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Nov. 1, 2014

NFL Week Nine Predictions

by Samuel Popper, Sports Editor, Robert Pfefferle, Online Sports Editor, Agam Mittal, Technical Staff and Sasha Tidwell, Staff writer
Standings:

1. Sam: 78-43
2. Sasha: 73-48
3. Bobby: 72-49
4. Agam: 68-53

As the standings are tightening up, our experts look to separate themselves from the competition as we begin the second half of the NFL season.

Saints at Panthers
Sam: Saints
Bobby: Saints
Sasha: Saints
Agam: Saints

Sam says: The Saints defense will win them this game. Also, the Panthers don’t quite have that home field advantage that they did last year.
Bobby says: The Saints realize that it’s time to turn this season around, and they succeeded last week against Green Bay and will continue through Carolina.
Sasha says: Saints will take down the Panthers after a confidence boosting win against Green Bay.
Agam says: The Saints will take control of the division in this game against divisional rival Carolina.

Buccaneers at Browns
Sam: Browns
Bobby: Browns
Sasha: Browns
Agam: Buccaneers

Sam says: At home the Browns are much better than on the road. And there's not much praise I can give to the lowly Bucs.
Bobby says: There’s not much impressive to Cleveland’s running game, but they should be able to take advantage of Tampa’s weak run defense and win this game.
Sasha says: The Buccaneers get beat by everybody. Look for Cleveland to take advantage of this opportunity.
Agam says: Cleveland is playing without Jordan Cameron, leaving almost nobody in their passing game. Cleveland’s running game has been struggling after C Alex Mack’s injury. Cleveland’s defense is beatable, especially its 30th-ranked run defense, which Bobby Rainey and rookie Charles Sims will be able to run through. I think the Buccaneers have more weapons.

Cardinals at Cowboys
Sam: Cardinals
Bobby: Cardinals
Sasha: Cardinals
Agam: Cowboys

Sam says: The Cardinals defense should improve after last week’s win against Philly and with Tony Romo likely inactive, I like the Cards to improve to 7-1.
Bobby says: The Cowboys were stunned at home by Colt McCoy and the Redskins, and suffered an injury to Tony Romo in the making. Meanwhile, Carson Palmer is playing like an established vet for Arizona and should have no trouble finding Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald.
Sasha says: The Cowboys’ momentum is gone. They will get taken down this week as they’re vulnerable and facing one of the best teams in Football.
Agam says: The Cowboys can ride their ground game, and QB Weeden’s gotten enough work with the first-team offense during training camp to get the Cowboys an upset over this Cardinals team that has been solid this year.

Eagles at Texans
Sam: Eagles
Bobby: Eagles
Sasha: Eagles
Agam: Eagles

Sam says: For the past three weeks, the birds have been getting into their own way. If they can stop turning the ball over, they’ll be a great team.
Bobby says: The Eagles’ game changer Darren Sproles is returning to the lineup this week and will be eager to bounce back from a narrow loss last week to Arizona.
Sasha says: If the Eagles play to their strengths this week they will be able to pull his one out with ease.
Agam says: The Texans have NEVER - get this, NEVER - beaten the Eagles, and I don’t think it happens this week either, as the Eagles defense has been solid and their offense can put up points.

Jets at Chiefs
Sam: Chiefs
Bobby: Chiefs
Sasha: Chiefs
Agam: Chiefs

Sam says: Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid has not only coached against Michael Vick but coached him as well. He knows Vick too well to lose to him now.
Bobby says: Kansas City is 4-1 in their past five games, and the Jets are falling apart. Michael Vick isn't going to fix the Jets’ problems.
Sasha says: The Jets rely heavily on their running game and they will be halted against one of the best run defenses in the league.
Agam says: Michael Vick may get you some fantasy points with his legs, but he won’t be able to get the W in this one against a Chiefs team that is quietly playing extremely well.

Jaguars at Bengals
Sam: Bengals
Bobby: Bengals
Sasha: Bengals
Agam: Bengals

Sam says: The Bengals just don’t lose at home, and the Jaguars just don’t win anywhere.
Bobby says: The strong Bengals defense has struggled to keep points off the board in the past few weeks, so this will be a good opportunity to get back into form.
Sasha says: The Jaguars are the league’s punching bag.
Agam says: The Bengals are without play-maker Giovanni Bernard in this one but they’re playing the Jags, so this one is a no-brainer.

