NFL Picks Week 8: Analysis and Game Winners

Nick FContributor IIIOctober 27, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 23:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints passes against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter of their game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 23, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

My season record is 70-33. Last week was a wild one in the NFL, making me 6-7 in my picks. However, I guarantee to do better this week or your money back!

New Orleans Saints @ St. Louis Rams

The Rams are arguably the worst team in the league.  The Cowboys were able to beat the Rams easily, and the Saints are definitely better than Dallas. Demarco Murray rushed for 250 yards against the Rams. imagine what Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas can do.

The Saints are one of the best teams in the league.  New Orleans absolutely demolished the Colts in Week 7 and I expect another blowout victory for them this week.

The Pick: New Orleans

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans

Jacksonville scored a big upset win on Monday night against the Ravens. Their defense played very well, but the offense was still anemic. Jacksonville has a good defense and a bad offense.

The Texans blew out the Titans on the road. Houston has a good offense and a good defense. Maurice Jones-Drew is good, but he isn’t Arian Foster. Plus, I trust Schaub a heck of a lot more than I trust Gabbert. Don’t overthink this one. Houston is clearly the better team.

The Pick: Houston

Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens

Arizona and Baltimore both lost last week. Pittsburgh defeated the Cardinals pretty easily. On the other hand, Jacksonville barely hung on to upset the Ravens. The Ravens defense played well on Monday, but the offense struggled. Arizona has a poor defense, so Ray Rice and Joe Flacco should get back on track.

If there is one thing you can count on, it is that the Ravens will come into this game very ticked off. And you don’t want to play an angry Ravens team, especially on the road.

The Pick: Baltimore

Indianapolis Colts @Tennessee Titans

Both of these teams were blown out last week. The Titans lost by 34 points, while the Colts lost by 55. The Tennessee defense looked awful last week, but they have actually been pretty good this season. I expect them to be able to hold Painter and the Colts in check.

The Colts defense has struggled with injuries this year. The Titans should be able to exploit the backups on the field and score enough points to win the game. This is the week Chris Johnson gets back on track.

The Pick: Tennessee

Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers

Which is more impressive, Carolina easily defeating a pretty good Redskins team, or Minnesota giving the Packers a scare before losing by six? I would say the latter. However, if it weren’t for a 72-yard play to start the game, Minnesota would not have been close.

They also went from a halftime lead to a 16-point deficit. In other words, the Vikings game last week was not as impressive as it seemed. That leaves two bad teams. One has Cam Newton and is at home. That settles it for me.

The Pick: Carolina

Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants

Miami came this close to beating the Broncos, as some Tebow guy rallied Denver to a win. That may have been the one chance for the hapless Dolphins to get a win. Tony Sparano is a lame duck coach and the players have little to play for.

The Giants have been an up and down team at times this season, but coming off a bye they should be healthy and fresh. Easy call here.

The Pick: New York

Detroit Lions @ Denver Broncos

Remember when Detroit was 5-0 and the darlings of the league? Seems like a long time ago, but it has only been a couple of weeks. Playing Denver should be just the medicine they need to remedy their losing streak.

Tebow was able to lead a miraculous comeback against the Dolphins last week. However, the fact that they needed a miraculous comeback to beat a winless Miami team is not a good sign for the Broncos. Don’t call for the upset here.

The Pick: Detroit

Washington Redskins @ Buffalo Bills

Washington’s defense got exposed in Week 7 by Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Without a strong defense, the Redskins are left with… John Beck? The Redskins look pretty average now. They are 3-3 with a point differential of exactly zero.

Buffalo is 4-2 coming off their bye week. They also have Fred Jackson. Jackson is not easily contained, and I expect him to have a big week at home.

The Pick: Buffalo

Cincinnati Bengals @ Seattle Seahawks

Did you realize the Bengals now have the same record as the Ravens? And that they are just a half game out of first in the AFC North? Andy Dalton, the Red Rifle, has played pretty well for them. Their defense is above average as well. The Bengals might end up being the surprise team of the year.

There is some good news and some bad news about Seattle. The good news is that they are second in their division. The bad news is that they are three games behind division leader San Francisco with a 2-4 record. Also, Charlie Whitehurst is their starting quarterback. Ouch.

The Pick: Cincinnati

New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers

The Patriots defense looked good against the Cowboys two weeks ago, holding them to just 16 points. Tom Brady and Wes Welker are the most dynamic and effective quarterback and receiver duo in the NFL. The Patriots should be able to put up a large number of points, forcing the Steelers to throw the ball.

The Steelers offense has been playing pretty well despite injuries to the offensive line. New England will look to get pressure on Big Ben. The offensive line questions in Pittsburgh will only help the Patriots generate a pass rush.

The Steelers will likely have to throw the ball to keep up with the high scoring Patriots, so this game could be decided by a big sack or interception.

The Pick: New England

Cleveland Browns @ San Francisco 49ers

Cleveland played in one of the ugliest games of the season so far on Sunday against the Seahawks. Though they were able to win 6-3, there is reason to be pessimistic. If you can only score six points against the nothing special Seattle defense, I don’t see how you can score on the 49ers D.

San Francisco was on a well deserved bye week after beating the previously undefeated Lions in Week 6. They will continue to rely on their rushing attack and strong defense to control the clock and the game against Cleveland.

The Pick: San Francisco

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles

Either you are a believer in the Eagles, or you are not. I am a believer. Their offense is too explosive and their cornerbacks are too good for them to keep losing. My theory goes something like this: The Eagles explosive offense scores a couple of touchdowns. Then the opposing team has to throw to catch up.

If the opponent is in an obvious passing situation, the Eagles should be able to stop them with their wide-nine pass rush and shutdown cover corners.

The Pick: Philadelphia

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City was gift wrapped a win on Sunday against the Raiders. First, Kyle Boller, a career backup, threw three interceptions. Then, Carson Palmer, who had just joined Oakland, threw three more interceptions.

Phillip Rivers is neither a career backup nor a new member of the Chargers. See where I’m going with this? The Chargers are a good team who can run, pass and defend. They should be able to win pretty easily.

The Pick: San Diego


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