If the recent past is anything to go by, having a losing record at this point in the season does not preclude a team from making the playoffs. 29 teams have made the playoffs after posting a .500 or lower winning percentage at midseason. But for the Cowboys to be one of those teams, they'll need to get to .500 - and soon.
What better place to start a push for the playoffs than with a road win against the number one rated team in the league?
Our BTB writers panel this week has five teams as unanimous picks, the Packers, Texans, Lions, Bears and Saints. We remain objectively subjective about the Cowboys' chances in Atlanta, and favor the Cowboys 7-1.
The panel has been doing fairly well the last few weeks; KD and Archie are now tied for the lead with very solid 78-40 records; our consensus pick stands at 74-44 and extended its lead over the KDP 10-for-10 contestants to three wins.
At the halfway point of the season, we also begin to turn our attention to the rest of the East: The Giants look like they are favored against the Steelers, with only two dissenting picks favoring Pittsburgh; we kick the Eagles to the curb and unanimously pick the Saints at home against an apparently disintegrating Eagles squad; the Redskins might have their hands full against the Panthers as three panelists pick Cam Newton over Bob Griffin.
And without further ado, here are our picks for Week 9, 2012.