NFL picks Week 8: Packers-Falcons and every other game

Dec 8, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) greets Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) following the game at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 43-37. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 8, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) greets Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) following the game at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 43-37. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Week 8 is here. Can the Green Bay Packers get the job done in Atlanta?

We’re approaching midseason all too quickly. For some, hopes of reaching the postseason are gone. You only have to look down the road to Chicago for that. Others, like the New England Patriots, are once again all but certain to make the playoffs.

The Packers are right in the mix at 4-2, entering a key road game in Atlanta. Maybe this game will determine a wild-card spot later in the year.

Let’s work through each game on the menu this week. Who emerges victorious?

Green Bay Packers (4-2) at Atlanta Falcons (4-3)

Atlanta gives up more receiving yards to running backs than any other team. The Packers will need to attack the middle of the field with Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb. While the offense should have some success against the Falcons defense, entering a matchup with Julio Jones sans your top three cornerbacks is a nightmare scenario. Packers fall on the road.

Pick: Atlanta 33, Green Bay 24

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4) at Tennessee Titans (3-4)

Why, oh why is this game on primetime? Blake Bortles is simply playing bad football, and it’s hurting what should be a talented Jags offense. In a tight one, Tennessee takes it.

Pick: Tennessee 20, Jacksonville 17

Washington Redskins (4-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) – London

I’m loving all of these games over on my side of the pond, but I wish the quality would improve. Us Brits were “treated” to the Rams-Giants last week, but this game should be of higher quality. The Bengals need the win the most, and a healthier Tyler Eifert should help them get it going on offense.

Pick: Cincinnati 24, Washington 20

Arizona Cardinals (3-3-1) at Carolina Panthers (1-5)

An awful lot has changed since the NFC Championship Game last January. Since, Carolina has won only one of its seven games while Arizona has yet to replicate last year’s highs. The Panthers’ secondary is struggling, but the Cardinals’ vertical passing game is yet to take off. In a must-win, Carolina takes it.

Pick: Carolina 28, Arizona 24

Detroit Lions (4-3) at Houston Texans (4-3)

You have to be impressed with what Matthew Stafford is doing in Detroit. Jim Bob Cooter’s offense is among the league’s best currently, and they should be able to move the ball despite taking on a talented Houston defense. Brock Osweiler has been awful, but DeAndre Hopkins might not have to worry about Darius Slay (hamstring). My gut says the Lions win, but I don’t trust them to be consistent enough to put up a fourth straight victory.

Pick: Houston 24, Detroit 21

Seattle Seahawks (4-1-1) at New Orleans Saints (2-4)

Not many offenses dominate at home like New Orleans do, but there isn’t a better defense in the NFL than Seattle’s. Will fatigue play a role in this game? The Seahawks defense was on the field for over 46 minutes at Arizona last week. To make it more impressive, they didn’t surrender a single touchdown in a 6-6 tie. How much did that take out of the unit? The Seahawks are more talented, but I’m picking the upset.

Pick: New Orleans 26, Seattle 23

Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-4)

The Colts are somehow still in the race for the AFC South crown despite some embarrassing play across the board. Andrew Luck constantly levels the playing field for Indianapolis, but Kansas City is simply too strong, even on the road. Andy Reid will utilize Spencer Ware and run the ball down the Colts’ throats all day.

Pick: Kansas City 27, Indianapolis 20

MORE PACKERS VS. FALCONS: Packers vs. Falcons – How to stop Julio Jones

FANTASY FOOTBALL: What to do with Jordy Nelson

New York Jets (2-5) at Cleveland Browns (0-7)

Poor Cleveland remains winless, but this might be their best chance to break the duck. New York needs to win to rescue their season, and their schedule does ease up somewhat from here on. The Jets know a win keeps them alive, and they pile on the Browns’ misery.

Pick: New York 27, Cleveland 14

New England Patriots (6-1) at Buffalo Bills (4-3)

This will be a very different story to the first meeting between these two teams, one Tom Brady didn’t play in. The Patriots are rolling. Rex Ryan’s team will put up a fight, but they fall short.

Pick: New England 24, Buffalo 17

Oakland Raiders (5-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3)

The Buccaneers have disappointed for the most part, Jameis Winston making too many mistakes. Oakland is playing great football and improves to 6-2 with a road win.

Pick: Oakland 30, Tampa Bay 21

San Diego Chargers (3-4) at Denver Broncos (5-2)

This is a tough game to call. San Diego might be the best team with a losing record, and they got the better of Denver just two weeks ago. As the game is in Denver, they edge it.

Pick: Denver 23, San Diego 20

Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) at Dallas Cowboys (5-1)

Not many teams have been as impressive as the Cowboys. The Eagles, too, have looked good on defense with Carson Wentz impressing on offense. At home, with Zeke, I expect Dallas to improve to 6-1.

Pick: Dallas 28, Philadelphia 17

Minnesota Vikings (5-1) at Chicago Bears (1-6)

This is the best the NFL had to offer for Monday Night Football? Really? There’s only one winner. Right?

Pick: Minnesota 23, Chicago 10

Last week: 9-6
Season: 64-43