JC's Take: NFL Week 8 Picks
Welcome back all! Time for some NFL Picks for this week. Picks are getting posted today because I won't have the time tomorrow to post them. So lets get to it!
Washington Redskins vs Detroit Lions
The Lions are coming off a bye and finally appear to be healthy. Running back Jahvid Best is almost fully recovered from his turf toe injury. Calvin Johnson appears to be 100%, and QB Matthew Stafford is ready to go after being out since Week 1 due to a shoulder injury. We may finally be able to see a Lions offense that had the possibility to surprise people earlier in the season. Even though the Redskins defense made life a living hell last week for Bears QB Jay Cutler, they're still in the bottom half of the league. The Redskins have been winning ugly the last couple of weeks, and I think it finally catches up to them this week. The Lions have been in every game they've played this year, and I think they finally win a close one.
Detroit 28 Washington 23
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Dallas Cowboys
As I've said, I believe the Cowboys season is done. They're 1-5, and they will be without Tony Romo for almost 2 months. Romo's replacement, Jon Kitna, should do better than last week. Kitna hasn't played a regular season game since 2008, so he's definitely rested. And he has a good amount of weapons at his disposal. The Jaguars are a fast sinking ship. After a huge win at home against Indianapolis and a road win in Buffalo, they've looked terrible at home against Tennessee and at Kansas City. They should have David Garrard back under center this week. But Garrard doesn't help the problems they're having on defense. At 3-4 and fading fast in the AFC South, a bad loss here could be troubling for coach Jack Del Rio. With Jacksonville's bye week coming up, Del Rio can't afford a bad outing. It could mean the end of his time in Jacksonville. And I think Del Rio needs to be worried, because I think Dallas rebounds here with a win. Even without Romo, they still have too many weapons on offense.
Dallas 27 Jacksonville 16
Miami Dolphins vs Cincinnati Bengals
The Dolphins get to play where they like to play best this year, on the road. They're 3-0 on the road and 0-3 at home. They played well against Pittsburgh last week, but couldn't convert early turnovers into touchdowns. The Bengals are coming off a bad outing at Atlanta. The defense is continuing to struggle. The offense isn't good enough to win them games. I expect both teams to be able to pass the ball with relative success. Both secondaries can be thrown on. The queston is can the Bengals play a complete 60 minute game. My answer is no. The Bengals are up there with Dallas, San Diego, and Minnesota as big disappointments this year. I'm taking Miami in this one.
Miami 23 Cincinnati 21
Buffalo Bills vs Kansas City Chiefs
The Bills almost pulled off a shocker last week in Baltimore. The offense looks like it finally has come together with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. The problem is the defense can't stop anybody. The Chiefs, meanwhile, put up 42 points against Jacksonville. They should do what Baltimore didn't last week, emphasize the running game. Expect a big day from their two headed running back combo of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. The Chiefs defense, while greatly improved, can still be scored on. The Bills just need to play the game they played last week, and they'll be in it until the end. But in the end, however, I see the Chiefs pulling this one out. Arrowhead is a tough place to play, and that's what gives the Chiefs the edge here in a high scoring affair.
Kansas City 38 Buffalo 34
Carolina Panthers vs St. Louis Rams
Congratulations are in order for the Panthers after their first win last week. They had a good outing against the 49ers. But they may be without RB DeAngelo Williams this week. The Panthers are still a team lacking direction. I still would have sticked with Jimmy Claussen at QB. The Rams are coming off a heart-breaking final second loss at Tampa Bay. They were up in the game but couldn't hold onto the lead. That's the problems you go through with a young team learning to win. I think the Rams rebound here at home. As long as he is able to go, expect a healthy dose of RB Steven Jackson.
St. Louis 20 Carolina 14
Denver Broncos vs San Francisco 49ers (Game played in London)
Man, you almost have to feel bad for London. They get an under-achieving 49ers teams, and a Denver team that just gave up 59 points to Oakland at home. San Fran is starting former Ravens QB Troy Smith this week. Smith looked good at times when he played. He has the ability to take off and run when necessary. The Broncos are looking for any kind of answer after their embarassing performance last week. The offense just stalled early, and the defense looked like at times they weren't even trying. This game is such a crapshoot because of the London effect, and both teams are coming off terrible losses. I guess I'll go with Denver here. Which means next week somebody from the 49ers organization will come out and say they can still make the playoffs even at 1-7.
Denver 26 San Francisco 21
Green Bay Packers vs New York Jets
This should be a fun football game. A great Packers offense against a well-rested, healthy Jets defense. Star cornerback Darelle Revis returns for the Jets this week. The Jets are the best team in the AFC, and just get better with the return of Revis. The Packers are coming off a much needed win against the Vikings. While the win was nice, they could have just as easily lost the game. Brett Favre' turnovers helped them. The offense, while very good in the passing game, still lacks a running game. The Jets know this and will force the Packers to establish a run game. I think the Jets are the more balanced team of the two, and that's why I'm picking them here. I expect it to be close, but the running combo of LT and Shonn Greene will wear down the Packers in the end.
