NFL Week 8 Preview
First of all, Happy Halloween. By this time next week you should all be deep in a sugar coma. My family and I are gearing up for it. My daughter (3) wants to be Aurora a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty. My wife is Maleficent, my son (1) is the Prince. That leaves me being a fairy godmother. Yeah...but I digress. It should be a fun holiday. Please be safe and enjoy it. Now onto football.
Who is really good? Who is really bad? Every week it seems like something different. The Chiefs looked like the cream of the crop, then they dropped two straight. The Chargers started 0-4 only to have won their last 3 in a row and dominated the Broncos last Sunday 21-0. The only real consistency this year is the battle for the #1 draft pick next year between the Browns and the 49ers.
Here are 5 games to watch this week while we try to figure out the weird and wacky landscape known as the NFL.
L.A. Chargers (3-4) @ New England Patriots (5-2)
Both of these teams are on 3-game win streaks. The Chargers lost their first 4 games only to go on a run here in these last three. Maybe they just had some bad luck in the first few weeks? They were a few missed FGs away from winning or tying those first 3 games. The Patriots defense has been less than stellar but they have steadily improved. Through the first 4 weeks of the season, they gave up 32 points per game. The last 3 weeks they have given up less than 13 per game (12.67).
Prediction- Patriots 28, Chargers 24
Oakland Raiders (3-4) @ Buffalo Bills (4-2)
The Raiders surprised the league and beat the Chiefs last week. They need to keep surprising the league to keep their season alive. They have the 3rd hardest remaining schedule left and don’t play in Oakland again until after Thanksgiving. That is a long time to go before playing at home. They have to play against the Bills, who give it their all each and every week. They may not be the most talented but they will be in every game this season. They need to keep winning to set themselves up for four division games in the last five weeks of the season against the Dolphins and Patriots.
Prediction- Buffalo 24, Oakland 14
Dallas Cowboys (3-3) @ Washington Redskins (3-3)
The Redskins’ losses have come against the Eagles, Chiefs, and Eagles again. They’ve been competitive in each of those games. This is a good squad that needs a win against Dallas to try to stay within striking range of the red-hot Eagles. Last week the Cowboys looked like the Cowboys of last season. The O-Line was dominant and allowed Zeke and Dak to do their thang. The winner of this will sit alone in 2nd place in the NFC East and needs this win desperately.
Prediction- Washington 31, Dallas 24
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) @ Detroit Lions (3-3)
The Lions need to play a complete game on offense. They haven’t played one all season. Coming off of the bye week, they should have figured a few things out. They need to keep Matthew Stafford vertical as he has been sacked 23 times already this season. With Aaron Rodgers out, the division is up for grabs and they need to capitalize. The Steelers have some turmoil with Martavis Bryant. They need to keep feeding the ball to Le’Veon Bell. Last week he had 35 carries. That’s a heavy load but Bell has proven to be the workhorse they need to win.
Prediction- Pittsburgh 28, Detroit 21
Denver Broncos (3-3) @ Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)
Are there alarms going off in Denver yet? There probably should be if there aren’t. They followed up a 20-3 loss to the previously winless Giants with a 21-0 loss to the Chargers last week. The last time the Broncos were shut out was 1992. The Chiefs secondary should get a boost as starting CB Steven Nelson comes off the DL. They need to get back on track after their two losses.