Saturday, October 30, 2004

NFL: Week 8 picks

Arizona Cardinals at Buffalo Bills… Bills
The Bills need to run Willis McGahee 25 + times in this game. Bledsoe has been sacked an average of four times per game. At home, Buffalo needs to grind it out with a heavy rushing attack. Mainly because of home field, I’ll go with the Bills.

Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys… Dallas
After losing 24 straight road games, Detroit has opened the season with three straight away wins. Still, I’m not convinced that the Lions are a sure bet. Bill Parcells must be livid after the 41-20 embarrassment last week in Green Bay. This is the game for Dallas to put their season back on track. Expect a lot of passing from both Joey Harrington and Vinny Testaverde.

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans… Tennessee
One streak will be broken this Sunday. Cincinnati has yet to win a road game, while Tennessee hasn’t won at Adelphia Stadium in 2004. Honestly, this is a very bad between two struggling football teams.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans… Jacksonville
Jacksonville’s coming off a solid win last week in Indianapolis. I’ve yet to see Houston beat a better than average team. Even on the road, I like Leftwich and the Jaguars.

Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs… Indianapolis
So, Kansas City blew out Atlanta last week. But what’s next? Indianapolis is a very good team and can compete offensively with the Chiefs. It might take 30 points, but Manning and the boys can beat a weak Chiefs squad.

Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles… Philadelphia
Philadelphia had their wakeup call last week when Cleveland nearly defeated them in OT. If Jamal Lewis were playing, it would be a different story. Lewis is serving the 2nd and final game of his NFL suspension. Philadelphia can generate some offense against this Baltimore defense, whereas Baltimore is unlikely to score many offensive points. Philadelphia at home.

Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins… Green Bay
Since 1936, each time the Redskins won their last home game before the election, the incumbent’s party retained control of the White House. When the Redskins lose their last home game before the election, the challenger’s team wins. Who do you think I’m pulling for?

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks… Seattle
This is a match-up of struggling quarterbacks. Jake Delhomme and Matt Hasselbeck both have more interception than touchdown passes. When picking this game, I ask myself this question, “Who is the more desperate team?” I believe Seattle will win this game to save their season. Last week’s loss to Arizona was an embarrassment. They have a chance to once again be competitive in the NFC West, considering St. Louis’s upset loss to Miami. Hasselbeck needs to control the ball and handoff to Shaun Alexander as frequently as possible.

New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers… New England
New England’s streak has to end sometime, but it won’t be this week.

New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings… Minnesota
This Viking offense is playing better than any unit in the NFL. They need every bit of it, as their defense is ranked 29th in the league. At home, Minnesota is a difficult team to beat. The Giants are not as good as their 4-2 record would indicate.

Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers… San Diego
Oakland is a spent football team. They couldn’t even win last week at home versus the lowly Saints. It’s unlikely that they’ll beat a high-powered Charger offense. San Diego got even stronger when they acquired Keenan McCardell from Tampa Bay. I’ve been hesitant to pick San Diego in the past, but not today.

Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos… Denver
Both teams are coming off bad losses last week. Denver was hurt this week when they lost Quentin Griffin for the season. The home crowd will make things difficult for Vick. Chalk this up as a noncommittal pick in favor of the Broncos.

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears… San Francisco
The 49ers are by far the superior one-win team. Chicago’s starting a rookie QB this week in Craig Krenzel. San Francisco has an average offense and defense. Chicago has neither.

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets… Jets
Assuredly, some local idiots will be so pumped up about last week’s win that they’ll pick Miami to win Monday night in the Meadowlands. But nothing has changed since the Week 4 meeting in South Florida. If anything, the task is harder playing on the road. Miami’s D-Line was weakened even more with the placement of Tim Bowens on IR this week. Unlike St. Louis, the Jets actually have an overall defense ranked above 30 in the league. Miami had everything go right last week in defeating St. Louis. It would take a similar effort to come close on Monday. Jets win a competitive game.


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