Chargers at Dolphins
Sam: Chargers
Bobby: Chargers
Sasha: Dolphins
Agam: Dolphins

Sam says: What a big game this is for the Chargers. They are trying to avoid a three game losing streak in the competitive AFC West. I think they pull out a close one in Miami.
Bobby says: This is a must-win game for San Diego if they want to go to the playoffs this season. Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates will make it happen.
Sasha says: San Diego’s on a downward slope and the Dolphins have some weapons in their arsenal. Look for Miami to pull this one out at home.
Agam says: Another interesting matchup - the Dolphins have a pretty good defense and the Chargers have a pretty good offense. But the Chargers have lost two in a row.

Redskins at Vikings
Sam: Vikings
Bobby: Vikings
Sasha: Redskins
Agam: Redskins

Sam says: RG3 will likely start, but is he fully healthy? The Redskins offense was beginning to roll under QB Colt McCoy and now it will completely change. However, the Redskins defense has been a pleasant surprise this season.
Bobby says: Colt McCoy just led the Redskins to an upset win over Dallas, and the coaching staff is benching him. Head coach Jay Gruden is going to regret bringing back Robert Griffin III, as he seems to have been rushed back into action.
Sasha says: RGIII will be back and fresh. The Vikings won’t be able to contain the Washington offense on Sunday.
Agam says: The Vikings have had the league’s best pass rush over the past few weeks, and they have 25 sacks on the season. Starting RG3 might not be the best idea for the Redskins, but they’ll get the win if Jay Gruden unleashes his franchise quarterback as he says he will.

Rams at 49ers
Sam: 49ers
Bobby: 49ers
Sasha: 49ers
Agam: 49ers

Sam says:
Bobby says: The Rams gave the 49ers a scare back in Week Six, but ultimately couldn't hold down a 14-point lead. Niners win at home easily.
Sasha says: San Francisco will be fresh and hungry after their week 8 bye. Look for the 49ers running game to dominate.
Agam says: This will be a closer game than people think - the Rams are really good against their division rivals - but they just lost their only receiving threat in Brian Quick for the year and Austin Davis has been on the downswing.

Broncos at Patriots
Sam: Broncos
Bobby: Broncos
Sasha: Patriots
Agam: Patriots

Sam says: I know the game is in New England and the weather is bad, but the Broncos defensive weapons will win them this game.
Bobby says: With the best quarterback, top wideouts, a top tight end, and a pretty darn good backup running back, the Broncos are the best team in the NFL. And they’re going to show up and make a statement in Foxborough.
Sasha says: Brady has 14 touchdowns and no interceptions in his last four games. Denver won’t stop him.
Agam says: Game of the week, and possibly game of the year, this is a matchup of Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. Brady has been dominant against Peyton, posting a 10-5 record in games against him over his career, and I think he goes to 11-5 with a win at home against the Broncos.

Raiders at Seahawks
Sam: Seahawks
Bobby: Seahawks
Sasha: Seahawks
Agam: Seahawks

Sam says: What better way to get back on track then the Raiders at home.
Bobby says: This game doesn’t need analysis, there’s no question.
Sasha says: The Seahawks can find their way this week against a raiders team with nothing going for them.
Agam says: Derek Carr has said he will "challenge" Richard Sherman. Good luck with that.

Ravens at Steelers
Sam: Steelers
Bobby: Steelers
Sasha: Steelers
Agam: Ravens

Sam says: I've been on the Steelers bandwagon all season, and I’ll stay on it this week. The Steelers defense has always played its best against Joe Flacco and the Ravens.
Bobby says: Big Ben is coming off the best game of his career, and he’s primed to step-up once again in this matchup.
Sasha says: Pittsburgh is on fire and Roethlisberger looks like his old self. They will take down the Ravens like they did with the colts.
Agam says: The Steelers have been extremely inconsistent this year; these divisional games are always close, and I think the Ravens win on Sunday Night against this inferior Steelers defense.

Colts at Giants
Sam: Colts
Bobby: Colts
Sasha: Colts
Agam: Colts

Sam says: Andrew Luck is on top of his game right now, while the Giants defense is not. Also, with the Rashad Jennings out, and his replacement Andre Williams playing below expectations, expect the Colts to dominate time of possession and win this game.
Bobby says: "The Greatest Game Ever Played?" Not this time around, Colts cruise.
Sasha says: The Giants have some offensive weapons but it won’t be enough to defeat Luck and the Colts.
Agam says: Actually an interesting matchup, with the Giants coming off the bye week and the Colts coming off a surprising loss to the Steelers in which they gave up over 50 points, but we’re talking about Andrew Luck, so I think he bounces back.



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