NFL Week 9 Game Picks: Saints inching towards a Wild Card spot?

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Sep 7, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin (11) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings defensive back Robert Blanton (36) during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Rams (4-3) at Minnesota Vikings (5-2)

This will be a game between two playoff contenders who are vastly improved after mediocre seasons last year. Todd Gurley is playing outstanding football for the Rams, and a strong Vikings team carries the underwhelming Teddy Bridgewater. The outcome of this contest is as unknown as the points scored by both teams.

Tennessee Titans (1-6) at New Orleans Saints (4-4)

Here we are again Who Dat Nation! Our beloved Black and Gold return to the Dome on their way to improving over .500 and manifesting themselves in the NFC playoff hunt. This matchup would have trap game written all over it, but the current winning streak is no fluke and the Saints margin for error is nearly zero. Tennessee boasts a horrible record, an injured quarterback, and an interim head coach. Sean Payton’s men could not have caught this opponent at a worse time.

Washington Redskins (3-4) at New England Patriots (7-0)

BLOWOUT is what this game has written all over it. Despite Kirk Cousins late game heroics against the Buccaneers and his pathetic shouting afterward, the Redskins are still a mediocre team with a bad quarterback and dysfunctional front office. A trip up to Foxborough is not what the doctor ordered for any team, but it does not get more accurate than here.

Oct 19, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) is stopped by Green Bay Packers linebacker Sam Barrington (58) after a 6-yard gain in the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers (6-1) at Carolina Panthers (7-0)

After suffering their first loss of the season, the Packers travel to Charlotte where an unbeaten Panthers team awaits them. Make no mistake about it, Cam Newton is not a good quarterback. They caught their few good opponents in horrible stages of their respective seasons. A revenge for last year’s 38-17 whooping at Lambeau seems possible, as the Cheeseheads have stagnated over the past few weeks.

Oakland Raiders (4-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4)

Add another matchup with huge playoff implications, this time in the AFC. If we base things on last year, this matchup would likely have resulted in a blowout, but the Raiders drafted and spent money well while the Steelers lost their star running back Le’Veon Bell to a gruesome knee injury and Ben Roethlisberger is coming off one, so look out for an entertaining game.

Miami Dolphins (3-4) at Buffalo Bills (3-4)

Miami is traveling to upstate New York where an embattled Bills squad seeks redemption after a pathetic outing in London and a bye week. The Dolphins have to make good themselves as they were blown out by the Patriots last Thursday. This should be an interesting game with two equally good teams hoping to keep their season alive.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5) at New York Jets (4-3)

The Jets return home after suffering two losses on the road in consecutive weeks and taking a huge step back in the playoff race. The Jacksonville Jaguars are just what the doctor ordered due to a poor offensive line and pedestrian defense. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return after a minor injury should spark the Jets passing game, while question about his toughness and leadership remain.

Next: Late Kicks, Easy Picks?

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