The Kingshark Line for NFL Week 8
Moving Right Along- The 2013 Season is virtually at it’s halfway point as we are already hitting the last weekend of October and are now well into the fall. The NFL no matter how predictable it may seem at times always seems to come up with a surprise, or several. There are a lot of items that certainly were easy to forecast however it is the twist and turns that you don’t see coming that are most riveting. A big for instance here is we all figured for example the Denver Broncos would very likely be somewhere around 6-1 after seven games. However before the season kicked off in early September who would have picked the Kansas City Chiefs to be 7-0 and a game ahead of Denver in the Standings in the AFC West after seven weeks? It's very likely nobody had this one pegged. Many prognosticators also thought the Houston Texans would be the team to beat in the AFC South if not the AFC. The Colts are in control of the AFC South while the Houston Texans have gone into freefall with a five game losing streak. Tennessee even looked like they could challenge for this division but have fallen back to earth with a thud themselves. In the AFC North Baltimore, the defending league champions are 3-4? The Pittsburgh Steelers 2-4? Cincinnati looks strong for that division at 5-2. Cleveland has played some good football in spots however is just way to inconsistent to be called a serious contender. In the AFC East New England should take division as Miami took a step back last weekend losing at home to Buffalo. The Jets had a huge win last weekend but you can never be certain about them. The Bills can come up with an upset here and there however it’s when they rely on them is when they get into trouble.
Over in the NFC West it’s all about the Seahawks and the 49ers at this point. The winner here likely could see the road through to the Super Bowl go through there city. The Cardinals and Rams remembered that they were the Cardinals and Rams. New Orleans in the NFC South looks like they could run away and hide. What was not predicted however was the Atlanta Falcons bad start rendering them three games behind the Saints. Carolina has a better chance of challenging the Saints than to the Falcons. Tampa Bay has clearly and quite obviously quit on their head coach (no matter what you hear elsewhere). Three games behind in the NFL is the mass equivalent of being about 12 games behind your division in MLB. The Falcons still have enough time to get back into contention, but to take the division they will need a lot of help. In the NFC North the Bears. Lions and Packers are all in contention for the post season. The Vikings are in contention for Johnny Football. The NFC East has been probably the most under whelming division with Dallas at 4-3 leading Philadelphia at 3-4. The Redskins and Giants just are not very good this year period.
As for the Kingshark Line it went 10-5 in Week 7 and is now 73-35 with Carolina’s win against a Buccanneers team this past Thursday Night that is about to pull the mutiny card Head Coach Greg Schiano (with the fanbase not too far behind). Looking ahead to some of the match-ups this weekend there are enough games to peak the interest of most fans. There will only be 11 games Sunday and the Monday Night game since six teams have byes this week. If you’re a fan of the Colts, Chargers, Titans, Ravens, Bears or Texans you get to kick back this weekend (unless your team is under performing in which case you’ll still be happy to be off this week but anxious for the rest of the season to resume when it does for your team next weekend.) On to the games of NFL Week 8:
Dallas@Detroit (FOX)- The Lions enter this contest fighting for position in the NFC North alongside Green Bay and Chicago. The Lions dropped a tough decision to the Bengals at home last week. The Cowboys meanwhile took the lead in the NFC East with a convincing win in Philly. A win for the Cowboys would give them a foot hold in the NFC East and get them two games over .500. For the Lions a win would also put them two games over .500 in the NFC North. Both teams can move the ball well enough which means this comes down to what the defenses do. Cowboys have the 15th rated defense in the league while Detroit’s offense ranks 8th. On the other hand Detroit’s defense ranks 28th while the Cowboys offense ranks 3rd in the league. If this holds true it does not bode well for the Lions. If Tony Romo is on his game it will up to Matthew Stafford to keep up. Right now the matchups tend to favor Dallas slightly more. All of that and you still don’t know which Romo will show up, yet at least you know what you are getting with Stafford. Lions 28 Cowboys 27.
Cleveland@Kansas City (CBS)- The Chiefs clearly are this year’s story in the NFL as they have won their first seven games. They were heavy favorites against Houston last week but struggled in a game that came down to the final minutes. The Browns have had both good and bad games this year. The problem with Cleveland is that they have this tendency to take one step forward and follow it up with two steps back. The Chiefs are very tough at home and are a team that despite last week’s unexpected close shave seem to have things very much under control. Alex Smith has never looked calmer and maybe Andy Reid is the best thing that’s happened to him. Most importantly on both sides of the ball the Chiefs are buying into Reid and are all in as a team. In fact the Browns are going up against the league’s overall top defense in points allowed. Since the Browns aren’t known to score too many points (except against Buffalo) this could make it a tough go Sunday. I don’t see this as a blow out however in order for the Chiefs to lose here too many things would have to go way wrong. Can't really see that happening here. Chiefs 27 Browns 13.
