The NFL season is more than halfway over, and the competition off the field among fans is nearly as heated as the competition on the field on game day.
The Athlon Sports Pro Football Experts Club presented by New Era gives you the chance to compete with your friends and our experts each week.
Here are this week’s picks from Athlon Sports senior editor John Gworek:
Cleveland at Baltimore
This is a rematch of a 25–20 Ravens win in Week 2. The Browns defense is making it very hard on the offense, having allowed between 25 and 35 points in every game, so they need at least 30 to win. Is Baltimore’s No. 2-ranked defense likely to allow that many?
Gworek's Pick: Baltimore, 31–21
Green Bay at Tennessee
The Packers top-ranked run defense poses a problem for the Titans. When the Chargers forced the game into Marcus Mariota’s hands, he made a lot of big plays — for both teams (313 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs, one returned for a touchdown).
Gworek's Pick: Green Bay, 27–23
Minnesota at Washington
Minnesota is averaging 12 points per game during a three-game losing streak and has the NFL’s worst running game (2.7 ypc). The Redskins are just 1–1–1 in their last three, but their offense has averaged 484 yards per game over that stretch.
Gworek's Pick: Washington, 23-21
Chicago at Tampa Bay
The Bucs desperately need a win to close out a three-game homestand — in fact they haven’t won at home yet this season (0–4). Chicago hasn’t won on the road yet but may have found a winning formula before the bye: Feed the ball to rookie RB Jordan Howard. When het gets at least 19 touches, he averages 165 yards from scrimmage and the Bears are 2–1.
Gworek's Pick: Chicago, 30–26
Kansas City at Carolina
The Chiefs get quarterback Alex Smith back, and he’ll need to make plays because the Panthers are among the league’s best stopping the run. Carolina is 2–0 since its bye because it stopped giving the ball away (one turnover in two games), but the Chiefs lead the league in takeaways.
Gworek's Pick: Kansas City, 24–20
Atlanta at Philadelphia
After two tough division losses on the road, the Eagles return home where they are 3–0 this season. But when the Eagles allow more than 14 points, they are 0–4. The Falcons lead the NFL in scoring and have scored at least 23 in every game. And the road has not bothered Atlanta (3–1),
Gworek's Pick: Atlanta, 24–19
Los Angeles at N.Y. Jets
The Rams forced eight turnovers during an early three-game winning streak but have forced just one during a four-game skid. Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick does tend to give the ball away, but he is questionable with a bad knee. Is Bryce Petty the answer?
Gworek's Pick: N.Y. Jets, 20–16
Denver at New Orleans
The Broncos just went on the road and lost to the Raiders, a team with an excellent offense and a horrible defense. Now they head to New Orleans to take on the Saints … a team with an excellent offense and a horrible defense. Uh oh.
Gworek's Pick: New Orleans, 31–30
Houston at Jacksonville
Since its bye week, Jacksonville is 1–3 and has zero takeaways while turning the ball over 10 times. That’s a recipe for disaster. But the Jags did rush for as season-high 205 yards last week, and Houston is vulnerable to the run (28th in the NFL).
Gworek's Pick: Jacksonville, 24–20
Miami at San Diego
The Dolphins have won three in a row but were bailed out by a late kickoff return for a score to beat the Jets last week. The Chargers proved they can stop a good running game last week against Tennessee and rank third in the NFL in scoring.
Gworek's Pick: San Diego, 28–21
Dallas at Pittsburgh
The Cowboys have been doing everything well this season, so it’s hard to find a good reason to pick against them on paper. “They’re not going 15–1” is not a good reason. But we’re betting they’re not, and we’re not betting against Ben Roethlisberger at home. Save that for road games.
Gworek's Pick: Pittsburgh, 33–31
San Francisco at Arizona
The 49ers had their best offensive day last week against the Saints with 486 yards. But then a lot of teams move the ball on the Saints, and four turnovers did the Niners in. Arizona leads the NFL in total defense and is 3–1–1 when it doesn’t turn the ball over.
Gworek's Pick: Arizona, 34–20
Seattle at New England
On Monday night against Buffalo, the Seahawks got dominated on the stat sheet but made enough big plays to survive at home. That formula is unlikely to hold up at New England.
Gworek's Pick: New England, 27–21
Cincinnati at N.Y. Giants
The Giants are dead last in rushing offense, which puts extra pressure on Eli Manning, Odell Beckham and company. But Cincinnati has already lost games to Denver and New England by getting torched through the air escaped with a tie despite allowing 446 yards passing to Washington.
Gworek's Pick: N.Y. Giants, 30–28
Week 9 Record: 10-3
Overall Record: 74–57–2