With seven weeks in the books the 2016 NFL season is already beginning to take shape. We have seen some power house teams emerge and others wither under the pressure. Week 8 begins with a good matchup on Thursday night between the Jaguars and Titans, and this week features some prime time matchups. Take a look at the power rankings going into this week to see which times might rise and which teams might fall. This week’s game of the week features the Philadelphia Eagles who are up against the Dallas Cowboys. I am anxious to get on with predictions, I am hopeful to keep this winning predictions record alive this week. Here are the picks for week 8 in the NFL.
Teams on Bye: Ravens, Rams, Dolphins, Giants, Steelers, 49ers
GAME OF THE WEEK
Eagles vs. Cowboys
Preview: HERE WE GO! The highly anticipated matchup between the Cowboys and the Eagles is finally here. The Eagles at 4-2, and the Cowboys at 5-1 are both pushing to become the team to beat in the NFC East. A matchup between Wentz and Prescott in this game will be something to watch. This game has playoff implications and will be yet another audition for Prescott as he tries to keep his job as the starter with veteran Romo looking to come back in week 9. Both teams have looked incredibly strong so far this season and are exceeding expectations in the NFC. Look for this to be a battle in the trenches, if the Cowboys O-Line can control the line of scrimmage look for the Cowboys to win this one in a close matchup. The Eagles defense will test this Cowboys offense and give Prescott looks that he has not seen so far this season. Should be an entertaining game to watch.
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME
Jaguars vs. Titans
Preview: A matchup between two AFC South teams on Thursday night features the Jaguars going to Tennessee to face the Titans. Both teams are trying to keep pace with the Texans in the division and this one is a must win for these two squads. Look for the Titans to gain control on the ground with Murray punishing this Jaguars front seven. Also look for Mariota to continue his strong play and earn this Titan team a win at home and get back to .500.
Redskins vs. Bengals
Preview: Another great game this week as the Redskins come to town to face the Bengals. Both teams have roller coaster type experiences thus far this season. The Redskins rattled off a four game winning streak after starting 0-2 only to lose last week, and the Bengals were put through the ringer facing many of the top teams in the league to start the season and have their record at 3-4. The Bengals are about as complete a team as you are going to get in this league. They have a good and talented offense, as well as a strong defense. Unfortunately for the Bengals, they have not won any games against the elite teams of the NFL this season and that has to wear on them mentally. Still, this team is strong enough to make a playoff run and should run away with this one in Cincinnati.
Chiefs vs. Colts
Preview: The Chiefs and Colts collide this week in Indianapolis in a AFC matchup between teams looking to build momentum. The Chiefs have looked stellar since their bye week two weeks ago winning in impressive fashion. Spencer Ware has been on a tear for the Chiefs, rushing and receiving well out of the backfield. The Colts have been very up and down this season, losing a couple close games, while winning a few along the way. Andrew Luck is such a talented football player and when he is on the field you can never count his team out of a game. The Chiefs are rolling and do not look to be stopped in this game, they have the stronger defense (by far) and have found some consistency on offense. Should be an easy victory for this Chiefs team.
Cardinals vs. Panthers
Preview: The NFC Conference Championship rematch this week between the Cardinals and the Panthers. The Panthers have been abysmal this season after getting blown out in the Super Bowl a year ago to the Denver Broncos. The confidence of this team is shattered, and they have to get things right in order to save this season. Fortunately for them, they had a bye week and could work on getting their act together, but is it too late? The Cardinals have been excellent in recent weeks. After starting the season 1-3, they have won some close games and even tied one to improve to 3-3-1 staying right behind the Seahawks in their division. The Cardinals look too powerful right now to lose in this game, plus, you don’t know which Panthers team you are going to get. My bet is that the Panthers keep it close, but the Cardinals win this one on the back of David Johnson.
