NFL picks and predictions, Week 9: Who are the real Chiefs?

Week 9 of the NFL slate is officially here, and we'll be here every week of the season to bring you picks for not just your Kansas City Chiefs, but the entire Sunday and Monday slate of NFL action!
Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos / Michael Owens/GettyImages

This week has been one of pontificating, questioning both the front office and roster, and more than likely crying a lot of (K.C.) Wolf after the Kansas City Chiefs' puzzling 24-9 loss to the Denver Broncos that snapped a 16-game winning streak for the Chiefs.

Most with an opinion shared it online, with a resounding portion of them leaning towards the negative side of things as opposed to the bright side. Add to that the lack of activity at the trade deadline from general manager Brett Veach and the Chiefs front office, and you have a mob of fans who aren't quite wielding their pitchforks yet, but they've got them dug out of the storage shed.

But just like every week, the goal for Kansas City in Week 9 is to go 1-0. Each week in the NFL is a new challenge with a new opponent that brings different problems to the table. This week is a unique challenge for Kansas City in the fact that they are taking on the league's fastest offense that sports a former ally in Axis territory. Yes, the Chiefs will be taking on Mike McDaniel's mad scientist Miami offense in Germany on Sunday, and boy does that stir a sense of... dread for fans. Potentially.

If the Kansas City team that marched repeatedly down the field on the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 7 shows up in Frankfurt, we'll likely all be celebrating like we're at Oktoberfest. If the team that showed up in Denver in Week 8 turns up on European soil, a lot of us will still be drinking excessive amounts of bier, but for very different reasons. That begs the question: who are the real Chiefs? That answer we won't know for months until the regular season fully shakes out, but for now, we have to hope it is a version closer to the latter mentioned above than the former.

Now for something you guys don't care as much about: my picks. Unlike the Chiefs in Week 8, I showed up to play going 12-4 in what I classified as a "weird" week of NFL action. It was weird for various reasons, but perhaps the most peculiar is my continued success in these picks this season. With a 12-4 mark last week we move to 81-40 on the season, and for those that sprinkle money here and there to keep the action interesting on Sunday (always do so responsibly) my advice might be to start tailing these picks. 67% win rate ain't bad, I'm just sayin'.

As always, I'll take a crack at predicting the Chiefs' outcome for this week first. The biggest question that we've all been asking this week is not how the Chiefs will handle the Dolphins or if the travel will impact the team's performance. The real question is what I posed above: Who are the real Chiefs? Kansas City looked like they got their swagger back in Week 7 against the Chargers, then looked like the Monstars stole their abilities altogether in Week 8 against Denver. Which team shows up this week?

This is the first time I've done this as a contributor to Arrowhead Addict, but I feel that an international game following a performance where extensive improvements and adjustments are needed is going to spell trouble for K.C. across the pond. Dolphins 27, Chiefs 24

Onto the rest of the slate:

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Will Levis era has begun in Tennessee and he's about to shatter every record that Patrick Mahomes is currently in the process of shattering. Ok, maybe that's true or maybe the Titans just beat up the best bad team in the NFL last week. Either way, it makes for an interesting storyline heading into a matchup with Pittsburgh, whose offense looked as dreary as the weather last week against Jacksonville. I like Pittsburgh's defense to shake the rookie QB a little this week and get the Steelers back in the W column. Steelers 20, Titans 17

Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons
Since we're into the theme of the era already here, does the Josh Dobbs era begin in Minnesota this weekend? Probably not, we're probably looking at the Jaren Hall show coming to Atlanta on Sunday. Do the Vikings have enough talent around Hall to beat the Falcons? Maybe I'm just a Kirk Cousins apologist, but I think he's way more valuable to Minnesota than anyone gives him credit for. Falcons 23, Vikings 13

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns
The Browns defense has given up some points the past two weeks, but Clayton Tune ain't it for Arizona. Browns 24, Cardinals 12

Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers
This was such a marquee matchup two seasons ago. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Green Bay's offense is a disaster and they have one of the oldest rosters in the NFL. The Rams defense is a disaster and they have one of the oldest rosters in the league. Both of these recently proud franchises are in need of a rebuild, but I think the Rams are closer to good now than the Packers. Rams 24, Packers 17

Washington Commanders at New England Patriots
I don't even really know what to make of these two teams other than they both appear to be pretty bad. Washington showed some life on offense last week (while I had Jahan Dotson on my fantasy bench) and I think they have enough firepower to beat a New England team that has allowed 72 points to their last two NFC foes. They scored 3 combined points in those games. Give me more Mac Jones mediocrity. Commanders 27, Patriots 10

Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints
Saints? Saints. Saints 28, Bears 9

Seattle Seahawks at Baltimore Ravens
Let me be clear: I don't want to see this, and I think it is one of the worst possible Super Bowl matchups, but this has the feel of what could potentially be an out-of-left-field Super Bowl matchup in 2023. The Seahawks defense is lights out and Devon Witherspoon looks like one of the best rookie secondary players in recent memory. Baltimore didn't look as good last week, but they are one of the best teams in the league. This is going to be a great game and I'll give the advantage to the home team. Ravens 27, Seahawks 24

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans
Episode 1 of 3: If a game happens in the NFL and no one watches it, does the result actually count? We'll find out on Sunday, twice. Houston has been surprising, even in a loss to the previously winless Carolina Panthers last week. Tampa was technically a missed PI call away from beating Buffalo last week in a game that was about as lopsided as a close game can be. I think Baker outduels C.J. in this one, Tampa still has weapons on both sides of the ball. Bucs 20, Texans 16

Indianapolis Colts at Carolina Panthers
Episode 2 of 3: If a game happens in the NFL and no one watches it, does the result actually count? No Anthony Richardson, so the storyline of having two top-five draft picks is out the window. Minshew Mania! Let's go with that. The Colts have been putting up points, which is way more than the Panthers can say. Colts 24, Panthers 13

New York Giants at Las Vegas Raiders
Episode 3 of 3: If a game happens in the NFL and no one watches it, does the result actually count? Vegas will have the "no one believes in us because our coach got fired" fortification factor this week and the Giants are simply atrocious on offense. Maxx Crosby is going to sack Daniel Jones 9 times. Probably. Raiders 23, Giants 10

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Let's see how good the Cowboys actually are. This matchup keeps gaining more and more weight as the Eagles and Cowboys continue to rack up wins in 2023. The Eagles are a great team both on paper and on the field, and when Dallas has run into teams like that so far (see: 49ers), they have folded. The crowd will be rabid in Philly for this one Sunday, and I don't think Dak Prescott has the mental fortitude to handle the atmosphere. Eagles 33, Cowboys 27

Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals
This should be the game of the week based on the recent resumes of both teams. Josh Allen vs. Joe Burrow. Stefon Diggs, and Ja'Marr Chase, and two bruising defenses. This is a marquee matchup, but these two teams are playing two different types of football right now. Cincinnati: good. Buffalo: meh. I like the Bengals by a touchdown plus in this one at home, and I hate that the chatter about them unseating the Chiefs in the AFC is already starting (again). Bengals 28, Bills 20

Los Angeles Chargers to New York Jets
This is an interesting matchup. You would think the Chargers would be able to easily beat the Jets, especially considering the disparity of talent on the offensive sides of the ball. But the Jets' defense has given both the Chiefs and Eagles offenses fits this year and could do the same to the Chargers - easily. This will be a Chargers W, but not by much. Chargers 20, Jets 17

Bye weeks: Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars