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2015 NFL Week 9 Picks


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Posted (edited)

For years, the NFL has prided itself on parity. This year, there's a gap between the elite and the rest of the league, and this is most pronounced in the AFC. Three of the remaining undefeated teams are a combined 21-0, while the rest of the conference is a godawful 36-62. Yep, there's no middle class. We shouldn't be surprised even if one of the unbeaten teams finish 14-2 or 13-3 and fail to make a first round bye in the playoffs. :roll:



Game of the Week

Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers (+2.5)
The Panthers are smoking hot, having won 11 games in a row. However, they will be facing an angry Packers team, spitting mad after that unceremonious butt-kicking in Denver last Sunday. Plus the last time QB Rodgers lost two games in a row was 5 years ago. Then again, the Panthers' defense is legitimate, spearheaded by that tackling machine known as Keuchly, entirely capable of slowing down the Packers' offense. But the Packers' Achilles heel is their defense, having rolled to the tune of 500 yards twice in the last few weeks.

Green Bay by 3

Thursday Game of the Week

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals (-10.5)
Always a physical matchup between these two, but the Bengals are by far the superior team in every category. Despite stumbling a bit last week against the Steelers, the Bengals remained poised long enough to snatch victory from the jaws of Bungling Defeat.  And now here comes the easy stretch of their season, with cupcakes from Cleveland and Houston, before the Bengals travel to Arizona.
Cincinnati by 7

Rest of the Week

St. Louis Rams @ Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)
Both teams are evenly matched: both boast similar ranked defenses (7th and 7th), both have great running backs in Peterson and Gurley. However, the Vikings have the superior QB in Bridgewater.
Minnesota by 3


Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5)
Even though the Raiders seem to be emerging as a legitimate force, they have yet to find consistency. As for the Steelers, they're still reeling from the loss of all-pro RB Le'Veon Bell, and QB Rothlisberger remains rusty after being 5 weeks on the shelf. Expect an old fashioned no-holds barred shootout straight out of the classic AFL.

Pittsburgh by 3


Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts (+3.5)
Do you think QB Manning has this game circled on his calendar, still stewing over that loss in the divisional playoffs last January? Luckily for Manning, Luck is playing far worse than him,  throwing interceptions like they were going out of style. Since the Colts have the most offensive holding penalties, and they're facing the most ferocious pass rush in the league, it won't be close.
Denver by 10



Lame of the Week
 

Washington Ethnic Slurs @ New England Patriots (-14.5)
Fun Fact. The last time they faced one another, the Patriots won 52-7 and finished the year undefeated. Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. :deal:
New England by 11

Tennessee Titans @ New Orleans Saints (-8.5)
The Saints lucked into playing teams in full meltdown mode in recent weeks. First Colts, now the hapless Titans, trying to adapt to a new head coach in Mularkey. Even though QB Mariota is expected to suit up, it will not make a difference, because the Saints' confidence is sky-high after three straight wins, having found out who they are. At least on offense.
New Orleans by 10

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills (-2.5)
The Bills utterly demolished the Dolphins earlier this season, but the Dolphins have upgraded their head coach for the rematch. And they'll exploit the quarterback-less Bills without a shred of mercy, as long they let RB Lamar Miller run.
Miami by 4

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets (NL)
The Jets' top quarterbacks are nicked up, and that might force them to go with a rookie in Bruce Petty. Uh. Oh. Luckily they have a fantastic defense that won't let the Jaguars do much of anything.

New York by 3



New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1.5)
The Giants' defense was godawful against the Saints. They rolled over and played dead to the tune of 614 yards. Whereas, the Buccaneers have engineered a clutch victory over the Falcons, thanks to their top rookie, LB Alexander. Then again, the Giants are the best, most consistently inconsistent team of all time.

New York by 1
 


Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco 40 Whiners (+4.5)
The Comedy in Santa Clara continues. They've benched QB Kaepernick for one of the worst quarterbacks in recent history, Gabbert. Even though the Falcons are starting their annual choke a couple of months early, having blown two of the last three games, this pick is easy. As long QB Ryan stops turning the ball over. :slap:
Atlanta by 3

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys (-2.5)
The Eagles are coming off a bye, meaning Coach Kelly spent the last 14 days working on a scheme not even the mediocre QB Bradford can screw up. Btw. Despite not having played since Week 2, QB Tony Romo still leads the team in touchdown passes. And that should be all she wrote. Right?  :scratch: 
Eagles by 6

Shame of the Week

Chicago Bears @ San Diego Chargers (-3.5)
No RB Forte? No WR Allen?  :boring: 
San Diego by 3
 

Last Week: 10-4

Season to Date: 81-34

Edited by The Heretic
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Posted

Tennessee Titans @ New Orleans Saints (-8.5)
The Saints lucked into playing teams in full meltdown mode in recent weeks. First Colts, now the hapless Titans, trying to adapt to a new head coach in Mularkey. Even though QB Mariota is expected to suit up, it will not make a difference, because the Saints' confidence is sky-high after three straight wins, having found out who they are. At least on offense.
New Orleans by 10

This is the kind of game that most worries Saints fans. Well, at least if Mariota starts. Since New Orleans will win this game (simply because the really should), I'll just note that Ellerbe seems to be a real difference maker for the defense. Yeah, that's right, he didn't play against the Giants this past Sunday, and I think that made quite a bit of difference. Not that it matters, because the Saints won and that's all that ever matters. I'm just saying look for Ellerbe's status week to week as the season goes forward.

