Predictions for NFL week 8


NFL Week 7 results 10-4
Season to date 63-41

First thing to bear in mind, for Irish NFL fans, is that the games are an hour earlier this weekend, with the clocks going back. The early games start at 5pm! This catches people out year after year, don't let it be you this season!!

Dolphins @ Bengals
'The Bungles' have one less win this season than it has players that were the stars of reality TV shows this last year. That can't be a good thing. How long before the first eruption from Mount T.O.? T-Minus just a few minutes to Chad Johnson's next Twitter rant. Meanwhile, Miami continues to be involved in either gut wrenching close losses, or uplifting close wins. One aspect stands out, Miami are a very confident road team with a sparkling 3-0 record away from home. You can see it now, Miami churn out yards on the ground behind Brown and Williams, while The Bungles fans get restless.
The pick: Dolphins 24-23
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Highest scoring half - second half (20/21) - Miami will try and get its running game going early, potentially churning up the first half clock.

Run Ricky, Run..

Jaguars @ Cowboys
Have the Cowboys hit rock bottom yet? Not by a long shot. Losing Romo and slipping to an abysmal 1-5 record was bad enough, but just wait until they lose this one to Gerrard and the Jags. Jacksonville get their big QB back this week, he was last seen leading them to consecutive victories over the Colts and Bills. He should have no problem marching the Jags downfield against a demoralised and beaten Cowboys team. At the very least, take the points on offer, and pat yourself on the back as 78 year old backup John Kitna makes mistakes.
The pick: Jaguars 33-17
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Total away team points - over 18 (10/11) - Gerard coming back should reignite the Jags offence. The Dallas D is not what it used to be.


Not a good look for Dallas

Redskins @ Lions
Sneaky feeling alert! Sneaky feeling alert! The Lions welcome back QB Mathew Stafford for this game, he joins the ranks of an upward trending team that is averaging almost 25 points a game, has Calvin Johnson, Jahvid Best and Ndamukong Suh wreaking havoc weekly, and must at this stage realise they are on to something good. The Redskins have been winning ugly, and last week beat an extremely dysfunctional team in the Bears. If the Lions can turn this one into a shootout, the Skins won't be able to keep up. Believe it or not, the Lions simply have too many weapons at their disposal.
The pick: Lions 34-26
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Lions WR Calvin Johnson to score a touchdown at any time - (7/4)


Ndamukong Suh - Raaar!


Bills @ Chiefs

The Bills valiant effort last week against the Ravens had to sap into their energy reserves. Their offence was let down badly by their sieve like defence. Expect more of the same this week, the Chief's offence is thriving under Charlie Weis. 'The Patriots West' (Kansas with Weis, Crennell, Cassel and Vrabel) are simply too good for the 0-6 Bills.
The pick: Chiefs 38-21
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Total points in the game - Over 46 (10/11)


Matt Cassel quote from 2008: “My wife and I are going to take a trip to Ireland and check out some of our heritage. Then I’ll just come home, relax a bit, and get ready to go.”

Panthers @ Rams
The Rams may have lost last week, to a late Buccaneers drive, however anyone watching could easily identify they were the superior, more progressive team in most facets of the game. They just lost to a clutch drive. The Panthers had their first win of the season, and suddenly everyone is picking them to win this game. Not so fast. Stephen Jackson and Sam Bradford, matched with home field advantage will equate to a relatively easy Rams win.
The pick: Rams 24-17
A little something for the weekend, sir? – First half handicap betting - St Louis -1 (10/11) - The Rams raced to a big lead last week before being reeled back in, they can do the first part of that again on their home turf.

Packers @ Jets
This one may end up closer than expected. The Packers will keep the Jets run defence honest by throwing behind them with more success than some teams to date, Aaron Rodgers is a confident, brave QB who will attempt (and make) some risky throws. However, you can't ignore the elements in the Jets favour. They are healthy and coming off a bye week, therefore very well rested. Meanwhile the Packers have worse injury problems than Michael Owen. That combination will doom the Packers to a brave but inevitable loss.
The pick: 30-27
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Green Bay total points over 18 (10/11)

Broncos @ 49ers (London, England)
Can we just flip a coin with this one? It is an understatement to say both teams are struggling mightily this season. Things are so bad that whispers are starting regarding the job security of the men in charge. Both teams are in such a tailspin that it is very hard to choose between them. This is complicated further by the location of the game, London! The defining factor is simple enough, however. The position of QB is disproportionately crucial in the NFL, and Kyle Orton is a good NFL QB. Troy Smith, the 49ers third string, is not.
The pick: Broncos 27-13
A little something for the weekend, sir? – 49ers total points under 21.5 (10/11) everyone knows Troy Smith is starting, right?

