Week 8 of the 2016 NFL season is upon us, and there are interesting story lines across the board. Tony Romo is back at practice, although Dak Prescott will likely get the start again this week. Jamaal Charles will miss this week due to injury. Arian Foster has retired from football. The Patriots travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills this week. Unlike their last matchup against Buffalo, a game in which the Bills shut down the New England offense in New England, the Patriots will be with Tom Brady under center. Meanwhile, former Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden leads the Redskins against Marvin Lewis and the Bengals in London. The Cowboys and Eagles face off in prime time this week, and the Dak Prescott-Carson Wentz rivalry begins to grow. Bye weeks continue this week, as the Ravens, Rams, Dolphins, Giants, Steelers, and 49ers take the week off. What teams will dominate this week, and who will go home with a loss? Here are some picks!
Washington Redskins @ Cincinnati Bengals @ London. This week the Bengals and Redskins travel to London for what amounts to an anti-prime-time game in the US. Granted, the game will be nationally televised here, and granted, the Bengals historically struggle in prime time games and televised game. Maybe Marvin Lewis preps this team to play in an early morning game against former Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. I'm going to go with the Bengals here. Final score: Cincinnati Bengals 24, Washington Redskins 22.
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills. Can the Bills really defeat the Patriots with Tom Brady under center? This is a home game for the Bills, and even though Brady is back, I'm going to think the unthinkable. Bills win! Final score: Buffalo Bills 28, New England Patriots 27.
Arizona Cardinals @ Carolina Panthers. Tough game to call, but I'm leaning towards the home team in this one. At least the Panthers can score more than seven points in a game. Panthers win. Final score: Carolina Panthers 7, Arizona Cardinals 6.
New York Jets @ Cleveland Browns. Can the Browns FINALLY win a game this season? I say YES! They have to get that first win for the season sooner or later, and that could happen this week. I'm rolling with the Browns. Final score: Cleveland Browns 24, New York Jets 14.
Detroit Lions @ Houston Texans. The Lions are playing surprisingly good football this year. The Texans are surprisingly struggling. I'm going with the team that is playing better football right now in this one. Lions win. Final score: Detroit Lions 27, Houston Texans 21.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts. I can't trust the Colts to win anything this year, whether at home or on the road. That means I'm picking the Chiefs this week, even without Jamaal Charles. Final score: Kansas City Chiefs 24, Indianapolis Colts 17.
Seattle Seahawks @ New Orleans Saints. The Seahawks are the better team here, with the better defense. Their offense should also light it up against the horrid Saints defense. The team that scores the most points this week usually wins, and the Seahawks will score more points this week. Seahawks win. Final score: Seattle Seahawks 35, New Orleans Saints 14.
Oakland Raiders @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This could be a great game to watch. Both of these teams have really nice pieces on both sides of the ball, but the Buccaneers offense will likely be the deciding factor in this game. Expect a big game out of Mike Evans as the Buccaneers beat the Raiders. Final score: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27, Oakland Raiders 24.
San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos. The defending Superbowl champs face off against the Chargers at home. Meanwhile, the Chargers march in and shake up the NFL by defeating them. Chargers win this one. Final score: San Diego Chargers 28, Denver Broncos 24.
Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons. The Packers need to right the ship sooner or later, and have a good chance to do it against the Falcons. I expect them to win this game in close fashion. Final score: Green Bay Packers 35, Atlanta Falcons 33.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys. This could be a great game to watch; Prescott vs. Wentz could logically become the new Brady-Manning rivalry. That being said, I think that the Cowboys squeak out this one at home. Final score: Dallas Cowboys 28, Philadelphia Eagles 27.
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears. The Bears are who we thought they were. Will Dennis Green's former team, the Minnesota Vikings, let them off the hook? I don't think so. Jay Cutler will whine as the Vikings win. Final score: Minnesota Vikings 28, Chicago Bears 14.
--Mike B. (58-49)
Redskins (4-3) vs. Bengals (3-4): The game in London this week happens in Wembley between the Bengals and the Redskins. The Skins Jay Gruden will be facing the team he was the offensive coordinator for. The Skins are coming off a rough loss in Detroit and will be facing a Bengals team that beat up a division rival last week. This game will be truly interesting and it could be a showdown between Cousins and Dalton. When it comes down to it I have to take the Bengals to win 31 – 29 over the Redskins.
Patriots (6-1) @ Bills (4-3): The Patriots are rolling and they are headed to Buffalo to look to avenge their one loss on the season. The difference between this game and the last one between the two other than the location is that the Bills might not have Murray and the Patriots will have Tom Brady and Gronk. The Bills are going to need to actually play defense once again and show the Patriots that they have competition in this division for real. If the Bills would have won last week against the Dolphins and proved they are for real I would have considered a different outcome, but they didn’t. Patriots win 24 – 20 over the Bills.
