NFL Week 8 Picks: Will The Saints Spook The Steelers?

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2010

NFL Week 8 Picks: Will The Saints Spook The Steelers?

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    HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 12:  Running back Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans runs in the NFL season opener against the Indianapolis Colts at Reliant Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    NFL Week 8 Picks have a frightening feel to them with plenty of upsets possible on Halloween.

    It starts in the Big Apple, where the Jets are big early favorites against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers coming off Sunday's win over the Vikings.

    Elsewhere, the Lions are expected to have Matthew Stafford under center when they host the Redskins.

    Sunday night's game features a battle of teams headed in opposite directions.

    The Saints could have Reggie Bush back, while the Steelers have shined with Ben Roethlisberger returning from suspension.

    Here's a complete look at the NFL Week 8 Picks.

Washington at Detroit

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    MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 26:  Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks on prior to the start of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field on September 26, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty I
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Why Washington Could Win: Washington just keeps finding a way to win games.  The Redskins got a historic performance from DeAngelo Hall and another solid game from Ryan Torain to beat the Bears in Week 7.

    Why Detroit Could Win: Matthew Stafford is expected to start after being sidelined since suffering a shoulder injury in Week 1.  The Lions' offense was productive with Shaun Hill running the show, and should get even better with Stafford back.

    Prediction: The Lions still have work to do on the defensive side of the ball, but the Redskins are far from a well-oiled offensive machine.  Look for Stafford to connect with Calvin Johnson for a couple of touchdowns to help Detroit get the win.

    Score: Detroit 24, Washington 16

Jacksonville at Dallas

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    MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 17:  Wide receiver Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys catches a pass for a touchdown as Lito Sheppard #29 of the Minnesota Vikings misses the tackle during the fourth quarter at Mall of America Field on October 17, 2010 in Minneapo
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Why Jacksonville Could Win: Jack Del Rio's team either wins or gets absolutely annihilated.  There's no middle ground.

    If the Jags' defense can show improvement and frustrate Jon Kitna, Del Rio could ease the burning of his hot seat.

    Why Dallas Could Win: If Kitna can simply manage the game, the Cowboys are good enough on offense to get a win.

    Prediction: After three touchdowns in Week 7, Dez Bryant could be in for another big game against the Jaguars' struggling secondary.  Dallas comes out focused and finally gets a win in Week 8.

    Score: Dallas 23, Jacksonville 13

Miami at Cincinnati

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    MIAMI - OCTOBER 24:  Receiver Brandon Marshall #19 is brought down by the Pittsburgh Steelers  at Sun Life Stadium on October 24, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Why Miami Could Win: The Dolphins still haven't lost on the road this season.  Chad Henne has been dependable, and Miami's defense is better than advertised.

    Why Cincinnati Could Win: Motivation shouldn't be a problem for the Bengals, who need a win to avoid falling farther behind in the AFC playoff race. 

    Prediction: Cincinnati's secondary was ravaged by the Falcons in Week 7 and will be without Adam Jones this week.  Brandon Marshall has a big day to lift Miami to yet another road win.

    Score: Miami 27, Cincinnati 23

Buffalo at Kansas City

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 24:  Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs carries the ball during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on October 24, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Why Buffalo Could Win: Ryan Fitzpatrick led a shocking offensive explosion against the Ravens, and looks to keep right on rolling when the Bills head to Kansas City.

    Why Kansas City Could Win: The Chiefs have been competitive in every game this season, and have been very good defensively.  A win Sunday would put them in a great position to roll towards an AFC West title.

    Prediction: The Chiefs find a way to score points while bringing the Bills' offense back towards mediocrity.  Kansas City's running game is much better than Buffalo's and could be the difference.

    Score: Kansas City 20, Buffalo 9

Carolina at St. Louis

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    ST. LOUIS - OCTOBER 17: Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams celebrates a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers at the Edward Jones Dome on October 17, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Rams beat the Chargers 20-17.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Why Carolina Could Win: Matt Moore played very well in his return to the starting lineup, and for once the Panthers aren't at a huge disadvantage in terms of talent.

    Why St. Louis Could Win: The Rams let one get away last week, but the enthusiasm is starting to build around Sam Bradford and the scrappy offense.  The Rams haven't lost at home since Week 1.

    Prediction: Sam Bradford should be able to flourish against the Panthers' secondary, but Steven Jackson is a question mark after undergoing surgery on a broken finger Monday.  In the end, the Rams will find some magic and win in a close, ugly game.

    Score: St. Louis 23, Carolina 16

Denver at San Francisco (In London)

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    HERTFORD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27:  Troy Smith of San Francisco 49ers in a training session at The Grove Hotel on October 27, 2010 in Hertford, England. The San Francisco 49ers will meet the Denver Broncos in the NFL International Series regular-season match
    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Why Denver Could Win: After last week's debacle, it's difficult to give the Broncos any love.  Kyle Orton should be able to have success against a 49ers' defense that hasn't been great against the pass this season.

    Why San Francisco Could Win: Maybe leaving the United States will help the 49ers focus.  With Alex Smith out with a shoulder injury, former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith will get the chance to start against the Broncos instead of David Carr.

