NFL Picks, Week 9
First, a few words about last night: I’m still a bit astonished by the fact that the Red Sox won the World Series. People have been using words like magical to describe their post-season run, but my preferred word is unexpected. After the team’s disastrous 2012 season, my main hope for this season was that the Sox would become respectable again. And did they ever. The 2013 Sox were likable, talented, tenacious and goofy — just as much fun, really, as the 2004 team. Anyway, what a season. I’ll savor it for a long time.
And back to football: Every year I participate in a Pigskin Pick ’em group organized by an obnoxious friend of mine from high school who spends his Sundays doing nothing but watching NFL football. I spend very little time watching football, and yet I continue to dream of beating him. And so every week I dutifully make my picks.
As always, the winning team is in caps.
CINCINNATI BENGALS at Miami Dolphins — It’s hard to know what to expect from this game. The Dolphins are not that bad this season, and they’re at home. But the Bengals keep surprising me. They appear to be the better team, which is why I’m picking them.
Atlanta Falcons at CAROLINA PANTHERS — The Panthers are winning games! And they’ll win this weekend against the Falcons, one of the most disappointing teams in the league.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at Buffalo Bills — The Chiefs are good, but they’re not good enough to go undefeated. At some point, they will lose. But not this weekend again the Bills.
Minnesota Vikings at DALLAS COWBOYS — The Cowboys lost a tough one last week. They’ll fare better this week against a terrible Vikings team.
TENNESSEE TITANS at St. Louis Rams — The Rams didn’t look that bad against the Seahawks, despite losing starting QB Sam Bradford. But don’t be fooled: They’re not a very good team, and the Titans will beat them.
NEW ORLEANS at New York Jets — Team Blowhard has looked good at various points this season. But the Saints will make them look bad.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS at Washington Redskins — The Chargers are actually pretty good at winning on the road. The Redskins aren’t particularly good at winning anywhere.
Philadelphia Eagles at OAKLAND RAIDERS — Remember week 1, when the Eagles were exciting and full of promise? Well, that was a long time ago. They’ll continue their losing ways this week against a lousy Raiders team.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS — This game should be a piece of cake for the mighty Seahawks.
BALTIMORE RAVENS at Cleveland Browns — On paper, these teams seem evenly matched, and in those situations I usually give the edge to the team with home field advantage. But I just can’t take the Browns seriously.
Pittsburgh Steelers at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS — I’m a little bit baffled by the Patriots. Tom Brady is hurt, their defense is ailing and their offense is a work in progress. And yet their record is 6-2. How are they doing it? I have no idea. But they’ll be 7-2 after they beat the Steelers.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS at Houston Texans — The last time I saw the Colts they were beating the Broncos. Which was awesome. This week they’ll beat the Texans, which won’t be quite as awesome, but should still be fun.
Chicago Bears at GREEN BAY PACKERS — Green Bay is playing really well, and they’re riding a six game winning streak against the Bears, who are missing starting QB Jay Cutler. Which is why I can’t think of a single reason to pick Chicago to win this game.
Last week’s results:
Me: 11-2 Overall: 79-41
My obnoxious friend: 9-4 Overall 82-38
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