The NFL's Week 8 schedule is full of matchups in which teams have to make a statement gave to save a season.
The New Orleans Saints are certainly one of those teams. Sitting at 2-4, the Saints head to Mile High where they have to outlast Peyton Manning's offense to avoid the dreaded 2-5 record. Even though they're underdogs, the Saints have much to play for and a probable upset pick on Sunday night.
As the league's parity continues to show, the game's outcomes become more improbable. Which teams are primed for an upset in Week 8? Let's make some fearless predictions.
New Orleans Saints (at Denver Broncos)
Joe Vitts’ return to the sidelines will bolster the Saints 29th-ranked defense in points allowed and inspire some stops against Denver's passing game.
The Broncos have been known to start slow this season, but the Saints are not the team they want to fall behind to. The offense has really been clicking in recent weeks, and New Orleans didn’t even have Jimmy Graham in the lineup.
This Sunday night clash is a game the Saints have to win. The Broncos may have the home crowd behind them, but they will be a bit complacent since they are already sitting in the AFC West driver seat.
Saints 38, Broncos 34
Miami Dolphins (at New York Jets)
The Jets need to be able to run the ball in order to get their offense going, but the Miami Dolphins come to town as the league’s best run defense. The Jets will have to find ways to move the ball down the field, but they don’t have the weapons to do so.
In its last matchup in Week 3, New York relied on an 100-yard day from Santonio Holmes to bolster the offense. He’s won’t be present in this rivalry matchup.
The Dolphins are coming off a bye and have been planning for this matchup for two weeks. They’ll have the offensive game plan ready to go with an ever-improving Ryan Tannehill at the controls. Playing against a Jet offense that can’t manufacture points, he won’t have much pressure to force throws.
With revenge on their minds from earlier in the season, the Dolphins will take a game away from their division rival.
Dolphins 20, Jets 14
Seattle Seahawks (at Detroit Lions)
Richard Sherman has taken on the role of Optimus Prime this weekend. His team will transform into road warriors on Sunday against a Lions team coming off a bye.
Sherman and the Seahawks secondary have the size and strength to neutralize Calvin Johnson, which renders Detroit into an average offense. Plus, Detroit has had five turnovers in the red zone, highest among any team this season. A team that needs points will struggle on their home field.
Defensively, the Lions have been undisciplined and a Jekyll-and-Hyde unit of sorts. Seattle won’t overwhelm them in the points department, but will instead overpower them with a tiring running game featuring Marshawn Lynch.
The Seahawks know how to win close games. Detroit will just be happy they are in one.
Seahawks 23, Lions 17