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Week 8: NFL Picks & Pans

After another solid week of picking winners straight up, including my Upset Special of the Raiders over the Jets, I head into week eight with a two week streak of 20-8 (see week and season totals at end of post). Let's get right to it:

Tampa Bay over Dallas:  This might have to be considered an upset, even though the line is something like Dallas (-1.5). However, the Bucs are playing as good ball as anyone in the league right now and Jeff Garcia is back as their leader at QB. The 'Boys are having it real tough with issues both on the field (Romo's injury) and off (Pacman, etc.). I like the Tampa Two to slow down TO and the new Roy (the old Roy was IR'd this week), while Brad Johnson looked every bit as old as his 40 years.

Washington over Detroit:  The Redskins pulled out a tough, but unimpressive victory last week at home, but has played great on the road and this week should continue that trend. The Lions may be getting better despite the trade of Roy Williams, but certainly not good enough to win this one.

Buffalo over Miami:  I never expected the Dolphins to look so bad against my Ravens last week, as evidenced by their two wins against good teams. However, the Bills are not going away anytime soon and should have enough on both sides of the ball to continue Miami's slide.

New England over St. Louis:  I say there is no way the Rams continue their amazing string after two upsets in a row over the NFC East. This time they face the Pats in Foxboro, who sure took care of business last Monday Night against the Broncos. Three in a row for the Rams? No way!

New Orleans over San Diego:  I wonder who's the home team in this game being played in London? I'd make this the Road Trip of the season if I was their fans! I guess we'll have to get up in the middle of the night to watch this, eh? I'm seeing the Saints go marching into Wembley Stadium and making the long flight home for the reeling Chargers miserable (at least I'm hoping for my fantasy QB Phil Rivers to have a good game!).

NY Jets over Kansas City:  As poor as the Jets played last weekend in their OT loss at Oakland, the Chiefs have looked even more pitiful. Without Larry Johnson, they have no go-to stars to look to. Even Brett Favre should be able to put up enough points to win this, even if he throws a couple more picks!

Philadelphia over Atlanta:  The Eagles have been so bi-polar this season and I expect them to bring out the dominant personality against the rookie QB of Atlanta. I can't see Michael Turner gaining a lot of yards here, so look for the Eagles pass rush to tee off.

Carolina over Arizona:  This game has all the makings of a offensive explosion. The Cardinals have not done so well coming east, and the Panthers have protected their turf pretty well so far, and this week should be no different.

Jacksonville over Cleveland:  The Jags will run all over the Browns porous run defense, while Jamal Lewis will have a tough going against the stout Jacksonville front. This should send Cleveland home to await the Ravens for next week's showdown, sporting a nifty 2-5 record!

Houston over Cincinnati:  As the Bengals are preparing to IR QB Carson Palmer for the season (why not at this point?), the grumblings from their troubled clubhouse grow louder. The Texans have put up a pretty solid offense this season and figure to continue this trend at home against what I think is one of the two worst teams in the league, along with their last opponent (Detroit).

Pittsburgh over NY Giants:  Perhaps the toughest game of the weekend, and maybe even a prelude to the, gasp, should I say it being from Baltimore, the Super Bowl!? I still think the Steelers always seem to find a way to win no matter what their injuries or off the field problems are. The Giants were a great team on the road last year, but this is Heinz Field, where the Steelers have been great at defending their home turf. Eli Manning looked pretty average at best the past two weeks, even with their win last Sunday. However, the Steelers defense will have their hands full with Brandon Jacobs, and he will certainly have to earn every yard.

San Francisco over Seattle:  If the 49ers can go up to Seattle and edge them as they did earlier this season, then why can't they do the same thing at home? Mattt Hasselbeck is still hurting and they can't seem to find any offense anywhere else.

Tennessee over Indianapolis (Monday Night):  Wow, this should be a great game on prime time, and I might have to miss watching 'Heros' for this one! The classic battle of a great offense up against a great defense. Indy looked great bombing my Ravens but can't seem to get fully untracked against anyone else. On the flip side, the Titans run game is so good and versatile, the Colts may have a long night ahead of them. I like the Titans to run the ball down their throats behind their Mr. Inside (LenDale White) & Mr. Outside (Chris Johnson), while passing behind the smart veteran, Kerry Collins, when needed. Meanwhile, Manning will have to pass all night as their run game won't get untracked against the Tennessee strong defense. Look for a lot of yards for Manning, including unfortunately, too many picks to win.

(Note: I'll Pick & Pan the Ravens-Raiders game tomorrow morning.)

Last Week:  10-4

Season Record:  68-37