Picking every single game every single week is a daunting task for anyone, but it can be incredibly rewarding, especially if you’re in a pool where most people go with the home teams, or most people avoid any and all upset possibilities. Especially this season, where the upsets have been plentiful, where the Redskins are actually good in the 4th quarter, and where a third game in London is taking place this week, robbing yet another team of a true home game.
Last week I picked the Jaguars to win, and by hook or crook they actually did (although when they got down after such a huge lead I was cursing this blog). But I also picked the Patriots to lose, so there are hits and misses. Luckily for me, I was able to pick the vast majority of the final outcomes correctly. And I’m going to look to keep it rolling here, in Week 8, when we get back such studs as Ben Roethlisberger and Dez Bryant.
Here are my Ace Picks for Week 8…
Detroit @ KANSAS CITY – Time was when the Chiefs were money at home, when they couldn’t be beat at Arrowhead, and they still command respect there if only just for the crowd anymore. But there’s something to be said for what they did last week when everyone counted them out against Pittsburgh. And the Lions are hit-and-miss lately, a one-win team that can be handled. And while the Chiefs aren’t really at home, they will play like it. Pick: KANSAS CITY.
Minnesota @ CHICAGO – Jay Cutler is all about comebacks, and the Bears will definitely have to come back in this one, against a feisty Vikings team that seems to just be hitting its stride. But it’s a divisional game, and Cutler has engineered several comebacks of late. I think Chicago has the final say in this game, and a big play from one of those dynamic wide receivers seals it. Pick: CHICAGO.
Arizona @ CLEVELAND – Sure, this game may be in Cleveland, but Johnny Manziel is probably going to start it, and against the juggernaut that is the Cardinals offense I don’t know if I can even say this one will be close. The Browns are garbage against the run, and Arizona has Chris Johnson (who’s looking more like CJ2K by the week) and Andre Ellington to keep pounding the football all day long. Oh yeah, and some guy named Palmer throwing it. Pick: ARIZONA.
San Diego @ BALTIMORE – I don’t care what anyone says, this Baltimore team actually had a chance to send that Arizona game last week to overtime, and they played better than expectations. They might be 1-6 but they’re a scrappy bunch who match up well against a poor San Diego defense. They’re also at home, and I think it will speak volumes for them when they pull out a game they have no business winning. Flacco goes off for over 450 in this one. Pick: BALTIMORE.
Tampa Bay @ ATLANTA – This one should be a cakewalk for Matt Ryan. Well, the Matt Ryan I used to know would have rolled all over this Buccaneers defense and made it look easy, but he hasn’t been quite that Matt Ryan the past few weeks. It means you can’t trust him to take care of business, even at home, against a poor defense. He very well might have a spectacular day, but it’s just as likely he bombs and Devonta Freeman carries the team. Regardless, I think the Falcons take this one. Perhaps in spite of Matt Ryan. Pick: ATLANTA.
NY Giants @ NEW ORLEANS – Eli Manning has regressed to the mean the past two games, and it was overdue as he had been playing above his head in the previous four. And that Saints defense has also come back more to the middle, playing tougher each week. Against a Giants team that suddenly is having trouble against the run, this is a recipe for a lot of Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson. Look for the Saints to keep it going in a close one. Pick: NEW ORLEANS.
Tennessee @ HOUSTON – I honestly don’t have the slightest idea of who to pick in this one. Perhaps if it was Marcus Mariota I might worry that Houston couldn’t hang with him, but it will be Mettenberger, and that makes this one more of an even match. I like the way Brian Hoyer has been playing of late, and facing that poor Titans defense will keep him rolling, and the Texans take it, even without Arian Foster. Pick: HOUSTON.
Cincinnati @ PITTSBURGH – Roethlisberger will be back, and you know that Bengals defense will get after him early and often to see just how healthy he is. And with the way that Pittsburgh defense is looking (I’m surprised they can still call themselves the Pittsburgh defense) I can certainly see a big day from Mr. Dalton and his band of merry fellows. It will be good to have Big Ben back, but the Bengals are the class of the division and will prove it once again to remain perfect on the season. Pick: CINCINNATI.
San Francisco @ ST. LOUIS – No matter how many ways I look at this matchup I can’t see much to like about the 49ers changes on the road against the Rams. In fact, the only thing I can see is that the poor quarterback play from Nick Foles might give San Francisco a chance. But with Kaepernick playing poorly as well, I don’t see the horrendous 49ers defense standing as firm as the stout Rams D. Pick: ST. LOUIS.
NY Jets @ OAKLAND – Too many experts are expecting the Jets defense to pound on Oakland a little bit, to right the ship after a tough luck loss to the Patriots last week, but I’m not one of them. I’m sold on the Oakland offense, which is clicking on all cylinders right now. Derek Carr to Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree can be slowed but it can’t be stopped, not at home, not even against Revis and company. Pick: OAKLAND.
Seattle @ DALLAS – Dez Bryant is probably back for this one, but what can you really expect from him when Matt Cassel is throwing him the ball, and he’s still not 100%? Regardless, what else does Dallas have on offense that will challenge the Seahawks either on the ground or through the air? Yeah, I don’t see it either. Now, Seattle hasn’t been perfect this year, but they will do just enough to take out Big D in Dallas this week. Pick: SEATTLE.
Green Bay @ DENVER – This one is the game of the week, easily, as it pits two undefeated teams against each other, and while a tie is possible I don’t think it will happen here. While a lot of experts have been looking at the struggles of Peyton Manning they haven’t quite documented that Aaron Rodgers is having a very un-Aaron Rodgers-like stretch, and if that continues here the Denver defense will expose him. I believe in the Broncos defense, and I think the offense will do just enough, at home, to keep Denver perfect. Pick: DENVER.
Indianapolis @ CAROLINA – A superior defense against a team struggling on offense. Yes, please. I’ll take that every day. Of course Andrew Luck could get it going any week, but on the road, against the opportunistic Panthers, when Luck has been turning the ball over like a machine, is probably not the time when it’s going to happen. Carolina will stay undefeated, even though a furious comeback by the Colts will make it closer than it should be. Pick: CAROLINA.