Hammering it Out: Week 9 Predictions

This week, Detroit (6-2) , Carolina (2-6), Jacksonville (2-6), and Minnesota (2-6) are all on bye.

Atlanta Falcons at Indianapolis Colts (+7.5)

No matter what happens here, I’m simply afraid the Colts don’t have enough talent defensively to stop the Falcons offense. Michael Turner is set to rush for over 1,300 yards this year and with the Colts recent lack of a pass rush, Matt Ryan should have quite a bit of time to hit Roddy White or Tony Gonzalez. Until the Colts find a way to stop anyone on 3rd down, the defense will spend the majority of the game on the field and the offense simply won’t get a shot to score. -Jared

Jared – Atlanta by 8 or more

I’d like to say the Colts have a chance but the truth is they don’t. The Colts defense isn’t good and they are facing a team that can run the ball and has a very good pass attack, although it has been struggling of late. The Falcons have only an average defense but they are facing a horrible Indianapolis offense. This game could be another blood bath. Unless the Colts plan on beating the Titans at or the Jags they may well be the new winless team – Travis

Travis – Atlanta wins by 8 or more (probably more like 20)

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-1.5)

I want to pick the Bills to win their division. I really do. That’s not out of the question, even though I think the Jets win here. If what Rex Ryan says is true, I expect the Jets to ground and pound, eat up the clock, and try to keep Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo offense off the field. -Jared

Jared – New York loses by 1 or less, ties, or wins

This game could go either way. The talent is there for the Jets but they just haven’t been that great offensively and I see them struggling to contain Fred Jackson. – Travis

Travis – Bills win by 2 or more

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans (-10.5)

This Cleveland offense isn’t scoring and Houston does not have that problem. Cleveland has an average defense and a below average offense. Houston has a top tier offense and an above average defense. I’d have taken Houston and 17. -Jared

Jared – Houston wins by 11 or more

I really dislike big lines but I think this one is justified. The Browns are not playing good ball against any above average teams. The one thing they have going for them is that they do have a top 2 pass defense, which could slow down Houston, but probably not enough to win or keep it close. – Travis

Travis – Houston by 11 or more

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys (-12.5)

After watching Dallas get thrashed last Sunday night, the line on this game is pretty tricky for me. Look for Dallas to get back on track in a big home win. -Jared

Jared – Dallas wins by 13 or more

Horrible line in my opinion. I like Dallas to win this game but there is no way I can bring myself to give them 13 points against the Seahawks — who are not as bad as some think. If Tavaris Jackson is playing, this game will be much closer than some anticipate. –Travis

Travis – Seahawks win, tie, or lose by less than 13

Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5)

Miami played the Giants close last week, and with Kansas City being the lesser of the two, one has to think the Dolphins can keep it close again. -Jared

Jared – Miami loses by 6 or less, ties, or wins

Miami needs this win. If they don’t win here, they have a very good chance of not winning this year. Their last winnable one is next week against the Redskins. This game actually lines up pretty well for the Dolphins. Chiefs only positive has been their run game, so if they will have to succeed on the ground — their 28th ranked passing game will need to show major improvement as well. Without looking at the numbers, one has to realize that the Chiefs have played better recently and have won 4 in a row – Travis

Travis – Miami wins, ties, or loses by less than 6

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-7.5)

Tampa has already beaten New Orleans once, and after St. Louis thrashed the Saints last week, one can only hope that Tampa Bay has taken some notes on how to stop one of the NFL’s best offenses. -Jared

Jared – Tampa Bay loses by 7 or less, ties, or wins

The Saints can’t be as bad as they looked against the Rams. Tampa is moving in the right direction coming off this bye and should start winning more, but I think after the let up against the Rams. After the Colts blowout, the Saints have to get back to playing their style. A key note to make is that Mark Ingram will not be playing in this game, so you will see more of Darren Sproles. – Travis

Travis – Saints win by 8 or more

San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins (+3.5)

There is not a bone in my body that thinks the 49ers are worse than the Bills, who shut out the Redskins last week. Washington is in shambles. The 49ers are 3 wins away from taking their Division. Scoreboard. -Jared

Jared – San Francisco wins by 4 or more

Just not much to say other than that Jim Harbaugh has done a great job at to this point. While I’d like to see the passing game improve there isn’t much to complain about from the 49ers. The Redskins have decided to change QB’s and have no running game, let alone the same RB from one game to the next. – Travis

Travis – 49ers win by 4 or more

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (-2.5)

While both teams are coming off relatively painless double-digit wins, the Bengals have the edge defensively and I don’t think the home crowd in Nashville is going to be enough to derail the Bengals. -Jared

Jared – Cincinnati loses by 2 or less, ties, or wins

There is no doubt in my mind that the Bengals are going to shut down the Titans run game, oops they already are missing it, and be able to get after Hasselbeck — and likely force a turnover or two — as they can mainly focus on defending the pass. –Travis

