NFL picks Week 8: Lions-Steelers and every other game

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 15: Matthew Stafford
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 15: Matthew Stafford /

The NFL playoff race is beginning to heat up as we enter Week 8. Predictions for every game this week.

With the Green Bay Packers on bye, the team is going to need help from around the league. Who will escape Week 8 with a win?

There are a number of interesting games on the menu this week. Detroit hosts Pittsburgh, Dallas travels to Washington and Kansas City meets Denver.

Here’s my picks for Week 8.

Miami (4-2) at Baltimore (3-4)

It looks like Matt Moore will lead the way on a short week for Miami with Jay Cutler expected to be out. Baltimore is No. 7 against the pass, and at home on a Thursday night, the Ravens get an important victory.

Pick: Baltimore

Minnesota (5-2) at Cleveland (0-7)

The Vikings are about to take control of the NFC North. With the Packers on bye and the Lions facing a daunting matchup with the Steelers, Minnesota has an opportunity to put daylight between its division rivals.

Pick: Minnesota

Atlanta (3-3) at NY Jets (3-4)

Atlanta has lost three straight. New York has exceeded expectations to this point. But this is the week the Falcons get back on track.

Pick: Atlanta 

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Carolina (4-3) at Tampa Bay (2-4)

The Buccaneers were my pick to win the NFC South in preseason. But they’ve largely been a disappointment to this point, and I expect the Panthers to get back to winning ways on the road.

Pick: Carolina

San Francisco (0-7) at Philadelphia (6-1)

Philadelphia is the pick of the NFC right now. San Francisco can’t win a game. That isn’t changing any time soon.

Pick: Philadelphia

Chicago (3-4) at New Orleans (4-2)

The Bears have won two straight on the back of their defense. New Orleans, though, has turned 0-2 into 4-2 and looks strong. At home, Drew Brees leads his team to a fifth straight.

Pick: New Orleans

LA Chargers (3-4) at New England (5-2)

The Chargers are on a roll, and they should be able to move the ball against a New England defense allowing a league-high 310 yards a game through the air. That said, the Patriots are at home.

Pick: New England

Oakland (3-4) at Buffalo (4-2)

Oakland came up big with the final play of the game last week. The Raiders need to keep winning, and they secure a tough road victory at Buffalo.

Pick: Oakland

Indianapolis (2-5) at Cincinnati (2-4)

Both teams need a win so badly. The Colts continue to struggle without Andrew Luck, and the Bengals get the edge here as they are at home.

Pick: Cincinnati

Houston (3-3) at Seattle (4-2)

This is Deshaun Watson‘s biggest test to date, but the bigger question might come on the other side of the ball. Can Seattle move the ball against the league’s No. 7 defense? Houston wins a low-scoring game.

Pick: Houston

Dallas (3-3) at Washington (3-3)

Ezekiel Elliott will play at least another week, but I’m edging Washington at home. The Redskins are No. 8 in total defense, No. 7 against the run. Kirk Cousins has thrown for at least 300 yards and multiple touchdowns in three of his past four games. He’s tossed 12 touchdown passes to just three picks. Washington bounces back with a win.

Pick: Washington

Pittsburgh (5-2) at Detroit (3-3)

Detroit needs a win here, but runs into a Pittsburgh defense that is No. 1 against the pass. Le’Veon Bell has shaken off his early-season rust, rushing for 134 yards last week in Cincinnati. Bell now has 898 all-purpose yards and has found the end zone four times. I’m picking the Steelers.

Pick: Pittsburgh

Denver (3-3) at Kansas City (5-2)

The Chiefs have lost two straight, but at home they get back on track in a key divisional matchup. Kansas City is still the team to beat in the AFC West.

Pick: Kansas City

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Last week: 10-5

Season: 60-46