PFT’s Week Eight picks

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Last week, as the Saints built a supposedly insurmountable lead over the Lions, I taunted MDS with a link of Homer Simpson singing When the Saints Go Over There.  And I scoffed when he suggested I was celebrating prematurely.  Which of course cemented the looming jinx.

Back came the Lions and down went the Saints and MDS prevailed in the one game of 15 on which we disagreed.

For the week, MDS was 11-4 and I was 10-5.  For the season, he’s now at 70-36 (66 percent) and I’m at 65-41 (61.3 percent).

We disagree on two games this week.  And there will be no premature celebrating from me this week.  Or ever again.

Chargers at Broncos

MDS’s take: The battle for first place in the AFC West will feature two MVP candidates at quarterback, but the difference in my view is that the Broncos’ defense is playing almost as well as their offense. This will be a lower-scoring game than most people think, and that favors Denver.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 21, Chargers 10.

Florio’s take:  Last year, the Chargers caught the Broncos napping on a Thursday night in December.  This year, the Broncos are bracing for their rivals, and the midseason stakes are considerably higher.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 38, Chargers 20.

Lions at Falcons

MDS’s take: What does an offense with good skill-position players and a terrible line look like? Like the 2014 Falcons, whose injuries up front have been devastating. The Lions’ defensive front will take advantage of the injury-riddled Atlanta line and improve to 6-2 with a win in London.

MDS’s pick: Lions 24, Falcons 13.

Florio’s take:  At least the Falcons won’t have to use a silent snap count for this home game, since it won’t be played in the Georgia Dome.  It won’t matter; Detroit’s defense is too good and Atlanta’s offensive line is too banged up.

Florio’s pick:  Lions 27, Falcons 17.

Seahawks at Panthers

MDS’s take: The Seahawks haven’t been playing their best football lately, but they’ve been playing better than the Panthers, whose defense has fallen apart. Seattle will get things turned around.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 28, Panthers 20.

Florio’s take:  Last year, the Panthers took the Seahawks to the limit in Week One, an outcome that became more impressive for Carolina as the season unfolded.  This year, Carolina’s defense is coming apart at the seams, and the Seahawks’ performance have been spotty enough to trigger the kind of external criticism that could put a much-needed chip back on their shoulders.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 30, Panthers 20.

Ravens at Bengals

MDS’s take: Cincinnati dominated when these two teams met in Week One, but Baltimore has looked like the much better team recently. The Ravens are playing so well in all three phases of the game that I just can’t pick against them right now.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 21, Bengals 20.

Florio’s take:  The Bengals won in Baltimore to start the season.  But the Bengals are struggling without a deep threat to stretch the field (assuming A.J. Green remains out), and the Ravens have found their groove.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 24, Bengals 17.

Dolphins at Jaguars

MDS’s take: The Jaguars got their first win on Sunday. Can they make it two in a row? Not against the Dolphins, who are a much better team than most people realize. Miami will win this one easily.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 30, Jaguars 14.

Florio’s take:  This is exactly the kind of game the Dolphins could lose, a week after a thrilling road win in Chicago.  The upset is tempting, but the Dolphins presumably won’t take the Jags lightly a week after the Browns did.

Florio’s pick:  Dolphins 24, Jaguars 13.

Rams at Chiefs

MDS’s take: The two Missouri teams pulled off two surprising upsets last week, but I see the Rams’ win as more of a fluke, while the Chiefs’ win was a sign that they’ve got a good chance to go on a run in the AFC. I like Kansas City to win this one easily.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 31, Rams 10.

Florio’s take:  More than bragging rights will be on the line in the latest edition of the Battle for Missouri.  Both teams have a chance to make a run at the postseason after being blown out at home in Week One.  The Chiefs have too much talent for the Rams, especially when the Kansas City offense faces the St. Louis defense.

Florio’s pick:  Chiefs 24, Rams 17.

Bears at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Bears are coming apart at the seams, just as the Patriots are coming together and playing their best football. This should be a big win for New England.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 27, Bears 17.

Florio’s take:  The Patriots have found the gas pedal, and the Bears are clumsily mashing their feet against the floorboard in search of it.  Yes, the Patriots are banged up defensively, but the extra time to prepare and the apparent inability of coach Marc Trestman to adjust to defenses that have a full season of offensive film gives the edge to one of the great tactical masterminds in NFL history.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 30, Bears 21.

Bills at Jets

MDS’s take: I’ve felt all year that the Jets are a better team than they’re showing on the field, and I think we’re finally going to see them turn in a complete game on Sunday. The Bills’ offense will struggle with the Jets’ defense and the Jets will win a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Jets 17, Bills 13.

