Before getting to my week 8 picks, here are some of the highlights from last weekend’s action, as well as a couple of notes about this Sunday’s games:
- Peyton Manning. You know the rest.
- St. Louis not only beat the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks, they did so with some fantastic special teams plays. There was a 90 yard punt return for a touchdown where the Rams players acted as though the ball had gone one direction, fooling the Seattle defenders and giving Stedman Bailey an almost open path on the other side of the field; then in the closing minutes, St. Louis faked a punt on fourth down and avoided having to give the ball back to the Seahawks and give them a chance to win the game by getting into field goal range.
- The Cowboys have more wins than anyone else in the NFL, as they sit at 6-1 following their defeat of divisional rivals, the Giants. I still have a feeling that Dallas is going to find a way to miss the playoffs and they are only a half game ahead of the Eagles (who had their bye in Week 7) in the NFC North.
- Green Bay were 21-0 up on the Panthers by the end of the first quarter and have won four straight games to move to 5-2, but none of their five victories have come against teams who currently have a winning record (Carolina, NY Jets, Chicago, Minnesota and Miami).
- Talking of the Lions, they managed to score two touchdowns in the final four minutes to overcome the Saints 24-23 in Detroit, leaving New Orleans winless in four attempts on the road.
- Oakland are now the only winless team in the NFL, following their home loss to the Cardinals, while the Jaguars registered their first victory of the season as they beat the Browns 24-6 in northern Florida.
- On Sunday, there is another game in London as the Falcons face the Lions at Wembley Stadium, with the game kicking off at 1:30pm London time, which is 9:30am Eastern and 6:30am Pacific time (the time difference is an hour less than usual for a week, since the United Kingdom puts their clocks back a week before the United States.) That means there are NFL games starting 11 hours apart on Sunday, with the Green Bay/New Orleans night matchup kicking off at 8:30pm ET/5:30PT – and also, the Atlanta/Detroit game goes head-to-head with the Premier League fixtures of Burnley vs Everton and Tottenham vs Newcastle (the latter being played just 12 miles from Wembley).
- Both Washington and Buffalo had replacement quarterbacks come up big in Week 7: Colt McCoy replaced Kirk Cousins for the second half of Washington’s victory over the Titans, throwing a 70 yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon with his first pass; and Kyle Orton continued to start in place of EJ Manuel for the Bills and led the game winning touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins with just a second remaining on the clock.
Week 8 Predictions
Last week, 9-6; Season, 58-48
Home teams in bold
Broncos -7.5 over Chargers
Lions -3.5 over Falcons (in London)
Bills +2.5 over Jets
Patriots -6.5 over Bears
Ravens +1.5 over Bengals
Texans -0.5 over Titans
Chiefs -6.5 over Rams
Jaguars +5.5 over Dolphins
Buccaneers -2.5 over Vikings
Seahawks -4.5 over Panthers
Eagles +2.5 over Cardinals
Browns -7.5 over Raiders
Colts -2.5 over Steelers
Saints -1.5 over Packers
Washington +9.5 over Cowboys