2009 NFL Football Week Eight Preview and Picks

2009 NFL week eight preview and picks
2009 NFL week eight preview and picks

Who Will Win Each Game, and More Importantly, Who Will Cover the Spread

Last week there were finally some good underdogs for me to pick and they payed off, especially against the spread. Things would have been even better had Brett Favre not turned the ball over twice in the fourth quarter. Both of which were returned for touchdowns, while the Vikings were in scoring position. In a matter of a few series I went from an almost certain cover and a victory on the field to a straight up loss that failed to cover. Plus, I can't help think about what would have happened had the 49ers put Alex Smith in during the second quarter instead of waiting until after half time.What could have been but for a few circumstances.

I ended up 8-5 straight up (winners) and 10-2-1 against the spread. Which leaves with an overall record of 66-36 straight up and 54-47-1 against the spread for the season. I do hate the tie games, but I finally had a breakout week against the bookies and I'm now 7 games over .500 against the spread. And I usually do much better during the second half of the season, once I've got a good sense of how each team is playing. So, look out world, here I come and I'm on a roll now.

NHL Star Finally Fulfills His Dream of Being a Pro Athlete

The Steelers defense stepped all over the Vikings in the fourth quarter
The Steelers defense stepped all over the Vikings in the fourth quarter

Have Your Say

What did you like most about week seven?

  • The Pittsburgh defense finally stepping up in the fourth quarter
  • Michael Crabtree having an immediate impact
  • Desean Jackson showing no signs of a sophomore slump
  • Miles Austin doing more in two games than Roy Williams has done in two seasons
  • Something else (put it in the comments)
See results without voting

What I Liked in Week Seven

  1. The Steelers Defense in the Fourth Quarter - There is some room for debate about whether Sunday's victory over the Vikings was more a case of Brett Favre remembering how to turn the ball over at the worst possible time or the Steelers remembering how to make big plays at the right time. Regardless of that, this game represents the first one all season in which Pittsburgh put together a dominant fourth quarter performance. Even more promising, the defense keyed that dominance by scoring twice off those turnovers after the Vikings had moved into scoring position. After looking shaky early the Steelers are looking like the team to beat in the NFC North once again.
  2. Michael Crabtree Catching Five Passes in His First Pro Game - Maybe Michael Crabtree was worthy of the hype after all. After sitting out almost half the season in a contract dispute that accomplished pretty much nothing, he stepped right in and performed like a veteran receiver. There is no doubt that he has the raw skills to play at the NFL level and he looked to have a good grasp of route running. His 5 catches for 59 yards (plus a sixth for 20yds that was nullified by a penalty) would have been impressive even if he wasn't a late starter, but the fact that it comes at a time when the Forty-Niners desperately need to establish a pasing offense to compliment Frank Gore. Hopefully fr San Francisco this game wasn't just a matter of beginner's luck.
  3. Desean Jackson - Speaking of raw skills, Desean Jackson has the potential to be a great player or a very long time. Jackson is playing even better this year than he did during his rookie season. In Philadelphia's game against Washington on Monday night, Jackson scored on a reverse to give the Eagles an early lead and then later put the stake in the Redskins' heart by sprinting untouched into the end zone from 57 yards away to make it 27-7. It doesn't hurt his case that he's a serious threat to score on punts and kick offs also.
  4. Miles Austin - The Cowboys gave up four draft picks including for Roy Williams essentially so they could get rid of Terrell Owens and got pretty much nothing in return, except the confidence to dump TO (which does have some value). Meanwhile, they got Miles Austin as a free agent without even using a draft pick and they appear to have found a legitimate weapon. Austin has accumulated 16 catches for 421 yards and 4 TD's in the past two games, while Williams has 31 catches for 428 yards and 2 TD's since joining the Cowboys six games into the 2008 season. Maybe the replacement for TO was already in the locker room.

Fans in Cleveland are red faced in anger and they're kinda gonna do something about it
Fans in Cleveland are red faced in anger and they're kinda gonna do something about it

Have Your Say

What did you like the least about week seven?

  • The Browns plans to show up late and give the ushers dirty looks while walking to their seats in week ten
  • JaMarcus Russell's rose colored glasses
  • The Vikings leaning more heavily on the passing game in spite of having the best running back in the league
  • Brad Childress dressing up as the ugliest stewardess on the planet
  • Something else (put it in the comments)
See results without voting