Florio’s take:  The Jets surely won’t finish 1-15.  What better way to get a win than against a Bills team that is rattled at the tailback position and generally not a good as its 4-3 record suggests?  While Percy Harvin isn’t good enough to turn around a lost season in New York, he’s good enough to make a difference in this one.

Florio’s pick:  Jets 24, Bills 20.

Vikings at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: In a battle of two of the worst teams in the NFL, I’ll take the home team. That’s about all I’ve got to say about this one.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 9, Vikings 6.

Florio’s take:  Somehow, the Bucs are still alive in the NFC South.  While a run at the division is unlikely, they’ve extra week to prepare gives them the edge in the latest reunion of a longtime NFC Central rivalry.

Florio’s pick:  Buccaneers 27, Vikings 24.

Texans at Titans

MDS’s take: The Texans have lost three straight, but all against good teams. Against a bad team with a rookie making his first start at quarterback, I like Houston to take care of business.

MDS’s pick: Texans 17, Titans 14.

Florio’s take:  The fading Texans get just what they needed — a crack at a Titans team that somehow has two wins.  It’ll stay at two wins on Sunday, with Ryan Fitzpatrick (who’s averaging a career-high 8.0 yards per attempt) getting a chance to beat his most recent former team.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 27, Titans 13.

Eagles at Cardinals

MDS’s take: Coming off a bye week that followed their most impressive win of the season, I think the Eagles should be playing their best football right now. Arizona is playing excellent football, but the Eagles will upset the Cardinals in the desert.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 21, Cardinals 17.

Florio’s take:  So much for the Cardinals wanting to rejoin the NFC East.  They face the 5-1 Eagles and 6-1 Cowboys in consecutive weeks, and it could be time for the Super Bowl jinx to begin to kick in.  Especially with Chip Kelly having two weeks to get ready for this one.

Florio’s pick:  Eagles 27, Cardinals 20.

Raiders at Browns

MDS’s take: Could the Browns make it two straight losses to previously winless opponents? I don’t see it. Cleveland’s offense should have no trouble moving the ball against Oakland.

MDS’s pick: Browns 28, Raiders 14.

Florio’s take:  Trap Game No. 2 for the Browns.  And its against a team that delivered one of the most bitter defeats in franchise postseason history.  If the Browns lose to a winless team for the second straight week, they won’t have to worry about a bitter playoff defeat this year.

Florio’s pick:  Browns 27, Raiders 17.

Colts at Steelers

MDS’s take: Andrew Luck should have a big game against a suspect Steelers secondary, and the Colts should put up plenty of points in Pittsburgh.

MDS’s pick: Colts 35, Steelers 27.

Florio’s take:  Yea, the Colts shut out the Bengals last week.  But that happened at home, not in Pittsburgh.  In Pittsburgh, the Steelers average 28 points per game.  And just when folks write off the Steelers, they find a way to win games they’re supposed to lose.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 28, Colts 23.

Packers at Saints

MDS’s take: The Saints’ defense is a complete mess, and Aaron Rodgers is playing at a very high level. Even if the Saints get a great game from their offense, they simply won’t be able to keep up in a high-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Packers 30, Saints 20.

Florio’s take:  The Saints are still undefeated at home, and they play even better in the Superdome when America is watching.  By the way, the NFC South remains ripe for the plucking.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 34, Packers 31.

Washington at Cowboys

MDS’s take: Is Colt McCoy the answer? Of course not. Stop asking stupid questions. The Cowboys will roll.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 31, Washington 13.

Florio’s take:  Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, it doesn’t matter.  The Cowboys may cool off by the time it really counts, but they’re the hottest team in football for now.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 31, Washington 16.

79 responses to “PFT’s Week Eight picks

  1. Nice set of games this week. I was watching the World Series last night, and part of the opening had one of the SF Giants players referring to Game 1 as something like “The fans were great, it felt like we were at a football game.” Let’s enjoy what we have.

  2. Yall have to do something about those bold fonts. Too much going on and painful to read. Maybe put the match up in a color; leaving the game picks in bold.


  3. The ALMIGHTY Green Bay Packers look poised to win their 14th WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. Bares and Viqueefs are still the laughing stock of the whole NFL.lolz.Go Pack Go!!!

