Week 8 was another good week for the City of Champions’ staff picks. Here are the results and totals for the season:
Gajtka: 9-3 (70-38)
Shetler: 9-3 (66-43)
Weiss: 8-4 (65-44)
Harding: 8-4 (62-47)
Here are the staff’s week 9 NFL picks.
Denver at Cincinnati
Peyton Manning appears to be back to form. In last week’s win over the Saints, Manning went 22 of 30 for 305 yards and 3 TDs. Much of his success could be attributed to Willis McGahee and the running game pounding the ball. McGahee has 554 yards on the season for an average of 4.5 ypc. The Bengals struggles continue as Andy Dalton struggle. Dalton has thrown at least one interception in every game this season.
Broncos: Weiss, Harding
Bengals: Shetler, Gajtka
Baltimore at Cleveland
The Browns continue to string a few wins together after the 7-6 win over the Chargers last week. Brandon Weeden continues to surprise a few, but Trent Richardson is producing as expected. Richardson, who fought through a rib injury last week to, produced a season high 122 yards and the only TD last week. The Ravens have played poorly on the road this season and are still banged up. They are coming off the bye week which gave them time to think about the beat down Houston gave them.
Ravens: Weiss, Shetler, Gajtka
Arizona at Green Bay
No team in the NFL has suffered the caliber of injuries that the Packers are currently withstanding. That being said they are looking for a fourth straight win when the Cards come to town. The Cardinals on the other hand are trying to end their losing skid of four games in a row. The last time these two teams played was in 2010 when the Cardinals beat the Packers in the highest scoring playoff game in NFL history.
Packers: Weiss, Shetler, Gajtka, Harding
Chicago at Tennessee
The Bears have been streaky as of late, but the defense remains solid. Chicago’s D leads the league with 6 TDs this season. They played a close game against the Panthers until Jay Cutler hit the 4th quarter. Cutler’s 4th quarter 132.0 QB rating is tops in the NFL. Matt Hasselbeck almost had the Titans even at 4-4, but the Colts stole one in overtime. Only thing moving in the right direction for Tennessee is Chris Johnson at the moment.
Bears: Weiss, Shetler, Gajtka
Miami at Indianapolis
Can anyone believe that these two teams playing this week could have playoff implications? Both teams sit at 4-3 and the winner may have the inside track on a wildcard spot. Both with rookie QB’s who have performed quite well. Andrew Luck will get the attention this week because of his comeback/overtime win in Tennessee. For the Dolphins, Reggie Bush continues to have a nice season with his new ability to break tackles.
Colts: Weiss, Shetler
Dolphins: Gajtka, Harding
Carolina at Washington
The Battle of the last two Heisman trophy winners is set, but their team’s records could be better. Both QB’s are capable of putting up big numbers both in the air and with their legs. Cam Newton however has found himself with a 5-game losing streak after a tight loss to the Bears last week. Griffin III is coming off his worst game in a 27-12 loss in Pittsburgh. The return home and a depleted Carolina defense should help Griffin III regain form.
Redskins: Weiss, Gajtka, Harding
Detroit at Jacksonville
The win last week at home for the Lions may have been the upstart they need to make a playoff push. In a game that was nearly do or die time, Matthew Stafford hit Titus Young for the winner with 20 seconds left. Jacksonville was in the game last week in Green Bay, but some untimely miscues sent them packing with a 24-15 loss. Back at home this week the defense might be hungry for the challenge Detroit brings.
Lions: Weiss, Shetler, Gajtka
Buffalo at Houston
One running back has a 7.3 YPC and the other has just a 3.9 YPC average. Indeed it is CJ Spiller with the 7.3 and not Arian Foster (3.9). The Texans are still 6-1, but it appears as though their zone schemed offense is slowing and they can’t afford to rely solely on Matt Schaub this season. The Texans defense will get a good look at a solid running game and Ryan Fitzpatrick is have a decent year as well for the Bills.
Texans: Weiss, Shetler, Gajtka, Harding
Tampa Bay at Oakland
The running game is another big feature in this game as the Bucs have found rookie Doug Martin to be answering the bell in Tampa Bay. Martin ran for 135 and caught another 79 last week in the win over Minnesota. The Bucs defense is also looking good statistically at least in the red zone. This week will be the test for the Raiders who have a few wins coming in, but against lesser opponents in the Jags and Chiefs. While the Bucs D has been good in the redzone the Raiders offense has been terrible. Carson Palmer will need to improve his league worst 35% efficiency rate.
Bucs: Weiss, Gajtka
Raiders: Shetler, Harding
Minnesota at Seattle
Once again power running games are featured as the top two rushers in the league square off in this one. Both teams have been a pleasant surprise this season with young QB’s under center. This is the NFC’s game that will have definite playoff implications with the winner getting the inside track to a wildcard spot. The question is how Christian Ponder will handle the physical play of the Seattle secondary.
Seahawks: Weiss, Shetler, Gajtka, Harding
Pittsburgh at New York Giants
All week this game has been hyped about Eli vs Big Ben. Two QB’s each with two rings, one with two MVP’s. Big Ben has continued to play more of the MVP role this season with a great statistical year. However, the Steelers have relied heavily on the run game in their last two weeks. The Giants on the other hand managed to cling on to a 29-24 win last week in Dallas. The Giants will need to improve on defense, a place they have always been solid, if they want to make another run.
Steelers: Gajtka, Harding
Giants: Weiss, Shetler
Dallas at Atlanta
The combination of Roddy White and Julio Jones continues to stun team’s defenses. Last week Matt Ryan tore Philadelphia apart with a 262 yard 3 TD performance. The Falcons defense appears to have found their stride as well just allowing 270 yards to the Eagles offense. Dallas continues to slip and is in desperate need of a win this week on the road. Tony Romo threw for a career high 437 yards, but his 4 INTs thwarted all of the Cowboys efforts.
Falcons: Weiss, Shetler
Dallas: Gajtka, Harding
Philadelphia at New Orleans
Juan Castillo was fired as the Eagles defensive coordinator before the Falcons put up 30 points. Now the question is how long will they let Michael Vick and Andy Reid stick around? Lose here and they both may be done. Fans are already calling for Nick Foles, the rookie from Arizona, to take the reins. In New Orleans it is just about do or die time with a 2-5 record. This is the worst start for the Saints with Drew Brees at the helm.
Saints: Weiss, Shetler, Harding
Bye: St. Louis, New England, New York Jets and San Francisco