Overall: 73-47
Last Week: 9-6

Saints @ Panthers

New Orleans has been dreadful on the road, but the most important factor for Thursday Night Football is the better starting QB. Drew Brees supersedes the Saints’ travelling issues. Many have Cam Newton mistaken for a top QB, but that is not reality at this point in time. While the Panthers have virtually no playmakers (aside from rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin), Cam is not a consistent pocket passer. Basically, I think of Cam Newton as a bull in a china shop. With his huge, physical presence, Cam can run the ball with vim and vigor. But you don’t want your QB to be your best runner, which is doubly damaging considering how much money Carolina has invested into RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart—both perpetually injured. Carolina needs to give Cam Newton more help if the Panthers have any hope elevating beyond a mostly .500 competitive level.

Win: New Orleans Saints

Jaguars @ Bengals

Cincinnati should win at home against the lowly Jaguars with their eyes closed. Sometimes, that’s what I think Andy Dalton is doing when he’s sailing passes over the heads of his receivers. But the Bengals will likely be without Gio Bernard and possibly A.J. Green again, which gives the Jaguars some hope if the offense can open up holes against the Cincinnati defense. Denard Robinson has turned into a surprisingly spry scatback that might be able to shoulder more running responsibility than previously thought. With Blake Bortles still learning, Jacksonville’s defense isn’t stout enough to keep the Bengals under 20 points, which is probably what they’ll need to pull off the road upset.

Win: Cincinnati Bengals

Buccaneers @ Browns

Why is Tampa Bay so abysmal? Everyone’s preseason darling to win their division has been horrifically awful to start the season. I think this is maybe the third time in the past few years that Tampa Bay has been picked as a ‘surprise’ team. But it hasn’t exactly worked out as planned. The Buccaneers find themselves where no one wants to be: in Cleveland, OH. On the other side, the Browns have taken care of business against a week early slate of opponents, which is still surprising because we’re talking about Cleveland. Brian Hoyer’s leash is shortening as a result of shady accuracy. At this point, it is only a matter of time before Johnny Manziel is given a more significant opportunity to grab the starting gig. Hoyer should buy himself some more time after defeating Tampa Bay, but Brian’s song could come to a screeching halt if Cleveland is losing and needs a spark in the second half of this game.

Win: Cleveland Browns

Cardinals @ Cowboys

Tony Romo has a broken back and Brandon Weeden will start for the Dallas Cowboys. While Weeden put together a few competent drives in injury replacement duty, let’s not forget this is Brandon Weeden. Imagine an older version of Andy Dalton with less experience and worse accuracy. That’s Brandon Weeden. Arizona hasn’t been a world beater, but the Cardinals have consistently done just enough to win. With Dallas dealing with the Brandon Weeden Experience, Arizona needs to protect the ball and just be better than one of the worst starting QBs in recent memory.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Jets @ Chiefs

At this point, I don’t even think Michael Vick remembers Michael Vick being any good. Personally, I’ve had a very hate-hate relationship with Michael Vick. With all of adoration early in his career, I hated the Falcons era Mike Vick. A coach killer in the highest regard, Vick never lived up to the hype. I still remember the Falcons-Eagles playoff game where Brian Dawkins blew up Vick, and he was never really the same dynamic threat afterwards. Vick then moved from killing coaches to killing dogs, which deservedly made him a pariah and the No. 1 enemy of America’s soccer moms. I love dogs and what he did was despicable. But he did spend real time in jail and paid a hefty price for murdering those dogs. If you supposedly believe in our justice system, then didn’t Vick earn his penance with that punishment? Understandably, some people will never get over that atrocity. However, I feel like Vick has expressed sincere and genuine remorse for his actions. There’s a reason we don’t kill everyone who commits a crime. On the tail end of a complicated, often tumultuous career, Vick has the opportunity at one more starting shot on the field even if he’ll never earn complete redemption off the field. With the lack of talent around him in an extremely tough environment on the road, this won’t bring back memories of the dynamic Vick.

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

Chargers @ Dolphins

Neither the Chargers nor Dolphins can be counted on each week. Miami decides to show up only a few times at home and the same can be said for the Chargers on the road. Equally matched in all respects, the deciding factor between these two teams is that Philip Rivers is better than Ryan Tannehill. Without an overwhelming advantage in any other area, it would take an implosion by Rivers and San Diego’s offensive game plan for Miami to not trip over their own feet.

