Check out our Sunday bests
The Falcons showed up in force on Thursday to exact their revenge on the Buccaneers for an unexpected Week 1 loss.
Here are the 10 best things to look for when Week 9 continues on Sunday, including David Carr and the 6-2 Raiders facing a showdown with the Denver Broncos.
Best chance for an upset
Eagles at Giants: Carson Wentz and the Eagles have dropped three of four after their surprising 3-0 start, but after a decent performance against the Cowboys last week, we feel like they may be ready to right the ship.
Philadelphia's defense still ranks third in the league against the pass, and Eli Manning has just eight TDs against six INTs through the air this season.
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Best survivor pool pick
Jaguars at Chiefs: The Chiefs are at home against the Jaguars, and though Nick Foles is starting at quarterback for Kansas City in place of Alex Smith, Jacksonville has been consistently bad enough to the point where a road win of any kind would come as a legitimate surprise.
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Best statistical matchup
Broncos at Raiders: The Raiders are 6-2, and are built to outscore teams with the vertical passing game — just like Al Davis once envisioned.
But the Broncos are built around defense, and even without CB Aqib Talib (who will miss his second straight game due to injury), Denver should provide a very real test for Oakland, and more specifically, Derek Carr's abilities.
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Best bad game
Cowboys at Browns: Cleveland was fiesty last week before ultimately suffering a 31-28 loss to the Jets, and the 0-8 Browns, especially at home, are going to be desperate from here on out to make sure they finish with at least one win in an otherwise dreadful season.
The Cowboys might present too many problems, but Cleveland may find a way to keep things closer than expected — at least for a little while.
Best fantasy option
Spencer Ware is out this week, which means that Chiefs RB Charcandrick West will get the bulk of the carries. West has performed well when he's gotten his touches, and the Jaguars have given up four scores to opposing running backs over the past two weeks.
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Best chance for a shootout
Titans at Chargers: San Diego's defense has been better with Joey Bosa in the lineup, but the oddsmakers set the over/under for this one at 57 for a reason.
Philip Rivers and the Chargers have scored 30 or more points four times this season, while the Titans have averaged 30 points over their past four contests.
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Best bet against the spread
Saints at Rams: Speaking of over/unders, the one for the Saints-Rams game in L.A. has been set at 52.5 — an absurd number when considering that the Rams rank 30th in the league in points per game on the season.
New Orleans will score at a high rate just as it always does, and the Rams simply don't have the personnel (or the quarterback play) to keep pace. The Saints winning by more than a field goal feels like a foregone conclusion.
(We're 5-3 with these picks on the season, riding a four-game winning streak.)
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Best chance for a low-scoring contest
Lions at Vikings: Sam Bradford should be hanging his head about last week's performance, but the Vikings still boast the league's top-ranked defense.
Minnesota's offense figures to get right against a terrible Lions defense, and it feels like the Vikings will be more motivated at home, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
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Best early game
Eagles at Giants: Philadelphia has looked mortal the past few weeks, and a road showdown with Eli Manning and the division rival Giants won't make things any easier.
The NFC East is a logjam like always, and this divisional battle between two 4-3 teams will go a long way in helping to determine who can rise above the pack.
Broncos at Raiders: This game will say a lot more about the Raiders than it will about the Broncos. Both teams are 6-2, yet we already know that Denver possesses a Super Bowl-caliber defense.
There are still plenty of unkowns about these Raiders, and even if they can't beat Von Miller and the Broncos at home Sunday night, they may still make the playoffs, but expectations in terms of how far they can go will have been lowered by at least a couple of notches.
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