After some great (and not so great) games in Week 7, it's time to move forward and start taking a look at Week 8 of the NFL season.
The Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos played in a fantastic game on Sunday Night Football last week, with Andrew Luck pulling off the upset over his predecessor Peyton Manning. While that game was great, the game between the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football was plain ugly.
As we approach the halfway point in the NFL season, let's take a look at predictions for every Week 8 game, followed by a preview of some of this week's biggest matchups.
|Carolina Panthers||31-10||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Dallas Cowboys||24-27||Detroit Lions|
|Cleveland Browns||13-28||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Miami Dolphins||17-24||New England Patriots|
|Buffalo Bills||17-28||New Orleans Saints|
|New York Giants||21-24||Philadelphia Eagles|
|San Francisco 49ers||33-7||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|New York Jets||14-20||Cincinnati Bengals|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||21-20||Oakland Raiders|
|Washington Redskins||24-42||Denver Broncos|
|Atlanta Falcons||21-17||Arizona Cardinals|
|Green Bay Packers||35-10||Minnesota Vikings|
|Seattle Seahawks||30-13||St. Louis Rams|
Predictions by Tyler Brooke
Dallas Cowboys (4-3) at Detroit Lions (4-3)
Date: Sunday, Oct. 27
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Prediction: 27-24, Lions
These two teams have identical records but are in completely different positions in their respective divisions. The Dallas Cowboys are on top of the weak NFC East, while the Lions are going to be competing with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers in a competitive NFC North.
The defense for the Cowboys stepped up big last week in the 17-3 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Nick Foles may have gone down and the Eagles may have had to bring in Matt Barkley, but that defense was still impressive, allowing just 3.7 yards per play.
Tony Romo had his first game with multiple interceptions of the year, and while the game was bad, he's actually been a solid quarterback this year. He's thrown for 2,010 yards along with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions, posting an impressive 101.6 passer rating.
The Lions have a pretty good quarterback of their own in Matthew Stafford. He's riding a real hot streak right now, throwing seven touchdowns and just one pick over the last two games.
Calvin Johnson has been the big reason for Stafford's success, as he continues to be the most dominant wide receiver in the NFL. Despite dealing with a knee injury, Johnson went off for 155 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Both of these teams have strong offenses, but I like the Lions in this one. They have a more talented defense right now, and that should be the deciding factor in what will be a close game.
New York Jets (4-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
Date: Sunday, Oct. 27
Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Prediction: 20-14, Bengals
Don't look now, but the New York Jets are officially a contender in the AFC East.
Geno Smith helped lead the Jets to a big-time win in overtime against the New England Patriots last week. He's looked good in some big games, but he's also been terribly inconsistent.
The reason the Jets are a contender in their division right now is because of that intimidating defense. They're allowing just 302.6 total yards per game, the fourth-best mark in the NFL.
The Bengals have now won their last three games and are on top of the AFC North. Andy Dalton continues to develop as a quarterback, and he had arguably the best game of his career last week. He threw for 372 yards and three touchdowns, completing 70.6 percent of his passes and putting up a 92.8 QBR. A.J. Green had a big day in the win as well, putting up 155 yards and a score.
Both of these teams have strong defenses, but I trust Dalton more than I do Smith. The Jets don't really have any weapons in the passing game, while Dalton has guys like Green and Giovani Bernard. It won't be a high-scoring affair, but I expect the Bengals to make more plays.
Washington Redskins (2-4) at Denver Broncos (6-1)
Date: Sunday, Oct. 27
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Prediction: 42-24, Broncos
After losing to his former team, Peyton Manning is going to want to have a big bounce-back game.
How far will the Broncos go this year?
It's not like Peyton needs any extra motivation, as he leads the most efficient offense in the NFL, averaging over 42 points per game. Manning is on pace for a monster season, throwing for 2,565 yards, 25 touchdowns and just three interceptions in seven games.
The Broncos will be taking on one of the weaker defenses in the NFL as well. The Redskins are giving up 30.7 points and 389 total yards per game, some of the worst marks in the league.
The Redskins will have a chance to make plays through the air as well, as the Broncos struggle against the pass. They rank first against the run, allowing 77.1 yards per game on the ground, but they also give up 319.9 passing yards per game.
Robert Griffin III continues to look more comfortable on his surgically repaired knee. He's been able to make some big plays with his legs since the bye week, running for 161 yards in just two games. He's stepping into more throws and making more accurate passes, giving the offense a much-needed boost to keep up with their defense.
While the Redskins may be improving, they're still playing the Broncos, and it's going to be really hard for them to keep up with Denver's offense in this one.