Well….to say our first foray into picking weekly winners in the NFL got off to a rocky start would be generous to say the least. Going 5-7 last week we along with many folks in Vegas were shocked to see the Bills lose, the Lions get trounced, the Packers not being able to score more than 17 points on a beleaguered Broncos defense.
As we enter Week 8, we’re going to dust ourselves off, watch some film and pick our winners and losers as we enter a pivotal stretch of the NFL season.
Bucs (3-3) @ Bills (4-3)
Featuring 2 teams we picked last week that actually caught L’s, the Thursday night game is actually an intriguing one. Both teams are looking to recover ground in their respective divisional races, and QB Josh Allen is looking to re-enter the MVP race where recent offensive struggles have him looking up at Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahommes. Home is where the heart is and we expect western New York to lift the Bills up and put a team once thought to be a Super Bowl contender back on track.
A2HH Pick: Bills 28 Bucs 17
Texans (3-3) @ Panthers (0-6)
At some point this season (if it hasn’t happened already) Panthers owner David Tepper may ask himself why he didn’t hire Texans rookie coach DeMeco Ryans and why his team didn’t draft C.J. Stroud, with the number 1 overall pick in last year’s draft and went instead with Frank Reich and Bryce Young respectively. The reminder of what could have been rolls into Charlotte this weekend and while we expect a close game, the result will leave Tepper with the same questions and even more of them from the local media.
A2HH Pick: Texans 31 Panther 13
Rams (3-4) @ Cowboys (4-2)
Another episode on the “As The Football World Turns”, America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys return from the bye with the Rams fresh off a loss to the Steelrs coming to Jerry’s World. Hometown QB, Matthew Stafford of Highland Park will feel right at home in Texas looking to rebound and get to .500. The Cowboys celebrated their last win at SoFi stadium against the Chargers as if it set the season on the right track. Unfortunately, the Rams will halt that excitement and get the W. Hopefully the Rangers in the World Series will make the fans and the local media feel better about the loss.
A2HH Pick: Rams 24 Cowboys 18
Vikings (3-4) @ Green Bay (2-4)
The Vikings with a big win on MNF against the odd on favorites, San Francisco 49ers will travel to Lambeau Field and face the reeling Green Packers. A season that once started promising for first year starter Jordan Love is not on the brink of spiraling out of control. Accuracy and turnovers have plagued Love, which should be expected for the young signal caller replacing Green Bay legend Aaron Rodgers. Sunday will be a chance for Love and LeFleur to save their season and give hope to the Lambeau faithful.
A2HH Pick: Green Bay 23 Vikings 21
Saints (3-4) @ Colts (3-4)
The ghosts of Drew Brees and Sean Payton continue to haunt the Saints and new QB Derek Carr isn’t doing the best job so far exercising them. In the bottom half of mostly all passing categories, the Saints QB and the offense are starting to lose ground in an NFC South division many proclaimed in the offseason was theirs to lose. The Colts coming off a thriller against the Browns, feeling slighted by poor officiating will have plenty of bulletin board material to inspire their team. I expect the experience of loss last week will benefit the Colts and they will hold their fort at home with a win. Come Monday, calls for Jameis Winston will grow louder and louder.
A2HH Pick: Colts 27 Saints 17
Patriots (2-5) @ Dolphins (5-2)
The walk off stunner against the Bills last week had folks in Bean Town playing “Return of The Mac(k)” on full blast. Belichick got win 300, word leaked of a contract extension signed in the offseason and all the Pats doom and gloom chatter subsided…..well at least for a week. Traveling from Foxboro to South Beach (Miami Gardens actually), the Patriots face division foe, the Dolphins after their defeat at the hands of the Eagles last week. We expect Tua and Tariq to bounce back in a major way and make this a ‘return of the Mac’ many New England fan hoped last week’s win put away for a while.
A2HH Pick: Dolphins 35 Bills 20
Jets (3-3) @ Giants (2-5)
The Battle Of New York (maybe New Jersey) pits the talk of the town this offseason, the Jets (of Hard Knocks fame) and the toast of the season last year, the Giants, off the first year success of Brian Daboll. With the status of Giants starter Daniel Jones uncertain (neck injury), it might be up to veteran Tyrod Taylor (who has played extremely well) to lead the G-Men to victory. With rumors swirling that injured Aaron Rodgers continues to defy science and modern medicine is aiming to return this season, the Jets are motivated to keep their season alive and it starts with getting a game above .500. Zach Wilson, Sauce Gardner, Quinnen Williams and company keep the Jets in flight.
A2HH Pick: Jets 22 Giants 17
Jaguars (5-2) @ Steeler (4-2)
The London Jaguars of Jacksonville ride into Pittsburgh on a 4 game winning streak, against the Steelers who at the midpoint of the season are in a cage fight for the division with NFC North rival Ravens. 2nd year QB, Kenny Pickett is not lighting up the stat sheet ( 5 TD to 4 Picks in 6 games) but his confidence appears to be growing in the offense each Sunday. A win against Pittsburgh would ignite chatter that the Jags are now in the upper echelon of teams in the league and a viable threat to reigning AFC Champs the Chiefs. I think that talk is paused for a week with Trevor Lawrence on the run from TJ Watt for 4 quarters.
