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Free NFL week8 Picks
NFL week8 THE GAMES. Brought to you by V.I.P. and Ecobika Sports Betting
San Francisco (2-4) at Chicago (6-0), Sunday, 1:00 (Chicago -16)
Storylines: Chicago enters Week 8 as one of two unbeaten NFL teams (Indianapolis)...Bears have not opened a season 7-0 since 1985, when they won their first 12 games and went on to win Super Bowl XX...Bears lead the NFL in scoring offense (30.0 points per game), and 49ers are last in scoring defense (32.3 points per game)...Chicago safety Mike Brown (foot) was lost for the season in the Bears' 24-23 win over the Cardinals in Week 6, and will be replaced in the lineup by Todd Johnson...Niners left guard Larry Allen (knee) expected back in the lineup for the first time since Week 1, while left tackle Jonas Jennings (ankle, hand) is also expected to start...Chicago kicker Robbie Gould is a perfect 18-of-18 on the field goals this season, and leads the league in scoring (72 points)...Bears are 10-7 all-time following the bye week, and 49ers are 8-9...San Francisco lost to Chicago at Soldier Field in both 2004 (23-13) and 2005 (17-9).
Fast Fact: The 49ers are 0-5 at Soldier Field since last winning there in 1974.
Prediction: After scare against Cardinals, followed by a bye week, Monsters of the Midway will get back on track. Bears 27, 49ers 7.
Atlanta (4-2) at Cincinnati (4-2), Sunday, 1:00 (Cincinnati -4)
Storylines: Bengals, who moved into a tie for first place in the AFC North along with Baltimore following last week's 17-14 win over the Ravens, look to win their second straight...Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, whose previous career high was two touchdown passes, connected for four TD strikes in last week's 41-38 overtime win over Pittsburgh...Cincinnati wide receiver Chris Henry (two-game NFL suspension) could return this week, but center Rich Braham (knee) and left tackle Levi Jones (knee) will be out...Atlanta leads the NFL in rushing offense (222.2 yards per game), but is dead last in passing offense (132.7 yards per game)...Falcons defensive end John Abraham (abdominal surgery) expected to miss 3-4 weeks, and defensive tackle Rod Coleman (turf toe) is questionable...Atlanta cornerback DeAngelo Hall is tied for the NFL lead in interceptions (4) along with Jacksonville's Rashean Mathis...The Falcons are 0-4 in Cincinnati since scoring their only win there in 1971.
Fast Fact: Bengals receiver Chad Johnson (four straight games without a touchdown) has not gone without a touchdown in five consecutive games since his rookie season of 2001.
Prediction: Cincinnati offense should come alive against a depleted Falcons defense, and Vick and company won't keep up on the other side of the ball. Bengals 28, Falcons 20.
Arizona (1-6) at Green Bay (2-4), Sunday, 1:00 (Green Bay -3)
Storylines: Cardinals try to snap six-game losing streak, while Matt Leinart takes his fourth shot at win number one as an NFL starter...Packers try to avoid their first 0-4 start at Lambeau Field since 1986, when they lost all five of their games played at the facility...Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy still seeking his first home win...Arizona last lost seven in a row in Weeks 10-16 of the 2003 season...Packers wideout Greg Jennings (ankle) could miss Sunday's game, joining Robert Ferguson (foot) and Koren Robinson (NFL suspension), who are both out for the year, on the shelf...Arizona running back Edgerrin James still seeking his first 100-yard game of the season...Cardinals are last in the league in rushing offense (66.9 yards per game), and are the only NFL team without a single run of 20 yards or greater...Packers are last in the league in total defense (389.7 yards per game) and passing defense (293.3 yards per game)...Cardinals lead the league with 20 takeaways and 11 forced fumbles lost on the year.
Fast Fact: The Cardinals are 0-6 in Green Bay since last winning there (as the Chicago Cardinals) in 1947.
Prediction: Leinart should have a comfortable day throwing the ball against the porous Packers defense. (Cardinals 31, Packers 27.
Seattle (4-2) at Kansas City (3-3), Sunday, 1:00 (Kansas City -6)
Storylines: Seahawks try to preserve at least a share of first place in the NFC West, while the Chiefs try to remain a viable member of the AFC West race...Seneca Wallace, subbing for the injured Matt Hasselbeck (sprained knee), will make his first career NFL start for the Seahawks...Seattle running back Shaun Alexander (cracked bone in foot) expected to miss his fourth consecutive game...Chiefs quarterback Damon Huard likely to make his sixth consecutive start in place of the injured Trent Green (severe concussion)...Chiefs running back Larry Johnson rushed for a season-high 132 yards and two touchdowns in last week's 30-27 win over the Chargers...Seattle running back Maurice Morris still looking for his first 100-yard game and/or touchdown since replacing Alexander in the lineup...Kansas City tackle John Welbourn (five-game suspension for violating the league's steroid policy) returned to practice this week, but is unlikely to play against Seattle...Seahawks wide receiver Bobby Engram (thyroid condition) not likely to be in the lineup.
