• Jake Klausner

NFL Week 8 Predictions

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

TIME FOR A SPOOKY WEEKEND OF FOOTBALL


Halloween is right around the corner, which means we will have a spooky day of football. Let's get into these scary matchups starting with the marquee matchup on Thursday Night.



Green Bay Packers (6-1) vs. Arizona Cardinals (7-0) (Thursday 8:20 p.m. ET)

TV: FOX/NFL NET Line: ARI -6.5



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- The Arizona Cardinals are arguably the best team in football. With one of the best offenses in football, coach Kliff Kingsbury's squad comes into this game undefeated. The teams' main attraction is Kyler Murray, who is putting up a solid case for an MVP racking up over 2,000 passing yards and 17 touchdowns. The Cardinals are coming off a sluggish performance against the Houston Texans, but they got the win. However, this potential future NFC championship matchup against Green Bay is their most formidable opponent yet.


- Since losing their week one matchup against New Orleans, the Green Bay Packers have won six straight and are one of the hottest teams in football. Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and he is showing us why. Last week against Washington, Rodgers threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns. However, the Packers could be in huge trouble, as star wideout Davonte Adams could miss the game after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.



PREDICTION:


With Adams out, Rodgers doesn't have his go-to target. Therefore, I believe the Cardinals' defense will take advantage of this, and Kyler Murray and the offense will do enough. I think the Arizona Cardinals win a hard-fought game and, more importantly, cover the spread.

Pick: ARI -6.5



Carolina Panthers (3-4) vs. Atlanta Falcons (3-3)

(Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

TV: FOX Line: ATL -3.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR


- The Atlanta Falcons are coming off another tight win against the Miami Dolphins. Since their epic Super Bowl collapse, the story for Atlanta has been their knack for blowing leads late in games. The Falcons almost did that last week, but with the help of an offense led by Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, and Kyle Pitts, they gutted it out and allowed Younghoe Koo to kick the game-winning field goal. After breaking out a couple of weeks ago, Pitts is coming off his best game all season with 176 yards receiving. I think that if Matt Ryan can continue to give the big rookie the ball, the Falcons will have a perfect shot against a tough Panthers' defense.


- The Panthers are coming off a very disappointing stretch of football. After starting the season 3-0, Carolina has dropped four straight games. Sam Darnold is also back to being Sam Darnold, which means he sucks. The Panthers are coming off a horrible performance against the New York Giants, in which they only had 173 yards of total offense. I have the feeling the Panthers will bounce back this week against a poor Falcons defense.


PREDICTION:


The Panthers' defense can force Matt Ryan to make some mistakes; however, Sam Darnold is very good at turning the ball over. This reasoning is why I believe that the Atlanta Falcons will make fewer mistakes on offense and will prevail.

Pick: ATL -3.0




Miami Dolphins (1-6) vs. Buffalo Bills (4-2)

(Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

TV: CBS Line: BUF -13.5



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- Coming off their bye, the Buffalo Bills are well-rested. They've got one of the best offenses in the league, and their defense can force turnovers as well. The Bills were coming off a tough loss to the Titans on MNF a couple of weeks ago. However, Josh Allen is well-rested, and I believe that they will bounce back this week against a struggling Miami Dolphins team. However, they could be without tight end Dawson Knox after he broke his hand in their last game.


- Let's face it, the Miami Dolphins stink. They have lost six straight games, and with the trade deadline looming, you've got to imagine they will be looking to make some moves. Tua Tagovailoa has shown signs of improvement since coming back from a rib injury he suffered in week two, but his work is far from over. How long can you sit there and be ok with Tua as your starting quarterback if you are a Dolphins fan?



PREDICTION:


I think this game has the potential of getting ugly. The Bills' defense will force Tua to make bad decisions, Josh Allen and the exciting Buffalo offense will look to bounce back against a subpar Dolphins' defense. I expect the Bills to win big.

