The Sports Editors’ Week 9 NFL Picks

The Sports Editors

Martin: Baltimore Ravens (-3) at New Orleans Saints

Monday Night Football brings an exciting game between the closely matched Ravens and Saints. Despite sustaining offensive injuries to quarterback Jameis Winston and wide receiver Michael Thomas, among others, the Saints have managed to average over 25 points per game. However, The Saints’ defense struggled against good offenses in losses to the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens’ offense should pose a similar challenge. The Ravens are coming off a long week after their Thursday night win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and should be well-rested heading into New Orleans. 

Former MVP Lamar Jackson impressed in the win against Tampa Bay and seems to have returned from his four-game slump. Getting tight end Mark Andrews back healthy will also be huge for the Ravens’ offense. With the recent emergence of Isaiah Likely, the tight-end duo will pose a serious threat to the Saints. The debut of newly acquired Ravens linebacker Roquan Smith will also be fun to watch. I expect a high-scoring affair where Lamar Jackson can truly take over.

Stuzin: Green Bay Packers (-3) at Detroit Lions

Although I’m not a huge fan of either team so far this season, I believe this should be a somewhat easy win for the Packers. QB Aaron Rodgers is far from having his typical season, but relative to the average quarterback, he’s still performing well. Through eight games, he has 1,800 yards passing (ranked twelfth among QBs) and 13 passing touchdowns (ranked fifth). On top of that, running back Aaron Jones has 575 rushing yards, ranking fifth in the league. The one thing that makes me apprehensive about this pick is the Packers’ lack of an elite receiver. For several seasons, Rodgers had an elite wide receiver in Davante Adams. But now that he’s been traded to the Las Vegas Raiders, Rodgers doesn’t have that consistently spectacular receiver. Hopefully, that doesn’t affect the team long-term. 

On the other side of the ball, the Detroit Lions have been far from impressive this season. Detroit only has one win on the season, which came against a weak Washington Commanders team, and it was completely shut out by the New England Patriots in Week 5, losing 29-0. The team hasn’t been horrendous on offense — QB Jared Goff has 1,904 yards passing and 12 passing TDs, so he’s not the issue. The Lions still find ways to lose. So look for this trend to continue against Green Bay. 

Notis: Seattle Seahawks (+2) at Arizona Cardinals

The NFC West was supposed to be the NFC’s best. Before the season, three of the four teams in the division looked ready to compete. Now, eight weeks in, the NFC West has been flipped on its head and the Seattle Seahawks are in first place. After trading away franchise quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seahawks were looking down the barrel of a slow rebuild. However, behind the excellent coaching of Pete Carroll and the terrific play of quarterback Geno Smith, the Seahawks have left the doubters in the dust and surpassed all expectations. After stomping over the 6-2 Giants last week, the Seahawks should have no trouble continuing their dominance against the struggling Arizona Cardinals. Seattle’s defense looked dominant and should have no trouble against a weak Arizona attack. Expect the Seahawks to respond to the call of duty and take out the Cardinals. 

Silverstein: Minnesota Vikings (-3.5) at Washington Commanders

With the recent acquisition of Lions’ tight end T.J. Hockenson, the 6-1 Minnesota Vikings just added another high-end skill position player to one of the most elite groups in the league. Their host of weapons — stud wideout Justin Jefferson, proven and productive receiver Adam Thielen, and star running back Dalvin Cook — have blossomed together under first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell, and they are the reason Minnesota will handle Washington and move to 7-1. As long as quarterback Kirk Cousins can continue to find the open man and not turn the ball over, the opposition this week simply won’t be able to keep up from an offensive standpoint. Washington has averaged under eighteen points per game this season, the sixth-worst in the league. Look for the Vikings to take command over Washington this weekend and continue to solidify themselves as one of the league’s most dangerous teams.