PFT’s Week Nine picks

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The good news last week?  MDS gained only one game on me.  The bad news?  MDS got only seven of the 14 games right.

Yep, that 12-1 performance from yours truly in Week Seven is now the chunk of filet between a moldy pair of 6-8 slices of counterfeit Wonder bread.

At one point, it was looking disastrous.  Thanks to the Giants, Broncos, and 49ers, a nauseating 3-8 start was salvaged.  Sort of.

This week, we again disagree on only one game.  And it all comes down to Monday night.

For the year, I’m now 73-45, and MDS is 69-49.

Chiefs at Chargers

MDS’s take: Matt Cassel is back as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback, and the result will be more or less the same as the first time Cassel started against the Chargers this year: He’ll throw multiple interceptions and the Chiefs will lose.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 27, Chiefs 13.

Florio’s take:  The Chargers already have beaten the Chiefs in Kansas City.  Then again, who hasn’t?  Norv Turner’s week-to-week employment lasts at least another week.

Florio’s pick:  Chargers 27, Chiefs 16.

Broncos at Bengals

MDS’s take: The Bengals’ defense has been a mess this season, and Peyton Manning is getting better every week. Manning will throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns and the Broncos will cruise.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 31, Bengals 17.

Florio’s take:  The schedule softens for a Denver team that looks to be much better than the one that made it to the final eight a year ago.  The Bengals, on the other hand, are starting a rough patch that will make a rough season even rougher.  Roughly speaking.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 31, Bengals 17.

Ravens at Browns

MDS’s take: I’m tempted to pick the upset here, as the Ravens have struggled to put teams away while the Browns have played competitive football even in defeat. But while the Browns will keep this one close, the Ravens will manage to hold them off.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 23, Browns 21.

Florio’s take:  Cleveland’s old team returns to town, nearly 17 years to the day after Cleveland’s old team declared its intention to leave.  The Browns will make it interesting, but the Ravens know they need to step it up now in order to hold off the Steelers, who are making their move and who face the Ravens twice in three weeks, starting later this month.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 20, Browns 14.

Cardinals at Packers

MDS’s take: This looks to me like the easiest pick on the board. Aaron Rodgers will have another big game, Clay Matthews will have a couple sacks, and the reeling Cardinals will lose their fifth straight.

MDS’s pick: Packers 31, Cardinals 12.

Florio’s take:  After nearly losing to the Jags, the Packers will be on guard for a Cardinals team that hits the road on a short week after a Monday night mess.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 35, Cardinals 20.

Bills at Texans

MDS’s take: Speaking of easy games to pick, there’s no way the Bills’ defense slows down Matt Schaub, Arian Foster and Co. I do think C.J. Spiller could have a big game against the Texans’ run defense, but the Bills’ offense won’t be able to keep up the scoring pace.

MDS’s pick: Texans 35, Bills 21.

Florio’s take:  $100 million can buy a lot of Super Bowl rings.  That may be the only way Mario Williams ever gets one.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 30, Bills 17.

Dolphins at Colts

MDS’s take: If the playoffs started today, these two teams would earn the two AFC wild card berths. Who saw that coming before the season? I look for the Dolphins to take a big step toward the playoffs with a big win in Indianapolis, and I expect a lot of people to be talking about Joe Philbin as a coach of the year candidate after his team gets its biggest win of the season.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 27, Colts 14.

Florio’s take:  A pair of top-ten quarterbacks have winning records through eight weeks, and neither has a III at the end of his name.  Despite III wins in a row, the Dolphins remain underrated.  Will they still be if they’re VIII-III when hosting the Pats?

Florio’s pick:  Dolphins 23, Colts 20.

Lions at Jaguars

MDS’s take: The Lions’ m.o. is the same every week: Start slowly and get better as the game goes on. Some games, like last week against the Seahawks, that results in a last-minute come-from-behind win. Other games, like two weeks ago against the Bears, that results in a last-minute touchdown followed by a failed onside kick and a loss. So which will it be this week? I’m betting neither. The Lions have finally found an opponent they can beat from pillar to post and will win easily in Jacksonville.

MDS’s pick: Lions 27, Jaguars 10.

Florio’s take:  With the Jaguars outscored 95-20 at home at home this season and the Lions beginning to show some signs of life, this is precisely the kind of game that Jacksonville should win.  I’ll take my chances.

Florio’s pick:  Lions 28, Jaguars 17.

Bears at Titans

MDS’s take: The Bears’ defense will make life miserable for Matt Hasselbeck and hold Chris Johnson to less than 20 yards. Chicago wins this big.

MDS’s pick: Bears 27, Titans 13.

Florio’s take:  It’s tempting to take the Titans, who have played well lately.  Especially since the Bears were sluggish at best against the Panthers.  But a good team finds a way to win games it seems to be trying to lose.  On Sunday, the Bears will be less complacent.

Florio’s pick:  Bears 27, Titans 17.

Panthers at Redskins

MDS’s take: In a game with all eyes on Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III, I like Redskins running back Alfred Morris to steal the show with a big game against a suspect Panthers run defense.

