NFL Week 8 Preview
Falcons @ Panthers
This was written prior to the Thursday Night Football Game
The Panthers are one of my favorite teams in the league, I love their culture and they have a lot of up and coming players. Robby Anderson is quietly second in the league in receiving yards and is having a career season. Jeremy Chinn is a top three candidate for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award and this defense is young, but it's got some swag. The Falcons are the worst fourth quarter team in NFL history, but the offense has been consistently putting up a lot of points consistently. I think the Panthers should win this game pretty handedly. The Falcons have one of the worst defenses in the NFL and the Panthers just beat them three weeks ago.
Matchup to Watch: Donte Jackson vs Julio Jones
Player of the Game: Robby Anderson WR Panthers
Final Score: Falcons 23 vs Panthers 27
Vikings @ Packers
The Vikings have been one of the biggest let downs all season and the Packers have been one of the best teams all years. The Vikings are getting back Dalvin Cook this week and are coming off of a bye week. The Packers ran through the Texans last week and dusted off their loss to the Buccaneers two weeks ago. Jaire Alexander is one of the most underrated corners in the NFL and he's got a big matchup against both Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. The Vikings have a solid roster, but it seems like they're headed in the wrong direction. The Packers should be able to throw all over this defense and while these games are usually close, I still expect the Packers to come out with the big division win.
Matchup to Watch: Jaire Alexander and Kevin King vs Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen
Player of the Game: Davante Adams WR Packers
Final Score: Vikings 24 Packers 34
Titans @ Bengals
As much as I love Joey Burrow, I expect the Titans to dominate this ball game. Tennessee is coming off a huge loss to the Steelers and are going to be playing angry. Practically the entire Bengals offensive line has been on the injury report this week and I expect TItans DT, Jeffery Simmons to be in Burrow's face all game long. Derrick Henry should be able to run all over this defense and the Bengals just won't have an answer for the Titans offense. Ryan Tannehill has quietly had an MVP caliber season and is going to throw all over the Bengals defense. This game shouldn't be close because the Titans are going to own the time of possession category. Tennessee should win this game by two scores.
Matchup to Watch: Jeffery Simmons vs the Bengals IOL
Player of the Game: Jeffery Simmons DT Titans
Final Score: Titans 27 Bengals 13
Jets @ Chiefs
In my honest opinion, I believe this game features the best team in the NFL going against the worst team in the NFL. The Chiefs are going to absolutely clobber the Jets. Chris Jones should dominate on Sunday and Tyrann Mathieu is going to make Sam Darnold see ghosts a day after Halloween. Patrick Mahomes may put up five touchdowns this week and I expect former Jet, Le'Veon Bell to get in the end zone as well. The Jets put up a good fight against the Bills last week, but this week they're going against Mahomes. I expect the Chiefs to score early and often against the Jets this week.
Matchup to Watch: Patrick Mahomes vs the single game touchdown record (7)
Player of the Game: Patrick Mahomes QB Chiefs
Final Score: Jets 10 Chiefs 49
Colts @ Lions
I believe Frank Reich is one of the best coaches coming off of a bye week. The Colts have been overall a really good team this year and they're getting star linebacker, Darius Leonard back this week. The Lions have won three out of the past four games and are catching a bit of a hot streak. Matthew Stafford and TJ Hockenson have been developing their chemistry every week and D'Andre Swift has been catching his rhythm. The Lions are an ascending team, but they're about to play against one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Colts have one of the best pass defenses in the NFL and will only be better with Leonard coming back. I expect Stafford to be forcing too many passes and it will cost him. I think this will be a low scoring game that ends in the Colts favor.
Matchup to Watch: Kenny Golladay vs Rock Ya-Sin
Player of the Game: Darius Leonard LB Colts
Final Score: Colts 24 Lions 16
Steelers @ Ravens
This is the game we have all been waiting for. Their combined record is 11-1, the Steelers have the best defense in the NFL and the Ravens have one of the most electrifying offenses in the NFL. Baltimore's defense is also one of the best defenses in the NFL and the Steelers offense gets better every week. The Steelers are going to force Lamar Jackson to throw the ball downfield, but Jackson has quietly been of the best pure passers in the NFL. In order for the Steelers to win this game, they are going to have to get Chase Claypool going early and often. This game will definitely be close and I've never really seen Jackson win a game that comes down to the wire. I 100% think he's capable of it, but I'm going to take a "see it to believe it" stance. I think the Steelers pull off the narrow road victory.
Matchup to Watch: Chase Claypool vs Marlon Humphrey
Player of the Game: Minkah Fitzpatrick S Steelers
Final Score: Steelers 26 Ravens 24
Rams @ Dolphins
This is the week we've been waiting for, the first start of number five overall pick Tua Tagovailoa. While I thought it was premature for the Dolphins to bench Ryan Fitzpatrick, I'm so excited to see what Tagovailoa is capable of. Unfortunately, his first start comes against the most dominant defensive player in the NFL. He's going to have barely any time to throw against Aaron Donald and I expect Donald to have a field day against this Dolphins offensive line. Sean McVay should be able to exploit weaknesses on Miami's defense and I expect the Rams to come back west with another win to their record.
Matchup to Watch: Tua Tagovailoa vs Aaron Donald
Player of the Game: Aaron Donald DT Rams
Final Score: Rams 27 Dolphins 16
Patriots @ Bills
The Bills look like they're in a really good position to finally take the throne of AFC East champions. This has to be their biggest test. The Patriots have won the AFC East 15 out of the last 16 seasons, but now with Tom Brady out of the division the Bills are favorites to win the East. Josh Allen started the season red hot, but have slowed down winning just one out of the last three games. The Bills looked terrible last week against the Jets, but the Patriots have scored one touchdown in the past two games. This game should be low scoring, but I expect the Bills to pull out the win. The Bills offensive line is starting to get healthy and Josh Allen is poised for a big game. I believe the Bills win this game in a gritty matchup.
Matchup to Watch: Stephon Gilmore vs Stefon Diggs
Player of the Game: Josh Allen QB Bills
Final Score: Patriots 16 Bills 23
Raiders @ Browns
This is a sneaky good matchup. Both the Raiders and Browns have impressed this season, but are both looked at as "pretenders". Baker Mayfield is coming off of his best game as a pro and had five touchdowns last week. With that being said, they lost arguably the best player on their team last week with Odell Beckham Jr. A lot of young players will have to step up to fill Beckham's presence. Myles Garrett is having a defensive player of the year caliber season. His matchup against pro bowl left tackle, Trent Brown is my matchup to watch this week. The Raiders have the tools to win this game. If Derek Carr is willing to air the ball out to Henry Ruggs, they will be able to take advantage of Andrew Sendejo. I think the Browns are going to dominate in the time of possession category and win this game.
Matchup to Watch: Myles Garrett vs Trent Brown
Player of the Game: Kareem Hunt RB Browns
Final Score: Raiders 20 Browns 27
Chargers @ Broncos
The most entertaining player to watch in the NFL this year has been Justin Herbert. Every Chargers game is entertaining and he's the leading candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year. I'm happy to admit that I was wrong about Herbert and he's had one hell of a rookie season so far. The Broncos look dead. Offensively, they're missing that spark and I don't think they have the juice to keep up with the Chargers. I'd like to see more offensive plays scripted to get Jerry Jeudy the ball. He needs to work on catching the football, but he is already one of the best route runners in the NFL. I don't think the Broncos have the giddy to keep up with Justin Herbert and the Chargers.
Matchup to Watch: Jerry Jeudy vs Casey Hayward
Player of the Game: Justin Herbert QB Chargers
Final Score: Chargers 31 Broncos 13
Saints @ Bears
This game is difficult for me. I have been disappointed by how the Saints look this year, but they're a team that has been stacking wins in the past few weeks and before you know it, they'll be in the playoffs. The Bears on the other hand are a lot worse than their record says. They have a top tier defense, but their offense is missing fire power. The Bears are going to be without Allen Robinson, their best offensive player, this week. I think this will be another defensive game, but the Saints will have their opportunities. I expect a Saints win and Cameron Jordan having a big game.
Matchup to Watch: Khalil Mack vs Terron Armstead
Player of the Game: Cameron Jordan DE Saints
Final Score: Saints 24 Bears 20
49ers @ Seahawks
The Seahawks are coming off of their first loss of the season and there is no way Russell Wilson loses two in a row... right? Well, I think this game has upset written all over it. The recipe to defeat the Seahawks is by keeping the ball out of Russell Wilson's hands. They 49ers are going to run the ball and own the time of possession game. The 49ers corners have also been lock down the past two weeks and are going to have a huge matchup against DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. I think this game is going to come down to who ever has the ball last. I'm calling my shot here and I expect the 49ers to come away with a last second dub!
Matchup to Watch: Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf vs Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley
Player of the Game: JaMychal Hasty RB 49ers
Final Score: 49ers 30 Seahawks 27
Cowboys @ Eagles
I am so upset that this game hasn't been flexed out of the Sunday Night game. The Eagles should be able to cause terror for Ben DiNucci and absolutely shut down the Cowboys offense. The Cowboys offense looks just as bad as the Cowboys defense right now and the Eagles should sweep the floor on the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. I think Fletcher Cox is going to dominate and Carson Wentz is going to have an overall, really good game. The Cowboys offense revolves around the quarterback and with Joe DiNucci in, I don't see this team being successful. The Eagles are going to lay the absolute smack down on "America's Team".
Matchup to Watch: Amari Cooper vs Darius Slay
Player of the Game: Fletcher Cox DT Eagles
Final Score: Cowboys 10 Eagles 24
Buccaneers @ Giants
Right now, the Buccaneers are a top 3 team in the NFL. Their offense is dominant and their defense has been terrorizing opposing offenses. The Bucs have caught fire and I love the direction of their team. However, Tom Brady is facing his kryptonite, the New York Giants. Thankfully for Brady, the Giants are one of the worst teams in the NFL this year and this should be a blowout victory for him. I expect the Bucs to dominate the Giants and Justin Pierre-Paul to show no mercy against his former team. The Buccaneers should win this game by two or more scores.
Matchup to Watch: Mike Evans vs James Bradberry
Player of the Game: Tom Brady QB Buccaneers
Final Score: Buccaneers 33 Giants 10