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The Oratory's NFL Picks for Week 9
by John Canton (NFL)
Posted on November 7, 2009, 6:49 AM

John: Welcome to week nine of the Oratory's NFL Picks. I am John Canton joined as always by my fellow prognosticators James Deaux and Matt Henry. I'm happy that my Rams won last week and I'm even happier that they're off this week. A winning streak last two weeks baby! And then they play the Saints. I hate this season. Really, though, you should be copying James' picks. Dude is hitting on 75% this year straight up. That's disgusting.

James: That’s more like it! And I have regained my spot atop the Straight-Up Pick ‘Em League. Bwahaha...

Matt: I wonder why this week seems to be packed with less suck than the past few. Oh yeah, the Bills, Browns, Raiders, and Rams aren’t playing. Beyond that there are quite a few big time divisional matchups that are key to the playoff aspirations of one or both teams involved.

Last week's results:
James 11-2
John 8-5
Matt 7-6

The standings for the season:
James 87-29 (.750)
Matt 75-41 (.647)
John 75-41 (.647)

The following teams have byes this week: Bills, Browns, Vikings, Jets, Raiders, Rams

All game times are Eastern.

Washington at Atlanta 1:00 PM
James: Atlanta has stumbled the last two weeks against tough road competition, but returning to the Georgia Dome against a bottom feeder should be the perfect formula to get back on track. Atlanta 28 – Washington 20

Matt: Atlanta deserves this easy two week span after facing two very tough teams the past two weeks. The Falcons should have no problem handling the team that lost to the Lions, especially sans Cooley. The odds of the Falcons losing here are about as good as those of finding James breaking the bank of an all you can eat buffet. Falcons 34-12

John: I don't see myself picking the Redskins again the rest of the way. Meanwhile, the Falcons are one of those teams that is really good at home while being just okay on the road. Seeing as how this is a home game, I think they'll be really good against a really bad Redskins team. Falcons 27-10

Arizona at Chicago 1:00 PM
James: Can anyone explain to me which direction either of these teams wants to go? I’ll take Chicago just because they desperately need a win here. Chicago 24 – Arizona 20

Matt: One of two games this week that I really think could go either way depending which version of which team shows up. The Cardinals have all of the tools in place to beat almost every team in the league right now. The problem is that much like the Chargers, they just haven’t been playing to their potential. The Bears get the nod with the odds makers based on home field advantage, but I think that advantage is highly dependent on the weather. It is November, gotta go with the Bears. Bears 30-27

John: This is a tough one. The Cards are the hardest team to predict this year. If you use trends it usually bites you in the ass. If you go on simply picking the better team, you can lose that way too since they got smoked by the Panthers at home. They're 3-0 on the road and 1-3 at home, which means they like being away from the desert. With it not being a cold weekend, it should be a comfortable atmosphere for them. I like the Cards in this game. I don't know why. Gut instinct. Cardinals 27-21

Baltimore at Cincinnati 1:00 PM
James: This is always a fun game to watch, and their first meeting this year was proof positive. I know Cincinnati is hurting a bit on defense, but I think they make another statement against their hated rivals here. Cincinnati 24 – Baltimore 20

Matt: This is the other game that is almost too close to call. This is a key divisional game with what amounts to a three team deadlock in the AFC North. A Steeler win in Denver will put the losing team here in a poor position for the Division title. The good news for both is that this division will likely send at least two teams to the playoffs. Last time, the Bengals were the hot team coming into the game on the road. This time, the roles are reversed and I’m thinking the outcome will be too. Ravens 17-14

John: Huge game, obviously. I think the oddsmakers favoring the Ravens by 3 are thinking about last year too much. Baltimore's defense isn't as good as it was. They think it's as good, but it isn't. Furthermore, the Bengals are a much better team this year than last and they've already beat the Ravens this year. I like the fact that Cincy's coming off the bye too. Palmer's playing well and Cedric Benson's running hard. I'm going with the home team. Bengals 23-20

Houston at Indianapolis 1:00 PM
James: This is without question the biggest game in the short history of the Texan’s franchise. Truthfully, they couldn't come into Indy at a better time with their secondary hurting so badly. I’m going out on a limb and predicting the Colts’ first loss here because Houston is just on fire right now. Houston 28 – Indianapolis 25

Matt: On paper this should be an easy pick for the Colts, however I’m not quite so sure. The Texans have been doing much better recently, and the Colts seem primed for their first loss after the 49ers figured out the key to reigning in Manning. Who better to hand them their first loss than a divisional rival who sees this team twice a year? Texans 18-17

