NFL Week 9 Picks

Steve Balestrieri
November 04, 2011 at 07:38pm ET

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Week 9 of the NFL season brings about some interesting matchups, not the least of which is the second installment of the Steelers – Ravens rivalry which is always chock full of hard hitting and good defense. The Jets – Bills, and Giants at the Patriots should provide some fun as well.

Last week my partner Steve the Cat (STC) and I recovered a bit, but there’s still a long way to go in this season, and many more miles before we sleep…so it’s on to the matchups.

Jets Vs Bills:

SB- While my erstwhile partner never hides her disdain for the Jets, facts are facts and the last three times they’ve played, the Jets have held Fitzpatrick to a 48 % completion rate, now the Bills have improved, but the Jets defense should be ready for this matchup and bring the heat on Fitzy. Jets 23-21

STC- There are “kinks” in the armor and for once I am not talking about the Bills or Rex Ryan. The Jets are crumbling and the Bills are looking remarkable. I expect a few good plays out of the Jets, but not enough to derail Fitz and the Bills offense. Bills 27- 23

Seahawks Vs Cowboys:

SB- This one is in Dallas, and the Cowboys looked horrible against the Eagles. So I look for them to rebound, especially Rob Ryan’s defense. Cowboys 27-13

STC- Romo is looking like his regular self, not great and not bad. The Seahawks are one of the most penalized teams in the league. So, with that in my mind I’ll look for the Dallas offense to draw the penalties and move the chains. I do not think we will see Pete Carroll in Seahawk attire next year or many other current members of the team. Cowboys 28-10

Browns Vs Texans:

SB- The Texans offense should provide all the push they need against an unimpressive Browns team. The defense is much improved as well. Texans 31-14

STC- Houston’s defense will cause some major problems for Cleveland’s unimpressive offense. The Texans offense should have a great game as long as Schaub is firing like he is and the play calling stays decent. Texans   34-6

Falcons Vs Colts:

SB- Peyton showed some backbone and let Phil Simms have it this week. Too bad the rest of the Colts have mailed it in lately. Falcons 31-14

STC- If I were Peyton Manning I wouldn’t be worried about Luck. There is no way Luck would agree to go to the Colts who have set themselves up for complete failure. Irsay needs to have his head examined if he keeps the coaching staff next week, not even thinking as far as next year. Time to break it down and rebuild a team without a control freak quarterback. The Falcons are nothing special, no particular standouts, just better than the sinking ship of Indianapolis. Falcons  28-3

Dolphins Vs Chiefs:

SB- Arrowhead will be smelling blood this week, the Chiefs pulled off a big OT win on Monday night (called one right…for a change) and this week they roll over a listless Miami team just waiting for the axe to fall. Chiefs 31-6

STC- Are the Chiefs back? I was hearing a little of that Arrowhead Magic on Monday Night. This is not the game or even the year Miami is going to turn it around. Just Toss Ross should be echoed in Landshark oops I mean Sunlife Stadium. Chiefs 28-7

Buccaneers Vs Saints:

SB- The Saints laid an egg after their thumping of the Colts, the Bucs are tough and are up and coming, but I like the Saints at home to pull this one out. Saints 27-24

STC- The Saints devastating loss to the Rams has to be tough to put behind them. Hopefully they will dwell more on the 62-7 thumping of the Colts and get their heads back in the game. The Bucs can be a formidable team, but I think the Saints have a lot to prove this week. Saints 31-27

49ers Vs Redskins:

SB- Niners are playing inspired football right now and believe in their coach and one another. If Beck struggles, Grossman could be back as the starting QB. Niners 30-17

STC- Alex Smith is a reborn NFL quarterback. I never saw this coming, did anyone? The Redskins are toast and I would bet the farm on this game. Beck might win the MVP for the 49ers in this game if he throws as many quality interceptions as is expected of him. 49ers   31-3

Broncos Vs Raiders:

