NFL Week 9 picks: Bengals stun Jaguars, Cowboys win wild shootout over Chiefs

With Week 9 upon us, we are more than halfway through the 2017 season, which makes right now the perfect time to hand out some midseason awards. 

Fortunately for me, someone else at CBSSports.com was already assigned that task, so I'm going to rate NFL-related Halloween costumes instead. If you're reading this on Halloween, then you'll have a last-minute costume idea. If you're reading this sometime after Halloween, then you'll have ideas for next year. There's no downside here. 

The first idea you should write down is avocado toast. Apparently, it's not just a delicious breakfast for millennials anymore, it's also the perfect idea for a couples costume. I know what you're thinking, "Who would actually wear an avocado toast costume and what would that even look like?" 

The answers to those questions are Tom Brady, Gisele and it would theoretically look like this. 

@tombrady rolling up to the Halloween party like

A post shared by NFL on ESPN (@espnnfl) on

Of course, the one problem with this costume is that I'm not sure Brady would actually wear it. I've read his book and I don't even think he's allowed to eat toast. That's way too many carbs. This would make way more sense if they were both avocados. Brady loves avocado everything. I mean, the guy basically put avocado ice cream on the map. I'm not sure which map, but it's on some map because of him. 

By the way, if you haven't been following the avocado toast phenomenon, it's basically the unofficial meal of millennials. Millennials love the avocado toast. As a matter of fact, I bet Sean McVay makes the entire Rams roster eat the stuff at least six times a day. 

She might be on to something. 

As for Brady, I'm not sure what his porch is going to look like on Halloween, but I'm guessing his decorations are going to look something like this. 

Happy Halloween!

A post shared by Mitch (@soberdiesel) on

If you put that pumpkin at a porch in Atlanta, it would scare everyone. 

Let's get back to the costumes, though. If you're not into trendy Halloween costumes, you can always go as your favorite NFL player/social justice warrior. This kid's costume is so good, he might be able to start a movement on his own. 

Stand for something or fall for anything✊🏾 @kaepernick7 #Halloween2017 #Takeaknee

A post shared by Ѕиαρ ¢нαт👻: ∂яєαмнαιя (@dreamhair) on

The only downside of that costume is that you're not going to get very much candy if you spend the entire night on your knee. 

Of course, if you want to dress up as quarterback who's actually still in the NFL, you can scrap the Kaepernick costume and go as Aaron Rodgers. For some reason, that seems to be a pretty popular thing to do in Minnesota this year. 

It can also be a father-son costume. 

Trick or Treat 🎃

A post shared by @painfulhobbies on

Or even a costume that you do with your best friend. 

Alright, that's enough Halloween talk for now. Let's get to the picks. 

Actually, before I get to the picks, here's your weekly reminder to check out all the picks from every NFL writer here at CBSSports.com.

The reason you should click over and check out the other experts this week is because our Fantasy guru, Jamey Eisenberg, was nearly perfect in Week 8 with a 12-1 record. Jamey's entire life basically consists of giving out advice for Fantasy Football and when he's not giving out advice, he's thinking about giving out advice. To he honest, I have no idea when he  has time to make his NFL picks. Also, I'm not sure what his secret is when it comes to picking games, but I think his success has something to do with the fact he only tweets out alliterative phrases. 

I'm not sure how that helps him, but it's clearly working.

Anyway, if you want to use Eisenberg's picks this week, I suggest following him on Twitter. If you don't want to follow him, I totally understand, it's not easy getting used to someone who only tweets in alliteration. 

Alright, let's get to the Week 9 picks.

NFL Week 9 Picks

Cincinnati (3-4) at Jacksonville (4-3) 

1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Instead of watching game film this week, Andy Dalton might want to watch "Rocky IV", because honestly, watching Rocky's fight with the Russian is probably the best way for Dalton to mentally prepare for the beatdown he's likely going to take in Jacksonville. Not only is Dalton on pace to get sacked more than 50 times this year, but he'll be going up against a Jaguars defense that's on pace to break the NFL single-season sack record. 

That's not a horrible idea. 

The Jaguars have hit the 10-sack mark in two different games this season and they'll be going up against a Bengals offensive line that protects about as well as a... well, let's just say they don't protect well. 

Of course, just because Dalton's going to get sacked 47 times in this game doesn't mean the Bengals are going to lose. Although the Jaguars have one of the best defenses in the NFL, they won't even have the best defense in this game from a statistical standpoint. The Bengals are only giving up 295 yards per game, which is slightly better than the 300.3 yards per game that the Jaguars have surrendered this season. The only thing uglier than Dalton going up against the Jags' defense will be watching Blake Bortles try to complete a pass against the Bengals. We might actually see more sacks and interceptions from Dalton and Bortles combined than points in this game. 

The pick: Bengals 16-13 over Jaguars


Arizona (3-4) at San Francisco (0-8) 

4:05 p.m. ET (Fox)

I'll be honest here, at 8:16 p.m. ET on Monday, I was ready to pick the 49ers in this game. I even had two paragraphs written on why I thought they were going to win. Before deleting everything, I think I mentioned that Carson Palmer with a broken arm would probably still be a better option for the Cardinals at quarterback than Drew Stanton. I think I also mentioned that I liked the 49ers because this game had all the makings of a classic upset, especially when you consider that the 49ers already almost beat the Cardinals once this season and that game was played in Arizona (An 18-15 Cards' win). 

However, I completely changed my mind about this game after the Jimmy Garoppolo trade happened because I'm pretty sure the trade was Kyle Shanahan's way of saying, "I have no faith in C.J. Beathard and we're going to go 0-16 if I don't find a replacement for him soon." If Shanahan doesn't have any faith in Beathard, then neither do I. In the two games this season where the rookie quarterback has started, the 49ers have been outscored by 53 points (73-20). To put that in perspective, they were only outscored by 33 points in their six other losses COMBINED. 

