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NFL Talkboard: week nine | Paolo Bandini

2nd November 2012

Have your say on all week eight’s games in the NFL, plus take part in our Pick Six predictions game

Welcome to week nine on the NFL Talkboard. Most of you know the drill with this blog by now but for those who don’t, the Pick Six competition works as follows: every week I will select six games – usually the ones I think will be toughest to call – and post my predictions. You are invited to submit your own picks below the line. We will keep track of everyone’s scores over the course of the season, in order to determine an overall winner.

Just two people got all six picks right last week. Deferential courtseys, please in the direction of our new kings: themagicman and vassago1234.

This week’s live blog is will be Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts. Kick-off is at 1pm ET/6pm GMT on Sunday, so be sure to join us for that. And join us on Monday for Five Things We Learned. Now, without further ado, here are this week’s games:

Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday 1pm ET/6pm GMT)

Two teams moving in opposite directions, the Broncos having won back-to-back games for the first time this season, the Bengals coming off a three-game losing streak. But Cincinnati, who started the season 3-1, are fresh from a bye week and will be playing on their own field. Denver’s Peyton Manning is dealing with a sore thumb, though he says that’s a non-issue. The Bengals will certainly expect to make his life a lot more difficult than the Saints did last weekend – their 23 sacks ranking joint-third in the league. The only two teams ahead of them have each played a game more. But I’m more worried about Cincy’s own quarterback, Andy Dalton, and the fact he has thrown six picks in his last three starts – as well as at least one in every game so far.

Broncos to win

Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts (Sunday 1pm ET/6pm GMT)
Guardian live game!

Who honestly thought these two teams would both be 4-3 at this stage of the season? If the playoffs started today they would both be wild-card teams. With a victory on Sunday one of the two might take a significant step towards making the postseason for real. The Colts, incredibly, are 3-1 since their head coach, Chuck Pagano, found out he had leukemia and offensive co-ordinator Bruce Arians stepped into the role. The Dolphins have won three straight and last week crushed the Jets 30-9 in New York. This is supposed to be a duel between rookie quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill, though the latter’s status is now uncertain, due to a knee injury. Either way, I’m taking the Colts to edge it at home.

Colts to win

Chicago Bears @ Tennessee Titans (Sunday 1pm ET/6pm GMT)

Is Chris Johnson back? As noted in’s preview, the Titans running back has averaged 5.6 yards per carry over his past five games, but this will be a different sort of test against what is statistically the best rushing defense in the league. The Bears were poor last week, barely scraping by a mediocre Carolina team. But that could also serve as the jolt they needed.

Bears to win

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Oakland Raiders (Sunday 4.05pm ET/9.05pm GMT)

Just as many of the world’s animals prepare to go into hibernation, Josh Freeman has awoken from his year-long slumber. He became the first Buccaneers quarterback to throw for at least three touchdowns in three consecutive games as he torched the Chiefs’, Vikings’ and Saints’ secondaries – his team averaging 34 points in those games (though they still lost to New Orleans). There is every reason to believe he can continue such form against an Oakland secondary who rank 20th in the league, though this is a long cross-country trip to face a Raiders team who are themselves coming off consecutive wins.

Buccaneers to win

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Giants (Sunday 4.25pm ET/9.25pm GMT)

How would you not be excited about this match-up? Two of the most successful franchises in NFL history, featuring two quarterbacks – drafted together in 2004 – who each have a pair of Super Bowl rings. The nature of inter-conference scheduling means that these two teams cannot meet again, unless in a Super Bowl, for another four years. Eli Manning is up against a Steelers pass defense that ranks first in the league. Ben Roethlisberger must contend with Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and the rest. I like the Giants, but if you’re into omens then here’s a little food for thought: the Giants have only won their ninth game of an NFL season once in eight attempts under Tom Coughlin.

Giants to win

Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints (Monday 8.30pm ET/Tuesday 1.30am GMT)

Michael Vick remains the starting quarterback in Philadelphia for now, but must justify Andy Reid’s faith this weekend. If he cannot put up gaudy numbers against a Saints pass defense ranked 27th in the league then it might be time to pull the plug. New Orleans struggled to get things going on offense in Denver last week, but it will be a different story in the Superdome. Drew Brees has lost a few shootouts this year, but he’ll take this one.

Saints to win

And the rest

Here are the rest of this week’s games. These are not included in the Pick Six, but feel free to post your picks for these as well. If you do so then please keep them separate from your Pick Six predictions, as it will make life a lot easier when tallying up your scores.


1pm ET/6pm GMT
Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns
Arizona Cardinals @ Green Bay Packers
Carolina Panthers @ Washington Redskins
Detroit Lions @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans
4.05pm ET/9.05pm GMT
Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks
8.20pm ET/Monday 1.20am GMT
Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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