Scrooge's Rant

I really don't feel like doing my power rankings this week either. After going 10-4 for two week ago, I went 9-4 last week. That puts me at 77-39 for the year, which is a 66.3% chance of picking the winner for the season. Hopefully, I can pull that number up this week. Anyway, here are my picks for Week 9 in the NFL.  I also have a really big explanation for the game of the year, Patriots vs Colts.

Chargers @ Vikings

The way to attack the Chargers defense is to spread them out and let it fly. The Vikings don't have the weapons at receiver to spread the Chargers out. If you run the ball at the middle of the Chargers defense, then you're playing into their strength. That's why I don't think the Vikings will have any success against the Chargers defense and that allows Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips to eat Kelly Holcomb alive. As for the Vikings defense, they are a pressure defense that relies on negative plays, but they've been exposed down the field for bringing tons of pressure. I expect some big plays from Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates as the Chargers win big.

Panthers @ Titans

The Panthers are an anemic offense with David Carr at the helm and that isn't good news considering that they're going to face an excellent Titans defense. Even with Vinny Testaverde in at quarterback, the Titans defensive line will still own the Panthers offensive line as Testaverde gets harrassed all day. As for the Titans offense, I think they'll have decent success running the ball against the Panther as the Titans win comfortably at home.

Cardinals @ Bucs

The Cardinals should have some success running the ball against an okay Bucs run defense.  That should open things up for Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald.  Anquan Boldin should have a big game with a lot of yardage after the catch.  Jeff Garcia has played very well through most of the year, but not last week.  The Jaguars are a really good defensive team and the Cardinals aren't anywhere near as good as the Jaguars are defensively.  That's why I think Jeff Garcia will play somewhere in between, but the Bucs won't have any room running the all.  I think the Bucs win because they're at home, but it'll be really close.

49ers @ Falcons

This is a matchup between two of the worst teams in the NFL.  Neither teams have much of an offense because they have no offensive line.  The 49ers are a pressure defense, and every now and then, they'll have a game like they did against the Saints where they give up a ton of yardage.  However, the Falcons wide receivers are horrible and they won't be able to get off the line of scrimmage working against Nate Clements and Walt Harris.  That should give the 49ers front 7 plenty of time to get after Byron Leftwich/Joey Harrington.  As for the 49er offense, Alex Smith has trouble against blitzing teams, and the Falcons aren't very blitz happy.  That's why I think the 49ers will have some success moving the ball as Frank Gore runs over the Falcons run defense(just like everyone else).

Bengals @ Bills

The Bills are starting to come together as a team and the Bengals are spliting apart from being a team.  I don't know how, but the Bills are somehow able to not allow big plays from happening.  That won't continue because Chad Johnson comes to town; however, they should be able to limit the big plays.  The Bengals can't run on anyone, and that will continue against the Bills.  As for the Bills offense, Marshawn Lynch should trample a bad Bengals run defense as Lee Evans gets big plays down the field.  I like the Bills to win comfortably at home.

Broncos @ Lions

The Broncos are still a decent team and the Lions are still a fraud.  The Lions like to throw the ball around a lot, and they don't run much.  Which plays into the hands of the Broncos, but the Broncos have been allowing big plays down the field of late.  However, Champ Bailey should be healthier than he was last week and he'll probably play much better than he did last week.  That will be good against the Lions.  The way to attack the Lions offense is to blitz the crap out of them, which should allow the Broncos defense to make big plays.  As for the Lions defense, they rely on negative plays, of which the Broncos don't commit many.  That's why I like the Broncos in a close one on the road.

Packers @ Chiefs

The Chiefs defense can really get after the quarterback, which will continue against the Packers.  That should force Brett Favre into some mistakes.  As for the Chiefs offense, ever since Dwayne Bowe was healthy, they've been okay, but they're playing a really good Packers defense.  I don't think the Chiefs will have much success moving the ball.  I'll take the Chiefs because Arrowhead is a really tough place to play, but don't be surprised if the Pack comes out on top.

