Welcome to Week 9 of the NFL season. Things are starting to solidify and it is showing in the pick ems series. I went a respectable 9-6 last week, and after the frustrating start to the season, I will gladly take it. That moves me to 70-52 on the season, with a desire to improve. This week presents a tough slate of close games, but after hours of research that will probably be useless, I feel somewhat confident. Is this confidence misplaced? Probably so. That will be Tuesday’s problem though as I have to look over the games and ask myself things like “Why would you pick the Colts to win when they are starting Sam Ehlinger?”. Yeah, hindsight is 20/20 as they say. Let’s get into this perplexing slate of Week 9 games and see if we can actually look like we know what we’re doing.
Philadelphia Eagles at Houston Texans
Winner: Philadelphia Eagles
Summary: The Eagles are absolutely rolling right now so I don’t feel the need to waste as much time building up the drama for this pick. The Eagles are good, the Texans are not. Let’s save the word count. Davis Mills throws for 200 yards and a touchdown, and Dameon Pierce has 75 yards rushing and a score as well. Jalen Hurts leads the way with 250 yards passing and 2 touchdowns, getting help from Miles Sanders to the tune of 100 total yards and a score in the wire-to-wire win to move the Eagles to 8-0.
Los Angeles Chargers at Atlanta Falcons
Winner: Los Angeles Chargers
Summary: This should be a closer game than most would expect as the Chargers have not looked as good as their roster projects. The Falcons surprisingly have a lead in the NFC South right now and they are going to fight hard to keep it. They will come up just short though as Justin Herbert leads a game-winning drive late. Herbert finishes with 300 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win, and Ekeler contributes with 125 total yards and 2 scores. Marcus Mariota, Tyler Allgaier, and Caleb Huntley all contribute a rushing score, but they come up just short as they leave the door open for a lead in the NFC South and fall to 4-5.
Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears
Winner: Miami Dolphins
Summary: The Bears’ offense has looked better the last few weeks, but are they ready to hang with the high-flying Dolphins’ offense? In short, no. They still lack ball security and a good game plan and that will be the things that slow them down against the fluid Miami offense. They also don’t have enough secondary stardom to deal with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, which is a pretty big deal if you haven’t realized. Tua throws for 350 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Waddle and Hill each secure one of them. Justin Fields looks alright with 200 yards and a touchdown, while Khalil Herbert takes the other one in, but it won’t be enough as they drop to 3-6.
Carolina Panthers at Cincinnati Bengals
Winner: Cincinnati Bengals
Summary: The Bengals clearly weren’t ready for Cleveland on Monday when they got trounced in a key divisional matchup. They’ll need a bounce-back game to get them on their feet here. Oh, and look who it is! A pretty putrid Panthers team. This is the opportunity that they need to take advantage of, and I think they will do just that. Joe Burrow looks better with 250 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Mixon runs in the other. D’Onta Foreman scores the lone touchdown for the Panthers in another tough loss as they fall to 2-7.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
Winner: Green Bay Packers
Summary: The Packers are in free fall. They have not been a good football team all season and are quickly losing ground in the NFC North. Cue the Lions. The Packers have made it a habit to own the Lions since pretty much the dawn of time, and they need a matchup with them now more than ever. The Lions are feisty though and likely won’t go down easily. We finally see a good Aaron Rodgers performance as he throws for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Aaron Jones rumbles for 100 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Jared Goff throws for 250 yards and a touchdown, while both Swift and Williams also find the end zone. It won’t be enough though as the Packers hold off the Lions and get a much-needed win.
Las Vegas Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars
Winner: Las Vegas Raiders
Summary: The Jaguars actually got my hopes up at the beginning of the season, but they have done nothing but take my confidence in them and beat it senselessly since then. I refuse to pick them up again because of it. The Raiders aren’t good either though, and they are coming off a pretty ridiculous loss that only makes Josh McDaniels look like even more of a joke. Will this be the game where he can finally ignite a fire in his team? He better hope so. Derek Carr bounces back with 200 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Josh Jacobs has 150 total yards and 2 scores of his own. Trevor Lawrence throws for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns in the loss, while Travis Etienne runs for 100 yards and a score. This game ultimately goes to overtime, where Daniel Carlson delivers to move the Raiders to 3-5.
