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Week 9 NFL Picks

The staff at SB Nation Dallas takes a look at Week 9 of the NFL and delivers our picks for this week.

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 01:   Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders perform during the NFL game against the Houston Texans  at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 1 2010 in Indianapolis Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 01: Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders perform during the NFL game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 1 2010 in Indianapolis Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Well, the World Series didn't quite end as we'd have liked it to - but let's still realize that this was a really, really successful season for the Texas Rangers and easily the best team in franchise history. Keep thinking about that until the spring because the Cowboys aren't going to be much fun to think about.

Still, there's lots of great stories in the NFL this year worth following, aside from you know, the NFL being the NFL and football being awesome. 

Last week Charley Code led the way for us here at SB Nation Dallas, picking 10 of 13 games correctly. 

Here's a look at the Week 9 NFL slate of games.

Tampa Bay (5-2) at Atlanta (5-2) - This should be a pretty entertaining game. Both teams are having good to great years with the Bucs surprising the NFL so far. The winner of this game is in the drivers seat and the loser will have to look out for the Saints. Fun fact as well: Tampa Bay is 3-0 on the road while Atlanta is 3-0 at home.

  • Charley Code: FalconsThe bucks have out kicked their coverage this year. Dirty Birds roll at home.
  • Christopher Fittz: Falcons - I want Tampa to win because it would be ridiculous ifthey won that division, but it would be ridiculous if they won this game.
  • Robbie Griffin: Falcons - For all their struggles relative to our expectations, New Orleans will be breathing down the neck of whoever loses this game. I'm expecting the Bucs' crash to reality to start now.
  • Liam Ponting: Falcons - No disrespect to the Bucs, who have defied all my expectations this year, but ATL will not lose this game at home.
  • JP Starkey: Falcons - I don't believe in the Buccaneers
  • Brett Perryman: Falcons - Serious playoff implications here, should be a fun game.

Chicago (4-3) at Buffalo (0-7) - The poor Bills. They've played very well lately with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, playing the league-best Patriots really tough before taking the Ravens and Chiefs to overtime before losing. The shine on the Bears has certainly faded and they need to win in Buffalo to keep legitimate playoff contender status alive.

  • Code: Bears - The Bears have Urlacher. He has a barbed wire tattoo.
  • Fittz: Bears - The Bears continue their aloof stumble toward the playoffs. Thanks NFL 2010.
  • Griffin: Bears - I don't think even Jay Cutler can save the Bills.
  • Ponting: Bears - The Bills are horrendous.
  • Starkey: Bills - Whoever had Week 9 in the Chan Gailey First Win of the Year pool, please stand up and claim your prize.
  • Perryman: Bills - The Bears have Jay Cutler. He gets sacked.

New England (6-1) at Cleveland (2-5) - The Patriots have the best record in the NFL, ho hum. Just another year in the NFL, right? This game smells like a trap game for Bill Belichick and company. The Browns have played much better than their 2-5 record suggests and you know Eric Mangini wants to beat his former mentor. 

  • Code: Patriots - The Patriots are the most successful team in sports over the last 10 years. That continues this week over Cle.
  • Fittz: Patriots - In NFL 2010, the Patriots are the good team.
  • Griffin: Patriots - I still maintain Cleveland has been playing better than their record suggests, and this upset wouldn't surprise me in the least. Dangerous game.
  • Ponting: Patriots - So are the Browns.
  • Starkey: Patriots - Did I say trap game? Bill Belichick is the coach of the Patriots, there are no trap games for him. Patriots cruise.
  • Perryman: Patriots - The Pats aren't dominating, but they've won five straight and seem to be figuring out who they are.

New York (5-2) at Detroit (2-5) - The Jets offense looked like a joke last weekend at home while being shutout against the Packers - and that's coming off a bye week, too. The Lions offense is very good, their defense is not. The Jets defense is very good of course. This game should be pretty fun to watch while the Lions are on offense. 

  • Code: Jets - The Lions have proven me wrong a few times this season, but this week, I think the Jets defense prevails.
  • Fittz: Lions - You can't even call these upsets anymore in NFL 2010.
  • Griffin: Jets - I'm excited to see Calvin Johnson embarrass Derrell Revis at some point.
  • Ponting: Jets - Briefly considered an upset here, but the Jets will take liberties with the Lions terrible rush defense.
  • Starkey: Lions - Some panic in Gotham after Suh, Stafford and Johnson surprise the J-E-T-S Jets.
  • Perryman: Jets - The Lions are really tough for a 2-5 team, could be a surprise here.

