The Infallible NFL Week 8 Straight Picks

Another week and a bunch more close games. Some went the way we expected, others not so much. Surprises? Well, if you woke up expecting to see Buffalo running away with the game in England then yes. The Bills had a brief lead on a furious comeback that didn’t look possible halfway through the second quarter, but the Jaguars answered when needed and Buffalo went home unhappy. Indianapolis isn’t that great, even if they win their division. Landry Jones is a backup quarterback at best. And Oakland is gotten better at a quicker rate than anyone could have imagined. Almost halfway through the regular season, teams are essentially what we think they are. From here on out picks can be predictable or just plain frustrating. Let’s see how things shake out this week.

Week 7. 10-4

Overall. 70-32

eba76d861e5c66ea2f7e72f0f24d61f0Miami at New England. The Patriots can be beaten. And while many are jumping on the undefeated bandwagon, let’s remember that good defenses tend to trump good offenses (or great ones). Miami has the makings of a very good defense and this could be the game that gets that going. Ryan Tannehill has really stepped things up along with Lamar Miller, while several different guys are catching the ball. With Brandon LaFell back from the PUP list, there’s just another weapon at Tom Brady’s disposal. It might be too much to ask of the Fins to win in Foxborough even if Dion Lewis is still injured. Patriots 34, Dolphins 28

Detroit at Kansas City. There is no running game in Detroit. Their best use of the running backs on the roster is catching the ball out of the backfield. Theo Riddick is that guy. The Lions will need Golden Tate to play better even though Calvin Johnson seems to have gotten things together quite nicely. Defense has been atrocious thus far and it’s not all their fault. Injuries have been to blame, but that won’t help them at Arrowhead. And was Charcandrick West’s big game against Pittsburgh a sign of things to come or just a blip on the radar. The Chiefs seem to think West has the tools to fill in adequately for Jamaal Charles and the supposed threat to West, Knile Davis, only had one carry. Will Jeremy Maclin be healthy? The KC defense is playing a little better. Chiefs 28, Lions 17

Tampa Bay at Atlanta. Matt Ryan and the Falcons had a bit of a scare against the Titans, but the defense held up well after a few shoddy showings and Devonta Freeman continued his torrid pace. If Atlanta can continue to get pressure on the QB then this one should be an easy choice. This is a divisional game though. And the Buccaneers are better than they could have hoped, even if they completely choked away their game against the Skins in Week 7. Mike Evans is definitely back and Doug Martin is trying to erase a bad season a year ago. Can Winston limit the turnovers? Falcons 31, Buccaneers 20

026458522dd670c60ada4ba3a8e8ef89Minnesota at Chicago. Matt Forte has quietly had a nice season and Jay Cutler has been impressive when he’s been able to play. Even receivers have been solid when they’ve been available, but the defense needs to get stops. And while the firepower to score may be there, the Vikings have been controlling the ball awfully well recently. Adrian Peterson has been okay the past two weeks and it hasn’t hurt Minnesota. Stefon Diggs has had his coming-out party in his first two real games in the NFL. Two 100-plus yard games and a load of targets while building an solid bond with fellow youngster, Teddy Bridgewater. That will only grow. Vikings 27, Bears 24

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh. If Ben Roethlisberger is back, then this game is the Steelers’ to lose. If not, the Bengals should cruise. All signs point to Ben suiting up. And the magnitude on many fronts is reason enough to come back a little early. Antonio Brown needs it. And to a certain degree, so does the rest of the offense. With more balance comes unpredictable play-calling. The defense is okay, but in this current NFL that’s good enough. Can they score as much as the Bengals? So many options have helped Andy Dalton to a great start. It will likely continue no matter the outcome of this one. Steelers 35, Bengals 28

Arizona at Cleveland. The Browns have been just good enough to play everyone tough, but this matchup just doesn’t play to their strengths. Chris Johnson (not a typo) should run all over this defense, which should open some play action with Palmer to Fitzgerald, Brown, and/or Floyd. Duke Johnson Jr. has been great as a PPR option, but there hasn’t been a consistent back for the Browns running the ball. The same could be said for the receivers who have a large number of contributors but no great go-to option that doesn’t involve throwing the ball 50 yards down the field and running under it. Cardinals 24, Browns 22

