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2015 NFL Season: Pokorny's Week 9 Picks

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I went 9-5 with my picks in Week 8, improving to 72-47 on the year. This week, there are six teams on the bye and the Browns have already played. Feel free to weigh in on some of the games in the comments section.

Week 9 Games Explanation Pick
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Note: This prediction was made and posted prior to TNF. It is copied here for record-keeping purposes.

Thursday Night Football: I'd really like to buy in to the Bengals' prime time struggles, but they look like a different team this year and have come through in several late-game pressure situations against Seattle and Pittsburgh. With the Browns missing players in their secondary again and still failing to stop the run and generate a pass rush regularly, Cleveland's hopes are squarely on the shoulders of QB Johnny Manziel. Manziel won't lead the offense to an embarrassing performance like last year, but you can't expect the guy to pull a Houdini act in this type of game. Bengals 27, Browns 14

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Game of the Week: Aaron Rodgers and the Packers had a rare performance of offensive ineptitude last week against the Broncos, where Aaron Rodgers couldn't even break 100 yards passing. The Packers will be back in sync offensively this week, but Cam Newton and the Panthers can seemingly do no wrong. I'll go with them to remain the NFC's lone undefeated team. Panthers 24, Packers 21

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Defensive Turnaround: Even though Geno Smith tried to rally for the Jets late last week, their season could go up in flames if he ends up being the quarterback long-term. Ryan Fitzpatrick will give it a go this week, and I anticipate the Jets' defense rebounding after a substandard day against the Raiders last week. Jets 23, Jaguars 13

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Tyrod to the Rescue: The Bills will get their starting quarterback back this week in Tyrod Taylor. The Miami Dolphins fell flat against the Patriots last week after two dazzling performances, but was that because the Patriots are so damn good, or that Miami's little two-week burst was a fluke? Both of these teams have been inconsistent, so it's tough to tell what to expect this week. Bills 20, Dolphins 17

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Roethlisberger's Revival: If I could name a "Game of the Week Part II," this would be it. The Raiders have become a very compelling team, in large part thanks to David Carr. With Ben Roethlisberger being in his second week back, though, I expect Pittsburgh's offense to be more in tune, even without Le'Veon Bell. Steelers 27, Raiders 20

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Rising From the Ashes: After several years of mediocre play, it looks like the Rams and the Vikings are both ready to get over the hump and compete for a playoff spot. This game also features a great running back battle between Todd Gurley and Adrian Peterson. I think both backs will go over 100 yards, with the home-team Vikings having the last laugh. Vikings 24, Rams 17

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Goodbye West, Hello South: The Titans waived Terrance West today, making him another failed draft pick by Ray Farmer for character reasons. While the Titans appear to be the worst team in the NFL, Drew Brees is on fire in New Orleans and could have the Saints in position to be a serious playoff contender down the stretch. Saints 42, Titans 14

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Chippy Game of the Week: The Patriots have had their way with opponents this year, but Washington has been a very stubborn team for all four quarters. I think their defense will gave New England off their game for a few quarters, but before long, the Patriots will run away with it. Patriots 31, Redskins 21

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Blaine Gabbert? I know Colin Kaepernick was struggling, but Blaine Gabbert? BLAINE GABBERT? Holy smokes, I'm telling you -- I wonder if Phil Dawson thinks the 49ers situation is worse than anything he ever experienced with the Browns, sans the weather. Atlanta has been scuffling, but get back on track this week. Falcons 35, 49ers 6

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Offensive Explosion: The Giants made an incredible comeback last week, only to see themselves still fall just short of victory in one of the highest-scoring regular season games of all time. They will use that offensive momentum to catapult them into a fast start this week and a win over the surprising Buccaneers. Giants 28, Buccaneers 20

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Simply Not Good: We've seen a large enough sample size of the Colts now to know that they simply are not a good football team. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning still has the Broncos with an undefeated record, and he might just be finding his groove after an underwhelming statistical start to the season. Broncos 35, Colts 14

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No Romo, No Luck: Until Tony Romo returns, the Cowboys are out of luck. The Eagles are coming off of a much-needed bye, and I imagine that they worked on some things to improve upon the slow offensive starts they've had to football games. Eagles 24, Cowboys 17

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Monday Night Football: The Bears and the Chargers aren't going anywhere this year, which is more surprising for the Chargers than it is for the Bears. San Diego's defense can't stop many teams, but look for Philip Rivers to have one of his 400+ yard performances this week in a down-to-the-wire Monday Night win. Chargers 31, Bears 27

Bye Weeks

Week 8 Picks Record: 9-5
2015 Season Record: 72-47
Record in Browns Picks: 3-5

Survivor Pick: I am on a six-game winning streak after the Panthers beat the Colts last week. The teams I've used are SEA, GB, NE, NYJ, ATL, and CAR. This week, I'll go with the Broncos beating the Colts.

Editor's Note: FanDuel is hosting a FREE Week 9 fantasy football league where half the teams win cash on Sunday. New users only. Join now!