Predictions for the slate of games for week 9. Picks in bold
N.Y. Jets at Buffalo: After his six-touchdown effort against Arizona, Brett Favre has looked a little shaky. Coming off a loss to Miami, Buffalo bounces back in front of a frenzied crowd.
Detroit at Chicago: Anyone picking Detroit would be doing so out of sympathy. Kyle Orton has revitalized the Bears' offense, suddenly dangerous through the air, and the Lions are just awful.
Jacksonville at Cincinnati: As bad as the Lions are, they continue to play hard. The Bengals don't. The Jags come out and punish Cincy, and begin a streak of well-played games that should carry them to the playoffs.
Baltimore at Cleveland: The Browns' offense is in disarray, and it won't get easier against a still-vaunted Baltimore D. Pick the visiting Ravens.
Green Bay at Tennessee: Aaron Rodgers is finally healthy, and out to prove he deserves his new extension. Tennessee is the best team in football, but they're not the Patriots from last year. Undefeated isn't happening, and the Packers end the chase.
Tampa Bay at Kansas City: The Buccaneers fell to a desperate opponent in Dallas last week. The Chiefs shouldn't be a problem.
Arizona at St. Louis: I feel bad for the Rams. They wasted an entire fourth of their schedule with an incompetent coach, and though they look like a solid team in that division, they're simply too far back. The Cardinals are the class of the division now, and Kurt Warner (shown) and Co. will prove it.
Houston at Minnesota: The Met is a tough place for any team to play in, but the Texans have been on a roll, and are better than their record shows.
Miami at Denver: I don't know why NFL defensive coordinators can't figure this "Wildcat" thing out, but the point is, they can't. Maybe it just means the Dolphins are onto something truly ingenious.
Atlanta at Oakland: Turner and Ryan have turned the Falcons into one of the NFC's most explosive teams. The Raiders, however, appear fully content being a doormat.
Dallas at N.Y. Giants: This looks like a perfect storm in favor of Dallas. The Giants only lose when everyone believes in them (as they do now), the Cowboys owned New York in the regular season last year, and they still have a chip on their shoulder to prove wrong all the naysayers taking them apart now that were picking them for the Super Bowl at the start of the season. Follow the signs, take Dallas.
Philadelphia at Seattle: The Seahawks are a mess. The Eagles have Brian Westbrook back healthy, as last week showed, and are on a roll. The winning continues in Philly.
New England at Indianapolis (Sunday night): The Patriots have been better than expected since Week 6, but the fact remains that they haven't faced a challenge like Peyton Manning and the Colts will bring. Plus, they have Joseph Addai and Bob Sanders coming back. Indy wins, but in a closer game than would have been imagined weeks earlier.
Pittsburgh at Washington (Monday night): I like the Redskins a lot, but with no Santana Moss, against a Steeler team that is getting Willie Parker back and that is angry after last week's loss to the Giants, I can't pick them. The Steelers get a big road victory.