Tennessee at Houston. Mettenberger was okay against the Falcons. He didn’t make many mistakes. Dexter McCluster and Antonio Andrews were both helpful as well. But there’s still not a dynamic playmaker needed regardless of who gets the ball or how many times it happens. Finding that guy on the Texans might be tough too. Odds are it will be Alfred Blue, but Chris Polk has performed better so far between the two. DeAndre Hopkins will have to get off to a quicker start this week if the offense is to get going. That means whoever starts (like Brian Hoyer because Ryan Mallet missed the plane this past week) has to do a better job of putting the ball on the numbers and manage the game better. Texans 17, Titans 14

San Francisco at St. Louis. Still an intriguing matchup the Rams have the upper-hand because of one guy, Todd Gurley. The rookie has been all St. Louis has hoped for and more. The 49ers aren’t the same team of seasons past and the offense has only been good against foes that can’t stop anybody. So if Nick Foles can play smart football, then Gurley should get the ball in or near the end zone plenty of times. Rams 24, 49ers 13

NYG at New Orleans. This one pits two teams that have been under the radar and playing well. The Saints have won 3 or 4 and a large reason why has been their success in the run game. Robinson, Ingram, and others have been good while CJ Spiller has been the jack-of-all-trades that Darren Sproles once was for Drew Brees. Meanwhile, the Giants have won 4 of 5 and are looking to take a strange-hold of the NFC East lead that they took over this past week. If this quad of running back by committee can continue to co-exist, then this will be a fun one. Drew Brees ain’t done yet. Saints 30, Giants 20

San Diego at Baltimore. Can the Ravens catch a break? Well, they need someone other than Steve Smith to catch a ball when it matters and the offensive line has to get healthy. There are just too many issues with this group to have any real chance of coming back, but 1-6? Didn’t see this coming at all. Can the defense stop anyone? Hope there’s a shutdown corner and maybe a clone of Ed Reed in this next draft. The Chargers have been stellar on offense and terrible on defense. They started way too slow against Oakland and it was too much to come back from. Ravens 28, Chargers 27

NYJ at Oakland. A loss is still a loss whether it’s by 3 or 10 points, right? Tell that to Todd Bowles and the New York Jets. This past week show this team that they can play with anyone (even on the road). This defense is great and still getting better. Oakland is playing very well if in their defeats and the defense has come together well. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are a potent combo but the story here will be whether Derek Carr can limit his mistakes. He will get the opportunity to succeed because the Raiders will have no choice but to throw the ball. Jets 23, Raiders 21

091015-SW-NFL-Greg-Hardy-PI.vresize.1200.675.high.84Seattle at Dallas. Until Tony Romo and/or Dez Bryant are back the Dallas offense is going to struggle. The defense has been okay, but special teams sure screwed them this past one. Maybe Greg Hardy will keep his temper this time around. He will need to while the Seahawks are bashing their brains in. Marshawn Lynch is getting healthy at the right time. All Seattle needs to do is keep it going. Seahawks 24, Cowboys 14

Green Bay at Denver. For all the talk about Peyton Manning losing a step or five, you’d think the Broncos would be in a real state of emergency. But they are undefeated, as is the visitor this week in Mile High. Defense has been a priority and it has been on both fronts. The pressure is still on the run game to produce. They will have many chances, but they haven’t done much so far. On the other side of the field will be the Packers and Aaron Rodgers. While no one is sure who will be running the ball for Green Bay, it’s tough to stop these guys. Both offenses are prolific, but who makes more stops? Broncos 31, Packers 28

Indianapolis at Carolina. Did you see this coming from either team? Carolina is definitely a bigger surprise. It’s the defense that has been very efficient. Unfortunately for the Colts, they’ve having their troubles on offense. With this game at home and no real reason to think either team will deviate from their current trajectory this one looks all but decided. Panthers 26, Colts 21

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