NFL Week 8 Picks: Scary Matchups for Several Teams This Halloween
What a wild, wild Sunday it was.
Drew Brees threw four picks...to the Browns. The Chargers lost yet again, thanks to their special teams. The Broncos allowed 59 points...to the Raiders. The Panthers got their first win, the Bears are who we thought they were, Tampa Bay has a clutch quarterback and the Eagles most definitely belong to Michael Vick.
Could this season be any stranger? There is no clear cut No.1, no team you can point to and say "that's the team to beat this year."
Well, with a look ahead to next week, Halloween may bring about the strangest week of all.
Let's take a look.
Miami (3-3) @ Cincinnati (2-4)
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The Dolphins Offense finally roared to life behind the play of QB Chad Henne. Miami absolutely should have won that football game, if not for a strange ruling on the Big Ben fumble. Look for Chad Henne to try to carry over his success from last week, with strong play coming from running back Ronnie Brown as well.
Cincinnati battled from a huge deficit to claim the lead momentarily—and still managed to lose by multiple possessions. Look for Cincinnati's secondary to capitalize on any mistake Chad Henne makes Sunday.
The Miami Dolphins are 0-3 at home but 3-0 on the road. Look for that trend to continue as Miami's Defense keeps the Bengals in check.
MIA 28 - CIN 13
Jacksonville (3-4) @ Dallas (1-5)
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Jacksonville is coming off a tough loss at the hands of Kansas City. David Garrard looks to return this Sunday and help his team, who has struggled without him.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys just lost their starting QB to a broken collarbone. They will turn to NFL journeyman Jon Kitna.
Look for Jacksonville to exploit an aging Dallas front seven, while Garrard looks to build on his early success.
The Cowboys will try to exploit a Jacksonville secondary who has struggled this season at times.
The loss of Tony Romo will be too much for Dallas to overcome, as Maurice Jones-Drew makes David Garrard's return a walk in the park.
JAX 31 - DAL 17
Washington (4-3) @ Detroit (1-5)
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The Detroit Lions come off their bye-week hoping to have their starting quarterback, Matthew Stafford, return Sunday. Look for Detroit to take advantage of a Washington Defense that ranks 31st against the pass.
The Redskins are coming off a game where they just edged ou the Bears at home. DeAngelo Hall had a mind blowing four INTs off Jay Cutler. If Stafford makes a mistake, look for Hall to capitalize.
Ultimately, Stafford-to-Johnson and the explosiveness of Jhavid Best will be too much for the 'Skins to handle.
DET 27 - WAS 20
Buffalo (0-6) @ Kansas City (4-2)
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Kansas City just dominated the Jaguars at home, while Buffalo came up short against Baltimore on the road. You would think the momentum would be on the Chiefs' side. You'd be wrong.
Kansas City knows that they play in perhaps the weakest division in all of sports. They will keep winning to remain in great shape.
The Bills, on the other hand, have yet to win a game and play in perhaps the toughest division in the NFL. They have absolutely nothing to lose. This is a classic trap game.
That's the best reasoning I can provide—it's another one of those gut-feeling games.
BUF 31 - KC 28
Carolina (1-5) @ St. Louis (3-4)
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Carolina got their first win of the season, but they needed David Carr to throw a late INT to seal the deal. But a win's a win.
Meanwhile St. Louis lost a heart-breaker against Tampa Bay in the final seconds. St. Louis returns home to the Dome and looks to channel their disappointment against a hapless Panthers team.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned we were just a year or so away from seeing the return of the Greatest Show on Turf. This week, we are all going to be given a sneak peek of just how good this offense can be.
STL 42 - CAR 20
Green Bay (4-3) @ New York[J] (5-1)
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The Jets are coming off their bye after just escaping Denver with a win. Cornerback Darelle Revis says his hammy is now 100 percent—that could bode trouble for A-Rod and company.
The Packers just edged out Minnesota and likely would not have won that game if not for an ailing Favre.