What I Didn't Like in Week Seven

  1. The Browns' Fans Plans to "Protest" in Week Ten - Not surprisingly, the Cleveland fans are fed up with he ways the Browns have been playing since they were reincarnated back in 1999. So befitting the tradition of the (new) Browns, they are planning to do something totally ineffective and meaningless to show just how fed up they are. The brilliant plan is to show up late to their Monday Night game against the Ravens, so all the people watching on TV will see an empty stadium at the beginning of the game. Rumor is that fans of the Rams, Panthers, Redskins, and Raiders plan to stay home that week in solidarity with Browns fans. Which begs the question, if the Cleveland fans really want to make a statement why don't they just not come at all instead of hanging around in the parking lot during the time that the game is actually somewhat competitive.
  2. JaMarcus Russell's Self Awareness - Actually it should be his lack of that trait. One of the biggest criticisms of Russell's performance has been his reluctance to prepare for games and overall lack of work ethic. The fact that he never seems to recognize or at least acknowledge that he might be playing badly could be the reason. After calling the wrong formation on the opening play resulting in a fumble and throwing a horrible interception both of which gave the Jets the ball at Oakland 4 yard line and ultimately resulted in touchdowns, Russell capped off his performance by throwing an interception in the end zone to kill a rare Raiders scoring opportunity. Not surprisingly, he was promptly benched for being "out of sorts."  Russell's response: "actually I wasn't." It's hard to imagine anything less out of sorts than committing three turnovers during the course of five possessions. It's a shame that the Raiders are stuck with the J-Man since they don't have anyone to replace him with after releasing Jeff Garcia.
  3. The Vikings Not Basing the Offense on Adrian Peterson - As mentioned earlier, the Steelers came up big against the Vikings in the fourth quarter. However, Minnesota did them a big favor by effectively taking Adrian Peterson out of the game by calling 55 (4 sacks) pass plays vs. just 23 rushes. Early in the season, the Vikings were focusing their offense around Peterson with Favre making a few key plays when needed, as they should when they have the best running back in the league. After a few big games from Favre though the Vikings have progressively moved more and more toward a pass heavy offense. The most immediate effect has been a sudden lack of effectiveness in the red zone. Including the second half of the Ravens game in week six, when they came a missed field goal from losing, the Vikings have now scored just two TD's in their last nine trips into the red zone. As a result they've fallen from number one to number fourteen in touchdown percentages within the twenty yard line. One typical example is when they had a First and goal from the one yard line. After an Adrian Peterson run on first down, Favre threw incomplete twice and they were forced to settle for a field goal. When you have a running back that averages five yards a carry and you need one yard, it's a good idea to give him the ball.
  4. Brad Childress Playing Dress up - The pass to run ratio wasn't the only bad decision that Minnesota coach Brad Childress made during week seven. For some reason he thought it would be a good idea to dress up as a stewardess during the flight to Pittsburgh. Somehow it was supposed to remind the Viking players to block out pressure during the game against the Steelers. Problem is once you get that image inside your head there's no getting it back out. That could very well be why Chester Taylor had trouble concentrating on making that catch that turned into a 82-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Wrong on so many levels
Wrong on so many levels

Have Your Say

What is the most significant thing you learned in week seven?

  • Eating a hot dog on the sideline is wrong for some reason
  • Alex Smith is still in the NFL and he's starting next week
  • Vince Young is getting another chance to start in Tennessee
  • The Cardinals are undefeated in the Eastern Time Zone this year
  • Something else (put it in the comments)
See results without voting

What I Learned in Week Seven

  1. It's Wrong for a Player to Eat a Hot Dog During a Game - I haven't quite figured out why Mark Sanchez had to issue an apology for eating a hot dog after he was taken out of the Raiders game. I guess there's always the chance somebody might take a picture and do something silly with it, but I've yet to hear anybody actually say why it's such a big deal even though everyone (except Jerome Bettis) seems to just accept the fact that it somehow is. My one theory is that possibly the big turnout by PETA when Michael Vick came in with the Eagles in week six created some sort of paranoia among visiting teams about dogs and meat products. Outside of that I'm pretty stumped by the whole thing.
  2. Alex Smith is Still Alive - He didn't quite pull off the big comeback in the game, but he came close, losing 24-21 after being down 21-0 when he took over at halftime. Not bad for a guy who is one of the names consistently mentioned as a bust when the other top pick in the Bay Area is discussed. It remains to be seen if this was a one time fluke or a resurrection, but it was good enough to get him a second chance at starting after being left for dead since his last start in 2007. Unfortunately, his first opponent is the Indianapolis Colts, which probably doesn't bode well for him. If he survives that test though without imploding the schedule isn't terribly bad the rest of the season.
  3. Vince Young is Going to Get Another Chance in Tennessee - Kerry Collins isn't the problem in Tennessee, it's the defense that has taken a huge dip since last season. However when you are 0-6 and even your own coach is mocking you, then you might as well throw someone else in there and see what happens. Ironically enough, Young's return to the starting line up comes against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was during a game in September of last year against the Jaguars when Vince Young reacted to being booed by the Titans fans by temporarily refusing to enter the game and then inspiring a post-game suicide scare that led to him being benched ever since. Hopefully, things will go a little better this time around.
  4. The Cardinals Can Win on the East Coast - Last season the Cardinals couldn't get out of their own way whenever they played on the East Coast. They didn't just get beat, they got dominated in every game. That all changed once the playoffs started last year, though. Arizona is now undefeated in three games on the East Coast since beating the Panthers in last season's playoffs. More importantly, after a slow start they are once again in first place in the NFC West with no sign of that changing anytime soon.