    Prediction: Smith thinks he is better than a third-string quarterback, and now is his chance to prove it.  After being smashed by the Raiders' running game in Week 7, the Broncos will be in for another long day against Frank Gore and the Niners.

    Score: San Francisco 24, Denver 16

Green Bay at New York Jets

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    DENVER - OCTOBER 17:  Running back LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets celebrates his touchdown against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on October 17, 2010 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Why Green Bay Could Win: Aaron Rodgers is fearless to a fault.  If the Packers want to beat the powerful Jets, Rodgers will need to take some chances against the talented Jets' secondary.

    Why the New York Jets Could Win: The Packers are slowly starting to get healthy, but the Jets should be able to run wild against Green Bay's front seven.

    Prediction: The Jets will be sloppy early coming off the bye.  Barring a miracle performance by Rodgers, New York will find a way to rally and win in an exciting contest.

    Score: New York Jets 24, Green Bay 21

Tennessee at San Diego

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    SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 24:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers reacts to turning over the ball against the New England Patriots during the first half of their NFL game on October 24, 2010 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Ph
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    Why Tennessee Could Win: No matter who starts at quarterback Sunday, Kenny Britt's emergence should open the door for continued success in the passing game to compliment Chris Johnson.

    Why San Diego Could Win: The Chargers lead the NFL in total offense and total defense, so they should win.

    If only it was that simple.

    At some point, San Diego will need to stop making mistakes and turning the ball over.

    Prediction: The Chargers come out firing and focused while the Titans sputter.  Philip Rivers goes over 300 yards again as San Diego wins.

    Score: San Diego 27, Tennessee 17

Tampa Bay at Arizona

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    SEATTLE - OCTOBER 24:  Quarterback Max Hall #6 of the Arizona Cardinals looks downfield against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on October 24, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Why Tampa Bay Could Win: Somehow, the young Bucs just keep winning.  Josh Freeman has played better than most quarterbacks in the NFC and has been brilliant late in games this season.

    Why Arizona Could Win: The Cardinals' defense should be able to contain the Bucs, especially on the ground.

    Prediction: Arizona's offense has looked even worse with Max Hall taking over for Derek Anderson.  The concussed Hall has been cleared to practice and will start if he is cleared to play Sunday.

    That means more good things are ahead for the Bucs.

    Freeman has a big day yardage-wise to help Tampa improve to 5-2.

    Score: Tampa Bay 27, Arizona 14

Minnesota at New England

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    GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 24:  Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings leaps in the air for extra yardage against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on October 24, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jim Prisching/Getty Images)
    Jim Prisching/Getty Images

    Why Minnesota Could Win: Brad Childress is still being tight-lipped about Brett Favre's status, but it's starting to look like Tarvaris Jackson might give the Vikes' the best chance to win. 

    Why New England Could Win: After some rough patches early in the season, New England's defense has improved in the last few games.  Despite struggling at San Diego last week, the offense should move the ball at home.

    Prediction: The Vikings need to win, and for that to happen Adrian Peterson needs to get the ball early and often.  Randy Moss catches a touchdown and helps defeat his former team.

    Score: Minnesota 26, New England 20

Seattle at Oakland

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    DENVER - OCTOBER 24:  Running back Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders runs against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on October 24, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Why Seattle Could Win: Matt Hasselbeck has found a reliable go-to target in Mike Williams, and the Seahawks have at least shown signs of being able to run the ball in recent weeks.

    Why Oakland Could Win: Darren McFadden has been fantastic this season.  If he can stay on the field, the Raiders offense could create problems for the Seahawks.

    Prediction: Partly because of its struggles against the pass, Seattle's defense has been very good against the run this season.  That will change in Week 8.

    McFadden and Michael Bush carry the Raiders to an ugly win.

    Score: Oakland 16, Seattle 13

Pittsburgh at New Orleans

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    PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 17:  Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates a third quarter touchdown with Mike Wallace #17 and Emmanuel Sanders  #88 while playing the Cleveland Browns on October 17, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pit
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Why Pittsburgh Could Win: The Steelers have been effective in the passing game with Big Ben back in action, and Mike Wallace is starting to look like one of the best young receivers in the NFL.  Despite the loss of Aaron Smith, the Steelers defense remains the league's best.

    Why New Orleans Could Win: The Saints still don't know if Reggie Bush or Pierre Thomas will be back in Week 8.  Drew Brees isn't likely to toss four interceptions again and should be able to move the ball through the air.

    Prediction: The Steelers look like the best team in the NFL right now, but the Saints will be hungry for a win.

    New Orleans gets some key takeaways and gets a much-needed victory at home Sunday night.

    Score: New Orleans 26, Pittsburgh 17

Houston at Indianapolis

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    HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 12:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 and Joseph Addai #29 of the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL season opener against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Why Houston Could Win: The Texans could take another big step towards being considered among the NFL's best by beating the Colts for a second time this season.  Arian Foster should be able to run wild against Indy's weak run defense.

    Why Indianapolis Could Win: Houston's pass defense is nothing short of awful, meaning Peyton Manning should have another 400-yard passing day against the Texans.  If Joesph Addai isn't healthy, expect the Colts to completely ignore the running game.

    Prediction: Indianapolis gets a huge game from Manning to win in an absolute shootout.

    Score: Indianapolis 41, Houston 35