beginning to take form at the midway point. With the trade deadline in the past, there’s sure to be some surprises ahead during the second half of the season.
Now, here’s a look at Week 9 before it gets underway:
Buffalo Bills (5-2) @ New York Jets (3-5)
The Jets have slipped a little bit since their surprising start to the season, but they’ve been competitive in each of their last three losses, losing each by single digits. However, Buffalo has looked unbeatable recently. This team is trying to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1999. They’re going to give it their all on Thursday night against their division rival.
The pick: Buffalo, 29-19.
Atlanta Falcons (4-3) @ Carolina Panthers (5-3)
This is a crucial game for both teams. New Orleans has surprised everyone by jumping ahead in the NFC South and neither team wants to fall behind. Many have seen Atlanta’s and Carolina’s starts to the season as a little disappointing and unstable, but a win here for either team would be massive. This is probably going to be one of Week 9’s most exciting matchups.
The pick: Atlanta, 27-23.
Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3)
The acquisition of Marcell Dareus make this scary Jaguars defense even more terrifying. A fun bit of trivia: Jacksonville has won every game played during an odd week and lost every game played during an even week. This is an odd week. Combined with the fact that Cincinnati just barely slipped by the terrible Colts, Jacksonville is the favorite here.
The pick: Jacksonville, 33-18.
Denver Broncos (3-4) @ Philadelphia Eagles (7-1)
As Denver continues its season freefall, the Eagles continue playing as well as ever. A big win over San Francisco puts the Eagles at 7-1 and first in the NFL. The acquisition of Jay Ajayi from the Dolphins makes this great team even better. Denver is switching gears by giving Brock Osweiler the starting role on Sunday, but it shouldn’t matter considering the way these teams are playing.
The pick: Philadelphia, 37-14.
Baltimore Ravens (4-4) @ Tennessee Titans (4-3)
The 40-0 trouncing of Miami last Thursday night is exactly the kind of game that a team like the Ravens needed to kick-start its season. Joe Flacco appears like he’ll be ready for Sunday’s game against Tennessee, but the inconsistency is still a clear and present issue. Tennessee hasn’t been perfect either, but they’re a tad bit more trustworthy than Baltimore.
The pick: Tennessee, 16-14.
Indianapolis Colts (2-6) @ Houston Texans (3-4)
An ugly season for the Colts remains ugly with last week’s slim loss to the Bengals and Andrew Luck will not see any action at all this year. Meanwhile, Houston keeps rolling along. Not even a bye week could slow down rookie sensation Deshaun Watson, who’s team narrowly lost a thriller in Seattle last week. Houston is obviously the heavy favorite here.
The pick: Houston, 31-10.
Los Angeles Rams (5-2) @ New York Giants (1-6)
The last time these two teams met, last year in London, New York came out on top with a 17-10 win that sparked a run to the playoffs. How the tables have turned. It’s been mentioned time and time again how much better the Rams are than in years past. The Giants continue to have issues with their coaching and roster in this tumultuous season. Los Angeles should win this game.
The pick: Los Angeles, 35-15.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5) @ New Orleans Saints (5-2)
Just looking at pure talent on the roster, it makes no sense for this Buccaneers team to be as bad they are, but at midseason in the competitive NFC South, this team looks close to finished. New Orleans may be able to seal the deal with a win on Sunday. The way the Saints have been playing, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise if they do just that.
The pick: New Orleans, 29-12.
Arizona Cardinals (3-4) @ San Francisco 49ers (0-8)
Big move for the 49ers who traded for Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo just before the trade deadline. This may be exciting news for Niners fans, but there’s been no confirmation yet when he’ll be starting. Eventually, this team has to get a win. Sunday’s game against the Cardinals may be the best opportunity that San Francisco gets all year.
The pick: San Francisco, 13-12.
Washington Redskins (3-4) @ Seattle Seahawks (5-2)
A season that started off promising is beginning to slip away from the Redskins, who fell to third place in the division last week with the loss to Dallas. Seattle, on the other hand, has been hot with five straight wins. Adding Duane Brown to the offensive line definitely helps to give Russell Wilson some much needed protection. Seattle should win in front of a home crowd.
The pick: Seattle, 24-13.
Kansas City Chiefs (6-2) @ Dallas Cowboys (4-3)
With Ezekiel Elliott finally suspended, the Cowboys offense definitely take a big hit. They’ll be relying on guys like Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden to pick up the slack. This doesn’t bode well, especially against the Chiefs defense, who shook off all concerns last week by forcing five turnovers against Denver. With Alex Smith still on top of the mountain, Kansas City is the favorite.
The pick: Kansas City, 20-13.
Oakland Raiders (3-5) @ Miami Dolphins (4-3)
One of the strangest Sunday night games of the season pits struggling team vs. struggling team. After seemingly returning to form against Kansas City, Derek Carr and the Raiders regressed yet again in a blowout loss to Buffalo. Speaking of blowouts, Miami lost the ugliest game of the year last Thursday. Oakland has the edge, but just barely.
The pick: Oakland, 19-17.
Detroit Lions (3-4) @ Green Bay Packers (4-3)
It was a confusing offensive performance last Sunday for Detroit. Racking up 482 total yards is good. Scoring zero touchdowns is absolutely terrible. With the loss, the Lions fell to 3-4. Another loss in Green Bay would be the fourth in a row for Detroit, which would put a huge dent in their playoff hopes. All things said, Matthew Stafford should be able to outduel Brett Hundley easily.
The pick: Detroit, 27-16.
Byes: Chicago Bears (3-5), Cleveland Browns (0-8), Minnesota Vikings (6-2), New England Patriots (6-2), Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2), Los Angeles Chargers (3-5).
DJ Bauer is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism