Welcome to my Week 8 NFL Picks. Last week, I went 8-6, putting my overall record at 60-45-1 (61-45-1 after Week 8 TNF). It’s right around the middle of NFL season, and this is the time of year when teams have the chance to turn around their season. This will come in the form of many upsets. Which upsets am I picking? Keep reading to find out what I think.
Lock of the Week
This won’t even be close. The Bengals are 0-7, and with WRs A.J. Green and John Ross out, the Bengals have been even worse these last few weeks. Look for QB Jared Goff and his receivers to turn it around in this one, making the Rams look like one of the best teams in the NFC. The Rams D will outmatch Cincy in every aspect, leading to a blowout.
Upset of the Week
WR Sterling Shepard is back in the concussion protocol and will miss this game, but RB Saquon Barkley and TE Evan Engram will be at full health this week, giving QB Daniel Jones all the weapons he needs against an imbalanced Lions D. The Lions run defense will struggle to contain Barkley, allowing him to have his best game yet. Engram will also thrive as CB Darius Clay closes in on WR Golden Tate. The Lions will put up a fight, but without RB Kerryon Johnson, their offense won’t have enough to take down New York.
The Other Games
|TNF (Posted to Twitter)
||The Redskins don’t have much on the Vikings D. WR Terry McLaurin is no match for CB Xavier Rhodes, and the rest of the offense has been terribly inconsistent. I don’t expect a blowout here, but in a low scoring game, the Vikings will still win with ease.|
|Look for the mortal opposite of TNF here. In this game, young QBs Gardner Minshew and Sam Darnold will prove themselves as some of the best QBs their age. The Jags will rely on RB Leonard Fournette, but Minshew will throw the ball plenty as well against a shallow Jets secondary. The Jets will see a similar situation, as RB Le’Veon Bell anchors the offense, but Darnold’s receivers thrive against a Jags secondary that lost CB Jalen Ramsey.|
|WR DeSean Jackson is still missing, and with QB Carson Wentz lacking weapons, he will be held back a bit against a tough Bills D. But I expect the Eagles defense to step it up here, holding Buffalo to just 13 points as S Malcolm Jenkins makes a big impact for the secondary.|
|With Titans star TE Delanie Walker out, I expect the Bucs to pull the upset here. QB Jameis Winston will rely on his elite WR duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Meanwhile, the Bucs front seven will step it up, causing QB Ryan Tannehill to struggle under pressure.|
|This game will be closer than people expect. But the loss of WR Emmanuel Sanders is a huge one for Denver. QB Joe Flacco won’t do as well without Sanders, even though his receivers have easy match-ups against a young Colts secondary. Meanwhile, QB Jacoby Brissett will step it up again, finding a way to win comfortably as he leans on his TE duo.|
|The loss of WR Keenan Allen hurts, but I think the Chargers can handle this Bears defense. Not many teams have beat the Bears this season, but look for QB Philip Rivers and TE Hunter Henry to step it up in Chicago and help LA begin to turn their season around. Meanwhile, QB Mitch Trubisky will struggle against an improved, balanced Chargers D.|
|Even without RB Alvin Kamara, the Saints have a huge edge here with QB Drew Brees returning. Brees will rely on his receivers as well as RB Latavius Murray against a weak Arizona D. Meanwhile, QB Kyler Murray will make rookie mistakes in New Orleans as he takes on an elite Saints squad.|
|Even with QB Matt Ryan out, I expect the Falcons to pull the upset here. With WR Mohamed Sanu out of Atlanta, WRs Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley will have more opportunities, especially against weak secondaries like Seattle’s. QB Russell Wilson will find a way to put up points, but it won’t be easy against an Atlanta D that will step it up on home turf.|
|WR Emmanuel Sanders might be the last thing the Niners needed to become legitimate contenders. With Sanders on board, their undefeated status could last longer. QB Jimmy Garoppolo will throw the ball frequently now that he has more reliable weapons in the lineup. Carolina will put up a fight as always, with RB Christian McCaffrey putting up a huge game. But it won’t be enough for San Fran regardless of who plays QB.|
|WR Josh Gordon’s days in New England are over, so we won’t see his revenge game against Cleveland. Regardless, the Patriots will win as QB Tom Brady relies on his favorite targets, WRs Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett. Cleveland will put up a fight, led by RB Nick Chubb. But it won’t be enough as the elite Pats defense gets to QB Baker Mayfield’s head.|
|Houston was once defined by their elite defense. Now they might have the best offense in the league, and everyone will put up a big game against the Raiders D, even though QB Deshaun Watson is without WR Will Fuller V. WRs DeAndre Hopkins and Kenny Stills will continue to make up for the loss of Fuller in an easy Texans victory. The Raiders will score a couple TDs as well, but it won’t be enough, as Houston still has something good going on defense.|
|This would’ve been a battle between the two best QBs right now, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. But Mahomes is injured, and so is Green Bay’s #1 receiver Davante Adams. Both offenses will find a way to put up a good number of points, as RB Aaron Jones leads Green Bay and QB Matt Moore utilizes his elite receivers. But the Chiefs will come out on top at home, led by WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce.|
|This will be closer than people expect. The Dolphins may be tanking, but without QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh isn’t on top of their game either. RB James Conner will be the one who leads the Steelers offense. But this will be a defense heavy game, as Pittsburgh holds Miami to just 1 TD.|
That’s all for my picks this week. Stay tuned for more NFL articles soon.