NFL Picks Week 8: Ranking Each Game by Suicide Pool Confidence
As another week of NFL games conclude, it is becoming more and more evident which directions certain teams are heading. Week 8 marks the midway point of the season. and It's obvious which teams are gearing up and which are taking a turn for the worse.
With plenty of games to focus on, many people have started to use a suicide pool to determine winners each week.
A suicide pool is where you pick one team every week to win, and and if that team wins you advance to pick again the following week. The exception is that every team can be used only once per year.
So for example, if you picked the New Orleans Saints to win at any point during the year, you cannot pick them again for the remaining schedule.
This is a fun alternative to the standard means of gambling on games, because it forces you to be intelligent with your selections each weekend.
So let’ take a look at every Week 8 matchup, and rank each based off my suicide pool confidence level.
1. New Orleans Saints vs. St. Louis Rams
There aren’t many superlatives to describe the Saints’ Monday Night Football win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Then again, the same can be said about the St. Louis Rams.
Drew Brees threw more touchdowns (five) than incomplete passes, capping off a flawless performance en route to manhandling the Colts, 62-7.
The Rams on the other hand are sitting 0-6 and are coming off another miserable performance, in which they got torched by rookie running back DeMarco Murray and the Dallas Cowboys.
I think the public already knows how this game will play out.
suicide pool confidence: 100 percent
2. Arizona Cardinals vs. Baltimore Ravens
When the Ravens face off with the Arizona Cardinals, Joe Flacco and company shouldn't expect their visitors to be much trouble.
Baltimore is one of the hottest teams in the NFL and with a resurgent defense and the largest margin of victory in the league (22.5), John Harbaugh’s squad has plenty to be confident about.
The Cardinals on the other hand appear frail and are not looking like the team they thought they would be (using my Dennis Green voice).
Beanie Wells went down early in their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cardinals’ offense appeared to follow him back into the locker room.
Expect this to be a relatively quick route folks.
Suicide pool confidence: 100 percent
3. Miami Dolphins vs. New York Giants
Another week with the same result; Dolphins fans must be getting used to the fact their team underwhelms on a consistent basis.
A heartbreaking loss to Tim Tebow and the Broncos in Week 7 typifies their 2011 campaign, as a fourth quarter meltdown with fewer than five minutes remaining in the game sealed their demise.
The Giants are coming off a bye week and will be fresh. They are 4-2 and currently sit atop the wacky NFC East.
The Dolphins are one of three winless teams and this week doesn’t appear to be the time they will post their first victory.
In fact, the Dolphins are more anxious about their prospects of landing Andrew Luck than getting their first W.
Suicide pool confidence: 90 percent
4. Detroit Lions vs. Denver Broncos
With Tim Tebow finally getting his opportunity to prove his detractors wrong, he didn’t handle the task with the ease he expected.
But as a proven winner, Tebow led a fourth quarter comeback and helped get the Broncos an overtime win against the Miami Dolphins.
Detroit, losers of two straight, are still a quality squad that has the potential to do big things this year.
And while losing two in a row can be alarming for most teams, it is far from panic time in the Motor City.
The Lions have young and emerging talent on both sides of the ball and the Broncos still have a long way to go with Tebow at the helm.
Suicide pool confidence: 85 percent
5. San Francisco 49ers vs. Cleveland Browns
Another team coming off a bye week, the 49ers have been dispelling plenty of doubts this season and are looking to continue their winning ways under Jim Harbaugh.
San Fran is getting plenty out of quarterback Alex Smith and their role players are stepping up on both offense and defense.
The Browns are coming off a snoozer where they beat the Seattle Seahawks 6-3. This score is embarrassing and they will hope to get more points on the board against the 49ers.
The verdict is still out on the Browns and at 3-3, Pat Shurmur’s team is certainly counting their blessings.
But this is not the Seahawks, and the 49ers are a legit team with aspirations of the postseason.
Suicide pool confidence: 80 percent
6. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans
Arian Foster is finally healthy, and he proved that this passed weekend against the Tennessee Titans.
Foster, last year’s leading rusher, had over 230 all-purpose yards en route to three touchdowns as the Titans got smoked by the Texans.
Jacksonville is struggling to say the least, and rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert will likely be running for his life a majority of the game.
The Jags are atrocious when it comes to helping out the young quarterback, with Maurice Jones-Drew underperforming and other veterans failing to step up.
With Foster healthy and the Texans rolling, Jacksonville appears to be heading towards a 1-6 record.