  4. We’ll show you haters who’s for real! We lost to Denver with out 3rd stringer at QB in the 4th quarter. We hanged in close with Drew Stanton. We beat the 49ers WITH Drew Stanton. Did Philly beat SF? We also beat the Chargers. #1 rush D, Big Red Curtain will eat Shady McCoy alive and Foles has nothing on the No Fly Zone and the best corner in the game! Fitz and Floyd own the Sheagles; both will score TD’s and Palmer will continue to shut up his pathetic haters. One tiebreaker to get and home field is in out sight! Keep doubting us! #RedbirdsareRising, #BigRedCurtain, #NoFlyZone, #BrucetheArianNation, #TheArianBrotherhood, #Arianzona, #Quest4HomeSB

  5. The Colts defense is 8th in overall yardage and 4th in scoring defense. This is the first time since the Ravens game the Steelers won’t be facing a bottom 5 defense.

    Don’t expect more than 10 points out of Big Ben. The Steeler defense or special teams might score to make the game seem closer than it is but take the Colts and give the ridiculously low 3 points. It seems like the Colts should be 13 point road favorites but it is only a 3 point spread.

    And don’t expect much more than 3 points out of Big Ben over the first three quarters. As a Steeler fan this game will be brutal to watch.

  6. RGIII may have been the flavor of the month back when he was a rookie but most fans, when they bother even to remember him, kind of think of him as a bust.

  7. Oakland will win a game eventually, will it be this week? Washington/Dallas will be the blowout of the year.

  8. DeMarco Murray will continue his consecutive 100 yard games. Maybe he’ll get some recognition considering he broke a 56 year old record to the passing record that was only a few years old. Rushing record is a lot harder to do in this pass happy era.

  9. Payback is coming. And the Bengals will have to settle for fighting for a Wild Card spot by the time we get to Sunday night.

    Ravens 27
    Bengals 13

  10. Don’t sleep on the Bills. While I can understand their offense struggling they gave Geno Smith hell last year (more so when they played at the Ralph) and I don’t expect anything different this weekend.

  11. And don’t expect much more than 3 points out of Big Ben over the first three quarters. As a Steeler fan this game will be brutal to watch.

    But this should be easy for you to watch as you are a Steeler fan in name only….but there is consolation you are recognized as leader of the Big Ben Bashers…aka the killer B’s

  12. The Rams dominate your #1 team in the power rankings and a solid San Fran team only to lose in the second half, and give a one loss Philly team a tough time, but the win against seattle was a fluke? Did you even watch the game? Give me a break

  13. Maybe after the crushing the Panthers took from Green Bay last week their defense might actually show up…probably not, though. Just hope they at least make a game of it this time and maybe squeek out a win against a floundering Seahawk team.

  14. As an eagles fan I know the cards are gong to be a tough game, very tough in fact. But that moron fan that posted clearly has no idea how the nfl works.

  15. Wow. So let me see if I understand….the Steelers beat the Texans and suddenly , they’re prime to beat the Colts , the Cardinals will lose to the Eagles because the Eagles had two weeks to prepare ( and there’s just no way that the Cards D can stop the Eagles ) and suddenly the Bills have no defense and the Jets Oline and ol Geno are now all world…… Ok. Got it

  16. The Bears are so flaky this year that it wouldn’t be a total shock if they somehow pulled it off in New England.

    But as bad as they looked last Sunday and with no apparent leadership to be found at the moment, I’m not seeing it.

  17. If they don’t get a win this week, the Raiders are legitimately staring down the barrel of 0-16 unless they catch the Rams or Bills on a down week. If they don’t win, an ugly season turns into an outright catastrophe. I’ll be an optimist and say they win on a Seabass field goal as time expires. Raiders 30-Browns 28

  18. The Cards are banged up, and I think most people believe the Eagles are a better team. However, the Cards Home Field advantage is legit, and I think that it will help them a lot in this game.

    Last year they lost in Philly by 3 points, and I could see the winning team have a similar margin of victory.

    Here’s hoping it’s the Cards this time!

  19. No faith in the Panthers, eh? No worries. Kuechly has a chip. As if he needed one. Defense will feed off his energy, make plays we all expect Thomas DeCoud and Melvin White to not make, and get back on track and against the Super Bowl champs.

    Or the defense will play like they’re totally uninspired and get whooped.. Hate that extra feeling I get when I’m tryna big up my team.

  20. The Arianzona Cardinals, the REAL 12th man! 9-2 at home since Arians was the coach, and we’ll go 11-0 at home this year after we get home field; you’ll see! Remember Philly when we dominated you at home in 2012? Repeat of 2012 coming your way. Rivalry and old school NFC East hste; can’t wait!

