NFL picks week 9

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets

The Jets’ win two weeks ago was crucial. Emerging from the bye week, they are 4-3 — instead of 3-4 — and sit only a game back from co-division leaders Buffalo and New England. New York is in a position to reestablish position in the AFC East in the next month with two games against Buffalo and a home game against New England next Sunday, Nov. 6.

If the Jets want to be serious contenders in the AFC, they need to win this game against the Bills. The Bills have won an important divisional game against New England already this year and their legitimacy hinges on this game against New York. In my opinion, Buffalo’s season starts a long steady decline this Sunday.

The Pick: New York

New England Patriots vs. New York Giants

Tom Brady coming off a loss is hard to pick against, but if anyone picks against New England it’s because of the defense. The Giants have torched defenses this year through the air — ranking 4th in the NFL in passing yards per game — and the New England secondary hasn’t been able to stop anyone — ranking last in pass defense.

If the Patriots lose their second straight game they will have the unenviable task of trying to avoid a three-game losing streak on the road against the Jets. Tom Brady and company know this and I say they will find a way to outgun Eli Manning and the Giants

The Pick: New England

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens

Pittsburgh got a huge win last week over New England and all of a sudden they are once again the best team in the AFC. Pittsburgh’s underwhelming 2-2 start seems like it occurred a decade ago and they have a 4-0 record at home.

Baltimore has looked dominant at times this year against great teams — New York and Pittsburgh — but has looked dismal against average ones — Tennessee, Arizona and Jacksonville. Which team will show up in Pittsburgh? Based on the way the Steelers are playing, I can’t imagine they allow themselves to lose to Baltimore twice in one year — especially at home.

The Pick: Pittsburgh

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears

The Bears sit at 4-3 and look up at two teams in the NFC North Divisional standings. The Eagles sit at 3-4 and are locked in a divisional race where three out of four teams share a 3-4 record. All this means is that both teams need to keep winning in order to have any hope at a playoff birth.

This game should be a really entertaining one, which will be played on national television. The Eagles’ re-birth will be the story going in to this one, but Chicago’s viability as an NFC contender is equally as important. This one is a turning point for both teams and I am buying back into Philadelphia.

The Pick: Philadelphia