October 26, 2014 in Uncategorized
Here are the top five games to watch for Week 8 of the 2014 NFL season:
- Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers
The Seahawks and Panthers were the top two seeds in the NFC in last year’s postseason, but they have both fallen short of high expectations so far this season. The reigning champs are 3-3, and they are coming off of a stunning loss against the Rams. Russell Wilson has been playing well at quarterback and has been clicking with new No.1 receiver Doug Baldwin. But the Legion of Boom and the rest of the defense have not been their dominant selves, especially on third downs. They are going to have to be way better in this contest if they want to keep Cam Newton and Co. out of the end zone. The Panthers are only 3-3-1, but they somehow find themselves at the top of the NFC South. Their defense also has not been nearly as good as they were last season, and it does not look like they are going to get better any time soon. In all seriousness, if it were not for some outstanding play from Newton then this team might be among the worst in the league. I think Seattle is too good to lose three straight games, so I like them to win this one on the road.
- Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
These two teams met in the season opener, and the Bengals escaped Baltimore with a win. But since then, the Ravens and Bengals have been on entirely different paths. Baltimore has won five of their last six games, and they have recently looked like one of the best teams in the league. The offense has been effective through a balance between Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett, and the defense has asserted their dominance. The Ravens pass rush should give Andy Dalton problems in this game, as he has not looked good in the past few games. Without AJ Green on the field, Dalton and the offense simply cannot get anything going. The defense has also been one of the worst in the league as of late, so they need a big rebound performance at home. Still, with so much on the line in this divisional game, I like Baltimore to pull off a huge win.
- Chicago Bears at New England Patriots
The Bears have lost three of their last four games, while the Patriots have won three of their last four. Clearly these two teams have had different fortunes lately, but this game still has potential to be a shootout. The Bears have been an absolute mess, with problems on the field and in the locker room. Jay Cutler and the offense have not been nearly as explosive as they can be, and the defense has been mediocre at best. One of those Chicago units will need to step it up, because they are playing in Foxborough and the Patriots have been red hot. They have won three in a row, and Tom Brady has reminded us all that he is still elite. Combine his play with a defense that has been the best against the pass in the league, and the Patriots look like Super Bowl contenders once again. I like New England to win this one too in a high-scoring game.
- Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals
Both of these teams come into this game at 5-1, and a win in this game would place the winner at the top of the NFC. The Eagles are coming off of their bye, and before that they shut out the Giants 27-0. With their up-tempo offense, an extra week of rest should be a huge factor. I’m expecting LeSean McCoy to have one of his best games of the season. The Cardinals defense is one of the best in the league though, so they should be up to the challenge. With Carson Palmer back at the helm, the offense has stabilized and has the potential to put a lot of points on the board. I think this game could be a shootout, and I’m picking Arizona to win it with a late score.
- Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints
Home games are usually guaranteed wins for the Saints, but that is not the case this time around. They are only 2-4, but since they play in the putrid NFC South they are still in contention. This game is a must-win for New Orleans, and Drew Brees knows that. I think the offense will find the end zone multiple times, but they need their defense to step up if they want to move to 3-4. They will have their hands full, because Aaron Rodgers has been playing at his MVP level. He has been clicking with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, and they have won four games in a row. Do not expect a lot of defense in this game. With that being said, I like New Orleans to win at home in a thriller.