MDS’s pick: Redskins 24, Panthers 14.

Florio’s take:  The quarterbacks should put their respective Heisman Trophies on the line for this one.  If they do, Robert Griffin III will have bookends.

Florio’s pick:  Redskins 33, Panthers 23.

Buccaneers at Raiders

MDS’s take: The Raiders are actually playing some surprisingly good football lately, to the point where I wouldn’t rule out a run at an AFC playoff spot. Carson Palmer will put a lot of points on the board as the Raiders win their third straight game.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 34, Buccaneers 20.

Florio’s take:  This rematch of Super Bowl XXXVII will turn out a little bit better for the Silver and Black, which surprisingly remain in striking distance for a playoff berth.

Florio’s pick:  Raiders 27, Buccaneers 20.

Vikings at Seahawks

MDS’s take: Both the Vikings and the Seahawks are coming off disappointing Week Eight performances, but I have a lot more faith in Seattle’s ability to turn things around at home.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 23, Vikings 16.

Florio’s take:  The Vikings were exposed last week against the Bucs, and offensive coordinator Bill Mugrave could be exposed to unemployment if he doesn’t get the team back on track.  Good luck with that in Seattle, against that defense.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 20, Vikings 9.

Steelers at Giants

MDS’s take: The Steelers have played well at home and badly on the road this season, and that will continue against the Giants, who will win their fifth in a row.

MDS’s pick: Giants 28, Steelers 17.

Florio’s take:  It’s a simple formula in New York.  Play great against great teams.  Play not-so-great against not-so-great teams.  The Steelers currently fall closer to the former category.

Florio’s pick:  Giants 35, Steelers 27.

Cowboys at Falcons

MDS’s take: Despite the Falcons’ 7-0 record and the Cowboys’ 3-4 record, I see this as a close game.  The Cowboys are playing competitive football and the Falcons have had a tendency to let weaker teams hang around. But the end result will be something we’ve already seen a couple times this season.  Dallas failing to pull it out in the end.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 24, Cowboys 21.

Florio’s take:  If the Cowboys spot the Falcons 23 points, the Falcons won’t let them back into it.  And with their only non-flex visit to Sunday Night Football, the Falcons aren’t about to stumble against an inferior team.

Florio’s pick:  Falcons 31, Cowboys 20.

Eagles at Saints

MDS’s take: The Saints have probably already run out of chances to turn their season around, and the Eagles are rapidly running out of chances, too. But the Saints’ defense is so weak that Michael Vick can’t help but have a better game on Monday night, and the Eagles will win in New Orleans.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 31, Saints 21.

Florio’s take:  For a team that may not be making it to the playoffs, delivering a knockout punch to the Eagles on national TV in the Superdome could be the next best thing.  Maybe a certain T-shirt will be making another appearance; at least ESPN isn’t regulated by the FCC.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 27, Eagles 24.

42 responses to “PFT’s Week Nine picks

  1. I know we Dolfans get defensive when you pick against us, but now that you’re on the bandwagon it makes me very uneasy.

  2. The Ravens really need to win big both this weekend and next weekend since both opponents are significantly weaker. Plus, they need to get a couple good wins under their belt once the real meat of their schedule kicks in (2 games vs Pittsburgh, a trip to San Diego, and Denver and the NY Giants coming to Baltimore).

  3. Bucs over Raiders. No doubt in my mind. Have we forgotten how well the Bucs O has played recently?

    Also in the Pit/G-Men game: watch Ben’s porous O-line get demolished by this front 7 of the Giants. This could be the annual “Oh crap, Ben just got hurt, but won’t tell anybody he’s hurt, but you can tell he’s hurt, but if he keeps winning we’ll say he’s amazing playing hurt, but if they keep losing we can say it’s only because he’s hurt” game.

  4. Great pics this week but I have to disagree on 2 of them.
    I think the Cowboys step it up and win a close one against the Falcons

    I think the Bucs have it together and are ready to start a run after winning in Minn. – I think they beat the Raiders in a close game

    As for Monday night – You never know with the ‘aints and the Eagles are a mess, but I think Vick steps it up and puts a “W” on the board

    Enjoy the games !!!

  5. Another step in the right direction for the Lions this weekend. For a team that everyone wrote off, when this offense is clicking they can be scary.

  6. I have no problem regarding your comment “that the Vikings were exposed” but why do I not hear all the “experts” talk about these teams that “have been exposed” like the Lions, Eagles, Cowboys, Redskins, Saints, Panthers who all the experts talk about each and everyday and how they can still turn things around. Good Luck with that.

  7. Even with an O-line being held together with elmer’s glue and masking tape & a suspect set of corners, the Bucs new found offensive attack will be able to put up more points than the Raiders can. Bucs 35-27.

  8. Cp3 and the raiders will pick apart the bucs D as the raiders front 7 will shut doug martin down. Big win for raiders. Raiders have alot of experience against VJ. Dont expect him to bail you out.