Jets (2-5) @ Browns (0-7): The Browns continue to struggle to find a win. The Browns are stupid if they think trading Joe Thomas is a smart thing. Joe is a legendary offensive lineman and losing the one loyal piece to their franchise is a mistake. Trading Joe would decimate chemistry and their team will fall apart even more. The Jets are coming off an impressive win but knowing the Fitzpatrick is starting convinced me to pick up the Browns defense in fantasy football. I am going for it. Browns win 27 – 23 over the Jets.
Detroit (4-3) @ Houston (4-3): The Lions are rolling and they should be a team who other teams right now in the league should watch out for. They aren’t dominating anyone but they are going out and grinding out wins and in the end that is all that matters. The Texans on the other hand are being led by one of the worst QB’s in the league. This game will come down to the question of the Texans defense being able to stop Stafford. If they can’t do that then Houston will lose this matchup. I am going to take the team with a real QB, Lions win 25 – 20 over the Texans.
Chiefs (4-2) @ Colts (3-4): The Chiefs consistent offense and solid defense makes up a solid unit and that team could become something elite. The Colts offense is good but their defense is poor and they will fail to slow down the Chiefs offense. Andrew Luck might find it hard to beat this defense as I expect Marcus Peters to slow down TY Hilton and that will hurt Luck’s output in this game. Chiefs win 27 – 20 over the Colts.
Seahawks (4-1-1) @ Saints (2-4): This game will be an offense on fire and a defense on a tear. The Seahawks need to find a way to get their offense rolling or they will fall further down the division but this week against the Saints is the perfect defense for their offense to come to life against. The Saints offense will be really tested against this defensive matchup and their defense will struggle to find a way to slow down the Seahawks potentially lethal offense. I must stick with the team who has consistently proved they are contenders this year. Seahawks win 31 – 24 over the Saints.
Raiders (5-2) @ Buccaneers (3-3): The Buccaneers come off a big win over the Niners but that isn’t much of an accomplishment other than that was a road win. The Raiders on the other hand came off a good road win in Jacksonville and will be staying in Florida to play against the Buccaneers this weekend. I think this game could come down to Winston turning the ball over. I just can’t favor the Buccaneers even at home against the Raiders. Raiders win 32 – 26 over the Buccaneers.
Cardinals (3-3-1) @ Panthers (1-5): The Panthers offense is legit but their defense is a nightmare. They lost too many members of their secondary in the offseason. I really have no idea what Ron Rivera and the front office were thinking during this offseason but it clearly wasn’t a return trip to the Super Bowl. The Cardinals are coming off a frustrating tie in which they should have won the game. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitz should have no issues with the Panthers pass defense what-so-ever. Cardinals win 34 – 25 over the Panthers.
San Diego (3-4) @ Denver (5-2): The rematch of the AFC West matchup of the year. The Chargers are beasts and they just lose late in games but their defense has been playing with a fast energy while being decimated by injury. The Broncos offense took advantage of a terrible Texans team that couldn’t move the ball and gave the Broncos the ball in good position. They will be looking to avenge a loss to the Chargers and if they want to do so they need to use their incredible defense. The Chargers if they want to win they will need to use their potent offense and just keep possession of the ball. This game should be interesting. Chargers win 29 – 24 over the Broncos.
Packers (4-2) @ Falcons (4-3): I said it in my power rankings and I will say it again, I want to see the Packers use the spread offense again. Let your WR’s play RB and let check down routes be used as alternate options to runs and let Ty Montgomery and Cobb’s play making abilities make the difference on offense. I think if the Packers play like this they could become an elite team. The Falcons loss to the Chargers just came down to the lack of the ability to play defense. The Falcons offense is potent and has Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones. This game will be back and forth and could be a lot of fun. I am excited for this game more than any other this weekend. Falcons win 30 – 27 over the Packers.
8:30 PM/ET (SNF):
Eagles (4-2) @ Cowboys (5-1): The Cowboys are coming off a bye week and Dak will probably be starting this weekend over Romo leaving the team chemistry where it is. The Eagles beat up the undefeated Vikings this weekend and they are looking good again defensively. This long-time division rivalry should be fun because these are the top two teams in this division and they both could run away with it following a win on Sunday night. Dez said he will be back this weekend and that intrigues me. The Eagles will need to play a turnover seeking defense to win this game. I am torn on this one honestly but I have to go Cowboys win 31 – 27 over the Eagles.
