Week Eight Predictions

Week 8 is upon us, and with it comes once again the picks for the week. After a 12-1 week a few weeks ago, I’ve been about as effective as the Browns offense. Last week was another ho-hum week, going 7-7 to bring the years total to 64-34. Another tough week is here, so let’s see some of the breakdowns going in:

Arizona at Green Bay – Let’s start with the worst game of the 1pm slate, as the Cards try and right their 1-6 ship at the Pack. Arizona has never won at Lambeau, and with Matt Leinart playing the role of Daddy this week, I don’t think the Cards turn it around this week either. Arizona has been outscored 75-29 on the road so far this season, and with Brett Favre having some decent numbers, Green Bay should have enough to put up their third win of the season. Green Bay 27 Arizona 17

Tampa Bay at New York Giants – A classic trap game for the Giants as they come off a big Monday night win in Big D. Won’t happen. The Giants learned that lesson a year ago when they were rolling along then hit a speed bump with a home loss to a Vikings team that was struggling. Give the Bucs some credit for not packing it in and coming out with two nice wins vs the Bengals and Eagles. One stat that will speak volumes – Tiki Barber putting up over 100 yards per game, and the Bucs D allowing 152 yards per game. The Giants defense should also have more than enough against Bruce Gradowski and the Bucs offense. New York 28 Tampa Bay 13

San Francisco at Chicago – The Bears are coming off a bye, and before that had that Monday night scare in Arizona, but are still the best team in the league at 6-0. One thing here to watch is how Rex Grossman comes out after awful game two weeks ago. While there is no way the 49’ers have the talent to stay with the Bears, some sloppy play and turnovers could keep this somewhat interesting. The Bears though are just plain scary at home, and have overall this year allowed just five TD’s and have forced 17 turnovers. Chicago 20 San Francisco 6

Seattle at Kansas City – Scary spot here for the defending NFC Champs, who will be without Matt Hasslebeck, Shaun Alexander and Bobby Engram. The Chiefs rebounded from that beating in Pittsburgh two weeks ago with an impressive win at home over the Chargers, and I like this spot for them against an inexperienced QB in Seneca Wallace. KC is 6th in the league, allowing 180 yards per game through the air, and should be able to shut down both Wallace and RB Maurice Morris, who is a far cry from Alexander. Look for a big day from Chiefs RB Larry Johnson and TE Tony Gonzalez, and for KC to go over .500 at 4-3. Kansas City 30 Seattle 17

Jacksonville at Philadelphia – The Eagles may still be in shock mode after losing on a 62-yard field goal on the last play of the game last week, but are playing a wounded J-Ville team that is in deep trouble. The Jags are 3-3 after a 2-0 start, and are really banged up with QB Bryon Leftwich’s ankle hurt and you saw last week the impact of losing LB Mike Peterson and what the Texans were able to do on the Jags D without him in the lineup. This is going to be a close, grind em out affair, and if Leftwich is good enough to start, mark it down – he won’t finish the game. The Eagles need a win after two losses on the last play of the game the last two weeks, and the Jags are just the team right now to cure their ails. Philadelphia 17 Jacksonville 7

Houston at Tennessee – Interesting AFC South matchup between two teams that will make up the basement of the division. Houston is showing signs of life after their impressive 27-7 home win vs the Jags last week, and the Titans are coming off a bye after a nice road win in Washington. David Carr is having a solid season, throwing for 1217 yards and 9 TD’s vs 4 interceptions. He is getting time to throw, and it’s paying off. Texans WR Andre Johnson is finally healthy, and is having a Pro Bowl season as well. The Titans will look to hand the Texans their 11th straight road loss, and will once again use Vince Young’s legs along with RB Travis Henry to grind it out. Houston is allowing too many yards on the ground (138 per game) and the D is still 31st overall in the league. Tennessee 16 Houston 14

Baltimore at New Orleans – The Ravens coming off a bye hope to have a new look on offense as Brian Billick takes over the play calling after firing Jim Fassel two weeks ago. Baltimore is 22nd in the league scoring just 18 points per game, and 29th with 284 total yards. Things will not get much easier here, as the Saints are riding a wave of emotion at 5-1 and their defense is 13th in the league and has played way over its head this season. The two-headed monster in Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush will be hard to stop on the turf at the Dome, and Drew Brees has been careful with the ball to avoid many bad turnovers. Steve McNair expected back for the Ravens, but it won’t matter as the birds drop their 3rd in a row. New Orleans 24 Baltimore 17

Atlanta at Cincinnati – The Bengals got back on track last week as their defense really stepped up against the Panthers. This week may be an even tougher challenge as the Falcons love to run, and Cincy is still allowing 127 yards on the ground, while the ATL is averaging 222 yards per game rushing. The Bengals have to start getting the ball to their playmakers – Chad Johnson and Rudi Johnson more often, and have to play ball control to counter the Falcons run game. This could turn into a wild west shootout between the legs of Vick and co. vs the arm of Palmer and his mates. Cincinnati 34 Atlanta 28

