The Kansas City Chiefs looked done in September. Entering the late stages of October, they appear anything but. After starting 0-2, the Chiefs have reeled off four wins in five games and are playing some of the best football in the NFL. Kansas City is blending excellent defense with a powerful rushing attack and complimentary passing game to dominate opponents, leaving many fans excited.
This week, the Chiefs host the New York Jets. As many of you know, I'm a New Yorker and thus, have plenty of insight into this group. Currently, people around here have more faith in Bigfoot coming out of the woods playing an electric guitar than the Jets winning this game. Between general manager John Idzik's presser and the team's generally horrendous play, most fans are calling for a blackout to be implemented. After all, think of the children.
Without further nonsense, here are the Week 9 picks:
New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5)
Matt Verderame: Chiefs 33, Jets 16
Kansas City knows it needs to keep winning and won't let up against what is right now, the worst team in the league. Michael Vick is an upgrade from Geno Smith but only slightly. Vick will take sacks and turn the ball over, something this Chiefs team will feast on. New York has a good defensive line but nothing else on that side of the ball, leading to some big plays downfield when Rex Ryan blitzes. I expect a party at Arrowhead for the boys in red.
Joel Thorman: Chiefs 27, Jets 17
The Chiefs don't lose to bad teams. The only question for me here is whether the Jets keep it under single digits or not.
Seth Keysor: Chiefs 38, Jets 10
The Jets are a bad team, and they should feel bad. The Legion of Whom (that really needs to catch on, people) will not allow the now-utterly-mediocre Vick to get it going. Also, remember when people referred to Jamaal Charles as a poor man's Chris Johnson? High comedy. There's a good chance Justin Houston will actually kill someone this game.
Matt Conner: Chiefs 21, Jets 10
Two teams trending in opposite directions. After the Titans shocker to open the season, it's doubtful that the Chiefs will take a single opponent for granted for the remainder of 2014.
Clay Wendler: Chiefs 77, Jets 0
The Chiefs break the NFL record for margin of victory and scoring, scoring 11 touchdowns, all via the cannon right arm of Alex Smith. He goes 11-for-11 for 11 yards, prompting many to complain about his lack of downfield passing.
New Orleans Saints (-2.5) at Carolina Panthers
This is very simple. Carolina (3-4-1) stinks but is due to win a game. New Orleans (3-4) can't win a game on the road and generally looks like a college team outside the Superdome. The Saints are a better team, but the Panthers have to get this win and will find a way.
Pick: Panthers 27, Saints 24
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals (-12)
Cincinnati (4-2-1) earned an important win last week over Baltimore and now gets Jacksonville (1-6) at home. The Jaguars fight hard but simply have very little talent to work with. Cincinnati is not going to give back the win it got last week and takes care of business here.
Pick: Bengals 30, Jaguars 17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns (-7)
This is easily the crap sandwich of the week. Sure the Browns are 4-3, but does anybody actually think they're good? If you do, watch their game against Oakland and once you're done burning your retinas out, tell me you still believe. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay (1-6) has less life in it than Kim Kardashian's seat.
Pick: Browns 20, Buccaneers 16
Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys (NO LINE)
Dallas (6-2) has to be embarrassed after last week and won't lose twice in a row, provided Tony Romo plays. If Brandon Weeden plays, it will be a horror show for the Cowboys. The Cardinals (6-1) are good but Carson Palmer scares the hell out of me. You know at some point, Palmer is going to rifle a pick into double-coverage with Larry Fitzgerald wide open in the end zone. It seems like that boy is due, but this still comes down to Weeden or Romo being the starter.
Pick w/ Romo: Cowboys 27, Cardinals 20
Pick w/o Romo: Cardinals 23, Cowboys 16
Philadelphia Eagles (-1) at Houston Texans
Philadelphia (5-2) is not going to lose two straight. The Eagles are the better team here, provided Nick Foles stops throwing interceptions and Chip Kelly doesn't ask him to throw 62 times, 62 TIMES, despite the game being close throughout like last week. Houston (4-4) will put up a fight, but the Eagles will take it.
Pick: Eagles 30, Texans 24
San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins (-1)
Miami (4-3) is maybe the most unpredictable team in the league. One week the Dolphins crush New England, then next they lose to Buffalo. San Diego (5-3) is the better team but this is a tough spot. Miami has a very good defensive front and the Chargers' offensive line struggles, likely putting Philip Rivers under duress.
Pick: Dolphins 23, Chargers 21
Washington at Minnesota Vikings (EVEN)
Washington (3-5) is coming off a nice win over the Cowboys and is getting Robert Griffin III back. On the other side, Minnesota (3-5) beat the Buccaneers but are clearly rancid. While both teams have nothing but pipe dream of the playoffs, somebody has to win, and I'm taking the more talented group.
Pick: Washington 24, Vikings 21
St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers (-11)
San Francisco (4-3) is coming off a bye and getting Patrick Willis back. The 49ers have to start making their postseason push and aren't going to be picked off in this spot. As we found out last week, the Rams (2-5) will fight hard but simply aren't good enough to beat top teams.
Pick: 49ers 26, Rams 16
Denver Broncos (-3) at New England Patriots
This is the game of the week. Everybody thought the Patriots (6-2) were dead and buried after the Chiefs demolished them in Week 4. Since, New England has absolutely hammered everybody in sight, bringing it to a fantastic matchup against the Broncos. Denver (6-1) is the best team in football at the moment, but Peyton Manning always struggles in Foxboro. Don't expect it to change.
Pick: Patriots 31, Broncos 24
Oakland Raiders at Seattle Seahawks (-16.5)
Alright, we all know the Seahawks (4-3) are going to plaster the Raiders. However, this line is insane. Oakland (0-7) is horrific, but Seattle hasn't scored 17 points in what seems like a century. The Seahawks are a mess on wheels at the moment, but get the perfect tonic this week.
Pick: Seahawks 23, Raiders 13
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (EVEN)
This should be a fun one. Pittsburgh (5-3) and Baltimore (5-3) have legitimate hate toward each other and this contest is crucial. The Steelers played great against Indianapolis last week while Baltimore had an uneven performance in Cincinnati. When in doubt, go with the better quarterback and consider who's at home.
Pick: Steelers 23, Ravens 20 *PICK OF THE WEEK*
Indianapolis Colts (-3) at New York Giants
The Colts (5-3) are one of the best teams in the NFL but looked like a fraud last week. Expect Andrew Luck and the boys to bounce back against one of the lesser squads in football. The Giants will do some good things but can't make enough plays to win consistently.
Pick: Colts 32, Giants 23
Last Week: 8-7