Titans @ Chargers
A couple of details stand out in particular here. First off, the well balanced Titans are scoring 28.4 points a game, while only conceding 16.7. San Diego are doing okay in terms of the former (25.3) and not great for the latter (21.3). On top of that, the Titans are real road warriors in 2010, sitting on a nice 3-0 road record. This is a sign of a well coached team with plenty of team-spirit amongst its ranks. San Diego? Not so much. An Irish American football league team would have been embarrassed by some of the play from the Chargers last week. This game will tell the story of two teams going in very different directions. Tennessee have the tools to go into San Diego and make things very uncomfortable for Norv Turner and the Chargers.
The pick: Titans 27-24
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Tennessee +3.5 points (10/11) - take the points, and the money, and run. That extra half point is juicy in what should be a close encounter.


NOT Norv Turner.

Seahawks @ Raiders
Was there a greater illusion across the NFL last week other than the Raiders surreal 59-17 win over the Broncos? Or are Oakland really that good? The Seahawks figure to provide a sterner, more organised test under Pete Carroll, but Oakland has some serious momentum going for it. Seattle are a decent football team at home, in front of its vociferous fans, however on the road they turn to mush. One road loss in particular comes into play here, Seattle got whipped 31-14 in Denver earlier this season. Therefore, science says, Oakland, fresh off their almost unbelievable beat-down of Denver, should cruise.
The pick: Raiders 26-14
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Oakland/Oakland half time/full time (6/4)

Vikings @ Patriots
Well now, if it isn’t Sports Karma, slapping Randy Moss gleefully in the face. Let’s see Moss fulfil his ‘it’s all about winning!’ mantra now, with Tavaris Jackson or a one legged Brett Favre throwing wobbly passes his way the next few weeks. If Randy Moss ever offers you a horse racing tip, take the field instead. He doesn’t seem very good at picking winners. Joking aside, no need to look too deep into this one, for one reason specifically. The Patriots are 3-0 at home this season. The Vikings on the road? 0-3. Hopefully Moss enjoys his afternoon watching Brady march the Patriots into the end zone a few times, as he chases haplessly after misplaced passes.
The pick: Patriots 31-17
A little something for the weekend, sir? – New England's defence to score a touchdown at any time (3/1)



Buccaneers @ Cardinals
Tampa Coach Raheem Morris, why lie to us all?! Last week, after his young, admittedly talented QB Josh Freeman led a nice little comeback, Morris spouted; "There's no other person I want out there when I'm coming from behind," – lewd innuendo aside, is Morris saying he would not be interested in Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees leading a Buccaneers comeback?! You have to wonder would Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt say the same about Max Hall? Probably, "There's no other person I want out there..ah screw it, someone get me Kurt Warner’s cell number!’’. Tampa were live on Irish TV last weekend, and were frankly very lucky to escape with a win against a very mediocre Rams team. St Louis ran them off the park in the first half, and simply took their foot off the pedal in the second. Finally, check out Arizona’s last ten games, most recent first, L, W, L, W, L, W, L, W, L, W. Having alternated Loss/Win for ten straight games, science says, they are due a ‘W’, right?.
The pick: Cardinals 24-20
A little something for the weekend, sir? – First scoring play - Arizona touchdown (13/8)

Steelers @ Saints
Market correction in order here. The Saints are suffering through a serious Superbowl hangover that no amount of Bloody Marys can fix. However, they did not turn into a bad football team over night. Pittsburgh are 3-0 on the road and seemingly impervious to bad luck. Last week their goal line fumble should have cost them the game in Miami. They got away with it. The Saints, in front of their home crowd, will be playing for their season. The Steelers can't keep getting lucky. Time for a market correction.
The pick: Saints 24-21
A little something for the weekend, sir? – New Orleans -1 (10/11) - when is the last time New Orleans were basically scratch odds at home?

Texans @ Colts
There's no doubt about it, the Colts are reeling. Injuries to Addai, Clarke and Collie have shorn them of some serious offensive weaponry. However, before you jump all over Houston, consider a few facts. The Colts need this one. Badly. They are coming off a bye week, and will be fresh and hungry. Their Twin Tower defensive ends are ready to go, Mathis and Freeney will cause chaos in the Texans backfield. They tend to be a pretty good home team, and they have Peyton Manning directing traffic from under center. Finally, last and very much not least, who has the worst defence statistically in the NFL? You guess it, Houston. Colts simply have to get a win here, and my bet is they do.
The pick: Colts 34-23
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Houston total points - over 21 (10/11) - The Colts should win, but Houston can score against this banged up Colts 'D'


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