Miami@New England (CBS)- The Patriots enter this game in somewhat firm control of the AFC East despite a shocking overtime loss against the Jets at the Meadowlands last weekend. Miami meanwhile has come back to earth after a 3-0 start and need a win here to prevent a fourth straight loss. The Dolphins are a team that is on an uptick in the big picture, though last week’s loss to the Bills at home was a body blow for sure. For the Patriots they know what they have to do here and their mission is clearly defined. For Miami this is a chance to knock off Goliath on the road. If the Dolphins pull the upset it could tip the balance of the division however this would also be a very tall order that maybe easier done in Miami than in Foxboro. The Patriots did not lose last week’s game because of the offense. Tom Brady has two things Ryan Tannehill does not have at this point of his career, big game experience and ice water in his veins which is converted to fuel. This will be good and close but it’s just too hard to pick against New England here. Patriots 24 Dolphins 17.
Buffalo@New Orleans (CBS)- The Saints are coming off of a bye week and have had two weeks to rest following a last second heart breaking loss in New England. The Saints no doubt are a team that will use that experience to build as a team and only be better for it. Factor in 14 days rest and the Saints will be a tough draw for anyone here. The Bills pulled off a huge upset win in Miami last week. Buffalo to their credit has played everyone on their schedule extremely tough which is the one thing that gives them a chance Sunday at the Super Dome. This will also be the second straight week that the Bills have played a road game against a team coming off a bye week. The only problem here is that the Saints are a better and deeper team that the Dolphins are are far less turnover prone. Drew Brees on two weeks rest is tough to bet against as is his team. Obviously we won’t do that here either. Saints 35 Bills 21.
NY Giants@Philadelphia (FOX)- The Giants and Eagles meet for the second time this season. Unlike in recent years past, this is not for the top spot in the NFC East. Should the Eagles win and the Cowboys lose in Detroit they will again be tied with Dallas (Cowboys would own the tie-breaker) atop the NFC East. The Eagles certainly could win here however they have a crises at the QB position with Nick Foles knocked out of last week’s game and Michael Vick having already been injured. As of Saturnday morning NFL Network announced that Vick is the likely starting QB for the Eagles. The Giants meanwhile finally got their first win of the season against the hapless Vikings this past Monday night. The Giants however for the most part have just been flat out bad for most of the year and that’s something that cannot be changed overnight or just by one win. Eli Manning his easily having his worst season as a professional which is where his two Super Bowl rings come into play. This is a year he can write off and has already probably started to do that. He will be forgiven as a player. The Giants however as a team are one day closer to having to rebuild. Eagles 30 Giants 20.
San Francisco vs Jacksonville (in London-FOX)- The 49ers and Jaguars venture across the Atlantic to participate in the second game of this season’s NFL International Series (sponsored largely by order of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell). The 49ers enter the game having won their last four games and are looking to keep pace with the NFC West leading Seattle Seahawks. The Jaguars at 0-7 are just looking to keep pace with anything period. Coach Jim Harbaugh stated clearly before the 49ers left for this road trip that this was stickily a business trip. The 49ers handled their business last weekend against the Titans in rather convincing fashion. Frank Gore has stated that in no way will the 49ers look past the Jaguars, and they shouldn’t. The Jaguars with their 0-7 mark have maybe one thing going for them for the rest of the season. From here on out they are playing with house money and that can’t be overlooked. The 49ers are very much into attention to detail and should be able to handle there business here as well. 49ers 34 Jaguars 13. For more on this game go to this link here: http://goldengatereport.com/articles/nfl-week-8-49ers-take-on-jaguars-at-wembley
NY Jets@Cincinnati (CBS)- The Jets and Bengals get together this weekend in a matchup which actually could be a somewhat entertaining game to watch. The Jets tend to run hot and cold, however are never a team you can take for grated as their 4-3 record proves. The Bengals are returning home after winning two games on the road by identical 27-24 scores in Buffalo and Detroit. The Bengals have also won their last four games in a row at home. With a win the Bengals can start to form a strangle hold on the AFC North as they already lead the disappointing Steelers and Ravens by two games in the standings. Andy Dalton has been steady at QB...not perfect, but steady which in the long run means a lot. Geno Smith has taken his bumps and bruises at Jets QB however has also given Rex Ryan’s club stability in that position as well (not at all bad considering he's a rookie). The Bengals have won last their three games by a touchdown or less which proves they can succeed in close games. This one too should be close as well. The Bengals are in a good spot here. Bengals 31 Jets 24.
