NFL GAMES OF THE WEEK – 2014 – WEEK EIGHT

26Oct14

Well, I was watching the games last week, feeling pretty good about my predictions when POOF, they disappeared in an instant. A late interception here, a last minute field goal there, and I went from a perfect 3-0 to a measly 1-2 at the snap of a finger or two!

So will it get any better this week? I don’t know. I mean, I feel confident with this week’s picks. But then I always feel like I’ve picked the winners, so what are you gonna’ do?

I could have shied away from the tough picks and gone with the gimmees, but by now you know that’s not my style.

I always go with my gut feeling, so I’m not going to stop now.

Let’s get to it!

NFL Football

This week’s Lock of the Week (6-1).

If you had told me at the beginning of the season that on week eight I’d be picking this game to go this direction, or that it would be my “Lock”, I’d had told you that you were nuts!

Yet here I am, picking the Dallas Cowboys to easily handle the hapless Washington Redskins on Monday night.

This is a classic tale of two teams going in the opposite directions. The Cowboys are looking like the Boys of the 90s, back when Aikman was handing off to Smith first and throwing to Irvin second. You know, back when they were a very good team!

Meanwhile, the Redskins are going nowhere fast. RGIII is hurt (wow, what a surprise!), Cousins tried and failed to light a fire under the team, and now they are going with QB #3 in McCoy. Oh yeah, and their running game has all but disappeared, leaving their mediocre defense to try (and fail) to keep them in games.

This won’t only become a Dallas victory, it will be a Washington embarrassment on MNF that will leave even the staunchest Redskin supporters calling for a name change.

If you’re a Cowboy fan, you’ll have fun Monday night this week. If you’re not a fan of the former “America’s Team”, find another place to be unless you enjoy being around obnoxious Cowboy fans. This will be their week to turn it up a notch!

Cowboys Helmet

This week’s Upset of the Week (3-4).

There are a couple of games this week that the experts and I disagree on, so I actually had to think a while before deciding on this week’s pick. Two of them involved games being played in Florida, but I’m not feeling warm and fuzzy about either one of them.

So I decide to travel west from the sunshine state a few hundred miles until I reached New Orleans. That’s right, I’m picking the Green Bay Packers to upset the host New Orleans Saints.

Quite frankly, I’m surprised that this is considered an upset. Sure I can see a few points going to the Saints for home field advantage. But these guys have found all kinds of ways to lose against bad teams.  Now you’ve got a good team coming to town that has finally found their stride offensively.

The Saints’ strength has always been their ability to score points at will. This year, that appears to be gone, leaving an average at best defense to keep their hopes of winning alive. More times than not, they’re out of gas in the 4th quarter.

Meanwhile, ever since Rogers went on the radio and told Packer fans to relax, his team mates have stepped up and begun to resemble the Packers of a few short years ago, when they controlled nearly every game they were in.

Look for this one to be tight at halftime, with Green Bay pulling away in the late third quarter for the victory.

Packers Helmet

This week’s Game of the Week (4-3).

This week’s “Game” could very well be one of the best of the season. Or it could be a complete domination. That’s what makes the anticipation so exciting.

There are only four teams remaining with one loss. Two of them are playing each other this week. And that’s where we’ll be for this week’s Game of the Week.

That’s right, we’ll be watching the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Arizona Cardinals.

This game features two teams that have been exceeding pre-season expectations so far. Yet, neither team has everyone convinced that they’re for real. The Eagles spent the early season getting blown out in the first half, only to stage incredible comebacks in the second half.

This would have been more impressive if those wins came against good teams, but most of them were not. When they traveled to San Francisco, they suffered their only loss of the season.

While Foles is a dangerous QB with some very good targets, the reality is this offense needs McCoy to be running wild in order to work efficiently.

Enter the Cardinals defense. They are numero uno against the run, and I don’t expect things to change this week. If they successfully shut down the Eagles running game, like they have done to every other team they’ve faced this season, the Eagle passing game is not good enough to beat them.

And let’s talk about the Arizona offense. When Palmer went down at the end of week one, it was believed by most experts that the Cards were done. Yet, Stanton stepped up and played good, solid, mistake free football for the next few weeks, holding down the fort until Palmer was able to come back. Their only loss came in Denver, where they played toe to toe with the Broncos for three quarters, only to lose it in the 4th when Stanton and their monster DL Campbell both went down with injuries.

As a result, AZ was the only team in the league without giving up an interception until week seven. They haven’t been racking up the points, but they have been playing efficient football on offense, and pretty solid defense on the other side of the line.

So now the football world is anxious to see which of these two teams is for real and which is playing way over their heads. My take on that? Well call me biased if you want, but I think both teams are for real. It’s just a matter of which team is more prepared for this week’s battle and ready to play four quarters of punch-in-the-mouth football.

And I think that will be the host team.

This should be an exciting battle to watch, with several lead changes throughout. But in the end, turnovers will decide the game, and that edge will go to the Cardinals, allowing them to hold on in the 4th quarter for well-deserved victory.

Cardinals Helmet

 

So there you have it. Another week, another 3-0 record. Yeah, yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket!

Tommy Flanagan

Go and enjoy some great football. We’ll talk again next week!

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