Pick: BUF -13.5





San Francisco 49ers (2-4) vs. Chicago Bears (3-4)

(Sunday 1 p.m.)

TV: FOX Line: SF -3.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- The Chicago Bears are in a world of hurt right now. They were coming off an embarrassing loss last week, and they are one loss from them potentially firing Matt Nagy as head coach. Rooke QB Justin Fields has not looked good this year. His TD/INT ratio is 2:6, which is horrendous. In last week's game against Tampa, Fields threw three interceptions and was responsible for five turnovers in total. However, the Bears travel back home this week, and they face a 49er team struggling as of late.


- Injuries have plagued the 49ers all season. They are without their star player in George Kittle, and they are weak at running back. Their defense has kept them in many games, but the story has been the inconsistent play from their quarterbacks. Jimmy Garoppolo started the season off well but went down with an injury in week four. Rookie Trey Lance took his place the very next week and showed minor signs of development. Garoppolo made his return last week, but he too was underwhelming, and their loss at home to the Colts on SNF.


PREDICTION:


I see this game being a snooze fest. Both offenses suck, but ultimately, I see Justin Fields making enough plays to get the job done. Chicago's defense will make Garoppolo turn the ball over, and I see the Bears winning in front of their home crowd.

Pick: CHI +3.5




Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3) vs. Cleveland Browns (4-3)

(Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

TV: CBS Line: CLE -3.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- After an impressive win on TNF, the Cleveland Browns are looking to continue that trend. The Browns are already without RB Kareem Hunt (calf) after placing him on the injured reserve a couple of weeks ago. Despite that, they hope to have primary RB Nick Chubb (calf) back in the starting lineup, assuming all goes well in practice. Additionally, QB Baker Mayfield (shoulder) also believes that he will be good to go on Sunday after missing last week's game.


- The Steelers are coming off their bye week, but before that, they were coming off an impressive defensive showing against the Seahawks on SNF. TJ Watt is a beast on defense, tallying up 7.0 sacks and three forced fumbles. On the offensive side, the star has been rookie RB Najee Harris. Harris has been a workhorse for the Steelers through six games, appearing in nearly every snap this season. To top it all off, he's pretty damn good too.



PREDICTION:


I see this game as a low-scoring affair with both defenses offering lots of pressure to the quarterbacks. Myles Garret and TJ Watt are the best at their respective defensive positions and are great at forcing turnovers. Both will be impactful for their teams, but I think the difference-maker in this game will be Najee Harris. I believe that the dynamic run/pass threat Harris brings to the table will be enough for the Steelers to prevail in this one, but this could go either way.

Pick: PIT +3.5




Philadelphia Eagles (2-5) vs. Detroit Lions (0-7)

(Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

TV: FOX Line: PHI -3.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- While the Lions aren't exactly the best team in football, they've shown a lot of heart this season. That heart was on full display last week. Dan Campbell's squad pulled out the trick plays and bit plenty of kneecaps in last's week game against the Rams, but they would end up falling short. Although they haven't won a game all year, I have a lot of faith in this team. That elusive win will come soon, and it could even happen this week.


- After the first two weeks of the season, people were quick to praise the Philadelphia Eagles. Now, not so much. Jalen Hurts has shown signs of greatness, but he continues to fumble the football at the same time. The whole team looks lost on the football field, and their head coach looks like he has no clue what he's doing.


PREDICTION:


The Eagles have more talent, but the Lions have more heart. You can tell that Detroit wants to win every week, but they've come up short every time. Not this week! Detroit gets the upset and, more importantly, their first win.

Pick: DET +3.5



Tennessee Titans (5-2) vs. Indianapolis Colts (3-4)

(Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

TV: CBS Line: EVEN



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- The Colts have started to turn their season around. After starting slow, they are finally starting to play as a unit. This season, QB Carson Wentz has put up solid numbers, and RB Jonathan Taylor has been a force in the running game. Overall, they are a very balanced team on both sides of the ball.


