No changes atop each division again, fans. Although we do have some intriguing races heating up for the AFC North crown and for the second spot in the AFC West. Not to mention a few NFC divisions who have very interesting battles themselves. This will make for an interesting Week 8 of the 2012-2013 NFL Season!!!
New England Patriots – (6-1)
Buffalo Bills – (4-3)
Miami Dolphins – (3-3)
New York Jets – (2-5)
San Diego Chargers – (4-2)
Kansas City Chiefs – (2-4)
Denver Broncos – (2-4)
Oakland Raiders – (2-4)
Cincinnati Bengals – (5-2)
Baltimore Ravens – (5-2)
Pittsburgh Steelers – (4-2)
Cleveland Browns – (1-6)
Houston Texans – (6-1)
Indianapolis Colts – (1-5)
Jacksonville Jaguars – (1-5)
Tennessee Titans – (1-6)
Philadelphia Eagles – (6-0)
Dallas Cowboys – (3-3)
New York Giants – (3-4)
Washington Redskins – (2-5)
San Francisco 49er’s – (6-1)
St. Louis Rams – (2-5)
Seattle Seahawks – (2-5)
Arizona Cardinals – (2-5)
Green Bay Packers – (5-2)
Detroit Lions – (4-2)
Chicago Bears – (3-3)
Minnesota Vikings – (1-6)
Atlanta Falcons – (5-1)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – (5-1)
Carolina Panthers – (4-2)
New Orleans Saints – (2-4)
Tampa Bay (5-1) @ Minnesota (1-6)
Match up to watch: Donald Penn v.s. Jared Allen
If I were to say this game would be much of a contest, I would be accused of hitting something hard in my spare time. IT WILL NOT BE. Tampa has a high octane offense. Yes, it all relies on Josh Freeman’s shoulders. BUT, with the acquisitions the team made this offseason on the offensive line and at the skilled positions, I see no reason to believe that this team will not succeed. Not to mention, Minnesota doesn’t have much of anything going for them besides Adrian Peterson and a decent – but moderate – pass rush. This game could get very ugly by half time.
Tampa Bay – 35 Minnesota – 16
Carolina (4-2) @ Chicago (3-3)
Match up to watch: Cam Newton v.s. Julius Peppers
For the second week in a row, Cam “Superman” Newton will be facing a pass rusher that he has yet to face. Not only will this confuse Newton, but it may throw him off track a bit. Newton uses his speed to outrun oncoming pass rushers to open the pocket and either scramble, or throw down field. Peppers is almost in a league of his own based upon his rare athleticism for his position – similar to Ware but much more athletic. Carolina seemingly has stumbled a bit after their hot start and it will continue here, falling to the Bears at home – who are slowly picking up steam as they go.
Carolina – 22 Chicago – 27
San Diego (4-2) @ Cleveland (1-6)
Match up to watch: Vincent Brown v.s. Joe Haden
San Diego is HOT right now and seem to be steam rolling competition. Although this is uncharacteristic of this San Diego squad, don’t over look this team. The Chargers are loaded with talent all across the board, and as I have stated before – Philip Rivers is on a mission this season. Cleveland on the other hand, is the team everyone has been trying to fine tune their game against. Although Cleveland will not contend this year (probably not even next year either), the team has some talent in hidden spaces and could contend down the road. It looks like Norv Turner and co. finally figured out how to win games, USE RYAN MATTHEWS!!
San Diego – 28 Cleveland – 13
Seattle (2-5) @ Detroit (4-2)
Match up to watch: Marshawn Lynch v.s. Stephen Tulloch
Seattle’s quarterback woes could be the deciding factor to whether or not this team can compete. Personally, I would rather see Jackson starting over Flynn and Wilson. But hey, who am I. Either way, this team needs weapons. Yes, new tight end (Former CANE!) Kellen Winslow should help open up the offense a bit, but with little experience at wide receiver, can this team make the leap? Who knows. All I know is that this team has a killer defense! BUT, Detroit has the best YOUNG offense in the NFL. With a plethora of young talent at wide receiver and two running backs made of glass – this team relies on Matthew Stafford’s arm to win games. It works. And it will work here also.
