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PFT’s NFL Week Nine 2021 picks

Chris Simms and Mike Florio pick their best bets for NFL Week 9, led by the Ravens' lopsided matchup against a struggling Vikings organization.

Last week was good not great, and not really all that good.

MDS and I each went 9-6 in the picks in Week Eight.

For the year, I’m at 79-43. MDS is now 76-49.

This week, we disagree on two games. For all of the picks, keep on scrolling.

Jets (+10.5) at Colts

MDS’s take: Can Mike White shock the world again in his second NFL start? I think he’s going to play fairly well, but maybe not quite well enough to beat the Colts.

MDS’s pick: Colts 24, Jets 21.

Florio’s take: The Colts have a steep uphill climb to catch the Titans. The absence of Derrick Henry makes it a little less steep.

Florio’s pick: Colts 27, Jets 13.

Texans (+6.5) at Dolphins

MDS’s take: With the winless Lions on their bye, the two worst teams that are playing this week are playing each other. I’ll take the Dolphins to win a close and ugly game.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 17, Texans 16.

Florio’s take: If two of the most dysfunctional teams in the NFL meet in a game that no one watches, does it make a sound?

Florio’s pick: Texans 24, Dolphins 20.

Broncos (+10) at Cowboys

MDS’s take: The Von Miller trade signaled that the Broncos, despite their hot start, don’t see themselves as contenders. I don’t see them as contenders either. With Dak Prescott back, Dallas should cruise.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 33, Broncos 17.

Florio’s take: Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush, Will Grier, Ben DiNucci, Dominic DeNucci. Doesn’t matter.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 28, Broncos 20.

Vikings (+5.5) at Ravens

MDS’s take: The rested Ravens should handle the Vikings, who look like they’re teetering toward a rebuild.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 28, Vikings 21.

Florio’s take: Baltimore had last Sunday off. The Vikings lost to a backup quarterback.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 31, Vikings 20.

Patriots (-4) at Panthers

MDS’s take: The Patriots feel like a team that could go on a playoff run after a slow start, while the Panthers feel like a team that’s going to fall short after a hot start.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 30, Panthers 20.

Florio’s take: The Patriots likely will invade the AFC playoff field. The Panthers likely will be on the outside looking in, again.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 24, Panthers 17.

Bills (-14.5) at Jaguars

MDS’s take: I’m actually surprised the Bills are “only” favored by 14.5 here. They’ll blow out the Jaguars.

MDS’s pick: Bills 40, Jaguars 12.

Florio’s take: By the time this one is over, Urban Meyer may wish he’d gotten fired during the bye week.

Florio’s pick: Bills 38, Jaguars 13.

Browns (+2.5) at Bengals

MDS’s take: Just when I thought the Bengals were establishing themselves as a legitimately good team, they went and lost to the Jets. I think they’ll turn it around this week in a big AFC North battle.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 23, Browns 21.

Florio’s take: The Browns is the Browns. The Bengals isn’t the Bengals.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 28, Browns 24.

Raiders (-2.5) at Giants

MDS’s take: Rich Bisaccia has done solid work so far as the Raiders’ interim head coach, and I think he’s going to keep it going as Las Vegas wins its third straight game.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 24, Giants 17.

Florio’s take: The fish stinks from the headset.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 28, Giants 16.

Falcons (+6) at Saints

MDS’s take: It’s hard to say what the Saints’ offense will look like without Jameis Winston, but I think the Saints’ defense will help them win a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Saints 17, Falcons 14.

Florio’s take: Sean Payton makes his move to win coach of the year. It helps to have a defensive coordinator who should have been a head coach again by now.

Florio’s pick: Saints 30, Falcons 23.

Chargers (-1.5) at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Chargers are better than they looked last week, and the Eagles are worse than they looked last week. A correction is in order.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 28, Eagles 14.

Florio’s take: It’s not a must-win game for the Chargers, but it’s getting close to that.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 24, Eagles 20.

Packers (+1) at Chiefs

MDS’s take: I was actually going to pick the Chiefs even before Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19, but now it’s an easier pick.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 27, Packers 14.

Florio’s take: The Packers get a glimpse of life without Aaron Rodgers. The Chiefs get an early Christmas gift.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 30, Packers 20.

Cardinals (-1) at 49ers

MDS’s take: The Cardinals should bounce back from a tough loss to the Packers last Thursday and get back on the winning track against a 49ers team that just isn’t consistent enough.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 28, 49ers 23.

Florio’s take: The 49ers remain in desperation territory, and Kyler Murray remains banged up.

Florio’s pick: 49ers 24, Cardinals 20.

Titans (+7.5) at Rams

MDS’s take: This is both a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIV and a potential Super Bowl LVI preview. I’m not as convinced as some people are that the Titans can’t keep winning after the loss of Derrick Henry, but I would pick them to lose to the Rams either way.

MDS’s pick: Rams 30, Titans 27.

Florio’s take: The Rams keep rolling, and the Titans begin making the adjustment to life without Derrick Henry.

Florio’s pick: Rams 31, Titans 17.

Bears (+6.5) at Steelers

MDS’s take: The Steelers’ defense is going to give Justin Fields a tough night in a low-scoring Monday Night Football game.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 16, Bears 13.

Florio’s take: The Steeler keep finding ways to win. The Bears keep finding ways to lose.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 20, Bears 10.