Week 7 in the NFL and Thursday night's Ravens-Dolphins game once again reminded NFL fans how fragile the league has become. Already missing possibly its biggest stars on offense and defense in Aaron Rodgers and J.J. Watt, players continue to be carried off or assisted to the sidelines. Football fans everywhere cringed Thursday night as Joe Flacco took a brutal hit that sent him immediately into the concussion protocol. Every team's fortunes are incredibly vulnerable.
After that uplifting intro, now let's bet some Week 8 games.
Chicago Bears vs. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-9)
The Chicago Bears go back on the road to take on an improving Saints team playing with a ton of confidence. The Bears are 1-10 in their last 11 road games, and the lone win came two weeks ago. A two-game road win streak is not only unlikely - it’s not going to happen. Rookie Mitchell Trubisky comes off a game in which he completed only four more passes than I did, and I was in my living room. The defense will not score twice like last week and Drew Brees will show him what a future Hall of Famer looks like.
This game will be decided by halftime.
Prediction: 34-10 Saints
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (+8) vs. New England Patriots
The Chargers come into Foxboro with a 12-4-1 record against the spread in their last 17 road games. The Patriots have been playing much better defense of late, but the season-ending injury to Dont'a Hightower will hurt. The Chargers' defense comes in following a shutout home win against the Broncos. While there is no chance of pitching another one, they should be able to do enough to keep this close. The Patriots will win, but the eight points will come in handy.
Prediction: 31-27 Patriots
Minnesota Vikings vs. Cleveland Browns UNDER 38.5 points
Despite failing to score a touchdown in the game, the Browns came very close to getting their first win last week with their overtime loss to Tennessee. Minnesota plays much better defense than the Titans, which doesn't bode well for Cleveland. Browns fans cannot remember what a touchdown looks like, and if we can hold special teams and defensive touchdowns to one, this game should fall under the total. No Ambien needed for this one.
Prediction: 16-10 Vikings
San Francisco 49ers vs. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-13)
And you thought the Bears had no chance of winning! While C.J. Beathard is no Mitchell Trubisky, he is pretty darn close. The Eagles may be the best team in the NFL and must be licking their chops seeing the 49ers roll in. Carson Wentz has played incredibly well, the defense is very solid, and they will dominate in this game. Philadelphia is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven against the 49ers. Let me remind you, the 49ers are the 49ers.
Prediction: 38-13 Eagles
Atlanta Falcons vs. NEW YORK JETS (+6)
Much in the way I thought the Browns would win last week, the same goes for the Jets this week. With the opportunity to avenge the Super Bowl loss to the Patriots last week (which they apparently started preparing for during halftime against the Dolphins in Week 6), the Falcons showed very little. Matt Ryan has numerous weapons, but he cannot seem to find them in the red zone. The Jets are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five, and this team is much better than anyone had expected. The line makers are slow to adjust a team's power rating, and this game should be no more than a field goal. If Atlanta does win, that will be the margin.
Prediction: 27-24 Jets
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