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NFL Predictions Week 8: Road Teams Sure to Win in Hostile Environments

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NFL Predictions Week 8: Road Teams Sure to Win in Hostile Environments
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Road games were kinder than usual to NFL teams last week, as squads tasked with contests in hostile environments managed to win six games.

It should not come as a major surprise that paid professionals are able to adapt to noisy and unkind conditions and still play quality football, but a road victory seems elusive more often than not.

The Week 8 narrative in this regard is not as sexy as Peyton Manning's return to Indianapolis last week, but there are still a variety of head-scratching matchups to peruse.

Unlike Manning was able to do in Week 7, here are three teams sure to pull off victories away from home.

NFL Week 8 Predictions
Away Team Home Team Predicted Winner
Carolina Panthers Tampa Bay Buccaneers CAR
Dallas Cowboys Detroit Lions DAL
Cleveland Browns Kansas City Chiefs KC
Miami Dolphins New England Patriots MIA
Buffalo Bills New Orleans Saints NO
New York Giants Philadelphia Eagles NYG
San Francisco 49ers Jacksonville Jaguars SF
New York Jets Cincinnati Bengals CIN
Pittsburgh Steelers Oakland Raiders PIT
Washington Redskins Denver Broncos DEN
Atlanta Falcons Arizona Cardinals ATL
Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings GB
Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams SEA

Bye: Chicago, Tennessee, Indianapolis, San Diego, Baltimore, Houston

 

Carolina Exploits Tampa Bay

Cam Newton is playing some of the best ball of his career just in time for a matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football.

As ESPN points out, Newton's 15-of-17 effort for 204 yards and a touchdown while battling through an injury against St. Louis was rather historic:

Newton has completed 76 percent or more of his passes in two consecutive weeks against questionable secondaries, and Tampa Bay is not any better, as the unit led by Darrelle Revis allows 252 yards through the air on average.

It gets worse for the Buccaneers. The Panthers tout the league's No. 3 overall defense and a run defense that allows just 84.5 yards per game. Tampa Bay is starting rookie quarterback Mike Glennon, and Doug Martin was in a sophomore slump of epic proportions as he had rushed for over 100 yards just once and scored a single touchdown before being lost for the season with a torn labrum per NFL.com:

This one is going to get ugly in a hurry.

Prediction: Panthers 33, Buccaneers 17

 

Atlanta Pummels Arizona in the Desert

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It mattered little last week that Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan was without his two top receivers and starting running back.

Rather than fret about the absences of Julio Jones, Roddy White and Steven Jackson, Ryan made a star out of Harry Douglas, who brought in seven receptions for 149 yards and a score. Backup running back Jacquizz Rodgers got in on the action, too, with 62 total yards and two scores.

While Atlanta was busy bouncing back from a three-game losing streak, Arizona was busy losing its second in a row as quarterback Carson Palmer was sacked seven times and tossed two more interceptions.

Arizona is one of the NFL's better teams against the run, but it matters little against an Atlanta squad still insistent on featuring a pass-heavy attack. Last week Ryan managed 273 yards and three scores against a Tampa Bay defense that allows just 252 passing yards per game—the Cardinals allow 252.7.

Thanks to a horrific offensive line, a turnover-prone quarterback and a defense that does not stand a chance when spread out, the Falcons will cruise to a major road victory in the desert.

Prediction: Falcons 28, Cardinals 21

 

Seattle Pulverizes St. Louis

Things were bad for St. Louis entering last week with consecutive wins over Jacksonville and Houston, which did not not exactly solidify the team's status as a contender in its own division, let alone for the postseason.

It's cliché, but things went from bad to worse in a matter of seconds against Carolina, as quarterback Sam Bradford took a hit that will keep him out the rest of the season per ESPN's Adam Schefter:

St. Louis has time to figure things out with the game against Seattle occurring on Monday Night Football, but an already run-of-the-mill passing attack backed up by one of the NFL's worst rushing attacks is not going to improve with Bradford sidelined.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle touts the NFL's No. 2 overall defense, and loud dome or not, the unit will have no issue stopping the Rams' attack no matter who happens to be under center.

Offensively, Seattle averages 154.4 yards on the ground per game, which bodes well against a St. Louis defense that ranks in the bottom three league-wide in that regard.

This is not the Rams team that went 4-1-1 against the NFC West last season. Under the national microscope, this may turn out to be the most lopsided end result of the 2013 season.

Prediction: Seahawks 45, Rams 10

 

Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling

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