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NFL Week 8 Recap--My Predictions
Randal Bruce vs ESPN
Another bad week for old Randal. With each passing week I understand why people do week to week picks. It makes them look better at picking games. It also makes sense because you have the necessary info to pick the game correctly like injuries and team play. It does lack a certain drama of making the picks before the season and seeing how they play out. I took on the challenge and I'm going to ride it out. It does suck however, but is fun to see it play out.
I finished the Week down again at 6-8. Up from last week. Looking for positives here. I'm still over .500 overall and I'll take it. Ditka and Mortensen lead the way at ESPN this week at 12-2. Golic, Allen and Joyner finished at the bottom tied at 8-6. Not to shabby. I'm at 62-57 overall. I'm getting killed. Cris Carter is leading the way at ESPN at 82-37. Eric Allen is bringing up the rear at 70-49. I have to tip my hat to the experts.
- 2015 NFL Season Preview and Predictions--AFC East Division
A division by division breakdown of the 2015 NFL Season.
- NFL Picks and Predictions for Week 8 - National Football League - ESPN
Check out ESPN's expert picks and predictions for Week 8 NFL pro football games.
The Pats improve to 7-0 will stopping the Dolphins 2 game winning streak
The Dolphins had been on a roll since firing coach Philbin and promoting Dan Campbell, then reality set in. They faced the Patriots and came crashing back to earth. There is no shame in that. It just meant the feel good tour was over. Now we'll have to see how the Dolphins rebound after a loss with Dan Campell. It was business as usual for the Champs. Tom Brady passed for 356 yards and 4 TD's. Rob Gronkowski had 6 catches for 113 and a score. The Dolphins were beaten and suffered a major loss as well. They lost their main pass rusher Cameron Wake for the season. There was so much good will before this game and now there are more questions again about the Dolphins.
Final Score: Patriots 36-Dolphins 7
I picked the Patriots because they are the champs and were at home. Plus, they own the teams in the AFC East.
The Chiefs destroy the Lions in London
I am so stupid for thinking the Lions could capitalize off of last year's momentum. It just felt like they had finally turned the corner. I don't know what has changed in a year, but they are a completely different team. They have checked out and it may be a short stay for head coach Jim Caldwell. They are bad on both sides of the ball. Now I'm giving them too much credit and not enough to their opponent the Chiefs. The Chiefs have pulled themselves back up and have won 2 games in a row. They are only 3-5 but shows they are continuing to fight. Alex Smith was more effective as a rusher than a passer. He ran for 78 yards and a TD. His limitations will hold this team back. They will need to start looking for a new QB after the season. The Lions may need a new everything after this season.
Final Score: Chiefs 45-Lions 10
I picked the Lions because I'm a dummy. I also like it noted I picked this game and all games before the season and not week to week. I still can't out run my preseason assessment that the Lions would return to the playoffs. Ouch!
The Bucs lose a big lead again only to pull through in OT over the Falcons
It was deja vu all over again for Tampa. They jumped out to a big lead and manage to lose it for the 2nd week in a row. This time it was different and Tampa took out their division rivals in OT. The Bucs showed a lot of heart winning this game after their heartbreaking loss to the Redskins the week before. Jameis Winston gets better every week. He looked in control of this team and the offense in OT. The future looks very bright for the Bucs. The Falcons ran out to that great start, but it seems like teams are figuring them out and that could cost them down the road. They are chasing the Panthers. The Saints are coming on strong and now The Bucs look like they may have more to say about the division.
Final Score: Buccaneers 23-Falcons 20
I picked the Falcons because I thought the Bucs would be struggling more with a rookie QB.
The Vikings go on the road and take down the Bears
It is impressive what Mike Zimmer is doing with the Vikings in his 2nd year. The Vikings are 5-2 and just 1 game out of 1st place in the AFC North. This was a critical win for this team on the road. Life is much easier for this Vikings team with Adrian Peterson back in the mix. Peterson ran for 103 yards and gives them a reliable option on offense. It was expected that the Bears would struggle in John Fox's 1st year. They are playing hard but just can't compete in this division yet.
Final Score: Vikings 23-Bears 20
I picked the Bears because I thought the Vikings would be up and down this year. I wasn't sure how Peterson would fit in and how the Vikings would use him.
