NFL Week 8 Preview
Written by Chad Flannery on October 28, 2017
By: Chad Flannery
Oakland Raiders @ Buffalo Bills
After pulling off an amazing last-second upset of the Kansas City Chiefs last Thursday night, Oakland is looking to ride the momentum into Week 8. Quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Amari Cooper finally got in sync with each other during Cooper’s first big game of the season; he finished with 11 receptions for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Carr seems to be fully recovered from the back injury he suffered a few weeks ago. However, the team will be without running back Marshawn Lynch, who is suspended a game for the altercation versus the Chiefs. Also, the defense has plenty of firepower but does not seem to be as strong as last year, which is concerning. Buffalo is also coming off of a comeback win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The defense has been rejuvenated under new head coach Sean McDermott and is playing a huge part in the team’s success. They also currently hold wins over the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor has played well enough to help his team win games, but he has not been anything special. Also, running back LeSean McCoy was able to establish himself against the Buccaneers, which is a promising sign. I believe the Bills will squeeze one out at home.
Prediction: Buffalo 24, Oakland 20
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Both of these teams were expected to be playoff contenders this season, and while it is too early to say they will not be, they sure are not playing like it. Quarterback Jameis Winston did all he could do against the Bills to pull out a win; he even had them up by 14 at one point, but poor defense and stupid turnovers lead to a 30-27 loss. The Bucs are in the middle of a three-game losing-streak and seem to be going nowhere fast. Carolina, on the other hand, looked to be one of the best teams in the NFC until back-to-back losses to the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears. Quarterback Cam Newton has been playing horribly, throwing five interceptions in two games, and seems to be a bigger distraction in the media than anything else. Despite the play of Newton, I expect the offense to be too much for the Buccaneers defense to handle.
Prediction: Carolina 34, Tampa Bay 27
Houston Texans @ Seattle Seahawks
Despite still not having an identity on offense, the Seahawks are able to win because of the “Legion of Boom,” one of the top defenses in the league. While they are not the same defense as they were when the team made back-to-back Super Bowl runs, they are still one of the best. If quarterback Russell Wilson and the offense are able to start clicking on all cylinders, this team will be hard to beat come January. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson faces one of his toughest tests yet. After throwing for 15 touchdowns so far this season, it will be interesting to see how Houston will fair against the Seahawks. I believe that Watson will run into a few problems on offense, and the injury-plagued defense will have trouble with Wilson’s dual-threat ability.
Prediction: Seattle 30, Houston 17
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins
Dallas has struggled on offense so far this season. With the exception of the 40-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers last week, it has been difficult for quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott to pick up where they left off last year. Elliott is facing an inevitable six-game suspension, which will be difficult for the Cowboys to handle. Right now, they face an even more difficult divisional matchup against the Redskins. Quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Redskins have not been able to find their stride on offense, either. Cousins has not been able to establish trust with their big free agent acquisition, wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, or any of his other targets for that matter. The defense, however, is clicking on all cylinders, especially with cornerback Josh Norman expected to return for the game. Norman will most likely shadow wide receiver Dez Bryant throughout the game, which will leave Prescott with few reliable options on offense. If Dallas can get Elliott and the running game going, they may be able to get the victory.
Prediction: Dallas 23, Washington 20
Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs
After a 5-0 start, Kansas City has dropped their last two games. Their opponents have found a formula that works; try to make wide receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Travis Kelce and running back Kareem Hunt nonexistent. Limiting their impact on offense makes it hard for quarterback Alex Smith and the Chiefs to score points. Denver has had a lot of problems of their own on offense as well. Quarterback Trevor Siemian has regressed from his amazing start to the season, and while they have a fantastic defense, they cannot score any points. If they can jump start their offense, expect Denver to be all off Kansas City. However, if they cannot find their way on offense, expect the Chiefs to capitalize enough to win. I think the latter is more likely.
Prediction: Kansas City 21, Denver 13