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NFL picks 2019, Week 9: A difficult Sunday slate is tearing our expert panel apart

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Five different games have our experts split.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The experts nailed Week 8.

Everybody on our panel — with the exception of the still very good dog, Bailey — got at least 11 games right. DraftKings Nation gambling editor David “Fooch” Fucillo led the pack with a 14-1 record in Week 8, only missing the Eagles’ road upset of the Bills.

This group will have its hands full replicating that success in Week 9, though. While the primetime games are easy, the Sunday slate is a doozie.

There are five different games that have our experts in disagreement:

  1. Jaguars vs. Texans: The early kickoff London matchup pits the up-and-down Jaguars against the J.J. Watt-less Texans. Houston won the Week 2 meeting when Leonard Fournette was stuffed at the goal line on an attempt to win the game with a two-point conversion.
  2. Vikings vs. Chiefs: Kirk Cousins started the season so poorly that his pair of star receivers, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, were vocally pissed off. Then, beginning in Week 5, he started playing like an MVP. He’ll need to continue that trend if the Chiefs get Patrick Mahomes back in the lineup, although that still looks unlikely.
  3. Jets vs. Dolphins: The two AFC East teams have one win between them. The Dolphins are tanking on purpose, and the Jets are trying to convince the world they’re a competitive football team.
  4. Lions vs. Raiders: Both teams have three wins through seven games. Both play above average on offense and bad on defense. The most significant difference is that the Raiders try to grind out teams with their rushing attack, while the Lions lead the league in passing touchdowns. Choose your fighter.
  5. Browns vs. Broncos: It really speaks to how bad the hype train in Cleveland has derailed that a handful of experts are siding with Denver. The Broncos announced Joe Flacco won’t play and will be replaced in the lineup by Brandon Allen, a fourth-year quarterback who has never taken a snap in the regular season. But the Browns are 2-5 and can’t stop turning the ball over. It’s hard to trust them to win any games.

All five are tricky to pick, and didn’t garner much agreement. Even Fucillo and his trusty sidekick, Rio, didn’t see eye to eye on every game.

Meet the Good “Dog” of Week 8: Rio

Rio is not what you would call a “Good Dog,” but for purposes of Halloween week, we can reasonably pretend he’s dressing up as such.

A black and white cat gives the stink eye while laying down on a laptop.
Happy Halloween from Rio!

Rio was adopted from the DC Humane Rescue Alliance back in 2016. He started out as a cuddly kitten, and has grown into a slightly moodier cat. He’ll show some love in the morning and when he’s ready to nap, but sometimes he just enjoys sleeping in his green chair or his mini-tower. His favorite hobbies are eating, napping, and trying to wrestle with Fooch. As you can see in the picture, he’s a big boy.

There’s some obvious choices with cats being a regular pick. However, not all animals got the nod. When Rio is sitting on his tower near the window, birds will fly by and he’s not a fan of them. Rio probably thinks they’re mocking him and wants to bat at them. So, no birds picked this week. And most definitely not the Cleveland Browns because a cat will not be siding with the Dawg Pound, even for Halloween.

Week 9 picks

Here are all our picks for Week 9, although they’re still subject to change until Friday. Injuries — like the one that could keep Mahomes out of the lineup — could make someone change their mind.

Our guest this week from the NFL blogs is Lester Wiltfong, the manager at our Bears blog, Windy City Gridiron.

Week 9 picks

Games James Brady Christian D'Andrea Sarah Hardy Morgan Moriarty Geoff Schwartz Adam Stites Stephen White Lester Wiltfong Rio the Good "Dog" Fooch
Games James Brady Christian D'Andrea Sarah Hardy Morgan Moriarty Geoff Schwartz Adam Stites Stephen White Lester Wiltfong Rio the Good "Dog" Fooch
SF vs. ARI SF SF SF SF SF SF SF SF SF SF
HOU vs. JAX HOU HOU HOU HOU JAX JAX JAX HOU JAX JAX
WAS vs. BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF
MIN vs. KC MIN KC KC KC MIN MIN KC KC KC MIN
NYJ vs. MIA MIA NYJ NYJ NYJ MIA NYJ NYJ MIA MIA NYJ
CHI vs. PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI CHI PHI PHI CHI PHI
IND vs. PIT IND IND IND IND IND IND IND PIT IND IND
TEN vs. CAR CAR CAR CAR CAR CAR CAR CAR CAR CAR CAR
DET vs. OAK OAK OAK DET OAK OAK DET OAK OAK DET DET
TB vs. SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA TB SEA
CLE vs. DEN CLE CLE CLE CLE CLE CLE DEN DEN DEN DEN
GB vs. LAC GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB LAC GB
NE vs. BAL NE NE NE NE NE NE NE BAL NE BAL
DAL vs. NYG DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL
Season record 81-40 82-39 72-49 79-42 72-49 66-55 71-50 73-48 65-56 72-49