Arizona (3-4) at Minnesota (2-5) - Brad Childress is a genius. He trades a third round pick for Randy Moss then waives Randy Moss a few weeks later. Deep in his dungeon in Foxboro, Belichick is laughing manically. Anyway, the old man Favre will look to get the Vikings back on track against the Kurt Warner Matt Leinart Max Hall Derek Anderson led Cardinals. Hang in there, Larry Fitzgerald.

  • Code: Vikings - Favre is so broken and old. Am I the only one who wishes he would just go away? It’s like sacrilege to say that, isn’t it? I think Minnesota wins at home this week no matter who is running the show on offense.
  • Fittz: Vikings - They should call this the NFL 2010 Sadness Bowl.
  • Griffin: Vikings - If the Vikings truly are pulling a Cowboys impression, they will lose this game.
  • Ponting: Vikings - I'll take the Vikings in the dome. I don't think Anderson's brief resurgence last week is in any way an indicator of future success.
  • Starkey: Vikings - Derek Anderson is the quarterback of Arizona. That is offset by Brett Favre being the quarterback of Minnesota. Adrian Peterson tips the scales.
  • Perryman: Vikings - Don't really want to pick either of these teams.

New Orleans (5-3) at Carolina (1-6) - The Saints are coming off a much needed win at home against the Steelers but they didn't look dominant in the process. That's ok though, the Steelers are pretty good. The Saints should return to 2009 form, even just for a week, against a hapless Panthers team. John Fox is looking like a lame duck head coach right now.

  • Code: Saints - Brees is a better quarterback than…who is the QB for Carolina?
  • Fittz: Saints - I used to think the Saints were going to be pretty good this season, and then NFL 2010 happened.
  • Griffin: Saints - New Orleans has got to have the best shot of any road team this week, right?
  • Ponting: Saints - The Panthers aren't very good either.
  • Starkey: Saints - Boring game.
  • Perryman: Saints - If the Saints don't dominate this one, we'll know that they just don't have it this year.

Miami (4-3) at Baltimore (5-2) - This is a really intriguing game. The Dolphins need the win more than the Ravens do, and while 4-4 isn't a death sentence for Miami in terms of a Wild Card berth, it certainly doesn't look good. Chad Henne will have to pass the ball effectively and do more than be Captain Checkdown if the Dolphins are going to win. The Ravens defense should be able to contain the Miami running game.

  • Code: Ravens - I'm excited about this one. I really wanted to pick Miami, but I went with the home team.
  • Fittz: Ravens - I think Baltimore is actually a good team, not just a NFL 2010 good team.
  • Griffin: Ravens - One of those toss-up games where I'm just taking the home team.
  • Ponting: Ravens - One of the most interesting matchups of the week as Miami has a pretty decent shot of pulling off the upset here.
  • Starkey: Dolphins - Miami finds a way to grind this win out, causing Ray Lewis to focus in on two words: "murder" and "Miami." Only bad things can come from this Dolphins win.
  • Perryman: Ravens - Miami is great on the road, but I do think that the Ravens are the better team.

San Diego (3-5) at Houston (4-3) - Both teams really, really need to win this game. The Texans can't afford to keep losing, especially at home, and the Chargers, well, their record says it all. Good news for San Diego is either Oakland or Kansas City will lose on Sunday. Houston just saw one Randy Moss come into their division, but that will be offset by the Titans losing Kenny Britt for awhile.

  • Code: Texans - The Texans defense needs to improve, but the Reliant Stadium crowd will pull them through.
  • Fittz: Texans - It's almost like San Diego wants the Raiders to win the AFC West.
  • Griffin: Chargers - West coast team playing an early game, but the Texans have completely fallen apart and the Chargers get an extra hour of sleep.
  • Ponting: Texans - The Chargers has the #1 offense and defense in the NFL in terms of total yards gained/allowed. Despite this, they're 3-5 and haven't won a game on the road.
  • Starkey: Texans - The fire Norv Turner chants coming from San Diego become louder than the fire Wade Phillips chants coming from Dallas.
  • Perryman: Chargers - Over/under is 50 for this game. It may take another late rally, but the Chargers will outlast the Texans.

New York (5-2) at Seattle (4-3) - A playoff preview? The Giants have looked like the NFC's best team lately while the Seahawks have sort-of-maybe looked like the NFC West's best team. Maybe. If the Seahawks win this game, I have a hard time believing they will lose the NFC West. If they lose it, that opens things up big time.

