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NFL Week 9 Game picks and open thread

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Week 9 of the NFL season is here, and football fans across the nation are eagerly anticipating the thrilling matchups that lie ahead. As teams jostle for playoff spots, every game becomes increasingly crucial. In this article, we will delve into the matchups of Week 9, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each team to predict the potential winners. From exciting divisional rivalries to intense interconference battles, the gridiron is set to witness some nail-biting showdowns. Buckle up and get ready as we dissect the upcoming games and offer insight into the teams that are poised for victory.

Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Frankfurt), 9:30 a.m. EST (NFL Network)

I can’t wait to wake up early and watch this game. The Chiefs’ offense hasn’t looked like the normal high-powered beast that we’ve become used to seeing. But their defense has stepped up to the plate and made an impact. The Dolphins have the best offense in the league this year led by the best wide receiver duo and a creative play caller who puts Tagovailoa in position to be great by making easy throws. But the king of creativity is on the other side of the field. Andy Reid is the teacher, not the student and Patrick Mahomes is the reigning MVP. We’ll see the experience come into play.

I’m taking the Chiefs here.

Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. EST (FOX)

My heart breaks for Kirk Cousins. An Achilles tear at this point of the year when the Vikings were in position to try and turn their season around is a tough pill to swallow. Now Minnesota will hand the keys over to quarterback Josh Dobbs after the Vikings agreed to trade for him just before the trade deadline expired on Tuesday afternoon. The Falcons seem to find ways to lose games, but it will take a 28-3 effort to lose this week to the Vikings without Cousins and star wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Running back Bijan Robinson will be fantasy king this week.

Falcons win.

Seattle Seahawks at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)

Quarterback Lamar Jackson is playing great football and I don’t think there are enough people talking about it. He has his team at the top of their division at 6-2 and they’re doing it with a ton of injuries throughout the season. The Seahawks are 5-2 and a half game ahead at the top of their division as well. Head coach Pete Carroll just seems to always get things figured out and his team competes at a high level.

I’m going with the team with the better QB here. Quoth The Raven, “Nevermore.”

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)

The Cardinals are in no man’s land. They play better than a 1-7 team, although we all knew they’d be a 1-7 team coming into the season. Arizona recently activated Kyler Murray from IR but have yet to say for sure when he will play. They also made headlines at the trade deadline as they sent Joshua Dobbs to Minnesota after Kirk Cousins went down with an Achilles injury. The Browns just might have the best defense in football. Cadinals quarterback Clayton Tune is expected to start and will be tasked with providing a spark for an offense that relies heavily on the run.

New QB against a great defense, give me the Browns with the moneyline.

Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. EST (FOX)

There’s one story here and that’s the absence of Rams quarterback Matt Stafford, meaning that backup Brett Rypien will step in. While Rypien may not be as experienced or skilled as Stafford, the Rams have Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua at wide receiver. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Packers quarterback Jordan Love has faced difficulties leading Green Bay’s offense to consistently perform at their best this season. With the Packers ranking 21st in the NFL in passing yards per game, it raises concerns about their ability to effectively move the ball against a formidable defense.

I’ll be taking the Rams here with a win at Lambeau Field.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)

The Texans will be without running back Dameon Pierce who suffered an ankle injury, but that’s exactly why you sign Devin Singletary during the offseason. The Buccaneers are coming off a tight loss to the Bills that they could have won. Probably should have won had Chris Godwin seen the ball on that last play. So they’ll be looking to redeem themselves and keep up in their division. I’m a believer in this Houston team this year. They won’t be a threat to win it all but I like them ruining the story for other teams.

I’m taking the Texans to win at home.

Washington Commanders at New England Patriots, 1 p.m. EST (FOX)

The Patriots aren’t good. Yet they beat the Bills and still boast one of the best defensive minds in NFL history. Injuries have not been good for New England, and I think that will come into play against the Commanders. Washington started the year off slow and lost some games they should have won, but I think they’ve gotten it figured out on the offensive side of things. They traded away their best players on defense last week, but they will still put pressure on teams offensively.

Commanders by 6.

Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)

The Saints have a solid defense and they have a superstar at the running back position. Then you add in how well quarterback Derek Carr is playing and you can see why Saints fans have a reason to be excited about their team being in a position to compete for the division. The Bears are struggling to put up points at all without quarterback Justin Fields being available, and it’s been confirmed all week that quarterback Tyson Bagent will start. With that being the case, I expect the Saints’ defense to confuse the young quarterback and set up running back Alvin Kamara to control the clock and have a big game.

The Saints pull this one out just because the Bears will struggle to score.

Indianapolis Colts at Carolina Panthers, 4:05 p.m. EST (CBS)

The Colts are running the ball all the way to saving their season. They won’t be contenders by any means, but they have running backs Zack Moss and now Johnathan Taylor to thank for their season not being completely wasted. Moss has been the most pleasant surprise since most thought the Colts would struggle when Taylor was inactive to start the season. But he’s been solid and was a league leader in rushing yards until Taylor came back to take his rightful place as RB1. I think this is more of the same, and the Panthers just aren’t good.

The Colts will win by two field goals.

New York Giants at Las Vegas Raiders, 4:25 p.m. EST (FOX)

This might be the worst offensive game in modern day history. Combined, these teams average 27.7 points per game. That’s combined. To put that in perspective, Bills fans have complained about an offense that averages 27.8 points per game. Imagine how Raiders and Giants fans feel watching their teams struggle to put up any points at all. This game will be no different for either team. Expect a low-scoring game overall, but head coach Brian Daboll will motivate his team to fight for the rest of the season.

Giants win but don’t expect fireworks or a great show in Vegas.

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles, 4:25 p.m. EST (FOX)

The Cowboys have a way of always winning the games we expect them to lose and then blowing the games we know they should win. And this will be one of those games. The Eagles are winning, but to me they don’t look like the dominant team we all assumed they were. Dallas’ defense is one of the best in the NFC and they’ll be looking to control the line of scrimmage all night.

I have the Cowboys taking this one with the upset in Philly.

Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals, 8:20 p.m. EST (NBC)*

Be sure to check out my Pregame Rumblings Podcast and article with an exclusive interview with Bills DB Damar Hamlin.

Bye week: Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers

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