John: I know that picking against the Colts in this game might be something people do, but not me. I mean come on people, it's the Texans we're talking about here! This is what they do. They win a couple games, they look impressive and then they completely let down when they should keep a game close. I think that's what is going to happen. Yes, the Colts don't have their top CB in Jackson and their top S in Sanders, but they still have Peyton Manning. The way he's playing right now I'm not going against him. Colts 31-24

Miami at New England 1:00 PM
James: Another fun game, especially when Joey Porter opens his big yap. Miami seems to have the Patriots’ number more than any other team, but I don’t think they can beat them in Foxboro. New England 33 – Miami 21

Matt: The Dolphins match up well against the Patriots, just not quite well enough. Still should be a fun, competitive game though. I like the Dolphins to lead early, but lose momentum later in the game. This game has last second field goal, or overtime written all over it. The Dolphins are a few unlucky bounces away from being at the top of this division. Patriots 27-24

John: I've gone back and forth on this all week. Earlier in the week I wrote that I thought Miami might keep it within seven points to cover the double digit spread. Then I thought about it some more and came up with four reasons to pick the Patriots by a lot: 1) Miami's corners are rookies trying to cover the best WR combo in football, 2) the Pats won their last two by a combined score of 94-7, 3) the Pats are rested after coming off a bye and 4) last year when Miami came into New England they debuted the Wildcat to much success. With Bill The Cheater Belichick coaching on the other side I don't see that happening again. Plus, I don't think Joey Porter talking smack was a good idea either. The Pats win...big. Patriots 41-6

Green Bay at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM
James: Even Green Bay’s offensive line could protect Aaron Rodgers from this sorry defensive front. Green Bay 34 – Tampa Bay 21

Matt: Remember a few years ago when this game was tough to call? Maybe after the Bucs complete this rebuilding process I hear their working on it will be again someday. Packers are going to be ready to bounce back after the Vikings game last week. Packers 34-20

John: Hey Aaron Rodgers, I don't care if you win or lose, really. Just stay healthy, alright? You're too important to two of my very good fantasy teams. Don't get hurt. Thankfully against the Bucs that's not that much of a concern. Packers 31-17

Kansas City at Jacksonville 1:00 PM
James: Neither team is going anywhere this year, but at least Kansas City won’t be bogged down by Larry Johnson. Jacksonville’s players (save MJD) just don’t seem to be motivated to do anything under Jack del Rio anymore. Kansas City 21 – Jacksonville 20

Matt: Every week has one or two games between two teams so bad that it is painful to watch. This is that game for week 9. KC is one of a very limited selection of teams that I think the Jaguars can beat this year. Jaguars 24-23

John: I don't like picking the Chiefs away from home although the Jags have the worst home fans in the NFL. The Jags have MJD, who is playing really well, so that's enough reason to go with them. Jaguars 24-14

Carolina at New Orleans 4:05 PM
James: All of the sudden, Carolina is playing like a professional football team. I don’t think it matters since they’re up against the Saints. New Orleans 35 – Carolina 27

Matt: This is the sexy upset pick this week on NFL.com. I don’t see how. You’ve got to score a pile of points to beat the Saints and the Panthers simply aren’t equipped to do that against even a reasonably skilled defense. Saints 38-6

John: You realize the Saints haven't beat their division rival Panthers at home since 2001? All things must come to an end. I do give the Panthers credit for realizing they should run the ball all the time because that's the way they're going to win games. They're just not good enough to win in New Orleans right now. Or keep it close. Saints 37-20

Detroit at Seattle 4:05 PM
James: Matt Hasselbeck is going to have a field day against the Lions’ secondary. Seattle 41 – Detroit 14

Matt: Finally a team that the Seahawks can beat without much concern. Even the massive injury bug that has attacked the Seahawks for two seasons cannot keep them from a victory over the Lions at home. Seahawks 24-10

John: Detroit on the road? No, just no. Hasselbeck's playing well enough that Seattle should roll comfortably here even though they're not very good. It's just that Detroit's that much worse. Seahawks 27-10

San Diego at NY Giants 4:15 PM
James: I’m picking San Diego here because the Giants’ secondary is in shambles, and Philip Rivers (you remember him, right?) tends to carve apart teams with that problem. Giants lose their fourth in a row. San Diego 34 – New York 27

