Race remains close as all experts went 10-3 last week
After a thrilling week eight, which included the Lions' last minute game winning drive against the Cowboys, week nine looks like it could be another good one. After losing to Seattle on a last second goal line stand, Zac Stacy and the Rams look to bounce back against the Titans. Oakland looks to continue its impressive play as of late after defeating the Steelers in week eight. Also, the Jay Cutler-less Bears face off against the Packers on Monday night.
As for our predictors, everyone had a solid 10-3 record for week eight. Sam retains his one game lead over Jacob and Abel retains his one game lead over Rohan. The standings go as follows:
Bengals at Dolphins
Sam says: With QB Andy Dalton slinging the ball at will, and a defensive front nine that is stopping the run well, teams are becoming two dimensional against the Bengals and struggling in the process. Head Coach Marvin Lewis is the worst coach this year.
Jacob says: AJ Green and the potent Bengals offense will not be stopped.
Abel says: On a short week and in a primetime game, this game could really go either way. I'd love to pick the Dolphins and go against my colleagues, but Andy Dalton is playing really well right now. And it looks like A.J. Green has found a new running mate at wide receiver in Marvin Jones.
Rohan says: With the duo of Andy Dalton of A.J. Green , the Bengals have sufficient firepower to go up against the Dolphins and beat them. I have the Bengals in this one.
Chiefs at Bills
Sam says: I've got to be honest, this is a game I really do want to pick Buffalo in an upset. However, the injury to their QB, Thad Lewis, will leave either undrafted QB Jeff Tuel or recently released QB Matt Flynn behind center. I just can't roll with that.
Jacob says: It's hard to pick against the 8-0 Chiefs, who are allowing a league best 12.3 points per game. Look for the Bills to have trouble getting on the scoreboard.
Abel says: The Chiefs are 8-0, but have been in some tight games the last two weeks. However, I can't expect the Bills to pull off the upset with Jeff Tuel playing quarterback, or even a banged up Thad Lewis if he suits up.
Rohan says: With the only undefeated record in the NFL, the Chiefs have shown consistently why they have the ability to win games. Expect this one to be a victory as well.
Falcons at Panthers
Sam says: The Panthers can do exactly to the Falcons this week what the Cardinals did last week. They can take an early lead and with a dominant front seven, force the Falcons offense to be one dimensional and force picks by QB Matt Ryan. The only difference is if the Panthers have a CB to shut down WR Harry Douglas.
Jacob says: The Falcons have let me down time and time again this year, and the Panthers' D is allowing less than 14 points a game.
Abel says: This is another game where the team everyone picks could lose. Every week in the NFL season has games like that. But the Panthers have one of the best defenses in the points allowed category and Cam Newton is playing like the guy Carolina expected when they took him #1 overall in 2011.
Rohan says: Although the Panthers could be called inconsistent, they posses a very athletic quarterback in the form of Cam Newton. Because of this and the fact that the Falcons have failed to impress in any victory, expect Cam Newton to show off his trademark superman celebration at least once this game.
Vikings at Cowboys
Sam says: The Cowboys lost a tough game last week in Detroit, but they learned a horrible lesson that they can't just get turnovers, they need to be able to stop their opponent in the clutch. Luckily for them, they get the Vikings, who have no offense to stop.
Jacob says: The Cowboys are coming off a game in which the Lions drove 75 yards in less than two minutes to beat them. Look for Tony Romo and Cowboys offense to come out with a vengeance against a lesser NFC North opponent.
Abel says: This is an easy one. The Cowboys have too much offense for this vulnerable Vikings secondary. Look for Dez Bryant to get the ball a ton after last week's debacle.
Rohan says: The Cowboys demonstrated their ability last game although they lost to the Lions on a heartbreaking touchdown. They will rebound from that loss and win this week.
Saints at Jets
Sam says: My super bowl pick is rolling again after a win against the Bills. The Jets should get pounded by the Saints versatile passing game.
Jacob says: The Jets are leading the league in stopping the run, but rank only 15th in terms of stopping the pass. Look for Drew Brees and company to have field day.
Abel says: Yet another sweep across the board for me and my colleagues. All we really learned about the Saints last week is that Jimmy Graham can destroy your team even on one foot. The Jets haven't been able to win TWO games in a ROW this season. They've only won on odd numbered weeks, but the Saints will break that pattern.
Rohan says: The Saints have been one of the offensive juggernauts this season and they will continue to display this fact against the Jets.
Chargers at Redskins
Sam says: The Chargers are turning the corner with new Head Coach Mike McCoy. They are blocking well up from and passing the ball well. The Redskins are struggling defensively and RB Alfred Morris just is not getting the job done. The Redskins' offense relies on the double threat of run and pass. Without Alfred Morris rushing the ball, they will struggle.
Jacob says: With RGIII's knee still bothering him, it's really hard to pick the Skins even at home.
Abel says: I really want to pick my squad here because all my colleagues are going against them. The Redskins have always had a knack for surprising me (both positively and negatively), and I have a feeling they can pull this one out, especially against a poor Chargers' defense.
Rohan says: Its the battle of my hometown team against the hometown team of most people I live around I have to go with my roots and pick the Chargers in this one.
Titans at Rams
Sam says: The rushing element that QB Jake Locker brings to the table, the Titans can neutralize the great pass rush of the Rams on Sunday. RB Chris Johnson can also help out offensively for the Titans.
