Week 8. Wow. We’ve come to the halfway point of the season (for teams that haven’t taken a bye that is).
Speaking of byes, six teams are off this week: the Ravens, Bears, Titans, Colts, Chargers and Texans.
I went 9-6 last week in my picks, and now here are my picks for week 8.
Thursday Night Football
- Carolina @ Tampa Bay: It’s not the most glamorous matchup to get Week 8 started. Cam Newton and his Panthers offense have been playing very well the last few weeks, while Mike Glennon had a good day in a loss to Atlanta. The Bucs are still looking for their first win and are without their top back after Doug Martin tore a labrum last weekend. The Panthers defense has been very good at getting to the quarterback, and if they can do the same thing to Glennon, I see this being another easy win for the cats. CAROLINA WINS
1PM Sunday Games
- San Francisco @ Jacksonville: Let’s be honest, the Jags are bad, and the 49ers are hot. Jacksonville had its best game 2 weeks ago against Denver and still lost by almost 20 points. The revolving door of Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne at quarterback continues, with Henne getting the nod this week. The run game for the Niners, coupled with a great defense, is just too much for a flawed Jacksonville team. SAN FRAN WINS
- Cleveland @ Kansas City: Brandon Weedon to the bench, Jason Campbell under center for the Browns. Off two straight bad performances, Cleveland is trying something different. A tough time to change quarterbacks when they’re on the road taking on the leagues only undefeated team. At 7-0, the Chiefs are obviously playing good football, particularly on defense, and should have another big day. KANSAS CITY WINS
- Miami @ New England: I was surprised at how bad the Dolphins played out of the gate last week, coming off their bye. The offense got going and took the lead over Buffalo, but couldn’t hold it. The same came be said for the Patriots, who managed to force overtime against the Jets. The Pats hold just a one game edge in the East, and the Dolphins are now 2 back. This is a big game for both squads, but give me the home team. NEW ENGLAND WINS
- Buffalo @ New Orleans: The Bills offense played well a week ago against Miami, and the defense made the plays late to secure a victory. But they have to do a better job of holding a lead if they get one against the Saints, which is easier said than done. And I don’t really see them having a lead, let alone holding one. I think the week off the Saints good, and not to mention how hard it is to play in the Superdome. NEW ORLEANS WINS
- Dallas @ Detroit: Two high-powered offenses in this one. The Lions lost a tough one against Cincy, the cowboys won an easy one against Philly. But Detroit actually played better on offense than Dallas did a week ago, and with DeMarco Murray still questionable for this week, I think the Lions just have more weapons right now, both offensively and defensively. DETROIT WINS
- New York Giants @ Philadelphia: The G-Men finally enter a game coming off a win, the Eagles head in on a loss. Some good news for Philly, who will be getting back Michael Vick. The ground game was better for the Giants for a second straight week, while the defense has done a great job stopping the run themselves. I think a with a win under their belt, the Giants start to find a rhythm. Rarely do these two teams sweep the season series, and I think the Giants get a big road win, their first. NEW YORK WINS
4/4:25PM Sunday Games
- Pittsburgh @ Oakland: They’re still not playing their best football, but the Steelers have no won two straight against good teams. They’re doing a good job stoping the run, which they’ll need against Terrelle Pryor and the Raiders. Oakland is coming off their bye week and while they’ve played better this season than most expected, I think the Steelers get a third straight and continue to get good progress out of Le’Veon Bell. PITTSBURGH WINS
- New York Jets @ Cincinnati: The Jets got a big division win last week, while the Bengals increased their own division lead. Both teams have gotten big performances out of their defenses this season. But I think the difference will be Andy Dalton finding his rhythm, while Geno Smith continues to have one up and one down game, as to be expected with rookie QBs. I just really like how the Cincy is playing, and have been able to win without much production in the run game, something they probably won’t get against New York. Another case of give me the home team here. CINCINNATI WINS
- Atlanta @ Arizona: Matt Ryan should get back Roddy White and possibly even Steven Jackson, giving him two more weapons to play with. The Cardinals got off to a good start this season, but I think the Falcons are primed for a run. ATLANTA WINS
- Washington @ Denver: The Redskins offense was on point last week, but the defense was not. And despite a tweaked ankle for Peyton Manning, this offense is going to be motivated coming off their first loss. It might not be a blowout, but I can’t see the Broncos losing a 2nd straight, especially with this being a home game. DENVER WINS
Sunday Night Football
- Green Bay @ Minnesota: The Packers are now down 2 of their best offensive weapons with the loss of wide-out Randall Cobb and tight-end Jermichael Finley. But the Vikings are back to a change at QB now that after 1 start Josh Freeman has a concussion, meaning Christian Ponder will be under center. GREEN BAY WINS
Monday Night Football
- Seattle @ St. Louis: The Seahawks are just better than the Rams, and without Sam Bradford under center, it doesn’t help. The Rams have added Brady Quinn and Austin Davis to the roster, after only being left with Kellen Clemens. No word on who gets the start yet, but I don’t think it really matters. SEATTLE WINS
So that’s it. Enjoy week 8 everybody.