- Like the Colts, the Titans have also been playing some great football. After destroying the Chiefs last week, Tennessee has now won their last three games. They pride themselves on running behind Derek Henry on offense, but they have a decent passing game as well. This season, QB Ryan Tannehill has put up some good numbers, and AJ Brown was coming off a solid game last week.


PREDICTION:


I'm not sure who will win this game. It could go either way with both teams playing some outstanding football right now. I think Tennessee has more momentum, but the Colts have the advantage of playing in front of their home crowd. On a coin flip, I have decided to pick Jonathan Taylor and the Indianapolis Colts.

Pick: IND





Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) vs. New York Jets (1-5)

(Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

TV: CBS Line: CIN -10.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- No one thought the Bengals would be this good. As of right now, the Cincinnati Bengals are the number one team in the AFC. The dynamic duo of Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase has been nothing short of spectacular this season. Chase leads all receivers in yards this season with 754 and has already broken multiple NFL records as a rookie. Burrow is also one of the leading candidates for Comeback Player of the Year, as the QB has thrown for nearly 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns so far this season.


- There isn't much to say about the Jets. They are not good. Zach Wilson (PCL) will miss some time, and Michael White will likely get the start. However, the Jets recently acquired former Eagles QB Joe Flacco in a trade. If you ask me, this was an elite trade.


PREDICTION:


The Bengals win this game easily. Pick: CIN -10.5




LA Rams (6-1) vs. Houston Texans (1-6)

(Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

TV: FOX Line: LA -14.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- After almost losing, the Rams come into this game as one of the favorites to win the NFC. Matthew Stafford is having a career year, as he has completely revamped his career under Sean McVay's offense. WR Cooper Kupp always finds a way to get into the end zone, and he has turned into Stafford's favorite target. Despite the production of Kupp, Stafford loves to spread the ball around, so expect guys like Robert Woods and Van Jefferson to continue their productivity this week.


- Like the Jets, there isn't much to say about the Texans. Since winning their first game, they have lost their last six.


PREDICTION:


Like the previous game, I don't see this one being very close. The Rams will get this one, and they will easily cover the spread.

Pick: LA -14.5





New England Patriots (3-4) vs. LA Chargers (4-2)

(Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET)

TV: CBS Line: LAC -6.0



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- The Chargers are well-rested, and they are looking to bounce back after a tough showing against Baltimore a couple of weeks ago. With Justin Herbert and company coming off a bye, expect the high-powered offense to bounce back this week.


- The Patriots have been playing good football lately. Rookie QB Mac Jones has developed into the quarterback Patriots fans hoped he'd be. He's turned in three straight impressive games, and I expect him to continue his stellar play.


PREDICTION:


The Patriots will make this game entertaining, but I think Justin Herbert will be the difference in this game. The Chargers win this game, but I think it will be less than six points. Therefore, I'm picking the Patriots to cover the spread.

Pick: NE +6.0




Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) vs. Seattle Seahawks (2-5) (Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET)

TV: CBS Line: SEA -3.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- The Jacksonville Jaguars are riding high after their first win in nearly a year. Urban Meyer is coming off a week filled with late nights and bad decisions, and Trevor Lawrence has shown signs of improvement.


- The Seattle Seahawks, on the other hand, are heading in the opposite direction. Geno Smith has had a tough time since taking over for Russell Wilson. After losing on MNF last week, the Seahawks have lost all of their home games this week.


PREDICTION:


This game is another coin flip game for me. Both teams are awful, but if I had to pick one team, I'd pick the Jags. I think Jacksonville will build off their first win, and they will beat the struggling Seahawks.

Pick: JAX +3.0





Washington Football Team (2-5) vs. Denver Broncos (3-4) (Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET)

TV: FOX Line: DEN -3.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- Like the Carolina Panthers, the Denver Broncos are amid a four-game losing skid. After losing last week to a bunch of backups, the Broncos are looking to bounce. Despite not having Von Miller on defense, I expect QB Teddy Bridgewater to have a solid showing on offense.