Fast Fact: The Seahawks are 2-18 in Kansas City since 1981.
Prediction: Too difficult a first assignment for Wallace, who will make some key mistakes at noisy Arrowhead. Chiefs 26, Seahawks 14.
Baltimore (4-2) at New Orleans (5-1), Sunday, 1:00 (New Orleans -2)
Storylines: Ravens head coach Brian Billick will take over play-calling duties after firing offensive coordinator Jim Fassel during the team's bye week...Baltimore quarterback Steve McNair, who left the team's 23-21 to the Panthers in Week 6 with a concussion, expected to return to the lineup...Saints lead second-place Atlanta by a full game in the NFC South...New Orleans last started a year 6-1 in 2002, when it finished 9-7...Idle Ravens fell into a tie atop the AFC North last week when the Bengals defeated the Panthers, 17-14...Saints' last loss in the Superdome came in Week 13 of the 2004 season against Carolina...New Orleans running back Reggie Bush seeking the first offensive touchdown of his NFL career...Saints have allowed a league-low six sacks on the year...Ravens defense has 11 interceptions, which are tied for the league high along with Pittsburgh, and is allowing an NFL-low 2.7 yards per running play...Ravens are 6-4 all-time following the bye week, and Saints are 8-9.
Fast Fact: Ravens running back Mike Anderson (then with the Broncos) rushed for a career-high 251 yards and four touchdowns on 37 carries against the Saints in a 38-23 Denver win at the Superdome on Dec. 3, 2000.
Prediction: Billick won't unlock any magic offensive formula for the Ravens, who will become the latest team to underestimate the Saints. Saints 22, Ravens 13.
Tampa Bay (2-4) at N.Y. Giants (4-2), Sunday, 1:00 (N.Y. Giants -9)
Storylines: Giants seek to maintain control of the NFC East, of which they assumed control following a 36-22 win over the Cowboys on Monday night...Buccaneers seeking to extend their winning streak to three games, after defeating the Bengals (14-13) and Eagles (23-21) in thrilling fashion over the last two weeks...Buccaneers rookie QB Bruce Gradkowski, who is 2-1 since taking over for the injured Chris Simms (ruptured spleen), looking for his first win on the road...Giants running back Tiki Barber leads the NFL in rushing yards (647), but is still seeking his first touchdown of the season...Barber will be reunited with twin brother Ronde, who had two interception returns for touchdowns against the Eagles last week...Giants will be without linebacker LaVar Arrington (ruptured Achilles), who was lost for the season on Monday night, and could be also minus end Osi Umenyiora (hip flexor)...Buccaneers have allowed a league-high 10 rushing plays of 20 yards or more.
Fast Fact: The Buccaneers are 1-9 all-time at Giants Stadium, including 1-5 against the Giants.
Prediction: No Monday night hangover here - the Giants look about ready to kick it into overdrive. Giants 34, Buccaneers 12.
Jacksonville (3-3) at Philadelphia (4-3), Sunday, 1:00 (Philadelphia -6)
Storylines: Jaguars and Eagles try to rebound from disturbing losses...Jacksonville dropped a 27-7 decision in Houston last week, its third loss in four games, while Philadelphia fell, 23-21, on the strength of a 62- yard buzzer-beating field goal by Tampa Bay's Matt Bryant...Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb leads the NFL in passing yards (2151) and touchdown passes (16), and Philadelphia leads the NFL in total offense (417.4 yards per game) and passing offense (291.9 yards per game)...Eagles running back Brian Westbrook became the first player since Priest Holmes in 2002 to rush and receive for 100 yards in the same game last week...Jacksonville defensive tackle Marcus Stroud (ankle) and wideout Matt Jones (hamstring), who have both missed the last two games, are questionable...Eagles wide receiver Donte' Stallworth (hamstring), who has missed four of the last five games due to injury, could play this week... Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis is tied for the NFL lead in interceptions (4) along with Atlanta's DeAngelo Hall...Eagles have a league-high 25 sacks on the year.
Fast Fact: One of Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb's three career 100-yard rushing games came in a 28-25 loss at Jacksonville on Oct. 6th, 2002.
