NFL Picks Week 8: Predicting Winners of Biggest Inter-Division Matchups
Some of the NFL's division races could look a lot different by Tuesday.
This season has been great in terms of the standings. You've got so many teams bunched near the top. There's only a small handful at the bottom that you'd completely write off in terms of making the playoffs. Otherwise, it's all up in the air.
After Week 8's results, you'll likely see some different division leaders.
|Time (ET)||Home Team||Away Team||Pick|
|Sun., Oct. 27|
|1 p.m.||Jacksonville Jaguars||San Francisco 49ers||SF|
|1 p.m.||Kansas City Chiefs||Cleveland Browns||KC|
|1 p.m.||New England Patriots||Miami Dolphins||NE|
|1 p.m.||New Orleans Saints||Buffalo Bills||NO|
|1 p.m.||Philadelphia Eagles||New York Giants||NYG|
|1 p.m.||Detroit Lions||Dallas Cowboys||DET|
|4:05 p.m.||Oakland Raiders||Pittsburgh Steelers||PIT|
|4:05 p.m.||Cincinnati Bengals||New York Jets||NYJ|
|4:25 p.m.||Arizona Cardinals||Atlanta Falcons||ATL|
|4:25 p.m.||Denver Broncos||Washington Redskins||DEN|
|8:30 p.m.||Minnesota Vikings||Green Bay Packers||GB|
|Mon., Oct. 28|
|8:40 p.m.||St. Louis Rams||Seattle Seahawks||SEA|
Schedule via NFL.com
Here are three of the biggest inter-division games on the Week 8 schedule.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants
What's the opposite of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object? Because that's what this game is, at least going off some of their recent results.
It's crazy to think that the Philadelphia Eagles could possibly go into a tie for the NFC East lead with a win.
While they aren't in a position yet to challenge for the division, the New York Giants may have turned a corner after their victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
You may think that the Eagles would have the advantage playing at home. But they've failed to win a game at Lincoln Financial Field in three tries this season. All three of their wins have come on the road.
The good news for Philadelphia is that Michael Vick should be able to play, via Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo:
Eagles list Michael Vick as probable. Nick Foles is out.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 25, 2013
That's a big upgrade over Matt Barkley and Nick Foles.
In a game between two bad defenses, though, pick the team with the slightly better unit. That's the Giants, according to Football Outsiders. New York is ranked 23rd, while Philly is down at 28th.
There's also the aspect of the Giants being here before. Seemingly every season, they start out like crap, only to turn it on around midseason and then challenge for the playoffs. Every few years a Super Bowl run is thrown in there.
It feels like they're reached critical mass in terms of how bad they can be. It's only going to be up from here. Eli Manning won't turn into his brother, but he'll at least be able to avoid throwing multiple interceptions and making so many dumb decisions.
The defense is also starting to play a little better.
This game should be fun, with a lot of points. The Giants get the slight defensive edge, and that will prove pivotal.
New York 28, Philadelphia 24
Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers
Christian Ponder is going to start under center for the Vikings, via SportsCenter:
THIS JUST IN: Christian Ponder will start this week for the Vikings. Josh Freeman is out with a concussion.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 25, 2013
It's hard to tell if that's good news or bad news. Josh Freeman was atrocious against the Giants last week, but Ponder has never been good.
More than likely, having either guy start wouldn't make the difference against the Green Bay Packers.
The Minnesota Vikings offense has been merely average this season. They'll have a hard time stopping Green Bay's balanced offense. Even with injuries to many of his best receivers, Aaron Rodgers continues making big plays through the air, and Eddie Lacy has been the consistent running complement the offense has needed in previous seasons.
Green Bay should be able to maintain its lead in the NFC North, while Minnesota will only sink further into the abyss.
Green Bay 30, Minnesota 10
New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins
Rarely do the New England Patriots lose back-to-back games. Bill Belichick is great at looking back on the previous loss, figuring out what went wrong and then making the necessary improvements for the next game.
Coming off the back of that 30-27 defeat to the New York Jets, there's no way the Patriots follow it up with another loss to a division foe.
The Miami Dolphins have been trending downward since that great 3-0 start. They've lost their past three games, and having that Week 6 bye did nothing to stem the tide.
It's hard envisioning the Dolphins offense doing enough to outscore the Patriots.
Mike Wallace has yet to become that downfield threat Miami needed last season. He has just 27 receptions for 357 yards and a touchdown. In addition, Lamar Miller—admittedly a hit-or-miss back—has been way too much miss.
On the other side, New England should continue improving offensively with Rob Gronkowski back on the field.
This game won't be a blowout, but the Pats will be in control and get a comfortable victory.
New England 30, Miami 21
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