Best NFL Straight Up Picks Week 8
NFL Schedule Dec 31
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Falcons vs. Panthers
The Falcons have played much better football since firing their head coach Dan Quinn a few weeks ago. However, they are still not a good defensive team at all. They have consistently allowed opposing teams to tear them apart through the passing game and have struggled against the rushing attack as well. They have also already lost to the Panthers earlier this season. The Panthers have played great football behind their new head coach and roster, they were even able to beat this Falcons team without superstar running back Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey might come back this week and if he does, it makes a Panthers win that much more likely.
Final Pick: Panthers
Vikings vs. Packers
The Vikings have just played terrible football all season long. Many were expecting a strong season for the team as their only big loss in the offseason was receiver Stefon Diggs. But he has been replaced nicely by rookie Justin Jefferson. This offense has just not functioned well at all with Kirk Cousins in the backfield controlling the offense, he has made far too many mistakes with the ball and seems rattled too often. The Packers defense should be able to get to him early and often and force him into making mistakes early on. If that happens, it would give Aaron Rodgers and the talented Packers offense extra chances. They would be able to score points at will as the Vikings defense has been awful all season long. The Packers should be able to dominate both sides of the football in this divisional matchup.
Final Pick: Packers
Raiders vs. Browns
The Raiders have actually played much better than they have in years prior. Their offense is starting to become far more explosive due to the emergence of star running back Josh Jacobs and their rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III. Because they have been able to score points at an increased rate, their defense has fed off that energy and it has made their job much easier. However, they will definitely be tested this week against one of the most talented offenses in the league. The Browns have weapons all over their offense and should be getting star running back Nick Chubb back into the lineup for this game. Cleveland will make this game incredibly difficult for the Raiders due to their explosive offense. This game is bound to be a high scoring affair, but I think that the Browns will be able to pull this one out due to their star power on offense.
Final Pick: Browns
Titans vs. Bengals
The Titans continue to prove all the doubters wrong. They have battled adversity all season long and yet are still one of the best teams in the league right now. Their running back Derrick Henry has been playing at a level we haven’t seen in a very long time and it has helped elevate Ryan Tannehill’s level of play as well, making the play action pass much easier to complete. The Titans will score a lot of points against this young and inexperienced Bengals defense that doesn’t have much star power. If they want to win this game, they will need a flawless game from rookie quarterback Joe Burrow. I think that Burrow will give this team a chance to win as the game winds to an end, but they just don’t have enough to pull out a win here.
Final Pick: Titans
Patriots vs. Bills
The Patriots have had their fair share of ups and downs this season. It has been incredibly hard to tell how good this team actually is. One thing for sure is that they have a talented offense and defense, but they just aren’t able to get going week to week. They will need to play well on both sides of the ball in order to beat the Buffalo Bills in this divisional matchup. The Bills have been one of the best teams in the league all year long, some have even called for quarterback Josh Allen to be the MVP. Their defense hasn’t been playing at the level it has in the past though, as they have had a few injuries that have really hindered their performance. This is going to be a low scoring game, but I think the Patriots will have a lot of trouble against this Bills defense and it will lead to the Bills claiming the victory.
Final Pick: Bills
Saints vs. Bears
The Saints have been one of the most disappointing teams in the league. They have a ton of weapons on both sides of the football, but penalties and injuries have really hurt them. They have been getting healthier as the season has gone on and should be in prime position to battle it out against a surprisingly good Bears team. The Bears have been shocking the world with their level of play, as they keep winning games that people don’t expect them to win. They have rallied behind veteran quarterback Nick Foles and have found ways to squeak out victories. However, the Saints have too much firepower on the offense for the Bears to be able to keep in check forever. Their offensive line should be the difference maker in this game as it should eliminate the Bears incredible pass rush led by Khalil Mack. The Saints should be able to take this one.
Final Pick: Saints
Cowboys vs. Eagles
The Cowboys have shown mixed signs after they lost Dak Prescott for the year after his ankle injury. Andy Dalton has proved that he is a capable starter for this offense, but it also feels like they lack that explosion that Prescott was able to bring to the offense. Their defense remains one of the worst in the league, but it has improved ever since getting Leighton Vander Esch back. They have a matchup with a division rival this week against a confusing Eagles team. The Eagles have looked really good and really bad all at the same time this season. Carson Wentz has looked like an MVP candidate on some drives but on others he doesn’t even look capable of being a starting quarterback. His fluctuating play has also been due to their offensive line playing horrific and the fact that they have no decent receivers on this offense. On the defensive end, their secondary is among the worst in the league despite having a terrific defensive line. All around they are a mixed bag of talent. This game is definitely going to be hard to predict but I have a feeling that Dalton and company will be able to get it done against a struggling Eagles team.
