NFL Game Picks: Week 8
Just as is with every week in the NFL, Week 7 brought excitement and surprises while helping to shape the playoff outlook as we approach midseason.
Let’s take a look at what’s in store for Week 8:
Miami Dolphins (4-2) @ Baltimore Ravens (3-4)
Neither of these teams looks convincing so far. As usual, Baltimore’s offense couldn’t get going against Minnesota. The Dolphins capped another impressive comeback, but they can’t play from behind all year if they want to make a run for the postseason. Between the two, Miami looks more trustworthy, but a 5-2 start would make this team look better than it really is.
The pick: Miami, 19-16.
Minnesota Vikings (5-2) vs. Cleveland Browns (0-7)
What a mess the Browns are. The quarterback carousel in Cleveland is spinning as fast as it ever has, which is really saying something. The defense showed signs of improvement, allowing only 12 points from Tennessee, but this game is an absolute mismatch. Minnesota has been playing some excellent football lately. The Vikings win a blowout in London.
The pick: Minnesota, 36-14.
Atlanta Falcons (3-3) @ New York Jets (3-4)
After starting 3-0, the Falcons have fallen off a cliff with three straight losses to AFC East teams. Their final test will be the Jets, who are coming off a loss of their own. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and company are just too talented to lose four in a row. If the Jets pull off the upset here, it will be monumental for both teams. But that’s unlikely to happen.
The pick: Atlanta, 27-12.
Oakland Raiders (3-4) @ Buffalo Bills (4-2)
Buffalo has played a lot of excellent games this year, and they have another one in Week 8 as the Raiders come to town. Both teams just won games at the last second, and both are playing catch-up in their respective divisions. This game may turn out to be crucial for both Oakland and Buffalo down the line. Definitely keep an eye out for this one.
The pick: Oakland, 27-26.
Chicago Bears (3-4) @ New Orleans Saints (4-2)
Chicago pulled off a massive upset over Carolina with an excellent defensive performance, and they now head to New Orleans to take on Drew Brees and the Saints, who are coming off a win of their own against Green Bay. The Bears have been relatively inconsistent this season, while the Saints are riding a four-game win streak. Expect that streak to grow after Week 8.
The pick: New Orleans, 31-20.
Indianapolis Colts (2-5) @ Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)
It’s obvious that the Colts offense is struggling. They couldn’t score a single point against Jacksonville, and the offensive line allowed 10 sacks to Jacoby Brissett. Now, it seems unlikely that Andrew Luck will return at all this season, meaning the struggles are going to continue. Cincinnati should pick up its third win of the season here.
The pick: Cincinnati, 35-16.
Los Angeles Chargers (3-4) @ New England Patriots (5-2)
After a nightmarish 0-4 record to begin the season, the Chargers are finally on the right track with three straight wins. Meanwhile, the Patriots defense is finally coming together after a rocky start, holding Atlanta to just seven points last Sunday night. New England is obviously the favorite here, but don’t be surprised if Los Angeles keeps it close.
The pick: New England, 29-22.
San Francisco 49ers (0-7) @ Philadelphia Eagles (6-1)
So much for that streak of games with a loss of three points or less. The 49ers were absolutely embarrassed by Dallas last Sunday. The defense couldn’t do a thing, and the offense wasn’t much better. Their reward for that performance is to play the NFL’s best team, who are led by MVP candidate Carson Wentz. If last week is any indication, this is an easy win for Philadelphia.
The pick: Philadelphia, 37-13.
Carolina Panthers (4-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4)
The NFC South has been so tight this year that even the 2-4 Buccaneers are still in the race. However, they’ll need the defense to step up, as they left much to be desired against Buffalo. Carolina is starting to slip too, so a win in Tampa Bay could keep things from going south quickly. In all honesty though, this game could go either way.
The pick: Carolina, 23-18.
Houston Texans (3-3) @ Seattle Seahawks (4-2)
This could be one of those rare instances where a bye actually hurts a team. Before the Week 7 bye, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was lighting up the scoreboard. The bye week may have cooled him off a little bit. It doesn’t help that he’s going be facing a tough Seattle defense. Right now, things look unfavorable for Houston, but you can never really tell with the NFL.
The pick: Seattle, 32-19.
Dallas Cowboys (3-3) @ Washington Redskins (3-3)
This is an incredibly important game for both teams, but that should really go without saying. It’s going to be tricky trying to catch up to Philadelphia, especially for the Redskins who lost both head-to-head games with the Eagles. If Ezekiel Elliott plays Sunday, he will help the Cowboys’ case, but Kirk Cousins has something to prove in what could be his final season as a Redskin.
The pick: Washington, 20-17.
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) @ Detroit Lions (3-3)
After big wins over Kansas City and Cincinnati, the Steelers are sitting comfortably atop the AFC North. Time and time again, however, Pittsburgh has gone into a game with too much confidence and ended up coming out losers. Detroit is going to be fresh off a bye week, and, trying to gain some ground on Minnesota in the NFC North, they’ll be fighting hard for this one.
The pick: Detroit, 31-26.
Denver Broncos (3-3) @ Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)
What happened to the Broncos? How does a team beat Dallas by 25 points one week then get stomped twice by two teams that began 0-4? The Chiefs’ two-game slide is a little worrisome, especially after a weak defensive performance, but Denver’s situation is a lot worse. All things considered, the Broncos’ fall from grace looks likely to continue in Kansas City.
The pick: Kansas City, 25-18.
Byes: Green Bay Packers (4-3), Tennessee Titans (4-3), Los Angeles Rams (5-2), New York Giants (1-6), Arizona Cardinals (3-4), Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3).
DJ Bauer is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Senior / Broadcast Journalism