Seattle – 17 Detroit – 28
Jacksonville (1-5) @ Green Bay (5-2)
Match up to watch: Maurice Jones-Drew v.s. A.J Hawk
Jacksonville has started the season slow and it probably will not clear up any time soon. Although I love Blaine Gabbert, what does he really have to work with on offense? NOTHING. Laurent Robinson had a decent season in Dallas, but when he was playing on Sundays in Atlanta, he really wasn’t that good. I’d expect Robinson to return to his Atlanta form this season in Jacksonville. Until Jacksonville gets some help on the offensive line and at wide receiver (Justin Blackmon is only a rookie and he may not be “great” until he has help at wide receiver), this team will struggle. The Packers love games like these. Rodgers should pick apart a weak Jacksonville secondary and the Green Bay offense should rack up the points.
Jacksonville – 14 Green Bay – 33
Indianapolis (1-5) @ Tennessee (1-6)
Match up to watch: Andrew Luck v.s. Jake Locker
Luck v.s. Locker seems like a pretty fun game to watch, honestly. Locker gains his first start of the season after Hasselbeck couldn’t bring forth a respectable record. With two young gunslingers manning the reigns for both teams, expect both teams to run the ball, A LOT. Tennessee obviously has the edge there. I’d expect Tennessee to begin winning some games with the young savvy Locker leading the way. That will begin here. Indianapolis has too many holes across the roster to put up a fight against an underachieving Tennessee Titan team.
Indianapolis – 19 Tennessee – 29
New England (6-1) @ St. Louis (2-5)
Match up to watch: Aaron Hernandez v.s. Quintin Mikell
New England seems to be stock piling tight ends this offseason. Honestly, I don’t blame them. The Pats know how to use tight ends to their strengths and work others in to fill their starter’s weaknesses. I love Hernandez this season. All eyes will be on Gronk. All eyes, except mine. Hernandez is the more athletic of the two and has more upside. Quintin Mikell should have the pleasure of covering the athletic tight end in this contest (which could be an interesting match up). In all honesty though, this game should be a blow out. St. Louis has some pieces on offense and defense, but the team is too young and inexperienced to compete with a superior team like New England.
New England – 24 St. Louis – 13
Miami (3-3) @ New York Jets (2-5)
Match up to watch: Kevin Burnett v.s. Tim Tebow
Yeah, Tim Tebow will be the starting quarterback for the New York Jets by this time in the season (Luckily I live in Cortland, NY that way I can go scout the Jets ). If Miami is smart at all, they will use one of their linebackers as a “spy” on Tebow all game long. Easiest way to beat Tebow? Spy him in case he does run, bring the blitz to confuse him, and lock on to his receivers until the whistle blows. In my predictions this would be Tebow’s second game starting, and he has yet to develop a relationship with his receivers. With a lack of timing with receivers and an underachieving running back, New York’s offense doesn’t pose a threat to any teams, really. Miami’s defense is much improved and should be able to lift Miami to a victory here against the rival Jets.
Miami – 17 New York Jets – 10
Atlanta (5-1) @ Philadelphia (6-0)
Match up to watch: Michael Turner v.s. DeMeco Ryans
Philadelphia’s defense is bad to the bone. With an improved linebacking corp and a secondary that is tops in the league, Philadelphia has nothing BUT super bowl hopes. Atlanta is a team who could stand in the way of that. This contest could actually be an NFC Championship preview – reminiscent of years past only this time Vick is on the opposing team. Atlanta has, possibly, the best offense in all of football. This is the year they show it. Although I love Philly this season, every team seems to come out a little sluggish after a bye week. Some teams can pull off a win, that will be hard to do against a team of Atlanta’s pedigree this season.
