NFL: Peeking Into the Week 8 Crystal Ball
Week 8 in the NFL is here. It is chalked full of good matchups as we have reached the halfway point of the 2020 NFL season. How does your team look? Here is a look at this week’s slate and some predictions.
Byes include: 5-2 Arizona Cardinals, 2-5 Washington Football Team, 1-6 Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-6 Houston Texans
Thursday, October 29th
(1-6)Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers(3-4) at 8:20 PM ET on FOX
In a short week, it’s hard to envision the Falcons getting a road win in Charlotte after throwing away another game. Yes, Carolina lost a tough one in New Orleans, but need this one to stay in the NFL wild-card discussion. Panthers beat the Falcons 34-21.
Sunday, November 1st
(6-0)Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens(5-1) at 1 PM ET on CBS
The game lives up to the billing. There should be several five-minute drives that lead to scores. Stephon Tuitt makes a tackle in the fourth quarter for a safety in a tight game and Pittsburgh makes it seven on the trot, 32-27.
(3-3)Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns(5-2) at 1 PM ET on FOX
The Browns showed a lot of heart in coming from behind. The defense gets gouged if Myles Garrett does not get home on opposing quarterbacks, so there will be plays for the Raiders to make. If this game is like the 2018 meeting, the scoreboard operator will need new batteries. Browns 41 Raiders 35.
(1-5)Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers(5-1) at 1 PM ET on FOX
The Packers sweep the Vikings on the season, 38-17. The running and passing games both click on offense. Minnesota needs to step it up in the second half of the year, even if the season has already been lost, but I see a lopsided score Sunday.
(5-2)Los Angeles Rams at Miami Dolphins(3-3) at 1 PM ET on FOX
The Rams will have a slow start in Florida after an impressive win Monday. They finish strong, 38-27. With the victory, they stay right with Seattle and Arizona for the top spot in the NFL’s NFC West. Tua Tagovailoa will have used the bye week to prepare for his time in the NFL spotlight. He will have up and down moments in the game.
(0-7)New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs(6-1) at 1 PM ET on CBS
Kansas City showed that they can be balanced in all three phases as they were in snowy Colorado. It still feels like the champions are still missing something, but it will not be evident in this game. New York will have to wait for their initial win. The Chiefs dispatch the Jets 37-17.
(4-2)Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions(3-3) at 1 PM ET on CBS
The Lions keep their recent run of form going. They return to Michigan and establish the run, but because the Indianapolis defense holds up, Detroit will utilize Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and T.J. Hockenson to complete the task. The final score reads Lions 32 Colts 28.
(5-1)Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals(1-5-1) at 1 PM ET on CBS
Tennessee may struggle early on, may even fall behind. Still, Derrick Henry will do what he normally does and overpower defenders. The Bengals show more flashes of brilliance from Joe Burrow, but it’s not enough. The Titans get back to winning ways, 35-20.
(2-4)New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills(5-2) at 1 PM ET on CBS
This may be an NFL football game that lacks in terms of rhythm. The defenses will play at a high level and take advantage of the lack of flow. Buffalo takes another step towards seizing the AFC East. 29-10 to the Bills in Orchard Park.
(2-4)Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos(2-4) at 4:05 PM ET on CBS
This could be a matchup to find out who saves their season when looking back on it in December. Justin Herbert and Drew Lock go head-to-head for the first time in their NFL careers. Keenan Allen plays great against the Broncos, so I think he factors into the equation. Los Angeles gets within a game of evening their record, 30-26.
(4-2)New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears(5-2) at 4:25 PM ET on FOX
The Saints seem to start slow but find their form. I don’t expect it to change. The Bears will have to answer more questions after a second straight defeat. As Louis Riddick repeatedly said during the telecast against the Rams, the Chicago defense needs to create takeaways to take some of the pressure off Nick Foles and Matt Nagy. I think the Bears are still a good team, but this week New Orleans takes the contest by a score of 26-16.
(4-3)San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks(5-1) at 4:25 PM ET on FOX
Seattle had to lose at some point after so many close victories. The Seahawks will be okay, but the 49ers may be ready to break out after two impressive results. I like San Francisco to win 32-21 in what will be considered a surprise to some people around the league.
(2-5)Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles(2-4-1) at 8:20 PM ET on NBC
The Eagles may be flawed as the rest of the NFL’s worst division, but Carson Wentz is quite the competitor. He was instrumental in the team’s come from behind on October 22nd. He leads them to Philadelphia’s third win, 37-16. Dallas gets a little more offense, but I expect it to be too little too late with the Eagles just keeping players in the field of play with the game decided.
(5-2)Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants(1-6) at 8:15 PM ET on ESPN
Tampa Bay does not skip a beat in a game they are expected to win. Ronald Jones will rush for 150 yards. His play will be important in the business end of the season to take the pressure off of Tom Brady. The Buccaneers win 35-3.
What game are you most looking forward to on the week 8 NFL slate? Leave a comment below.
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Work cited: NFL app, CBS, FOX, ESPN, DirecTV, The Dan Patrick Show