NFL Office Pool Picks Week 9
by Trevor Whenham - 10/28/2013
Last week in the NFL was what was needed for office pool players — a week that mostly went as expected. Some may not have had the Giants winning two in a row or the Cowboys being that determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but most of the games turned out as they were reasonably expected to. You can never really tell in advance, but this week’s games also look as if they are more straightforward than the league is capable of being at times. Here’s my straight up picks for all 13 games on tap for this week:
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Cincinnati at Miami: The Dolphins got off to such a promising start to the season, but things have really gone awry. They had a real chance to upset the Patriots last week but blew it in the end. They are just not very good right now. The Bengals, meanwhile, are playing very well. Their offense exploded last week, and they have been very sound on both sides of the ball. The location of this one is a mild concern, but it is still a mismatch. Take the Bengals.
Kansas City at Buffalo: The Chiefs don’t play pretty, but they just keep getting it done. For the Bills, meanwhile, injuries and shortcomings have caught up with them and overwhelmed any progress they could be making. Ride the unbeaten trend, and take the Chiefs.
Minnesota at Dallas: Dallas is really hard to trust when the game is on the line. Luckily for them, it shouldn’t come to that here. The Vikings are really lousy right now and are playing like they know the season is lost. Take the Cowboys.
Tennessee at St. Louis: Under normal circumstances I would be tempted to take the Rams here. With the loss of Sam Bradford, though, these are no longer normal circumstances. The Titans are playing reasonably sound football, and they have had a bye week to prepare for this one. St. Louis, meanwhile, faces a short week. Take the Titans.
New Orleans at New York Jets: The Jets were an embarrassment to themselves and their sport on Sunday against the Bengals. Now they face a team that is, in my eyes, even better than the Bengals are right now. It’s hard to back the guys in green in this one. Take the Saints.
San Diego at Washington: Washington looked good for a while against Denver. But every other opponent has been able to exploit Denver’s defense this year, and the Redskins made them look like a cement wall. That loss will sting, and confidence is an issue with this team. San Diego is confident and competent right now and will win. Take the Chargers.
Atlanta at Carolina: The Panthers are playing really sound, effective football right now. The Falcons are a disgrace. They didn’t show an ounce of pride in Arizona, and now they are on the road again and are facing a better team. Take the Panthers.
Philadelphia at Oakland: This Eagles team is not in a good place right now. They can’t keep a quarterback healthy, and they can’t score in the first half of games. They are facing an Oakland team that is surprisingly good — at least compared to the dismal expectations most had for them. Take the Raiders.
Tampa Bay at Seattle: The Seahawks. By a whole lot of points. The only intrigue here is whether Greg Schiano makes it to the end of the game without getting fired.
Baltimore at Cleveland: This is the toughest game of the week to cal. The Ravens are coming off a bye week, and despite injuries they are playing decent ball — though not spectacular. The Browns are very feisty and shouldn’t be as tough as they have been. Their QB situation is a concern, but the Browns are the right play at home here.
Pittsburgh at New England: This should be a great game, but it really, really won’t be. The Steelers are just plain lousy right now and are really hard to trust — especially on the road. New England is far from perfect right now, but they have more than enough weapons to come out on top in this one. Take the Patriots.
Indianapolis at Houston: This is another one that should be a really great game but almost definitely won’t be. The Colts are playing with great confidence and effectiveness right now. The Texans are just a hot mess. Both teams are coming off a bye, but Indy will benefit from that much more than Houston will. Take the Colts.
Chicago at Green Bay: If Jay Cutler was playing in this one, I would take the Bears. This may be the only time that the absence of Cutler has been seen as a negative. Green Bay is scoring well and coming off a big win. That defense is just not very good, though — the Vikings scored 24 points with Christian Ponder at the helm. Still, the QB gap here is very wide, and the Packers are the pick.
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