2016 NFL Season Week 8 Pick ‘Em
Man did that Sunday Night Football game suck. Two back-to-back sub-30 yard field goals shanked to high hell and the game ends up ending in a 6-6 tie. Maybe it’s crappy prime time games causing the NFL’s low ratings.
I hate ties. The phrase “kissing your sister” comes to mind. I would love to see the owners have a serious discussion about abolishing ties in the offseason. Personally I think ties are an affront to the spirit of competition upon sports are based.
But anyway, this is about the week 8 picks. I am planning on putting out a mid-season award article later this week, so keep an eye out for that as well.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
Speaking of riveting prime time games. I doubt this snooze fest between two bad teams will be a ratings juggernaut. But I will say this, with each passing week Marcus Mariota seems to gets sharper and more confident. Plus, with that run game to support him, Mariota is not facing as much pressure giving him vital time to scan the field and find the open man.
Conversely, Blake Bortles is seemingly trying to play himself out of Jacksonville. Bortles has been wildly erratic and his reported extra sessions with Allen Robinson seem to have been for naught. Nothing about the Jaguars evokes confidence right now.
That is why I think the Titans will pull this one up.
Washington Redskins @ Cincinnati Bengals
Both of these have been having a rough go this season. Injuries to key players and running games that have had minimal impact. Unfortunately for the Redskins Jordan Reed is still battling concussion symptoms and is questionable for this weeks game. On the flip side the Bengals are rejoicing the return of Tyler Eiffert and while his debut this past week was nothing to write home about, Eiffert brings another major red zone threat for the Bengals to utilize.
I like the Bengals at home with the return of Eiffert and the emergence of Jeremy Hill in the run game.
The Bills had a bad loss to a miserable Dolphins team this past week. And while the Dolphins have played better, giving up 200+ yards rushing is never a good thing. While the Bills did previously beat the Patriots in Foxboro earlier this season, that came against quarterback Jacoby Brissett…not Tom Brady.
Let’s face it, as long as Tom Brady is in the game, the Patriots will always be favored. Patriots win.
New York Jets @ Cleveland Browns
If only there was a way for both of these teams to lose, because neither deserves to win.
I am going with the Jets. I know that Ryan Fitzpatrick leads the league in interceptions and was recently benched for Geno Smith, but I still think he is better than the beer vendor that will be starting for the Browns next week.
Detroit Lions @ Houston Texans
Right now Matthew Stafford is quite possibly the mid-season MVP (see my article to come this week). He is playing with such passion and precision that he is single-handedly carrying the Lions to a potential playoff bid.
But when you watch the Texans, you see a bunch of high-priced talents failing to get the job done. Brock Osweiler is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the league, Lamar Miller is putting up good stats but having no real impact, and J.J. Watt is injured for the foreseeable future. In a very (and embarrassingly) weak division, the Texans are having trouble keeping pace.
Quite frankly, despite the Texans being at home and having an overall more talented team, I believe they will lose to a Detroit team that just has more heart and a quarterback that will do whatever it takes to win.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts
The Colts suck. The fact that they have any wins says more about the quality of the coaching and talent they have played rather than their own ability. The Colts have one of the worst offensive lines and one of the worst defensive lines in football. They have picked up a win here and there, but that is due strictly to the other teams’ incompetence.
The Chiefs are a talented team with a veteran coach who is very accomplished and will be able to take advantage of Indianapolis’ glaring weaknesses.
Seattle Seahawks @ New Orleans Saints
Russell Wilson must have that Wolverine X-Factor healing power, because ever since injuring his ankle in week 1, he has continued to come out and get the job done. And the side effect of that amazing ability is that the Seahawks have been able to continue to put up points consistently against some quality opponents (Arizona Cardinals excluded).
The real issue is defense. The Seahawks can play it, the Saints cannot. The Saints will score 21+ against the Seahawks, especially in New Orleans. But can they stop Seattle from scoring? That is the question.
