Christopher’s Picks: Week 9

Mid way through the regular season, it’s a good time to start focusing on the playoff standings each week. Of course the picture eight weeks in will change dramatically before it’s all said and done, but it’s still fun to look at and keep track of. Let’s start in the AFC:

AFC Playoff Picture: (1) Kansas City, (2) New England, (3) Indianapolis, (4) Cincinnati, (5) Denver, (6) San Diego

  • Even though it’s early, I’m putting my money on both Wild Card spots going to the AFC West in the end.
  • I think KC will end up in one of them though.
  • San Diego at Indianapolis and Denver at Cincinnati would be fun opening matchups.

NFC Playoff Picture: (1) Seattle, (2) New Orleans, (3) Green Bay, (4) Dallas, (5) San Francisco, (6) Detroit

  • Bad news for the rest of the NFC: With their bye still a few weeks away, Seattle gets home-field advantage over New Orleans at this point.
  • Always great to see a division rivals meet in the playoffs (Green Bay-Detroit)
  • Also great to see the seventh postseason meeting between San Francisco and Dallas (and the first since 1994)

LAST WEEK’S PICKS

Lost in the personal excitement of last weekend, I forgot to actually post my picks. But since I make my picks on Monday or so and alter them throughout the week, I’ll post them on this week’s picks.

Looking back, I probably should have posted them anyways. Great week.

Carolina over Tampa Bay

Winning the games they should win is a step in the right direction for Carolina. The burning question now in Tampa Bay is whether Greg Schiano will last until the end of the season.

Detroit over Dallas

Detroit’s offense and Dallas’s inconsistency made this an easier pick than it should have been. This Lions team may have something…

Kansas City over Cleveland

I don’t know what this score says about Cleveland (probably nothing significant), but for the Chiefs it’s only a matter of time before they drop one.

New England over Miami

It started out ugly, but cooler heads prevailed in Foxboro.

New Orleans over Buffalo

No surprise here. The Saints are who we think they are: very good.

Philadelphia over New York Giants

Being that I’m off the Eagles bandwagon for good, this pick even surprised me. The Giants may look poised to make a run in the division, but a win over Philly doesn’t impress me.

San Francisco over Jacksonville

The spotlight has been remove from San Francisco in recent weeks, but they aren’t any worse. Two big NFC South games await them after the bye. Jacksonville’s still Jacksonville.

Cincinnati over New York Jets

I wanted a win, but not like this. Ugly performance all around by the Jets.

Pittsburgh over Oakland

As mediocre as the Steelers offense has looked this season, the defense certainly isn’t doing them any favors. These Raiders are fun to watch every week though.

Denver over Washington

Manning looked pretty drunk midway through, but sobered quickly. They have a bye this week.

Arizona over Atlanta

I knew the Falcons were bad, but not this bad. Who could’ve predicted a fall like this prior to the season?

Green Bay over Minnesota

Josh Freeman gives Minnesota the best chance at winning the rest of the season. That’s not saying much though. Hats off to Jordy Nelson, quietly developing into one of the league’s best receivers.

Seattle over St. Louis

Seattle is incredibly vulnerable on the road, but they keep winning. Questions abound for the pass defense.

Record (Week): 11-2

Record (Season): 82-39

COVERAGE MAPS (courtesy of The 506)

It was clear from the start that Fox’s early game would come down to Carolina-Atlanta and Dallas-Minnesota. It was also clear from the start that Dallas-Minnesota would end up getting national coverage somehow

The CBS doubleheader gives us San Diego-Washington and an unfortunate Pittsburgh-New England game late.

Now let’s pick. As noted above, my 11-2 record last week puts me at 82-39 for the season.

Miami over Cincinnati

This upset pick looked great until Cincinnati’s comeback in the fourth quarter. Luckily, Andy Dalton came through (for me, anyways).

Kansas City over Buffalo

Buffalo over Kansas City seems to be the trendy pick among pundits this week, but I don’t see it happening. Yes Buffalo plays better at home and has scored 17 points or more in every game. Yes, Kansas City will lose soon, either before or to Denver. But not here.

Carolina over Atlanta

Continuing on the trend of winning the games they should win, the Panthers have another weak team in Atlanta. They should cruise, especially if Roddy White can’t go on Sunday. “Should” is still the keyword here though.

Dallas over Minnesota

QB troubles aside, the Vikings can’t get it done with such a mediocre defense. Dallas should roll.

Tennessee over St. Louis

I’m not high on either of these teams at the moment, but with Jake Locker expected to return from a hip injury this week, I’m switching the pick in their favor.

New Orleans over New York Jets

Even before New York’s blowout loss last week, I was leaning New Orleans. Easy choice now.

San Diego over Washington

San Diego’s the better team, but they don’t always play like it on the road. Regardless, I like Philip Rivers‘s odds against the  Redskins defense.

Oakland over Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a better team on the road for some reason, but the excitement of the Raiders offense makes it tough to pick against them here.

Seattle over Tampa Bay

In Tampa Bay, I’d still give the edge to Seattle. But with the Seahawks at home, you can lock it in.

Cleveland over Baltimore

I’m not thrilled with this pick whatsoever. I originally had Baltimore here, but I think the Browns can get a win at home.

New England over Pittsburgh

Neither team is playing as well as we’d expect them to, but there’s no reason to go with the Steelers.

Indianapolis over Houston

The Texans aren’t as bad as their record indicates. This much is certain. But perhaps no team in the league has been hampered more by their quarterback play. Case Keenum had them in position to win last game, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding him.

The Indianapolis defense could keep Houston in the game, giving up so many rushing yards a game. With all of that said, I’m taking Houston.

Green Bay over Chicago

It’s about time we get an intriguing MNF game. Both teams have a winning record and are fighting for the NFC North title. I’m taking Green Bay here, mainly because of Chicago’s bad defensive play this season.

Record (Week): 9-4

Record (Season): 91-43

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