NFL Picks Week 8

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Jets vs Bengals

Fresh off an upset against New England, the Jets travel to Cincinnati for a match with the 5-2 Bengals. New York controlled field position against the Patriots, routinely starting drives near midfield. A credit to their defense, which only allowed one third down conversion the entire game.

On the other hand the Jets converted on 11-21 third down conversations, including numerous “I’m a man” plays from Geno Smith. He’s still mistake prone, highlighted by a bad pick six early in the game, but he and the Jets offense look significantly better than they did in the early weeks.

Like the Jets, the Bengals also rode a game winning field goal last week. Their passing offense could simply not be stopped. Andy Dalton threw for 372 passing yards and over 10 yards per attempt. Against a Jets defense that held Tom Brady to a 48 percent completion percentage, they may not find things quite so easy next week.

I’m picking the Bengals to win a well contested game between the two playoff contenders. The Jets defensive philosophy will put AJ Green in one-on-ones and I expect he’ll standout in a Cincinnati victory.

 

 

The Picks

New York: Taylor and Rory
Cincinnati: Jake, Owen, Stu, Julia and Colin

 

Falcons vs Cardinals

 

With the advantage of a 10-day layoff and home field, the Cardinals take on the 2-4 Falcons. The dirty birds took care of business against the Buccaneers, despite playing without their two stud receivers. Harry Douglas picked up the slack with 140 yards and the Falcons involved running back Jacquizz Rodgers heavily in the passing game.

The Falcons game plan was effective, predictable, and out of necessity. Unless Roddy White finds himself truly healthy for the first time all season they will rely on their tight ends and wide receivers. The Cardinals know this, and have last week’s tape to create a plan to stop it.

For the Falcons to have success they’ll need to pummel Carson Palmer and his leaky offensive line. Osi Umenyiora needs to earn that paycheck and not allow an underrated Cardinals receiving core time to get open.

I find myself on the other side, expecting Arizona’s defense and secondary in particular to impose themselves on the Falcons offense. Look for Andre Ellington to break at least one big play for the Cardinals.

 

The Picks

Atlanta: Taylor, Owen, Stu, Julia, Colin and Rory

Arizone: Jake

 

Cowboys vs Lions

 

The Cowboys put an end to the Eagles quarterback controversy pretty quickly. They allowed only 80 yards on 29 Nick Foles heaves, and then Matt Barkley was picked off thrice in one quarter of play. They’ll face a stiffer test against the Lions and a healthy Calvin Johnson.

Joseph Randle of the Cowboys was effective as the lead back in Demarco Murray’s absence, though Phillip Tanner poached a goal line touchdown. Much to my (way too many) fantasy team’s demise.

So much is made about the Cowboys passing attack but they’re particularly difficult to defend when they can sprinkle in the ground game. Same goes for the Lions, who’s use of their running backs in the passing game is a sort of extended run game for them.

Two similar teams here, both use the pass to set up the pass so they can pass some more. Both defenses flash potential, especially in the pass rush. I’m betting on the home team here, but don’t have much conviction in this pick.

 

 

The Picks

Dallas: Taylor, Owen, Stu, Julia and Colin

Detriot: Jake and Rory