If you are reading this article and managed to survive the midway point of the season in your Survivor Pool – congratulations! Ours here at ZenSports ended this past week with all but one remaining – that Bengals loss wiped out the remainder of the participants.
Now, for the several individuals still surviving, the hard part is still to come. Most likely, you already used up your picks on the Rams, Packers, Cardinals, Bucs, and Bills – so who’s left to pick?!?!
Here are our top picks for Week 9:
Colts over Jets
These are two teams that had quite the opposite Week 8. Up 14-0 early on the Titans, the Colts squandered the lead and then the game in OT in a critical division matchup. On the other hand, the Jets battled back against the Bengals behind backup rookie QB Mike White and shocked Cincinnati at home. However, there is no discrepancy that the Colts are the far superior team. The Jets have had two eye-popping wins against the Titans (who were missing their top 2 wideouts in the game) and the Bengals (who most likely fell flat after defeating the rival Ravens in a statement win). The Colts, meanwhile, have been inconsistent, to say the least, but should manage to keep the pesky Jets at bay.
Steelers over Bears
Big Ben made sure to prove his naysayers wrong that he is not finished after leading the Steelers to victory against fellow AFC North foes, the Cleveland Browns. Still, it has been an up-and-down year for Pittsburgh, especially on offense. That should change this Sunday against a Bears team who has been shaky on offense and defense this season. The Steelers defense should apply plenty of pressure on rookie QB Justin Fields, who leads the league in sacks and force turnovers that the offense will indeed look to capitalize on. This may be the best week to place your confidence in the Steelers.
Chargers over Eagles
Back-to-back losses against the Ravens and the Patriots should have the Chargers fuming, especially after a solid start to the season. A matchup against the offensively-challenged Eagles should be the perfect opportunity for Los Angeles to bounce back. Thanks to their running game, the Eagles managed to put up 44 points on the Lions – the worst team in the league. Jalen Hurts continues to struggle in his sophomore season at QB and now has to face a dominant Chargers defense; his worries will only continue. Expect Justin Herbert and the Chargers to get past their consecutive losses and back on track against Philadelphia.
Bills over Jaguars
I had to throw in a “gimme” just in case you still haven’t used one of your weekly picks on one of the top teams in the NFL. The Jaguars’ promising season behind No. 1 draft pick Trevor Lawrence and legendary college football head coach Urban Meyer have all but completely shattered this season. In fact, Jacksonville may be staring at another offseason with a guaranteed top 5 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
On the other side, Buffalo has proven they are arguably the best team in the AFC and a Super Bowl contender. While he has struggled at times this season, Josh Allen should efficiently run and throw all over the Jaguars’ dismal defense that just allowed Geno Smith to look like a franchise quarterback this past weekend. Buffalo should have this game wrapped up before halftime.
Ravens over Vikings
Unable to defeat the Cowboys at home during Sunday Night Football – with Cooper Rush starting at QB for Dallas, the Vikings have struggled mightily on offense. Though the Ravens defense is not nearly as potent as it used to be, this unit has improved since losing key players to injury and should be able to contain Kirk Cousins, who has been a disappointment since signing with the Vikings. Coming off a bye week, the Ravens should be well-rested and ready to play. Look for Lamar Jackson to lead his team to victory against an underperforming Minnesota squad.