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2014 NFL Season: Pokorny's Week 9 Picks

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Week 9 of the NFL brings out the bye weeks in greater quantities: six teams are off this week, which means there are only 13 games to pick from. Feel free to share your general thoughts on this week's games in the comments section.

Week 9 Games Explanation Pick
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LeBron Comes Home: Between the Cavaliers playing their home opener today and the Thursday Night Football games moving back to the NFL Network this week, I don't think many Cleveland fans will be catching this game. Whoever wins between the Saints and the Panthers will have sole possession of first place in the NFC South halfway through the season. I can't look past the Saints' horrid 0-4 record on the road on a short week. Panthers 31, Saints 23

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Romo's Status in Question: This game is tough to pick due to the uncertainty of Tony Romo's status this Sunday and because of how good the Cardinals are. Bruce Arians' club still isn't seen as the cream of the crop of the NFC, but a win over the Cowboys would certainly raise some more eyebrows league-wise. I'll take the Cardinals to win a tight one due to Dallas' QB situation. Cardinals 21, Cowboys 17

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Turnover Machine: Blake Bortles is a turnover machine as a rookie, throwing 12 interceptions through just 6 games, including 2 pick sixes that prevented the Jaguars from competing against the Dolphins last week. Cincinnati is coming off of a much-needed win over a division rival, and even though they'll be without Vontaze Burfict for their next two games, they might be getting A.J. Green back on offense, which would be a big boost to the offense. Bengals 24, Jaguars 14

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Vick Won't Be Any Better: The Jets are an absolute mess. This week, they are going with Michael Vick as their starting quarterback, sending second-year man Geno Smith to the bench. It's the right move if the Jets want to win, but on the same token, what is there really to gain at 1-7 and Vick not being a long-term answer? The Chiefs have found their groove and will destroy the Jets. Chiefs 34, Jets 13

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One-Man Wrecking Crew: Jadeveon Clowney is still trying to find his footing with the Texans after returning from injury, but until he's in tip-top form, J.J. Watt remains a one-man wrecking crew. The Texans have been the definition of an average team in the sense that they can beat the inexperienced quarterbacks/teams with bad records, but can't get over the hump against the playoff contenders. That changes this week as the Texans will pull off an upset over the Eagles. (After this game, Houston has a bye and then plays in Cleveland) Texans 24, Eagles 23

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Still a Little Difficult: Why do I have such difficulty buying into the fact that the Dolphins could be a good football team? They are 4-3 and 3 of their last 4 games have been road victories. Now, they are back at home, hosting a Chargers team that has lost two straight games against division rivals (Kansas City & Denver). That was a rough five-day stretch for San Diego, but I think they've regrouped after the extra time off and will get things going again against Miami. Chargers 27, Dolphins 21

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Colt McCoy Wins Two, Gets Pulled for RGIII: How funny is it that when Colt McCoy was with the Browns, many of us were begging for Cleveland to get Robert Griffin III, yet now in Washington, McCoy has helped lead the Redskins to two straight wins and now he's going to be replaced by Robert Griffin III? I do think it's a move that has to be made, but I also can't get over how bad Griffin has looked when "healthy." Since the Vikings are in worse shape as a team right now, I'll go with the Redskins to pull it off. Redskins 23, Vikings 20

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Regroup Time: Both of these teams are looking to regroup after being blown out by AFC West opponents last week -- the Broncos tore apart the 49ers 42-17, while the Chiefs were destroyed 34-7 by the Chiefs. Rams quarterback Austin Davis may finally be ready to come back to eath, and San Francisco's talent pool is just greater than St. Louis will be able to overcome. 49ers 23, Rams 17

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Manning vs. Brady, Part 50: It never fails: Peyton Manning battles Tom Brady every year, and the games are often a classic. The even more anticipated element with this game is that both quarterbacks are as hot as they've ever been in their careers. I'd like to see another team take Manning down to the wire, but New England still has some holes that have been covered up the past few weeks by Brady's high level of play. This week, the Broncos will bring some of those holes to light again. Broncos 31, Patriots 24

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Take a Step Back and Watch: The Seahawks haven't quite been themselves this year, but this is the week for them to unleash all of their fury. Seattle heads into this game as 15-point favorites against the 0-7 Raiders, and rightly so. Derek Carr appears willing to challenge cornerbacks, but that won't work out against Seattle's group, and he'll be overwhelmed by the crowd noise. Seahawks 34-7

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As Competitive As One Could Get: The AFC North is in a class of its own in the NFL this year. Yes, it's a division that has allowed the only wins of the season for Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, but it's also the only one featuring every team above .500. The Ravens and Steelers always have the same type of close battles, and I have to defer to the home team Steelers here. Steelers 20, Ravens 17

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What in the World? How could the Colts shut out the Bengals one week, only to let the Steelers put up 51 points against them the following week? The Giants' bye week came at the right time so they could try to regroup from their two-game losing streak before the positive momentum they built up prior to that goes to waste. This was probably the toughest game for me to pick this week, but I'll take the Colts because I don't have faith that the Giants' defense can stop the offensive machine that is Andrew Luck. Colts 27, Giants 24

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Laser Focus: If there is one thing that the loss to the Jaguars did, I think it woke up some of the players on our team: don't take the next couple of games for granted heading into Cincinnati -- we know we're better than these guys, let's have confidence in each other and prove it every week. Our full game preview and prediction for the Buccaneers vs. Browns game will be posted this Saturday, so stay tuned to DBN.

TBA
Bye Week

Pokorny's Week 7 NFL Picks Record: 8-7
Pokorny's Record w/ Browns Games: 3-4
Pokorny's 2014 NFL Picks Record: 70-50-1

Survivor Pick: I began a one-game winning streak last week when the Patriots beat the Bears. This week, I'll go with the Bengals to top the Jaguars.