It is already November and half the season is over. It makes you wonder, where has the time gone? The NFL trade deadline has passed with only one really stunning move. Jamie Collins was traded to the Browns for a conditional pick. It is time to watch the race towards the playoffs unfold. Last week there was yet another tie in the NFL. It may be time to dedicate an entire article to ties and how they should be changed.
Week nine has a lot of big divisional match-ups that will surely make a mark on who makes the playoffs and who goes fishing early. This week will continue on last weeks large amount of teams on a bye featuring six teams. The teams on a bye in week nine are Arizona, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, New England, and Washington. There is little room for error, so here are Hagan’s Haus week nine NFL picks.
Last Week: 9-3-1
Atlanta (5-3) 33 @ Tampa Bay (3-4) 34: The Falcons are coming off a huge win last week at home against the Packers. This is a big game for the Bucs if they want to get into the NFC South race. Anything can happen in divisional games. The Falcons have the best offense in the NFL. The Bucs defense is struggling and are ranked seventh in yards and eighth in points given up per game. The Falcons should be able to put up a lot of points but the Bucs will find a way to steal this game at home.
Pittsburgh (4-3) 23 @ Baltimore (3-4) 22: This is one of the best rivalries in the NFL. Baltimore is led by its defense which is only giving up 19 points per game. Their offense is what makes this team average and the Steelers have a good defense. Mike Tomlin says that Big Ben may play in this game and if he does it will be a win for the Steelers. It is hard to believe he will play but Steelers are the better team and will win a classic.
Dallas (6-1) 31 @ Cleveland (0-8) 17: Sometimes there is a match-up that is totally unfair. This seems to be one of those. The Cowboys appear to be one of the best teams in the NFL and the Browns are certainly the worst. The only way the Browns win this game is if the Cowboys completely overlook them. The Browns are giving up the second most rush yards per game in the NFL. Expect a big game from Ezekiel Elliot, possibly 200 plus yards.
Jacksonville (2-5) 18 @ Kansas City (5-2) 24: The Jags were expected to be a much better team but it looks like they are another year or two away. The Chiefs just keep doing what they do under Andy Reid and that is win a lot of games. Arrowhead is one of the most difficult places to play in the NFL and Blake Bortles is 2-15 on the road in his career. He will get his 16th road loss of his career this week.
New York (J) (3-5) 24 @ Miami (3-4) 27: Another rivalry game that should be a great contest. The Dolphins have been running the ball well in the past two weeks, racking up a combined 478 yards rushing and it has led to a two game win streak. The Jets currently have the best rush defense in the NFL, only giving up 74 yards per game. If the Dolphins can run the ball in this game they will win. They will run the ball for over 150 yards in this game.
Philadelphia (4-3) 24 @ New York (G) (4-3) 27: This is one of the biggest games of the week in terms of divisional races. Both teams are trying to stay close with the Cowboys, and the loser of this game will fall three games back of the Cowboys in the loss column. The Giants are coming off a bye week and have had two weeks to prepare for this game. That amount of preparation will be the difference in a close slugfest.
Detroit (4-4) 20 @ Minnesota (5-2) 23: The Vikings offensive line is really hurting this team. The offense can’t stay on the field long enough to give the defense some rest. The Lions are sitting at .500 and that is the type of team they are. There is a chance they win a game against the Vikings but their chances will be better in Detroit. This game is in Minnesota and the Vikings defense will make sure they win this game.
Carolina (2-5) 31 @ Los Angeles (3-4) 17: Last week Carolina was desperate to get a win. They got back to what made them successful last season, running the football. They ran the ball well and their defense was able to score. The Rams offense isn’t as good as the Cardinals. The Panthers will begin to make their run at the Falcons after they get this big road win to start a win streak.
New Orleans (3-4) 41 @ San Fransisco (1-6) 31: The Saints have looked much better than I expected them to this season. Their defense is still historically bad but got a big defensive stop against the Seahawks last week to win the game. Drew Brees is quietly putting together a phenomenal season with a career high 337.9 yards per game. He also has 18 touchdowns to just five interceptions. The 49ers don’t have an offense that can keep pace with the Saints and that will be their downfall.
Tennessee (4-4) 24 @ San Diego (3-5) 21: Do not sleep on the Tennessee Titans. Marcus Mariota is quietly putting up a great sophomore season. In 12 games he had 19 touchdowns last season and in eight games he already has 14 touchdowns this season. The Chargers have been competitive this season but ultimately are not a good team. Titans win behind a good defense and an improving Mariota.
Indianapolis (3-5) 28 @ Green Bay (4-3) 34: The Packers aren’t the same Packers we have been accustomed to seeing although Aaron Rodgers has gotten hot over the past two weeks. Andrew Luck is doing great things despite a weak offensive line. Luck is keeping his turnovers down compared to past seasons. It will be difficult for the Colts defense to stop Rodgers and they will be in for a long night at Lambeau.
Denver (6-2) 24 @ Oakland (6-2) 27: How can you not get excited for this amazing match-up? This is easily the game of the week and we are in for a tremendous treat. Denver is winning but not dominating in the same fashion as usual. Offensively they struggle with consistency. The Raiders are just finding any way possible to win games. Derek Carr should be discussed in the MVP race. Last week he threw for a franchise record 513 yards. On the season he has 17 touchdowns to just three interceptions. Oakland has been waiting for the Raiders to be good and the atmosphere in the black hole will be too much for the Broncos this time.
Buffalo (4-4) 30 @ Seattle (4-2-1) 35: Two weeks ago this game would have been one of the best in the NFL. The Bills got hot winning four straight games after an 0-2 start. Since then the Bills have lost two straight, both to divisional opponents. The Bills need LeSean McCoy healthy to help their offense. Going to Seattle is never easy but even harder when the Seahawks are coming off of a loss. Seattle will defend one of the best home fields in the NFL to move to 5-2-1 and send Buffalo into panic mode.