Matt: Statement time for the Giants. This is a team that you simply cannot count out. The Chargers continue to prove that there is more to success in the NFL than stacking a team with talent. With the weapons they have and the weak division they play in, there is no excuse for this to not be a top 5 offense in the League. The Giants break out of their losing streak by helping the Chargers maintain theirs of losing to teams with winning records. Giants 28-18

John: Screw the Giants. The last two weeks I lost one game on multiple parlay tickets. The reason both times? The Giants. They suck right now. Of course, now that I'm strongly against them that means they're going to win convincingly and cost me money the other way, but I'm still picking the Chargers. They can throw the ball well enough to cause problems for a Giants secondary that is playing poorly. Plus, Eli Manning really isn't playing good right now, so I'll go with the Chargers in a tight game. Chargers 27-23

Tennessee at San Francisco 4:15 PM
James: You know, maybe the Titans should just forget about having a quarterback and just snap the ball to Chris Johnson every time. San Francisco is up and down, but I think they can stop Vince Young pretty easily. San Francisco 24 – Tennessee 14

Matt: The Titans might be the best of the worst teams in the NFL right now. The problem for them this week is that they are going to have to count on Vince Young’s throwing to win this week. The 49ers are too strong against the run for it to happen any other way. While this might not be “is Vince Young going to kill himself?” bad, it won’t help him make his case for the Hall of Fame either. The 49ers should be more proud of their close loss to the Colts than Titans should be of a blowout victory over the Jaguars. I don’t really understand how this is only a 4 point line. 49ers 27-10

John: Vince Young vs. Alex Smith! Feel the excitement. I think the Titans looked a lot better with Young at the helm last week although that was against a bad Jags team and they were at home. It's tougher in San Fran. I like the Niners here although I think it's going to be an ugly game. Niners 17-10

Dallas at Philadelphia 8:20 PM
James: Philadelphia is playing like an elite team right now, and even though Dallas is looking a lot better of late, they just can’t win in Philadelphia. Philly 30 – Dallas 17

Matt: This should be much closer than the NFC East showdown last week. I think Dallas poses more of a threat to the Eagles in every aspect of the game than the Giants. Also, this is still too early for the Cowboys seemingly annual collapse. As hot as Romo has been recently, I just can’t see them overcoming a tough Eagles team in what will be a very hostile environment following the Phillies World Series loss. Eagles 27-20

John: Very tempted to pick the Cowboys here. They are playing very well. Maybe too well. Romo's due for his bad game. I like the Eagles offense too much right now to go against them. They win games like this. They lose games like the one against Oakland last month. Eagles 30-20

Pittsburgh at Denver 8:30 PM (Mon)
James: Denver crashed back to earth in a big way last week, and I think it will continue this week with the Steelers coming to town. Pittsburgh 27 – Denver 13

Matt: More defensive injuries for the Steelers. In addition to the loss of Aaron Smith, the Steelers D will be playing without Travis Kirschke and Ryan Clark. Still, Denver did not look like a team capable of beating top caliber teams last week when they faced the Ravens. It is very tempting to pick the Steelers to win big here, but the injuries mentioned earlier combined with the altitude adjustment in Denver should keep this close. The Steelers have loved nothing more than the close games the past two seasons. Look for more of the same here with the Steelers struggling to maintain their tough against the run image due to the injuries and fatigue. Steelers 24-17

John: Hey, I got a Denver game right last week! Woohoo! Let's go for two in a row. The Steelers defense is elite with Troy Polamalu back there. The Broncos offense will have a tough time running the ball and if they can't run Orton's going to have a tough night. I'll go for the Steelers winning in a tough environment. Steelers 23-16

JC's Money Picks
John: Every week I'll pick four games against the spread or using the over/under. Last week I went a discouraging 1-3 although I got the Rams right, which makes me happy. These odds come from pinnaclesports.com as always.

Season: 18-13-1 (.581)

PATRIOTS -10½ over the Dolphins – I have a feeling.
SEAHAWKS -10 over the Lions – I don't like Detroit on the road ever.
FALCONS -9 over the Redskins – This is a bet against the Redskins.
Cardinals/Bears over 44½ - Feels like an over to me.

Thanks for reading. We'll see you next week for week ten.

Enjoy the games.

Contact James at xenomaster_17@yahoo.com
Contact Matt at Kane_matthews@hotmail.com
Contact John at oratoryjohn@gmail.com

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