We're now entering the eighth week of football play. What has surprised most football fans is the parity that has developed within the league. There is no runaway team in the NFL this season.
The best part of such a season is the unpredictability of each week of football. Any week, any team can win (except the Bills). Such is the state of the NFL right now. With that in mind, here are my predictions for the upcoming week of football.
The Bengals are reeling this year despite the acquisition of Terrell Owens. Carson Palmer has simply not looked as good as he should, given the talent around him. The Dolphins, meanwhile, have done very well with a team built around defense. Given their affinity for road games (they’re 3-0), the Dolphins should take this one.
The misery that is the Cowboys season continues. Tony Romo is lost for probably the rest of the year, and their much heralded team’s hopes rest upon the shoulders of Jon Kitna. Given the weapons that Kitna has, and the mediocrity of the Jaguars, the Cowboys will finally get another win in this one.
With Mike Shanahan and Donavan McNabb at the helm the Washington Redskins have looked like serious contenders. Given the state of the NFC, the Redskins stand a serious chance of making the playoffs and perhaps contending for a title.
On the other side, while the Lions have grown this year, they are still not serious competitors in the NFC. The Redskins should roll in this one.
Up until last week, the Bills have looked truly awful this season. But that same team that looked terrible took the Baltimore Ravens into overtime and nearly won. The Chiefs, on the other hand, have struggled after starting the season 3-0. But regardless, the Chiefs are a much better team and will win, although this one could be closer than people think.
The drafting of Sam Bradford has really brought about a change in St. Louis. The enlisting of Matt Moore and drafting of Jimmy Clausen in Carolina? Not so much. At home, the Rams will have no problem beating the Panthers.
Coming into the season, both of these teams were common Super Bowl picks. At this point, they are still solid picks. Last week, a shaky Aaron Rodgers consistently missed open targets, almost letting the Vikings back into their contest. The Jets have a stout defense, and the best defensive back in the game, Darrelle Revis.
Given the lack of a rushing offense, the Packers will struggle getting anything going against such a talented team. The Jets will take this game at home.
Last week the Broncos played one of the most pathetic games of football I’ve ever seen. San Francisco, on the other hand, was beaten in the last minute…again. This week, the 49ers have a chance to save Mike Singletary’s coaching career and save their season. Given the weakness of the NFC West, they will still have a shot at the playoffs with a win.
The Broncos, likewise, play in a very poor division. But they simply aren’t as talented as the 49ers. San Francisco will win in this one.
The San Diego Chargers are the best team in the league. Well…they are statistically. Somehow, despite leading offense and defense, the Chargers, lead by clinically inept Norval Turner, have only managed two wins on the season.
The Titans have been a very successful team this year, but are simply not in the same league, talent-wise as the Chargers. If the Chargers don’t fumble away another win, they will come away with the victory.
The Oakland Raiders absolutely blew out the reeling Broncos last week. The Seahawks, likewise, managed to beat the Max Hall-led Arizona Cardinals. Somehow the Seahawks continue to win despite a lack of talent In coach Pete Carroll’s first year back in the NFL. This week, though, the Oakland Raidaaaas will come away with the victory at home.
The Vikings went into Green Bay last week and nearly came out with a win. This week Brett Favre takes his ailing ankle to the home of the most advanced camera system in the world. Ahem…Tom Brady and the Patriots. Without Randy Moss, the Patriots have looked very good—almost like the Patriots of the early 2000s.
But the Vikings are a very resilient team, and given their talent, they shouldn’t be kept down for long. Look for Brett Favre to not only play, but play well, taking his team to victory.
Without Kurt Warner at the helm, the Cardinals are reeling. Somehow, despite the lack of a competent quarterback, they’ve managed three wins. Although the Buccaneers are not the best team in the league (someone ought to inform Raheem Morris), they will easily beat the very mediocre Cardinals.
The defending Super Bowl champs have looked poor relative to their dynamic 2009 season. Without Reggie Bush, the Saints lack the same punch the team used to win last year.
Even worse for them, many people consider the Steelers, now with Ben Roethlisberger, to be the best team in the league. They should manhandle the Saints.
Both the Texans and the Colts are 4-2 heading into week eight. Both teams feature a top-flight quarterback and a talented roster. What sets the two teams apart is what sets every team apart from the Colts: the Colts have Peyton Manning. Given the talented Texans running game, this should be a close game, but the Colts will pull away in the end.