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NFL picks Week 9: Kansas City Chiefs bye week edition

Since the Chiefs are on a bye, we'll take a shot at predicting the teams that are actually playing this week.

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Bold prediction: the Chiefs will NOT be beaten this week.

What to watch for: During the bye week, I'll be curious to see if there are any personnel grouping changes when the Chiefs get back to practice.  For example, will Jeff Allen be the LG or RT?

Since there won't be a Chiefs game for us to overreact to this weekend, here's what the rest of the NFL will be doing to occupy themselves.

Packers vs Panthers

Both have been playing great football, so this could be the matchup of the week. Vegas has Green Bay as 2.5 point favorites. The Packers are a much better team at home but the QB is a difference maker. The Green Bay defense started strong but has struggled recently, so all signs point to a Carolina victory. But I ignore signs. Carolina won't stay unbeaten forever.  Aaron Rodgers finds a way ... Prediction: 27-21 Packers

Redskins vs Patriots

This could be ugly. Vegas has New England as two touchdown favorites. The Deflate-Gate story won't die, but the bigger story should be the play of Brady and the Patriots. Each year, they find motivation and ways to re-tool their team to stay a step ahead of the (law) league. Prediction: 42-13 Patriots

Titans vs Saints

Vegas has New Orleans as eight point favorites. I think it could be more of a blowout with the coaching staff for Tennessee in flux. Mariota should play, which will help but not enough. One player to watch: Arrowhead Pride favorite Dorial Green-Beckham. He should get more looks this week with Wright out.  Prediction: 35-14 Saints.

Dolphins vs Bills

Buffalo enters as the slight favorite at 2.5 points. Defensive injuries will be a factor here with Cameron Wake and Kyle Williams missing from their respective fronts. Tyrod Taylor should be back under center for Buffalo, and Tannehill seems to struggle at Buffalo. I'm going with the home team here. Prediction: 24-17 Buffalo

Rams vs Vikings

The home team is the favorite here as well, albeit 2.5 points. Both teams boast talented defenses and elite RBs. The Rams finally have two playmakers on offense with Gurley and Austin both playing well, and their defensive front could be good enough to limit Peterson, and force Teddy to try and win it in the air. I like STL / LA here, Prediction: 21-14 Rams

Jaguars vs Jets

Jets are 7.5 point favorites. I think Jacksonville will eventually be an "up and coming team" with weapons in the passing game, and plenty of early draft picks that will someday contribute. But, yeah, they aren't there yet, and the Jets have a nasty defense. Prediction: 19-12 Jets

Raiders vs Steelers

Pittsburgh is the five point favorite at home vs the young and talented Raiders (yes, I hate saying that). Roethlisberger is back, and has Bryant and Brown to attack the Raiders secondary. The Raiders have a potentially great QB to WR combination developing with Carr and Cooper, but it won't be enough this week. Prediction: 34-21 Steelers

Giants at Buccaneers

Giants are 2.5 point favorites here. Neither team can defend the pass, and both have some weapons on offense. This could be a shootout, and a turnover-fest at the same time. I think Winston is gradually improving, and I need Mike Evans to get going for my fantasy team. Prediction: Tampa wins 35-28

Falcons at 49ers

Atlanta favored by a TD against a franchise that appears completely lost. Blaine Gabbert will get the start, and likely struggle without (new Bronco) Vernon Davis, and with no running game to speak of. Pioli's Falcons win the least entertaining game of the week. Prediction: 21-12 Falcons

Broncos at Colts

Vegas likes Denver by five, and I don't like Denver at all. OK, perhaps my bias is showing, as the Donkeys are playing very well on defense (though, they're very overrated) and old Man Manning is doing enough to keep them winning. The Colts are a hot mess, with everyone getting fired except the guy that usually gets fired when a team disappoints (the head coach). Prediction: 42-21 Broncos

Eagles at Cowboys

Vegas says it'll be Eagles by a FG, and I'd assume these two rivals will play each other close. Dallas doesn't seem to be distracted by the disgusting behavior of Greg Hardy, and they won't yet have Tony Romo back. Philly needs a win to get back to .500 and justify Chip Kelly's ego. This game is a tossup. Prediction: 24-21 Eagles.

Bears at Chargers

San Diego is a four point favorite for the Monday night game. They have the passing offense going, but their defense has not been good. Chicago will be playing with a backup running back and a turnover prone QB. This could be ugly to watch. Prediction: 28-12 Chargers

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