Prediction: In a spirited battle of two teams desperate for a win, healthier Eagles will prevail. Eagles 25, Jaguars 21.
Houston (2-4) at Tennessee (1-5), Sunday, 1:00 (Tennessee -3)
Storylines: Tennessee quarterback Vince Young seeks his first home victory as an NFL starter, while Houston's Gary Kubiak looks for his first road win an NFL head coach...Titans preceded Week 7 bye with a 25-22 win at Washington...Texans have won two of their last three, including a 27-7 rout of Jacksonville last Sunday...Houston has lost 10 straight road games, last winning away from home in Week 16 of the 2004 season...Tennessee's most recent home win came against the Texans, in Week 14 of last season...Texans wideout Andre Johnson leads the NFL in receptions (47) and receiving yards (591)...Houston defense has a league-low one interception on the season, and is tied for last in the NFL with five takeaways...Texans defensive end and No. 1 overall draft pick Mario Williams has two-and-a-half sacks in his past three games...Titans defense has a league-low eight sacks on the year, and is last in the NFL against the run (164.5 yards per game)... Titans are 9-8 all-time following the bye week.
Fast Fact: Titans running back Travis Henry (123 and 178 yards in his two most recent outings) has never rushed for 100 yards in three straight games during his six-year NFL career.
Prediction: In a game unlikely to be heralded for its beauty, Tennessee will make one fewer mistake. Titans 13, Texans 9.
St. Louis (4-2) at San Diego (4-2), Sunday, 4:05 (San Diego -9)
Storylines: Chargers outside linebacker Shawne Merriman, who was handed down a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's steroid policy earlier this week, will play on Sunday pending an appeal of that suspension...San Diego will try to at least keep pace with 5-1 Denver in the AFC West, while St. Louis will look to maintain a least a share of first in the NFC West...San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson leads the NFL in total touchdowns (8) and rushing touchdowns (7), and St. Louis wide receiver Torry Holt paces the league in TD receptions (7)...Chargers lead the NFL in total offense (241.2 yards per game)...St. Louis has thrown a league-low one interception...Rams are a league-best +11 in turnover margin...San Diego outside linebacker Shaun Phillips (calf), who leads the Chargers in sacks with six, will miss this week's game as will starting end Igor Olshansky (knee)...Rams are 9-8 all-time following the bye week.
Fast Fact: Rams quarterback Marc Bulger completed 36-of-48 passes for a career-high 453 yards and four touchdowns in his last outing against San Diego, a 28-24 St. Louis win on Nov. 10th, 2002.
Prediction: With the Merriman suspension hanging over their heads, Chargers know they need to stockpile some wins. Chargers 24, Rams 14.
N.Y. Jets (4-3) at Cleveland (1-5), Sunday, 4:15 (Cleveland -2)
Storylines: Head coaches Romeo Crennel (Browns) and Eric Mangini (Jets), who coached together on the Patriots staff from 2001 through 2004, will face off for the first time...Cleveland offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon resigned Tuesday, and offensive line coach Jeff Davidson was promoted to play-calling responsibilities...Browns are last in NFL total offense (245.2 yards per game)...With a win, Jets can surpass their win total of the 2005 season...Browns are 0-3 at home this season, and are looking to avoid their first 0-4 home start since going 0-8 by the Lake in their comeback season of 1999...Cleveland offense has one touchdown in its last nine quarters...Jets have allowed a league-high 12 rushing touchdowns on the year...Jets rookie running back Leon Washington has gone over 100 yards in two of his last three games... Cleveland cornerback Gary Baxter (knees) will miss the remainder of the season, and fellow CB Leigh Bodden (ankle) is not expected to play this week either.
Fast Fact: Since losing a 23-20 overtime decision to the Browns in a 1986 AFC Divisional Playoff from Municipal Stadium, the Jets are 3-2 in Cleveland.
Prediction: Browns will begin to get their act together against an equally young group of Jets. Browns 16, Jets 15.
Indianapolis (6-0) at Denver (5-1), Sunday, 4:15 (Denver -2)
Storylines: AFC's hottest two teams square off in the Mile High City...Colts, one of two remaining unbeaten teams (Bears), try to start 7-0 for a second straight season...Broncos' last six-game winning streak came in Weeks 10-15 of the 2000 season...Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning leads the NFL in passer rating (103.2)...Broncos lead the NFL in scoring defense (7.3 points per game), and have allowed just two touchdowns on the season, both through the air...Broncos have just seven offensive touchdowns through their first six games, and have yet to score more than 17 points in a contest this season...Colts, who are without defensive tackle Montae Reagor (facial injuries suffered in car accident) and safety Mike Doss (torn ACL), are allowing a league-high 5.2 yards per rushing play...Anthony McFarland, who made his first appearance as a Colt last week after seven-plus years with the Buccaneers, expected to start in place of Reagor...Colts strong safety Bob Sanders (knee) expected to play for the first time since Week 2...Colts have committed an NFL-low four turnovers on the season.