It's all or nothing when Jay Cutler is running the offense
It's all or nothing when Jay Cutler is running the offense

Have Your Say

What is the thing you were least surprised by in week seven?

  • When Jay Cutler is your QB, you have to take the bad with the good
  • When Jake Delhomme is your QB, you get mostly the bad
  • The Saints are unstoppable, but the Dolphins made it pretty easy for them
  • It doesn't matter what plays the Redskins run or who calls them
  • Something else (put it in the comments)
See results without voting

What I Already Knew

  1. The Bad Offsets the Good with Jay Cutler - Jay Cutler was by no means the only problem with the Bears in their week seven loss to the Bengals. Chicago's 45-10 whipping by Cincinnati was very much a team effort and that sound you heard was the slamming of the door on any serious threat for the Bears to make it far into the playoffs (if at all) this season. However, this game and the three interceptions he threw are a perfect example of what Jay Cutler represents as a team's quarterback. His physical skills can create big plays and impressive stats, but his mental mistakes often cancel those out with big turnovers. Including the Bears loss to the Falcons two weeks ago, Cutler has now thrown five interceptions in his previous two games with just three TD's. On the year, he has eleven touchdowns and ten interceptions with four of those TD's and nine of those interceptions coming in Chicago's three losses, while seven TD's and just one interception came in their three victories. When he's good, he's good and when he's bad, look out.
  2. The Bad More Than Offsets the Good with Jake Delhomme - Unfortunately for Carolina, Jake Delhomme at this point is no longer an up and down player, but simply a down player. Beginning with the playoff loss to the Cardinals last season he has now turned the ball over 21 times in 7 games. No team can win averaging three turnovers a game, let alone when one player averages that many by himself. Apparently nobody has explained this to John Fox though, since the Panthers have been passing the ball early and often. Against the Bills in week seven, Fox called 25 running plays and 43 passing plays. This is in spite of the fact that the Bills have the last place run defense and the Panthers were averaging 4.6 yards a play on those rushing plays they did call. Somebody might want to let Coach Fox on that secret that his QB turns the ball over a lot and that running the ball prevents interceptions.
  3. The Saints are Unstoppable, but the Dolphins Gave Them Plenty of Help - The Saints are on pace to completely shatter a record that just two seasons ago looked like it would last for decades or at least until they added more regular season games. If their current average holds up, they will score 634 points eclipsing the 16-0 Patriots single season record of 589 points. So, it really shouldn't be that shocking that they were able score 43 points in coming back from a 21 point deficit. However Miami, especially Ted Ginn Jr., deserves an assist for this one. Ginn dropped two passes, including one that turned into an interception for a touchdown that would have put them into scoring position if he had caught it in a game that they lost by two scores. The other big assist goes to Dolphins coach Tony Sparano, who called a time out with five seconds left while the officials reviewed a play that was overturned. This allowed the Saints, who were out of timeouts, to go for and make a touchdown from about six inches outside the goal line, instead of being forced to kick a field goal. Plus while down by just six points with over three minutes remaining, the Dolphins were heaving desperation passes down the field on every play. Not only was that unnecessary with so much time left, but leaving a bunch of time on the clock for the Saints offense if they had managed to score would have been a bad idea.
  4. Play Calling isn't the Redskins' Problem - Different play caller, same result. It pretty much doesn't matter who is calling the plays or what plays they actually call as long as the players don't execute those plays. If Sherm Lewis can block some of the defensive players that have been sprinting past the Washington O-Line all season, he might be able to help the Redskins offense out. Otherwise, it's pretty much mission impossible as long as Jason Campbell is running for his life every game and Clinton Portis is running into a brick wall at the line of scrimmage.

One down, two to go
One down, two to go

Have Your Say

Which Prediction Do You Think is Most Likely to Happen?

