Site Editor Matt Loede’s NFL Picks for Week 8

Feelings are good again after an 8-5 week in week 7. Back to one game under .500 at 49-50 on the season. Some interesting lines and games to get to in week 8, so here we go!

Oakland at Baltimore (-7)

The Raiders stepped up last week and even though they allowed quite a few yards to the Jets, they were able to find a way in the end to hit a long field goal and escape 16-13. The Ravens are also coming off a big win in Miami, and they rediscovered their running game. Joe Flacco had his best game of his career, and the defense pounded the Fins. Look for the Ravens to use that new found confidence to pull out a win to move to 4-3. Baltimore 20 Oakland 10

San Diego (-3) vs New Orleans (in London)

Last year the game between the Giants and Dolphins in London was totally ugly, and while the NFL threw two sexier teams in the mix this year, they are both teams struggling at 3-4. The Saints were dealt a big blow with Reggie Bush getting hurt last week, and the passing game squandered during their 30-7 loss to the Panthers. The Chargers again looked like a team a shadow of itself in their loss to the Bills. Someone here has to win – right. I’ll take the Saints, look for Brees to have a big day vs the suspect Chargers secondary. New Orleans 27 San Diego 21

Kansas City at New York Jets (-14)

The Chiefs again looked awful last week at home vs Tennessee, and this week have to head to play a Jets team that is going to be testy after their OT loss to the Raiders. Look for Thomas Jones to have a huge game, and for Brett Favre and company to have a good afternoon throwing against the Chiefs. As for the KC offense, it’ll be another long day, this time with Tyler Thigpen being the tackling dummy under center. I like the Jets even giving the 14. New York Jets 31 Kansas City 9

Buffalo (-1.5) at Miami

Trent Edwards and the Bills got back on track vs the Chargers at home last week, and now head to Miami to tackle the Fins. Miami has fallen on some hard times the past two weeks, but feel they can hang with the Bills, and I think they can as well. Look for Miami to keep it simple on the ground, and for Chad Pennington to have some success in the air. With that though, the Bills are the better team, and want to keep that AFC East lead. A close game that goes to the wire. Buffalo 23 Miami 21

Tampa Bay at Dallas (-2)

I have pondered this game all week, and just can’t for the life of me decide why I am supposed to believe why the Cowboys are going to win this game. I know they are at home, but they are banged up, playing poorly, and their confidence is shaken after the loss last week to the Rams. Tampa Bay is going to pressure Brad Johnson, and force the Cowboys to try and take it to the ground, playing right into their hands. I just think the Bucs at 5-2 are playing much better ball. Tampa Bay 20 Dallas 14

Atlanta at Philadelphia (-9)

The Eagles are a back and forth squad, and usually step up and play better at home. The Falcons have stepped up and become one of the better underdog teams in the league so far in 08, and have played way better than many thought they would. This has all the makings of a close game. The Falcons can run, and will, and the Eagles should also be able to move the ball. I like the Eagles and what they bring matchup wise here, but again, this is not going to be a blowout. Philadelphia 31 Atlanta 24

St.Louis at New England (-7.5)

The Rams suddenly look like a football team again, and they are running the ball, playing good D, and playing with confidence. Now they head to New England, where the Pats are coming off a short week after a big win over the Broncos on Monday night. This is an interesting game, and I think the Rams could give the banged up Pats some major problems. The big thing for St.Louis is not to get overconfident, as they need to keep playing within themselves. I think in the end the Pats are still the better team, and will find a way. New England 23 St.Louis 20

Arizona at Carolina (-4)

If there is one thing that is for sure in 2008, it’s that the Carolina Panthers defense has come to play. Last week they took apart the Saints 30-7, and they showed why their defense is right up there with some of the best in the league. They host the pretty good Cardinals, who are coming off the bye week and lead the NFC West. The Panthers have been very good at home this season, and I think they will confuse and do some things to Kurt Warner to force some mistakes and get the job done. Look for a hard hitting good NFC battle. Carolina 17 Arizona 14

Washington (-8) at Detroit

The Lions have played two much better back to back games on the road, but both times have fallen short. Now they battle the Skins, who are coming off a hard hitting 14-11 win over Cleveland at home. The Skins can run, and that’s something that will hurt the Lions all day. Look for Jason Campbell and the Skins to be productive on offense, and their defense will lower the boom on the Lions and their lackluster offense. Skins win and cover. Washington 34 Detroit 21

Cleveland at Jacksonville (-7)

There is a lot of turmoil in Cleveland this week, and the focus seems to be more on suspending players than getting ready for Jacksonville, and that is not good. Look for the Jags to come out and play a game much like the Redskins did a week ago in which they look to establish the run and use the pass game to their advantage as well. Cleveland needs to play free and easy, and they seem to be tight on the road, where they have only won one game, and that was against winless Cincy. Jacksonville 28 Cleveland 17

New York Giants at Pittsburgh (-3)

Two heavyweights take to the field in Pittsburgh Sunday, as two teams that get after it should have a classic. Both teams are 5-1, and both love to run the ball. The Steelers will look to establish a tempo early, and look for them to challenge the Giants secondary. New York will look to run, but the Steelers are allowing less than 70 yards a game on the ground. This is going to be a hard fought contest, but in the end, the Steelers at home are going to prove their worth as the second best team in the AFC. Pittsburgh 19 New York Giants 14

Seattle at San Francisco (-5)

There’s a new voice in San Fran, as Mike Singletary takes over for the fired Mike Nolan. This should be a good way for Singletary to get off to a good start, as the Hawks are awful and the Niners are at least medicore at best. Frank Gore and the offense will do what it did earlier in the year when they put up 33 points. The Hawks will be again without Matt Hasselbeck, and their offense has been terrible all season. Niners win big here for their new coach. San Francisco 29 Seattle 10

Cincinnati at Houston (-9.5)

The Bengals played hard last week vs Pittsburgh, but per usual couldn’t get it done and lost by four touchdowns. No Carson Palmer means little to no offense for the cats, and this is going to be tough heading to Houston where the Texans offense is playing well. Andre Johnson has been ripping it up the past few weeks, and the Texans are finding their stride on offense. They held on vs the Lions last week, and shouldn’t need that much of an effort at home vs a Cincy team that will be lucky to win three games. Houston 34 Cincinnati 14

Indianapolis at Tennessee (-4)

It’s a must win for the Colts, and they head to a place where the Titans are playing as well as anyone at 6-0. The Titans running game is going to be the key. If they can get off with a big day like last week vs the Chiefs, it won’t matter how good Kerry Collins plays. It may be up to Peyton Manning to win this game on his own, and with the Titans doing what they have done already this season on defense, I don’t like the Colts chances. Tennessee 23 Indianapolis 17

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