SB- Carson Palmer was as rusty as they come against the Chiefs, something that will have to be corrected facing their old rivals. Tim Tebow was smothered and ridiculed on bush league celebrations by the Lions. Raiders going to Te-bow? Raiders 24-16

STC- I am choosing the Raiders simply based on the fact the Broncos are losing games to get a better draft pick. The Raiders were playing strong football with Campbell under center, but with Palmer fa-get-a-bout-it. The Broncos are going to have to try their very worst to lose this game. Raiders  17-15

Bengals Vs Titans:

SB- Cincy’s defense still has them in the thick of the AFC North race. The Titans are playing better than anyone gave them credit for as well, plus they’re at home. Is Chris Johnson going to get untracked this week? Titans 20-17

STC- Chris Johnson… blah blah blah, it’s all his fault or all their fault, who cares! The Bengals are somehow getting it done with a rookie quarterback. That should be the big talk not a typical holdout player who stinks up the field when he gets the big numbers. Andy Dalton is apparently the real deal and winning with a never quite great team. That’s the real story. Bengals  27-24

Rams Vs Cardinals:

SB- Doesn’t look like Kevin Kolb will play, but I think they have enough to beat the Rams at home this weekend. Cardinals 24-16

STC-The Rams had some decent defense last week against one of the best offenses in the league. I cannot see the Cardinals winning this one. Kolb is definitely not Brees and this could be a massacre. But, then again the Cards do tend to pull a pocket ace I am going with the Cards they are a scrappy team and I love that. Cards 17-10

Giants Vs Patriots:

SB- For a full breakdown click here: Patriots 27-24

STC- We are going to need our Corner Backs and, well, the whole rest of the defense to be our twelfth offensive man if we are going to sneak by the Giants. Last week was jumbled train wreck and I am hoping there has been a “back to basics mentality” on the practice field. Mistakes and missed opportunities were all on the Pats. The Steelers are not as good as we made them look. The Giants are going to be out to destroy the Pats. Eli has always played his best games when he is trying to prove he is as good and his big brother and Tom Brady. Patriots 31-27

Packers Vs Chargers:

SB- Until someone beats Green Bay this season, I am taking them. The Chargers Philip Rivers is taking a lot of heat, even from ex-teammates (LTII) but to me their problems all arise from poor coaching. This is possibly the worst team in the NFL at situational football. Oh and the score…. Packers 31-20

STC- Clearly the Packers are the class of the NFL. The Chargers in typical Charger form lost to a rival. I am not sure who can or will beat the Pack this year or even next. They remind me of another team that took the world by storm, but can they get the one win that really matters this year? I think so… Packers 38-17

Ravens Vs Steelers:

SB- Battle of the defenses and I believe that the Ravens defense is better by just a tad. But the Steelers offense under Roethlisberger is much better than the Ravens under Flacco who looks lost lately and always against the Steelers. Pittsburgh 17-13

STC- Well the Steelers did beat the Pats, but more importantly they managed to shut down our offense. The Steelers already took a pretty bad beating from the Birds and they will be looking to redeem themselves in front of their fans. I do not think Woodly being out will be an issue for the Steel Curtain. Steelers  24-21

Bears Vs Eagles:

SB- My esteemed feline partner is right about the Bears offensive line. What she should have said however is “Watch Vick run and the Eagles Blitz; Watch Vick throw and the Eagles Blitz; Watch Vick elude the rush and the Eagles blitz; Oh and did I mention that the Eagles will blitz Cutler…..Eagles 31-14

STC- Watch Vick run, watch Vick throw and watch Vick exclude the rest of his team. On the other hand Cutler relies on his team and coaches (Too bad they are not always there for him). The Eagles have suffered some losses, against very good teams. The Bears might have beat Tampa Bay, but this is right about the time we witnessed “The Bears Offensive Line Collapse Massacre of 2010”. This should be a great game full of sacks with the Eagles shaking off the dust and bringing home the win. Eagles 24-21

Last week:    Season:

SB-   10-3       77-39

STC-  8-5        75-32


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