NFL Game Picks: Week 9
Another week in the NFL means that it’s time for another round of game picks. There have been some pretty major shake-ups in the National Football League since last Monday, including Cleveland firing both head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley, as well as a couple of major trades, such as Golden Tate to Philadelphia, as the 2018 trade deadline passes. Let’s move on to see how these events will shape what takes place in week nine.
Oakland Raiders (1-6) @ San Francisco 49ers (1-7)
The battle for the bay is also a battle between two of the worst teams in the NFL. Oddly enough, the result of this one may depend upon whether or not San Francisco quarterback C.J. Beathard is healthy. Beathard has been a serviceable replacement for Jimmy Garoppolo, but he’s currently listed as questionable. Regardless, this isn’t likely to be one of week nine’s prettier games.
The pick: San Francisco 22, Oakland 16.
Atlanta Falcons (3-4) @ Washington Redskins (5-2)
The Redskins finally have a little bit of breathing room in the NFC East, though it’s not much, and they’ll need to keep their foot on the gas to maintain that lead. That might be difficult to do against the visiting Falcons, which are coming off a bye week and, at 3-4, are hungry for wins before the NFC South gets out of hand. Definitely, one of the games to watch in week nine.
The pick: Atlanta 32, Washington 27.
Chicago Bears (4-3) @ Buffalo Bills (2-6)
After a bit of a slide, the Bears got back on a track with a week eight win over the visiting Jets, and they’ll now head to Buffalo for their fourth straight game against an AFC East team. They should be coming away with a road victory too; the Bills have struggled all year long, especially at the quarterback position. The Chicago defense could feast in Buffalo.
The pick: Chicago 33, Buffalo 10.
Kansas City Chiefs (7-1) @ Cleveland Browns (2-5-1)
This one really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Kansas City is still undefeated barring a three-point loss in New England, while Cleveland is in the process of inner turnover with last week’s firings of Hue Jackson and Todd Haley. Gregg Williams and Freddie Kitchens will take over their duties for now, but it’s unlikely that they’ll do enough to stop the potent Chiefs.
The pick: Kansas City 36, Cleveland 19.
Detroit Lions (3-4) @ Minnesota Vikings (4-3-1)
Here is another one of the better games of week nine. In general, these teams have gone back-and-forth over the past few years, and with both seeking to gain an edge in a crazy competitive NFC North, it should be no change from the norm. As such, this one could go either way. There haven’t been too many upsets as of late, so let’s go with the Lions to shake things up a bit.
The pick: Detroit 27, Minnesota 23.
New York Jets (3-5) @ Miami Dolphins (4-4)
This is a very run-of-the-mill AFC East matchup, though it’s worth noting that both teams are trying to snap two-game losing streaks. Overall, there isn’t much evidence pointing to which team should be the favorite, as both teams have had their ups and downs in 2018. Week two’s game in New York resulted in a Miami win, so let’s pick the Dolphins to take this one at home.
The pick: Miami 19, NY Jets 17.
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (4-4)
It may be time for Baltimore to start feeling worried. After a solid 3-1 start, the Ravens have slipped, and their rock-solid defense has let up 60 points over the past two weeks. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has been turning up the heat, riding a three-game win streak into Baltimore. Still, games between these two teams never fail to entertain. We should see a similar result on Sunday.
The pick: Pittsburgh 30, Baltimore 24.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) @ Carolina Panthers (5-2)
Between these two, Carolina has been the better team as of recent. But this one is not a gimme. Why? Fitzmagic is back. With Jameis Winston benched after a poor performance in Cincinnati, Ryan Fitzpatrick returns to action. It’s typical for Fitzmagic to last for about two or three weeks before running dry, so Tampa Bay snags a win over its divisional rival during that time period.
The pick: Tampa Bay 37, Carolina 29.
Houston Texans (5-3) @ Denver Broncos (3-5)
Winners of five straight, the Texans come into Mile High City as one of the hottest teams in football. Demaryius Thomas will play in Denver one last time, though it will be for the opposite team. With Will Fuller out for the year, Thomas marks a solid pickup that will allow this Texans offense to continue to thrive. Expect Houston to stay hot with a road win in Denver.
The pick: Houston 28, Denver 14.
Los Angeles Chargers (5-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (4-3)
There may be bigger games in week nine, but this one really ought to garner more attention. Both Los Angeles and Seattle are playing like playoff teams, especially the Seahawks, who have defied expectations with solid offensive line play, the establishment of a run game, and a killer defense despite key offseason losses. They’ll get a home win, though it won’t be an easy one.
The pick: Seattle 31, LA Chargers 28.
Los Angeles Rams (8-0) @ New Orleans Saints (6-1)
If not for a pair of guys named Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, there’s no doubt this would be the marquee game of week nine. Los Angeles is the NFL’s last undefeated team, and New Orleans continues to roll in the NFC. If there’s one game to watch in week nine it’s this one. Don’t miss it because there’s a good chance we’ll see it again a few months down the road.
The pick: LA Rams 33, New Orleans 32.
Green Bay Packers (3-3-1) @ New England Patriots (6-2)
Two of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks ever go head-to-head in primetime on Sunday night. You can’t get much more illustrious than that. It would have helped if Green Bay had come into this game with a better record, but with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, anything is possible. So which signal caller gets the last laugh on Sunday? Tune in to find out.
The pick: New England 22, Green Bay 20.
Tennessee Titans (3-4) @ Dallas Cowboys (3-4)
It’s a bit of a pity that a week filled with juicy matchups ends on a low note in Dallas on Monday night. Neither the Cowboys nor Titans have looked particularly convincing through eight weeks, though Dallas has a bit of an edge considering Tennessee hasn’t won a game since September. Expect that trend to continue as the Cowboys close the week with a home victory.
The pick: Dallas 24, Tennessee 13.
Byes: Cincinnati Bengals (5-3), Indianapolis Colts (3-5), New York Giants (1-7), Philadelphia Eagles (4-4), Arizona Cardinals (2-6), Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5)
DJ Bauer is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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