NFL Predictions Week 8: Home Teams That Won't Defend Their Turf
Losing is never fun, but it stings a bit more when it comes in front of your hometown fans.
As we get into the middle of the NFL season, teams are hurting, nobody's healthy and the pressure is mounting, with each game taking on added importance.
In these three games, the home-field advantage simply won't come into play as the visiting squads will prove to be more capable than their gracious hosts of withstanding that pressure.
St. Louis Rams (3-4) vs. New England Patriots (4-3)
The Rams were 3-0 at the Edward Jones Dome heading into last week's game against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
Rodgers threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns against the 14th-ranked pass defense in the NFL, leading the Packers to a 30-20 victory and ending St. Louis' thoughts of going unbeaten at home.
With Tom Brady and the New England Patriots heading into town this week, things don't get any easier.
No team in the NFL scores more points on a weekly basis than the Patriots, who drop 31 points per game on opposing defenses on more than 430 yards of offense, both numbers that lead the NFL.
Sam Bradford will put points on the board throwing against the Patriots' pass defense, which is terrible, but New England is simply too much for St. Louis to handle.
New York Jets (3-4) vs. Miami Dolphins (3-3)
Before Jets safety LaRon Landry knocked Dolphins running back Reggie Bush out of their Week 3 matchup in the second quarter with a knee injury, Bush had gained 61 yards on 10 carries against the Jets vaunted defense.
Bush and the Jets have been trading barbs back and forth all week, which should make for players on both sides of the ball to be especially fired up when the game gets underway. However, Bush will wind up having the last laugh.
The Jets are allowing nearly 150 rushing yards per game, while the Dolphins defense is allowing only 78 yards per game on the ground.
Miami will be able to run the ball early and often, controlling the clock, wearing down the Jets' defense and keeping Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense on the sideline.
Sanchez has been better over the past two weeks than he had been, but that can be largely attributed to the Jets getting back to a ground-and-pound style of offense, handing the ball to Shonn Greene 54 times over the past two games.
With little chance to establish the run game, Sanchez will struggle and the Jets will fall at MetLife Stadium.
Dallas Cowboys (3-3) vs. New York Giants (5-2)
Well, Jerry, it's Week 8.
Back in June, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones implored season ticket holders to come watch the Cowboys “beat the New York Giants’ asses” in their Week 8 tilt in Dallas (h/t New York Daily News).
It's time for his team to put up or shut up, and they'll be doing so without starting running back DeMarco Murray, who is out this week with a foot injury:
Report: DeMarco Murray is doubtful to play in Week 8. Felix Jones is also dealing with a knee injury, so this backfield is a mess.— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) October 23, 2012
Dallas is also playing without its leading tackler, LB Sean Lee, who is out for the season with a toe injury:
Cowboys put leading tackler Sean Lee on IR (toe injury). He'll miss the rest of the season » es.pn/StunJL.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 24, 2012
While Dallas has an excellent pass defense, the loss of Lee will be difficult for the Cowboys to deal with, even against the Giants pass-heavy offensive attack.
It will wind up being a good ol' fashioned shootout, but playing without Murray and Lee while having Jones at less than 100 percent will simply be too much for Dallas to overcome.
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