NFL Week 8 Picks: Predicting Games Sure to Become Shootouts
The NFL is a copycat league, so it comes as no surprise that offensive innovations continue to spread as more elite offenses continue to crop up each year with defenses left scrambling for answers.
Regardless of how the unfortunate coordinators tasked with stopping the offenses feel, the pass-happy league sure makes for some entertaining football.
Week 8 is set to be especially entertaining with three matchups in particular sure to light up scoreboards.
Here's a gander at said matchups and what to expect.
|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
Dallas Shocks Detroit at Home
The Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions are led by two quarterbacks who play eerily similar football:
ESPN, through Week 7.
Both Tony Romo and Matthew Stafford have elite weapons to utilize. The former gets to throw to one of the NFL's best receivers in Dez Bryant and a startling rookie in Terrance Williams, while the latter throws to the NFL's best in Calvin Johnson and has an explosive back by the name of Reggie Bush.
So, yes, this one is going to come down to the defenses. Both units rank in the bottom five of the NFL, but Dallas actually has talent in the secondary. Cornerback Brandon Carr is ranked No. 13 at his position in the league, according Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Detroit's top four corners come in at 47 or worse, with the final three at 85, 94 and 99 on a list of 107.
Romo and company will be able to pull away in spite of an underperforming defense thanks to Detroit's own issues.
Prediction: Cowboys 30, Lions 27
New York Giants Surprise Philadelphia Eagles
The New York Giants have lost eight in a row on the road. Philadelphia has dropped nine in a row at home.
Something has to give.
Quarterback Michael Vick seems like a go for the Eagles with his participation in practice, per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Michael Vick wouldn't say whether he was playing. Said Friday is big day. Even though it's a walk-through, he plans to run.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) October 24, 2013
If Vick can't make it, Philadelphia will be forced to roll with rookie Matt Barkley, who managed three interceptions last week against the aforementioned Dallas defense.
Conversely, the Giants have built some positive momentum with a win over the Minnesota Vikings. They held star back Adrian Peterson to just 28 yards, although he only rushed 13 times.
Still, that bodes well for a New York defense tasked with stopping LeSean McCoy. The defense has an ability to force the Eagles into a one-dimensional passing attack, which will be trouble for Vick.
While Eli Manning has turned the ball over at a ridiculous pace, he'll have little issue capitalizing on the NFL's second-to-last pass defense. Expect New York to roll in a shocker.
Prediction: Giants 33, Giants 27
Denver Broncos Destroy Washington Redskins
It's no secret the Denver Broncos are an offensive juggernaut. Peyton Manning and company average 469.3 yards per game, and Manning leads the league in touchdowns (25), yards (2,565) and rating (123.3). Denver's featured back, Knowshon Moreno, leads the NFL with eight touchdowns.
Last week, Washington managed 45 points in a win against Chicago and the team posted over 200 rushing yards, helped by 95 from quarterback Robert Griffin III.
While the numbers are impressive, the Redskins will not find a way to run on the NFL's No. 1 rush defense.
Even worse, Washington may be without both starting safeties. Brandon Meriweather is suspended for illegal hits, per NFL.com's . Meanwhile, Reed Doughty was concussed last week and may miss the contest, as he joked with the media per Redskins beat reporter Grant Paulsen:
Reed Doughty, recovering from a concussion, joked that Peyton Manning and the Broncos are going to cause him "more headaches." #Redskins— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) October 23, 2013
No kidding. Washington's defense allowed 41 points to Chicago last week. While Manning's homecoming to Indianapolis was ruined last week, he'll easily ruin Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan's homecoming to Denver in brutal fashion.
Prediction: Broncos 52, Redskins 30
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling
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