The Frontcourt’s Weekly NFL Picks
Each week, the writers at The Frontcourt will be picking every game on the NFL schedule. If you need to win bets, Pick ‘Em Leagues, or anything else involving you taking someone else’s money, we’re here to help.
Here’s week 8:
Arizona at Baltimore:
Joey: Kevin Kolb and the Cardinals desperately need a strong offensive showing and a victory, but they aren’t likely to get either this week. Kolb, whose starting job may be in jeopardy after throwing as many interceptions as touchdowns this season, will be facing the league’s top defense. On the other side of the field, Joe Flacco and the Raven offense looked miserable last week and need to bounce back—they’ll get lots of opportunities from the Cardinals.
David: I wonder, on a scale of 1-10, how much the Cardinals regret making Kevin Kolb their QB of the future. He’s not playing well, and will be further exposed by Ray Lewis and his crew. Joe Flacco’s not going to be impressive either (he rarely is), but he won’t have to be given how unbelievable the Ravens defense has been – the Ravens win this one easily.
Minnesota at Carolina:
Claire: This is going to be a good game, watching the Panther offense vs the Viking defense. Every week I hope for Cam Newton to carry his team to a victory and I think it’s going to happen this week.
Mike: Opposites collide this weekend in Charlotte as both Carolina and Minnesota look to turn their fledgling seasons around. Minnesota has the 29th worst pass defense in the league but Adrian Peterson has not surprisingly carried the Vikings to 3rd in total rushing yards. Contrarily, Carolina boasts the 5th ranked overall passing attack, thanks to Cam Newton’s expedient rise to stardom, but also owns the 29th worst rushing defense. What does this mean? Newton and Peterson should have even larger than usual numbers this week. Despite Ponder’s impressive start last week, Peterson is the Vikings only true weapon. Meanwhile, Newton can depend on the play of Deangelo Williams and Steve Smith. Look for Cam to craft another exciting win over the vikings.
Jacksonville at Houston:
Kevin: Jacksonville surprised a lot of people with their win over the Ravens on Monday Night Football. The truth is, they’ve been a tough defensive team all season. Houston is still suffering from some injury woes, but they beat the Titans last week and can really take command of the division with a win against Jacksonville. Arian Foster is back to his dynamic ways. The Texans will put some pressure on Blaine Gabbert and friends to keep up, and I’m not sure that the Jags offense is quite there yet. I’ll take Houston in a close one.
Miami at NY Giants:
Kevin: The Dolphins are truly free-falling right now. They play hard, but it just isn’t happening on the field. The Giants, on the other hands, seem poised to take advantage of a suddenly-weak looking NFC East. I’d like to think there will be some drama here, but I don’t see Miami putting up much of a fight. Giants with a comfortable win.
New Orleans at St. Louis:
David: One week after a 62-7 shellacking of the Colts, I don’t see the Saints slowing down much this week. Brees should have every look and every pass he wants this week, and without Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson playing like we know they can, there’s not much to this St. Louis offense anyway. The Saints might not score 62, but they’ll score a lot, and the Rams won’t be able to keep up.
Indianapolis at Tennessee:
Joey: The Titans need some medicine to cure what ails them, and they’re getting a big horse pill this Sunday from the winless Colts. Chris Johnson looks to gallop over one of the worst defenses against the rush, and Matt Hasselbeck will return to form as the Titans seek to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Mike: The “Suck for Luck” campaign continues this weekend as the Colts look to prove to the Dolphins that they really are the worst team in the NFL. They simply cannot do anything right. Don’t expect this to change on Sunday. Matt Hasselback has played decently this year as Tennessee’s starting QB, but really the Titans are nothing more than average. Hopefully for the Titans Chris Johnson will actually start playing at the level they’re playing him for. If he can’t do it against the Colts, he just can’t do it at all. The Titans will take the win, but likely not because of anything they do — expect the Colts to hand it to them.
