The 8News Pigskin Picks: Week 9

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Another strong week for Robb Crocker, who now has a three-game lead on the pack. Amanda Malkowski’s season continues to unravel and she is finding herself tied with Will Armbruster and holding a slim one-game advantage over Chip Brierre and Mitch Carr, who all had strong finishes last week.

Look for more changes in the standing as the competition gets fiercer. As always, feel free to play along at home.

RC3

Robb Crocker, 8News Digital Content Manager (last week – 6-2, overall 45-19)

Patrick Henry Patriots @ Lee-Davis Confederates

Pick: Lee-Davis Confederates

Lee-Davis should have no problem with the inconsistent Patriots.

Henrico Warriors @ Hanover Hawks

Pick: Henrico Warriors

Two evenly-matched teams but Hanover does not play well at home. Advantage Henrico.

Virginia Cavaliers @ Miami Hurricanes

Pick: Miami Hurricanes

The Cavaliers are probably the ACC’s worst road team and Miami will have something to prove this week. Still, Virginia’s win over Georgia Tech will give them some confidence through the first 58 minutes of the game. They will come back to Earth as Miami edges them by a last second field goal.

Richmond Spiders @ New Hampshire Wildcats

Pick: Richmond Spiders

The Spiders will have a scare against the Wildcats, but will come out on top.

Louisiana State Tigers @ Alabama Crimson Tide

Pick: Alabama Crimson Tide

This is my upset special. If this game was at LSU, I would go with the Tigers. ‘Bama’s defense will rule the day as they win by 10.

Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers

Pick: Green Bay Packers

Had the Packers beaten the Broncos last Sunday, I would be loving the Panthers in this game. With the Panthers struggling against the Colts and coming off a short week, I’m going to go with the Packers. Also, I don’t see Aaron Rodgers struggling a second week in a row. This could be the NFC Championship Game preview.

Washington Redskins @ New England Patriots

Pick: New England Patriots

When will it be ok to start talking 16-0 for the Patriots?

Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers

This is a must-win game for the Steelers. I trust that Big Ben will come back from his performance last week.

amanda-malkowski

Amanda Malkowski, 8News Good Morning Richmond Anchor (last week – 4-4, overall – 42-22)

Patrick Henry Patriots @ Lee-Davis Confederates

Pick: Lee-Davis Confederates

I’m going to follow Mitch Carr’s lead on this because I don’t know much about either team!

Henrico Warriors @ Hanover Hawks

Pick: Hanover Hawks

I’ve picked this two wrong all season! I’ll give Hanover another chance this week.

Virginia Cavaliers @ Miami Hurricanes

Pick: Miami Hurricanes

UVA has had some close calls and secured some win, but I think Miami will come out on top.

Richmond Spiders @ New Hampshire Wildcats

Pick: Richmond Spiders

The Spiders have been playing great! I think the streak will continue this week.

Louisiana State Tigers @ Alabama Crimson Tide

Pick: Louisiana State Tigers

Arguably the best team in college football.

Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers

Pick: Carolina Panthers

This will be a good one, but I’ll give the Panthers the edge cause they’re at home.

Washington Redskins @ New England Patriots

Pick: New England Patriots

Patriots. No question

Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben had a rough week last week in his first back since his injury. I think he will be more warmed up this week. But they really have to step up their game.

Will 9

Will Armbruster, 8News Digital Content Producer (last week – 6-2, overall 42-22)

Patrick Henry Patriots @ Lee-Davis Confederates

Pick: Lee-Davis Confederates

As per usual when I know so very little about both schools, I’m taking the home team. Plus our sports guys tell me Patrick Henry is rebuilding this season.

Henrico Warriors @ Hanover Hawks

Pick: Hanover Hawks

Having seen Hanover’s star QB Clayton Cheatham play in person, I know he brings an entirely different element to the Hawks’ offense. His return will spark Hanover early and they’ll ride that momentum to a key home win.

Virginia Cavaliers @ Miami Hurricanes

Pick: Miami Hurricanes

Miami is favored by slightly more than a touchdown (-7.5), and I think that’s being generous. The Hurricanes are far from elite, but I expect them to handle struggling UVA at home with ease.

Richmond Spiders @ New Hampshire Wildcats

Pick: Richmond Spiders

The red-hot Spiders (7-1, 5-0) will get all they can handle from defending CAA champion New Hampshire, which sorely needs a victory to remain the postseason hunt. But even on the road, I like Richmond to remain as the conference’s only unbeaten team for at least another week.

Louisiana State Tigers @ Alabama Crimson Tide

Pick: Alabama Crimson Tide

LSU’s schedule the rest of the way is BRUTAL, and I don’t think their unbeaten season continues past this week. The Tigers will ride Heisman front-runner Leonard Fournette, but if there’s one coach in the country that could slow him down with a week to prepare, it’s Nick Saban.

Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers

Pick: Green Bay Packers

After a dismal offensive performance against Denver Sunday night, I fully expect Green Bay (and quarterback Aaron Rodgers especially) to get back on track.

Washington Redskins @ New England Patriots

Pick: New England Patriots

Who do you think? The fact that we’re picking this game is laughable. The only thing more laughable would be if one of my fellow colleagues actually picked the Redskins to upset undefeated, and seemingly unbeatable, New England.

Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers desperately need a W to remain in the playoff hunt, so I like Big Ben and Co. to take care of business on the road. Losing Le’Veon Bell for the season is a crushing blow, but DeAngelo Williams proved in weeks 1 & 2 that he’s a more-than-capable replacement in the backfield.

