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2016 NFL Predictions Week Eight
Back in week 6 of the 2014 season, America witnessed a tie game between the Bengals and Panthers. Carolina finished the season 7-8-1 winning the NFC South while the Bengals finished 10-5-1 and got the first wild card for the playoffs, Based on how the rest of that season played out, if Cincinnati or Carolina would have won that game, there would be no change. The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Bengals twice so an AFC Crown would not have come into play. The Ravens, who got the final wild card spot at 10-6, lost both meetings to the Bengals so there would be no flip for the AFC wild card teams. In the NFC South, if Carolina were to finish 7-9 with that hypothetical loss to Andy Dalton, the Panthers would still win the division due to having a better division record than the Saints. Sorry New Orleans. With the way the NFC looks to be shaping up, Sunday's tie between Arizona and Seattle could have an effect on who advances and who stays home.
Bye: Ravens, Rams, Dolphins, Giants, Steelers, 49ers
Jaguars @ Titans: Have the Jaguars thought about having teal colored jerseys for this Color Rush campaign? They will be going with, again, some sort of Dijon or Honey mustard color as last year. Anyway, Blake Bortles is all over the place with his throws which could lead to the Jaguars relying more on the run. Tennessee doesn't have a problem with that being the 8th best at defending it. It will get ugly with a low scoring game with DeMarco Murray being the difference.
Redskins @ Bengals: The Redskins travel from one capital to another as they face the Bengals. The Cincinnati offense got hot last week and look to continue raising the temperature against Washington. It will be a different challenge for their defense defending the Bengals running attack.
Chiefs @ Colts: With Kansas City struggling to get to the Quarterback (8 sacks) this year, the Indianapolis offensive line shouldn't have a problem keeping Andrew Luck upright. The quick passes worked like a charm in last week's win against Tennessee. Expect it to continue only in a way to avoid Marcus Peters in the Chiefs secondary. Maybe the Colts could put T.Y. Hilton in different areas of the field. He did torch the them in the 2014 AFC Wild Card game for 200+ yards and two scores.
Cardinals @ Panthers: Bruce Arians will still be heated after the missed field goal but remembering that he has David Johnson and the 6th best pass defense, he'll be walking on air. The Panthers are 1-4 after a bye week under Ron Rivera. The one win came last year during their dream season. Forgotten MVP Cam Newton will keep Carolina in the game.
Raiders @ Buccaneers: It is the year 2000. A start of a new decade, the Raiders coach at the time was Jon Gruden; Gladiator featuring Russell Crowe premiered; Bill Belichick had resigned as the New York Jets head coach a day after accepting the job; and it was the last time the Raiders won their first four road games. The Raiders take their 4-0 away record to Tampa Bay for a bit of a Super Bowl XXXVII reunion. Derek Carr has played better overall than Jameis Winston at their respective position. It will get tight late but Coach Jack Del Rio will continue his away game magic.
Seahawks @ Saints: Jimmy Graham should be salivating at getting the opportunity to take a shot at his former team, especially on their own turf. It will get wild in New Orleans but the Saints will start to feel over matched midway without establishing a run game and facing Earl Thomas and the Legion of Boom.
Lions @ Texans: There is no place like home. The Texans and The Brockweiler are undefeated at NRG Stadium and will be glad to be back after the beating they took in Denver. Houston's pass defense ranks fifth in the league which will pose a problem for Matthew Stafford. On the other side, the Lions won't be able to stop DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. There is no place like home.
Patriots @ Bills: The Bills are losing receivers left and right and LeSean McCoy hasn't been practicing all week. LeGarrette Blount has been on a roll and Rob Gronkowski is back from hibernation. The New England quarterback, I hear, is pretty good too. Hopefully Buffalo enjoyed that win at Gillette Stadium while it lasted.
Jets @ Browns: Hue Jackson is keeping it a secret as to if Kevin Hogan, Cody Kessler or any of the other few Browns quarterbacks will start on Sunday. Ryan Fitzpatrick has something to prove now and will work his magic with receivers Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa. Don't expect the Browns to find space pounding the rock against the Jets fifth rated rushing defense.
Chargers @ Broncos: C.J Anderson is expected to miss a few weeks which will pave the way for rookie Devontae Booker for an increased role running the ball. The Chargers will be facing a different Denver team than the one they beat a couple of Thursdays ago.
Packers @ Falcons: This should be one for the ages. Aaron Rodgers has lit up the Falcons for an average of 349.2 passing yards in his career (including playoffs). Matt Ryan hasn't had the same success in his career against Green Bay (just 220.8 average yards) and it will look to continue that way. With Tevin Coleman's absence, Devonta Freeman won't be able to get it done on his own.
Eagles @ Cowboys: When everything went wrong last week for the Vikings, the Eagles pounced like a pack of wolves on a helpless sick buffalo (I had just finished watching The Revenant). Against probably the best offensive line in the league, the Eagles will have a tough time getting into the Dallas backfield. The offense should get a boost with Dez Bryant expected back. Matching man to man will be a bit harder for Philadelphia especially when the field gets shorter.
Vikings @ Bears: The first loss is out of the way so now it is up to Minnesota to find a way to bounce back. A little bit of everything such as turnovers (and capitalizing off of them), quarterback protection, and extending drives had a factor in the loss. A ticked off Vikings team will be waiting for Jay Cutler as he makes his return from a thumb injury.
2016 Record: 60-46-1
Last Week: 7-7-1