A2HH Pick: Steelers 25 Jaguars 22
Falcons (4-3) @ Titans (2-4)
Kings of The NFC South (at the moment) travel to the Country Music capital Nashville to face the losers of 2 straight the Tennessee Titans. HC Mike Vrabel’s outfit who has a winning record at home (2-1) will attempt to ride running back Derrick Henry to another win to get off the floor of the AFC South. Desmond Ridder is up and down in Year 2 but rebounded nicely last week with a win. Young QBs early in their careers often struggle on the road in hostile environments and Sunday will be no exception. Titans get a much needed win.
A2HH Pick: Titans 24 Falcons 16
Eagles (6-1) @ Commanders (3-4)
Newly acquired Kevin Byard from Tennessee looks to shore up an Eagles secondary that recently has looked a bit porous as the Eagles hope to build on their commanding lead of the NFC East. Jalen Hurts appeared “hurt” last week against the Dolphins but managed to put on an impressive performance connecting with A.J. Brown time after time. Brown with over 800 receiving yards is on pace to have a monster season and is entrenching himself as one of the league’s best. On the other side one has to wonder if Devonta Smith is feeling a little left out of the fun with the focus being so much on Brown. The Commanders offense under Eric Bienemy has played well this season and I expect them to put up points against their division rival.
This will be a close one.
A2HH Pick: Eagles 31 Commanders 28
Browns (4-2) @ Seattle (4-2)
In what could be the game of the week, the Browns come to the Pacific Northwest to battle the Seahawks who with a win Sunday and a Niners loss will put themselves in a nice position for the division lead and eventual crown. DK Metcalf should be available for Seattle QB Geno Smith and Browns signal caller Deshaun Watson has been ruled out. The 12th Man will make it a rough afternoon for PJ Walker. But I don’t expect the Browns defense to make life easy for Geno on the other side nor do I expect them to give up as many points as they did last week to the Colts. This could come down to kickers.
A2HH Pick: Seattle 20, Browns 16
Ravens (5-2) @ Cardinals (1-6)
Lamar moves up the MVP race ladder. OBJ grabs his first touchdown of the season. Kyler Murray’s potential return is spoiled. The Ravens win. The Ravens put Chiefs, Bills, Jags, Dolphins on notice. The Ravens are for REAL.
A2HH Pick: Ravens 38 Cardinals 10
Chiefs (6-1) @ Broncos (2-5)
The Chiefs head to the mountains to face a Broncos team on a 1 game win streak after dropping the Packers last week at home. The Chiefs haven’t lost in Denver since 2014, and they currently hold a 16-game winning streak over the Broncos. This dates all the way back to the Peyton Manning era which means it was a long long time ago. This Sunday, Sean Payton’s team ends the streak and wins 2 in a row. Hopefully, Ciara will attend the game so the network can switch between shots of her and Taylor Swift. Maybe they’ll sit together.
A2HH Pick: Broncos 33 Chiefs 28
Bengals (3-3) @ 49ers (5-2)
Another upset of the week. Joe Burrow, Jamarr Chase, and the Bengals will hand the 49ers their 3rd loss in a row (yes three straight). From talk of being “elite” to questions on whether or not he is in a slump, Brock Purdy, will need to restore hope after back to back woeful performances without Deebo Samuel. The Bengals need this game to get back into their division race as they lag behind the Ravens and Steelers and a win in northern California would do the trick. The question is if Burrow’s calf is fully healed or will it bother him enough to be caught in the clutches of the Niners Nick Bosa for a sack or 2. This will be a battle but we are going with the Bengals for the upset.
A2HH Pick: Bengals 24 Niners 20
Bears (2-5) @ Chargers (2-4)
The Jim Harbaugh Bowl. We expect the Chargers and Justin Herbert to finally win a game and do it on the Sunday Night Football stage. With Justin Fields out, we don’t expect the undrafted Tyson Bagent to thwart the defensive schemes of Staley’s Chargers. Not the most exciting game for the week but its the game the Chargers need to save their season and perhaps their head coach’s job.
A2HH Pick: Chargers 27 Bears 9
Raiders (3-4) @ Lions (5-2)
After being embarrassed in Baltimore a week ago, the Lions return home to Ford Field for Monday Night Football against the visiting Raiders. The Lions fans who have supported their team on the road like a ‘traveling circus’ over the past few weeks, will finally be rewarded with a bounce back game and victory in Detroit. We expect Jarred Goff to get back on track and Dan Campbell’s team to up the intensity as a collective. A few weeks ago, the Lions were thought to be the best in the NFL and not the same “old disappointing” Lions. Those thoughts return on Monday night if the Raiders don’t wake up and get DeVante Adams the ball early and often and late and necessary.
A2HH Pick: Lions 33 Raiders 23