The Packers are just too banged up at key positions to win this one. It will be competitive, but New York will just edge out a depleted Packers team.
NYJ 24 - GB 21
Denver (2-5) @ San Francisco (1-6)
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This may be the hardest game to predict. Denver is coming off one of the worst losses in the franchise's history, while San Francisco just lost to previously winless Carolina. Those poor Brits, they're getting screwed. I'm not sure that Denver is going to be able to stop Frank Gore or Troy Smith if they decide to run. On the other hand, I don't think San Francisco is going to be able to stop Kyle Orton and Co.
Really not sure who to go with in this one, but here it is:
DEN 34 - SF 34
(Nope, that's not a typo. A tie awaits in England.)
Tennessee (5-2) @ San Diego (2-5)
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This game is going to be ugly. San Diego all but imploded last week at home against the Patriots. Tennessee routed a very good Eagles team.
With the emergence of Kenny Britt last week, teams can no longer afford to stack the box against Chris Johnson—so look for him to have a field day.
Interesting things to bear in mind: Vincent Jackson returns on Friday. Will he play Sunday? Better yet, will he have an impact?
Also, Jeff Fisher has never once beaten San Diego. Well, my friends, there's a first time for everything.
TEN 35 - SD 20
Tampa Bay (4-2) @ Arizona (3-3)
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This could easily be the game of the week. That is, if the year was 2014. Both of these teams have QBs that will likely be very good in the near future. Tampa Bay, or more notably Josh Freeman, proved that they can engineer a late game-winning drive. That does wonders for a young QB's psyche. Look for Josh Freeman to have a break-out day against a soft Arizona secondary, but Arizona won't just roll over.
TB 34 - ARI 28
Minnesota (2-4) @ New England (5-1)
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The Patriots just barely survived in San Diego last week, while Minnesota was slightly edged out in Green Bay. Brett Favre has two fractures in his ankle—why is there even a debate about him playing Sunday? Childress needs to grow a pair and tell Favre that he is sitting.
I will make this as clear as I can: If Tarvaris Jackson starts Sunday, the Vikings have an excellent chance to win. If Favre starts Sunday, it will be a blowout in New England, and I guarantee Patriots defenders will be diving at Favre's ankle all day long. The problem is that Favre is too stubborn to sit, and Chilly does not have the juevos to tell him he's not playing.
NE 37 - MIN 20
Seattle (4-2) @ Oakland (3-4)
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Hats off to the Raiders. Their performance on Sunday was the most dominating, lop-sided contest I have ever seen at any level. They came in and basically said, "This is what we're gonna do. Now try and stop us." Even I, a devout Bronco fan through and through, was rooting for the Raiders to break 70. And I know a lot of you guys out there were too.
That being said, Oakland has not won back-to-back games in a while, and Seattle has finally figured out how to win on the road. The expectations after Sunday's tirade will be too much in the Black Hole for the Raiders to handle.
SEA 28 - OAK 20
Pittsburgh (5-1) @ New Orleans (4-3)
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The Steelers just edged out the Dolphins, while the Saints were humiliated by the Browns. Drew Brees threw four INTs against the Browns. How is he gonna fair against the Steel Curtain?
Not well, is my guess. The NFL is a copycat league, and the Browns provided the blueprint for how to beat the Saints. Look for the Steelers to do the same.
PIT 37 - NO 24
Houston (4-2) @ Indianapolis (4-2)
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GAME OF THE WEEK
Wow. Monday Night Football finally has the best game of the week. In this rematch of Week 1 the Colts look to exact revenge on the Texans for their first week loss. Houston will see the return of their starting left tackle, who was suspended for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, and this time around they will have Brian Cushing. Peyton Manning will be without TE Dallas Clark and WR Austin Collie. It wouldn't be impossible for the Colts to win this, but it's gonna be tough.
Did I mention Arian Foster is excited about his curtain call?
HOU 34 - IND 31
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Teams with Byes
New York [G]
Last Week: 9-5