The Pats shot themselves in the foot by losing to the Clown Car Jets, 30-27, in OT. By so doing, they blew a golden opportunity to ice away another AFC East title, and an iside tract at earning an playoff bye. Next up are the Miami Dolphins, in Foxborough. As you saw Sunday, nothing can be taken for granted when it comes to the 2013 Patriots' edition. Here are my Week 8 picks, with the "Game of the Week" being:
1.) (4-3) Dallas Cowboys (+3) @ (4-3) Detroit Lions: Though this is hardly a marquee game, it seemed to be the best match-up of the week. The Lions are coming off a stinging three (3) point loss to the Bengals at Detroit, while the Cowboys are fresh off a solid win over the Eagles in Philadelphia. The Lions can ill afford a second straight home loss, in their quest to keep pace with the Green Bay Packers. Dallas holds a 1.5 game lead over the second place Eagles in the NFC Least: PICK: Lions;
2.) (3-3) Carolina Panthers @ (0-6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+6.5): Carolina is evolving into one of the top teams in the NFC. They've won 3 of their last 4 games, and have outscored their opposition, albeit the Vikings and the Rams, by a 65-25 count. As for the Bucs...well...let's stop here: PICK: Panthers;
3.) (5-2) San Francisco 49ers @ (0-7) Jacksonville Jaguars (+16.5): After hitting an early season speed bump, the 49ers have won four straight games, scoring at least 31 points in each of those wins. Meanwhile, the Jaguars continue down that road to oblivion: PICK: 49ers;
4.) (1-6) NY Giants (+5.5) @ (3-4) Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Vick returns this week, and will start. Just in time, too...as the Nick Foles led Eagles were held to just three (3) points last weekend by the Cowboys. As a result, the Eagles received even louder boos from the Philly faithful than did Santa Claus. After notching their first win of the season on Monday night, are the Giants primed to make a run at respectability?: PICK: Giants;
5.) (3-4) Cleveland Browns (+7.5) @ (7-0) Kansas City Chiefs: The Browns lacked decent QB play ever since Brian Hoyer went down with a season ending knee injury. Despite all that media noise about how the Denver Horsefaces were the greatest team ever assembled, it is the Chiefs who currently occupy first place in the AFC West: PICK: Chiefs;
6.) (3-4) Buffalo Bills (+12) @ (5-1) New Orleans Saints: Though the Bills are below .500, they have been in every game they've played this season. But, playing New Orleans in their dome, with a well rested Saints team coming off its bye week, is a very tall order: PICK: Saints;
7.) (3-3) Miami Dolphins (+6.5) @ (5-2) New England Patriots: After winning their first three games, the 'Fins have lost their last three. Saddled with a struggling OL and a weak running game, Miami appears to be made to order for the Patriots. My guess is that the 'Fins will be dealing with a motivated, very angry Patriots' team this Sunday: PICK: Patriots;
8.) (4-3) NY Jets (+6.5) @ (5-2) Cincinnati Bengals: The Jets gained confidence and some credibility, at least in the eyes of some, as a result of them beating the Patriots last weekend. How they perform in Cincinnati will go a long way in determining whether they are a good club, and a legitimate AFC East contender: PICK: Bengals;
9.) (2-4) Pittsburgh Steelers @ (2-4) Oakland Raiders (+3): The Steelers at least momentarily saved their season by edging the Baltimore Buzzards in Pittsburgh. The Raiders are...well...the Raiders: PICK: Steelers;
10.) (2-4) Washington Redskins (+13) @ (6-1) Denver Broncos: The Redskins showed that they can score last week, beating the Bears, 45-41. But, their defense remains one of the worst in the game. Look for the Horseface to pad his gaudy stats in this one: PICK: Broncos;
11.) (2-4) Atlanta Falcons (+2.5) @ (3-4) Arizona Cardinals: Who would have predicted that the Cardinals would have a better record than the Falcons, going into Week 8? After playing back to back games against the Seahawks and 49ers, any other team will likely look like a cupcake to the Cards: PICK: Cardinals;
12.) (4-2) Green Bay Packers @ (1-5) Minnesota Vikings (+9.5): The Vikings have a terrible QB problem, and an even worse morale problem. Despite a bevy of injuries, the Packers and Aaron Rodgers continue to roll: PICK: Packers;
13.) (6-1) Seattle Seahawks @ (3-4) St. Louis Rams (+10.5): Rams' QB Sam Bradford went down last week. Who will the Rams elect to feed to the Seattle Slew?: PICK: Seahawks.
BEST BETS: Panthers, Lions, Chiefs, Patriots, Steelers, Broncos.
FAIR WARNING: Whenever there appears to be so many favorable games to wager upon...BEWARE!! The Vegas boys know their business.
As always, your comments, predictions, and opinions are welcome. Have a great evening, and a fabulous day on Wednesday. GO SOX!!!!