  • Code: Giants - It’s a long cross country trip for dumbface, but the G-men still roll.
  • Fittz: Seahawks - I'm just going to assume the Giants will stop playing well like every other team has this year.
  • Griffin: Giants - Brian Burke has the Giants winning 89% of the time, AccuScore 73%. I believe the Giants are the favorites, but I have trouble believing they're so much better than the Seahawks they win 70-90% of the time on the road.
  • Ponting: Giants - Giants are too talented for the Seahawks.
  • Starkey: Giants - Seattle isn't that good and the Giants are starting to look legitimate. 
  • Perryman: Giants - This isn't a fun place for the Giants to play, but they have too much for the Seahawks.

Kansas City (5-2) at Oakland (4-4) - Maybe the biggest game of the day in the NFL. Who knew that in Week 9 the Chiefs and Raiders would be playing a meaningful game? I picked the Raiders to win the AFC West but nearly picked the Chiefs, so I guess I did. Still, with Jamaal Charles and Darren McFadden going in this game, this should be a real treat for those who like to watch good rushing teams.

  • Code: Chiefs - Oakland has shown signs of life lately, but I’m giving the nod to the 09 draft class of the Chefs.
  • Fittz: Raiders - Future AFC Championship Game preview?
  • Griffin: Chiefs - Who would have thought this would be one of the biggest games of the year?!
  • Ponting: Raiders - This feels like one of those games where the Raiders punish you for believing in them for even a moment, but I'll stick with them anyway.
  • Starkey: Chiefs - Dwyane Bowe will drop about 13 passes this game but the Chiefs will still win.
  • Perryman: Raiders - Forget it, they're rolling.

Indianapolis (5-2) at Philadelphia (4-3) - The Colts lost Dallas Clark and just kept on churning last week with Jacob Tamme filling in just as well. The Eagles will have Michael Vick back under center and they are coming off a bye week. DeSean Jackson will also be back in the Eagles lineup. This should be a pretty entertaining game and one of, if not the, best matchup of the week.

  • Code: Eagles - Peyton is going to childishly slap his thigh pads and point out that the receiver ran the wrong route multiple times throughout this game. I give the nod to Mr. Mike Vick.
  • Fittz: Colts - Future Wild Card teams that get upset by terrible surprise Wild Card teams in the first round of the playoffs?
  • Griffin: Colts - This is probably the game of the week, but for a Cowboys fan living with a Colts fan, it might be hard to enjoy.
  • Ponting: Eagles - Complete guess as I have no idea how Vick & Jackson end up performing on their returns.
  • Starkey: Eagles - DeSean Jackson's return is the difference as both teams will find themselves at 5-3 after this.
  • Perryman: Eagles - Home field makes the call in this one for me.

Dallas (1-6) at Green Bay (5-3) - I bet NBC wishes that their flex scheduling began Week 9 and not Week 11. OK, it's still the Dallas Cowboys and they'll still draw ratings, but what a mismatch for this year, especially with Jon Kitna under center. Kitna nearly has 28,000 yards passing for his career so the march for 30,000 is on! Green Bay shut out the Jets last week, but in all seriousness the Cowboys offense is much better than the Jets even with Kitna. Green Bay's offense should romp, though.

  • Code: Packers - The Cowboys are the most poorly run organization in sports. Sorry America.
  • Fittz: Packers - This is the first time I've picked against the Cowboys but I see no reason to pick for them for the rest of the season.
  • Griffin: Packers - This is probably going to be ugly. I'm not sure I can watch.
  • Ponting: Packers - Let's go...Stars?
  • Starkey: Packers - Good day to own receivers on the Cowboys or Packers.
  • Perryman: Packers - Jerry called the Cowboys 1-7 during the week. He was premature but correct.

Pittsburgh (5-2) at Cincinnati (2-5) - Ben Roethlisberger takes his Steelers into Cincinnati. Wait, he was stripped of his captaincy after the second rape allegation. He follows the Steelers into Cincinnati, there we go. Pittsburgh is coming off a tough loss in New Orleans while the Bengals are coming off four straight losses. The Bengals will need to win to keep their season alive.

  • Code: Steelers - The T.Ocho Show is causing too much distraction for the star receiver tandem. Steelers roll.
  • Fittz: Bengals - Because NFL 2010, that's why.
  • Griffin: Steelers - Steelers might battle the Saints for most favorable road team (unless Burke and AccuScore are right about the Giants).
  • Ponting: Steelers - I have no faith in the Bengals.
  • Starkey: Steelers - Shouldn't really be close.
  • Perryman: Steelers - They haven't gotten hot with Big Ben, but it will happen.
Standings to date thus far:
Griffin: 74-43
Perryman: 73-44
Ponting: 71-46
Fittz: 70-47
Starkey: 63-54
London: 61-56
Code: 55-32

As always, feel free to pick against us.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.