Final Pick: Cowboys
Colts vs. Lions
The Colts have been inconsistent to say the least so far this season. Their offense has shown flashes of dominance behind Philip Rivers, but they have also had some terrible performances. The same goes for their defense as well, that has a few big injuries that are holding them back. They get an easier matchup this week in the Lions who have been very underwhelming all year. The Lions have a below average defense that the Colts will be able to take advantage of, they will need to put up a lot of points in order to make up for their defense. But the Colts defense has been solid all year long and it doesn’t help that the Lions offense isn’t among the best in the league. This game may be closer than expected but the Colts are a far better overall team.
Final Pick: Colts
Jets vs. Chiefs
There’s not much to say about this game. The Jets are by far the worst team in the entire league and have shown almost no potential at all on either side of the ball. They match up against the reigning Super Bowl champions who have been playing at an exceptional level all season long. The Chiefs also picked up former Jets running back Le’Veon Bell, who will take this team over the top. The Chiefs will blow out the Jets in this matchup.
Final Pick: Chiefs
Steelers vs. Ravens
This will be a clash between two powerhouses in the same division. The Steelers have continued to prove that they have an elite defense with playmakers all over the field, they have also shown that their offense can be dominant with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. They are going up against a top five defense in the Baltimore Ravens who have also scored 20 plus points in 30 consecutive games. This game is going to be highly intense with hard hits and even some scuffles along the way. It also has the chance to be a shootout with how well these teams know each other. Ultimately, I think that the Steelers will be able to steal this one against the Ravens.
Final Pick: Steelers
Rams vs. Dolphins
The Rams have looked so good early on in the season but have been fluctuating a small bit since then. They still have a solid defense that has star players Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey and an offense that is centered around quarterback Jared Goff. They have looked like a playoff team all season long despite a few bad performances, but they get another chance to assert their dominance against one of the youngest teams in the league in the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins have completely rallied around Ryan Fitzpatrick and it has seemingly given this team new life. They have been putting up points far more effectively than they have in the past and their defense has been able to get healthier which has resulted in much better play on that side of the ball. The Dolphins could be in prime position for an upset in this matchup, but it would be wrong to go against Goff and the Rams after what they have shown so far this year.
Final Pick: Rams
Chargers vs. Broncos
The Chargers have played outstanding football behind rookie quarterback Justin Herbert this season. Unfortunately, they have dealt with a number of injuries all over their roster and have been unable to close out games despite big leads at halftime. They will get another chance to right the ship this week against Drew Lock and the Broncos. Denver has been pretty bad this season, although most of that is due to them missing Lock for a few games, Courtland Sutton and Von Miller are both out for the year and they lost Jurrell Casey also. They have continued to battle every week but may struggle to stop Herbert and the Chargers offense. It will also be difficult for them to move the ball offensively as this defense has been able to slow down both the Chiefs and Saints this year. The Chargers should finally be able to close out a game and take this one on the road.
Final Pick: Chargers
49ers vs. Seahawks
The 49ers have consistently confused me all season long. One week they lose to the Dolphins by over 20 points but then they come back and beat a hot Rams team the week after. However, this game is going to be unlike many of their others as the Seahawks know them incredibly well as they are division rivals. Seattle is also playing at a Super Bowl level behind leading MVP candidate Russell Wilson. They should also be getting all-pro safety Jamal Adams back from his injury, which could cause a lot of problems for Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49er offense. Seattle will be able to tear apart the 49ers offensively as they are still missing a ton of starters on that side of the ball. Like many others, this game will most likely come down to the wire. It is hard to bet against Wilson after the year he has had so take the Seahawks here.
Final Pick: Seahawks
Buccaneers vs. Giants
This game may not need much explaining either. The Buccaneers have been up and down most of the season but have shown that they could be outstanding if they are able to control their penalty problem. They have had a dominant win over the Green Bay Packers 38-10, handing the Packers their first loss of the season. They should have no problem this week against the struggling Giants who will be missing superstar running back Saquon Barkley for this game. The Buccaneers led by Tom Brady should be able to take full advantage of this opportunity and get a huge win on the road.
Final Pick: Buccaneers