Sunday, October 31, 2010

Week 8 picks

Broncos (+2) over 49ERS

This game is in London, so it's a road game for both teams. Last week, the Raiders absolutely destroyed the Broncos, 59-14; however, the 49ers lost to a previously winless Panthers team as well and are now 1-6. These two teams have also been outscored by a combined 110 points on the season. Lucky fans.

COWBOYS (-6.5) over Jaguars

Even without Tony Romo (broken collarbone), the 1-5 Cowboys are still better than the Jaguars, especially at home. Look for a more balanced attack from the Cowboys offense, which should be able to move the ball with ease against an awful Jaguars defense. Then again, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett could always outsmart himself and decide to have Jon Kitna throw 50 times -- you never know with that guy.

Redskins (+3) over LIONS

I'll admit it: This game has me worried, big time. Lots of people are picking the Lions, who are probably better than their 1-5 record indicates. They've been extremely competitive, and thanks to a blow-out win over the Rams, have actually outscored their opponents by six points -- unlike the Redskins who, at 4-3, have been outscored on the season by three points. But just like most people wouldn't be shocked if the Lions won (they're favored, after all), it wouldn't be a huge surprise for this game to remain close throughout and come down to a field goal.

JETS (-6) over Packers

The Packers won't be able to run the ball, meaning Aaron Rodgers will have to do most of the work and spread the ball around to his receivers. Unfortunately, losing both Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley for the season has really hurt this offense, and that will be even more evident today against a solid, attacking defense.

RAMS (-3) over Panthers

Tough loss last week for the Rams, who could really use a win this week to keep pace with the Seahawks. And yes, that sentence is funny to read. Thanks again, NFC West.

Dolphins (+1) over BENGALS

Speaking of teams who need wins, both Miami and Cincinnati desperately need to win this week after losing in Week 7. The Steelers and Ravens are running away with things in the AFC North, so if the Bengals don't win this game, they're going to be in big trouble. The same can be said for the 3-3 Dolphins, who really need a win to keep some pressure on the Jets and Patriots. The Dolphins, oddly enough, are also 3-0 on the road (and 0-3 at home), so look for them to get out of Cincinnati with an important win.

CHIEFS (-7) over Bills

It wouldn't be too difficult to roll with the Bills this week after they nearly beat the Ravens in Baltimore last week with an unexpected strong performance. But the Bills are 0-6 and have been outscored by 77 points and are traveling to Kansas City to play a 4-2 Chiefs team that is going to run the ball and make the Bills defense stop their impressive running back tandem of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. And they likely won't be able to stop that from happening, no matter how well Ryan Fitzpatrick plays.

Titans (+4) over CHARGERS

The Chargers really need to win this week, but they also needed to win last week against the Patriots -- or the week before in St. Louis, or the week before that in Oakland. But they have lots of flaws, which the Titans should be able to exploit, even on the road with a banged-up Vince Young back under center.

Buccaneers (+3) over CARDINALS

The Bucs, at 4-2, are overrated; meanwhile, the Cardinals (3-3) aren't that good. I'll take the points.

Seahawks (+3) over RAIDERS

Similar to the game above, though with two better teams. The Raiders had a monster game last week, but there aren't really any signs that they'll ever play that well again. And the Seahawks, though not a great road team, may be the best the NFC West has to offer. Obviously, that's not really saying that much, but they're a decent defensive team who stays committed to the run. These two teams are pretty similar; look for a close game.

PATRIOTS (-6) over Vikings

The Brett Favre ship is sinking, whether or not he plays in this game. I'll admit, Favre is an extremely tough guy who seemingly has an incredible ability to heal quickly and play through pain, but his presence -- and bad play -- have been hurting the Vikings, who really should have a better record than 2-4. The Patriots will take advantage of every mistake Favre, or any other Vikings quarterback, makes this week.

Steelers (PK) over SAINTS

Not much explaining is necessary here. The Steelers are just better.

COLTS (-5.5) over Texans

The Colts and Texans are both 4-2, so this is obviously an enormous game. Both teams had Week 7 byes, so they're each a little healthier heading into this game. Peyton Manning should be able to carve up the Texans' league-worst pass defense, just like he did in a losing effort in Houston in Week 1. But it's not likely that Arian Foster (who has slowed down since then) will rush for 231 yards and three touchdowns again, even if the Colts have just the 26th-ranked rushing defense. Both teams should be able to put points on the board, but the Colts should be able to take care of business against a division rival at home, just like they always do.

Last week: 8-6
Season: 46-54-4

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