Thursday, November 3, 2016

NFL 2016-17 Week 9 Preview

Thursday - Atlanta at Tampa Bay - Atlanta is looking better after last week's win, although they have to get right back on track against a tough Tampa Bay team. The Falcons look solid on offense, and they will be a tough test for Tampa's defense. The Bucs offense will have trouble keeping up if Atlanta gets hot, and I am guessing that the Falcons have a good chance of doing just that. My pick: Atlanta

Detroit at Minnesota - The Vikings looked so good for a while there, that these two losses in a row make it seem like this team's season is in a tailspin. Norv Turner resigned, and the Vikings offense cannot find any daylight. Their defense does not look as dominant. Nothing is working right. Detroit, in the meantime, suffered a bad loss at Houston, and need to win this one. They have a talented team, and this is a really important game for them that could allow them to get back into the divisional race. I am going to go ahead and pick an upset win in their favor. My pick: Detroit

Philadelphia at NY Giants - Ah, the G-Men are back! They will finally face Philly, a tough divisional opponent. For this game, the Giants have home field advantage, but between these two teams, for whatever the reason, that often does not seem to matter all that much. New York has won two in a row, but the Eagles has enjoyed success this season, as well. A tough game, almost too close to call. But I will stay loyal and hope my Giants pull it out. My pick: NY Giants

NY Jets at Miami - The Jets have won two games in a row, and could still salvage the season if they get hot. They might be able to pull this one off, although the Dolphins seem tougher now than hey have been for a few years, with a seriously dangerous running game at the moment - possibly the best, and certainly the hottest, in the league. That will be a tall order, although the Jets can potentially win, if they play their best. Still, Miami at home, playing some determined football, might prove to be too much. My pick: Miami

Jacksonville at Kansas City - The Jaguars are prone to getting blown away against tough teams, and especially when they have to play on the road. Of course, anything can happen on any given Sunday, and that is why they play the game and all. Still, it is very hard to like their chances when they go to Arrowhead to take on the Chiefs, and I cannot predict anything but the obvious in this one. My pick: Kansas City

Pittsburgh at Baltimore - I am not a fan of Pittsburgh, am frankly, getting tired of them. That will likely be true for as long as their present quarterback remains at the helm, particularly in this age of domestic violence crackdowns. Still, they are a good team. As much as I would like to predict that Baltimore will win (and I hope that they will), it would be difficult for me to actually go ahead and make the prediction. Hope I am wrong on this one! My pick: Pittsburgh

Dallas at Cleveland - Sorry, but this is just a bad match-up. The Cowboys are flying high at the moment, and share the best record in the league along with the New England Patriots. The Browns have the worst record, and for good reason. Nothing is going right in the Factory of Sadness once again, and they blew a sizable lead to lose to the New York Jets last week. The Cowboys are coming in with the longest active win steak in the league, and I just simply cannot see that ending in this game in Cleveland. Still, you tune in because you just never know, right? That is why they play the game, after all. But in making predictions, it would be crazy to pick anything but what seems to make the most sense, and that is clearly another victory for the 'Boys. My pick: Dallas

New Orleans at San Francisco - The Saints are coming off a huge win against Seattle, and they now get the 49ers. San Francisco is struggling badly, with the second longest active losing streak behind Cleveland, and right now, little is going right for them. New Orleans, by contrast, has a bit of a win streak going, and they are thinking playoffs, and possibly even a division title. They may get it, they may not. But what they should at least get after this weekend is another victory on the road. My pick: New Orleans

Carolina at Los Angeles - The Panthers looked rejuvenated last week, while the Rams are struggling mightily with three straight losses after a solid looking start earlier in the year. It seems to all be falling apart for the Rams, and the Panthers, if last week was any indication, seem to finally have gotten something solid going. That does not bode well for LA. My pick: Carolina

Indianapolis at Green Bay - Both teams had very high expectations - even Super Bowl expectations - in recent seasons. And both teams are instead mired in disappointing results to this point. But the Packers still have a decent team, at least, and are at home, while the Colts appear to be fading fast yet again. That leads me to believe that this will not be a pretty result for them. Look for the Pack to get back on track in this one. My pick: Green Bay

Tennessee at San Diego - The Titans have surprised a lot of people with how well they have played, and Mariota seems to be on track to stardom. They are very much in the AFC South race right now, in second place within the division. However, the Chargers are a hungry team that is better and far more dangerous then their losing record of 3-5 might suggest. Plus, they are at home in San Diego, which will make this one a bit too much for the Titans to handle. My pick: San Diego

Denver at Oakland - Well, this is the game that we have been waiting for in the AFC West. The battle between the two top teams, both at 6-2. Denver will be on the road, and the Raiders have a chance to prove to a nationally televised audience that they are for real. You better believe that they will be fired up about that! Still, the Broncos are tough, and they are defending champs for a reason, right? I expect this to be a tough game, and despite how good the Denver defense is, most likely there will be some points put up on the scoreboard fairly frequently for this game. Tough to call, as it seems that it could go either way. The Raiders seem to actually be weaker at home then on the road, for some reason. Still, I expect that they take this one, just because of how huge it will be. My pick: Oakland

(Monday) Buffalo at Seattle - I remember the days when the Bills were regulars on MNF, but it seems to have been a while - and I mean a long while - since they last played here. That said, why on earth is this a road game for them? Why not give their fans another option than a 1pm Sunday afternoon game every single weekend? This game will be in Seattle, which is an extremely tough place to play, especially for a team in the Bills that is in the midst of a two game losing streak. Make it three after  this one. My pick: Seattle

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