Raiders vs. Buccaneers
Preview: The Raiders and Buccaneers face off this week in Tampa Bay as these two teams search to grab another all-important win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Raiders are tied for the lead in the very competitive AFC West division, while the Buccaneers trail the Falcons in the NFC South by a game. The Raiders have been more consistent this season and post the better offense in this matchup. Carr has been great and has continued to prove that he is the franchise quarterback the Raiders had been searching for. And with Crabtree and Cooper catching balls, he is making this Raiders team outside contenders. The Raiders run away with this one in Tampa.
Seahawks vs. Saints
Preview: A key NFC Matchup between the struggling Saints and the strong Seahawks in New Orleans this week proves to be an offensive showcase. The Saints have been riding the golden arm of Brees this season as he has carved up defenses week after week. The problem for Brees is that when the defense is on the field, they aren’t stopping ANYONE. I don’t believe the Seahawks will have much answer for this Saints passing attack, but they have the overall better defense and should be able to do enough to win a shootout in the south.
Lions vs. Texans
Preview: An intriguing matchup between the Lions and the Texans this week in Houston looks to be a battle between two teams trying to make their mark on the 2016 season. The Lions are streaking at the moment, rattling off three straight wins and trailing the Packers and Vikings for the division lead. You can never count out Stafford and this passing attack in Detroit. While the Texans have a strong team, and this is a winnable game for them, I don’t think that they can out duel the Lions in this game. Stafford has been too good as of late and they will do enough to pull out this win on the road.
Patriots vs. Bills
Preview: An early season rematch between the Patriots and Bills. In their last meeting, the Bills took it to the Brady-less Patriots, winning 16-0 in Foxborough. This matchup looks to be a little bit different this time around as the Patriots are rolling behind the play of their star Quarterback. Brady has been stellar since coming off of suspension, he has played with a chip on his shoulder, and he doesn’t look to be stopped this week….or any week in the near future. This game should go in the Patriots favor from the get go and the Bills will be put back in their place.
Jets vs. Browns
Preview: I want to do it, I really do. I want to pick the Browns to win this game. I am just not sure they can put together a complete game to beat a talented Jets team. Fitzpatrick came off of the bench last week to lead his team to victory. This may have been the fire that needed to be kindled within Fitzpatrick, as he has been horrendous this season. A winnable game for both teams, the Browns will keep it close, but ultimately it is the Jets who should run away with this one.
Chargers vs. Broncos
Preview: A crucial AFC West rematch this week as the Broncos take on the Chargers in Denver. The Chargers got the best of the Broncos in their week six matchup and this game looks to be another nail biter for these two teams. The Broncos came back after dropping two games to exact revenge on Osweiller and the Texans in Denver, and this week it’s revenge part two as they look to avenge their first loss of the season to the Chargers. The Broncos looked like the 4-0 version of themselves on Monday Night as they completely shut down and dismantled the Texans. I believe that this game will be more of the same for the Broncos. The Chargers are playing good football at the moment, but going into Denver and grabbing a win will be difficult. Look for the defense of the Broncos to be dominant in this game.
Packers vs. Falcons
Preview: Two powerhouse passing attacks match up against each other in this game as the Packers take on the Falcons in Atlanta. Atlanta has not looked quite the same the past couple of weeks as they have dropped two straight games to the Seahawks and Chargers, but this team is still hungry and has a chance at a win this week. The Packers have looked decent this season, but not great. Their rushing offense is non-existent and with Lacy out for the foreseeable future, the Packers will have to rely heavily on the arm of Rodgers. Look for the Falcons to get after this Packers team on both sides of the ball. Their rushing attack is strong and will give this Packers defense problems. I give the slight edge to the Falcons in this game at home, they should be able to bounce back with a strong win.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME
Vikings vs. Bears
Preview: The Vikings come to town this week in Chicago as these two teams face off on Monday Night Football. These two NFC North teams have opposite records and seemingly opposite seasons as the Vikings have been strong and the Bears have struggled. With Cutler back in the lineup for the Bears, they should make better use of Alshon Jefferies and could make this game interesting. But the Vikings are too strong defensively and should bounce back this week.