Fast Fact: In his last three meetings with the Broncos, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is a combined 50-of-61 passing (.820) for 840 yards with nine touchdowns and one interception.
Prediction: Manning will struggle to penetrate new-look Broncos defense, and Tatum Bell will run Denver to a sixth straight win. Broncos 27, Colts 13.
Pittsburgh (2-4) at Oakland (1-5), Sunday, 4:15 (Pittsburgh -9)
Storylines: Status of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (concussion) is questionable for Sunday...Charlie Batch would make his second start of the season if Roethlisberger can't go...Raiders quarterback Andrew Walter (hamstring) expected to play after exiting late in last week's 22-9 win over the Cardinals...Raiders are last in NFL scoring offense (12 points per game)...Raiders have given up a league-high 29 sacks on the year...Oakland's 11 interceptions thrown are tied with Dallas for the most in the league...Raiders are No. 1 in the NFL in passing defense (140.5 yards per game), but have faced 24 fewer pass attempts than any other team...Steelers defense has 11 interceptions, which are tied with the Ravens for the most in the league...Raiders have committed an NFL-high 20 turnovers, including a league-high nine lost fumbles, and are an NFL-worst -12 in turnover margin...Raiders running back LaMont Jordan (back) and Steelers linebacker Joey Porter (hamstring) both considered questionable for Sunday after missing Week 7.
Fast Fact: The only previous head-to-head meeting between the Steelers' Bill Cowher and the Raiders' Art Shell was a 21-3 win for Pittsburgh at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Week 13 of the 1994 season.
Prediction: Raiders got their win, and aren't about to stand in the ring and trade blows with the physical Steelers. Steelers 30, Raiders 0..
Dallas (3-3) at Carolina (4-3), Sunday, 8:15 (Carolina -4)
Storylines: Tony Romo will make his first career NFL start for Cowboys, after Drew Bledsoe was benched during the second half of Dallas' 36-22 loss to the Giants on Monday night...Romo becomes the ninth player to start at quarterback for Dallas since Troy Aikman retired prior to the 2001 season...Carolina's four-game winning streak was snapped in last week's 17-14 loss to the Bengals...Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams (high ankle sprain), who has missed the last two games, considered questionable for Sunday...Dallas running back Julius Jones had a three-game streak of 100-yard games snapped against the Giants...Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens had a season-high six catches and 98 receiving yards against New York...Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers leads the NFL in sacks (8)...Cowboys' 11 interceptions thrown are tied with Oakland for the most in the league...Carolina receiver Keyshawn Johnson will face Dallas, for which he played in 2004-05.
Fast Fact: The Cowboys are 5-1 against the Panthers in the all-time regular season series, and 0-2 versus Carolina in playoff games.
Prediction: Atrocious Dallas line won't be able to keep Peppers off Romo, and overrated Dallas defense will continue to give up big plays. Panthers 31, Cowboys 21.
New England (5-1) at Minnesota (4-2), Monday, 8:30 (New England -2)
Storylines: Patriots, who enter Week 8 tied for the third-best record in football with the Saints and Broncos, will look to run their 2006 road record to 4-0...Minnesota, which comes off a 31-13 win in Seattle last week, tries to keep pressure on the NFC North-leading Bears...Vikings are No. 1 in the league against the run (70.8 yards per game)...New England defensive end Richard Seymour (elbow) listed as questionable for Monday...Minnesota running back Chester Taylor rushed for a career-high 169 yards last Sunday...New England defense has not allowed more than 17 points in a game this season...Vikings receiver Marcus Robinson (low back) not expected to play...Patriots are 12-21 (.364) all-time on Monday night...Vikings are 23-22 (.511) all-time on Monday night, including a 19-16 win over the Redskins in Week 1...Minnesota tight end Jermaine Wiggins, who hails from East Boston, MA, played for the Patriots in 2000-01...The Patriots' only win in Minnesota occurred in 1974.
Fast Fact: Since 2001, the Patriots are 20-4 against teams from the NFC.
Prediction: Minnesota will control the New England offense, and Brad Johnson will cash in on a couple of short fields. Vikings 20, Patriots 14.
About the Author: NFL week8 THE GAMES. Brought to you by V.I.P. and Ecobika Sports Betting