Week 9 NFL Picks

Found out about server issues Sunday night, so re-posting my picks after the games because why not?

[This Posted Friday 11/3 and then at some point on Saturday disappeared and was lost. Thus, I am posting the rough draft typed up in Microsoft Word that is not edited. I also apologize if you needed my help to lose money. If you think I’m lying, please think about how pathetic I’d have to be to post all this stuff AFTER the games took place. I am pathetic, but that’s too far.]

Last Week:   5 – 9 – 2
Season:       54 – 61 – 7

Thursday (8:20PM ET)

Titans 16 at Steelers 20
Another dreadful win for Pittsburgh. I understand those don’t exist. A win is a win, but no one wins as ugly as the Steelers. George Pickens not getting a second foot down on that negated touchdown is inexcusable. He’s immensely talented but he’s always upset about something. For him to fail on such an easy play has to make coaches and teammates claw their eyes out. On a positive note, the Steelers finally let Joey Porter Jr. start and he delivered. The 2023 draft could be an all-timer for corners even if Emmanuel Forbes is a bust.

Early, Early Game (9:30AM ET)

Dolphins at Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes is finally getting the full Andy Reid experience. Outside of an elite tight end, Mahomes has no real outside threat. When Mahomes is hurting or sick and all logic points to running the ball, Reid throws it 38 times. At no time before the final minutes was Kansas City out of that game. There was absolutely no excuse for Reid not to run the football. Isiah Pacheco is built for those grind it out games. Pacheco finished with only eight rushes. Reid did this to Donovan McNabb until he finally caved in 2004. Mahomes began his career with Tyreek Hill and is now trending toward his version of the Todd Pinkson/James Thrash era. Mahomes is in the prime of his career. Get that man some talent. I’m taking the Chiefs here. Not because I want to, but because I need to see Miami beat a good team before I pick them against a contender. CHIEFS -2

Early Games (1:00PM ET)

Vikings at Falcons
I can’t stand the tanking talk anymore. It’s one thing to tank in basketball where drafting a sure-thing generational talent like LeBron James, Tim Duncan or Wemby can change your franchise for 10-15 years. But this isn’t basketball. There’s no pain when you tank in basketball. Guys can still go out, get shots up, produce and generally avoid injury. You can’t do that in football. Football hurts too much. No one wants to endure that kind of beating and NOT try to win. What’s more, the NFL Draft is a total crapshoot. Half of the quarterbacks taken in the 1st round flame out. Trevor Lawrence was as sure a thing as we’ve seen since Andrew Luck. Luck never reached a Super Bowl. Lawrence has been fine but he’s no legend in the making. Throwing a Week 18 game is understandable but all these morons wanting their team to throw away a full season are insane. Also, Jaren Hall might be good enough to keep Minnesota’s playoff hopes alive. You’ve been warned. VIKINGS +4

Cardinals at Browns
Here’s a perfect example of why tanking in the NFL does not work. The Cardinals drafted the consensus number one player a few years back in Kyler Murray. Here they are again lost in the wilderness, with a roster devoid of talent. The Browns have been searching for a quarterback my entire adult life. Big free agent contracts haven’t worked. Countless first round picks have disappointed. There are no guarantees in the draft. Please, please, please shut up about tanking. One more thing, is there a more dysfunctional franchise right now than Arizona? Do you really think a rookie quarterback is going to thrive in that environment, even if it is Caleb Williams? BROWNS -9

Rams at Packers
Jordan Love is bad. I know he’s technically playing through his “rookie” season, but he plays like he’s never watched a football game. Sean Clifford played at Penn State for what felt like 17 years. He’s probably started twice as many football games in his life as Love. If I’m the Packers, I need to know what I have under center before the draft and I have ten more games to figure it out. Love should get two more starts before they see if Clifford has anything. Packers are dead to me until they prove otherwise. RAMS +3

Commanders at Patriots
Rumors of new Commanders owner Josh Harris wanting to trade for Bill Belichick are… something? Legendary coaches coming back to the NFC East is a strategy that did not go well in the early 2000s. Both Bill Parcells and Joe Gibbs returned and both left again with little success for their efforts. Of course, Belichick would not be coming out of retirement. On the other hand, what have we’ve seen from the Patriots over the past four seasons that makes anyone believe their head coach is worth chasing? I’m not saying the league has past Belichick by, but I am saying it’s a possibility. Ron Rivera’s last game. Calling it now. PATRIOTS -3

Bears at Saints
If I had to rank the least watchable teams in the NFL, I think the Bears and Saints would both land in the top five. In fact, let’s do it. I think the Patriots are number one. There’s just nothing there to get excited about on the offensive side of the ball and the defense has underwhelmed for much of this season. Two is the Cardinals. Sorry, but the crowd stinks, they blew the uniform makeover and their most exciting player is on the bench despite being cleared to play. Three is the Bears. With or without Fields; doesn’t matter. I can only watch so many bubble screens before my eyes bleed. Fourth is the Saints. Chris Olave is struggling (by his standards) after a great rookie season, Michael Thomas is still there for reasons that remain unclear, and Derek Carr acts like Tom Brady and plays like Kyle Orton. Fifth should be the New York Giants. Actually, they should be first or second. However, I love Saquon Barkley, so I refuse to put the Giants on this list. Instead, I’m going with the Packers or Broncos and both for the same reason. There’s simply too much talent on offense to not be exciting. And somehow they both manage to be a frustrating bore. So there you have it. BEARS +8.5