Unfortunately for Shanahan, I think he's stuck with Beathard for at least one more week because there's no way Garoppolo is going to learn the playbook in five days. However, after this week, I fully expect Garoppolo to quickly earn the starting job. 

The good news for the 49ers is that if Garoppolo is just half as talented as he is handsome, then they're going to win at least seven Super Bowls over the next five years. 

And don't tell me seven Super Bowls in five years isn't possible. If you're that handsome, anything's possible. 

The pick: Cardinals 27-17 over 49ers


Washington (3-4) at Seattle (5-2)

4:05 p.m. ET (Fox)

The Seahawks might seem like a lock in this game, but trust me, they're not, and that's because no one is a lock to win after playing the Texans. Somehow, the Texans have turned into the ultimate NFL hangover. After playing them, you basically look drunk in your next game and you lose. In what might be the most unbelievable stat of the year, NFL teams are 0-6 this season after facing the Texans. I repeat, no team has won a game the following week after facing Houston. 

The Jaguars couldn't do it: They faced the Texans in Week 1 and then lost in Week 2. 

The Patriots couldn't do it: They faced the Texans in Week 3 and then lost in Week 4.

The UNDEFEATED Chiefs couldn't even do it: After beating the Texans in Week 5, the 5-0 Chiefs immediately lost their next game in Week 6. The Bengals, Titans and Browns also lost the week after playing the Texans this year. My gut says I should't pick against this streak, but I can't pick the Redskins in this game because their injury report makes it sound like half the team was on the losing side of a 15-man battle royal.  

From a purely mathematical standpoint, that seems like a problem. I'll take the Seahawks over the team that might not have enough players to fill its game day roster. 

The pick: Seahawks 30-23 over Redskins


Kansas City (6-2) at Dallas (4-3)

4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

It's a good thing I love reading random court documents in my spare time because that's basically all I've been doing over the past six months, thanks to the Ezekiel Elliott case. Unfortunately for me, it looks like there might not be many more court documents to read in the future because the Elliott case seems to finally be getting close and closer to a conclusion. Although Elliott's suspension was put back on as of Monday, there's still a chance he could play against the Chiefs if his legal team files an appeal and that appeal is granted. Of course, if that happens, then this case will have gone on for so long that John Grisham will probably write a book about it. 

The good news for the Cowboys is that if there's one game during Elliott's suspension where they might not need him, it's this one. Over the past four weeks, the Chiefs are giving up 150.1 yards per game on the ground. To put that in perspective, no other team has even given up 140 yards per game over that timespan, except the 49ers, but they're 0-8 and if you're being compared to a winless team than you've already lost. Also, I think what I'm trying to say is that the Cowboys might be able to run all over the Chiefs, even without Elliott. 

As a friendly reminder, Tony Romo and Jim Nantz will be calling this game, which means we'll be seeing Romo call a Cowboys game for the first time this season. Of course, Chiefs fans probably aren't as excited to hear this news since Kansas City is 0-2 this year when Romo and Nantz are on the call. 

Anyway, if the Cowboys are half as successful on the ground as this cat was in Week 8, then they shouldn't have any problem winning without Zeke. 

By the way, that cat was the most excited I've been about an animal since the pizza rat went viral in 2015. 

The pick: Cowboys 37-34 over Chiefs

NFL Week 9 picks: All the rest

Lions 24-17 over Packers

Last Week 

Best pick: Last week, I picked the Seahawks to win by three over the Texans and then the Seahawks went out and won by three over the Texans. Now, did I know this game was going to turn into the craziest shootout of the 2017 season? Of course I did, because they were playing in Seattle and anytime there's a game in Seattle, there's basically an 85 percent chance of something crazy happening. I'm pretty sure their stadium is built over a burial ground of 18th century clowns because nearly every game there turns into a circus. 

The Fail Mary? Happened in Seattle.  

The batted ball game? Happened in Seattle. 

And now we have the "one of the teams almost didn't play because they wanted to protest a comment made by their owner" game, which will more likely be remembered as the "Russell Wilson throws for 452 yards and dances like a happy elf" game. 

I don't even want to know how crazy things are going to get in Seattle this week, but I'm just going to say I won't be surprised if the Redskins-Seahawks game ends with Seattle's mascot eating someone alive.

Worst pick: If seven games of watching the Dolphins play football this season has taught me one thing, it's that I don't know anything about the Dolphins. Last week, I picked them to win and I also thought they wouldn't try to kill Joe Flacco or choke slam Ryan Mallett, but I was wrong on all three accounts. 

In Miami's defense, trying to knock every Ravens quarterback out of the game was really the Dolphins' only chance of winning in Baltimore, but the plan didn't work and they still managed to lose by 40. I have no idea what the Dolphins can do to get better at this point, but I think coach Adam Gase needs to at least consider having everyone rub their bodies against corals covered in mucus. 

Finally, if you guys have ever wondered which teams I'm actually good (and bad) at picking, here's a quick look. 

Teams I'm 7-1 picking this year: Browns, 49ers, Colts, Eagles, Cardinals (6-1) Lions (6-1) Seahawks (6-1), Saints (6-1) 

Teams I'm 1-6 picking this year: Dolphins

Every other team is somewhere in the middle.

Picks Record

Straight up in Week 7: 10-3

SU overall: 72-47

Against the spread in Week 7: 7-6

ATS overall: 59-57-3


You can find John Breech on Facebook or Twitter and if he's not doing one of those things, he's probably at the grocery store stocking up on avocado toast. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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