25 October 2016

2016 NFL Predictions: Week 8

(AP Photo)
We are approaching the midseason portion of the 2016 NFL campaign but there will still be plenty of football (hopefully, good football) for the good folks at home to enjoy. Here are my Week 8 picks.

Last Week: 8-7
2016: 60-47
Locks: 5-2

Thursday, October 27th
Jaguars (2-4) vs. Titans (3-4) - NFL Network, 8:25
Jacksonville Jaguars (2013 - Pres)Tennessee Titans (1999 - Pres)
The race in the AFC South is such a mess because none of the teams in the mix really appear to be any good. That goes for both of these teams here but at least Tennessee has a very good running game and every once in a while, the Jaguars can stretch the field vertically with Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson. Weird things happen on Thursday nights but I think the Titans will control the clock and then win the game.
Titans 19 Jaguars 16

Sunday, October 30th
Washington (4-3) vs. Bengals (3-4) - London - Fox, 9:30 am
Washington Redskins (2004 - 2008)Cincinnati Bengals (1997 - 2003)
While Washington was blowing a victory by allowing a last-second game-winning drive to the Detroit Lions, the Bengals got off the schneid by defeating the hapless Browns (although not exactly convincingly). These two teams are in the top four in terms of passing yards so we should see plenty of aerial action in London but I think of these two teams in terms of defense, I have more confidence in Cincinnati's defense than I do Washington's defense.
Bengals 26 Washington 23

Chiefs (4-2) vs. Colts (3-4) - CBS, 1:00
Kansas City Chiefs (1974 - Pres)Baltimore Colts (1957 - 1977)
As we saw on Sunday in Nashville, when Andrew Luck is on, he can carry his crappy supporting cast to victory. Even as they return to the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Stadium, I'm not so certain that Luck will be able to have the same kind of success against the Chiefs, who feature one of the better pass defenses in the league. Look for the Chiefs to also control the clock in order to keep Luck at bay.
Chiefs 27 Colts 24

Cardinals (3-3-1) vs. Panthers (1-5) - Fox, 1:00
Arizona Cardinals (2005 - Pres)Carolina Panthers (1996 - 2011)
Seriously, that Cardinals-Seahawks tie was a disgrace. Just a dreadful night of football. I went into that game having little faith in the Cardinals and it is safe to say that that did not change after Sunday night. Meanwhile, the Panthers have lost four in a row and thus I think it is safe to say that their season is over. Therefore, not a fun pick. It is an early game so I'm included to go with Carolina.
Panthers 20 Cardinals 16

Raiders (5-2) vs. Buccaneers (3-3) - CBS, 1:00
Oakland Raiders (1964 - 1981)Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014 - Pres)
This feels like a good upset pick right here. After all, Oakland's dreadful defense, still ranked 32nd in the league, does not make me feel particularly comfortable about them in any of their games and while Jameis Winston has been inconsistent thus far in his sophomore season but he has shown that he can have a big game throwing the football. Also, Tampa Bay has one of the better defenses in the league and especially so against the pass.
Buccaneers 21 Raiders 20

Seahawks (4-1-1) vs. Saints (2-4) - Fox, 1:00
Seattle Seahawks (2012 - Pres)New Orleans Saints (1967 - 1984)
Seriously, that Cardinals-Seahawks tie was a disgrace. Just a dreadful night of football. This game, however, feels like a good opportunity for an upset. It is an early start for the Seahawks, one in which they traditionally don't perform all that well in, and the Saints are good enough offensively at home to push the action against this Seattle defense.
Seahawks 28 Saints 24

Lions (4-3) vs. Texans (4-3) - Fox, 1:00
Detroit Lions (1970 - 2002)Houston Texans (2002 - Pres)
The Detroit Lions are pushing themselves right into the mix of the NFC playoff picture as they have now won three in a row, their latest coming after that wild finish against Washington at home. They get to visit a Houston club that can't seem to get anything going offensively with Brock Osweiler under center and a defense that seems a little punchless without J.J. Watt. I think the Lions will continue to keep their winning streak going.
Lions 28 Texans 21