Palmer leads the Cardinals back with 4 TD passes to sink the Browns
The Cardinals got down early in this game and rallied to beat the Browns. The Cardinals are so much better with Carson Palmer as their starting QB. Palmer passed for 374 yards and 4 TD's in this come from behind victory. Chris Johnson continues to give them the balance they need to win this division and possibly win in January. Johnson ran for 109 yards. The Cardinals defense held the Browns to just 254 yards of offense. The Browns show potential, but always seem to fall short. Losing this 20-7 lead just feeds into the frustration Browns fans are feeling. It already looks like time for a change in Cleveland, but they've failed so many times before so that's not a good feeling.
Final Score: Cardinals 34-Browns 20
I picked the Cardinals because they have a far superior coaching staff.
Gurley leads the Rams past the 49ers
The Rams will go as far as Todd Gurley will take them. He is the star attraction on this team. They are average to below average without him. He is on a roll with 4 straight games over 100 yards rushing. He rushed for 133 yards and a TD against the 49ers. They need Gurley to be healthy to compete in the NFC. The 49ers are as bad as everyone thought. Well, everyone saw it happening except the owner and the GM. They have created a mess that doesn't look like it's getting better any time soon.
Final Score: Rams 27-49ers 6
I picked the Rams because they always seem to play well against the NFC West.
The Saints beat the Giants in a shoot out in New Orleans
If you love offense, this was an amazing game to watch. If you love defense you would have found it painful. Eli Manning and Drew Brees decided to put on a show in New Orleans. Eli passed for 350 yards and 6 TD's. Brees decided he wanted to top that by throwing for 511 yards and 7 TD's. Odell Beckham Jr. was Eli's top target with 8 catches for 130 yards and 3 TD's. Ben Watson led the way for the Saints with 9 catches for 147 yards and a score. The defenses were non existent and will be a problem for these two teams down the road. The Giants still lead the NFC East because it's terrible. The Saints are charging back fast in the NFC South but still face an uphill climb with the Panthers and Falcons. Plus the Bucs are right there in the mix. The NFC South was the worst division last year, but may be the best this year.
Final Score: Saints 52-Giants 49
I picked the Giants just based on a hunch. As usual lately my hunches have bit me in the butt.
The Bengals stay perfect with a win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh
Big Ben returned for the Steelers and was rusty. He threw 3 picks in his return. The Bengals were prepared for Big Ben and held the Steelers to just 10 points. This was another big win for the Bengals. They gutted out a much needed win in Pittsburgh. They are running away with this division and continuing to put their name in the race for the AFC supremacy with the Patriots and the Broncos. It still begins and ends with the Bengals winning in the playoffs. You have to believe with the tough wins so far in this season, this is their best chance to make a playoff run. This was a tough loss for the Steelers in what looks to be a tough AFC conference in 2015.
Final Score Bengals 16-Steelers 10
I picked the Steelers because they owned the Bengals last year and I just didn't believe the Bengals were good enough to beat the Steelers.
The Ravens take down the Chargers
I consider myself a dummy for believing the Chargers were finally moving in a direction to break their underachieving status. The joke is on me. The Ravens struggling this year is surprising since they usually are in the mix in the AFC. These are 2 teams going nowhere fast. The Ravens won the disappointment bowl. Not much to talk about here.
Final Score: Ravens 29-Chargers 26
I picked the Chargers because I believed they were a solid team. That belief is gone.
The Texans beat the Titans in an ugly AFC South game
Texans got a much needed win that keeps them in the mix for this terrible division. The Titans have lost their 6 straight game. QB Marcus Mariotta misses another game The Titans are as bad as everyone thought they would be. It's hard to see them winning another game this season. I know they will but it will be tough. They have a lot of work to do.
Final Score: Texans 20-Titans 6
I picked the Texans because the Titans are awful.
