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Pudge’s Picks – Week 8

For some silly reason, I feel good about this week’s picks. I’ve had previously good feelings in weeks where I bombed, but I feel a little bit of momentum with a relatively solid week of picking last week.

Atlanta Falcons (2-4) at Arizona Cardinals (3-4)
Sunday, October 27 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX

Line: Cardinals (-2.5)

This is a must-win for the Falcons in the sense that this is their most winnable game for the remainder of the season, with possible exception to their Week 11 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Cardinals have a very good defense that should be able to keep the Falcons offense in check for most of the game, but they have a very poor offense that even the Falcons lowly defense should be able to overcome. I believe the Falcons defense will have another solid performance this week and win a squeaker on the road that will likely come down to the final drive. Matt Bryant better be ready.

Spread Pick: Falcons
Straight Pick: Falcons

Dallas Cowboys (4-3) at Detroit Lions (4-3)
Sunday, October 27 at 1 pm ET on FOX

Line: Lions (-2.5)

The reason why you probably like the Cowboys in this game is because their secondary is better equipped to match up against Calvin Johnson than the Lions secondary is to go against Dez Bryant. But I think I like the Lions because I believe they will have more balance to their offense. I know, I don’t think the words “balance” and “Lions” have been used in the same sentence in the past four years. And I also like Detroit’s pass rush more to create some mistakes by Tony Romo, who is prone to do so on the road. Matt Stafford is quietly a solid year, so I like Detroit in a close one at home.

Spread Pick: Lions
Straight Pick: Lions

New York Giants (1-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)
Sunday, October 27 at 1 pm ET on FOX

Line: Eagles (-5.5)

The Giants got their first win of the season, but did not look good doing it against a terrible Vikings team. The Eagles didn’t fare much better last week against the Cowboys, but they should get a boost from the return of Michael Vick to the lineup. The problem for picking this game is both quarterbacks have been turnover machines this year, but given the presence of LeSean McCoy for the Eagles, I’ll take them to win.

Spread Pick: Giants
Straight Pick: Eagles

San Francisco 49ers (5-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-7)
Sunday, October 27 at 1 pm ET on FOX

Line: Jaguars (+16.5)

Despite the healthy return of Blaine Gabbert, the Jags are expected to start Chad Henne in their matchup across the pond. What is there to say about this one, other than I expect the 49ers to stomp the Jaguars? If I have only one concern, it’s the fact that the travel will make the 49ers sluggish and thus not be able to put up the early points to cover such a big spread.

Spread Pick: 49ers
Straight Pick: 49ers

Buffalo Bills (3-4) at New Orleans Saints (5-1)
Sunday, October 27 at 1 pm ET on CBS

Line: Saints (-12.5)

I give Thad Lewis and the Bills a lot of credit for their solid performances in recent weeks, but I think they are about to hit a buzzsaw going to New Orleans this week. The Saints are fresh off a bye week after a two-game road stand and have clobbered both Arizona and Miami at home thus far this year. With an injured C.J. Spiller, I just don’t see the Bills having enough firepower to match the Saints offense. Not unless their defensive line can have a dominant performance, which I think is doubtful. I should be a little worried about the injuries to Jimmy Graham and Zach Strief for the Saints. Graham will be a game-time decision, and Strief’s backup in Bryce Harris will face a tough matchup against Mario Williams. But while the Patriots were able to eliminate Graham from the lineup in Week 6, the Saints still had big games from Darren Sproles and Kenny Stills to help compensate. Marques Colston stands 6-4 and will be asked to step up as he’ll face 5-7 rookie nickel corner Nickell Robey for most of the day. I don’t really doubt a Saints win, I’m just concerned about a Bills backdoor cover.

Spread Pick: Saints
Straight Pick: Saints

Cleveland Browns (3-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-0)
Sunday, October 27 at 1 pm ET on CBS

Line: Chiefs (-7.5)

The Browns thankfully pulled the plug on Brandon Weeden this week, giving the starting nod to Jason Campbell. Unfortunately, Campbell will be facing the Chiefs defense. Campbell is just too conservative a passer to think he can be effective against an elite defense. I don’t expect the Chiefs to put up a ton of points against Cleveland’s physical defense, but I do think they’ll put up enough to cover.