 

Okay, I'm gonna pull out a few contrarian picks this week.

Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers (+2.5)
The Panthers are smoking hot, having won 11 games in a row. However, they will be facing an angry Packers team, spitting mad after that unceremonious butt-kicking in Denver last Sunday. Plus the last time QB Rodgers lost two games in a row was 5 years ago. Then again, the Panthers' defense is legitimate, spearheaded by that tackling machine known as Keuchly, entirely capable of slowing down the Packers' offense. But the Packers' Achilles heel is their defense, having rolled to the tune of 500 yards twice in the last few weeks.Green Bay by 3

I'm going to agree with everything you say and still have a contrarian pick. That's because "the Packers' Achilles heel" is strained enough to give the wretched Carolina offense a chance, and that chance will ensure that Carolina wins. But that is only if Cam Newton continues to manage to somehow NOT get himself hurt. The man is a beast; too bad his passing accuracy has never gotten better, because, if it did, he alone could make this team as nearly unbeatable as an NFL team can be.

 

Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5)
Even though the Raiders seem to be emerging as a legitimate force, they have yet to find consistency. As for the Steelers, they're still reeling from the loss of all-pro RB Le'Veon Bell, and QB Rothlisberger remains rusty after being 5 weeks on the shelf. Expect an old fashioned no-holds barred shootout straight out of the classic AFL.Pittsburgh by 3

As great as Bell is, the fact is that Williams is no slouch. He showed as much against the Patriots. Oakland wins because this is where and when they take that step towards demonstrating some consistency.

New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1.5)
The Giants' defense was godawful against the Saints. They rolled over and played dead to the tune of 614 yards. Whereas, the Buccaneers have engineered a clutch victory over the Falcons, thanks to their top rookie, LB Alexander. Then again, the Giants are the best, most consistently inconsistent team of all time.New York by 1

Kwan Alexander was good at LSU, but he wasn't as good as he's been so far this year. I have the feeling that Tampa Bay is better than they seem to be. Maybe they aren't playing up to that potential I attribute to them because their rookie QB is still somewhat lost. Still, Tampa Bay wins because Winston finds his receivers (barely) often enough and because the Bucs will run the ball pretty well.

 

Additional thoughts:

 

Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco 40 Whiners (+4.5)
The Comedy in Santa Clara continues. They've benched QB Kaepernick for one of the worst quarterbacks in recent history, Gabbert. Even though the Falcons are starting their annual choke a couple of months early, having blown two of the last three games, this pick is easy. As long QB Ryan stops turning the ball over. :slap:
Atlanta by 3

I think Atlanta will continue to fade. Their receiving corps looks better on paper than they do on the field. Fortunately for the Falcons, the 49ers are good at getting worse; the 49ers might be the worst team in the league.

 

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills (-2.5)
The Bills utterly demolished the Dolphins earlier this season, but the Dolphins have upgraded their head coach for the rematch. And they'll exploit the quarterback-less Bills without a shred of mercy, as long they let RB Lamar Miller run.
Miami by 4

If Buffalo had a QB, I'd likely be inclined to pick the Bills. As things stand, there is no reason why Miami should not pull away in this game.

 

Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts (+3.5)
Do you think QB Manning has this game circled on his calendar, still stewing over that loss in the divisional playoffs last January? Luckily for Manning, Luck is playing far worse than him,  throwing interceptions like they were going out of style. Since the Colts have the most offensive holding penalties, and they're facing the most ferocious pass rush in the league, it won't be close.
Denver by 10

So Luck hurt his shoulder; he reportedly also had some broken ribs. None of that explains Luck's play. It's more like he is perpetually concussed, because his brain and vision don't seem to be working. The solution? Fire the offensive coordinator. Right.

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Posted

This is the kind of game that most worries Saints fans. Well, at least if Mariota starts. Since New Orleans will win this game (simply because the really should), I'll just note that Ellerbe seems to be a real difference maker for the defense. Yeah, that's right, he didn't play against the Giants this past Sunday, and I think that made quite a bit of difference. Not that it matters, because the Saints won and that's all that ever matters. I'm just saying look for Ellerbe's status week to week as the season goes forward.

It's worth noting that Tennessee has the 5th ranked defense in terms of yds/game. The problem is with the Titans offense which is ranked 31st in yds/game.

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Posted

I'm also picking the Panthers and the Raiders this week. :yup:

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Don Banks from Sports Illustrated likes the Steelers and the Packers, as well as the Bills. :roll: But he's right on my heels with a picking record of 80-39. 

Mike Florio from ProFootballTalk likes the following teams: the Bills, Steelers, Packers, and the Cowboys. 

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