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Oct. 28, 2012

NFL Week Eight Predictions

by Jacob Buchholz, Online Sports Editor, Jack Estrin, Online Editor-in-Chief, Michael Gerbasi, Online Sports Editor and Josh Schmidt, Print Sports Editor
RG3 was great once again and yet the Redskins dropped to 3-4. The Redskins are living proof that one man doesn’t make a team. Meanwhile around the league Arizona and Cincinnati’s cinderella starts have gone by the wayside as they have each lost a couple in a row. On the other hand the Giants and the Bears have been rolling after their slow starts.

The SCO standings are close but Jacob is building on his lead while Michael is playing catch up from last place.

Griffin III's late game heroics were not enough to get the Skins a win in the meadowlands. Courtesy of AP
Griffin III's late game heroics were not enough to get the Skins a win in the meadowlands.
Standings:
Jacob: 66-38
Jack: 63-41
Josh: 60-44
Michael: 56-48


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings
Jacob: Vikings
Jack: Vikings
Michael: Buccaneers
Josh: Vikings

Jacob says:
The Vikings are looking really good at 5-2 and they’re coming off of a big win against the Cards. Christian Ponder’s troubles are not a good sign but as long as Adrian Peterson is producing the Vikings are a team to beat,
Jack says:
Although Josh Freeman had a career day last week, throwing for over 400 yards, even that was not enough to get the Bucs the W. If that isn’t enough, I do not know what is. The Vikings will take care of business at home.
Michael says:
The only reason the Bucs did not win last week is that Josh Freeman didn’t know you couldn't throw the ball to a receiver who ran out of bounds. They played exceptionally well and deserved to win, which is why I pick them over the Vikings this week.
Josh says:
With Adrian Peterson back to his old self and Bucs’ coach Greg Schiano as bush league as ever, the Vikings will continue their surprising season with a win here. Fun fact: Home teams have won all but one Thursday night game.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
Jacob: Jets
Jack: Dolphins
Michael: Jets
Josh: Jets

Jacob says:
The Jets are absolutely not one of the top teams in the league like Rex Ryan would like to think. But they’re also not nearly as bad as a lot of people think. The Jets are a perfectly mediocre team with a penchant for doing both incredible and terrible things. The Dolphins are less than mediocre however so the Jets will take this one.
Jack says:
Mark Sanchez will return to his normal self and throw for under 150 yards and multiple interceptions. Look for rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill to outplay Sanchez, but star Dolphins running back Reggie Bush will be the difference in the game. Coming off a bye, the Dolphins are the pick in this one.
Michael says:
I originally expected the Jets to be nothing after they lost Santonio Holmes. Now, however, the Jets have made major strides. They have been playing a lot better than I think anybody thought and I believe this is a game that they win.
Josh says:
The Jets should win this one especially if their defense can get pressure on Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins’ defense is weak and I see Mark Sanchez being able to hush his critics with some solid play this week.

San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns
Jacob: Chargers
Jack: Chargers
Michael: Chargers
Josh: Chargers

Jacob says:
As Trent Richardson goes so do the Browns. Richardson is still battered and the Chargers will take advantage.
Jack says:
I expect the Chargers to be ready to play coming out of their bye week. Although I do believe the Browns will keep this thing close, Philip Rivers will come out of Cleveland with a big win.
Michael says:
Although the Browns have been improving slightly and have nothing to show for it, this is not the game in which they bounce back. After having a bye week to reflect and improve upon their horrible loss at the hands of Denver, the Chargers will be determined and will find a way to win.
Josh says:
“The Chargers should be so much better” - Every NFL fan for the past five years. Phillip Rivers should be so much better. So should Ryan Matthews. So should the whole defense. Is it Norv Turner’s fault? I don’t think so, but I sure don’t know who’s it is. Luckily the Browns are one of the worst in the league so they still put out a win.

Johnson rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns last week against Buffalo. Courtesy of Bill Wippert/AP
Johnson rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns last week against Buffalo.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Jacob: Colts
Jack: Colts
Michael: Colts
Josh: Colts

Jacob says:
The Colts have a very good future ahead of them. They’re defense is an issue but Luck alone makes them better than the Titans.
Jack says:
Andrew Luck will lead the Colts to their fourth win of the year. Look for the dismal Titans’ defense to allow Luck to have a career day.
Michael says:
Chris Johnson is back! Chris Johnson is back! No. Although he rushed for nearly 200 yards last week, he did it against Buffalo, quite likely the worst defense in the league. The Colts' defense should be able to contain him to an extent even though their defense is not elite. The Colts take down Tennessee.
Josh says:
The Titans are on an upswing and if Chris Johnson can return to his form of yesteryear then they will win. But I’m gonna call his 195 yard and two touchdown day an anomaly that can be credited to the Bills’ porous defense.

