Saturday, October 25, 2008

NFL Predictions: Week Eight

I'm really not at all confident in this picks. If I had to pick the quality of my picks I'd go REALITY (-14) over Brad's Predictive Powers.

Tampa Bay (+2.5) over DALLAS
I think most people just assumed the Dallas collapse would be in their first playoff game. Maybe they're just trying to get it out of the way early. So early, in fact, that they miss the playoffs, and don't have to worry about choking it away. As for Tampa Bay, they're not pretty (their kind of offensive balance rarely is), they couldn't cover against Seattle at home, and I really shouldn't trust them on the road, but there's really no reason they can't whip up on a a Dallas team that has completely lost its way. Expect big things from Antonio Bryant.

Washington (-7.5) over DETROIT
How many times can one person keep taking Washington to cover a big spread, and always come up short? Good on you, Detroit fans, for not selling out Ford Stadium. More fans of bad teams need to do this. Stop rewarding bad behavior!

MIAMI (+1.5)over Buffalo
This seems like a classic trap game to me. Miami isn't half bad, and we're still unsure whether Buffalo is anything more than half good. I'll be cheering for them, but it seems just the kind of divisional game that Miami wins.

St. Louis (+7) over NEW ENGLAND
Here's my reasoning here. Nobody expected St. Louis to be as bad as they were the first five six weeks of the season. Nobody thought they'd be good, mind you, but they had some offensive weapons. Those weapons are finally starting to come into their own a little. I don't buy New England's blowout against Denver, who played some of the most inept football of the season.
NEW ENGLAND (-7) over St. Louis

Just learned that Steven Jackson isn't playing today. No confidence at all that the Rams can continue their winning ways without him.

San Diego (-3) over New Orleans
The Saints already had enough excuses for losing this week, between the "we were playing in London" and "Reggie Bush is injured," but they apparently felt they needed a third one with the steroid scandal. Both teams need this win badly. I just don't see where New Orleans gets it points, other than maybe a breakout game (finally!) for Colston.

New YORK (JETS) over Kansas City
The Chiefs are feeling good about that enormous contract they gave Larry Johnson a couple of years ago, aren't they? Surely they have to be considered one of the most frustrating teams to be a fan of. A class act like Brett Favre can't lose a game like this. Christian Okoye has called him and given him hints on how to beat the Chiefs.

PHILADELPHIA (-9) over Atlanta
This line seems high at first, until you realize that Atlanta hasn't really played that well on the road -- their game at Chicago being the exception. Philadelphia is a completely different team when Westbrook is in the game. Their defense is more fierce, their offense more crisp. If he is in fact healthy, Atlanta won't be able to handle them. If it's a close game, though, young Matt Ryan has shown that he has tricks up his sleeve and will do more than cover.

Arizona (+4) over CAROLINA
I like this Arizona team. At some point they have to pull out a compelling road victory. Carolina is just the kind of team to serve one of those up on a platter. I'm not as prepared as I was a couple of weeks ago to crown Carolina the team to beat in the NFC.

BALTIMORE (-7) over Oakland
Young JaMarcus & his corp of pretty good runners has not yet faced a defense like Baltimore. Barring a Flacco a few untimely Baltimore turnovers, always a possibility, I've no clue how Oakland even moves the ball to get into field goal position. McGahee owners should get to rejoice two weeks in a row.

JACKSONVILLE (-7) over Cleveland
The only threat here is that Jacksonville overlooks this game in anticipation of their epic showdown with the Bengals next week (followed, incidentally, by Detroit). Take heart, Colt fans, they're bound to sleep on one of these teams.

HOUSTON (-9.5) over Cincinnati
Speaking of Cincinnati, they're in need of Daunte Culpepper right about now, no? With Palmer out for the season, how else do they win a game?

New York (Giants) (+3) over PITTSBURGH
A couple of factors working against Pittsburgh here. In addition to their injury problems, esp. at running back, Pittsburgh is in a position that they can drop a tough game and still be okay. The Giants have a two-game lead over Washington, but they need a nice convincing win to get the bad taste of the Cleveland game out of their system. Right now, nobody is really scared of them anymore. Beating up on San Francisco meant nothing. More just seems on the line for them here.

SAN FRANCISCO (-5) over Seattle
West Coast football has been pretty dire out here this year, but the drama has been wonderful! First, you had the wonderful Lane Kiffin-Al Davis saga. Was sad to see that end. Then you had the 49ers take down Mike Nolan. Well, more precisely, you had Mike Nolan being the classiest guy in the organization and say, "Hey, if you're going to fire me in two weeks, just fire me now!" And they did. And thus begins the Mike Singletary-era. It will be a very short era indeed if they can't get beat Seattle. I'm going out on a limb, given the epic numbers he put up last week in Tampa, but Seneca Wallace just wouldn't scare me much. The one thing Seattle has going for it is that San Francisco (esp. J. T. O'Sullivan) cannot hang onto the football -- they've a -8 in turnovers. The bad thing for Seattle: theirs is -6.

Indianapolis (+4) over TENNESSEE
Everything points toward a convincing Tennessee win this Monday. This is why I'm taking Indianapolis. It being so close to Halloween, it only seems appropriate that Indy play this week's living dead zombie that won't go away. They need this game way too much to drop it.

Last Week: 6-8
Season: 48-51-3