Jacob says: With Titans' starting QB Jake Locker set to return, it looks like their offense will have a big edge against the Rams who are without starting QB Sam Bradford. Plus, I'll take the 10th ranked scoring defense over the 21st ranked scoring D all day.
Abel says: The Rams played admirably last Monday night against the Seahawks and showed that their defensive front four is legit, but they just don't have enough on offense. Jake Locker's escapability will serve him well against a ferocious Rams defensive line.
Rohan says: Although the Titans have not been impressing as much as they have before, I believe and see them winning this game against the Rams.
Sam says: An offense under Chip Kelly has gone more than 120 straight minutes without a touchdown.. That is unlikely to continue against the awful secondary and little pass rush that the Raiders offer.
Jacob says: The Raiders beat the sluggish Steelers last week, but don't let that fool you. The fast paced Eagles' offense will tear the Raiders secondary to shreds.
Abel says: I'm downright shocked that Sam and Jacob didn't pick the Raiders here. I'm pretty sure we've been fooled by the Eagles several times this season. The Raiders have been a pleasant surprise this year. The offense has improved significantly with Terrelle Pryor at quarterback, and the defense has played well in spots, and especially well in the run game. I'm expecting Terrelle Pryor, who could finally be the Raiders' long term solution at quarterback, to tear up the Eagles' defense.
Rohan says: Terrelle Pryor will lead the Raiders against the Eagles who as of late have not been able to come out victorious in their games.
Buccaneers at Seahawks
Sam says: I will never pick the Bucs again after last week's embarrassment from the bullying from my fellow SCO experts.
Jacob says: The winless and quarterback-less Bucs are heading into arguably the toughest building in which to grab a win… Yea not a chance.
Abel says: I'm really running low on jokes for games like this.
Rohan says: This one is almost a no brainer. Although he did receive a flag for it, Golden Tate's touchdown reception just showed how dominate a team they have been in recent weeks.
Ravens at Browns
Sam says: Although the Ravens have won eleven straight games against the Browns, the Browns have what it takes to finally beat their division rivals on Sunday. Defensively they have an unbelievably fierce front seven that can stop the run, and arguably the second best corner in football in Joe Haden to lock up Ravens' WR (and UMD alma mater) Torrey Smith. Offensively they have Former Redskin QB Jason Campbell who people forget is a dual threat QB who played pretty well last week on the road in Kansas City.
Jacob says: Baltimore has had a nice week to rest up, and Joe Flacco will come out slinging.
Abel says: The Browns are a sneaky pick this week, but once again I still have doubts about their offense. Sure, Jason Campbell managed the game fairly well last Sunday, but the Ravens' defense has quietly played well after that week one beatdown. Baltimore's coming off a bye, and I don't think they'll need too many points to get by the Browns.
Rohan says: After a Bye week, expect the Ravens to come out strong and outscore and outplay a poor Browns team.
Steelers at Patriots
Sam says: The Patriots have allowed more than 130 rush yards per game since losing DT Vince Wilfork to injury. Steelers' RB Le'Veon Bell will be the beneficiary on Sunday. And with a two dimensional offense and a good defense, the Steelers can muster out a close upset victory.
Jacob says: If the Steelers can't beat the Raiders there's no way they can beat New England.
Abel says: The Steelers should definitely be able to run the ball against a very soft Patriot run defense. Tom Brady has struggled this year, especially with the lack of playmakers at receiver, so if the Steelers can play solid defense and stick to the old cliche of "ground and pound”, they should pull off the upset.
Rohan says: The Steelers will fall against a Patriots team who will be looking to light up the Steelers' defense.
Colts at Texans
Sam says: As I said last time the Texans played, I like QB Case Keenum but especially with the injury to RB Arian Foster, the Texans do not have enough firepower to win.
Jacob says: The Texans' quarterback situation is in peril, and you can't win in this league without a QB, especially against the threat of Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson.
Abel says: Arian Foster is banged up. Ben Tate is banged up. This won't help young Texans' quarterback Case Keenum. I like the Colts' secondary in this matchup. I'll go with the Colts, but it could be a close one.
Rohan says: This is my upset pick for the week, the Texans showed good promise against the Chiefs barely losing to a very strong team. Although both teams are coming off of a bye, I think the Texans can pull this win out of the bag and reignite their season.
Bears at Packers
Sam says: Although I picked the Packers and this game seems like a blowout, expect the Bears and QB Josh McCown to make this game very exciting, seriously.
Jacob says: With Bears' starting QB Jay Cutler on the shelf, the Bears simply won't have the offensive firepower to hang with Aaron Rodgers and Pack Attack.
Abel says: Aaron Rodgers reminded everyone last Sunday night that he is still the best quarterback in the league. The Bears' defense is far from what we've been accustomed to seeing and without Jay Cutler, their offense will lose some of the dynamic playmaking that he provides.
Rohan says: The Packers should be able to win this one with relative ease now that Aaron Rodgers is firing on all cylinders.
Editor's Note: All statistics are courtesy of nfl.com.
Rohan Oprisko. I'm a person with a fascination for sports. From my experience living in Spain for three years, I realized the one thing that can connect people from diffreent cultures and areas is sports. That is why I am very excited to be one of the … More »
Samuel Popper. I am a big sports fan. I play football and frisbee at Blair, I also enjoy watching basketball and hockey. I am very passionate about what I do. More »
Jacob Popper. Let's go Caps, I hope you win the Stanley Cup this year (and every subsequent year). I enjoy opinions and argument as well as sports! More »
Abel Chanyalew. More »