So far Seattle has scored just enough to win. ‘Just enough’ won’t be enough against the Saints in New Orleans. I like the Saints for the big upset in this game.
Oakland Raiders @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I do not know what to think about the Bucs, because I do not think the Bucs’ head coach, Dirk Koetter, knows what the hell he is doing. Tampa seemingly keeps making the same mistakes over and over again and their failure to adapt or improve in any significant fashion is a direct reflection on the coaching.
The Raiders cannot play defense. In fact, their inability to stop anyone has been overshadowed by the historic futility displayed by the Saints, but make no mistake, the Raiders only win because they have been able to out score their opponents.
Come Sunday, the Raiders will out score them again. I like the Raiders on the road.
Arizona Cardinals @ Carolina Panthers
Talk about two teams that have struggled mightily. I really do not know what to make of either team. The Panthers’ offensive line has lost all confidence and as a result Cam Newton has been incapable of performing to his MVP level.
As for the Cardinals, Carsen Palmer has one of the worst touchdown to interception ratios in the league and despite having some of the best offensive talent surrounding him, has not been able to get the Cardinal offense running smoothly.
Between the two struggling teams I will take the Cardinals. Their offense is slightly more effective, their defense is better, and the x-factor in the equation is David Johnson, who has emerged as one of the best running backs in the NFL.
San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos
I do not know how the Chargers won the last game between these two teams, but in Denver they have a snowball’s chance in hell of repeating that accomplishment. Joey Bosa has added a much-needed and very impactful dynamic to their defense and Melvin Gordon is a goal line monster, but at the end of the day the Chargers still are not that good.
The Broncos are not as good as they were last year, especially with the recent injury to Trevor Siamien, but they still have a dominant defense that will be looking for revenge.
The Broncos are going to win this matchup because they just better than the Chargers.
Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons
These may be the two most frustrating teams in the NFL. The Falcons are the highest scoring offense in football and yet are only 4-3. The Packers are statistically having one of their worst years (minus run defense) in the past 10 years and yet they are 4-2. Both teams have so many holes and yet so many weapons that on a week-to-week basis they are amongst the hardest to predict.
Here is what this matchup comes down to: the Falcons have one of the best pass offenses in the NFl; the Packers’ pass defense is very mediocre. At the end of the day I cannot imagine Green Bay slowing down Julio Jones.
Falcons win in Atlanta.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
This is a big game. Thank God we finally have a prime time game that should not only be good, but will thankfully be without Joe Buck’s voice attached to it.
The winner of this game not only picks up a win against a division opponent, but they also take the lead of the NFC East. Two rookie quarterbacks face off in a battle for division supremacy. This should be a great game.
I like the Cowboys because a certain someone by the name of Ezekiel Elliott. During the preseason I predicted Elliott to win rookie of the year and contend for MVP and he has yet to disappoint. Elliott will be the difference in this game with his running and his blocking; and that is why I think the Cowboys will take a commanding lead in the NFC East.
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
Hey look…another shitty prime time game. I live in the suburbs of Chicago. I lived within 30 minutes of the Loop all my life and have grown up with the Bears practically playing in my backyard; so believe me when I tell you that this team is terrible.
And when I say that, I am not only referring to the players. There is a lot of specialized talent on the Bears that is being completely misused. For instance, Bobby Massie and Kyle Long are perhaps the best run-blocking right side in all of football and yet the Bears pass significantly more than they run and often run to the left side. Just one of many examples of why this team has failed to compete.
The Vikings are short on talent. In fact, at this point in the season, they may actually have less overall talent than the Bears. But the major difference is coaching and heart. Every player on the Vikings team expects to win. Not so with the Bears. The coaches of the Vikings put their players in the best position to execute their abilities and strengths. Not so with the Bears.
Most importantly, the Vikings have a quarterback who will minimize mistakes and make a few plays to aid his team on the way to victory. Not so with the Bears.
The Vikings win because they are not an embarrassment to their city.