My week 7 picks were 8-7 on the week, with my pick of the week (the Green Bay Packers) winning handily. That makes three straight weeks I have had more wins than losses, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing. It proves once again how much parity there is in the league and how seemingly small things can make a difference in outcomes. During week 7 there were a slew of injuries and transitions. The Vikings started an obviously unready Josh Freeman, Nick Foles bombed out and was concussed, and who knows what the status of Doug Martin is for the rest of the season. Week 8 also brings a lot of change, with Jason Cambell getting the start in Cleveland, with six teams on a bye, and with the Eagles playing host to the Giants in a game that could help decide whether or not the Eagles will have a chance to win the NFC East.
And through it all, I’m here, making picks for you. So, here we go with Week 8 Picks!
Carolina @ TAMPA BAY – I’ll admit this first: Mike Glennon hasn’t been terrible. But he’s faced two less-than-stellar defenses in Atlanta and Philadelphia. He faces a much stiffer test in the highly ranked Panthers defense, and it’s on Thursday night, two huge factors working against him and against the Tampa Bay Bucs. And that’s without even mentioning the absence of Doug Martin for this one. Even though they’re on the road, Carolina keeps the hot hand and wins this one. Pick: Carolina. This is my pick of the week.
Dallas @ DETROIT – Detroit is tough at home, and Dallas is coming off a big divisional win, so they’re due for a letdown. I like Stafford against that Cowboys defense, and the Lions defense hasn’t been horrible so far. I think they hurry Romo and force him into letting go of the ball sooner than he’d like. He comes back down to earth, and Detroit wins a close one. Pick – Detroit.
Cleveland @ KANSAS CITY – Kansas City is undefeated for a huge reason: its defense. And its defense never plays any better than at home. Add in the horrible quarterback situation for the Cleveland football franchise (Jason Campbell is starting this one), and the fact that the only consistent player on its offense is the tight end, and you’ve got a recipe for a win by the Chiefs. Pick – Kansas City.
Miami @ NEW ENGLAND – Gronk is back, and that makes New England a much more versatile team, but Miami always plays the Patriots tough, even in Foxboro. I think it continues in this matchup with Tannehill playing a great game against that Patriots’ defense. Brady will keep up, but just as happened last week against the Jets, it will come down to a final drive from the Dolphins who take it in a close one. Pick – Miami. This is my upset special of the week.
Buffalo @ NEW ORLEANS – Buffalo has seemingly been in every single game they’ve played this season, with a chance to win or at least get close by the end of the game. They like to destroy point spreads, but this one just doesn’t seem fair. Thad Lewis has played admirably in relief of the injured E.J. Manuel, but New Orleans just has too many options against that defense. I surprisingly see this one being close again, even being in New Orleans, but I don’t see the Saints losing as they come off the bye week, with or without Jimmy Graham. Pick – New Orleans.
Giants @ PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles went into New Jersey and thoroughly beat the Giants a few short weeks ago, but the Giants have won a game since then (albeit against Minnesota), and the Eagles have looked absolutely miserable at home this season. Something’s got to give, though, and I think it’s the Eagles’ futility at home. This becomes a statement game, with Michael Vick returning to the lineup to put things right. I think McCoy has an excellent game and scores two touchdowns while going over 100 total yards. Manning throws a couple more picks, and that’s the difference. Eagles by 14. Pick – Philadelphia.
San Francisco @ JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars have to win sometime this year, right? And odds are that it will be a shocker whenever it happens. With both teams making the trip to England for this matchup can San Fran adjust enough to beat the historically horrible Jaguars? Or will Justin Blackmon and Maurice Jones-Drew do the improbable and beat the 49ers to get that one win? I would put my money on San Francisco getting over the jet lag fastest. Pick – San Francisco.
Jets @ CINCINNATI – The Jets are coming off a very emotional win in New England, but they have to face a harsh reality. This week they are playing a much more complete team than the Patriots. In fact, this is the same team that held New England without a touchdown a few weeks ago in Cincinnati. Playing again at home, the Bengals’ Andy Dalton has gotten hot at the right time. The Jets will play tough, but eventually they will lose by at least 7 in Cincy. Pick – Cincinnati.
Pittsburgh @ OAKLAND – Someone finally tapped Pittsburgh on the shoulder and told them the season started. That win against Baltimore last week will jumpstart the Steelers to make a run at possibly going to the playoffs, but they need to travel west and make it happen this week. I don’t see it happening. Oakland wins a squeaker and knocks Roethlisberger out of the game. Pick – Oakland.
Washington @ DENVER – Two offenses that can be dynamic. Two defenses that have been mediocre. What gives in this matchup? The key is where the game is being played. They’re at Mile High, where the Broncos just don’t lose. They get the locomotive churning again this week, and the defense surprisingly gets a couple of turnovers in this game, setting up Peyton Manning for a huge day. He throws for at least four touchdowns, Moreno gains a lot of yardage on the ground, and the Broncos start another winning streak. Pick – Denver.
Atlanta @ ARIZONA – Atlanta is finally in a positive place, having picked up the victory at home in week 7. Now they go on the road to face Carson Palmer and company. But they’re without both Julio Jones and Roddy White. Luckily Harry Douglas has stepped up, and he will continue to do so in week 8, along with Tony Gonzalez. Matt Ryan doesn’t lose these types of games, and he won’t lose this one either. Palmer throws a couple of interceptions. Pick – Atlanta.
Green Bay @ MINNESOTA – Time was when this was an intense rivalry, but not this year. Green Bay is on a roll, and Minnesota just lost to the Giants. That’s all I have to say. Pick – Green Bay (by a LOT).
Seattle @ ST. LOUIS – Ooh, a divisional rivalry! Uh, not really. The Rams have lost their best player, Bradford, for the rest of the season, so this comes down to a stifling Seattle defense, even on the road. Lynch runs all over the Rams, and Seattle wins it on the road. Pick – Seattle.