The Raiders just win baby by beating the Jets
The Raiders struck gold when they chose Derek Carr in the 2nd round of the draft last year. Carr just continues to put up big numbers. He passed for 333 yards and 4 TD's. That's pretty impressive against a solid Jets defense that includes shutdown corner Darrelle Revis. This kid is a star and has the Raiders back on the map. Latavius Murray stepped up and added balance to this attack by rushing for 113 yards. WR Michael Crabtree was Carr's top target this week with 7 catches for 102 yards and a score. You can't forget emerging star WR Amari Cooper. He didn't have a big game, but it just shows you how much young talent the Raiders have on offense. No one is laughing at the Raiders now. I liked the hire of Jack Del Rio but thought it would take at least 3 years to turn around this team. He is getting results in his 1st year and it is impressive. The Jets lost Fitzpatrick in this game and now have to see what Geno can do. We'll have to see how they rebound.
Final Score: Raiders 34-Jets 20
I picked the Raiders because they usually beat the Jets when they come out west.
The Seahawks survive against the weakened Cowboys in Dallas
Another one of my picks that made sense before the season. This is why the experts do week to week picks. They can access how teams are playing and account for injuries. That's the easy way out. I make the picks before the season and ride them out. That's the only way I'd pick the Romo less Cowboys to beat the Seahawks. This game was close. I find that disturbing. The Seahawks aren't as good as I thought. They are on defense, but their offense will be their demise again. Right now they are looking up at the Cardinals and Rams. They need this offense to improve in a hurry. The experts were impressed by the game winning drive, but to me that speaks volumes of how inept they are. Why are they struggling to beat this hurting Cowboys team? The Cowboys are talented and still fighting without their leader, but the Seahawks have more talent and should dominate this team without Romo. There is cause for concern in Seattle. The Cowboys still have a shot because the NFC East is dreadful, but they need Romo to come back soon before those opportunities run out.
Final Score: Seahawks 13-Cowboys 12
I picked the Cowboys before the season because of how they dominated the Seahawks last season in Seattle. I didn't change my picks because I think week to week picks are cop outs.
The Broncos defense shuts down Rodgers and the Packers
I love watching this Broncos team this year. I love that their defense is wrecking shop. I love that they are trying to add balance to the offense by running the ball. The old formula was broken. After being destroyed by Seattle's defense in the Super Bowl, John Elway put his effort into building up the defense. It is finally paying off. They beat up and confused Aaron Rodgers. It was a thing of beauty. The offense was so balanced it was what Kubiak and Elway were dreaming of. Manning quieted his critics again going 21-29 for 340 yards. He was efficent. It may not be the way he'd prefer it, but the old model didn't work. The running game was in full effect and had Kubiak's stamp all over it. C.J. Anderson rushed for 101 and a TD. Ronnie Hillman rushed for 60 yards and 2 TD's. The defense held the Packers to 140 yards of total offense. Aaron Rodgers was held to only 77 yards passing. That's amazing! When the Broncos are playing like this no one can beat them. We'll have to wait to see if they can keep it up. The Packers were dominated all over the field and there isn't much to say about them.
Final Score: Broncos 29-Packers 10
I picked the Broncos because they were at home and they rarely lose there.
The Panthers improve to 7-0 by beating the Colts in OT
The Colts were a lot of peoples Super Bowl pick. They were not mine. I thought they would compete and win this awful division, but they are extremely disappointing. Andrew Luck is struggling. He's injured, but he's also turning the ball over too much. That has always been an issue with him. He's always been able to overcome it in the past. This year is different and his mistakes seem to bury this team. The Panthers on the other hand just win ugly. It's fun to watch. You wonder how they do it at times, but they just find a way week in and week out. Cam Newton is the man and is leading this team to big wins. The defense is legit folks and they make you earn everything. The Panthers blew a 23-6 lead in this game which hurts. The Colts have a history of coming back with Luck but they can't keep digging themselves out of holes. There is no quit in Luck there just needs to be more consistent play. He was brilliant in the 4th quarter and OT. Ted Ginn Jr. could have won this game with a deep TD catch but he dropped it. There is a reason why he spent most of his career on special teams and not at WR. He redeemed himself with a big catch later on the same drive. It led to a field goal. Luck gets picked off in OT by Luke Kuechly and then Graham Gano hits a 52 yard field goal to win the game. The Panthers win ugly and its so much fun to watch. This is a tough pill to swallow for the Colts and they need to get it together soon.
Final Score: Panthers 26-Colts 23
I picked the Colts because I thought they would capitalize off their great season last year. They are falling apart at the seams.