Win: San Diego Chargers

Redskins @ Vikings

Colt McCoy pulled off the miraculous upset of the season against the Dallas Cowboys. But the Washington Redskins couldn’t be content with that surprise so they pulled the rug out from under McCoy’s feet. Why? The Return of RG Knee! We’re not exactly sure if Griffin III is 100% healthy, but Washington apparently feels they can no longer wait for the Dreadlocked One’s return. Minnesota isn’t very good, but the Vikings might be able to just run the ball down Washington’s throat to knock them on their ass. Considering how often the Redskins blitz, Teddy Bridgewater might find his ass on the ground more often.

Win: Washington Redskins

Eagles @ Texans

J.J. Watt is always a threat to make a monstrous defensive play that shifts momentum to the Texans. As a result, Houston hangs around in games pestering the opposing team with pressure. Nick Foles doesn’t do well under pressure. And Philadelphia’s offensive line is still makeshift. Although that’s not a good recipe for success, Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t do well under pressure either. And if you can stop Arian Foster (or at least prevent him from hitting paydirt), then the Eagles have the advantage with a more explosive offensive attack. When faced with an opponent who can potentially post 20+ points, I cannot in good faith support the side of Ryan Fitzpatrick. It will take J.J. Watt and Arian Foster to prove me wrong.

Win: Philadelphia Eagles

Rams @ 49ers

St. Louis is on the cusp of becoming a consistently competitive team. But the lack of playmakers on offense restricts the overall ability of the team to close out victories. It’s possible that the Rams will jump out to an early lead against San Francisco, but recent history tells us that the offense will plateau and grow stagnant while the opposing team continues to move the chains and pound out points. Even if the Rams hold teams to field goals, St. Louis just doesn’t possess the offense presence to put the team in a position to win. Despite whatever fuck-ups happen for San Francisco, the 49ers always seem to pull something out of their ass in the final seconds. Or at the very least, the team is competitive until the end.

Win: San Francisco 49ers

Broncos @ Patriots

Brady-Manning

Easily the best game of Week 9. Possibly the best game of the 2014 NFL Season. This is the 16th head-to-head between Manning and Brady with the Patriots possessing the 10-5 matchup edge. But don’t mistake that for Brady being better than Manning. I’ve watched all of these matchups and the Patriots have almost always had a substantially better defense. If you take away the first 6 matchups of Manning’s career against those dominant Patriots defenses, then Peyton has the 5-4 advantage since 2005. But that just doesn’t play as well into the narrative the media attempts to establish about Peyton Manning. If the conversation turns to defense this year, most will cite the millions Denver invested into their defense this offseason. While the Broncos have bigger names, New England plays more consistently as a unit and Belicheat is certainly a better schemer than Jack Del Rio. Don’t forget about the resurgence and reemergence of The Gronk. Even though Denver is on the road this week, I believe Manning will lead the Broncos on a comeback drive with New England losing by a measly 3 points.

Win: Denver Broncos

Raiders @ Seahawks

Oakland has been, currently is in, and will certainly be in shambles for the immediate future. The damage done to this franchise is irreparable. Years after the stupefying selection of JaMarcus Russell, now the Raiders have a competent young QB in Derek Carr—without anything supporting or surrounding him. Oakland’s running back duo is comprised of two washed up veterans (Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden) that were capable 5 years ago. I don’t know when or if Oakland will win their next game, but it won’t happen this week on the road in Seattle. This has the makings for an incredibly embarrassing loss that could be cathartic for the Seahawks who need to overcome the chaos mounting in their locker room. If Seattle blows this easy bake win, then there are real problems for Coach Double Rainbow.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Ravens @ Steelers

“What’s the most you ever lost on a coin toss? The most. You ever lost. On a coin toss.” — Anton Chigurh

Literally, I tossed a coin to decide this game. Baltimore is heads because that’s who my brain is telling me will win. Pittsburgh is tails because Ben Rapistberger is an asshole. The coin landed on heads.

Win: Baltimore Ravens

Colts @ Giants

Indianapolis is a mirage. In a certain light, the Colts look like an elite team that can knock you around on defense and move the ball wherever they would like on offense. But that buxom beauty transforms into the goofy, hairy neckbeard of Andrew Luck pretty quickly when exposed to the sun. If the Colts are a mirage or beer goggles on an ugly lady, then I have no idea how to describe the sloshed mess named the New York Giants. In any given game, Eli Manning can look like an elite passer with uncommon pocket presence or he can look like a baffled 12-year old overwhelmed by the moment. It makes no sense whatsoever. I should take Indianapolis on the road because the Colts are slightly more consistent, but Big Ben cornered the Colts defense like a drunken co-ed in a bar bathroom. After waking up embarrassed by that loss last week, I think Indianapolis may still be too damaged to fight off Eli Manning’s awkward fondling attempts.

Win: New York Giants

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