MNF (8:30 PM/ET):
Vikings (5-1) @ Bears (1-5): The Vikings are coming off their first loss of the season and it was following a bye week. That is my only worry is are they the same team after a bye or will they struggle again against a divisional rival on the road. The Bears now will have Cutler back at the helm and they are just hoping he can really help them find themselves finally. The Bears could pull off the upset of the year if they win this game on Monday night but I think it will just be too much for them. Vikings win 25 – 13 over the Bears. ----- Matt Koontz (58-49)
Redskins @ Bengals: The Redskins and the Bengals both have good offenses, but the Bengals defense is a bit better than Washington's. I'm going with the Bengals at home. My prediction: Bengals win, 23-17.
Chiefs @ Colts: This is a tough game to call. The Colts have the better offense, and neither defense is spectacular. However, the Chiefs defense has a ton of interceptions, and the Colts love to throw the ball. My prediction: Chiefs win, 23-20.
Raiders @ Buccaneers: Oakland has a great offense, and the rest are just not good. My prediction: Oakland wins, 32-17.
Seahawks @ Saints: My prediction: Seattle wins, 13-10.
Lions @ Texans: The Lions are good at squeaking out the close games. My prediction: Lions win, 28-24.
Jets @ Browns: Both teams are bad, but I think the Browns are worse. The only way that the Jets lose this game is if Fitzpatrick throws a ton of interceptions again. My prediction: Jets win, 24-16.
Patriots @ Bills: This game is going to go a lot different then when the Pats played the Bills earlier this year. Tom is back, and playing strong. My prediction: Patriots win, 28-17.
Cardinals @ Panthers: The Panthers have struggled a lot this year. It's possible that their bye week may have helped them, but I doubt it will. My prediction: Cardinals win, 16-13.
Chargers @ Broncos: This is a tough game to call. The Broncos aren't as strong as everyone thinks they are, and the Chargers aren't as weak as everyone thinks they are. It'll be a tough game for them, but I think San Diego can pull it off. My prediction: Chargers win, 23-20.
Packers @ Falcons: This game is going to be an offensive showdown. The Falcons have lost 2 tough games, and it would be terrible for them if they lost another. They're at home and I think they're going to rally. My prediction: Falcons win, 34-30.
Eagles @ Cowboys: The Cowboys need to let Dak play. Keep Romo on the sidelines for now, unless Dak shows that he's reached his limit. The Cowboys are a strong team, and they're at home. My prediction: Cowboys win, 27-17.
Vikings @ Bears: The Vikings are coming back this week against a weak Chicago team. My prediction: Vikings win, 23-16.
--Tyler B. (66-43)
Redskins 27 - Bengals 21
Patriots 29 - Bills 17
Browns 21 - Jets 17
Lions 28 - Texans 21
Chiefs 19 - Colts 14
Saints 27 - Seahawks 21
Raiders 27 - Bucs 20
Cardinals 14 - Panthers 10
Broncos 21 - Chargers 14
Falcons 32 - Packers 27
Cowboys 21 - Eagles 20
Vikings 23 - Bears 3
Cincinnati Bengals 30 - Washington Redskins 27
New England Patriots 21 - Buffalo Bills 10
Cleveland Browns 21 - NY Jets 13
Detroit Lions 24 - Houston Texans 21
Indianapolis Colts 30 - KC Chiefs 14
NO Saints 27 - Seattle Seahawks 26
Oakland Raiders 31 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27
Carolina Panthers 20 - Arizona Cardinals 14
Denver Broncos 21 - San Diego Chargers 10
Atlanta Falcons 31 - Green Bay Packers 30
Dallas Cowboys 24 - Philadelphia Eagles 20
Minnesota Vikings 20 - Chicago Bears 6
- Andy Clary
Cincinnati over Washington 24-23
Buffalo over New England 21-20
Cleveland over New York Jets 24-17
Houston over Detroit 17-13
Carolina over Arizona 20-17
Kansas city over Indianapolis 24-17
New Orleans over Seattle 28-20
Oakland over Tampa Bay 27-17
San Diego over Denver 24-13
Atlanta over Green Bay 35-27
Philadelphia over Dallas 24-14
Minnesota over Chicago 28-10
Bengals over Washington 31-21
Pariots over Bills 28-17
Jets over Browns 24-21
Lioms over Texans 28-21
Cardinals over Panthers 24-14
Chiefs over Colts 24-21
Seatlle over Saints 20-17
Raiders over Tampa 31-27
Denver over Chargers 28-27
Falcoms over Packers 28-21
Eagles over Cowboys 21-20
Vikings over Bears 31-17
Sports give us as the human race something to cheer for and support and give hope to all of us.