Week eight picks
What a week we have coming up. Last week was the week of the blowout, with at least five teams completely kicking the crap out of their opponents. This week we have Brett Favre … at Lambeau. And nothing else really matters. Except that Matt Ryan and Drew Brees square off in a battle for the NFC South, and Denver faces its toughest test yet in Baltimore, and the Giants look to avoid their third straight loss in Philly for a game that has playoff implications written all over it, and a bunch of playoff-fringe teams battle for positioning and desperately needed wins. All of that. Plus Brett Favre, in Lambeau. Wearing purple. Going to be an awesome week. Onto the picks…
Seattle @ Dallas
Dallas is coming off their best game of the season, a convincing win over Atlanta. Seattle is rested, coming off a bye and needing a win. Miles Austin is a great receiver and he’s proven that over the last two games, but the days of him surprising defenses are over; Dallas is going to have to get Witten and the running game going to keep the ball away from Seattle’s passing, which is good enough to really destroy Dallas’s mediocre defense. I don’t trust Tony Romo. I do like Seattle. However, this looks like one of those games that reminds you that certain divisions (the NFC East) are just superior to others (the NFC West). Cowboys win a close one, 30-27.
Houston @ Buffalo
Houston is hot, winning two games in a row against solid teams, and really wants to break away from their 8-8 reputation with a win here. It shouldn’t be tough to beat Ryan Fitzpatrick and a Bills team that couldn’t move that ball against Carolina last week. Houston winning its third straight will just set the stage for a losing streak later in the season and give them a more dramatic but ultimately just as mediocre season. Texans 24-10.
St. Louis @ Detroit
The Rams are terrible, Marc Bulger is terrible, the game is in Detroit, Calvin Johnson should be on the field… I know it’s not going to be easy. I know that Steven Jackson is a beast, and the Lions still stink, and the Rams have the coaching advantage … but still … I’m convinced …the Lions are going to win.
I have no idea of what the score might be … it depends how many stupid plays will we allow and how many mental mistakes we make … special teams and penalties are going to be key in a game between two moronic, talentless teams. I’ll guess 27-16. Lions.
Denver @ Baltimore
The Broncos are 6-0. They should be 5-1 if not for a ridiculously lucky play in week one. They would be 4-2 if Tom Brady wasn’t still in rehab three weeks ago. They’d be 3-3 if San Diego didn’t wait until midseason to actually start competing every year. Denver is, at best, a mediocre team. Kyle Orton is still their quarterback, and they can’t decide which crappy running back to use. Their defense racked up sacks against the Browns and Raiders and now everyone thinks they’re way better than they are. On a scale of 1-100, Denver is about a 77. Baltimore, meanwhile, is a straight 92. They are the better team in every facet of the game: passing, running, defense, special teams. They have probably the five best players in this game (I’m not a big Brandon Marshall fan). Baltimore is going to win this one. Easily. Ravens by 18.
NY Giants @ Philadelphia
Since I picked the Eagles to go to the Super Bowl back in August, I want to give this game to them. But I can’t see a team as good as the Giants losing three straight. The Eagles are battling injuries (so are the Giants) and inconsistencies, and New York is just a better and more well-rounded team. This game should be a beauty, and will ultimately come down to which quarterback makes fewer mistakes. Amazingly, I have to side with Eli Manning. I know, I can’t believe it either. Giants by six.
Miami @ NY Jets
A rematch of sorts. The Dolphins surprised the Jets a few weeks ago and trounced them. Now Miami actually looks like the better team; but the question is, how will they respond to last week’s heart-crushing loss to New Orleans, which sent the Fins down to 2-4? I like New York in this game because I don’t think they’ll lose to Miami twice in one year. Jets by 14.
Cleveland @ Chicago
Here is an interesting match between two teams that lost last week by a combined 70 points. As bad as Chicago was, Cleveland was even worse. Derek Anderson really is the only rival for JaMarcus when it comes to quarterback stupidity. Cutler, on the other hand, is an up-and-down QB who tends to take advantage of inferior opponents like Cleveland. Bears should roll in this one. 27-9.
San Francisco @ Indianapolis
Ah yes, the classic matchup between former #1 overall picks Peyton Manning and Alex Smith, two guys with illustrious careers and a future spot in Canton. Well, except for Alex Smith. The Colts are full-speed ahead and cruising. There is no stopping them. Indy by 24.
Jacksonville @ Tennessee
Will Tennessee finally get it first win of the season against the equally lousy Jags, or be foiled again? Now that they are eliminated from playoff contention and have had a week to think about their 59 point loss to New England, we might see a demoralized Titans team that has completely given up. Heck, their coach was spotted wearing a Peyton Manning jersey during their off week. Seriously. The Jags, who are also coming off a bye, need to win to keep pace with Houston in the AFC South, and I expect them to do just that. Jacksonville 21, Tennessee 20.
Oakland @ San Diego
I’d like to thank the Raiders for making everyone forget about how bad the Lions are. Bolts by 25.
Carolina @ Arizona
The Cardinals play on Sunday night for the second straight week. Looks like the league is doing everything they can to expose us to as much of Larry Fitzgerald’s smile as possible. Kurt Warner should have a field day against the poor Panthers and Delhomme is one step closer to the bench after this one. AZ wins big, 35-13.
Minnesota @ Green Bay
And here it is. The reason for all the comebacks. Favre returns to Lambeau to a smattering of boos, cheers, and hisses. The circus surrounding the stadium will be more memorable than the game itself. If Favre is smart, he’ll allow Adrian Peterson to win this game singlehandedly, but I think we’re due for a “Favre-tries-to-do-too-much” type of game. The Packers D has given up just three points over its last two contests, which is impressive no matter who you play. They’re ready for this. This is a matter of pride. Green Bay is winning this game and splitting the series. I hope both teams make the playoffs so they can play one more time. Packers by 10.
Atlanta @ New Orleans
This should be one heck of a Monday Nighter. Brees and Ryan might be the two best QBs in the NFC and these are two vastly improved defenses. Well, New Orleans’ is. Not sure yet on Atlanta. Drew Brees will probably have little trouble picking them apart, and the Superdome isn’t going to be easy on Matt Ryan, who is still only 20 games into his young career. I think the Saints roll to 7-0, by a score of 34-20.