The bulk of Week 8’s 2013 NFL regular-season games are almost underway, and the excitement surrounding all of Sunday’s marquee battles has fans legitimately excited.
Here is the complete list of matchups and predicted winners as well as a focus on the three games NFL fans can’t miss this week.
|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|
|San Francisco 49ers||Jacksonville Jaguars||49ers|
|New York Jets||Cincinnati Bengals||Jets|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Oakland Raiders||Steelers|
|Washington Redskins||Denver Broncos||Broncos|
|Atlanta Falcons||Arizona Cardinals||Falcons|
|Green Bay Packers||Minnesota Vikings||Packers|
|Seattle Seahawks||St. Louis Rams||Seahawks|
Washington Redskins at Denver Broncos
Griffin III has finally returned to elite form for the Redskins after knee surgery—he threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another 84 yards last week against the Chicago Bears—and the play-action attack will keep the Broncos defense guessing all game.
Washington needs Griffin to be perfect if it wants to keep up with Manning and Denver’s offense.
The Broncos have been a force in the pass and rushing attack (first in the NFL through the air with 361.3 yards and 16th on the ground with 108 yards per game) and will push the lackluster Redskins defense beyond its breaking point.
This will be an exciting game, but Denver is just too strong at home.
Predicted Final Score: Denver 38, Washington 27
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
The New York Giants may be coming of their first win of the season, but the Philadelphia Eagles look poised to snap their nine-game home losing streak and get the ship heading back in the right direction with veteran Michael Vick getting the start Sunday.
Vick and the entire Eagles offense will lean heavily on running back LeSean McCoy, and that’s good news for Philadelphia fans. Not only does the home team possess the No. 1-ranked rush offense in the NFL (165 yards per game), but New York is also ranked 21st in the league, allowing 110 yards per game.
Add in the fact that the Eagles defense allowed the dangerous Dallas Cowboys offense to score just 17 points last week and only allowed the Giants to score 21 points in the division rivals’ first meeting this season, and it is clear that Philadelphia has the distinctive edge in this matchup.
Unless Eli Manning plays hero for New York, the Giants are in trouble.
Predicted Final Score: Philadelphia 30, New York 20
San Francisco 49ers at Jacksonville Jaguars
In the wake of the news that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell continues to advocate for a franchise in England, per Bill Williamson of ESPN.com, the focus has once again shifted to London and Wembley Stadium, where the San Francisco 49ers square off against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday.
This is far from the best matchup on paper—San Francisco is better in every facet of the game than Jacksonville—but the intrigue of how the fans will react and how much support they show should be something all football fans must watch closely.
If this matchup is fun and interesting and the English supporters continue to latch on to the sport, there is a very real chance the league would eventually expand to London. With the 49ers and the Jaguars representing American football, let’s hope this game lives up to our standards.
Predicted Final Score: San Francisco 24, Jacksonville 10
All stats via NFL.com.