Suicide pool confidence: 75 percent
7. San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Sitting at first place in the AFC West, the San Diego Chargers are in unfamiliar territory.
They are usually very slow to get their season going, but at 4-2 Norv Turner should feel relaxed even after losing a close game to the New York Jets in Week
The Kansas City Chiefs are coming off an upset win against a McFadden-less Oakland Raiders, and are nonetheless ecstatic about the result.
With the injuries and setbacks Todd Healy’s men have had this season, any positives can and will be taken to heart. They are winners of three straight and are back into the AFC West picture.
Yet the Chargers are too good, too experienced and too consistent of a club and should run out winners against the Chiefs.
Suicide pool confidence: 70 percent
8. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Seattle Seahawks
Cincinnati is a young team that has dismissed plenty of skepticism going into this season, with Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and other young players showing plenty of promise and production.
Marvin Lewis finally got the monkey that is Carson Palmer off his back, and he can finally devote all of his energy towards gearing his squad towards the future.
The Seahawks were uninspiring in Week 7, accumulating an astonishing 137 total yards as they fell to the Cleveland Browns.
Pete Carroll has a lot to correct going into this game and at 2-4, their playoff chances are diminishing with each passing week.
With the state of the two clubs being the way they are, I see the Bengals continuing their stellar play and should come out as victors.
Suicide pool confidence: 70 percent
9. Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans
Has any team fallen harder than the Indianapolis Colts? Nobody would have thought with the absence of Peyton Manning that they would be stumbling as much as they are.
I realize the importance of Manning to this team but the Colts have validated his worth times 10: apparently the Colts go as far as Manning takes them.
Tennessee has nothing positive to take out of the thrashing they took from Arian Foster and the Houston Texans. In fact, where has Chris Johnson been all year?
With CJ2K failing to register more than a single touchdown all year, a lot of issues are starting to come into perspective for the Titans.
Still, Tennessee is playing the Colts. That's all you really need to say right there.
Suicide pool confidence: 65 percent
10. Washington Redskins vs. Buffalo Bills
The Redskins are coming off a loss to the Carolina Panthers, a game they went into with high expectations of coming away winners.
Instead, Cam Newton and his offense picked apart the usually stout defense of the Redskins. Now Mike Shanahan’s team is at .500 after looking so promising to start the year.
The Bills are coming off a bye week as well, and they could be the biggest Cinderella story of the 2011 season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing out of his mind and has the Bills sitting just a game back of the AFC East lead.
This game should be entertaining from start to finish, because both squads still have a ton to play for.
Suicide pool confidence: 60 percent
11. Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles and the Cowboys are two teams looking to use the second half of the season to make a jump in their respective divisions.
The Eagles are coming off a bye and must be anxious to get back on the field. At 2-4, they are hardly what I would consider a “Dream Team”.
The Cowboys, driven by DeMarco Murray’s record-setting day, absolutely out-muscled the St. Louis Rams in Week 7 and are looking to channel more out of their rookie running back.
Yet I am not entirely sold on the Cowboys, who are notorious for their collapses in crunch time.
Depending on what Dallas squad shows up will determine the outcome, as both teams are in must-win situations.
Suicide pool confidence: 60 percent
12. New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Easily the most marquee match up in Week 8, two AFC juggernauts face off in a mouthwatering affair when the Patriots meet the Steelers on Sunday.
With a bye last weekend, a fresh Patriots team led by Bill Belichick means pretty much a few things: they will be prepared, lively and ready for just about anyone.
The Steelers are suffering on defense with the absence of some big names, but they are so deep that they easily compensate for those holes.
Also, Ben Roethlisberger is a proven winner whether you love him or hate him. He loves the bright lights and big stages. What better time to prove yet again your worth than against the Patriots?
This is a difficult game to pick, as both teams are built for the long run. But the advantage goes to the Pats, as they will be rested come game time.
Suicide pool confidence: 55 percent
13. Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers
When the Vikings play the Panthers in Week 8, two up-and-coming quarterbacks will be on display.
Cam Newton has surpassed every expectation on his way to hushing every single one of his doubters. He has not only outplayed a vast amount of quarterbacks so far, but also is responsible for rejuvenating the game of passionate wide out Steve Smith.
The Vikings on the other hand have decided to bench Donovan McNabb in favor of rookie Christian Ponder.
And even though getting a win against the Packers in Week 7 needed nothing short of a miracle, the Florida State kid looked very solid and appears ready to take the reigns.
Another difficult game to decide on, this game is more of a glimpse into the future than anything else.
Suicide pool confidence: 55 percent