Spread Pick: Chiefs
Straight Pick: Chiefs

Miami Dolphins (3-3) at New England Patriots (5-2)
Sunday, October 27 at 1 pm ET on CBS

Line: Patriots (-6.5)

Tom Brady is 9-0 at home against the Dolphins once you throw out the late-season contests where he was pulled early. The problem of course is that this is not the same Brady that has played in most of those games. Cameron Wake will be the healthiest he’s been since Week 2 this week and could give the Dolphins a much-needed defensive boost because offensively, the Dolphins really don’t bring much to the table. But I’m not sure Wake can overcome the fact that Brady will have both Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski for the first time this year.

Spread Pick: Patriots
Straight Pick: Patriots

New York Jets (4-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
Sunday, October 27 at 4:05 pm ET on CBS

Line: Bengals (-6.5)

I pegged Geno Atkins as my defensive MVP in my preseason predictions and he’s started to show it the past few weeks with his play. Going up against a rookie in Brian Winters and a nicked up Nick Mangold, I expect him to flex his muscles once again this week. Against good defenses this year like New England and Tennessee, Geno Smith has struggled on the road. And given the struggles of Antonio Cromartie this year and the fact that he’ll be facing A.J. Green, I don’t even think Andy Dalton will mess this up for Cincinnati.

Spread Pick: Jets
Straight Pick: Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4) at Oakland Raiders (2-4)
Sunday, October 27 at 4:05 pm ET on CBS

Line: Raiders (+2.5)

The Steelers now have a winning streak going and I expect that will be keep going. The Dick LeBeau-led Steelers defenses have done an excellent job bottling up mobile quarterbacks in the past, so I don’t think they should have too much trouble containing Terrelle Pryor. And with Le’Veon Bell seemingly breathing new life into the Steelers rushing attack, it looks like the Steelers are back. At least enough to beat the lowly Raiders.

Spread Pick: Steelers
Straight Pick: Steelers

Washington Redskins (2-4) at Denver Broncos (6-1)
Sunday, October 27 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX

Line: Broncos (-13.5)

The key for the Redskins will be controlling the ball with their running game, which is coming off its second-consecutive 200-yard game. I would like their chances if the Redskins defense was capable of stopping anybody. They might be able to keep this close if Alfred Morris has a big game and Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan can get pressure on Peyton Manning, who is sporting a bum ankle. But they cannot get behind early, otherwise Morris will be taken out of the game. And if Washington loses that balance, they are done for. The problem for the Redskins is that they are among the weakest first quarter scoring teams in the league even with their recent resurgence. I’m going to take the Broncos, but I’m on the fence because I believe there’s a strong possibility of a backdoor Redskins cover as they might lose by 10 or 11.

Spread Pick: Broncos
Straight Pick: Broncos

Green Bay Packers (4-2) at Minnesota Vikings (1-5)
Sunday, October 27 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC

Line: Vikings (+9.5)

Since their Week 4 bye, the Bizarro Packers have emerged in Green Bay. They are a balanced offense and are playing good defense, something we haven’t seen in years up north. Aaron Rodgers typically has destroyed the Vikings secondary over the years, and that should happen again this week. Christian Ponder will be back in the lineup, and unless the Vikings can get Adrian Peterson going this week, they don’t really stand much of a chance. The Packers defense has been unusually tough against the run this year, and thus I’m not expecting Peterson to go off.

Spread Pick: Packers
Straight Pick: Packers

Seattle Seahawks (6-1) at St. Louis Rams (3-4)
Monday, October 28 at 8:30 pm ET on ESPN

Line: Rams (+10.5)

Kellen Clemens will start and the only way the Rams can win this game is if their defense steps up and really shuts down the Seahawks offense. They’ll need Robert Quinn and Chris Long to get pressure on Wilson and bottle up Marshawn Lynch. But the Rams run defense just hasn’t been great this year, and thus I don’t see the Rams circling the wagons and keeping this one close.

Spread Pick: Seahawks
Straight Pick: Seahawks

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Author: Aaron Freeman

Aaron is the founder of FalcFans.com.

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