St.Louis at San Diego – Chargers kind of shell shocked after last weeks loss at KC, and the offense has to get back on track at home here. LaDainian Tomlinson has failed to rush for over 100 yards since week one, and last week was held to 66 yards on 15 carries. Look for Marty to get him the ball more than just 15 times on the ground, and his running should take some of the pressure off of Phillip Rivers. The Rams are coming off a bye, are 4-2 but are giving up way to many yards per game (339) and will count on Marc Bulger to keep it within striking distance to sneak out a win. Bulger is having a Pro Bowl season with 1619 yards, 10 TD’s and one INT. This should be another wild game with the Chargers banged up on defense. San Diego 34 St.Louis 31

Pittsburgh at Oakland – An absolute must win for the 2-4 Steelers, who are reeling after a OT 41-38 loss last week in Atlanta. Big Ben may or may not play, but it shouldn’t matter as Charlie Batch has been superb in relief, and last week was within a false start at the end of regulation of giving Jeff Reed a chance to win the game from 51-yards out. The Steelers will look to play it tight, with Willie Parker eating up yards and a controlled passing game wearing down a Raiders defense ranked 5th overall. The Steelers must also avoid silly turnovers, like last week when they had three fumbles lost in their half of the field. Oakland is feeling good after a 22-9 win over the Cards last week, but are still poor on offense, ranked 31st in the league. Joey Porter will be back to harass Raiders QB Andrew Walter, and the Steelers have enough with or without Roethlisberger to win here. Pittsbrugh 27 Oakland 10

NY Jets at Cleveland – The Browns are hoping a change of offensive coordinators will create some yards and energy into the team. 32nd in the league with 245 yards per game, the Browns have too much talent to be that bad moving the football. Last week they put up just seven points, this after promising changes on offense after a bye week. Their highest scoring game this year is a mere 24 points, and that came at Oakland after trailing 21-3. This week the Jets come flying in, looking to win their third straight for the first time since 2004. Chad Pennington has a QB rating of 91.3, and other than one bad game in Jacksonville, the Jets have been competitive. They will look to continue throwing the ball in a cold Cleveland wind, and hand off to unknown 4th round draft choice Leon Washington, who has run for over 100 yards in two of his last three games. The Browns have to open up the offense and get some momentum to have a shot. New York 16 Cleveland 10

Indianapolis at Denver – The Game of the Week, the 6-0 Colts vs the 5-1 Broncos. The Broncos are going to have to find a way to move the ball this week, as the 153 yards passing vs the Colts won’t get it done. Indy is allowing 111 yards on the ground, but if they don’t respect the passing of Jake Plummer, they will put 8-9 men in the box all day to stop the run. Indy came off the bye with an impressive 36-22 home win over Washington. Peyton Manning finally found his groove, throwing for 342 yards and 4 TD’s. The Colts are also starting to run better, as Joseph Addai pounded out 85 yards on 11 carries for Indy. Too much offense for Indy, and they will wear down the Broncos defense late. Indianapolis 24 Denver 14

Dallas at Carolina – The move to put in Tony Romo at QB for Dallas could define their season. Dallas, at 3-3, can either use the move to put together a run, or may turn into another also ran in a league of mediocre teams. The offense is still producing, 5th in the league with 356 yards per game. Julius Jones is going to have to produce to allow Romo some time to throw, and look for the new Cowboys QB to be on the run most of the night. Carolina is 4-3 after winning four in a row, then losing in Cincy last week. The Panthers are putting up just 96 yards on the ground, and have to work on that number to give Jake Delhomme more time to throw. The Panthers defense should be able to get off against the Cowboys weak O-Line, and Romo’s first start will not be one to be remembered. Carolina 21 Dallas 7

New England at Minnesota – Monday night at the Metrodome, the Pats come in at 5-1, winners of three straight, while the 4-2 Vikings are coming off a huge road win in Seattle. Chester Taylor has been the main reason for the success of the Vikings offense, putting up 98 yards per game. They will need that type of performance against a Pats D 6th in the league against the run. Tom Brady’s overall numbers are down, but still has 10 TD’s and just 3 interceptions this season. He also has a solid 1-2 punch at RB in Laurence Maroney and Corey Dillion that have gotten the job done. The Vikings need an inspired effort at home, and after last week I think they do enough and squeak out a close one. Minnesota 20 New England 17

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One Response to “Week Eight Predictions”

  1. Rockwell says:

    Well, you are back to two games up on me, after all of those upsets last week. And now, there are at least five games that we pick differently this week.

    As usual, you can see all of the differences and explanations in “The Office Pool”.

    But let me just focus on one game: Colts at Broncos. The Broncos are built to stop the Colts. The Broncos win at lest 75 percent of their home games. This defense can shut down the Colts and the wobbly Denver offense will actually look good against the Colts’ depleted defense. The Broncos win by a field goal.