Fearless Rick's NFL Football Picks - Week 9 early games

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WEEK 9 NFL Picks

All times Eastern

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Byes: Arizona, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, New England, Washington

Week 8 Results: Coin: 7-6; Rick: 58
Cumulative: Coin: 45-59-2; Rick: 54-50-2

Thursday, November 3

Atlanta (-3, 51 1/2) at Tampa Bay, 8:25 (NFLN) - Despite their record, the Buccaneers have been competitive in most of their games, except the wipeout at Arizona earlier in the season.

A late score lifted the Falcons to a one point win over the Packers last Sunday, while the Bucs were losing in overtime to the Raiders, 30-24. As divisional games go, this one is crucial, and both teams may be relatively gassed from big efforts and a short week. Look for the Buccaneers to stay alive by keeping pace with Atlanta.

Coin Flip: Atlanta

Rick's Pick: Buccaneers 27 Falcons 24

Sunday, November 6

Pittsburgh at Baltimore (-2 1/2, 43 1/2), 1:00 pm (CBS) - What can anyone say about a team that lost the the Jets? That's what Baltimore did when last seen on the field, two weeks past, prior to their bye. An extra week of prep and rest should have them ready to defend home field against the Steelers, also rested up, which only seems fair.

Pittsburgh will start Landry Jones at QB for the second straight game. Jones didn't do badly against the Patriots two weeks back, but doing OK against New England and beating them are two different things. The Steelers should be on track for a win over a fierce rival.

Coin Flip: Baltimore

Rick's Pick: Steelers 19 Ravens 16

Dallas (-7, 47) at Cleveland, 1:00 pm (FOX) - With Josh McCown returned at quarterback, the Browns almost beat the Jets last week. Almost. Cleveland fell to 0-7 and now faces one of the best teams in the league, a tough task.

Dallas is coming off a 29-23 OT win over the Eagles, a hard-fought, back-and-forth battle that left both teams spent. If the Cowboys can recover emotionally and physically, they should handle the Browns, but, at home for the second straight week, Cleveland should be ready for anything the Cowboys can whoop up. As unlikely as it may seem, this could be Cleveland's week to get off the schneid.

Coin Flip: Dallas

Rick's Pick: Browns 26 Cowboys 24

Jacksonville at Kansas City (-8, 45 1/2), 1:00 pm (CBS) - Going exactly nowhere fast, the Jaguars are in deep trouble, with coaching changes and QB Blake Bortles having a dismal season.

KC whipped Indianapolis quite handily on the road, 30-14, last week and are in the midst of the title race in the AFC West. For their part, the Jags were demolished by Tennessee, 36-22, last Thursday, so travel fatigue will also be a factor. Home field and a rapidly-improving defense should get the job done in a big way for Kansas City. Could be the blowout of the week.

Coin Flip: Jacksonville

Rick's Pick: Chiefs 34 Jaguars 10

NY Jets at Miami (-3 1/2, 44 1/2), 1:00 pm (CBS) - Everybody's chasing New England in the AFC East, but the Jets appear to be on the short end of the fight overall.

Miami took last week off after dusting Buffalo on October 23 and returns at home, a huge edge. Neither team has much hope of reaching the playoffs, but the Dolphins seem to be better suited to make a second-half move than the Jets.

Rick's Pick: Dolphins 24 Jets 16

Coin Flip: NY Jets

Detroit at Minnesota (-6 1/2. 44), 1:00 pm (FOX) - As quickly as the Vikings took the lead in the NFC North with a 5-0 start, they seem to be unraveling, losing badly on the road Monday night to the Bears, a team which entered the game with a 1-6 record. It was the second straight defeat for Minnesota. Philly topped them, 24-10, a week prior.

20-13 losers at home to the Texans last week, the Lions remain a threat whenever they take the field and they could be smelling blood in the Minnesota water. Sam Bradford is getting brutalized by opposing defenses as the Viking O-line is one of the more porous in the league. Minnesota's lack of offense is having very negative effects on the defense. (Note: This line may move dramatically toward Detroit by game time)

Coin Flip: Lions

Rick's Pick: Lions 24 Vikings 9

Philadelphia at NY Giants (-3, 43 1/2), 1:00 pm (FOX) - Losing a tough one in overtime at Dallas, 29-23, Sunday night, the Eagles travel for the second straight week, usually a negative, but there's cause for optimism in Philly, especially facing the punchy Giants, a team that's barely good enough to hang around every week and remain relevant.

As the second half of the season begins, look for the Eagles to stay on theme, keeping pace with the Cowboys, who the meet in Philadelphia at the end of the regular season. Not quite a walk-over for the Eagles, the Giants don't offer much in the way of serious resistance.

Coin Flip: NY Giants

Rick's Pick: Eagles 31 Giants 21

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