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Nov. 5, 2011

NFL Week Nine Predictions

by Eli Schwadron, Online Sports Editor, Langston Taylor, Online Editor-in-Chief, Jacob Buchholz, Online Sports Editor and Molly Nicholson, Online Features and Food Editor
Redskins fans had this same reaction after last week's 23-0 loss to the Bills.
Redskins fans had this same reaction after last week's 23-0 loss to the Bills.
There's a problem in Washington. After a great start to the season, the Redskins have now dropped three straight games – a trend all too reminiscent of past years under the Dan Snyder regime. The Bills blanketed the 'Skins 23-0 in week eight, forcing Washington fans to – yes, it seems like a broken record by now – forget about the current season and look to the future for better days.

In St. Louis, the Rams, without an injured Sam Bradford, shocked the Saints with a 31-21 victory. The win was even more surprising considering it came a week after Drew Brees looked unstoppable in a 62-7 obliteration of the Colts.

Despite one big upset, all of our experts did well last week. Jacob remains in the lead, but it's a long season, folks. Buckle in for another week of football!

Standings:
Eli: 69-47
Langston: 74-42
Jacob: 83-33
Molly: 76-40


Sunday, Nov. 5

Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs
Eli: Chiefs
Langston: Dolphins
Jacob: Dolphins
Molly: Chiefs

Eli says:
Kansas City pulled out an ugly win against San Diego last week. The Dolphins would be lucky to pull out an ugly win all season long. They're plain brutal.
Langston says:
I still contend that Miami is better than its 0-7 record indicates. Three of Miami's losses have been by three or fewer points, and the only team that has really blown them out is the Jets. Kansas City, on the other hand, is far worse than its 4-3 record indicates. Three of the four teams they have beaten are the Vikings, Colts, and Raiders. Their fourth win was the result of a few bad mistakes by Philip Rivers. Miami will win this game, which really isn't that big of an upset in my opinion.
Jacob says:
Even though the Chiefs are 4-3 and the Dolphins are 0-7, they’ve played equally well. The Dolphins will get their first win of the year.
Molly says:
Miami is winless, and the Chiefs' defense is really improving.

San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins
Eli: 49ers
Langston: 49ers
Jacob: 49ers
Molly: 49ers

Eli says:
My days of picking the Redskins are done. Trust me, I've learned my lesson. Maybe we'll be good in 2036?
Langston says:
The 49ers will beat up on the struggling 'Skins.
Jacob says:
The 49ers are one of the top teams in the NFL and the Redskins just don’t stand a chance.
Molly says:
The Redskins game against the Bills was Mike Shanahan's first scoreless game in his coaching career. So, it's now official: the Redskins suck.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
Eli: Saints
Langston: Saints
Jacob: Saints
Molly: Saints

Eli says:
I'm trusting Drew Brees and the Saints to bounce back after a loss to lowly St. Louis in week eight.
Langston says:
The Superdome will be rocking in this rematch of the Bucs' week six upset in Tampa. Drew Brees will throw all over Tampa Bay's 26th-ranked pass defense and reclaim first place in the NFC South.
Jacob says:
The Saints have got to bounce back after being beaten by the Rams, and the Buccaneers just aren’t that good. For a 4-3 team, it's pretty incredible that their point differential is -38.
Molly says:
The Saints want revenge after last week (go ahead Rams); plus they already have one loss against the Buccaneers this season and they wouldn't want another.

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys
Eli: Cowboys
Langston: Cowboys
Jacob: Cowboys
Molly: Cowboys

Eli says:
After struggling in a loss to Philadelphia on Sunday night, the Cowboys will turn it around in week nine. Seattle doesn't have enough talent on either side of the ball to compete.
Langston says:
Despite suffering from TOS (Terrible Offense Syndrome), the Seahawks are in second place in the premiere NFC West division. Tavaris Jackson is probably healthy, but that won't change the fact that he has more turnovers than touchdowns on the season.
Jacob says:
I’m going to go with Dallas, not because of anything they’ve shown me so far, but purely because they are playing Seattle.
Molly says:
I hate saying the Cowboys are going to win anything, but they're peeved after almost getting blown out by the Eagles last week. Cowboys take this one.

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
Eli: Bills
Langston: Bills
Jacob: Jets
Molly: Bills

Eli says:
The Bills looked solid in a 23-0 shutout of Washington last week. Fred Jackson is a force on the ground and in the passing game. Buffalo improves to 6-2.
Langston says:
The Bills return to Buffalo after last week's Toronto "home" game, and will maintain their position atop the AFC East. Right now, Buffalo is just the better team.
Jacob says:
The Jets are surprisingly bad and the Bills are pretty good. I’ll go with the Jets.
Molly says:
I'm slowly jumping on the Bills' bandwagon, and I hate the Jets.

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans
Eli: Texans
Langston: Texans
Jacob: Texans
Molly: Texans

Eli says:
Arian Foster had a big game last week, rushing for 112 yards and a score. He'll get a big workload against the struggling Browns this week and lead Houston to its sixth win of the season.
Langston says:
Arian Foster + Matt Schaub + a solid defense = more than enough to beat Cleveland.
Jacob says:
These teams are polar opposites with one of the best offenses in Houston and one of the worst in Cleveland. The Texans’ firepower will be too much for the Browns.
Molly says:
There's a strong possibility that Andre Johnson will come back this week, and the Texans' defense is playing well so far. Texans get the win in week nine.

