The San Diego Chargers always seem to have a supremely talented team that can’t come through in the playoffs. This year, Philip Rivers is throwing more interceptions than anyone and the Chargers have lost three in a row. The Raiders started out well, were forced to change quarterbacks and are riding a 2-game losing streak. The Chiefs looked like the worst team in football, then turned things around in a major way before getting routed by the then-winless Miami Dolphins. The Denver Broncos are riding this Tim Tebow thing out and hoping he either turns into an NFL quarterback or plays badly enough so they can draft one.
The NFC’s western division is constantly disparaged and called the worst 4-team group in the NFL for quite some time. But the AFC’s version isn’t much better. The trio at the bottom of the NFC West might constitute a heavier anchor, but it’s almost impossible to watch any of the teams in the AFC West and imagine a scenario where they win even one playoff game. Questionable defenses. Erratic quarterbacking. The best thing about the AFC West is that with all four teams within one game of each other the race to the division title should be entertaining, and it starts with tonight’s game…
Onto the Week 8 picks, with odds courtesy of 5dimes.com from around noon today (11/10/11):
Raiders @ Chargers (-7)
Rivers wasn’t perfect, but they gave the Packers (a much better team than the Raiders) a good fight. Without Darren McFadden it seems impossible to imagine the Raiders winning on the road. Then again, this is a divisional game so the point spread seems a little inflated. However, I’ve been wrong every time I’ve picked the Raiders to cover the spread this season, so…
Broncos @ Chiefs (-3)
Who knows. I’m just going to assume that Romeo Crennel is the kind of defensive coordinator who can figure out how to stop Tim Tebow and the Broncos’ elementary offense — even though the Raiders couldn’t.
Jaguars (-3) @ Colts
There is no way I’m picking the Colts after how they played at home last week against the Falcons. They’re in full tank mode.
Saints @ Falcons (PK)
New Orleans isn’t exactly a stellar road team, and the dirty birds are on the rise.
Texans (-3) @ Buccaneers
If you have Arian Foster on your fantasy team, you are a happy man (or woman) this week. Also, don’t you get the feeling when watching the Bucs that they just don’t like each other?
Steelers (-3) @ Bengals
This game will mark the first time the Bengals have played a good team since the 49ers traveled to Cincinnati seven weeks ago, and Pittsburgh will want to avenge their loss against Baltimore. However, whenever the Steelers and Ravens face off they almost always suffer a drop-off in play the next week due to the brutality of their games. Still, Pittsburgh should be inspired by the opportunity to smack down the upstart Bengals.
Titans @ Panthers (-3.5)
The Titans go on the road for the first time in over a month, and it won’t end well.
Bills @ Cowboys (-5.5)
A good portion of what’s left of the Bills bandwagon will step off in Dallas. It was fun while it lasted, I guess. Oh, who am I kidding? No one outside the state of New York gives a damn about the Bills.
Rams @ Browns (-1.5)
This game’s a total turd, so you know the choice here has to be the…
Redskins @ Dolphins (-4)
The fins are playing half-decently right now, and the Redskins are decidedly not.
Ravens (-7) @ Seahawks
It’s tough to trust Baltimore this year when they aren’t playing Pittsburgh, and Seattle (sorry if I’ve written this too many times) has a great homefield advantage. Total trap game for the Ravens after an exhausting game in Pittsburgh. But then again, the Bengals beat the Seahawks by 22 in Seattle a couple weeks ago.
Lions @ Bears (-1.5)
No Jahvid Best means no running game for Detroit. They can’t really stop the run either, and Matt Forte’s on fire.
Patriots @ Jets (PK)
At the beginning of the year I thought the Steelers were ripe for a fall due to age, when I should have pointed at the Patriots. They just ended the Albert Haynesworth experiment, Chad Ochocinco might as well be released, they can’t figure out how to get their running game going and they can’t play defense. The Jets, on the other hand, are looking better every week and don’t fear New England.
Vikings @ Packers (-14.5)
The Vikings give up the 6th-most yards per passing attempt (7.9). That number will increase after Monday night’s game.
Giants @ 49ers (-3)
This one deserves an entire post. Stay tuned…
Last week: 8-6