NFL picks Week 9: Packers-Lions and every other game

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 1: Jordy Nelson
DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 1: Jordy Nelson /

The Green Bay Packers will lose a third straight in Week 9. Picks for each NFL game this week.

It’s a big Monday night for both the Packers and Lions. The Vikings are on bye, but put daylight between themselves and the chasing pack in the NFC North last week. A chance to close the gap is up for grabs at Lambeau.

There are a number of interesting games in the NFL this week. Dallas hosts Kansas City, Atlanta travels to Carolina and the red-hot Philadelphia take on Denver.

Who wins, who loses?

Detroit (3-4) at Green Bay (4-3)

As much as I’d love to believe in the Packers following the bye, this one feels like a comfortable Lions win. Detroit’s ball-hawking defense has 16 takeaways this year, third-most in the NFL. There’s a good chance that number increases against Brett Hundley in his second career start.

Pick: Detroit

Buffalo (5-2) at NY Jets (3-5)

I usually side with the home team on Thursday nights. That trend continues here. Buffalo has the better record, but the Jets have lost a few close games this year, and I don’t think there’s much between the two teams.

Pick: NY Jets

Indianapolis (2-6) at Houston (3-4)

You have to feel for the Colts. Just win a few games and get Andrew Luck back, they thought. Now with Luck potentially out all year, there’s little to play for. To make matters worse, this week Indianapolis’ awful pass defense (No. 31 in the NFL) faces the red-hot rookie Deshaun Watson.

Pick: Houston 

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Cincinnati (3-4) at Jacksonville (4-3)

Andy Dalton hasn’t played well this year. That doesn’t bode well against Jacksonville’s elite defensive unit. Allowing a league-low 15.7 points per game, it could get ugly for Dalton & Co.

Pick: Jacksonville

Tampa Bay (2-5) at New Orleans (5-2)

Tampa Bay might be the biggest disappointment in the NFL this year. New Orleans is one of the surprises. Saints all the way.

Pick: New Orleans

LA Rams (5-2) at NY Giants (1-6)

The Rams have been impressive this year. The Giants have not. New York is No. 23 against the run, allowing 120.7 yards on the ground per game. Todd Gurley could have a big day.

Pick: LA Rams

Atlanta (4-3) at Carolina (5-3)

This should be a fun one. Both teams have been up-and-down all year. They could easily turn it on at any time. At home, the edge goes to the Panthers.

Pick: Carolina

Denver (3-4) at Philadelphia (7-1)

Every year there’s one breakout team in the NFC. It was Carolina two years ago, Atlanta last season. This time it’s Philadelphia, led by second-year quarterback Carson Wentz, who has played brilliantly. Now with Jay Ajayi, the Eagles need to be taken seriously. Here comes win number eight.

Pick: Philadelphia

Baltimore (4-4) at Tennessee (4-3)

Corey Davis could be a game-changer for Tennessee’s offense, and the rookie receiver is expected back on the field Sunday against Baltimore. Marcus Mariota has also had an additional week to get fully healthy, and it will make a difference.

Pick: Tennessee

Arizona (3-4) at San Francisco (0-8)

Jimmy Garoppolo might be the future for the 49ers, but he won’t be starting Sunday. Expect more of the same. Cards win.

Pick: Arizona

Washington (3-4) at Seattle (5-2)

Seattle is red-hot, and it will continue to build momentum against Washington at home. This should be a nice bounce-back game for the Seahawks’ defense after getting torn apart by Deshaun Watson and the Texans.

Pick: Seattle

Kansas City (6-2) at Dallas (4-3)

This might not only be the game of the week, but potentially a candidate for game of the year. Dallas will miss Ezekiel Elliott, but Dak Prescott could exploit the Chiefs’ No. 28-ranked pass defense. I’m still picking the Chiefs, though.

Pick: Kansas City

Oakland (3-5) at Miami (4-3)

Oakland is set for another long-distance flight across the country, and that doesn’t usually bode well for the visiting team. That said, the Dolphins are in a state of flux after trading away Jay Ajayi. The Raiders need this one, and I expect them to take care of business.

Pick: Oakland

Next: Top 30 moments in Green Bay Packers history

Last week: 10-3

Season: 70-49