October 26, 2012
After a horrible first three weeks in making NFL picks, I’ve rebounded and done quite nicely over the past several weeks. Last week was a perfect example, as I went 11-2 off the NFL schedule for week seven. I’m a little late this week without an official pick for Thursday night’s Vikings and Buccaneers showdown, but consider me 0-1 to start week eight. Yes, I picked the Vikings.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t be yet another stellar week of NFL Picks. Read on as I run through the remaining 13 NFL matchups and provide my pick and analysis:
Washington Redskins @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Robert Griffin III brings his rookie tear into Pittsburgh, where Dick LeBeau’s Steelers defense has lost just one game to a rookie quarterback, all-time. I don’t doubt RG3 puts up some sick digits, just like he has all year, but something tells me the Steelers at home are going to be awfully tough to handle. Ben Roethlisberger should make mince meat of Washington’s woeful pass defense, en route to a Steeler win.
My Pick: Steelers 27, Redskins 23
Seattle Seahawks @ Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford threw 41 touchdowns a year ago and through seven weeks has just five. Clearly something is up with the Lions, and now they’ll magically have to figure themselves out with a formidable Seahawks defense coming to town.
Seattle has slowed down the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, so I find it hard to believe Stafford has much of a chance in this one.
My Pick: Seahawks 26, Lions 19
Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears
Cam Newton and co. have been sluggish on offense on their way to a dreadful 1-5 start, and something needs to change fast. Word on the street says Jonathan Stewart is the team’s new feature back and that they’ll commit to the run, but they picked a bad week to turn their season around.
Jay Cutler continues to play mistake-free football and Matt Forte is likely licking his chops in preparation of Carolina’s soft run defense coming to town. All of this logic being spun already has me favoring the home team Bears, and I haven’t even brought up their #1 defense.
My Pick: Bears 33, Panthers 16
Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles
The last time Michael Vick faced his former team, he left early with an injury and watched his team lose from the locker room. Thanks to his historic fragility, it could happen again. Still, I think Vick and the Eagles are inching toward a defining moment in this 2012 season, and a home stand against a 6-0 Falcons team could really get them going in the right direction. Atlanta is good on both sides of the ball, but they’ve been begging to be knocked off for weeks now.
My Pick: Eagles 30, Falcons 27
New England Patriots @ St. Louis Rams (in London)
Apologize to the Rams, folks, because this “home game” happens to be taking place in London, overseas. That’s the rub, indeed, but even worse is their matchup is with the New England Patriots. The only thing working in St. Louis’ favor against the explosive Tom Brady-led Pats offense is that New England hasn’t won back to back games all year.
My Pick: Patriots 20, Rams 13
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
Jake Locker is expected to sit one more week, so veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck goes to work for the fourth straight week for the Titans. Luckily for him, the Colts aren’t a tough opponent, so he could move his record to 3-1 as the Titans’ starter this year. Rookie sensation Andrew Luck won’t lay down in this one, but ultimately I like the home team in a tough divisional battle.
My Pick: Titans 26, Colts 23
San Diego Chargers @ Cleveland Browns
Philip Rivers and the Chargers had an epic implosion in their last game, so I think they’re be on top of their game fresh out of their bye week. They’re on the road against a better than advertised Browns defense, but they’re too good to drop three straight games. Their underrated defense will rattle Brandon Weeden enough to escape with a win.
My Pick: Chargers 31, Browns 24
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
The last time these two teams faced we saw an overtime game, with New York narrowly escaping by a field goal. The end result could be pretty similar this time around, as these teams are very evenly matched and are actually both underrated. Either way you shake it, the Jets are still the more complete team and they aren’t starting a rookie quarterback under center.
My Pick: Jets 23, Dolphins 20
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Green Bay Packers
Maurice Jones-Drew is out for multiple weeks and Blaine Gabbert is less than 100%. I know the Packers lost Charles Woodson and can’t run the ball, but they’re at home against a wildly inferior club. Look for the Pack to roll in this one.
My Pick: Packers 34, Jaguars 9
Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs
In an epicly horrible battle, Brady Quinn will try to avoid a face plant against a Raiders team that struggles mightily to field something that resembles an offense. All jokes aside, both teams leave a lot to be desired on defense, so this could actually be a bit of a shootout. I can’t believe I just said that. Even worse, I can’t believe that I actually believe it.
My Pick: Raiders 27, Chiefs 26
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
It’s not exactly a battle for the NFC East just yet, but a win at home this week would give the Cowboys a 2-0 season sweep over the defending champs, and that ain’t bad. I doubt Eli Manning and the Giants offense will be quite as paltry as they were in week one, but Tony Romo plays his best when his back is against the wall. This one could go either way, but I think the Cowboys finally step up and play the way they’re capable of playing.
My Pick: Cowboys 30, Giants 24
New Orleans Saints @ Denver Broncos
Can you say epic shootout? It’s Drew Brees vs. Peyton Manning and everything else. But really, those two guys are running this show and that’s all anyone cares about. Denver’s defense can come to life in spurts, but neither defense will be able to stop the offense in this one. In what could easily be a game that simply comes down to who has the ball last, I’ll take a Saints team riding a two game winning streak.
My Pick: Saints 34, Broncos 31
San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
This is a Monday Night Football game? That’s sad, really. The Cardinals limp into this game with a three game skid, and despite starting the season hot at 4-0, now look like a team that probably won’t make the playoffs. However, the 49ers’ offense still has a ton of question marks, and Arizona gets to give it all they got in front of their home crowd, and in front of the nation, no less. I think the Cardinals make it tough on San Francisco, but ultimately the better team prevails.
My Pick: 49ers 23, Cardinals 16
That does it for my week eight NFL Picks. Feel free to comment below on how far off I am with any analysis or picks!