Harv currently writes for Abstract Sports, the Sports History Network, and the magazine Gridiron Greats. Harv wrote the published book "Pro Football's Most Passionate Fans" and as a professional writer has had articles published in an array of sports publications.
NFL Week 9 Quick Picks
The second half of the 2020 NFL season gets underway with a Thursday night matchup between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers followed by a slate of games for some teams that hands them a seemingly easy victory.
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t playing but Aaron Rodgers is. Packers win.
Prediction: Packers 34 / 49ers 13
Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts
Thanks to the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend, the Colts are tied with Tennessee for first place in the AFC South. The Ravens would like to bounce back from a loss to Pittsburgh they could have avoided. Make it two in a row for Baltimore.
Prediction: Colts 27 / Ravens 24
Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are rolling again with three straight wins. Carolina is mirroring that in losses and this will be four straight.
Prediction: Chiefs 41 / Panthers 13
Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans
Thanks to the Bears’ inept offense, the Titans win this one easy.
Prediction: Titans 35 / Bears 16
Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons
The Broncos three wins thus far a mild surprise. The Falcons are treading water and Matt Ryan may be in his final season with the Dirty Birds.
Prediction: Falcons 24 / Broncos 21
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Matt Stafford was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week so unless he tests negative the remainder of the week he will not play. Regardless with or without him, I like the Vikings.
Prediction: Vikings 27 / Lions 17
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
The question for Jacksonville is not if but when? When will they win a game again? Both teams have just a single victory so this is certainly not the game of the week. The Texans are the more talented team and that should carry the day. Another rookie starts at quarterback in the NFL this for the Jags who will let Jake Luton call the signals because of Gardner Minshew’s injury. Good luck with that.
Prediction: Texans 38 / Jaguars 9
New York Giants at Washington Football Team
With a win, The Washington Football team can move into a first-place tie with Philadelphia despite losing five of their first seven games. Incredibly, if the Giants can pull the upset, they would be just one game behind the Eagles. Is this the league’s worst division? Absolutely.
Prediction: Washington Football Team 23 / Giants 21
Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills
This is a great game and for some might be a Super Bowl preview although Chiefs and Steelers fans would probably object. But it is more a game for Buffalo to gauge where they are really at on a talent level. The Bills' defense should keep it close but I think the Seahawks won’t be denied.
Prediction: Seahawks 31 / Bills 24
Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers
This could be labeled a playoff game of sorts. If the Chargers want any shot at the postseason they will probably need this victory and for the Raiders, at 4-3 they probably don’t have a shot at unseating Kansas City as division champions, but five wins might move them closer to a wild card.
Prediction: Chargers 37 / Raiders 34
Miami Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals
A very intriguing game with the surprising Cardinals taking on the equally surprising Dolphins. A sophomore quarterback takes on a rookie with Kyler Murray probably a bit better than first-year man Tua Tagovailoa. The former Alabama QB had a less than spectacular debut last week but his team won. Arizona seems to be a qualified playoff team.
Prediction: Cardinals 30 / Dolphins 20
Pittsburgh Steelers at Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy said this week that rookie Ben DiNucci is out as starting quarterback and instead he will decide between Garrett Gilbert or Cooper Rush both of whom are practicing with the first team this week. Gilbert has been all over the league after being drafted by the St. Louis Rams way back in 2014. From there he has played for New England, Detroit, Oakland, Carolina, the Orlando Apollos of the Arena Football League, Cleveland, and now Dallas. Gilbert has thrown a total of six professional passes completing two. YIKES. The alternative? Rush who was not even drafted by signed by Dallas as a rookie free agent in 2017 then released and signed by the New York Giants in 2020 before coming back to Dallas this year. Rush has thrown just one pass in the NFL. WHOA. This situation facing an undefeated 7-0 Pittsburgh Steelers team that thrives on defense? OUCH.
Prediction: Steelers 45 / Cowboys 6
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Easily the NFC Game of the Week as well as the NFL Game of the Week. This might be a game to determine who is the NFC’s best team or at least second best to Seattle. Both teams are very closely matched and with Tom Brady engineering a new offense what rubs me the wrong way is that he could not sign with the Bucs and try to win with what they had but instead he had to add more talent to ensure victories. The latest addition is Antonio Brown and if A.B. still has it, he becomes a very dangerous weapon for Brady. Not with Tampa last season are Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, and LeSean McCoy. These two met in the season opener and New Orleans toppled the Bucs 34-23 but now Brady is warmed up and has a new toy in A.B.
Prediction: Bucs 28 / Saints 27
New England Patriots at New York Jets
Can you believe this is our game for Monday Night Football? The Patriots have lost four in a row and are on the road. The Jets have yet to win and boy would they enjoy this upset. If the Pats lose to a team that can’t buy a victory it will without a doubt become the lowest point of Bill Belichick’s New England career. I’m going to be brave and call for New York’s first and perhaps only win of 2020.
Prediction: Jets 20 / Patriots 17
Bye week: Cincinnati, Cleveland, LA Rams, Philadelphia