In the NFL, it's often the case that home teams have the advantage. They have the crowd on their side. They are familiar with the facilities, and they are able to sleep in their own beds.
But in Week 8 of the NFL, there are going to be a few home teams that are destined to falter.
Which home teams are going to relinquish their advantage and end up on the losing side?
Read on to find out.
The Bengals are 5-2 and first in the AFC North.
They're going to lose this week at home to the New York Jets.
How is this going to happen?
It's pretty simple. The Jets defense is really, really good. They are ranked 10th in opposing passing yards, giving up just 224.9 yards per game. They are also ranked second in run defense, giving up a measly 77.7 yards per game.
The Bengals have a good defense, too, but not nearly as good as the Jets. The Jets just beat the New England Patriots and have shown a penchant for big wins.
The key here is for Geno Smith to not turn the ball over. In an otherwise pretty good rookie season, Smith has thrown 11 picks. That's far too much, and if he throws a few this weekend, the Jets will have no chance.
That said, the Jets do a decent job of managing Smith, and he's never asked to do too much. Smith has authored four game-winning drives, which is very impressive for a rookie with accuracy problems.
This game will probably come down to the wire, and the Jets will need Smith to come up big in the clutch. He's proven he can do that.
Look for Smith to pull off another fourth-quarter comeback win and for the Jets to pull off the upset in Cincinnati.
It would be foolish to write off the Broncos. After a loss against the Indianapolis Colts, the Broncos should be able to get back on track against the Washington Redskins.
Well, maybe. After all, the Broncos are starting to see that their lack of defense is unsustainable. It's easy to win games when Peyton Manning is dominating. But he wasn't dominant against the Colts, and the defense was unable to keep Andrew Luck off the board.
Quite simply, their defense is just awful. They give up 28 points per game and allow 319.9 yards per game in the air.
What's worse, Peyton Manning has been bothered by an ankle injury. He missed practice on Wednesday but did practice on Thursday, according to Jeff Legwold of ESPN.
The Redskins do not have a great defense, so it's very possible that this will be a shootout. But Robert Griffin III is starting to look like his old self. He threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Chicago Bears and has run for 161 yards in the last two weeks.
It's not going to be easy to unseat one of the best teams in the NFL in their building, but I really do think the Broncos have a defense that is susceptible to upsets.
There will be a lot of points scored, but look for the Redskins to eke out the win by a score of 48-45.
The Arizona Cardinals host the Atlanta Falcons, and to be honest, the Cards don't really have a chance.
It's not like the Falcons are that good. They've struggled with injuries all year, and their two wins have come against the St. Louis Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It's not that impressive.
But the Cardinals are worse. They give up 23 points per game and have lost their last two in a row, giving up 66 points in those two losses.
Carson Palmer does not inspire confidence, and there is no real running game to speak of.
The Falcons are not great, but Matt Ryan has actually been fantastic. He's thrown 13 touchdowns and has only three picks. He has an impressive 70.1 completion percentage. The Cards give up 252.7 passing yards per game. Tony Gonzalez should be able to find plenty of soft spots in coverage, and Ryan should have no problem moving the ball down the field.
Look for the Falcons to go into Arizona and win this one big—by a score of 30-14.