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The 5 O’Clock Club: Redskins rooting interest and game predictions for Week 9

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It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

NFL: New York Giants at Washington Redskins Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The 5 o’clock club is published Wednesday to Saturday during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

Obviously, we’ll be rooting for the Redskins at home against the Falcons.

Prediction: Redskins win, 24-22.

How about the other games?

AFC vs NFC

As a general rule, we want to root for AFC teams to beat NFC teams. So, the rule of thumb tells us that we should exercise our rooting interest this way:

  • Redskins fans should cheer for the Raiders to beat the 49ers Honestly, I can’t follow my own advice here... I’ll be cheering for Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers to win against Jon Gruden’s Raiders, though with the Niners giving UDFA QB Mullens his first-ever start, I believe I took the Raiders for a ‘get well’ win in the Week 9 Pick’em contest. Prediction: Raiders win 24-20
  • Redskins fans should cheer for the Bills to beat the Bears There’s a couple of reasons I can’t follow this advice. First of all, I don’t think the Bills can win this one. Secondly, after Kirk’s remarks about wanting to play for “an organization committed to winning football”, I’m hoping to see his Vikings out of the playoffs this season. The best chance of that happening is for other NFC North teams to stack up some wins. I’ll be cheering on the Bears this week. Prediction: Bears win 31-6
  • Redskins fans should back the Chargers against the Seahawks — I don’t have any problem rooting for the Bolts, and even less problem rooting against the Seahawks. The problem is that I don’t really believe that LAC can go into Seattle and get the win. I’ll be waving my powder-blue pom poms during this late afternoon contest, but I sense that I’ll be disappointed. Prediction: Seahawks win 23-20
  • Redskins fans should NORMALLY back the AFC Patriots at home versus the NFC Packers Once again, following my own advice is difficult on several levels. First is my deep and abiding hatred of all things Patriots. Second is that I am still focused on keeping the Vikings out of the playoffs, so I want to see their NFC North rivals do enough that either the Bears, Lions or Packers can take the division crown. Personally, I think it’ll be the Bears, but I may need to rely on the Packers and Aaron Rodgers to get the job done. Normally, the fact that the Redskins have a tie-breaker over the Packers would add more rational reasoning to hoping the Packers win the division, but as long as the Packers have that tie in their W-L record and the Redskins don’t, playoff tiebreakers are not a consideration. I like Aaron Rodgers, I like the Packers, and I’ll be cheering for them to upset the Patriots in Foxboro, though I know how unlikely that is to come to pass. Prediction: Patriots win 37 - 27
  • Redskins fans must absolutely cheer for the Titans to defeat the Cowboys on Monday Night Football — I have no misgivings here. I’ll be a Tennessee fan on Monday night, and I assume they have a decent chance to go into Jerruh’s world and get the win, despite the Cowboys being undefeated at home this season. Prediction: Cowboys win 23-19

AFC vs AFC

The second rule is that we don’t much care about games that feature two AFC teams playing against each other.

  • Chiefs at Browns - Prediction: Chiefs win 57-12
  • Jets at the Dolphins - Two AFC East teams, both on 2 game losing streaks. I see this as almost a pick’em, but the Dolphins are at home and probably aren’t starting a rooking QB. Prediction: Dolphins win 17-10
  • Steelers at Ravens - Initially I had the Ravens winning this game, but Week 8 results changed my mind. Prediction: Steelers win 25-16
  • Texans at Broncos - Back in preseason, I thought this might be a playoff preview, but now Houston and Denver look like teams traveling in opposite directions. Prediciton: Texans win 24-16

NFC vs NFC

This is where the rubber meets the road.

  • Buccaneers at Panthers - This is a tough call, as it is an NFC South division game, and the Redskins haven’t played Tampa Bay yet, so I’m not sure about tiebreaker scenarios with them. Here’s where my head is at... We know the Redskins lost to the Saints but beat the Panthers, so we have the tie breaker over the Carolina, but lose out to New Orleans. If you think the Redskins finish as division champs, you want the Panthers to win the NFC South over the Saints. On the other hand, if you think the Redskins chance to qualify for a playoff spot will be as a wildcard team, then you want the Saints to win the division over the Panthers. I think the Skins will go on to win the NFC East, so I want to see the Panthers end up as the NFC South champs. I’m cheering for Carolina this weekend. I predict the Bucs will start Fitzmagic and light up the scoreboard. Cam Newton and his guys won’t be able to keep up. Prediction: Tampa Bay wins 31-21
  • Lions at Vikings - Typically, I’d root for the team with a lower win percentage to beat its NFC division opponent, so — in this case — I should be rooting for the Lions, and I will be. Unfortunately, after losing to the Saints in the dome this past Sunday, the Vikings will be fired up to play well against their division rival. Prediction: Vikings win 34-23
  • Rams at the Saints - My concern here is for Redskins playoff seeding. The chances are pretty slim that the Redskins will finish with an outright better W-L record than the Rams. It’s also unlikely that the ‘Skins would win tie breakers against the Rams. In keeping with the goal of seeing the Panthers win the NFC South, I will be rooting for Sean McVay’s team to put a loss on the Saints, and I think they have the firepower to do it. Prediction: Rams win 37-31

BYE Week

There are six teams on a bye in Week 9: Cardinals, Bengals, Colts, Jaguars, Giants and Eagles.

At the end of Week 9, every team in the NFC East will have had its bye week, eliminating the half-game difference in the standings (unless another tie game pops up in the NFC East).

If all my predictions come true, this is what the NFC rankings would look like at the end of Week 9:

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Rams
    (177 votes)
  • 39%
    Saints
    (114 votes)
291 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Tampa Bay
    (41 votes)
  • 85%
    Carolina
    (244 votes)
285 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    Steelers
    (181 votes)
  • 36%
    Ravens
    (106 votes)
287 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Jets
    (96 votes)
  • 65%
    Dolphins
    (179 votes)
275 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Titans
    (171 votes)
  • 38%
    Cowboys
    (107 votes)
278 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Chargers
    (200 votes)
  • 27%
    Seahawks
    (75 votes)
275 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who is having the worst 2018 season?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Hue Jackson
    (143 votes)
  • 49%
    Jon Gruden
    (139 votes)
282 votes total Vote Now