The following are my picks for the NFL's Week Eight:
Sunday, October 29
Arizona (1-6) at Green Bay (2-4) – 1:00 p.m.
Green Bay is winless at home so far this year, but you know that ain't gonna last. Especially when the weekend forecast is calling for near-freezing temperatures, and the competition is the Arizona Cardinals.
GREEN BAY BY 4
Atlanta (4-2) at Cincinnati (4-2) – 1:00 p.m.
I'd say these are two pretty evenly-matched teams. Besides having the same W-L record, they have almost identical points scored/points allowed numbers. It's a tough call to make, so I guess I'll have to go with the home team.
BENGALS BY 1
Baltimore (4-2) at New Orleans (5-1) – 1:00 p.m.
Baltimore is on a two-game skid, but they had last week off to rest and recuperate. Steve McNair should be back from injury and ready to start against the Saints. New Orleans has won two in a row and is undefeated at home this season. This is another tough call.
SAINTS BY 3
Houston (2-4) at Tennessee (1-5) – 1:00 p.m.
Houston's offensive line looked pretty good last week in a win against Jacksonville. Actually, the whole team looked pretty good. But Tennessee has looked downright impressive ever since they were destroyed by the Cowboys in Week Four. Since then, they have nearly upset the undefeated Colts and beaten the Redskins. Now they're rested coming off a bye week, and they have the home-field advantage in this one.
TITANS BY 2
Jacksonville (3-3) at Philadelphia (4-3) – 1:00 p.m.
Jacksonville has been impressive in their victories, and pathetic in their defeats. And it's worth pointing out that all their wins have come at home, and all their losses have been on the road. And this game is on the road. I think it could be ugly.
PHILLY BY 13
Seattle (4-2) at Kansas City (3-3) – 1:00 p.m.
Both teams have allowed more points than they've scored, despite their respectable W-L records. Seattle is all banged up, with injuries to starting QB Matt Hasselbeck and starting RB Shaun Alexander. I'll take KC playing at home.
CHIEFS BY 7
San Francisco (2-4) at Chicago (6-0) – 1:00 p.m.
BEARS BY 19
Tampa Bay (2-4) at N.Y. Giants (4-2) – 1:00 p.m.
I think the Giants will prevail because I believe they are the better team (and they're also playing at home). But that Gradkowski kid has definitely been impressive in getting Tampa Bay two straight wins. So I think it'll be close.
GIANTS BY 3
St. Louis (4-2) at San Diego (4-2) – 4:05 p.m.
Like I've said before, the Rams are not as good as their record would seem to indicate. And San Diego is, if anything, better than their current record, and they're undefeated at home.
CHARGERS BY 11
Indianapolis (6-0) at Denver (5-1) – 4:15 p.m.
The Broncos have quietly won every game they've played since Week One. Their offensive struggles have been mooted by their outstanding defense. The Colts will have their hands full up in Denver.
BRONCOS BY 2
N.Y. Jets (4-3) at Cleveland (1-5) – 4:15 p.m.
Despite their winning record, the Jets have given up more points than they've scored. They have won two in a row, but against teams with a combined 2-12 record. I think the Browns will pull out a rare win here.
CLEVELAND BY 1
Pittsburgh (2-4) at Oakland (1-5) – 4:15 p.m.
Pittsburgh has looked awful on the road this season, going 0-3. But the Super Bowl champs should be able to snag a road win against the hapless Raiders this week.
STEELERS BY 6
Dallas (3-3) at Carolina (4-3) – 8:15 p.m.
This is a huge game for both teams. Dallas cannot afford to fall any further behind the Giants and the Eagles in the NFC East, and Carolina needs a win at home to keep the pressure on Atlanta and New Orleans in the NFC South. (Those are two of the top three divisions in the NFL, along with the AFC West, at least in my opinion.) Both teams lost last week. Frankly, I just trust the Panthers' passing game more than that of the Cowboys.
CAROLINA BY 4
Monday, October 30
New England (5-1) at Minnesota (4-2) – 8:30 p.m.
I have a bad feeling about this pick, but I gotta go with the Pats on Monday Night Football.
NEW ENGLAND BY 5.
[Bye Week Teams: Buffalo (2-5), Detroit (1-6), Miami (1-6), Washington (2-5)]