2016 NFL Week 9 Survival Pool and Confidence Pool Picks


2016 NFL Week 9 Survival Pool and Confidence Pool Picks

Well, it's week 9 of the NFL season.  If you're not too far behind in your Confidence Pool, or if you're still alive in your Survival Pool, congratulations!  We'll give you a bonus piece moving forward to hopefully provide some insight into the week's matchups.  This piece will detail picks for your confidence pools, and hopefully provide some insight to help you stay alive in your Survival Pool too.  We know these pools have a lot of rules that may keep you from winning such as "you can only pick a team once during the regular season" or "you can only pick against a team more than 2 times during the regular season."  So, we're here to help you stay alive by looking at "sure things," "close calls," potential upsets, and key matchups and injuries.  Without further ado, these are this week's picks.

From the most confident picks on top, to the least confident picks at the bottom...

WINNERS (v. Losers)

FALCONS (@ Buccaneers)
SAINTS (@ 49ers)
BRONCOS (@ Raiders)
CHIEFS (v. Jaguars)
SEAHAWKS (v. Bills)
PANTHERS (@ Rams)
CHARGERS (v. Titans)
PACKERS (v. Colts)
DOLPHINS (v. Jets)
COWBOYS (@ Browns)
STEELERS (@ Ravens)
EAGLES (@ Giants)
VIKINGS (v. Lions)

INJURY WATCH:

PACKERS (v. Colts): Keep an eye on Clay Matthews' status.  If the Probowl pass rusher can't go, it could be a very long night for a Packers defense depleted at all positions.  Aaron Rogers' ability to extend plays with his legs will be the difference in this game. 

STEELERS (@ Ravens): Big Ben (Roethlisberger) could return this week, instantly boosting the Steelers' scoring ability.  Nevertheless, Bell should be able to shoulder the load against one of the weaker defenses in the league

VIKINGS (v. Lions): The loss of Xavier Rhodes is a huge blow to the Vikings' secondary and hurts their ability to defend the big play.  In addition, the loss of the Vikings' bookend tackles left Bradford exposed to a Bears pass rush that sacked, hurried, and hit him multiple times.  Starting guard Alex Boone also left the game late in the 4th quarter, making the offensive line situation even worse.  Bear in mind (pun intended) that Bradford does have an extensive injury history.  If Bradford goes down, the Vikings go with him.  They'll need to figure out how to protect Bradford and get the ball out of his hands quickly.

CLOSE CALLS

WINNER: Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins take on Gang Green in South Beach for the win in a divisional matchup against the New York Jets.  The win doesn't come so easy though.  Jay Ajayi will struggle against a stout Jets run defense, which means Ryan Tannehill will need to let it fly.  Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase worked wonders to cut down on Cutler's turnovers last year.  Miami's pass rush will force Fitz into some mistakes, and Cooks and Landry will burn a struggling Jets' secondary. 

TRAP GAME (Potential Upset)

WINNER: Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys run game eats up clock and keeps the defense off the field.  They should be able to embarrass the Browns in Cleveland.  Buyer beware: McCown looked good last week spreading the ball around to 9 different receivers for over 340 yards and 2 scores.  This could cause problems Morris Claiborne, Barry Church, and the Boys' secondary, making this matchup closer than it seems.  Dallas has won 6 in a row and should be in the driver's seat this game.  If they don't stay disciplined, they could fall asleep at the wheel and get behind. 

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