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NEWS | Nov. 6, 2009

National Football League: Week 9 Predictions

By Airman 1st Class Patrick McKenna Capital Flyer sports writer

Each week I'll give a brief preview of every game. I'll make my picks and keep a running tally as the season progresses to see how well(or terrible) I'm doing. Anyone who would like to email me their picks is more than welcome. For all those interested in submitting their picks, please email by Sunday at noon.

Washington @ Atlanta
- Washington's season of misery got even worse (if that's possible) with the loss of tight end Chris Cooley to a broken ankle. That means the Redskins' 28th ranked scoring offense will have to rely on a subpar wide receiving corps to keep defenses from stacking up to stop the run. Doesn't sound like a recipe for success, right? Atlanta is a very balanced team on offense and will force Jason Campbell to throw the ball more than he, or any Redskins fan for that matter, wants.
Pick: Falcons

Arizona @ Chicago - The Bears have struggled to find any consistent rushing attack this season, topping the 100 yard mark only once. While it may not be great, they need to continue to give Matt Forte the ball 25 times a game or run the risk of reverting back to their early season struggles.
Pick: Bears

Baltimore @ Cincinnati - The Bengals squeaked out a tight victory against the Ravens in week five and this game looks to be equally close. Both teams rely on their respective running back to set the tone and the Bengals Cedric Benson should be a little fresher coming off last week's bye. The Bengals need a win to stay atop their division.
Pick: Bengals

Houston @ Indianapolis - The Houston Texans are at a crossroads. They are 5-3 and still in decent position to contend for a wild card berth, but they also lost tight end Owen Daniels for the season last week and benched their starting running back Steve Slaton for his butter fingers. To make matters worse, they are walking into the lion's den this week, and, while they normally play the Colts tough, the Colts still have a clear edge.
Pick: Colts

Green Bay @ Tampa Bay - This game is exactly what the doctor ordered for the 4-3 Packers. Tampa's rookie quarterback Josh Freeman will be making his first career start against Green Bay, which has the fourth most interceptions in the NFL. Look for Green Bay to try and get their running game on track against Tampa Bay, who are 30th in rushing defense, and win by two touchdowns.
Pick: Packers

Kansas City @ Jacksonville - The Jaguars offensive strategy is fairly simple. Hand of to Maurice Jones Drew as many times as he can handle and allow David Garrard to make high percentage throws. This week's matchup should suit that game plan nicely as the Chiefs are 26th in the NFL in rushing defense.
Pick: Jaguars

Detroit @ Seattle - Detroit should have both Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson on the field together for the first time since week four. It will take a game or two for them to get back into any sort of rhythm. Look for Seattle to spread the ball around on offense and pressure Stafford on defense.
Pick: Seahawks

San Diego @ New York Giants - The Giants are in a tailspin. They are turning the ball over on offense and giving up way too many big plays on defense. The Chargers have a very good offense and, until the Giants show they've righted the ship, it's tough to pick them.
Pick: Chargers

Carolina @ New Orleans - The Saints are the best team in football right now and playing well in all phases of the game. As long as they don't let the extra attention affect their focus, they're winning streak has no end in sight.
Pick: Saints

Miami @ New England - In their first meeting last season, Ronnie Brown and the Dolphins used the Wildcat formation to shred the Patriots to the tune of 216 rushing yards on their way to victory. When they met again two months later, the Pats kept the Dolphins to less than 70 yards rushing. Look for the Pats to score early to put pressure on young Chad Henne to keep the Dolphins in the game.
Pick: Patriots

Tennessee @ San Francisco - The Titans finally showed some flashes of competence last week. Chris Johnson had the best game of his career and Vince Young looked great in his first game as a starter this season. The 49ers strength is stopping the run and if they keep Chris Johnson in check, will win this game at home.
Pick: 49ers

Dallas @ Philadelphia - Both of these have been playing their best football in recent weeks and the winner of this game will have the outright division lead. The key to this game will be which team has more success rushing the ball. Dallas has the deeper stable of running backs and that gives them the edge in what should be a great game.
Pick: Cowboys

Pittsburgh @ Denver - The Broncos looked horrible last week against Baltimore's defense and this week they'll try to get back on track at home against the Steelers. The problem for Denver is that they've been one dimensional on offense and until they get some semblance of a running game going, they'll struggle to beat quality teams.
Pick: Steelers

Last week's record: 10-3
Season record to date: 75-40