NFL Week 8 Picks: Predictions for Every Game
The 2013 NFL season will continue near its midway point in Week 8 as teams look to string together wins before the weather worsens and the going gets even tougher.
Although a handful of teams have emerged as contenders through the first seven weeks of the season, separating themselves from the pack, there's been tons of parity this fall. Only one unbeaten team remains as the Kansas City Chiefs aim to move to 8-0 this coming weekend.
Will the Chiefs stay perfect or will parity strike again?
Below, I'll predict every game in Week 8, highlighting three of Sunday's marquee matchups.
*Week 8 schedule courtesy of NFL.com.
|Carolina Panthers 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16||Carolina's top-five defense is getting help from Cam Newton and the offense. That's bad news for the winless Bucs.|
|Detroit Lions 31, Dallas Cowboys 28||Detroit's explosive aerial attack set to expose Dallas' porous secondary at Ford Field.|
|Kansas City Chiefs 23, Cleveland Browns 10||NFL's best scoring defense will stifle struggling Browns on the road.|
|New England Patriots 34, Miami Dolphins 27||See below|
|New Orleans Saints 38, Buffalo Bills 17||Too much offense for the well-rested Saints inside the electric Superdome.|
|Philadelphia Eagles 24, New York Giants 20||Michael Vick sparks Chip Kelly's offense and Eagles rebound against a bad team at home.|
|San Francisco 49ers 34, Jacksonville Jaguars 13||Surging Niners blast winless, hapless Jags.|
|Cincinnati Bengals 26, New York Jets 16||See below|
|Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Oakland Raiders 17||Steelers have momentum on their side and are playing lights-out defensively.|
|Denver Broncos 45, Washington Redskins 28||Angry Broncos will light up Redskins' horrid secondary in Denver.|
|Atlanta Falcons 27, Arizona Cardinals 23||Turnover-prone Cards will lose their third straight game to desperate Falcons.|
|Green Bay Packers 30, Minnesota Vikings 19||See below|
|Seattle Seahawks 29, St. Louis Rams 17||The NFC's most complete team can win anywhere and will shut down the Rams in St. Louis on Monday night.|
Cincinnati Bengals Outlast New York Jets
The Cincinnati Bengals have quietly become a serious threat in the AFC. Marvin Lewis' squad has won three straight games and five of its past six. Back-to-back 27-24 road wins at Buffalo and Detroit have the Bengals 5-2, two games up in the AFC North and oozing with confidence.
Which team is the bigger threat in the AFC?
Cincy will return home and welcome the New York Jets to town in Week 8. The home team will be favored to win by a touchdown, according to Covers.com.
But the result of this matchup will hinge on which version of Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith shows up. Smith was sensational in New York's most recent road game at Atlanta, completing 80 percent of his passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns. However, in his previous two road games Smith struggled immensely, tossing just one touchdown and five interceptions combined.
Watch for a Bengals secondary that held the Lions' vaunted passing attack to just seven yards per pass attempt in Week 7 to limit Smith's effectiveness this weekend, thus forcing the Jets offense to become one-dimensional.
New England Patriots Bounce Back Against Miami Dolphins
The New England Patriots have dropped two of their last three games, but will have a golden opportunity to get back on track against a division foe in Week 8 when the Miami Dolphins come to Foxborough.
While New England's struggles are disconcerting, Miami's are even more problematic. The Dolphins have lost three straight and their offense has scored just 10 fourth-quarter points over that time. On top of that, the Pats can feel good about being 3-0 at home this season, having beat the 5-1 New Orleans Saints their last time out at Gillette Stadium.
Sure, the Dolphins are still a .500 team and have talent on both sides of the ball. But they aren't playing well enough in any aspect to threaten the reigning division champions on the road. Miami's offense has been sputtering over the past month while the defense has failed to earn key stops in critical situations.
Keep in mind that Tom Brady and the Pats haven't lost two straight games since Week 3 of last season.
Green Bay Packers Roll Past Minnesota Vikings
Winners of three straight, the Green Bay Packers may be banged up, but they're playing postseason-caliber football in all three phases. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings have yet to win on their home turf this season.
Who would you bet on to win the NFC North in 2013?
Even without Randall Cobb and James Jones, Aaron Rodgers kept the Packers offense afloat in Week 7, targeting Jarrett Boykin and Jermichael Finley a combined 15 times. The duo was good for 13 receptions, 175 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite Finley going down to injury, with players like Boykin stepping up and running back Eddie Lacy providing the Pack with a much-needed running threat, Green Bay now possesses balance and boasts too much firepower for a porous Minnesota defense to contain over four quarters.
The Vikings rank dead last in the NFL in fewest yards allowed and 30th in fewest points allowed. That level of play won't be good enough against one of the NFC's best.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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