Week 8 NFL Picks: Predicting Weekend's Biggest Upsets
There are a number of fantastic games on the Week 8 NFL schedule. Many of these matchups, I believe, will end in an upset.
Which of the league's elite should be on notice?
Read on to find out.
Washington Redskins over Denver Broncos
It's never easy to win in Denver, but Robert Griffin III finally looks like his former self and the Broncos are experiencing their first bout of adversity.
The Broncos weren't awful against Indianapolis, but they proved that their defense is not very good. The pass defense is the worst in the league, giving up 319.9 yards per game. As a team, Denver gives up 28 points per game.
RG3 looked the healthiest he's been in some time last week. Against the Chicago Bears, Griffin threw for 298 yards and, more importantly, ran for 84 yards.
In fact, he's rushed for 161 yards in the last two weeks, meaning his knee is getting stronger and stronger.
I'm under no illusions that the Redskins can slow down the Broncos offense. After all, the Redskins do give up 26 points per game and allow 262.8 yards per game in the air. The Broncos will score.
However, I think that RG3 poses an unique threat for the Broncos. His mobility seems to be back and he's throwing with more accuracy and confidence. If the Redskins can force Peyton Manning into some mistakes, then they have a good chance of winning.
It'll be close, but look for the Redskins to barely eke it out, winning by a score of 35-32.
Miami Dolphins over New England Patriots
The Patriots are coming off a tough loss against the New York Jets, and now they have to face another tough division rival in the Dolphins.
Miami is in a rut, to be sure. It has lost three straight after starting the season 3-0 and did not look great doing so.
That said, the Dolphins did beat the Indianapolis Colts away from home. That's a pretty good signature win. Ryan Tannehill has been good and he has four options—Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Charles Clay and Brandon Gibson—to throw to.
The Patriots have been impressive, especially given all the injuries. That issue may be starting to catch up to them, though. They've lost two out of their last three and barely edged the New Orleans Saints.
At some point, it becomes valid to question whether the absences of Danny Amendola, Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo are too much to overcome.
It's tough to win in New England, but if the Dolphins can take advantage of the middle of the field—either running the ball up the gut with Lamar Miller or finding Charles Clay up the seam—then I think they have a chance.
Look for Tannehill to have a big game and the Dolphins to add another signature win to their resume, beating the Pats by a score of 21-17.
Detroit Lions over Dallas Cowboys
This is a minor upset, to be sure.
While the Lions and Cowboys have the same record, I think it's pretty clear that the 'Boys are better.
They almost beat Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, and they hung tight with the Kansas City Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Lions have a leaky defense that is just barely holding on.
So how can the Lions win this one?
It's pretty simple—the Cowboys can't stop the pass.
Dallas is ranked 30th in the league in pass defense, giving up 291.9 yards per game. The Lions, as we know, can really move the ball through the air. Matthew Stafford is averaging 304 passing yards per game, has thrown 15 touchdowns and only four picks.
The Cowboys don't have anyone who can stop Calvin Johnson—no one can really stop Megatron to begin with—and Reggie Bush should carve up the middle of the defense.
This will probably be a track meet—both defenses are not good. However, I think Stafford is a bit better than Tony Romo and the Lions have more weapons than the Cowboys.
It should be a fun one, but I think the Lions will pull off a close win, prevailing by a score of 38-35.
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