NFL Week 8 Picks, Predictions: Seahawks, Cardinals rebound from tie for big wins

Photo: Mike Morris via Flickr.com

Photo: Mike Morris via Flickr.com

Thursday, Oct. 27

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4) at Tennessee Titans (3-4)

The Jaguars offense continues to struggle, even with Blake Bortles anchoring what should be a much better passing game.

Add that to the fact that the Titans only allow 87.4 rush yards per game and will be facing T.J. Yeldon, who hasn’t rushed for more than 71 yards in a game this season and has rushed for fewer than 39 in five games this year.

The Titans have the NFL’s third-leading rusher in DeMarco Murray (633 yards) and the Jags run defense has been average this season.

Q’s Pick: Titans, 24-20


Sunday, Oct. 30

Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) vs. Washington Redskins (4-3)

For the third time this season, the NFL will be taking over London, but this game features teams that are more talented than the last two.

The Bengals and Redskins have nearly identical offenses, led, respectively, by Andy Dalton and Kirk Cousins.

Cincinnati has a better pass defense and therefore has a slight advantage, but expect this one to be a competitive game all the way through.

Q’s Pick: Bengals, 30-26


Detroit Lions (4-3) at Houston Texans (4-3)

The Lions are continuing to roll following a 1-3 start, but now they face a much stiffer test in the Lone Star State.

That’s not to say the Texans are a powerhouse — Brock Osweiler has thrown for fewer than 200 yards three times this year and Houston hasn’t scored more than 13 points in two of their last three games.

Houston’s run defense has been among the league’s worst (135.4 ypg), but their secondary has been solid, allowing the second-fewest pass yards per game (184.7).

Q’s Pick: Texans, 27-23


Seattle Seahawks (4-1-1) at New Orleans Saints (2-4)

The Seahawks were in a defensive duel for the ages last weekend against the Cardinals, flexing their muscles but also showing the inconsistency of their offense.

Russell Wilson has been an average quarterback for the most part, failing to throw a touchdown pass in three games this season, including his last two.

Drew Brees, on the other hand, leads what is now the No. 1 pass offense in the league (339.3 ypg). Seattle and their secondary held the high-flying Falcons in check when they were at the C-Link earlier this year but they are now being tasked with containing Brees in his house.

The good news for Seattle is that the New Orleans defense is one of only four teams that allows more than 400 yards per game so if Seattle’s defense does their part, the Seahawks should win.

Q’s Pick: Seahawks, 23-20


Oakland Raiders (5-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3)

The Raiders are no joke, but they need a lot of work on defense if they expect to be competitive when games come down to the wire later in the season.

Their defense allows a league-worst 430.4 total yards per game and they are the only team allowing more than 300 passing yards per game.

The big question in this one will be if Jameis Winston can take advantage of that as he’s thrown for 400 yards in a game this year and thrown four picks in another.

Q’s Pick: Raiders, 30-24


New York Jets (2-5) at Cleveland Browns (0-7)

It will be a battle of bad teams as both clubs are among the worst defenses in the league.

It’s highly unlikely the Browns go winless this season, but it would be a big deal if they beat the Jets in this game.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has had issues protecting the ball, but the Browns defense hasn’t been solid enough to pose any real turnover threat.

Q’s Pick: Jets, 23-17


Arizona Cardinals (3-3-1) at Carolina Panthers (1-5)

The Panthers have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL and their defense is one of the direct causes of it.

They have allowed 29.3 points per game, fourth-most in the NFL.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, have been dominant on defense this season and will be hungry for a win in a revenge game following last year’s humiliating NFC Championship Game loss.

The Panthers will be better rested following a bye and Arizona went the distance in a 6-6 overtime tie with the Seahawks last weekend, but the Cardinals have more at stake and have looked this season like a team that wants it more than the Panthers do.

 Q’s Pick: Cardinals, 30-21


New England Patriots (6-1) at Buffalo Bills (4-3)

The Patriots only loss of the season came at the hands of the Bills back in Week 4, a 16-0 shutout defeat at home that hasn’t happened since the French Revolution (or so it felt that way).

The difference now is those Patriots were down to an injured Jacoby Brissett at quarterback and now they have Tom Brady.

Brady has been phenomenal since his return from suspension earlier this season, and the Patriots have rallied around him.

They’ll do the same against the Bills, especially since LeSean McCoy may not be fully healthy at the start of the game.

Q’s Pick: Patriots, 31-23


Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-4)

The Chiefs defense have held the high-flying Raiders and Saints offenses in check in each of the last two weeks, allowing 31 points combined in those two wins.

It doesn’t get much easier against the Colts, who average 372.4 total yards and 27.7 points per game.

But the Chiefs defense is much stronger than Indianapolis’ is. The Colts are in the bottom-third of the league in every major defensive category and that will allow Alex Smith and Spencer Ware to thrive.

Q’s Pick: Chiefs, 31-24


San Diego Chargers (3-4) at Denver Broncos (5-2)

The Chargers are one of only two teams to beat the Broncos this year and they did it by not squandering a late lead, something that helped them beat the Falcons in overtime last weekend.

San Diego likes to score points in bunches and when Philip Rivers and the offense get rolling, they can be hard to stop.

But the Broncos have recovered since that loss and aren’t prone to make the same mistakes they made in that game again. Their defense is back to form and Von Miller and company aren’t going to be embarrassed like that again, especially at home.

Q’s Pick: Broncos, 30-21


Green Bay Packers (4-2) at Atlanta Falcons (4-3)

The Packers are fresh from a bye week and have had some time to figure out how to stop Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, the league’s leading passer and receiver.

That doesn’t make it any easier, but the Packers secondary has been fairly consistent this season (242.2 ypg) and their run defense is among the league’s best (71.8 ypg).

That means Devonta Freeman will struggle to provide relief for Ryan if the passing game stops working and the Falcons are already without Tevin Coleman as he nurses a hamstring injury.

Still, I don’t see the Packers winning on the road after they were eaten alive by the Cowboys at home and now have to face an even better offense with more weapons.

Q’s Pick: Falcons, 36-27


Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) at Dallas Cowboys (5-1)

Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott have helped lead the Cowboys to a tie for the best record in the NFC.

The Eagles aren’t a bad team, but they lack the run defense to stop Elliott (102.7 ypg).

Dallas has seen their defense improve from last year as well, and they only allow 17.8 points per game.

Plus, they are at home following a bye on national television. If everything goes according to plan, there is no reason the Cowboys don’t win this football game.

Q’s Pick: Cowboys, 27-20


Monday, Oct. 31

Minnesota Vikings (5-1) at Chicago Bears (1-6)

The final game of the weekend features a Vikings team that just saw their undefeated season come to an end against a Bears team whose season has already ended.

The Vikings failed to put anything together on offense for the first time all year in last week’s loss but they should recover against a Chicago defense that allows 350.4 total yards and 24.1 points per game.

Further, Minnesota’s defense allows a league-low 279.5 total yards and 14 points per game. No matter who the Bears play at quarterback, he’s going to have a rough time against the new Purple People Eaters.

Q’s Pick: Vikings, 24-18


Last Week’s Record: 7-7-1

Season Record: 63-43-1


** Bye Week: Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers

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