- The Washington Football Team has been one of the biggest surprises this season, and not in a good way. Washington's defense is ranked towards the bottom in points allowed, and QB Taylor Heinicke has struggled as of late. If they want to win this game, Heinicke has to get the passing game going. Expect Terry McLaurin to build off his stellar showing last week.


PREDICTION:


I expect this to be another boring game; however, I expect Denver's offense to bounce back, and their defense will make enough stops and force Heinicke into some tough spots. Please give me the Broncos.

Pick: DEN -3.0




Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-1) vs. New Orleans Saints (4-2) (Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET)

TV: FOX Line: TB -5.5



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- Before the season began, I picked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl. I am standing by that pick. Tom Brady is arguably having his best season, which is saying a lot. At 44, Brady is leading the league in passing yards. Leonard Fournette has also looked good running the football. This team is dangerous on both sides of the ball, with their defense coming off a game in which they forced Justin Fields to turn the ball over five times.


- The Saints have had Tampa's number in the regular season in recent years. It's also a revenge game for Jameis Winston, as Winston was the quarterback for Tampa from 2015 to 2019. Since leaving Tampa, Jameis has had a high passer rating, and the interceptions have gone down. Like the Bucs, the Saints also have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball.


PREDICTION:


It's a divisional matchup, which means it will be highly competitive. Expect Jameis Winston to keep the Saints in the game, but I think Brady's composure will be too much for the Saints' defense. The Bucs get the dub and cover the spread.

Pick: TB -5.5




Dallas Cowboys (5-1) vs. Minnesota Vikings (3-3)

(Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET)

TV: NBC Line: DAL -2.5



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- The NFC has improved drastically from last, and a big part of that has been the Dallas Cowboys. Since losing to Touchdown Tommy in week one, "America's Team" has won five straight. Dak Prescott has been nothing short of spectacular, and Ezekiel Elliott has had a solid year running the football. Micah Parsons has been solid on the defensive side, and Trevon Diggs has been a ball hawk. Through six games, Diggs has seven interceptions. Lots of balance on both sides of the ball.


- Don't let that .500 record fool you; the Minnesota Vikings are legit. They have a top-five offense led by QB Kirk Cousins, who has put up some solid numbers this season. RB Dalvin Cook also seems to be fully healthy after having come off the bye week. The story this season has been the success of Cousins. If he can continue to spread the ball around with receivers like Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, they could make a push for the postseason.


PREDICTION:


I expect this game to be very high-scoring. Both offenses will put the ball in the end zone, but the difference in this game will be Trevon Diggs. I think Diggs will make another impact on defense, and the Cowboys will do enough on offense to win the game.

Pick: DAL -2.5




New York Giants (2-5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (3-4)

(Monday 8:15 p.m. ET)

TV: ESPN Line: KC -10.0



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- I don't think anyone expected the Chiefs to be this bad, precisely, Patrick Mahomes. Through the first seven weeks, Mahomes has accounted for 11 turnovers. He has already thrown more interceptions than last year. Overall, I think Mahomes is starting to feel the pressure of having to score on every drive. Their defense cannot stop anyone, and Mahomes must constantly rely on himself to get the job done. It has worked in the past, but it seems as if the pressure is starting to become unbearable.


- Like the Chiefs, the Giants are also struggling. Daniel Jones has shown signs of improvement, but he has had little to no help offensively. Jones is hoping to have some help in the form of rookie Kadarius Toney. If Toney (ankle) can play, the Chiefs defense will have their work cut out for them.


PREDICTION:


I expect the Chiefs to bounce back this week. Hopefully, they can find some consistency on offense. I believe that Mahomes will limit the turnovers, and he will rebound nicely. The Chiefs win this one big.

Pick: KC -10.0


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Jake Klausner covers all things sports for ThePyrrhic.com. Keep your eyes peeled for NFL Analysis, World Series Recaps, and more from Jake.

Follow him on Twitter @jake_klausner

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