Saturday, October 30, 2010

Week 8 NFL picks

Some picks and a thought or two about this weekends NFL slate:

Denver @ San Francisco: The most notable headline from this game is that the game is not in San Francisco, but in fact in London, England. The Broncos are coming off an inexplicable, horrifying loss at home against the Oakland Raiders. The 49ers are coming off a devastating, season crushing loss at Carolina. Every week seems like a week that could turn the San Francisco season around, but that game never comes. Now, former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith will be the quarterback for SF, and that spells even more trouble for the 49ers, 6,000 miles from home. The Broncos need to bounce back and take advantage of Smith, relying on Orton and company to help get the job done on offense. Take the Broncos by 11.

Jacksonville @ Dallas: The Cowboys need this game. Heads will roll in ways never imagined in Dallas if the 'Boys lose this game to the defensively porous Jaguars. Even John Kitna (Tony Romo + injured collarbone = :-( Cowboys fans) should be able to link up with offensive weapons Miles Austin and Dez Bryant in order to give Dallas enough to win. The Jacksonville quarterback situation is too unstable, with uncertainty on health every week. The Cowboys should be able to win this one by 13.

Miami @ Cincinnati: Now, I am far too biased in this game. The Bengals are my boys. The Bengals have underperformed this year. Carson Palmer is frustrating. The defense is hit or miss. The Dolphins can't win at home. The Dolphins can't lose on the road. Miami will win this one, but I'm not sure by how many. It could be a field goal, or it could be 3 scores.

Buffalo @ Kansas City: Despite their best efforts at Baltimore last weekend, the Bills just can't find a way to win. The Chiefs will not underestimate the Bills, and all the Kansas City weapons will lead to a solid 16 point KC win.

Washington @ Detriot: The Redskins used their defense to beat the Bears on the road last weekend. They'll need it again, because the return of Lions QB Matthew Stafford gives the Detroit offense a good boost. The Lions play well at home, so I look for them to manage a slight, 4 point win against the Redskins.

Carolina @ St. Louis: Matt Moore had a big game last weekend at the helm for the Panthers at home, beating the 49ers late. But DeAngelo Williams is likely out for Carolina, and Steve Smith is a tad beat up. The Rams are solid at home, recently beating the Chargers in St. Louis. Steven Jackson returns from a Monday surgery on a finger, and helps the Rams win by 8.

Green Bay @ New York Jets: The Jets are almost unbeatable at home. It won't change this week, in a victory of the Packers. Aaron Rodgers and company come off a big, emotional victory over Brett Favre and the Vikings, but the Jets defense will carry them to a 4 point victory. Plus, it is relevant again to say the LaDanian Tomlinson will lead a team to a win.

Tennessee @ San Diego: The Chargers have to be underperforming. I just can't believe they are that bad. I think they return to their better offensive ways this weekend against a sometimes shaky Titans pass defense. Rivers will get things on the right page with Antonio Gates and company, and the Chargers win by 6.

Minnesota @ New England: Tom Brady doesn't lose at home. Period. The Patriots by 11.

Tampa Bay @ Arizona: This game barely intrigues me. It seems one Sunday afternoon game each week does that. Unfortunately, we almost always blame the NFC or AFC West. This week, the case is no different. Tampa Bay is slowly getting it all together, however the Cardinals are going to squeek this one out at home by 5 or so.

Seattle @ Oakland: Ditto to the AFC/NFC comment directly above. The only curiousity I have regarding this game is seeing if the Raiders can repeat their 59-point performance from a week ago. I don't anticipate them to score as much, but I want to see if they can still be as functional. Is Darren McFadden finally "getting there?" We'll find out more this weekend in a 3 point Raiders victory.

Pittsburgh @ New Orleans: Unfortunately, the defending champion Saints can't figure things out consistently. The Browns exposed them in a number of ways a week ago. The Steelers are back to playing "title contender" football, led by their defense. The Steelers should give Drew Brees enough trouble to get a 4 point win.

Houston @ Indianapolis. The Colts will avenge an early season loss to the Texans, particularly because they are coming off their bye week. Payton Manning and Reggie Wayne will connect 13 times, the same number which will be the point differential in this Monday Night affair.