Atlanta – 27 Philadelphia – 24
Washington (2-5) @ Pittsburgh (4-2)
Match up to watch: DeAngelo Hall v.s. Mike Wallace
Can RG3 lead Washington to an upset win? Hmm..we’ll get to that later. Washington has some young, fresh talent on the roster. But, the team has many holes to fill. An upgrade at the interior of the offensive line is needed and Fred Davis has got to go. Davis has all of the talent in the world, but he wastes it. The organization needs to give RG3 a better young tight end who is more reliable than that (Cooley is getting old, although he is very reliable still). Wallace will play this season. Mark my words. If you want to get paid, go to work. And he will. With Wallace and Brown on the outside, Pittsburgh may not miss Mr. Mendenhall as much as everyone thinks. Not to mention, Isaac Redman is ready to take over that back field. Bottom line – Pitt is the superior team here and Washington has too many holes to make this one anything close.
Washington – 17 Pittsburgh – 27
Oakland (2-4) @ Kansas City (2-4)
Match up to watch: Carson Palmer v.s. Eric Berry
Oakland and Kansas City are both underachieving tremendously this season. Oakland has so much talent on offense. Two issues with this team. One, all of the speed in the world at the skilled positions on offense, but no offensive line. Two, Oakland has an injury bug that continues to bit them in the buttocks year in and year out. And, the same exact arguments can be made for Kansas City. This contest should be a hard fought divisional match up. Both teams have under-rated passing attacks and two of the best running backs in the NFL (Barring they both stay healthy). There’s just something about Kansas City this season.
Oakland – 18 Kansas City – 24
New York Giants (3-4) @ Dallas (3-3)
Match up to watch: Corey Webster v.s. Dez Bryant
New York has a great, great defensive line. I question whether or not their line backers can handle being every day starters, though. Keith Rivers should boost the confidence of everyone on that defensive squad while also adding a defensive leader. BUT, I’m not so certain that Eli Manning can follow up his terrific play-off performance. Not to mention, this Dallas team has been itching for a chance to beat up on the Super Bowl champs for quite some time now. Dallas has all of the talent in the world, possibly one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. This could be one for the ages, and I’m riding with Dallas in this one.
New York Giants – 23 Dallas – 27
New Orleans (2-4) @ Denver (2-4)
Match up to watch: Jimmy Graham v.s. Rahim Moore
New Orleans is hurting. No denying that. But, the team still has Drew Brees as it’s uncontested leader. I have a feeling that Sean Payton had a huge hand in Brees’ success the past few years. Therefore, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a drop off in production. BUT, the team is also loaded with young talent on offense. Their defense is suspect though. The Manning led Denver Broncos should put up a fight in this one. With Rahim Moore taking over for recently retired NFL GREAT, Brian Dawkins, I seem Moore covering Graham over the top to prevent his game changing ability. Denver should put up a fight here, and Denver should be able to come out on top in a nail biter.
New Orleans – 27 Denver – 28
San Francisco (6-1) @ Arizona (2-5)
Match up to watch: Michael Crabtree v.s. Patrick Peterson
San Francisco is a team on a mission. The team should have won the NFC Title last season and very likely could have been Super Bowl Champs. Left with a nasty taste in their mouth, the team went out and brought in some great talent at the skilled positions on offense. Not to mention the team still has the best defense in the NFL. Arizona is sitting here at 2-5 with little hope of making the playoffs. Although, they still realistically have a slight chance of sneaking in. Their best bet is to put Peterson on Crabtree to prevent San Francisco from opening up their offense. Even so, it will be hard to contain that San Francisco offense. Sorry Arizona.
San Francisco – 30 Arizona – 17
BYE: Buffalo (4-3) , Cincinnati (5-2) , Baltimore (5-2) , Houston (6-1)
Seems like a lot of races are tightening up after Week 8 is in the books. With Philadelphia’s loss, there are no longer any undefeated teams left in the league. Miami’s 1972′s team is safe once again!!
Tune in soon for Week 9′s Predictions for the 2012-2013 NFL Season!!!
And remember, Keep your fins up!!!
Follow Phinphanatic on twitter and LIKE us on facebook! Hit the “LIKE” button in the upper right hand corner of this article and leave me a comment below! I love to hear your thoughts and I always try to comment back! Thank you!!!