The NFL continues to be “slightly” unpredictable, but not quite like Weeks 5 & 6. Let’s go over what happened in Week 8.
BAL 40 – MIA 0. The Joe Flacco hit grabbed the headlines, because a boring 40-0 blowout usually doesn’t. I almost always stay up to watch the Thursday night game, but I stopped watching this one at halftime. The Ravens appear to be back on track after completely shutting down Miami, and it appears Flacco will actually be starting this week.
MIN 33 – CLE 16. It looked as though Cleveland might actually find a way to win this one, but in typical Browns fashion, they found a way to lose (they also found a way to lose at the deadline, AJ McCarron anyone?). My prediction for Cleveland at this point? 1-15, with their one win coming against the Chargers on December 3. It would only make sense. The Vikings, meanwhile, are 6-2 and appear to have regained that great defense from 2015. They are definitely the front-runner for the NFC North.
NE 21 – LAC 13. This was a slightly underwhelming game for Patriots standards, but a nice defensive performance and a classic “football folly” from Travis Benjamin helped them win. As for the Chargers, they’re 3-5, and will probably be that “in the hunt” team come December that isn’t really in the hunt.
NO 20 – CHI 12. That Zach Miller catch was definitely a TD, but to make things worse for him, he needed to have a serious surgery on his leg. Mitch Trubisky continues to underwhelm, but that’s probably at least partially due to a lack of weapons. The Saints did just enough to grab their 5th straight win, so are they on track for an NFC South title?
CAR 17 – TB 3. And just like that, an offseason of hype has led to no results on the field and likely a lost season for the Bucs. As a Giants fan, I can relate. Jameis Winston turned in a disappointing performance, and so did his o-line. The Panthers did just enough on offense to win this game, so at this point, I’m convinced the Saints are the front runner of this division.
CIN 24 – IND 23. The Colts appeared to be on track to win this, but a pick 6 gave Cincy the win. The Bengals kept any playoff hopes alive as they are 3-4, while Indy drops to 2-6 in what has been a lost season. It really sucks that Andrew Luck hasn’t been able to play, and he’s now officially been ruled out for the rest of the year.
BUF 34 – OAK 14. I should’ve gone with my brain here and picked the Bills (playing at home, won 3 out of 4). But I went with my gut, convinced of the narrative that the Raiders had saved their season. However, their offense was shut down by Buffalo for the most part, as the Bills are now 5-2. With that Kelvin Benjamin trade, they definitely appear to want to break that infamous playoff drought.
PHI 33 – SF 10. The results of this game were definitely expected, and I almost predicted the score exactly right (I predicted 40-10 Philly). The Eagles are 7-1, and are undoubtedly Super Bowl contenders. It feels weird to put Eagles and Super Bowl in the same sentence, but here we are. The 49ers meanwhile, made a blockbuster trade for Jimmy Garoppolo. Can he be their answer at QB?
ATL 25 – NYJ 20. The Jets could’ve gone to 4-4 and prove that, yes, they could actually contend for a playoff spot. But the Falcons emerged as the victors, and are now 4-3. Despite the Falcons mostly having the same core, this team doesn’t have the same offensive dominance that they had in 2016. Will they rebound in the 2nd half of the season?
SEA 41 – HOU 38. In a game of offensive fireworks and more national anthem drama, Seattle got the win. It was a great game for Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson, but a bad game for both usually great defenses. Also, I have the Texans defense in fantasy. Ouch. And it was quite a dramatic 24 hours for Houston sports fans, from winning the World Series, to having Watson out the rest of the year. It’s really unfortunate how many injuries have happened to star players this year.
DAL 33 – WAS 19. I thought the Redskins would take care of business at home, but a blocked kick and a bunch of miscues cost them bad. Ezekiel Elliott was good for Dallas, but it appears his suspension is back on. And that could mean the Skins are still alive for a Wild Card spot.