Washington at Buffalo:
Mike: Washington vs Buffalo is one of the most interesting matchups of Week 8. Both teams had hot starts but have cooled off lately. The future for Buffalo looks promising, especially if Fitzpatrick and Jackson sustain their excellent play. But I don’t think the Bills are quite ready to be crowned as an elite NFL football team. They will continue to improve but will see some growing pains along the way. Look for the Redskins to steal a win on the Road.
Detroit at Denver:
Claire: I’m hoping for Detroit to get back on another winning streak, but with Matt Stafford questionable and Jahvid Best out, I’m a little hesitant to pick the Lions. The Broncos record looks bad but after last week’s 2nd half Tebow performance, I think they have a chance. If Stafford plays, Detroit will come out on top. If not, maybe Tebow can work another miracle.
Kevin: Everyone (read: ESPN) is talking about the big-time Tebow comeback against Miami last week. It was a fascinating game in the sense that it highlighted Tebow’s strengths as well as his weaknesses. Some point to the first three quarters as evidence that he can’t operate as a quarterback in the league. Others point to the final minutes of the game, where he was responsible for two touchdown drives and a number of highlight plays. You can put me in the “not convinced” camp. Miami is a miserable team. The Lions are legit, and are looking to refocus after losing their first two games of the season. I think it’s going to be open season on Tebow for the ferocious Lions front seven. If he looks good in a Denver win, then we can start talking. For now, I’m taking the Lions.
New England at Pittsburgh:
Joey: Ready for some real aerial fireworks? This matchup certainly ought to provide them. Tom Brady, Wes Welker and the rest of the top-ranked passing offense will light it up against the Steelers, while Ben Roethlisberger will take advantage of the Patriots’ leaky secondary. Brady seems to have the Steelers’ number, but this will be tough. It’s hard to vote against New England, but the Steelers have something to prove—they’ll pull out a close one.
Cincinnati at Seattle:
Claire: My Bengals are on a roll and there’s no way the Seahawks are going to end it. AJ Green and Andy Dalton are looking good together and this is Cincy’s chance for a perfect October. Whodey!
Cleveland at San Francisco:
Mike: First Stanford, now San Francisco. Harbaugh clearly the “turnaround” man. Just like with the Cardinal, in just one year Jim has taken one of the NFL’s persistently worst squads and torpedoed them to the top. His deliberate, patient coaching style has allowed Alex Smith to flourish and the defense, with two impressive showings against Tampa Bay and Detroit, has proven week after week that they can play too. The 49er’s should have no trouble containing a mediocre Browns team. San Fran over Cleveland all the way.
Dallas at Philadelphia:
Joey: Two teams with a lot of preseason hype are struggling at mid-season to even be in the playoff picture. Philadelphia ended their four-game losing streak last time out, they’re coming off a bye week, and they’re playing at home, so they seem to have the advantage. But Dallas could pull it out, especially if DeMarco Murray can run against the Eagles’ spongy rushing defense the way he did last week against the Rams. In the end, Dallas will likely find a way to lose and they’ll go home with a losing record.
Kevin: Two teams with big aspirations and lots of question marks. I personally feel as though the Eagles underperformed in the early part of the season and will still contend. The Cowboys questions always begin and end with Tony Romo. For better or worse, he is the most scrutinized athlete in the league and his play often dictates the levels of success Dallas enjoys. The offense seems to have added a new dimension with the explosion of rookie DeMarco Murray onto the scene. Philly will always struggle against a tough run game because they are so small on defense. I think Rob Ryan will have a good game-plan to slow Mike Vick down, helping the Cowboys to a big division win.
San Diego at Kansas City:
David: This is going to be a much better game than it looks like it should be. The Chiefs are playing well, having won three in a row and finally looking like a team that won its division last year; the Chargers, on the other hand, aren’t playing like a winning team and yet are 4-2. I think the Chargers are better than they’ve looked and the Chiefs worse, but I don’t think the ships right this week. The Chiefs will pull this one out, and bring themselves firmly back into the AFC West race.
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