Travis – Cincinnati wins, ties, or loses by less than 3

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (-7.5)

It’s weird to think that the only reason I can’t pick this game to be a blowout is because Carson Palmer is the quarterback. It’s not because I don’t have faith in Carson Palmer. It’s because he hasn’t been on this team for two weeks yet. Tebow manages to keep it close, or nearly come back, or makes a ridiculous comeback. Touchdown, Jesus! -Jared

Jared – Denver loses by 7 or less, ties, or wins

Denver…Denver…Denver I think you need to  realize that Tebow isn’t working out. I would say this is a blowout possibility but the Raiders don’t have McFadden and they are starting Carson Palmer — who just hasn’t had the time to get used to the system and the players around him. I think that the Raiders running game should still be effective though, with the Broncos porous run defense . Broncos haven’t shown an ability to move the ball with Tebow. – Travis

Travis – Raiders win by 8 or more

Green Bay Packers at San Diego Chargers (+5.5)

If Philip Rivers is “playing distracted”, courtesy of LaDanian Tomlinson’s comments, then Clay Mathews is going to scramble the Chargers on Sunday. The bottom line is, you don’t stop the Packers, you pray they make mistakes. San Diego does not have the defensive ability to pressure the Green Bay offense. -Jared

Jared – Green Bay wins by 6 or more

If you asked me at the beginning of the season, I would have thought this game was going to be a great match-up (almost bought tickets) but the Chargers are having issue after issue after issue right now. We can say with some certainty that they are going to be hampered on the ground with the likelihood that Ryan Mathews will miss the game. While there is a chance that the Chargers can exploit the Packers pass defense, that is their one and only shot here. – Travis

Travis – Packers win by 6 or more

St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-4.5)

How quickly the world forgets that St. Louis just went to town on the New Orleans Saints last week. If the Rams can take care of the Saints, surely they can dispatch the lousy Cardinals without Kevin Kolb, right? -Jared

Jared – St. Louis loses by 4 or less, ties, or wins

Kolb is out and Skelton will officially be starting in his place. Bradford could be returning, and the Rams are coming with momentum after beating the Saints. I think this is a big game for the Rams, and if Bradford is back I look for that connection with Lloyd. Expect Peterson to be on Lloyd most of the game — should be a good match-up against the young CB. – Travis

Travis – Rams win, tie, or lose by less than 5

New York Giants at New England Patriots (-8.5)


Two weeks in a row that the Patriots are in a marquee match-up, and most of me wants to say if Buffalo can do it, and Pittsburgh can do it, then surely the Giants can do it. There’s no reason they don’t. I fully expect fireworks in this game offensively, for goodness sake.-Jared

Jared – New York loses by 8 or less, ties, or wins

I want to say NE loses. I mean they have the league’s worst pass defense, while Giants have one of the best. Giants also have one of the best pass offenses to match-up with New England. The issue I see here is it looks like Hakeem Nicks won’t play, and if that’s the case, it’s going to  worry me a lot in this game. Should be good though. – Travis

Travis – Giants win, tie, or lose by less than 8

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5)


So we will certainly see a barrage of offense in the Patriots/Giants game. In this game, I fully expect an on-field brawl for 60 minutes. These two teams hate each other. It’s way too bad they don’t just let the defenses slug it out to determine the winner. Can you imagine James Harrison vs. Ray Lewis in a steel cage match? Obviously, this will never happen. Instead, we’ll just have to see these two teams duke it out. I can’t wait. -Jared

Jared – Pittsburgh wins by 4 or more


Here is a heavy weight fight. The games between these two are almost impossible to ever predict. Both defenses have been solid this season, but the edge for me goes to the Ravens who are ranked 3rd in both pass and rush defense. If Mendenhall can’t get going, as he hasn’t all season, this game has the potential to be a very very low scoring game — and one where the offensive numbers are very bad for this Steelers team as the Ravens can tee off against the pass. – Travis

Travis – Ravens Win, tie, or lose by less than 4

This week has it all. A game the Colts can win. Two offensive powerhouses (Patriots/Giants). Two defensive powerhouses(Steelers/Ravens). Then we get this game.

Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5)

This is the enigma game of the season. Have the Bears shored up their offensive line? Have the Eagles turned it around on defense? Is the Bears defense still playing at an elite level? Is Michael Vick’s play-style a detriment to the potency of the Eagles offense? We will find out in what should definitely be a candidate for game of the week. -Jared

Jared -Philadelphia wins by 6 or less, ties, or loses

Two pretty evenly matched teams. Two teams that are very inconsistent. I tend to think that last weeks win against the Cowboys for the Eagles was a bit of an enigma and that you will see closer to what you have in previous games this Sunday. This game will be a battle of the running backs Forte vs. McCoy. At the end of the day, I think this game is a pretty close and hard fought with each defense being the story. – Travis

Travis – Eagles win by 7 or more