Week 9 Picks: Part 2

It’s nice to get off on the right foot.

Let’s keep it rolling.

Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints—Monday, 8:30pm

Geez laweez, how pathetic was that game last week? For both of these teams really… Well to call this a must-win at this point is stating the obvious. Again, for both of these teams. I’d love to think that the Eagles could pull off the huge road Monday night game, but I’m expecting to see Drew Brees pick apart this defense. Matt Ryan did so last week and he isn’t half the quarterback that Brees is. The history between these two teams is interesting. They’ve all been high scoring games, no less than 50 points have been scored between them in their five games since 2003. I look for more of the same, even with a Philly offense that’s been, for lack of a better term, offensive—the Saints are giving up almost 500 yards of offense, so if we can’t move the ball against these guys, we’ve got some serious problems. Saints win 37-28

Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals—1pm

Remember that feeling I had last week with the Chargers-Browns game? The one where I so desperately wanted to pick against San Diego, but didn’t because I didn’t think that they’d stoop to the Browns level and fail to score a touchdown against a terrible team? Yea, well I have that feeling again. This is more than a trap game for Denver, who’s been on a tear thanks to exceptional play from Peyton Manning the last four games. We’re not making that mistake twice. Bengals win 23-21

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns—1pm

There hasn’t been a more lopsided “rivalry” in the NFL of late than this one. The last time the Browns actually won a game against the Ravens, the year was 2007, and it was in the middle of November. Nearly five years have gone by; Joe Flacco’s never lost to the Browns; plain and simple, the Browns stink, especially when the purple and black team is on the other side of the field. Not much more to say here. Ravens win 36-17

Arizona Cardinals @ Green Bay Packers—1pm

Talk about two teams heading in completely opposite directions. At the beginning of the season, Green Bay certainly had their struggles, while the Cardinals were one of the three remaining unbeatens in the NFL. Since then, Green Bay has rattled off three straight wins, including a 42-24 stomping on the road in Houston, and the Cardinals have lost four in a row to fall back to .500. Trends continue in this one. Packers win 32-27

Chicago Bears @ Tennessee Titans—1pm

The Bears survived a scare at home against Carolina, while Tennessee let a lead slip away and eventually fell in overtime. When it comes to games outside of the division, Jay Cutler and the Bears offense is almost uncontainable. In their two road non-divisional games, they’ve gone off for 34 and 41 points in Dallas and Jacksonville respectively. For some reason, though, I’m trying to find a reason that they’ll drop this one. I don’t like road teams in Tennessee (see Pittsburgh). I’ll stick with the smart pick here. Bears win 28-16

Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts—1pm

Who thought that this would be a marquee matchup at this point in the year? Two teams with first-year head coaches and starting rookie quarterbacks. Forget what you thought. Both teams are 4-3 and thinking playoffs. Luck has already surpassed his predecessors rookie-season win total (4, to Manning’s 3), and he’s done it on a team that’s one of the youngest in the NFL. Miami’s veteran roster has provided Ryan Tannehill with  a great deal of support. I love the Colts at home; they’ve played some special games there, and I think that continues. Colts win 23-17

Carolina Panthers @ Washington Redskins—1pm

Cam and RGIII are sick of the comparisons. I see them, and think they fit, but there’s one big difference. RGIII is having a great deal more success running his system effectively, and his three wins are more than Newton had at this point in his rookie campaign (2); and to his credit, Robert Griffin should have four or five wins if it wasn’t for a defense that imploded at the end of a few games. Is it time to start thinking Cam’s a bust? Redskins win 28-9

Detroit Lions @ Jacksonville Jaguars—1pm

OK, so we have a team that’s terrible on the road (1-3) squaring off against a team that can’t win at home (0-3). Something’s going to have to give this week. This has the makings of one of those ugly 9-6 type games (see Chargers-Browns) that seem to happen about once or twice a year. Based on sheer talent, I’m going to go with the road team in this one. Not much analysis to do here. Lions win 13-6

Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans—1pm

Houston bounced back nicely following their bad loss at home against Green Bay—they dismantled the Ravens 43-13 prior to their bye. Buffalo also is coming off of their bye, but had an extra week to lick their wounds following a one point loss to the Titans. Looking at this week. You’ve got a defense, Buffalo, that’s giving up 430 yards and over 30 points per game. Houston is one of the most efficient offenses and extremely productive on the ground, which opens up that passing game. There’s only one way to slice this. Texans win 42-16

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Oakland Raiders—4:05pm

When I think Oakland Raiders, all’s that comes to mind is “not good.” Which for the most part is true. Think about this though. They’re 3-4 record could easily be 4-3, or even 5-2; they nearly got a win on the road in Atlanta, and lost in a one-score game on opening weekend to the Chargers. They’ve had some clunkers, but this team is right on the edge. They have a chance this weekend to put up some good offensive numbers against the Bucs. It’s going to come down to how many stops their defense can make against a slinging Josh Freeman. Raiders win 26-24

Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks—4:05pm

Seahawks at home are unstoppable. Plain and simple. It doesn’t matter who makes the trip out there, they’re doing so in vain. Nuff said. Seahawks win 26-20

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Giants—4:25pm

Super Bowl preview? Maybe. Important midseason matchup with huge playoff implications and absolutely worthy of the America’s game of the week timeslot? You bet. One poor decision, in my opinion, by Pittsburgh is going to be the difference in this one—but it’s not necessarily their fault. Due to the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy, the Steelers will be making a day trip to New York, playing their game, and then heading home afterwards. There’s no such thing as a “day-trip” from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to East Rutherford, New Jersey. Otherwise, I think the matchup is fairly balanced and will make for an excellent watch. Giants win 21-20

Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons—8:20pm

Having seen these Falcons in person, I have this to say: They’re impressive, but not jaw-dropping by any means. They are, however, the lone undefeated team standing in the National Football League. This week they go toe to toe with a Dallas team that showed incredible resilience last week, nearly pulling off a 20 point comeback against the Giants. I don’t like the Cowboys’ defense especially against a wideout tandem like Julio Jones and Roddy White.  But it really just boils down to my hate for Dallas, and I’d really prefer they lose in dramatic fashion on national TV. Falcons win 32-16


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I'm an editor for Associations Now, a magazine pubished by ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership. I live in Springfield, VA with my amazing wife, and am enjoying the ride that life is taking me on.


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