Jaguars @ Saints

I'm still not on the Saints bandwagon, who have they really beaten in the past three games(an overrated Seahawks team, a bad Falcons team, and a bad 49er team).  The Jaguars defense made Jeff Garcia look like Ryan Leaf last week and they'll make Drew Brees look like Andrew Walter this week.  As for the Jaguars offense, they'll pound the ball right down the throat of the Saints.  However, the Jaguars don't get big plays down the field and that should keep the Saints in the game, but the Jaguars win comfortably in the end.

Redskins @ Jets

The Redskins are still a good football team, and the Jets just suck.  The Jets have no shot at winning this game.  The Jets have no offense and that abysmal offensive line should allow the Redskins to get pressure on Kellen Clemens as Thomas Jones goes nowhere.  As for the Redskins offense, they'll be able to move the ball at will against a nonexistent Jets run defense.  Clinton Portis and LaDell Betts should have huge days on the ground as the Redskins win big.

Seahawks @ Browns

The Browns are a team on the rise and the Seahawks are a team on the decline.  The Browns are really hard to beat at home, but that Browns defense can't stop anyone.  That's why I think the Seahawks are going to have some big plays down the field.  As for the Browns offense, all they do is make big plays, but I don't think that Derek Anderson is as good as people make him out to be.  The one thing that Seahawks defense can do is rush the quarterback and that'll force Anderson to make some mistakes as the Seahawks win in a shootout.

Texans @ Raiders

I think the Texans will have decent success running the ball against a bad Raiders run defense.  However, Matt Shaub won't have any success throwing the ball against a very good Raiders secondary.  As for the Texans defense, they should be able to take away the Raiders running game and that should allow the Texans defensive linemen to pin their ears back and let it fly.  That pressure on Daunte Culpepper should force him into some mistakes as the Texans win easy.

Eagles @ Cowboys

The Eagles are a bad football team and the Cowboys are the class of the NFC.  The Cowboys defense swarms to the ball and the Eagles don't have the receivers necessary to expose the Cowboys bad secondary.  That should put the ball in Donovan McNabb's hands and that should allow the Cowboys pass rush to turn him into a punching bag.  As for the Eagles defense, they should get a lift from the return of Brian Dawkins.  However, the Cowboys explosive offense should still be able to move the ball as the Cowboys win in a close division game.

Ravens @ Steelers

The Ravens are a fraud, I thought they'd be one of the best teams in the league this year, but they can't execute in the red zone.  The Ravens offense can't put up points on anyone and that will continue against the Steelers defense.  The Ravens still have a good defense, but they're not creating the big plays they created last year.  That's why I like the Steelers to win the game in a slugfest.

Patriots @ Colts

In my opinion, this game means much more to the Colts than it does to the Patriots.  I can see the Patriots going to Indy and winning the AFC Championship Game, but if the Colts have to go to Foxboro in January, they have no shot.  I think the Colts are going to be playing pass the entire game and that's why I expect the Patriots to come out running from the spread.  I keep hearing that the Patriots can't run the ball; they don't run the ball by lining up with a two back, two tight end formation, instead, they run the ball from the spread formation.  That's why I expect Maroney to have a huge game.  If the Colts play that Tampa 2 shell, then Wes Welker and Ben Watson should both have big games.  Also, I just don't see how the Colts are going to be able to cover a 6'4'' Randy Moss with those small defensive backs of the Colts.  That's why there should be a successful bomb or two down the field to Randy Moss.

As for the Colts offense, they haven't really gotten off to a fast start yet, which bodes trouble against the Patriots.  Mike Vrabel looked like a hell raiser against the Redskins and I think you're going to see all sorts of crazy looks from the Patriots defense and Bill Belichick.  I also think you're going to see Adalius Thomas on the outside wreaking havoc on Peyton Manning, but the Colts offense should make things interesting in the second half, which is when they've been putting up most of their points.  That's why I think that the Colts make it really close towards the end, but the Patriots are simply too good.  Since this game is in Indy, I wouldn't be surprised to see Indy take this game, but I don't think it'll happen.


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