Here are my picks for Week 8…
San Diego @ DENVER – Last season the Chargers beat the Broncos in the regular season, then Denver beat San Diego in the playoffs, so what gives here? The key is both of those games last year came down to the home team winning. I think the same happens in this one, not just because the Broncos are home, though. They’re just playing better, more consistent football right now. Now that they have their run game humming, Denver just became even more multi-faceted, and San Diego has played back-to-back poor defensive outings. That’s a recipe for a Denver win. Pick: DENVER.
PHILADELPHIA @ Arizona – The Eagles have traveled well this year, and they too have just gotten their running game back together. They key to this team winning in Arizona, though, is going to be the defense limiting Carson Palmer so he can’t get way down the field the way he likes. If they can slow down that passing game they can win this game. It will be a close one, but I think Foles exposes the Cardinals defense and that’s the final difference. Pick: PHILADELPHIA.
DETROIT @ Atlanta – At this point it doesn’t really matter that the Falcons are “at home.” That’s not a salve for what ails them right now, which is an offensive line in shambles and a quarterback just a few hits away from resting up in bed for the rest of the season. Honestly, the Falcons have too many weapons to be this bad, but if they can’t get the ball to those weapons none of it matters. The Lions will run all over them in this one. Even “in Atlanta”. Pick: DETROIT.
SEATTLE @ Carolina – I’m not convinced that this 2-game losing streak for the Seahawks will be some kind of aberration this year. They have just seemed off lately, and Russell Wilson can’t do it all. But Carolina looked absolutely pedestrian in losing t Green Bay last week, and even at home I don’t see how they fend off a relatively desperate Seahawks squad looking to right the ship. If they can contain Newton they win this game, and I think they contain Newton. It won’t be pretty, but it will be a Seahawks win. Pick: SEATTLE.
Baltimore @ CINCINNATI – Remember when Cincinnati was a good team? Maybe even a great team? They do this kind of thing every season, teasing us with greatness, and then snatching it back. Well, something has to give, and meeting a divisional foe at home is just the recipe they need. Andy Dalton has been without A.J. Green and it was painful to watch last week, but they know this Ravens team, and they will run the ball hard and often to break down that front and open up room to pass. I think the defense has a bounce back game and the Bengals win a close one at home. Pick: CINCINNATI.
MIAMI @ Jacksonville – Which Miami team shows up here? I think it’s the same one that just decimated Chicago on the road last week. I like the way Tannehill looks, poised in the pocket, which he needs to be against a suddenly relevant Jacksonville defense. I think he steps up and Jacksonville goes back to their losing ways, even though they’ll get another solid running effort from Denard Robinson. Pick: MIAMI.
St. Louis @ KANSAS CITY – St. Louis is due for a massive hangover after a massive upset against the Seahawks at home last week. Now they travel to raucous Kansas City, the perfect place for that hangover with the deafening noise of the stadium, against a poised defensive team and a great running game with Charles and Davis. Those Rams will come back down to earth, but possibly no one will hear them hit the ground. Pick: KANSAS CITY.
CHICAGO @ New England – The Bears were embarrassed at home last week, so they should get crushed heading into Foxborough against a rejuvenated Patriots team, right? Wrong. Chicago has played well on the road this year, and the Patriots don’t traditionally play as well against NFC opponents at home. I think Cutler has a good bounceback game in this one and the Bears take a close one in New England. Pick: CHICAGO.
Buffalo @ NY JETS – The Jets aren’t as bad as they’ve played lately, and they actually didn’t play too poorly for most of that game against New England last Thursday. Plus, they’ve had more time off to get healthy, and to assimilate Percy Harvin into their overall game plan. I think he helps out Geno Smith and Eric Decker right away, and the Jets get a much-needed win against their divisional rival. It won’t stop their train to a high draft pick, but it will slow it down a smidge. Pick: NY JETS.
Minnesota @ TAMPA BAY – The Buccaneers haven’t shown very much in recent weeks, and they’re coming off the bye to face a visiting Minnesota team that barely lost to Buffalo last week. This should be a close, low scoring game, but I have a feeling it will become a shootout, and I like the “veteran” Glennon to come out on top in that one. I think Tampa Bay takes a close one at home against the Vikings. Pick: TAMPA BAY.
HOUSTON @ Tennessee – Who can realistically stop that Texans running game right now? Definitely not Tennessee, and Houston knows it, so their formula for winning games will remain the same this week against the Titans. Which is fine because that’s all they’ll need as long as Fitzpatrick doesn’t turn the ball over. I think the defense will do just enough and the Texans take one on the road. Pick: HOUSTON.
Oakland @ CLEVELAND – I personally think the Browns took the Jaguars for granted last week, and they’ve had a week to sober up and get ready for this tilt against the Raiders, who also match up well against them. But Cleveland will get back to what’s worked for them all season until this last game — rushing the football. Ben Tate, Terrance West, Isaiah Crowell, these guys will rotate in and out as needed, and they will wear down that Oakland defensive front. This is a “get right” game for Cleveland and they take a close one. Pick: CLEVELAND.
Indianapolis @ PITTSBURGH – Hold off on that coronation of the Colts as the new “it” team in the league. Going into Pittsburgh will still be tough, and Roethlisberger has the weapons (Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell) to fend off the Colts and keep their offense off the field. That’s the real key, and Pittsburgh will take a close one at home. Pick: PITTSBURGH.
GREEN BAY @ New Orleans – Sadly for the Saints, unlike the Falcons, they actually ARE playing at home this week, but just like the Falcons, they are not in for a good time. Usually New Orleans plays better at home than away, but they haven’t even done that this season, and this is a mismatch waiting to happen. The defense in New Orleans just isn’t good, and Aaron Rodgers will have a field day with them in this matchup. Not a fair fight. Pick: GREEN BAY.
Washington @ DALLAS – Yeah, yeah. It’s a divisional matchup, but it’s the Redskins. And the way Dallas is playing there is just no way they slow down in this one, even at home. Whether or not Robert Griffin plays. This one will be Dallas all the way, and they’ll even cover the spread. Pick: DALLAS.
The Fantasy Ace