With almost half of the NFL regular season out of the way, it has become easier to separate the good teams from the bad. This will be even more obvious after a number of likely blowouts in Week 8.
Six teams are on bye this week, which reduces the overall quality of the weekend slate. Additionally, many of the best squads in football are paired up against some of the worst.
Although this makes this bad from a viewing standpoint, it makes things easier for those picking winners. If you are in an eliminator pool, pick 'em league or betting on games where it is legal, these road options are the way to go.
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This might be the most questionable game on this list, but Carolina should easily pull out a win in this Thursday night matchup.
While the Buccaneers looked solid on defense to start the year, that is no longer the case. The unit has given up 31 points in back-to-back games, including against the Atlanta Falcons without Julio Jones, Roddy White or Steven Jackson.
Not only has the secondary struggled, but the defensive line is not getting to the quarterback. We have seen Panthers quarterback Cam Newton struggle against a good pass rush, but the Bucs do not have that.
San Francisco 49ers at Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville is not completely hopeless on the football field as some seem to think, but this is not a good team.
The offense ranks last in the league in both total yards and points per game, and it has been held to single digits in over half of the games this year.
It is difficult to imagine the Jaguars keeping up with a red-hot 49ers offense. Colin Kaepernick's efficient play has helped the team score at least 30 points in four games in a row, all of which resulted in wins.
Of course, the biggest difference recently is the recommitment to the run, which has been a big reason for the team's success over the past few seasons. The 49ers should be able to control possession for most of the game and give the Jaguars little chance of victory.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
In many years, this NFC North battle is one of the best division rivalries in football. This is not one of those times.
The Vikings looked terrible in a Monday night loss to the New York Giants. New quarterback Josh Freeman posted a QBR of 6.1 out of 100, which allowed the defense to stack the box and keep Adrian Peterson to only 28 rushing yards.
We should see the same strategy out of the Packers, who currently have the third-best run defense in the NFL.
On the other side of the ball, Green Bay has weathered through injuries thanks to the strong rushing attack provided by Eddie Lacy. He gives the offense balance, which makes the entire team better.
The Packers will continue their strong play despite the injuries and win their fourth game in a row.
Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams
If fans thought the battle between the Vikings and Giants was bad for Monday Night Football, they are in for another uninteresting game this week.
With Sam Bradford out for the season with a torn ACL, the Rams will look to Kellen Clemens to start at quarterback. The veteran backup has a career quarterback rating of 62.2 and had little success as a starter for the New York Jets.
To make things worse, he will face the No. 2 passing defense in the league in his first game. Seattle puts pressure on the quarterback and forces plenty of mistakes, something that Clemens will become familiar with very quickly.
Finally, the Seahawks' second-ranked rushing offense should be able to dominate the Rams' No. 30 rushing defense to help win in a rout.
|Full Week 8 Picks|
|Carolina Panthers||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Panthers|
|San Francisco 49ers||Jacksonville Jaguars||49ers|
|Dallas Cowboys||Detroit Lions||Lions|
|Cleveland Browns||Kansas City Chiefs||Chiefs|
|Miami Dolphins||New England Patriots||Patriots|
|Buffalo Bills||New Orleans Saints||Saints|
|New York Giants||Philadelphia Eagles||Eagles|
|New York Jets||Cincinnati Bengals||Bengals|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Oakland Raiders||Raiders|
|Washington Redskins||Denver Broncos||Broncos|
|Atlanta Falcons||Arizona Cardinals||Cardinals|
|Green Bay Packers||Minnesota Vikings||Packers|
|Seattle Seahawks||St. Louis Rams||Seahawks|
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