  • The Eagles are going to be put to the test during the rest of the season
  • Green Bay might look good against bad teams, but the Vikings are still better
  • One sold out game per season doesn't justify a franchise in England
  • For some reason the Vikings, Broncos, and Jaguars are underdogs when they might all three win
  • Something else (put it in the comments)
See results without voting

Predictions for Week Eight

  1. We'll Find Out Where the Eagles Really Stand Starting in Week Eight - With the exception of their ugly loss to New Orleans, the Eagles have pretty much been eating cupcakes all season. And with the exception of their incredibly ugly unexpected loss to the Raiders, they have payed pretty impressively. From here on out though, the Eagles better fly right and not give away anymore games they should win. Following the Giants this week, they have the Cowboys next week and then in subsequent weeks they face the Chargers, Bears, Redskins, Falcons, Giants, Niners, Broncos, and Cowboys. Right now, the only team that they should be a big underdog to is Denver. Depending on how focused they play, they could end up with anywhere between nine and twelve wins.
  2. It's Easy to Get Back On Track Against the Lions and Browns - All the hype this week is about Brett Favre's much anticipated return to Green Bay. Unfortunately, for the Packers it doesn't look like it is going turn out much differently than the first time they faced the Vikings. The fact that they blew out two teams that have a combined record of 2-11, doesn't really change the reality that Minnesota has a better defense, a better offensive line, and a better running back. Nor does it change the fact that the Vikings' strengths match up almost perfectly with the Packers' weaknesses. Personally, I think Aaron Rodgers is as good if not better than Brett Favre is, especially at this point in his career. However, Favre has a much better team around him and Rodgers will likely spend the game getting slammed into the ground repeatedly, while Favre will probably hardly get touched just like last time.
  3. Selling Out One Game a Season Isn't the Same as Supporting a Franchise - I'm not a big fan of the annual game in Engand in the first place, but the recent talk of having a franchise in England is just silly. First of all, it would be impossible for such a team to travel all the way to the U.S. eight times a year to play away games. But even if that was overlooked, it's already been tried and failed miserably. The NFL Europe featured a franchise in London before the entire league folded from lack of interest. The London Monarchs averaged 16,000 fans per game after their first season in a stadium that seats 50,000. It got so bad that they attempted to drum up interest by rotating amongst four different English stadiums, which only made things worse. In the end, they averaged just under 6,000 fans per game in their final season before being renamed the Thunder and shipped off to Berlin. The fact that there are enough curious people in England to sell out one game a year doesn't mean that there is enough interest to support a team throughout the course of a season.
  4. Three Great Bets for Week Eight - This week I found three games that have ridiculous point spreads. First there's the Broncos getting 3.5 points against the Ravens. Secondly, the Vikings are getting 3 points against Green Bay. Finally, the Jaguars are getting 3 points against the Titans. Maybe the sportsbooks know something I don't, but in my mind two of those three underdogs (Broncos, Vikings) should win outright and the even the Jaguars have a good chance of winning a game that could go either way. I kinda understand the Packers being favored because all of the revenge hype and the fact that the Vikings haven't won in Green Bay in three years and have lost 12 out of the last 15 in Green Bay, even though I think they will win potentially in a blowout. The other two just defy explanation.

My Picks for the 2009 Week Eight NFL Games

Sun, Nov. 1
10:00 AM (PDT)
11:00 AM (MDT)
12:00 PM (CDT)
1:00 PM (EDT)
Favorite
Underdog
Point Spread
Straight Up
Against the Spread
Houston
Buffalo
3.5
Houston
Buffalo
Chicago
Cleveland
13.0
Chicago
Chicago
Dallas
Seattle
9.5
Dallas
Dallas
Detroit
St. Louis
3.5
Detroit
Detroit
Indianapolis
San Francisco
12.0
Indianapolis
Indianapolis
New York Jets
Miami
3.5
New York Jets
New York Jets
New York Giants
Philadelphia
1.0
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
Baltimore
Denver
3.5
Denver
Denver
Sun, Nov. 1
1:00 PM (PDT)
2:00 PM (MDT)
3:00 PM (CDT)
4:00 PM (EDT)
Tennessee
Jacksonville
3.0
Jacksonville
Jacksonville
San Diego
Oakland
16.5
San Diego
Oakland
Green Bay
Minnesota
3.0
Minnesota
Minnesota
Arizona
Carolina
10.0
Arizona
Arizona
Mon, Nov. 2
5:30 PM (PDT)
6:30 PM (MDT)
7:30 PM (CDT)
8:30 PM (EDT)
New Orleans
Atlanta
10.0
New Orleans
New Orleans
Teams with byes in week eight: Cincinnati, Kansas City, New England, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington - There is no Sunday Night Game

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3 comments

Rich 6 years ago

eating a hot dog on the side line is wrong, But you that poll questions wins in a landside!


ShyneIV profile image

ShyneIV 6 years ago from Montreal

Great hub as usual Anarchy. Love your breakdowns of things that you liked and things you didn't like. Can't wait to see how we fair head to head this week.


EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

Apparently it is wrong Rich, but I'm still not sure why.

Thanks Shyne, there are some good games this week. The past couple weeks have finally started to get some games where an underdog can actually win. I'm ready to make up some ground.

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