NFL Office Pool Picks Week 9
The NFL is like a soap opera. There is never any shortage of storylines to keep you entertained. This week alone, we have the chaos in Cleveland, coaching tweaks elsewhere, a potential return of Le'Veon Bell in some capacity, the chance of several trades at a deadline that seems more fired up than ever, and so much more - and it's only Tuesday as I write this. Craziness. But we have to put that crazy aside and make some straight up picks to dominate our office pools:
Oakland at San Francisco: 1-6 at 1-7. This is a battle for the Bay area, yet the way the teams are playing the locals probably don't really want any of them. Someone has to win. Probably. I was going to flip a coin to find a team, but the coin spontaneously combusted in the air. Take the Niners. I guess.
Chicago at Buffalo: The Bills don't have a quarterback solution of any kind right now - Derek Anderson threw away any chance of a Buffalo upset of the Patriots with a brutal pick six, and he's still probably the best option right now. Ugly. Take the Bears - even with injury questions.
Kansas City at Cleveland: The Chiefs have a ridiculously potent offense. A joy to watch. The Browns just fired a head coach and an offensive coordinator because of the overwhelming incompetence of their franchise. This is a stunning mismatch - even if the Browns somehow get a Gregg Williams boost. Take the Chiefs.
New York Jets at Miami: The Dolphins are potent at home. The Jets are a mess on the road. Neither of these teams are well rounded and impressive. But the Dolphins are slightly better overall at this point and have geography on their side. Take Miami.
Detroit at Minnesota: Minnesota had turned their game around before losing to a very good New Orleans team. No real shame in that. Detroit lost at home to Seattle, which is a tougher result to shake off. And Detroit has not traveled well this year. Take the Vikings.
Atlanta at Washington: Is it possible that Washington is actually a decent team? They have won three straight to go to 5-2 and are in the process of running away with their division. And they are up against an Atlanta team that is doing what the Falcons do - let their mental weakness sabotage themselves. Take the Redskins.
Tampa Bay at Carolina: Carolina doesn't yet feel like they have found their stride this year, yet they are 5-2 and 4-0 at home. Imagine if they get things really figured out. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, is going through an ugly divorce with a QB, and that is inevitably a distraction. Take the Panthers.
Pittsburgh at Baltimore: The Steelers always get up to play Baltimore, but they have so much off-field drama that it is getting silly. And they aren't playing their best football right now. Joe Flacco is much easier to trust at home, so the Ravens are the pick.
Houston at Denver: Denver's defense is sound, but the offense isn't, and the team is not particularly scary. Houston has won five games in a row and has looked pretty good - certainly good enough to win here. Take the Texans.
L.A. Chargers at Seattle: Led by a strong defense, the Seahawks have been playing better lately and have won two in a row. But L.A. has won four straight, is feeling confident, and is the better all-around team here. Take the Chargers.
L.A. Rams at New Orleans: Man, what a game this is. The Rams have yet to lose, and even when they get in trouble - as they did last week - they have shown they can stay calm and fight back. But the Saints have won six in a row and are as good as any team right now. This is a real battle. Take the Saints, but not by much.
Green Bay at New England: New England is the least complete team that they have been in a long while, yet they have still won five in a row. They are so tough that they overcome their issues. Green Bay, meanwhile, is having issues consistently overcoming their own issues. This is more of a mismatch than any game featuring Aaron Rodgers should be.
Tennessee at Dallas: Dallas is desperate, making trades and firing coaches to try to get back on track and maybe steal a playoff spot. It's sad to watch. But not as sad as the Titans, who just can't get out of their own way. Take the Cowboys.
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