The Week 9 picks ...
49ers (minus 3.5) at Redskins: Its tough finding reasons why the Redskins in their current offensive state will break double digits against anybody. The losing streak stretches to four games. Carlos Rogers 20, Redskins 7.Falcons (minus 7) at Colts: Gimme Time for Atlanta its division threats have already taken care of Indianapolis and the Birds need to do the same. The Colts are 31st in defense and 30th in offense. Falcons 42-17.Buccaneers (plus 8) at Saints: A big NFC South re-match and even though Tampa Bay won the first game, its still tough to figure out how the Bucs won four games much less can win at New Orleans. Saints 17-16.Browns (plus 11) at Texans: Peyton Hillis contract drive continues to make detours, the latest episodes including veterans meeting with him and re-injuring his hamstring. The spread is too big, but Houston moves to 6-3. Texans 27-20.Jets (plus 1.5) at Bills: Very impressed by Chan Gaileys offensive play-calling last week against the Redskins, especially going empty backfieldno tight end so often. The Jets havent won on the road this year and Buffalo hasnt lost at home. Bills 20-17.Dolphins (plus 4) at Chiefs: I wasnt even on the beat for the Norv Error in Washington and got a kick out of Kansas Citys win Monday night. Todd Haley has gone from the chopping block to 4-3. The Dolphins, meanwhile, should target next week against the Redskins as a rare Victory Chance. Chiefs 25-14.Seahawks (plus 11.5) at Cowboys: Seattle has no running game and isnt getting anything from the quarterback position. But a nearly two-touchdown underdog to a team that was embarrassed in a division game? Both teams stink. Cowboys 21-17.Broncos (plus 7.5) at Raiders: Old friend Al Saunders and suddenly-know-everything Hue Jackson have probably spent the bye week drilling QB Carson Palmer into the nuances of the playbook. Whatever. The reason why Oakland wins is its opposing quarterback is Timbo. Broncos 28-17.Bengals (plus 3) at Titans: In the near future, Chris Johnson has ruined the hopes of any running back getting a long-term, big-money extension. Tennessee ranks last in rushing (64.3 yards per game). Cincinnati is second against the run. Every week the Bengals win (5-2), it becomes more obvious the Redskins should have traded up to draft Andy Dalton, even though hes not lighting up the scoreboard. Bengals 22-19.Rams (plus 3.5) at Cardinals: If Redskins fans want to root for their team, thats fine. But for the future, they should root against St. Louis. And this is a big one. Losing at 1-6 Arizona increases the Rams chances of having the No. 1 pick and ergo them drafting Andrew Luck and dealing Sam Bradford. Bad thing is, Kevin Kolb is hurt. Rams 10-7.Giants (plus 8.5) at Patriots: The teams play each other since The Shocker In Glendale when Big Blue upset New England and Redskins reporters dispatched to the desert that week were convinced Spags was Washingtons next coach. Bill has lost two straight games only twice in the last eight years. Patriots 33-30.Packers (minus 5.5) at Chargers: Green Bay has won 13 straight games and it returns from the bye to face a San Diego team that is banged up, cant score in the red zone, is penalized a lot (25 in last two games) and is coached by Norv. The Packers will buck the Bye Week = Loss trend. Packers 34-21.Ravens (plus 3) at Steelers: As usual, a Double Chin Strip Special between the two AFC North rivals. The best game of the weekend after LSU-Alabama. Pittsburgh will be without some pieces defensively but Baltimores offense isnt good enough to beat a good defense and Ben will make enough plays. Steelers 14-10.Bears (plus 8) at Eagles: A cool Monday Night Football game that features Chicago RB Matt Forte, who leads the league with 1,091 yards from scrimmage. But the Bears are correctly loathed offering him a new contract. Titans RB Chris Johnson has ruined things for his colleagues. It took awhile, but its last two games have showed Philadelphia is the NFC Easts best team. Eagles 27-20.RecordsStraight: 8-5 last week, 72-43 season.
Spread: 5-7-1 last week, 47-60-6 season.
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