Patriots (6-1) vs. Bills (4-3) - CBS, 1:00
New England Patriots (2000 - Pres)Buffalo Bills (1974 - Pres)
I can't let myself what happened the last time these two played as the Bills thoroughly outclassed the Patriots in Foxborough a month ago as they launched a four-game winning streak that concluded this past week down in Dade County. The Bills are better than I thought they would be but even then, I don't see them taking out the Pats, with a healthy Tom Brady, at home.
Patriots 31 Bills 21

Jets (2-5) vs. Browns (0-7) - CBS, 1:00
New York Jets (1998 - 2001)Cleveland Browns (2003 - 2014)
The Jets got a much-needed win on Sunday but it got overshadowed by Geno Smith's injury and Ryan Fitzpatrick acting like a petulant child after the game. Fitzpatrick has had an inflated sense of his game since the offseason and I guess fails to realize that in this league, when you play terribly, you get benched. All that aside, the Jets finally ran the ball and the defense actually looked good. This should be a game that they win against a miserable Cleveland team but it also feels like the a classic-Jets loss because of that. Cleveland has been a lot of games this season and that's because they've consistently played hard. That pays off this Sunday.
Browns 13 Jets 9

Chargers (3-4) vs. Broncos (5-2) - CBS, 4:05
San Diego Chargers (1974 - 1987)Denver Broncos (1968 - 1974)
I have never been a fan of when divisional rivals play each other twice in three weeks and that is what we have here. The Chargers gave the Broncos their second loss of the season in a row at Qualcomm Stadium two weeks ago and they followed that up with a strong overtime victory against the Falcons. Philip Rivers is playing well but I think that the Denver defense will have something for him this week at home.
Broncos 21 Chargers 14

Packers (4-2) vs. Falcons (4-3) - Fox, 4:25
Green Bay Packers (1980 - Pres)Atlanta Falcons (2003 - Pres)
It was against the Bears but it was a much-needed quality performance from Aaron Rodgers after he got off to the worst start of his career. Considering that the Falcons have been getting into shootouts all season long, thanks to a strong start to the season from Matt Ryan, Rodgers will have to be on his game. On the road in the Georgia Dome, I'm not that optimistic.
Falcons 42 Packers 35

Eagles (4-2) vs. Cowboys (5-1) - NBC, 8:30
Philadelphia Eagles (1987 - 1995)Dallas Cowboys (1964 - Pres)
Hopefully this will break of some god-awful primetime contests as it features the two best teams in the NFC East and two of the finer rookie quarterbacks. The Eagles looked good and were able to out-physical the Minnesota Vikings at home but their offense still didn't look that great and Wentz was not as good as he looked earlier in the season. At home and with a strong offense powered by rookies and a decent defense, I like the Cowboys.
Cowboys 31 Eagles 26

Halloween - Monday, October 31st
Vikings (5-1) vs. Bears (1-6) - ESPN, 8:30
Minnesota Vikings (1966 - 2012)Chicago Bears (1974 - Pres)
Interesting, it was the Vikings that got pushed around on Sunday as they suffered their first loss of the season in Philadelphia. Fortunately, they get the bounce-back opportunity against a Bears team that is not only truly dreadful, but may have to start Matt Barkley if Jay Cutler is not good to go. Therefore, the Vikings are my Lock of the Week.
Vikings 17 Bears 0


  1. Hi Ben
    Valid point about the Bears' QB situation and you are probably right in deciding that to be your LOTW. I am still reeling a bit a bit by the fact the Fins have suddenly exploded with a running game which may allow Tannehill a bit of leeway to pick his passes more effectively. Too bad they are on a bye-week... I think KC will score a good win in Indyland and that is my LOTW.

  2. Know the Jets are not what they were last season but, really the Browns are going to win? Come on. This may be an ugly win by the Jets, but shocked the Jets are not picked to win this one.

  3. I don't know about a "crappy supporting cast." He has Frank Gore, TY Hilton, Phillip Dorsett, and Donte Moncrief is coming back. Besides the defense and the offensive line, this team is not crappy whatsoever. Not to mention this team has the best kicker-punter in the league.