Site Editor Matt Loede’s NFL Picks for Week 9

Jacobs looks to score

NFL Week 9 is upon us. Last week was an even week, going 7-7, and bringing my season mark against the numbers to 56-57. Here is our picks for week nine around the NFL:

Houston at Minnesota (-4.5)

A tough game to call. The Vikings are coming off a bye, and the Texans have really impressed me in winning three in a row after an 0-4 start. Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson is the best QB to WR combo in the league right now, and the Texans offense is hitting on all accounts. Gus Frerotte has played well enough at QB to keep the job in Minnesota and it’s time for the Vikings D to start to step up. I like the Vikings at home to pull off a close win, so I will take Minnesota, but not give the points. Minnesota 17 Houston 14

Jackonsville (-7.5) at Cincinnati

Man are the Bengals bad. Last week they were never in the game down in Houston, and with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the QB spot, the team is putting up just over 10 points per game. Now they run into a not so happy Jags team that is back under .500 after their home loss to the Browns last week. The Jags have had O-line issues all season, which is why they have had issues running. This week they will run, and likely be able to run over the Bengals in getting back to .500. Jacksonville 27 Cincinnati 7

Tampa Bay (-8.5) at Kansas City

I was impressed with how the Chiefs hung in with the Jets a week ago, as Tyler Thigpen did a nice job at the QB spot for them. This week may not be as easy, as the Bucs come to Arrowhead upset over a loss in Dallas. Look for the running game of the Bucs to have a big day vs the poor Chiefs run D. Jeff Garcia should not have to throw too much, and most of his day should be putting the ball into the gut of Earnest Graham and Warrick Dunn. Tampa Bay wins this one going away. Tampa Bay 31 Kansas City 15

Baltimore at Cleveland (-1.5)

Another tough game to call, as the Browns have started to play much better ball, winning three of their last four, including a big road win in Jacksonville last week. As for the Ravens, they have found their stride again, winning two in a row and getting that defense back to it’s form from the first few weeks of the season. The Ravens are a good team that can do it on both sides of the ball, but with revenge on their minds, the Browns offense is able to hit some big plays and get out of this game at .500. Cleveland 20 Baltimore 16

New York Jets at Buffalo (-5.5)

While the Jets have equaled their win total from a season ago, there are rumblings about the issues with Brett Favre and his recent trend of throwing bad INT’s, including last weeks couple vs the Chiefs, one of which went a long way the other way for a score. Buffalo was beaten by the Dolphins on the road, but seem to play with a lot more fire and toughness at home. The Bills strike early, get some big plays, and get out of this AFC East battle with a win. Buffalo 24 NY Jets 14

Arizona (-3) at St.Louis

A rare sellout at the Edward Jones Dome awaits the Cards this Sunday, as the Rams suddenly have some momentum after two wins and a close loss to the Pats. I keep going back and forth on this one, but in the end I think I like the Rams at home, as the Cards on the road are just not very good, as shown last week when they were up 17-3 vs the Panthers and were not able to hang on. The Rams are a different team, and at home I think they pull off a big win. St.Louis 27 Arizona 24

Detroit at Chicago (-12.5)

The Lions have played better as of late, but I think on the road vs a team they were pounded by a few weeks back they will be no match for the Bears. Chicago had a week to check out some things on the bye, and they should be well rested for a Lions team that was beaten at home last week by the Redskins. Chicago will be able to run and pass on the Lions like everyone, and should have an easy Sunday at home. Chicago 34 Detroit 17

Green Bay at Tennessee (-5.5)

The Titans on a short week are back at home for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Tennessee has been able to run on just about everyone, and I think that will once again be their formula for a win here. The defense will do it’s usual job at home making a play of two, and the Titans will have enough to hold off the Packers and get another win to move to 8-0 on the season. Tennessee 17 Green Bay 10

Miami at Denver (-3)

Jay Cutler says his finger is okay, and he should be able to get back on the field after a bad game two weeks ago vs the Pats. The Fins are having a fine season under new coach Tony Sparano, and last week again beat a good team in topping the Bills at home. Miami will look to run on the Broncos, and they should have success and then be able to use Chad Pennington with some play action. Miami is playing decent football, and I think on the road they score the upset. Miami 28 Denver 27

Atlanta (-3) at Oakland

The young Falcons travel to scary Oakland, where you know the fans will be more than ready for Halloween weekend. The Raiders have played poorly in all but one game since Tom Cable took over, and even the game they won they really didn’t play all that great. The Falcons have to get back to running the ball, as they have struggled in that area the last two weeks. Look for Matt Ryan and the Falcons to have some trouble in a tough spot, but they should be able to get by. Barley. Atlanta 20 Oakland 14

Dallas at New York Giants (-8.5)

The Cowboys look like a wreck right now even with the win last week, and it looks like a trip to the Meadowlands is not going to make it any better. Jason Witten is banged up, and Brad Johnson can’t get the ball to playmakers Terrell Owens and Roy Williams other than a fade route in the end zone here and there. The Giants just keep winning, and their defense should be able to take advantage of the Cowboys injuries and weak spots. New York Giants 30 Dallas 14

Philadelphia (-6.5) at Seattle

The Hawks scored a surprising win last week vs the 49’ers, but it won’t be so easy, even at home this week vs the Eagles. Seneca Wallace will get the start again for the Hawks, and while they have not been very good this year with just two wins, he will give them a better chance at scoring than Charlie Frye did a few weeks back. Philly comes off a win vs the Falcons, and will look to keep up with the Giants and Skins in the strong NFC East. Look for Brian Westbrook to have a good game, and for the Eagles D to cash in on some plays and score a win out west. Philadelphia 23 Seattle 14

New England at Indianapolis (-6)

What in years past was a great matchup between two of the AFC’s best is now not nearly as hyped as it’s been in the years past. Both teams have their flaws, with the Colts just trying to stay afloat to try and make a run at the playoffs with them four games back of the Titans in the AFC South. We’ll see if the Pats can continue playing well as they have found their stride the last two weeks vs Denver and St.Louis with wins. I like what Matt Cassel has done for this team the past two weeks, and I think with the Colts reeling, the Pats score a big road win. New England 31 Indianapolis 27

Monday Night:

Pittsburgh at Washington (-2)

A great battle between the Redskins, who will look to run and pound the Steelers, vs the number one defense in the league. The Steelers did a good job till the fourth quarter hanging with the Champion Giants, then their O-line fell apart and they lost 21-14. Washington won in Detroit, and have won games the past two weeks after their upset loss at home to the Rams. I like the matchups overall for the Steelers, and think they will be able to confuse Jason Campbell and hold Clinton Portis in check enough to score 24 and get out of the Nation’s Capital with a win. Pittsburgh 24 Washington 17

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