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
Winner: New England Patriots
Summary: This game will probably be a boring game. I don’t really know how to sugarcoat it. No one really wants to watch the battle of Sam Ehlinger and Mac Jones with the rest of the other games going on. The Colts are another team that has given me trust issues after I picked them to be the top seed in the AFC at the beginning of the year. Is me picking them to lose here a result of revenge? That is for you to decide. All I know is that Bill Belicheck will likely give Sam Ehlinger a warm welcome to Foxborough with his defensive game plan. Mac Jones throws for 200 yards and a touchdown, while Rhamondre Stevenson takes on another heavy workload and rewards the Pats with 100 total yards and a touchdown. Sam Ehlinger throws for 150 yards and a touchdown with multiple turnovers, while Jonathan Taylor’s 100 yards and a touchdown falls short of the win as the Colts fall to 3-5-1.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
Winner: Buffalo Bills
Summary: I finally got on the Jets bandwagon last week and picked them to beat the Patriots and Zach Wilson rewarded me with the biggest letdown since his ex-girlfriend started dating his best friend. The Bills are the league’s best team in my opinion, and Wilson will probably struggle again this week as a result. Josh Allen carves up the Jets for 350 yards and 4 total touchdowns, while James Cook scores on the ground. Zach Wilson limps his way to 250 yards and a touchdown with multiple turnovers, and Michael Carter and James Robinson each score in the losing effort. The Bills keep rolling and move to 7-1.
Minnesota Vikings at Washington Commanders
Winner: Minnesota Vikings
Summary: The Vikings are a pretty slept-on team to start the year, but they have been quite impressive under the radar. The Commanders have been, well uh, they have been about as mediocre as we would have come to expect. Despite coming off of a win, the Commanders don’t have the same firepower as the Vikings and it will probably show. Kirk Cousins throws for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns, Justin Jefferson catches 2 of them, and newly acquired TJ Hockenson catches the other. Taylor Heinicke throws for 250 yards and 2 scores, but the Commanders come up short and fall to 4-5 in the very tough NFC East.
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Winner: Seattle Seahawks
Summary: This should be a hard-fought divisional matchup between two teams trying to stay competitive in the close NFC West. The Seahawks won this matchup a few weeks ago by holding the Cardinals to single digits, and the Cardinals should probably feel a little silly about that. The Seahawks clearly know how to slow down the Cardinals’ offense, but the additional 14 points they score will be from a player that wasn’t on the field the last time they played. Kyler Murray throws for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns, while DeAndre Hopkins has 100 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air. Geno Smith has 250 yards and a touchdown, while Kenneth Walker accounts for 125 yards and a score. This game goes down to the last second of regulation before the Seahawks are able to win this on a game-winning field goal to move to an impressive 6-3.
Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Summary: This looked like it would be a close matchup when the season schedule was dropped. That was for a different reason though, as we thought both of these teams would be good. They are both not. It is now the closest game of the week for me to call and it is probably going to be a mediocre game on top of it. Neither of these teams looks impressive, nor do they have any trends that suggest that they are unlucky or on the brink of breaking through honestly. They both look stagnant on offense and neither can come up with clutch stops on defense. Matthew Stafford throws for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Cooper Kupp has 100 yards and a score. Tom Brady throws for a very similar stat line of around 250 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Leonard Fournette rumbles on the ground for 100 yards and a score. That will be the difference maker as the Bucs march down the field in overtime and kick a game-winning field goal to move to 4-5.
Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs
Winner: Kansas City Chiefs
Summary: The Titans have got to be the weirdest team in the league this season because they come into this game with the same record as the Chiefs but they aren’t in the same tier as them. They look like a mediocre team with a lack of passing game, but they find ways to win. I think they won’t be able to find a way here though, as Mahomes is not going to let that slide in Arrowhead on Sunday night. Mahomes throws for 400 yards and 3 touchdowns, finding Kelce for over 100 yards and a score. We don’t know who will start for the Titans at QB at this time, but I’ll assume that it is Tannehill as he throws for 200 yards and a touchdown. Derrick Henry does what he can with 125 yards and a score, but the Titans never sniff the lead as they fall to 5-3.
Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints
Winner: Baltimore Ravens
Summary: The Saints got exactly what they needed last week against the Raiders when they went out and blanked head coach Dennis Allen’s former team. That was the first time it felt like we saw the team that the Saints could be. This will be a tough matchup though as the Saints famously struggle against running quarterbacks. This should be a gritty matchup regardless, but I think the Ravens will hold on in the end. Lamar Jackson throws for 250 yards, and runs for 75 more, accounting for 3 total touchdowns. Andy Dalton throws for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns, finding Chris Olave for 100 yards and a score. Alvin Kamara continues his strong play with 100 total yards and a score but the Saints fall just short here and sink to 3-6 but still surprisingly in play in the horrid NFC South.