Atlanta Falcons at Indianapolis Colts
Eli: Falcons
Langston: Falcons
Jacob: Falcons
Molly: Falcons

Eli says:
Andrew Luck: Colts 2012 starting QB. Peyton Manning: Redskins 2012 starting QB??
Langston says:
Can the Colts really go winless this year? Yeah, maybe they can.
Jacob says:
The Falcons have been really disappointing, but the Colts without Manning are unlikely to win a game all year.
Molly says:
Come back Peyton!

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans
Eli: Bengals
Langston: Bengals
Jacob: Bengals
Molly: Bengals

Eli says:
I hate Chris Johnson. Hate, hate, hate him.
Langston says:
The Bengals are surprising everyone. Andy Dalton leads Cincinnati to its sixth win of the year.
Jacob says:
The Bengals have been consistently solid this season. Other than their win against the Ravens, the Titans have no good wins.
Molly says:
The Bengals are under the radar, but are continuing to play very well. The Titans also have the worst rushing game in the league.

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders
Eli: Raiders
Langston: Raiders
Jacob: Broncos
Molly: Raiders

Eli says:
The Broncos got blown out 45-10 last week. Meanwhile, the Raiders are 4-3 and coming off a bye. Carson Palmer isn't close to being good, but he's a better quarterback than Tebow right now.
Langston says:
With Tim Tebow under center, Denver's chances decrease significantly. And the Broncos weren't great to start with; they've only defeated Cincinnati and Miami so far this year. The Raiders haven't had the strongest schedule yet either, but they've beaten Houston and were close against the Buffalo Bills.
Jacob says:
The Broncos were humbled big time last week, but they can bounce back this week with a big division win against Oakland.
Molly says:
To put it frankly, the Broncos are a losing team, and the Raiders are the team to beat in their division.

New York Giants at New England Patriots
Eli: Patriots
Langston: Patriots
Jacob: Patriots
Molly: Patriots

Eli says:
New England fell to Pittsburgh last week, but Brady and the Pats will get the better of the Giants in this rematch of Super Bowl XLII.
Langston says:
I love Super Bowl rematches; they're so over-hyped. Patriots bounce back from a tough loss in Pittsburgh.
Jacob says:
The schedule is about to get tough for the Giants as they play the Patriots, the Eagles, the Saints, the 49ers and the Packers in their next five games. It sounds like a five-game losing streak to me.
Molly says:
This game is going to be a shoot-out because both teams have poor secondaries, so it comes down to Eli Manning versus Tom Brady. I'll tell you who wins…

Green Bay Packers at San Diego Chargers
Eli: Packers
Langston: Packers
Jacob: Packers
Molly: Packers

Eli says:
The Packers have had a full week of rest. I'd hate to be the San Diego defense in week nine.
Langston says:
Philip Rivers needs to figure it out right now. He should be fine over the course of the season, but San Diego won't be able to keep up with the Pack this week. Green Bay remains undefeated.
Jacob says:
Right now, the only really good team in the NFL is the Packers. They are strong on both sides of the ball and the Chargers are looking bad.
Molly says:
Do I even have to explain this? The Packers are the team to beat in the NFL right now.

St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals
Eli: Cardinals
Langston: Rams
Jacob: Rams
Molly: Rams

Eli says:
Close call. The Rams shocked the Saints in week eight, but I have a feeling Beanie Wells will run wild on a poor St. Louis run D. Cardinals win.
Langston says:
Two bad teams go in; one comes out slightly less bad. The St. Louis Rams will beat the Arizona Cardinals in a close one on the road. I had to rewrite that last sentence three times because I kept typing "The St. Louis Cardinals…"
Jacob says:
St. Louis finally got a win and now it's time to start a winning streak. Both teams had very good games last week but the second half collapse of the Cardinals will carry over to this game.
Molly says:
I have to pick the Rams because they deserve another win after last week's game. Plus Sam Bradford is back, which gives them even more of an edge.

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Eli: Steelers
Langston: Ravens
Jacob: Ravens
Molly: Ravens

Eli says:
The Steelers are on top of their game right now. Big Ben is having one of his best seasons, and Mike Wallace is a stone-cold stud at wide receiver. On the flipside, the Ravens have lost a step since their great start to the season. Pittsburgh wins big.
Langston says:
Based on the last two weeks of football, it's hard to imagine that the Baltimore Ravens could have whooped the Steelers to the extent they did in week one, but if you look over the course of the season, it makes perfect sense. Baltimore plays very well against good teams and, except for Torrey Smith's monster game in St. Louis, awfully against bad ones. Right now, the Steelers look a lot like a good team.
Jacob says:
Baltimore's first game was a shock to everybody, in one of the best games in franchise history for the Ravens, and I believe they can do it again. The Ravens have an uncanny ability to play to their opponent's level, and they will play well in Pittsburgh.
Molly says:
As a die-hard Ravens fan, this pick is difficult, but if the offense can pull together, then there's a guarantee of a repeat smack-down.

Monday, Nov. 6

Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles
Eli: Bears
Langston: Eagles
Jacob: Eagles
Molly: Eagles

Eli says:
It bothers me that the Eagles are favorited by eight in this game. Philly had a good game last week, OK – but let's not downplay what the Bears have done this season. They've had quality wins over the Falcons and the Buccaneers, and their only losses have been to the Packers, Saints and Lions – three of the league's toughest teams. Chicago pulls the upset on Monday night.
Langston says:
It looks like the Eagles' season is starting to come together, maybe? I don't know – the Eagles may string together a couple of wins or they might lose five in a row. Bears fans will probably hope for the latter on Monday Night.
Jacob says:
The Eagles are finally playing like they should, and the NFC East is a wide-open division. The Bears are mediocre and the Eagles’ secondary will shred Jay Cutler.
Molly says:
The Eagles are on a roll right now, so it's hard to pick against them this week. Especially when they're playing the Bears.

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