NFL Week 9 Picks & Predictions 2014
Another week, another split for our NFL picks as we hit the nail directly on the head with one of our selections, and missed our other by quite a large margin. As expected, the Seahawks and Panthers defences were stout as ever with a total of 22 points ending up on the scoreboard while the Jets once again forgot to show up at home against a beatable opponent. With all that has gone on in the last few weeks for Seattle, a hard-fought road victory was just was the doctor ordered. The Seahawks defence was fantastic throughout the day, holding the Panthers to just three second half points and three field goals on the day. Likewise, the Panthers defence was impressive as well and looked as if it would be the difference in a 9-6 Panthers victory, however Russel Wilson lead the Seahawks down the field in the games final minute and scored the game's only touchdown to edge the Panthers by a 13-9 final.
The game at Metlife Stadium in New York on Sunday afternoon was cut from a very different cloth than that of our previous selection. The Jets were absolutely thumped by Kyle Orton and the Buffalo Bills to the tune of a 43-23 final score. The thought all along on why Rex Ryan still has his job after this Jets team being an annual disappointment was that he has nothing to do with the anaemic offense and that he is a defensive guru. However, after surrendering 43 points to a Bills team that is middle of the pack offensively this year at best, I have absolutely no idea why this man is still employed by the Jets. A 1-7 record tells the story in what has officially become another horrible season for the Jets.
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When I look back at my picks it's disappointing that I actually expected something from the Jets, however beating Buffalo by three points when they are in your building isn't a tough task for most, but I will take my medicine and move on to week 9.
San Diego Chargers @ Miami Dolphins
The Chargers and Dolphins will collide in Miami this Sunday afternoon with both team needing wins to climb the standings and to get back into the playoff picture. From the Chargers points of view, they sit nicely in a wildcard spot at the moment as they are tied for the AFC's third best winning percentage, however that can all change in one week as the Dolphins have similar aspirations after compiling a 4-3 record to this point of the season. San Diego was dealt a blow to their division-winning hopes last Thursday as the Broncos stayed hot and knocked off their divisional foes by a 35-21 score. The Dolphins were in the all-enviable spot of playing Jacksonville last week and the team did not disappoint with a 27-13 victory on the road. The Chargers and Dolphins actually match up nicely coming into this game as both teams accumulate similar amounts of yardages, points, and defensive statistics heading into this week 9 tilt. The main difference I see for this game is experience, and that advantage goes to Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers.
Lines - Pick'em - Miami (-120) @ 5dimes.eu
OVER 45 (-110) @ 5dimes.eu
My Pick - CHARGERS TO WIN (+100)
I have praised Rivers' experience and leadership in the past and I will do it again today. To date this season, Rivers only stands behind one quarterback in the NFL in terms of Quarterback Rating, and that one man is who beat him last week in Peyton Manning. Year after year Rivers is overlooked as one of the game's top Quarterback's, and year after year he proves people wrong. His 20 touchdowns versus five interceptions is impressive, and in winning games this season the veteran QB has completed over 71% of his passes and thrown just one pick compared to 14 touchdowns, another impressive stat. In losses, he still manages to complete over 63% of his passes, which tells me their losses usually aren't this man's fault. We can bank on River's and the offense coming out hard as they need a win here to keep up in the AFC playoff race and they can take out a potential wildcard team in the process. San Diego needs to stop the Dolphins run game that averages 138 yards per contest, and if they can do that than everything will take care of itself in Chargers victory. Look for the better team to win this one so put your money on the Chargers this weekend in Miami.
Oakland Raiders @ Seattle Seahawks
The winless Oakland Raiders will take their shot at ending their 13-game winless skid in a hostile environment when they take on the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. At first glance this matchup looks like an easy win for the Seahawks and an even easier loss for the Raiders. When I look at this game, I am seeing a great opportunity for a winless team to try and pounce on a once-dominant team that never loses at home. Plenty of problems exist for the Seahawks. They lost their last home game, their locker room is in obvious turmoil, and their most important player next to Russel Wilson is not producing on or off the field. Marshawn Lynch is creating a lot of swirling rumours about his apparently unhappiness in Seattle off the field, and his production on the field has not been anywhere near 'Beast Mode'. Since running for two touchdowns and accumulating 110 yards in the season opening win against the Packers, Lynch has just one touchdown and is averaging 63 yards on the ground per game. The running game needs to be a part of Seattle's offense and Russel Wilson cannot be doing all the running for this team, especially if he plans on staying healthy. Looking at Oakland's offense, Derek Carr has actually had a real nice rookie season despite his surroundings on this poor Oakland team.
Lines - Seattle -16.5 (+105) @ 5dimes.eu
OVER 43 (-110) @ 5dimes.eu
My Pick - RAIDERS +16.5 (-125)
Carr and his go-to receiver James Jones are two guys that are actually living up to or possibly exceeding expectations this season for the Raiders. Carr has just five interceptions on the season, and he has actually thrown for more yards through the air (1517) than his Sunday counterpart in Wilson(1490). Jones has 425 receiving yards on the season, 54 more yards than Seattle's top receiver Doug Baldwin. Now in saying all of this I cannot honestly tell you that Oakland can win this game because that is just not a realistic expectation. What is a real expectation is that Oakland can possibly take advantage of a Seattle team that is not clicking on all cylinders, looks vulnerable for the first time in a long time, and does not have a home win to build off of after losing to Dallas three Sunday's ago. Most importantly, out of their seven losses this season, only one has been by more than 16 points. They kept the 6-2 New England Patriots (on the road), 6-1 Arizona Cardinals, 5-3 San Diego Chargers, 4-3 Cleveland Browns (on the road), and 4-4 Houston Texans all to within 16 point or less football games. Let's look for the Raiders to cover a huge spread this Sunday against the Seahawks.