Mitch

Mitch Carr, 8News Sports Director (last week – 6-2, overall – 41-23)

Patrick Henry Patriots @ Lee-Davis Confederates

Pick: Lee-Davis Confederates

The Confederates are the third best team in the Capital District and the best team in Hanover County. Patrick Henry is rebuilding.

Henrico Warriors @ Hanover Hawks

Pick: Hanover Hawks

The Hawks will get starting QB Clayton Cheatham back for this one. He dressed against Armstrong and is now cleared to play. Having both Cheatham AND Marcus Bazala on the field at the same time will give the Hawks an offensive edge.

Virginia Cavaliers @ Miami Hurricanes

Pick: Miami Hurricanes

The Hurricanes stole one back from Duke Saturday. Backup QB Maliek Rosier showed improvement. What worries me is UVA showed it can run the ball (and really well) against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are also 1-5 in the ACC this season. If UVA wins, it’s because the Cavaliers run the ball at will. I still think the ‘Canes have enough offense to beat them.

Richmond Spiders @ New Hampshire Wildcats

Pick: Richmond Spiders

The Spiders showed a worrying lack of focus in the second half against Albany. That’s just what Danny Rocco needs to refocus this team. New Hampshire is good but not as good as in past years.

Louisiana State Tigers @ Alabama Crimson Tide

Pick: Louisiana State Tigers

Leonard Fournette is the best player in college football, and LSU is the best team Alabama has played since losing to Ole Miss. Geaux Tigers.

Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers

Pick: Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers won’t have two bad games in a row.

Washington Redskins @ New England Patriots

Pick: New England Patriots

Tom Brady is on fire. It doesn’t matter what anyone else on his team or the other team does.

Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers

DeAngelo Williams has shown he’s an adequate replacement for LeVeon Bell in two and a half games this season. Game two of Big Ben returning will improve the offense greatly.

Chip VT 2

Chip Brierre, 8News Weekend Sports Anchor (last week – 6-2, overall – 41-23)

Patrick Henry Patriots @ Lee-Davis Confederates

Pick: Lee-Davis Confederates

The Confederates already own the title of Hanover county this season with wins over Hanover and Atlee, time to sweep the season with a win in the Tomato Bowl en route to the 5A playoffs.

Henrico Warriors @ Hanover Hawks

Pick: Henrico Warriors

The Warriors beat Lee-Davis, a team that beat Hanover. Lee-Davis and Henrico are battling for 5A playoff positioning and it looks like the Warriors defense will be the tipping point to put them ahead of the Confederates after the weekend. Clayton Cheatham could make his return this week, but it won’t be enough to overcome Henrico.

Virginia Cavaliers @ Miami Hurricanes

Pick: Miami Hurricanes

I want to pick UVa, I really do. Heck, they handed Miami its 2nd worst loss in school history, 48-0 on the final game of the Orange Bowl (I cried that night, thanks a lot Hoo nation). But a 13 game losing streak on the road dating back to 2012, Miami a little fired up with all the hate towards them and that ridiculous final play to beat Duke, Canes find a way at home to stay in the Coastal hunt.

Richmond Spiders @ New Hampshire Wildcats

Pick: Richmond Spiders

It’s not a cake walk to end the season for the Spiders, before a destined clash with William & Mary for the heart of the CAA in 2015, they have hit the road to the north. The Spiders seemingly play better on the road, and already are great at home. I’ve never seen a Spiders team peak this high or fire on every piston like this… EVER. Mind you, I’m only 24 years old.

Louisiana State Tigers @ Alabama Crimson Tide

Pick: Louisiana State Tigers

It’s a shame we get this matchup right after the 1st College Football Playoff rankings came out. This determines who’s going to represent the SEC West in the conference title game. Bama’s defense is sick, but Leonard Fournette is downright disgusting. Ewwwwwww…. Gimme Les Miles eating grass.

Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers

Pick: Carolina Panthers

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were stifled in Denver, what says the same won’t happen against the Panthers defense which is just as good but with better defensive backs? R-E-L-A-X Green Bay, you’ll drop this one but be fine the rest of the way.

Washington Redskins @ New England Patriots

Pick: New England Patriots

It’s going to get messy, that is all.

Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Oakland Raiders

Holy smokes the Raiders are relevant again! Somebody call Joe Madden for some, “BOOM!” Steelers lost Le’Veon Bell for the rest of the season, which is a huge shame. Roethlisberger can’t carry the Steel City on his own. Plus Derek Carr, how you like him now!

Kerri O'Brien

Kerri O’Brien, 8News Investigative Reporter (last week – 5-3, overall – 35-29)

Patrick Henry Patriots @ Lee-Davis Confederates

Pick: Lee-Davis Confederates

The Confederates, I have heard Mitch Carr say, are the best team in the county.

Henrico Warriors @ Hanover Hawks

Pick: Hanover Hawks

The Hawks should get a boost from the return of their starting QB Clayton Cheatam.

Virginia Cavaliers @ Miami Hurricanes

Pick: Miami Hurricanes

This is for Mitch Carr and Chip Brierre.

Richmond Spiders @ New Hampshire Wildcats

Pick: Richmond Spiders

The Spiders winning streak continues.

Louisiana State Tigers @ Alabama Crimson Tide

Pick: Louisiana State Tigers

The 7-0 Tigers could be the best team out there right now. Plus, I love their colors.

Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers

Pick: Carolina Panthers

The Panthers are something else this year — they stay undefeated even in Green Bay.

Washington Redskins @ New England Patriots

Pick: New England Patriots

The Patriots will win, obviously and unfortunately.

Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Oakland Raiders

They caused some trouble for the Jets last week and shook them up! Plus, the Steelers don’t loom good. Big Ben is still not 100 percent.

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