Washington@Denver (FOX)- The Broncos come home this weekend and are looking to rebound from their first loss of the season last weekend in Indianapolis. The Broncos played as poorly last week as they can play and still managed to put 33 points on the board which is a testament to how well they can function offensively under tough conditions. Now that the “Peyton Manning” home coming is out of the way, the Broncos can now breath and just play football which ultimately makes them an even more very dangerous team. The Redskins last weekend won a barn burner over the Chicago Bears. Despite the win Washington is clearly a struggling team that in as much as anything is doing what they can to get through the season. The bad news for the Redskins here is they are facing a team for the second straight week that has a high octane offense. Also factor that the Broncos are coming into this game angry. Peyton Manning in a bad mood may be cruel and unusual punishment for any defense (even when he’s in a good mood he’s not much fun to play against). RGIII will keep the Redskins in it early, Manning will help the Broncos pull away late. Broncos 38 Redskins 23.
Pittsburgh@Oakland (CBS)- Back in the 1970's and ‘80's this was a classic rivalry that often times saw the two teams meet in the post season. Fast forward some 30 years later and the rivalry admittedly has lost some of it’s luster. However both teams can still play some hard smash mouth football and Sunday should be no exception. The Steelers have won their last two games by turning to a smash mouth team and are finding a formula that seems to work better for them. The Raiders are entering this game off of their bye week and have two weeks of solid rest under their belt. The Raiders have for the most part played some good football despite their 2-4 record and are a team that is on an overall uptick, the same of which cannot be said for the 2-4 Steelers. For the Steelers to win here they must avoid turnovers at all cost and play a solid four quarter game on both sides of the football. If the Steelers can’t do that this is the Raiders game to take. I’m still not having a good feeling about the Steelers despite their last two games. Raiders 27 Steelers 24.
Atlanta@Arizona (FOX)- The Falcons are coming into this game with a 2-4 mark, having beaten Tampa Bay last Sunday to snap a three game losing streak. The Cardinals meanwhile come into this game with a 3-4 mark having last played 10 days earlier, but in a crushing home loss to a Seattle team they were simply and very easily outmatch. Arizona despite it’s mark has shown they are capable of doing things which can lead to winning football games but are just not able to maintain a level of consistency. The Falcons have for the most part been fairly competitive however have more issues with just plain bad luck. Matt Ryan statistically has had about the same kind of year as Carson Palmer but has thrown for five more touchdowns. The Falcons need this game to keep pace with Carolina and New Orleans in the NFC South. With a win, the Cardinals climb back up to .500 and keep pace with the 49ers and Seahawks. Between the two teams, the Falcons are the ones who are missing the most key pieces. Cardinals 27 Falcons 20.
Green Bay@Minnesota (NBC)- Sunday Night Football ventures to Minneapolis as the Vikings take on the NFC North rival Packers. To cut to the chase the Vikings simply put have had a bad season and it appears it just wont get better anytime soon. With a lopsided loss to the equally bad Giants this past Monday night, the Vikings are at 1-5 and dead last in the NFC North. On the other side of the coin the Green Bay Packers are 4-2 and are a bad turnover away from 5-1. The Packers have been nothing short of laser focused since their Week 4 bye after a tough loss in Cincinnati. Aaron Rogers may not be having his best season however at least he’s been on his game when it has mattered the most. The Vikings have a game of musical chairs going on with their quarterbacks. Christian Ponder is returning to his starting role after an injury. Matt Castle did all he could while filling in while Josh Freeman is one step closer to being a backup in the CFL next year. Factor all things in and considering the Vikings are a home there is some motivation for the Purple Gang. However the Packers are clearly superior at this point and this game by the second half could be more than the Vikings can handle. Packers 38 Vikings 17.
Seattle@St Louis (ESPN)- Monday Night Football goes up against the 5th game of the Red Sox vs Cardinals World Series playing literally just a few blocks away. The reason I mention the World Series here is that it will far more competitive than this football game. The Seahawks at 6-1 are coming into this game on 11 days rest having last played a week ago Thursday at Arizona and winning rather easily. St Louis at 3-4 has lost Sam Bradford for the season at Carolina last Sunday which really kills most of their hopes for this game let alone for their season. Russell Wilson comes in with his own version of the read option, and maybe with the lone exception of the Colts nobody has really figured out a way to stop him (though Carolina did slow him down back on Week 1). The Rams have a strong Head Coach in Jeff Fisher, but as good as he is he’s not a miracle worker. Kellen Clemoms would have to be the second coming of Kurt Warner here for the Rams to have any chance. Even then it won't be nearly enough. Seahawks 34 Rams 10.
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*Mandatory Disclaimer: The Kingshark Line is stickily for entertainment purposes only. I have the same exact information that anyone else has and do not claim to know any more or less than the next guy. This is not to promote or encourage gambling on football or any other sport. No point spreads are played here or implied in any way. Scores are for entertainment purposes only and are only based on team trends, team reports, etc. There is no inside information given here or implied. This is just for your information and entertainment. Enjoy the games.