  9. Honestly, I dont know how I feel about the Raiders beating the Bucaneers; I’d rather be the under dog, this game will tell us if the raiders are real. although the bucs have two missing pro bowl guards AND their starting corner is missing. I still wont just assume we’ll win.

  10. In previous years, PFT picking the Dolphins most likely meant we were about to get shut out… this year feels different. I have been excited to see the rookie QB’s go head to head all year. And if Tannehill isn’t ready Sunday, I still really like our chances with Matt Moore behind center. He is definitely a starter on half the other teams in the league and we are lucky to have him.

  11. Poor new york first a flood now they have to deal with hurricane roethlisberger and that high powered offense coming to town!

  12. Every packer fan thinks they’re gonna win the super bowl. Try getting out of the first round this season.

  13. Monday is an Eagles win. Here is why: a loss has to be a benching of Vick, right? A benching probably leads to a .500 record at best and missing the playoffs. Missing the playoffs means Reid is fired.
    But a win means teetering on .500 all year and just barely missing the playoffs, or maybe sneaking in and losing in the first round. Then Reid comes back, and we suffer through it all over again next year.
    This seems like our destiny as fans to watch the same mediocrity and the same mistakes in playcalling and clock management.

  14. For those questioning the pick of the Raiders over the Bucs, as a Bucs fan I can easily see why they would make that pick.
    We just lost Carl Nicks for the season (that’s both Pro Bowl calibre OGs gone) so the run game could take a massive hit along with the pass protection
    Our already useless defensive backfield got even worse with the loss of our other starting corner (both Talib and Wright) to pill popping.
    The Bucs tradition all don’t play all that well on trips to the West coast (although we did beat the Raiders in a Super Bowl over there).

    I’m not saying the Bucs have no shot but picking the Raiders to win is not shocking.

  15. “Despite III wins in a row, the Dolphins remain underrated. ”

    Uhhh, isn’t this the first week you’ve picked them to win?

    You make it sound like you’ve been trumpeting them all season and now people are finally beginning to listen to you.

  16. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Bucs, Vikings and Titans all won this week. This could easily be another week of mass upsets… parity gets you by surprise sometimes.

  17. Vikings will beat Seattle….Seahawks don’t have a passing game at all – ranked 31st. All Vikings have to do is stop Lynch and they will win.

    Also, Seattle’s Defense is not as good as people think. Seattle CANNOT for the life of them stop the short over the middle pass. That is all Lions did last week and Seattle COULDN’T STOP it.

  18. the vikings had a bad night it happens that does not mean that the vikings were a fraud they can beat the seahawks if the lions can and I can see us getting at least 2 more wins before there bye seahawks sunday and lions following sunday at home

  19. I always say you guys don’t give enough credit to the Browns defense, and every week they do better than you guys think they are.

    It’s insane of you guys to underrate their defense every week this year, when not once have they allowed as many points as you say they will.

    The Bucs, Jags, and Browns will all win. Just watch before you give me a thumbs down.

  20. jprcox says:
    Nov 1, 2012 3:06 PM
    Vikings will beat Seattle….Seahawks don’t have a passing game at all – ranked 31st. All Vikings have to do is stop Lynch and they will win.

    Also, Seattle’s Defense is not as good as people think. Seattle CANNOT for the life of them stop the short over the middle pass. That is all Lions did last week and Seattle COULDN’T STOP it.
    Seattle’s defensive backs have been holding a lot this season, and have pretty much gotten away with it in all of their home games this year. There have been a lot of complaints about that so far… and I expect that to continue this weekend.

    Really, Seattle only deserves about two of their wins thus far.

  21. zn0rseman: If Seattle backs have been holding and not being called for it, maybe they are doing just enough per rules – which is a good thing.

    It doesn’t matter, I think teams have found the weakness of Seattle’s backfield – as our larger DBs do well on the sides but over the middle (short) is a simple play Seattle CANNOT stop. You would have to see the games to realize how badly the problem is. NE started it, SF perfected it, and now the Lions basicly ONLY passed there on Seattle.

    The fact us fans can see it and the coaching hasn’t fixed the problem says to me it CAN’T be fixed with the large DBs. If I was the Vikings I would just pass over the middle all day long until they show it can be stopped, and then go to the sidelines to mix up. A win for Viking for sure.

  22. i guess we will see.great backs on both sides,but hawks defense at home can be overwhelming and hard to move the ball against,but we gotta fix that short pass over the middle,the lions tore us up with that,hopefully coaching staff figured it out over the last few day

  23. thetokyosandblaster says:
    Nov 1, 2012 10:39 AM
    Oh no!

    “Vikings were exposed.”

    You just really upset 5 people and 9 sheep.

    9 upset sheep?

    9 less dates in Wisconsin

  24. 28for20 says:
    Nov 1, 2012 3:13 PM
    Cards will thrash the cheeseheads!

    If they do, it will only be because the Green Blame Packers beat themselves.

    Or the refs did it.

    or both.

    (point is – Rodgers can do no wrong. It’s never HIS fault)

  25. “…ESPN is not regulated by the FCC…” Are you that uneducated? Do you even know what the FCC is? I’m surprised you can even spell FCC.

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