TEM’s NFL Football Predictions- Week 8
There are a lot of interesting matchups this week in the NFL. Last week brought some good action and hopefully this week will as well. Here are my picks for Week 8 in the NFL.
Miami vs. Cincinnati
Miami and Cincinnati are both coming off disappointing loses. Miami must get back to running the football. If they get back to feeding the ball to RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, then the passing game will open up for QB Chad Henne. The Bengals pass defense will be tested early and often by WR Brandon Marshall. The Bengals must show more resistance on defense than last week against Atlanta. Bengals QB Carson Palmer showed some signs last week of breaking out of his season-long slump. This week he must continue to attack because the Dolphins biggest weakness on defense is their secondary. If Palmer is successful, then the Bengals will be successful this Sunday.
Prediction: Cincinnati 27, Miami 21
Jacksonville vs. Dallas
Jacksonville makes their trip to Dallas after a terrible loss to Kansas City. Dallas will be without QB Tony Romo for the foreseeable future, so the offense must rally around backup QB John Kitna. I look for Dallas to run the football more with RBs Marion Barber and Felix Jones. If the Cowboys are effective running the ball, then Kitna will have easier throws to WR Roy Williams, WR Dez Bryant and crew. The Dallas defense must step up against a Jacksonville offense that has been up and down. QB David Garrard should play this game. Garrard must protect the football because this Dallas defense has proven to be opportunistic. In the end, I think the Cowboys rally around Kitna on offense and the Dallas defense pressures Jacksonville into bad decisions.
Prediction: Dallas 23, Jacksonville 17
Washington vs. Detroit
Washington looks to continue their winning ways in Motown. QB Donovan McNabb must value the football more he did last week. The Redskins must also continue to run the ball with RB Ryan Torrain. They should be successful against a porous Lions run defense. The Lions get their starting QB back this week. QB Matt Stafford will be pretty rusty because he hasn’t played in a few weeks. Stafford must have RB Jahvid Best be effective this week or he will be in trouble. Stafford must know where CB DeAngelo Hall is at all times. In the end, the Redskins ground game should control the game and limit the Lions offense.
Prediction: Washington 24, Detroit 13
Buffalo vs. Kansas City
Buffalo takes a trip to the Show Me State to take on the Chiefs. The Chiefs must run to set up the pass. RBs Thomas Jones and Jamal Charles should be successful against a bad run defense in Buffalo and WR Dwayne Bowe should continue his hot streak against an injury-depleted secondary. Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick proved that he is worthy of a starting spot in the NFL with his performance against the Ravens. Fitzpatrick must continue to ride the momentum of last week against the Chiefs. If he isn’t successful in the passing game, then it could be a long day for the Bills. He will have a tough task trying to attack an underrated Chiefs secondary.
Prediction: Kansas City 27, Buffalo 17
Carolina vs. St. Louis
St. Louis returns home to take on a confident Carolina Panthers squad. QB Matt Moore rescued the Panthers with his passing last week and he must continue to attack this week against a terrible Rams secondary. But, Moore cannot do it all by himself. The running game must give Moore some assistance this week. Rams QB Sam Bradford has to get some help from RB Stephen Jackson this week. The Panthers are pretty porous against the run, so he should dominate on the ground and Bradford should have some easy throws down the field.
Prediction: St. Louis 27, Carolona 13
Green Bay vs. New York Jets
Green Bay travels to Gotham to take on a surging Jets team. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers must have his sporadic running game show up. It will be tough for RB Brandon Jackson to get that going against a good run-stuffing Jets defense. If Jackson can’t get it going, then Rodgers may have tough sledding going against CBs Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis. For QB Mark Sanchez and the Jets, the task is simple: attack the Packers front seven. RB LaDanlian Tomlinson should have a field day against the depleted Packers. All that Sanchez has to do is make smart decisions and make smart throws. If Rodgers doesn’t have a good game, then this game could get ugly.
Prediction: NY Jets 31, Green Bay 17
Denver vs. San Francisco
Denver tries to end their losing streak in London against a struggling San Francisco team. The Broncos got embarrassed last week so I expect for them to come out fired up this week. QB Kyle Orton and the Bronco offense have to value the football. They must get something going in the running game, if not, the 49ers will blitz and harass Orton into bad plays. QB Troy Smith gets the nod at QB for an injured Alex Smith. For Troy Smith to be effective, RB Frank Gore must be effective running the football and Smith must be allowed to move outside of the pocket by offensive coordinator Mike Johnson. In the end, the 49ers will win because they are the tougher team.
