A trend is developing in the NFL in 2011: teams playing poorly after a bye week. The Buffalo Bills face the Washington Redskins, last week the Bills had a bye. Will it be enough?
Last week delivered another money maker for our NFL Picks feature, though it came at the expense of another Washington Redskins loss. I am not a strictly hometown picks maker here. When I think the Redskins will lose and not cover, I will say it. I did so in the Philadelphia Eagles game. But last week was different. The defense was supposed to keep it tight, and they didn't. Thereofre, we begin our Week 8 NFL picks with the Redskins.
Now they go to
All lines from SB Nation Odds.
Washington Redskins at Buffalo Bills (-7): Not a soul alive would have guessed this line at the beginning of the season. We have seen enough to know the Bills are legit. Fred Jackson runs the ball with purpose and is a top three back in the league. The
Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens (-14): Wow, did the Ravens suck on Monday night. Readers of the Picks enjoyed that game though, cashing in on the Jaguars. This week, we must go the other way.
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers (-3.5): This line is tricky. Shouldn’t the Panthers be favored by five points or so? Does Vegas know something? I’m always nervous when a line seems off by more than a half point. The Vikings just gave Aaron Rodgers and the world champion Packers a big-time scare, and I think rookie Christian Ponder shows up in a matchup with Cam Newton. The Panthers run defense can’t stop Marcus Mason, so I will certainly roll with Adrian Peterson. Pick: Vikings.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-10): The Texans impressed me last week going to
Miami Dolphins at New York Giants (-10): With the Giants, we have another team coming off a bye, but I think the Dolphins suck so much it will not matter. Some of this may be residual anger at the Dolphins for letting St. Tebow score 15 points in the final three minutes of last week’s game against the Broncos to cost me money. The Dolphins suck. Pick: Giants
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-10): If the Colts ship hasn’t sunk, it is certainly taking on water. But the problem here is that
Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos (+2.5): I’m doing it again. For two weeks now, I’ve bet against the Lions despite public sentiment going the other way. Don’t mess with a hot streak. The Lions have a big name quarterback who hasn’t been playing that well in Matthew Stafford, and he's now battling an ankle injury. Obviously Megatron will score a TD -- that’s just what he does -- but Tebow will have Mile High jumping and the Broncos defense will do enough to win. Pick: Broncos.
New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers (+3): Great game. All of
Cleveland Browns at
Cincinnati Bengals at Seattle Seahwaks (+2.5): I think people would be more excited for a rerun of Golden Girls than this game. Seriously. I’m taking the Bengals because I haven’t gotten a single Bengals game right this year and that has to change at some point. How weird is it that the Bengals could be quite good in a few years? Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are legit, there are a couple good players on that defense and they basically fleeced the Raiders in the Carson Palmer deal like the Dutch buying
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-3): This one is hard. For starters, the Cowboys are starting to play well. DeMarco Murray might give them a weapon they haven’t had in a few years, and Dez Bryant is nasty. I want to take the Cowboys and not think about it. But on the other side are two conflicting streaks. Eagles coach Andy Reid has won 12 straight games after a bye week. That’s a lot. The flip side of that is the weird NFL bye week thing where teams play sluggish after the bye in 2011, perhaps a result of the new labor deal. Michael Lombardi wrote on NFL.com:
Teams coming off a bye have been horrible this season. Three wins and nines losses to this point. All the time off actually hurts the players, especially since training camps were so condensed.
Something’s got to give. I think Andy Reid’s streak comes to an end. Pick: Cowboys.
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (+3.5): This one is not hard. A home dog playing in front of a wild crowd on a nationally televised game? We’ve seen this formula before. Take the points and the Chiefs.
Last week: 8-4-1