NFL Game Picks: Week 8
It’s crazy to think that we’re almost halfway done with the 2018 NFL regular season. We’ve seen surprises both pleasant (Cincinnati, Washington) and not so pleasant (NY Giants, Jacksonville) as well as plenty of great football. As the season rolls on, let’s roll on with our weekly NFL game picks and break down week eight.
Miami Dolphins (4-3) @ Houston Texans (4-3)
All of a sudden, the Texans are on a strong upswing. After a somewhat surprising 0-3 start, Houston has rebounded to win its last four and take the lead in the NFC South. The Dolphins are just the opposite: losers of three of their previous four. There’s no reason to expect anything different on Thursday, especially with Houston having home-field advantage. Texans win easily.
The pick: Houston 33, Miami 16.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4)
This is the final game of the 2018 London series as well as the expected headliner, but it hasn’t quite turned out that way, as both the Eagles and Jaguars are struggling. Philadelphia looks like the more likely choice to get back on track with a win here considering the ineptitude of the Jaguars offense, though it’s worth noting that the Jags are winners of three straight in Britain.
The pick: Philadelphia 22, Jacksonville 17.
New York Jets (3-4) @ Chicago Bears (3-3)
Both of these teams have turned heads early on, but it’s clear at this moment in time that the Bears are the more complete squad. The Jets seem to be randomly good sometimes and randomly bad other times, while the Bears have looked solid for nearly the entire season. After all, they were one yard short of taking New England to overtime in week seven. Chicago is the favorite here.
The pick: Chicago 30, NY Jets 17.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3) @ Cincinnati Bengals (4-3)
It’s time to get back on the right path for Cincinnati. The past two weeks have proven fruitless for the Bengals, who followed a tight home loss to Pittsburgh with a blowout loss in Kansas City. This team needs to sharpen up yet again to remain competitive in the AFC, and they have a great opportunity to do so against the struggling Buccaneers. Bengals take this one at home.
The pick: Cincinnati 37, Tampa Bay 15.
Cleveland Browns (2-4-1) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1)
These teams tied in week one, and despite the fact that the Browns have looked better since then, the Steelers remain the favorite. It’s a home game for the black and gold who are riding a two-game win streak and are fresh off a bye. Cleveland couldn’t capitalize in Tampa Bay last week, so it’s hard to imagine the Browns getting the job done against its divisional rival in Pittsburgh.
The pick: Pittsburgh 29, Cleveland 19.
Denver Broncos (3-4) @ Kansas City Chiefs (6-1)
Kansas City is showing no signs of stopping. The Chiefs quickly turned around a disappointing three-point loss in Foxborough with a 45-10 stomping of the Bengals. The Broncos are coming off a 45-10 win of their own, but that was over the terrible Cardinals. Kansas City clearly looks better, and the game is in Arrowhead Stadium too. Chiefs should come away with the victory.
The pick: Kansas City 40, Denver 22.
Seattle Seahawks (3-3) @ Detroit Lions (3-3)
This is quietly one of the more interesting games in week eight. At this point, there’s probably no catching the Rams in the NFC West, so the Seahawks are looking to stay afloat in the wild card race. But Detroit suddenly has an opportunity to strike in the NFC North with Chicago falling to New England last week. Ultimately, this game comes down to who wants it more.
The pick: Seattle 20, Detroit 17.
Washington Redskins (4-2) @ New York Giants (1-6)
Here’s another golden opportunity for Washington. New York is falling fast, and with the recent trade of Damon Harrison, the Giants may already be looking ahead to next year. Washington, meanwhile, is the only team to field a winning record in the NFC East. A win here would put the Redskins at 5-2. That would be a big game of catch-up for Dallas or Philadelphia to play.
The pick: Washington 33, NY Giants 22.
Baltimore Ravens (4-3) @ Carolina Panthers (4-2)
Last week’s Ravens-Saints game lived up to the hype, and there’s a good chance this one will too. Both teams are looking like playoff hopefuls, but both teams also have to deal with tough division races. This could end up being a marquee win for the victor many weeks down the road. As for who wins this one, it’s a toss-up. Let’s give that stout Ravens defense the edge here.
The pick: Baltimore 24, Carolina 21.
Indianapolis Colts (2-5) @ Oakland Raiders (1-5)
The rebuilding process is well underway in Oakland. Like the Giants, 2018 is starting to look like a wash for the Raiders. But with three first-round picks in 2019, there’s reason to be hopeful in the future. As for the present, Indianapolis is looking like the better team, and Andrew Luck is showing signs of the Luck we saw before the shoulder injury. Colts get a road win.
The pick: Indianapolis 31, Oakland 19.
Green Bay Packers (3-2-1) @ Los Angeles Rams (7-0)
Los Angeles stands as the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL, and there’s reason to believe that will remain true after week eight is complete. The Rams haven’t shown any signs of slowing down, and with Cooper Kupp possibly returning, this team only gets stronger. Aaron Rodgers is no stranger to conquering hefty challenges, but this may be his biggest one this year.
The pick: LA Rams 37, Green Bay 25.
San Francisco 49ers (1-6) @ Arizona Cardinals (1-6)
This is not a very pretty game. If not for a three-point home win in week two over Detroit, the 49ers would be winless, and the Cardinals’ only victory in 2018 came against San Francisco in week five. There is one thing to watch though: How will the Arizona offense evolve with Byron Leftwich taking over OC duties after Mike McCoy’s firing? But that’s about it.
The pick: San Francisco 17, Arizona 9.
New Orleans Saints (5-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (4-2-1)
With the Vikings finally picking up the pace in recent play, this game brings the glamour that it was intended to have. It’s a rematch of last year’s hectic NFC divisional playoff game, and the stakes are still high, considering both teams are fighting for the lead in their respective divisions. But Drew Brees and the Saints offense has looked untouchable. New Orleans wins on the road.
The pick: New Orleans 33, Minnesota 26.
New England Patriots (5-2) @ Buffalo Bills (2-5)
Ugly, ugly game to have in the bright lights of Monday night. Nothing is for sure in the NFL, but this might be as close as it gets. The Patriots have put up at least 38 points in every game they’ve played over the past four weeks. For comparison, Buffalo has put up 31 points total in that same timespan. Anything can happen in the NFL, but we’re unlikely to see an upset here.
The pick: New England 42, Buffalo 10.
Byes: Atlanta Falcons (3-4), Dallas Cowboys (3-4), Tennessee Titans (3-4), Los Angeles Chargers (5-2)
DJ Bauer is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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