PIT 20 – DET 15. You know that saying “the floor is lava”? Well for the Lions, it appeared the end zone was lava for them. The Steelers red zone defense stopped them every single time, and Jim Caldwell made two questionable calls for the Lions regarding 4th down. Also, congrats to JuJu Smith-Schuster for that awesome TD.
KC 29 – DEN 19. The Broncos put up another measly offensive performance, while Travis Kelce and a stout Chiefs defense got them the win. And a LOT of field goals. KC is back on track and at 5-2, while people out in Denver are calling for Trevor Simeian to be benched. In fact, it appears they’re going to start Brock Osweiler now. Yeesh.
After a mediocre 8-5 week, can I improve in Week 9?
BUF @ NYJ. The Bills have been a tricky team for me to pick. During this four out of 5 game win streak, I’ve picked them to lose most times. However, when the played the Bengals, I picked them to win… and they lost. But they’ve gotta beat the Jets, right? Their defense is playing too good, and so is LeSean McCoy. Buffalo wins 27-17.
TB @ NO. This should be an easy Saints victory, they’re playing at home against a struggling Bucs team. I sense a 6th W in a row, as they will beat the Bucs 34-23.
ATL @ CAR. The Panthers and Falcons are two very inconsistent teams that are hard to pick. I’m just gonna go with the home team here and pick Carolina to win, 27-24.
LAR @ NYG. As a Giants fan, my motto at this point is “embrace the tank”. Despite what New York’s idiotic GM might say, this season is cooked. The Rams are way better than expected, and the Giants are way worse, and that narrative should stay the same. The Rams will win 24-16.
BAL @ TEN. The Titans are playing at home and coming off a bye week. They’ve probably had some time to fix those issues they had in that ugly win over the Browns, and I expect the Titans to win 24-20 against a Baltimore team that I’m still not convinced is that great.
CIN @ JAC. The Jags had a Week 8 bye, and it’s now Week 9. It’s an odd week, and we know what that means. The Jaguars will win 20-14, continuing that odd/even week trend. It will be interesting to see who wins the AFC South, the Jags or Titans? However, the Jags just might be the front-runner, as they have quite an easy schedule going forward.
DEN @ PHI. Philly continues their winning ways with a relatively easy win against a struggling Denver offense. The Eagles will win 34-16 in my lock of the week.
IND @ HOU. It’s a dead season for the Colts, and with the Deshaun Watson injury, it might be a dead season for the Texans as well. However, I will pick Houston to win 19-16, in spite of Watson’s injury.
WAS @ SEA. If this was in Washington, I might just be picking the Redskins to sneak in a win. But this is in Seattle, and it’s going to be tough for the Skins to play in that stadium. The Seahawks will win 30-27 behind another great performance from Russell Wilson.
ARI @ SF. Upset of the week time! I don’t even know if it’s that much of an upset with Drew Stanton starting for the Cardinals. And Jimmy G isn’t starting from what I’ve read (you don’t necessarily want your starting QB to be a guy who’s been there for less than a week). But I’m picking the 49ers to win 24-21 even if C.J. Beathard is starting.
KC @ DAL. Despite the Chiefs having one of the better teams in the league, their passing defense truly misses Eric Berry when they go up against good offenses. Dallas will win 31-30 in a very entertaining game, and Dak Prescott will put on a show.
OAK @ MIA. Here we have another battle of inconsistent teams. So, I will pick the team with the better QB in the Oakland Raiders. Apparently, Jay Cutler will start in spite of some pain, and the Dolphins offense isn’t that great with a healthy Jay Cutler. I expect the Raiders to win 24-20.
DET @ GB. The Lions should win this game with Brett Hundley starting for the Packers, but I’m not quite sure the Lions have it in them to win at Lambeau. With the way that offense sputtered in the red zone in the last game, I expect the Packers to actually get the win, 23-17.
My Pick Record This Season: 67-53
My Lock of the Week Record: 5-3
My Upset of the Week Record: 2-6