Pudge’s Picks – Week 8 2014

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Golden Tate (left) and Matt Stafford

I was finally able to correctly pick a Thursday night game for the first time in a month this past week. Hopefully that’s a good omen for picking this weekend’s games.

Detroit Lions (5-2) vs. Atlanta Falcons (2-5)
Sunday, October 26 at 9:30 am ET on FOX

*Line: Falcons (+3.5)

While the Falcons have a chance in this one, the play of their offense in recent weeks gives me little hope that they can someone score the 20 points it will take to beat a limited Lions offense. Expect the Lions defensive line to dominate the Falcons weakened offensive line in this game.

Spread Pick: Lions
Straight Pick: Lions

Buffalo Bills (4-3) at New York Jets (1-6)
Sunday, October 26 at 1 pm ET on CBS

*Line: Jets (-2.5)

The Jets have continually burned me this year in terms of picks, but last week on Thursday night, they managed to cover for the first time in what seems like forever. I’m going to pick them once more this week, mainly because the Bills are without their top two runners in C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. While I believe Anthony Dixon is an underrated running back, I think things will play to the strengths of the Jets defense. But that Bills defense is no joke, and certainly could create the pressure on Geno Smith that leads to multiple turnovers, giving the Bills exactly what they need to win the game too.

Spread Pick: Jets
Straight Pick: Jets

Chicago Bears (3-4) at New England Patriots (5-2)
Sunday, October 26 at 1 pm ET on FOX

*Line: Patriots (-6.5)

The Patriots’ normal home-field advantage hasn’t been in effect much this year, while the Bears have been pretty good on the road. With no Jerod Mayo, no Chandler Jones and an oversleeping Darrelle Revis, I expect the Bears offense will put forth a decent showing.

Spread Pick: Bears
Straight Pick: Patriots

Baltimore Ravens (5-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-2-1)
Sunday, October 26 at 1 pm ET on CBS

*Line: Bengals (-1.5)

A.J. Green’s late-game catch was the real difference in the Bengals’ Week 1 win over the Ravens. Now, Green is out and the Bengals just haven’t been very good without him while the Ravens have only gotten better since then.

Spread Pick: Ravens
Straight Pick: Ravens

Houston Texans (3-4) at Tennessee Titans (2-5)
Sunday, October 26 at 1 pm ET on FOX

*Line: Titans (+0.5)

Rookie Zach Mettenberger will be making his first start of the season, and that might provide a spark to the Titans offense over quarterbacks Jake Locker and Clipboard Jesus. But it may not bode too well for him since Texans rookie defensive end Jadeveon Clowney might be returning to the lineup. And while the Titans offensive line might be better suited to contain him than others, one has to think that Mettenberger will have his fair share of growing pains in his first career start.

Spread Pick: Texans
Straight Pick: Texans

St. Louis Rams (2-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-3)
Sunday, October 26 at 1 pm ET on FOX

*Line: Chiefs (-6.5)

The Chiefs are only playing their third home game this year, and I feel that the home crowd will be in their usual frenzy. Not to mention, never trust a young quarterback (Austin Davis) on the road in a very loud stadium. The Rams’ pass rush has started to look like what we expected them to be this year, but again, playing away the friendly confines of the home field probably won’t allow them to take advantage of a questionable Chiefs offensive line.

Spread Pick: Rams
Straight Pick: Chiefs

Miami Dolphins (3-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)
Sunday, October 26 at 1 pm ET on CBS

*Line: Jaguars (+5.5)

It’s nice to see the Jaguars getting their first win of the season, but it’s still going to take a little more before I stop automatically picking against them.

Spread Pick: Dolphins
Straight Pick: Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings (2-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-5)
Sunday, October 26 at 1 pm ET on FOX

*Line: Bucs (-2.5)

The Vikings’ Achilles Heel is their offensive line, but thankfully the Bucs’ pass rush has been anything but formidable this year. I trust the Vikings defense more than I do that of the Bucs.

Spread Pick: Vikings
Straight Pick: Vikings

Seattle Seahawks (3-3) at Carolina Panthers (3-3-1)
Sunday, October 26 at 1 pm ET on CBS

*Line: Panthers (+4.5)

The Seahawks are somewhat reeling with two consecutive losses and need to bounce back this week. If they are the championship-caliber team that many expect them to be, they should pull off the win. But the early East coast start probably makes this game a lot closer than the Seahawks would prefer. The result of this game could also be one of the defining moments in why the Seahawks are not going to repeat as champs this season.

Spread Pick: Panthers
Straight Pick: Seahawks

Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) at Arizona Cardinals (5-1)
Sunday, October 26 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX

*Line: Cardinals (-2.5)

While center Jason Kelce is questionable, it doesn’t appear likely he’ll be playing this week. But the Eagles offensive line shouldn’t suffer too much at the hands of a still Calais Campbell-less Cardinals defensive line. The Cardinals defense still has been able to play at a relatively high level without Campbell, and their forte is stopping the run: the strength of the Eagles offense.

Spread Pick: Cardinals
Straight Pick: Cardinals

Oakland Raiders (0-6) at Cleveland Browns (3-3)
Sunday, October 26 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS

*Line: Browns (-7.5)

After a poor performance last week against the Jaguars, I suspect the Browns should be able to bounce back this week. But the Raiders are looking a little bit better and if the Browns don’t show up, it might be the last time we see Brian Hoyer starting this season.

Spread Pick: Browns
Straight Pick: Browns

Indianapolis Colts (5-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)
Sunday, October 26 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS

*Line: Steelers (+2.5)

Despite beating the Texans last week, I’m still unimpressed with the Steelers this year. I don’t expect them to get their biggest quality win of the year against a Colts team that has won five straight.

Spread Pick: Colts
Straight Pick: Colts

Green Bay Packers (5-2) at New Orleans Saints (2-4)
Sunday, October 26 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC

*Line: Saints (-1.5)

The Saints can’t really afford to lose another and with a home game, they have a chance of avoiding that fate. But the Packers have been a much more reliable pick this year than the Saints. And given that the Saints’ injured tight end Jimmy Graham is expected to once again be used as an ineffective decoy this week, I don’t have a lot of faith in them.

Spread Pick: Packers
Straight Pick: Packers

Washington Redskins (2-5) at Dallas Cowboys (6-1)
Monday, October 27 at 8:30 pm ET on ESPN

*Line: Cowboys (-9.5)

Colt McCoy will be starting at quarterback for the Redskins, which isn’t exactly an ideal set of circumstances. If the Redskins can get Alfred Morris going, they should be able to keep this close. But given their secondary issues, coupled with the loss of Brian Orakpo, I expect the Cowboys to run away with this one.

Spread Pick: Cowboys
Straight Pick: Cowboys

About the Author

Aaron Freeman
Founder of FalcFans.com