Last week was rough for my NFL predictions as I finished 7-8.
Ok, where to begin. I felt way too positive about the potential upsets last week picking Tampa Bay to beat Atlanta and Minnesota to beat the Giants (is that an upset pick?). I thought Chicago would have quarterback Jay Cutler for the entire game, but nonetheless Washington played well. I felt Philly’s offense would take off… they didn’t. Buffalo surprised Miami proving that Thad Lewis isn’t a terrible quarterback. The Jets won a good, tough win, but I don’t even feel bad about missing the prediction with how the game ended. I underestimated the Steelers’ ability to beat Baltimore. Neither team looks all that great this season. I should have gone with my gut and picked Indianapolis in Peyton’s return, but I didn’t and now everyone thinks I’m lying about almost picking the upset. It was a rough week…
This week Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego and Tennessee are on a bye. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about my Week 8 NFL Predictions.
Thursday, 10/24 – 8:25 pm ET
Carolina Panthers 3-3 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-6
Prediction: Carolina Panthers
After losing their best offensive talent in running back Doug Martin, to injury, I have to confidently pick Carolina. The Panthers are inconsistent over the season, but you can say they win the games they should win and they win handily. The Panthers defensive line is terrifying and that doesn’t hurt going up against the Bucs offense who are missing Martin and starting rookie Mike Glennon at quarterback.
Sunday, 10/27 – 1:00 pm ET
San Francisco 49ers 5-2 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 0-7
Prediction: San Francisco 49ers
Cleveland Browns 3-4 @ Kansas City Chiefs 7-0
Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City doesn’t have the look of a juggernaut team who is a genuine contender to go undefeated, so they will lose. Just not this week. Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden will give the Chiefs’ defense the game. The Chiefs offense will confidently, albeit unspectacularly, put Cleveland out of their misery and win at home.
Miami Dolphins 3-3 @ New England Patriots 5-2
Prediction: New England Patriots
Tom Brady looked absolutely terrifying last week as they showed him on the sidelines with the grim realization that they were going to lose to the Jets. Brady has his favorite weapon, tight end Rob Gronkowski, back and he will continue to get throw after throw his way. Miami may be a factor in the AFC East as the season progresses with offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie coming over from Baltimore to, presumably, shore up the bad pass protection. However, that remains to be seen. I like Brady and the Pats to rebound this week at home against Miami.
Buffalo Bills 3-4 @ New Orleans Saints 5-1
Prediction: New Orleans Saints
A great win last week for Buffalo as they continue to demonstrate what I thought we might see from them this season, however, this week is against the Saints. How is Buffalo going to stop them? And we all know the Saints defense is at it’s best at home.
Dallas Cowboys 4-3 @ Detroit Lions 4-3
Prediction: Dallas Cowboys
You have to be impressed with how Dallas won last week on the road, shutting down the Eagles offense without star pass rusher Demarcus Ware active. This team appears to be finally be playing focused, controlled football. If they can get another performance like they did last week from their defense – I think they will manage to at least come up big when they need to – we will see the Cowboys move to 5-3. That said, Detroit will make this a shootout simply because they can as long as Calvin Johnson is on the field.
New York Giants 1-6 @ Philadelphia Eagles 3-4
Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles
This is a toss-up, but I think the Eagles have the advantage as long as Michael Vick plays the entire game for Philly. They need to get back on track offensively. We saw what Nick Foles did at quarterback last week and we also saw Matt Barkley look even worse. Foles is now out with a concussion and Vick is supposed to start. Again, he starts, I like Philly. He doesn’t or gets injured again, I really like Eli Manning to quarterback the Giants to a second win. Manning isn’t solely responsible for the Giants’ struggles.
Sunday, 10/27 – 4:05 pm ET
Pittsburgh Steelers 2-4 @ Oakland Raiders 2-4
Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers
Traveling out west is a challenge for most eastern teams, so Oakland, in particular, has always been a trap game even when Pittsburgh was an annual postseason participant. That said, I think Pittsburgh is focused. They have now won two straight and finally have the semblance of a run game with rookie Le’Veon Bell. It’s fun to watch Terrelle Pryor quarterback the Raiders, but this week I don’t think his unique skill set is enough to pull off the win.
New York Jets 4-3 @ Cincinnati Bengals 5-2
Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals
It’s easy to just look at how Jets quarterback, Geno Smith, matches up against the Bengals defense, and think Smith could struggle. However, I am here to tell you that Smith will have a great game taking it down to the wire. The Bengals offense will find a way to put points up against a great Jets defense, but Smith will respond because if history is any indication, Cincy struggles to take advantage of new/rookie quarterbacks. I like Cincinnati to win a close one at home, but Smith and Bengals quarterback, Andy Dalton, will be in a duel of sorts.
Sunday, 10/27 – 4:25 pm ET
Atlanta Falcons 2-4 @ Arizona Cardinals 3-4
Prediction: Atlanta Falcons
Who knew that Atlanta needed to have receivers Roddy White, Julio Jones and running back Steven Jackson all injured for the offense to finally get clicking? Maybe that had more to do with the fact that they played Tampa Bay last week, but alas, the Falcons look relevant again. If they play as well as they did, which I think they will manage with Jackson potentially returning this week, I like them to beat an Arizona team that seems to have their wings clipped by Carson Palmer’s terrible interceptions.
Washington Redskins 2-4 @ Denver Broncos 6-1
Prediction: Denver Broncos
Well Denver finally lost. So, are they bound to fall apart now and drop another loss? Hardly. Indianapolis was playing at home against their former idol, not to mention the Colts are for real. Washington isn’t for real… at least at this point. If the Redskins can miraculously slow down Peyton Manning and company, maybe Washington needs to be discussed more at length. Until they do that, Denver is winning this game.
Sunday, 10/27 – 8:30 pm ET
Green Bay Packers 4-2 @ Minnesota Vikings 1-5
Prediction: Green Bay Packers
Can I just say that Minnesota looks lost? They don’t force feed their best player in Adrian Peterson and instead allow a quarterback who just walked into Minnesota about a week before, play an entire game, overthrowing receivers because, again, the Vikings won’t hand the ball off to Peterson. I get starting Josh Freeman, he is intriguing, but to keep him in when it is painfully obvious that he isn’t a member of that offense yet? This week Christian Ponder is the starter once again and unless Peterson goes off, which is unlikely given the recent play-calling, Green Bay will win this game handily.
Monday, 10/28 – 8:40 pm ET
Seattle Seahawks 6-1 @ St. Louis Rams 3-4
Prediction: Seattle Seahawks
This was a potential upset until quarterback Sam Bradford went down last week with a torn ACL, meaning St. Louis is searching for a new quarterback. With Bradford out, the only really intriguing part of the Rams’ offense is running back Zac Stacy, who has looked solid to this point. I have to admit, I care mostly because he is on my fantasy team and may have to start him this week. Seattle will win this game on the road.