  21. The Cards have no problem with playing the Eagles and Cowboys in back to back weeks. The 2 most Overated teams in the NFL.

  22. The Bills will find a way to pull out a win over a Jets team that surely doesn’t represent their record. Orton will finally make it through 4 quarters in a row without a turnover… Dixon and Brown will take over right where Jackson and Spiller left off, but in doing so will one up the game with a breakout performance by Brown on the ground- 125+yds… It will be Woods that gouges the Jets D, not Watkins as they are assuming and he will do it with 9+ catches for 140+yds… Geno Smith will be thrown around all day long , by Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Jerry Hughes and Marcell Dareus, giving up 6 or more sacks… Gilmore and McKelvin will have quiet but very good games… The standout on the Bills D will not be a very familiar name to the Jets organization until Sunday at 4pm, that name will be Robey, Nickell Robey who will walk away with 2 ints, one of those being a pick-6. Score Buffalo-30, NYJ-10.

  23. Washington loses by at least 40. They’re that bad. Dallas is that legit. This from a Raider fan with no skin in the game.

  24. Defense wins championships, Tampa Bay has one of the worst in the league; Minnesota’s defense has vastly improved since last year and that has gotten lost in the Peterson, Bridgewater, O-line conversation.

    Minnesota: 31
    Tampa Bay: 10

    Beat the Bucs! Beat the Bucs! Beat the Bucs!

  25. Overrated? That’s what they kept saying about the Giants and Eli Manning until the final second ticked off the Super Bowl clock…..then they were “Gods” – I will take the “overrated” title….

  26. Pittsburgh wearing the 1934 Bumblebee unis Sunday and in the late afternoon and early evening Heinz Field haze the Halloween Hypocycloids make the carpetbagging Colts deliriously dizzy. This the swarming Steelers….ah, let’s see 19-34.

  27. I cant imagine the NFL when looking for major tv ratings would have envisioned such a lackluster matchup between the hapless vikings and the bucs. Probably garner a couple hundred viewers. The queens are so disappointing their own so-called fans have even abandoned them and this site.

  28. Wow, thanks Mike, for picking the Saints. We fans have been desperate to scrounge up some positives given the way the Saints have been performing.

    I did not expect anyone in the national media to bank on the Saints.

  29. Come on saints! Picking yhem makes me a even bigger fan of you mr. florio. I believe rogers will go into the superdome over confident. And like you said, something about drew at home during a national prime time game, is almost certainly money in the bank. Oh, and go bucs!

  30. “Bears beat the Patriots. Book It.”


    Could happen. I don’t like as a Pats fan that the Bears are getting all this additional motivation this week with teammates calling each other out. And the Bears are better than 3-4. But the Bears have beaten the Pats only once since SB 20.

  31. If the Chargers beat Denver this week, Denver will most certainly beat New England NEXT week. But if Denver beats the Chargers this week, I’ll go with the upset and pick New England at home next week.

  32. Chargers have nothing to lose tonight and will play a little looser than the Broncos. Reich mixes it up a bit, thinks outside the box, does not run up the middle on every first down. McCoy & McCoy have a little fun with some fakery.

    Manning 300 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
    Rivers 250 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT

    Chargers 27
    Broncos 24

  33. Unfortunately Brady will school Cutler as Rodgers did and the Bears will take another loss…not to mention Belichick will make the necessary adjustments to win, that I wish Trestman could but cannot.

    We have 2.5 years with Cutler left…hopefully we start grooming his replacement soon, I can’t take much more of 1 step forward 1 step back Cutler any longer.

    Bear fan.

  34. El Pollo Loco says:
    Oct 23, 2014 4:10 PM

    Easiest game for the Browns this year.Browns 40 Raiders 7


    Raiders get their first win of the season…17-10.

  35. boltzrulz says: Oct 23, 2014 4:02 PM

    Chargers have nothing to lose tonight and will play a little looser than the Broncos. Reich mixes it up a bit, thinks outside the box, does not run up the middle on every first down. McCoy & McCoy have a little fun with some fakery.

    Manning 300 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
    Rivers 250 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT

    Chargers 27
    Broncos 24


    Why is it that the Chargers had nothing to lose? First place in the AFC West on the line, A divisional game… Yeah, those things don’t matter… ookay.

    Oh, and check that score.

    Broncose 35
    Chargers 21

  36. dolfan13 says: Oct 23, 2014 10:43 AM

    Florio is about tog o down another 2 games to MDS.
    I always like to admit when I’m wrong. My deepest apologies Mr. Florio.

    I was wrong.

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