NFL GAMES OF THE WEEK – 2013 – WEEK EIGHT

26Oct13

It looks like this season is going to be pretty much all or nothing for me.  Well, 3-0 or 1-2.  At least that’s how it’s been going so far.  After two straight weeks of 3-0, I’ve had two straight weeks of 1-2.

After looking at this week’s schedule, I’m pretty certain that I’ll keep my undefeated record for “Lock” intact.  The other two categories, who knows!

 

This week’s Lock of the Week (7-0).

This week, there is only one game on the schedule that jumps out at me as a lock.  That’s right, like everyone else in the USA and London, I’m going with the San Francisco 49ers over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Is there really a need for an explanation on this one?  Jacksonville has scored the fewest points in the league and allowed the most points in the league.  And they haven’t even had their bye week yet!

Meanwhile, the 49ers are beginning to play like the team we saw in January last year.  Okay, maybe not quite that good, but they are starting to look like a playoff caliber team again.

Kaepernick seems to have settled down and isn’t trying to do it all by himself.  He is handing the ball off to Frank Gore more often and seeing good results.  With Vernon Davis catching fire at tight end, you should see Anquan Boldin get open a lot this week.

On the other side of the line, the 49ers defense is getting better every week.  They are nearly looking like the team everyone thought they would be at week one!

The Brits will be left wondering why the NFL only sent one team this week.  49ers will roll early and often!

 

This week’s Upset of the Week (3-4).

After making my picks this week, I was left with only one contest that went against the odds-makers.  I guess that makes it easy to choose my “Upset” game.  Hold on to your helmets and your bottles of Rolling Rock.  I’m picking the Oakland Raiders over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Although it’s been more than two decades since I’ve been able to make that particular statement, I must admit that it was an easy choice to make.  The Steelers have not looked good at all this season.  Even in their victory over the defending champion Ravens last week, I was still left wondering where this team was going.  For a team that has always been a run first, pass second team, this year must be extremely frustrating for them.  They could be better described as a “run for a loss” first, “pass for 3rd and long” second team.

They are averaging just under 18 points per game and may very well be eliminated from the playoff race by Thanksgiving.

Ironically, the Raiders have played the same number of games as the Steelers, have allowed the exact same amount of points as the Steelers and have scored exactly two points less than the Steelers.

So why am I picking the Raiders to win?  A couple of reasons.  First we’ll go with the usual advantage.  They are at home and the Steelers are 2600 miles from home.

But the real reason is that I believe Mr. Pryor has finally begun to feel comfortable in his role as QB and team leader.  His confidence appears to have increased by leaps and bounds over the past few games.  The Steelers present him with an opportunity to prove that he is a legitimate QB in this league.

I don’t expect the game to be all that pretty, but when the dust clears, the Raiders will come out on top.

 

This week’s Game of the Week (3-4).

As far as entertainment goes, there are a couple of games on this week’s slate that could satisfy the fans.  I’ve decided to go with a game that should keep the scoreboard operator busy.  The Dallas Cowboys at the Detroit Lions.

Don’t look for a lot of defense in this matchup.  We have two of the better downfield passers in the game with Tony Romo throwing for the Cowboys and Matthew Stafford slingin ‘em for the Lions.  There will also be two of the best wide receivers in the game with Dez Bryant catching Romo’s passes and Calvin Johnson snagging Stafford’s passes.

With the Cowboy’s DeMarco Murray most likely on the sidelines again, the Lions have the clear advantage with Reggie Bush at RB.

The Cowboys defense has had some good moments this season, but not against teams like this.  Meanwhile, the Lions defensive line will be putting pressure on Romo all day long.  It won’t stop him from scoring, but it will shake him up enough to give the edge to the home team.

I’m going with the Lions in a Wild West style shootout!

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