Seahawks at Ravens
Seattle sits atop the NFC West and anyone who has watched the Seahawks all season knows the dirty little secret about Pete Carroll’s squad: Geno Smith is kind of a mess this year. Even worse, the easiest part of Seattle’s schedule is in the rear view mirror. Smith had multiple chances to beat the Bengals and couldn’t do it. He started hot last week and then was pretty much a disaster against Cleveland until the final drive. I’m not saying Smith is awful. I’m just saying he isn’t playing near the level he did last year. Seattle has a nice win over Detroit but other than that they’ve beaten the Panthers, Giants, Cardinals and the PJ Walker led Browns. Look out for their four game stretch beginning later this month where they go 49ers, @Cowboys, @49ers, Eagles. Yeeesh. RAVENS -6

Buccaneers at Texans
CJ Stroud struggled last week off the bye, and in that offense he can’t afford to be off. Houston’s ground game needs an overhaul. Dameon Pierce has not been nearly as good this season as he was in his rookie campaign. His yards per carry is way down at 3.0 yards compared to 4.3 in 2022. Houston invested in the offensive line over the offseason but injuries have derailed those efforts. That AFC Wildcard race is wide open and Houston was right there before flopping in Charlotte. I think things are going to trend downward in Houston before they get better. BUCCANEERS +3

Afternoon Games (4:05PM ET)

Colts at Panthers
Miles Sanders is in a bad way right now. The Carolina free agent acquisition has apparently been benched and maybe even demoted to 3rd string. Sanders is fighting his way back from injury but his two touches last week were well behind Chuba Hubbard’s 15 and even Raheem Blackshear got three. I still haven’t given up hope on Carolina’s roster but Frank Reich is arguably the worst coach in the league right now. PANTHERS +2.5

Giants at Raiders
I didn’t think Josh McDaniels was a good coach. Hiring him again made little sense to me. However, for all the Raiders to come out the last few days and talk about how they can have fun again and be themselves is quite interesting for a few reasons. First, wow, McDaniels was apparently worse than I thought. Second, it appears unanimous that everyone hated him. Thirdly, these guys realize they were the ones on the field actually playing, right? You don’t go 3-5 simply because your coach is no fun. You lose five times in eight attempts because the players kind of suck, too. The Raiders better finish on a 7-2 or 6-3 tear to back up the excuses flying out of Las Vegas. Finally, no one but me loved that Jets Giants game last week. That was ugly, old school, ground and pound football. Saquon Barkley deserves player of the week for putting the Giants offense on his back and carrying them 3.6 yards at a time to what should’ve been a victory. When was the last time an NFL team handed the ball to a running back 36 times? RAIDERS -2

Cowboys at Eagles
Weirdest part about this heated rivalry is how little the games have mattered in recent years. If I recall correctly, this is probably the most meaningful game the two have played since December 2019 when both were fighting for a playoff berth. Since that time, Dak Prescott has missed half the matchups. The Eagles did not have their starting quarterback for two more. That means this rivalry has featured both franchise quarterbacks in a meaningful game only once in three seasons, and that was over two years ago. So yeh, this is super exciting. The obvious matchups that will decide the outcome is the Eagles pass defense trying to survive and whether or not the Eagles offense can control the game on the ground. If the Eagles pass rush shows up, they’ll win. Jalen Carter looks good to go and that is a huge plus for Philadelphia. Watch Baby Rhino whenever he’s in there and you’ll see him beat his guy faster than anyone else on the line, and that includes a double-team too. EAGLES -3

Sunday Night (8:20PM ET)

Bills at Bengals
Trying not to get too excited about this awesome matchup. Sunday night football has not been kind to the viewer this season. To date, there were three games I went out of my way to watch. DAL/NYG in Week 1 because it was Week 1 and football was back. DAL/SF in Week 5 because they were two of the best five teams in the league at the time (and probably still are). MIA/PHI in Week 7 for obvious reasons. Well, Dallas won 40-0 in Week 1 and then lost to the 49ers by 32 in Week 5. Both games were toast by halftime. The Eagles victory over the Dolphins was fun but I’m biased, so who knows how the general public felt about it. Anyway, the Bengals are rolling and looked like the best team in the NFL a week ago. The Bills continue to fight their way through the mud. The addition of Rasul Douglas needs to pay immediate dividends for Buffalo to win Sunday night. Buffalo’s 2022 1st rounder has been a complete disappointment to date. When your GM starts talking about how the light didn’t come on for other NFL players until year three, you know you’re in trouble. This line is funky. BENGALS -2

Monday Night (8:15PM ET)

Chargers at Jets
The Jets should’ve been in my unwatchable rankings. I can’t believe I left them out. I probably forgot about them because I’ve gone through great lengths to avoid them since Week 1. Let’s talk about the NBA instead. As you may or may not know, the NBA is FINALLY cracking down on “resting” players. In a somewhat thrilling overtime game between the Clippers and Lakers Wednesday night, the ESPN announcer said something along the lines of: This is great. Having all the best players on the floor and playing makes the game so much better. Ahh yes, what a novel idea; having the best players ACTUALLY play IS really good for the sport. WHO KNEW? I know it’s not apples to apples, but imagine the Dolphins sitting Tyreek Hill for a series just to make sure he’s not overdoing it. It’s dumb. It was always dumb. It took five years too long but I’m glad the NBA is doing something because it was ruining the league. JETS +3.5

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