Locks and Shocks: Week 9
Each week Dan Barber, Fergus Head, Reece Mowlem and Owen Turner pick one team who is a lock and certain to win their game and one team who will cause a shock and win their game despite being the underdog. Below are this week's picks.
Lock: 49ERS over Cardinals
Granted this is a bit of a bold lock, but nonetheless, the Cardinals are falling apart. They just lost starting Quarterback Carson Palmer for a considerable amount of time, and having witnessed them at Twickenham two weeks ago I can confirm they were absolutely rubbish. Shanahan is bound to pick up a win eventually, and there is no better opportunity than this week, at home, against a weakened, ageing side.
Shock: BRONCOS over Eagles
I took a bit of slack for my shock last week - something about it not being a shock or whatever. REGARDLESS, I'm going for the mother of all shocks here - I'm calling for a loss for the 7-1 Philadelphia Eagles. Osweiler took a lot of slack last year because he was terrible. Truly terrible. But now, returning as the starting Quarterback for his old team, he has a chance to recapture the glory he experienced during the run-up to the Bronco's impressive SB win two years ago. Eagles fans will be writing this one as a blowout - I however, am not too sure.
Lock: SAINTS over Buccaneers
A southerly showdown ends in death at dawn for the Bucs in this NFC Divisional game. The Saints' unexpectedly balanced team helped majorly by the impeccable Lattimore defeat the misfiring cannon of the unstable ship that the Bucanneers are currently riding. (Oooh puns) I'm not suggesting a blow out, but controlled football seals a sturdy and important victory for the New Orleans lot.
Shock: JETS over Bills
More divisional rivalry revelry for the fans this week, with the Jets providing an even more convoluted football landscape after this unexpected conquest. Josh the man continues his purge of past ghosts with a multiple touchdown performance against a usually stingy Bills D. Expect to see the Jets take advantage of the Bills' all or nothing approach, this is a winnable game for the boys in Green if they can take care of the rock.
Lock: RAIDERS over Dolphins
The Dolphins didn't have many elite players at the start of the year and, after Tuesday, they have one less. It seems the Miami front office decided that Jay Ajayi was the reason they got shutout by the Ravens last Thursday and so shipped him off to the Eagles for a 4th round pick. With the backfield now consisting of Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams and Jay Cutler returning to the lineup, I see no hope for the Dolphins this week, despite the Raiders not playing their best right now.
Shock: PACKERS over Lions
I struggled to come up with a shock this week but have eventually decided to take a stab on Brett Hundley. The Packers are coming off their bye which should have given time for Mike McCarthy to tailor the offence more to Hundley's skill set, one very different to that of Aaron Rodger's. Green Bay also have an underrated running back duo with Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery both performing well this year. As much as I like the Lions, I'm calling for a first Lambeau win for the rookie.
Lock: EAGLES over Broncos
Was all set to go for the Texans here but then he ard Watson may have a ruptured ACL. Devastating news for the Texans there and football fans in general. So instead I'm taking the 6-1 Eagles to knock off the Brock Oswieller lead Broncos. I'm fully on the Wentz wagon and he is currently my vote for MVP (not that my vote means anything mind you)... Either way think it's safe to assume he can put up enough points on this tough Broncos D and that the Philly defense will turn up to play.
Shock: COWBOYS over Chiefs
Poor pick last week despite it being a one possetion final. Looking to get back on track this week, I'm taking the Cowboys to top the Chiefs. I seem to be picking on Kansas as this is the third time I've picked them to lose a shock this year, but I think the 'secret' to beating them is ah it straight forward. Throw the damn ball away from Marcus Peters... The pro bowl corner is playing at All-Pro level but is the only person to fear in that secondary with Eric Berry on IR. The Raiders and Steelers figured it out and won, somehow the Broncos didn't... Anyway, the Cowboys without Zeke will need to trust Dak to air it out and allow Dez to feast on the left hand side since Peters doesn't travel. If they do that, I think they'll take the W at home.
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Mowlem is a sports writer from Reading, United Kingdom. All articles are written by Reece Mowlem (unless stated otherwise).