NY Jets 21 Green Bay 17
Tennessee Titans vs San Diego Chargers
The Chargers season is slowly slipping away. In fact, at 2-5, it may already be gone. They have nobody to blame but themselves for their loss against New England. The task of turning around their season doesn't get any easier with a red hot Titans team coming to town. Kerry Collins looked very good in replacement of Vince Young last week. Young may be ready to go this week, but with their bye coming up, coach Jeff Fisher may hold out Young one more week just to make sure he is fully healthy for the stretch run. No matter who is under center, expect the Titans to run Chris Johnson early and often this week. I like the Titans here. The Chargers just aren't all there this year. Norv Turner may be out of job by years end, if not earlier.
Tennessee 30 San Diego 20
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Arizona Cardinals
The Bucs are a surprising 4-2 after a last second win against the Rams last week. Coach Raheem Morris says they're the best team in the NFC. I bet he thinks there are real pirates living in the ship at the stadium too. While the Bucs have been a nice story, they still have struggled, and have gotten crushed by the only two real good teams they've played (Pittsburgh and New Orleans). Arizona has just looked awful. They don't have any kind of passing game to speak of. Max Hall will start if healthy enough. WR Larry Fitzgerald has looked invisible on the field. They need to find a way to get him involved this week, especially against a vulnerable Bucs secondary. I think I like Arizona in an "upset" here. The Cards are due for a break sooner or later, and I think it comes this week.
Arizona 19 Tampa Bay 13
Minnesota Vikings vs New England Patriots
Will Brett Favre play or won't he? I think he won't, and if I were head coach Brad Childress, I wouldn't play Favre even if he says he can go. It was clear last week that the ankle effected Favre, and his play was terrible because of it. Tavaris Jackson, while he's no Favre, gives the Vikings something different under center, and gives Patriots coach Bill Bellicheck something different to game plan for. The Pats new offense without Randy Moss looked a litte shaky last week after a decent outing against Baltimore. It'll be interesting to see if they can rebound against a decent Vikings defense. I'm going to take the Pats here. No matter who lines up under center for Minnesota, the other side still has Tom Brady, who is better than either Vikes QB right now. Even though I think it will be close, I like the Pats as my lock of the week.
New England 24 Minnesota 23
Seattle Seahawks vs Oakland Raiders
Two teams that could be considered surprises this year. Seattle is 4-2 and atop the NFC West. They look rejuvinated under coach Pete Carroll. The acquistion of Marshawn Lynch also seems to be paying off for them. They're currently the team to beat in the division. The Raiders, while only 3-4, have looked competitive this year. They also just put up 59 points against Denver in Denver. If Oakland pulls off a win here, they have a huge showdown next week at home against Kansas City. And I think I'm taking Oakland here. The Seahawks don't play as well on the road as they do at home. The Raiders should run heavily behind Darren McFadden.
Oakland 34 Seattle 24
Pittsburgh Steelers vs New Orleans Saints
This game is huge for the Saints. They can't afford to fall to 4-4, even in a down year for the NFC. Drew Brees looked awful last week throwing 4 interceptions, and it doesn't get any easier with the Steelers coming to town. The Steelers narrowly won last week against Miami. They should have been down by more than two in the final minutes. Big Ben looks like the Big Ben of old in his first two games. It looks like he hasn't missed a beat since coming off his suspension. The biggest concern for the Saints is they're lack of running game without Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas. Teams have been able to focus on shutting down Drew Brees. As much as I think the Saints can pull it out, I have to go with the hot hand and pick Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh 28 New Orleans 21
Houston Texans vs Indianapolis Colts
Huge game on Monday night. Both teams are coming off a bye week. The Colts, however, are banged up on offense. They lost Dallas Clark for the year, and are expected to be without WR Austin Collie and RB Joseph Addai. Luckily, Peyton Manning can throw to anybody and still make them look good. The Texans ran all over the Colts in Week 1, so expect that to be the number one concern of the Colts defense. Matt Schaub should be able to effectively use play action to find a way to get the ball to Andre Johnson. A big key for the Texans will be how they play on defense without LB Demeco Ryans. In the end, however, I never bet against Peyton Manning at home, especially after already losing to a team on the road earlier in the year.
Indianapolis 37 Houston 28
That's all for this week. Next week's schedule:
Monday: WWE Week in Review
Tuesday: NFL Week 8 Review
Wednesday/Thursday: An Early Look Ahead: Wrestlemania 27 and Beyond
Friday: NFL Week 9 Picks
ETA Unknown: The 50 Best & 50 Worst Moments in Pro Wrestling History
Also, as I said in my last post, I'll have news soon on how will be able to read my thoughts on the WWE on another site!!!!
Until next time,