New England Patriots at St. Louis Rams
Jacob: Patriots
Jack: Patriots
Michael: Patriots
Josh: Patriots

Jacob says:
The Patriots have looked vulnerable all year long and their 4-3 record is less than exceptional. However, their three losses were by a total of four points and they have the top offense in the NFL. The Rams can’t stop that.
Jack says:
Tom Brady and the Patriots will roll over the Rams, and win for the second straight week.
Michael says:
The Patriots barely escaped the Jets, but a win is a win. I expect Tom Brady and company to be more focused and to pull this one out.
Josh says:
The Patriots are so confusing. They have the offensive weapons to drop 50 points every game yet it just seems like they don’t want to. Brady will make sure they don’t fall to the Rams and that they stay atop the AFC East.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Green Bay Packers
Jacob: Packers
Jack: Packers
Michael: Packers
Josh: Packers

Jacob says:
With nine touchdown passes in his last two games, Aaron Rodgers has the Packers rolling. It doesn’t hurt that they’re playing the 1-5 Jaguars.
Jack says:
The Packers are returning to their form of last season, which does not bode well for the Jags. This one will turn into a laugher real fast.
Michael says:
The Packers have dominated their last two games. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the Packers are completely back, but they are certainly on that path. Nevertheless, the Jaguars should not give Green Bay too many problems.
Josh says:
Nine touchdown passes in the past two games ain’t too shabby for Aaron Rodgers. Playing the one win Jaguars this week ain’t too shabby for Aaron Rodgers. Getting a discount double check ain’t too shabby for Aaron Rodgers.

Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
Jacob: Falcons
Jack: Falcons
Michael: Falcons
Josh: Falcons

Jacob says:
The Falcons are the league’s only undefeated team and the Eagles have lost back-to-back games. Andy Reid’s team has never lost the week after a bye but there is a first for everything.
Jack says:
Expect the Falcons to stay undefeated and make life miserable for Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick. The Falcons are too good to let this one slip away. They will come out victorious in this battle of the birds.
Michael says:
LeSean McCoy remains Philadelphia's only real legit offensive weapon. Not only is he their leading rusher and main workhorse in the backfield, but also he is tied for second on the team in catches. I expect the stingy Atlanta defense to focus their attention on McCoy, and if they can limit him, their odds are good.
Josh says:
Matt Ryan will have a hard time as the Eagles boast some pretty good cornerbacks, but Julio Jones and Roddy White are too big and strong to be shut down. On the other side of the ball John Abraham will have a big day knocking around Michael Vick. In the battle of the birds, the Falcons come out on top.

Washington Redskins at Pittsburgh Steelers
Jacob: Steelers
Jack: Redskins
Michael: Steelers
Josh: Redskins

Jacob says:
This is a game of opposites. The Redskins have an explosive offense but they have yet to show that they can stop the pass. On the other hand the Steelers have been shutting down offenses but Big Ben and the Steelers’ attack have struggled. RG3 may struggle, but even the Steelers’ offense will look good against the Redskins.
Jack says:
Although the Redskins defense would need 11 clones of RG3 to be anything close to effective, they will have the offensive firepower to upset Big Ben and the Steelers. RG3 came oh so close to pulling off the upset against the defending champs last week, but was plagued by the Redskins joke of a secondary as the Giants scored a last minute touchdown to clinch the victory. Washington will be hungry for victory this week after that heartbreaking loss and RG3 will get his biggest win yet as a pro.
Michael says:
I like Pittsburgh in this game mainly because of their offense and not their D. Big Ben has been great on converting 3rd downs and the Steelers seem to have found their new identity in Jonathan Dwyer. RGIII is a tough match up for anybody, but I think the Pittsburgh defense is still good enough to contain him just enough.
Josh says:
RG3 gives the Skins a chance to win against any team. Pittsburgh’s defense is struggling without Troy Polamalu and they aren’t getting any pressure or forcing any turnovers. Playing a weak Steelers team that’s just barely beating teams will give the young quarterback a good marquee win to bring Washington back to .500.

Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions
Jacob: Seahawks
Jack: Seahawks
Michael: Lions
Josh: Seahawks

Jacob says:
The Lions have been absolutely awful. There is no explanation for their struggles but expect them to continue against Seattle.
Jack says:
The Lions’ offense has been just a fraction of what it was last year. Don’t look for that to change when they face the stout Seahawks’ D. The Lions will continue to struggle offensively and Calvin Johnson will continue to anger fantasy owners.
Michael says:
I like Detroit in this game at home. Although Seattle's corners are the most likely to match up with Calvin Johnson, they still give up 2-3 inches. Seattle has also committed 9 of their 11 turnovers on the road and only scored a touchdown a third of the time when in the red zone, which is good for last in the league. The Lions bounce back and win this game.
Josh says:
Seattle loves forcing turnovers and Detroit seems to love giving them up. Match made in heaven.

The Bears are the hottest team in the league but not because of anything Cutler has done. His 78.3 passer rating is 25th in the league. Courtesy of AP
The Bears are the hottest team in the league but not because of anything Cutler has done. His 78.3 passer rating is 25th in the league.
Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears
Jacob: Bears
Jack: Bears
Michael: Bears
Josh: Bears

Jacob says:
They may not be undefeated, but the Bears are the top team in the NFL. They have only given up 78 points all season while no other team has even held opponents to under 100 points. Their offense is not bad either with a healthy Matt Forte.
Jack says:
The red-hot Bears will improve to 6-1 and the Panthers will fall to the opposite. This game could get ugly.
Michael says:
As long as Cam Newton struggles, the Panthers will struggle. I don't think this is the game for Cam Newton to come back. I think the Chicago defense will give him and the Carolina offense many problems. I like Cutler and the Bears.
Josh says:
The Bears are one of the best teams in the league led by their tenacious D and Jay Cutler at quarterback. Cam Newton will be ravaged this week.

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Jacob: Raiders
Jack: Raiders
Michael: Raiders
Josh: Raiders

Jacob says:
One of these teams is going to finish last in the AFC West. My bet is the Chiefs.
Jack says:
The Chiefs have all sorts of problems. The Raiders will get the win.
Michael says:
Last week was defined by mental mistakes for Oakland in their narrow victory over the Jags. I think the Raiders have had more preparation to avoid those mistakes and play better football against the Chiefs.
Josh says:
Carson Palmer vs Brady Quinn. A match up of two quarterbacks who excelled in college only to disappoint in the pros. Both teams are pretty bad. ...I guess Palmer wins?

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Jacob: Giants
Jack: Giants
Michael: Cowboys
Josh: Giants

Jacob says:
Rematch of the season opener but the results will be flipped. The Giants have been getting better all season long while the Cowboys are floundering.
Jack says:
The Giants will not be defeated in this rematch of opening night. Eli Manning won’t need any fourth quarter heroics in this one. The mediocre Cowboys simply will not be able to keep up with the defending champs.
Michael says:
I'm just feeling Romo and the Boys over Manning and the Giants. Remember, there are two sides to a coin.
Josh says:
Eli Manning is really good. It’s hard to admit as a Redskins fan, but he’s really good.

New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos
Jacob: Broncos
Jack: Broncos
Michael: Broncos
Josh: Broncos

Jacob says:
Peyton Manning is about to have a field day. The Saints’ secondary hasn’t been stopping anyone, let alone Manning off a bye week.
Jack says:
Peyton Manning will tear up the Saints’ defense coming off a bye. This one will turn into a shootout, and both QBs will put up big numbers, but I expect Peyton Manning to get the win.
Michael says:
I think at this point, Peyton Manning is almost as comfortable with his offense as he will ever be. This game against the Saints and their below average defense is the time to dominate. The Denver D will be able to hold down Brees at least enough for the Denver offense to keep up.
Josh says:
This is one of the best quarterback match ups we’ve seen all year. The two have six MVP’s between them both and 3 Super Bowl appearances. It’s a rematch of Super Bowl XLIV. Manning wins it this time around.

Monday, October 29, 2012

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
Jacob: 49ers
Jack: 49ers
Michael: 49ers
Josh: 49ers

Jacob says:
These two teams are battling for supremacy in the NFC West but it is the 49ers that will come up on top. The Cardinals are slipping and their offense won’t be able to get anything going against the Niners.
Jack says:
San Fran will trample the Cardinals, who are much worse than their 4-3 record suggests.
Michael says:
San Francisco and Houston have been the two best, and most consistent teams so far. Even though the Cardinals started off fast, they have faded and one main reason is John Skelton. He has not gotten the job done as well as he should be and definitely not enough to get past the 49ers' D without a few scars.
Josh says:
The Cardinals’ 4-0 start seems so long ago as they’ve dropped three straight games since then. The 49ers are perfectly fine with Alex Smith at quarterback. People need to get off of his back as he does exactly what they need. They’re built with a great running game and a great defense. ‘Nuff said.



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