Prediction: San Francisco 24, Denver 21
Tennessee vs. San Diego
The Titans travel westward to take on an underachieving Chargers team. QB Vince Young returns to take on one of the toughest defenses in the NFL. Young must be able to use his legs to make plays this game because the Charger pass rush is very good. If he is able to escape the pass rush, then he and WR Kenny Britt should be able to torch the Charger secondary. RB Chris Johnson will find yardage easier to come by this week if Young is successful passing the football. QB Phillip Rivers may be without some weapons this week but it really won’t matter. He has been lethal this year passing the ball. He must get some help from his running game for the Chargers to be in position to win. The Chargers must also play better special teams. Special teams has cost them at least three games this year. After this game, special teams will have cost the Chargers another game.
Prediction: Tennessee 30, San Diego 24
Seattle vs. Oakland
Seattle travel to the Black Hole to take on a confident Oakland team. QB Jason Campbell must continue to hand the ball off to RB Darren McFadden. McFadden has been terrorizing defenses with his running ability and this week he faces a run defense that is susceptible to being run on. If McFadden is successful, then Campbell should be effective because there will be less guys in pass coverage due to the threat of the run. QB Matt Hasselbeck must get help from RB Marshawn Lynch. If Lynch does succeed on the ground, then Hasselbeck will have one-on-one matchups between his receivers and the Oakland cornerbacks. Hasselbeck must stay away from CB Nnamdi Asomugha though. He is dangerous. I expect McFadden and Lynch to get a lot of attempts. The first team’s defense that decides to stop the run will win.
Prediction: Seattle 24, Oakland 20
Minnesota vs. New England
Minnesota travels to the northeast to take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. QB Brett Farve may not play this game. If Farve does play, expect the Patriots to bring a lot of pressure. Farve will be a sitting duck if the pressure gets to him. If backup QB Tavaris Jackson plays, the Patriots will have to contain him in the pocket and make him have to beat them with his arm. They Vikings must also get a good game out of RB Adrian Peterson. QB Tom Brady must continue to spread the ball around to his receivers. If Brady gets any help from his running game, then the Vikings will be in deep trouble.
Prediction: New England 27, Minnesota 10
Tampa Bay vs. Arizona
Tampa comes off a thrilling win against the St. Louis Rams and they now travel to the desert to take on the Cardinals. QB Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay offense must start fast this week. The passing game has been very effective, but the Bucs need the running game to continue to come along. QB Derek Anderson may be starting again this week for the Cardinals. With that being said, if he or QB Max Hall plays this week, they have to continue to get the help from RB Beanie Wells and the running game. If Wells and company are effective, then WR Larry Fitgerald should be able to shred the Bucs secondary. I think that with the planned “Black Out” and the Cardinal wearing all black, the energy in the stadium will carry the Cardinals over the Bucs.
Prediction: Arizona 27, Tampa Bay 20
Pittsburgh vs. New Orleans
Pittsburgh travels to the Big Easy to take on a struggling New Orleans team. QB Drew Brees must value the football this week because the Steelers are the best defense in the NFL. RB Chris Ivory must make some plays on the ground to slow up the pass rush of the Steelers. If Ivory is successful, then Brees should be able to take advantage of the weak link of the Steelers defense, the cornerbacks. QB Ben Roethlisberger must value the football and not try to do too much. If Big Ben is able to control the tempo and if RB Rashard Mendenhall gets going on the ground, the Saints could be in trouble. But, if Ben tries to make too much happen, the opportunistic Saints defense will wreak havoc.
Prediction: New Orleans 23, Pittsburgh 20
Houston vs. Indianapolis
Houston travels to Indianapolis to take on a injury-filled Colts team. QB Peyton Manning may not have RB Joseph Addai, RB Donald Brown, WR Austin Collie or WR Anthony Gonzalez. With all that being said, he’s still Peyton Manning and the Texans do have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. The loss of TE Dallas Clark should not hurt Manning as much this game. Although the starting and backup running backs may be out for the Colts, RB Mike Hart is capable of carrying the load. QB Matt Schaub must have RB Arian Foster show up like the last time these two teams played. If not, Schaub will have to face a pass rush led by DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. I don’t look for a repeat performance from Arian Foster and the Texans from their first meeting this year.
Prediction: Indianapolis 27, Houston 17
These are my predictions for the week. If you would like to challenge me, put your picks up against mine and let’s see who wins.