We’re already at week 8, the halfway point of the NFL season. Time sure flies by, when you’re winning.
Quick Power Rankings of the top-5 teams in the NFL:
1. Denver Broncos (5-1) 2. Dallas Cowboys (6-1) 3. Indianapolis Colts (5-2) 4. Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) 5. Green Bay Packers (5-2)
No Tom Brady or MVP candidate Philip Rivers. Rivers has arguably been the best quarterback this season after tallying off five straight wins since the opening season loss to Arizona. Rivers is third in passing yards (1,961), fifth in completion percentage (67.4), and fourth in touchdown passes (17).
Coming off a disappointing loss against the division rival Kansas City Chiefs, Rivers faces a more daunting task in trying to keep pace with Peyton Manning who just became the NFL’s all time leader in touchdown passes with 509.
Brooks: 11-4; Overall: 67-38
Perez: 10-5; Overall: 70-35
Wooten: omit; Overall: 54-36
|Week 8 NFL Matchups||Brooks||Perez||Wooten|
|SD @ DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN|
|DET @ ATL||DET||DET||ATL|
|STL @ KC||STL||KC||KC|
|HOU @ TEN||HOU||HOU||HOU|
|MIN @ TB||MIN||MIN||TB|
|SEA @ CAR||CAR||SEA||SEA|
|BAL @ CIN||BAL||CIN||CIN|
|MIA @ JAX||MIA||MIA||MIA|
|CHI @ NE||NE||NE||NE|
|BUF @ NYJ||NYJ||BUF||BUF|
|PHI @ ARI||PHI||PHI||PHI|
|OAK @ CLE||OAK||CLE||CLE|
|IND @ PIT||IND||PIT||PIT|
|GB @ NO||GB||GB||NO|
|WSH @ DAL||DAL||DAL||DAL|
Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers
A rematch of the 2013 divisional game isn’t the main attraction in the box office.
The Seahawks are losers of two straight and hoping to avoid its first three game losing streak in three years. The Panthers have had similar, but strange outcomes the past two weeks. Carolina and Cincinnati ended in a 37-37 tie and followed with a 38-17 loss at Lambeau Field in a game that was over in the third quarter. Cam Newton and the Panthers were 38-3 at that point.
Russell Wilson is coming off a career day throwing for 313 yards and adding 106 yards on the ground, albeit on a loss. The offense is averaging 26.5 ppg, but defense is surprisingly the low point on the season. Seahawks allowed 14.4 points last season during their Super Bowl run. But this year? They have giving 23.5. The Legion of Boom is losing its physical nature on defense.
Now turmoil is staring to creep into the locker room with reports of racial criticism towards Wilson. When everything goes well, not a whisper of doubt seeps out if Seattle. But when losses come piling in, locker room chatter is or more boisterous than the 12th man of CenturyLink field.
St. Louis Rams @ Kansas City Chiefs
Optimistic and hysteria is flowing through Rams’ nation. A trickery 28-26, special teams win over the defending Super Bowl champions has spectators wondering why St. Louis isn’t 4-2 instead of 2-4. Even retired, soon to be Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre has taken a notice, a bias notice.
Since former Southern Miss quarterback Austin Davis has taken over for the often injured Sam Bradford, Davis has passed for 1,517 yard, 9 touchdowns and posted a 94.3 passer rating. Davis broke all of Favre record at Southern Miss. Here’s what the future Hall of Famer said about Davis:
“Not to sound off my rocker, but [Davis] — in my mind — can be the next Tom Brady or Kurt Warner.
High praise for the underrated quarterback as Davis and Favre are the only two quarterbacks to start an NFL game from Southern Miss. I won’t go that far, but Davis has looked good in each of his start as he is also auditioning for next season as the Rams’ starting quarterback. After facing Seattle, Davis now travels to Arrow Head stadium to take a stingy 2nd-ranked Kansas City Chiefs defense.
If Davis can pull off a win on the road against the Chiefs defense, Favre might be on to something.
Eddie P’s Philosophical Take
Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals
The 5-1 Philadelphia Eagles fly into the desert for an aerial matchup versus the 5-1 Arizona Cardinals.
This writer has lauded the Cards as a legitimate playoff contender. The Cards are not overly superior in one facet of the game, but Bruce Arians’ team wins. Sure, Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald are a force, but Arizona is ranked 21st in passing yards.
Chip Kelly’s Eagles also win. Unlike the Cardinals, however, Philly has a high-octane offense. The Eagles are ranked 7th in the passing game. This will be the deciding factor in this matchup. The Eagles will be too much for the red birds to overcome.
Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints
Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. These two quarterbacks going back and forth at each other should be reason enough for you to tune in to this game.
The Saints are amongst the league’s worst defending the pass, but they are ranked 11th against the run. The Packers are top 10 in pass defense, but that is due to their league’s worst run defense. Whichever offense is able to pick apart the opposing team’s weakness will win.
The Packers defense showed a knack at getting after the quarterback last week versus the Panthers. Julius Peppers & Co. will look to continue causing havoc for opposing QBs. Aaron Rodgers will air out the ball. I like the Packers on the road.
Words From Wooten
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals
With AJ Green’s status still in the air, I’m going to assume that he isn’t playing this Sunday. Even if he was playing, I still don’t think the Bengals would beat the Ravens. The Ravens have been on a hot streak since they travelled to Tampa Bay and almost shut them out. All in all, this won’t be a pretty one for Andy Dalton. Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumerveil and Haloti Ngata all have a knack for getting to the quarterback.
New Orleans Saints @ Pittsburgh Steelers
I’m not sold on the Saints defense. They do nothing when they are on the road. It is as if they don’t exist because they have yet to get a win on the road this season.
On the other hand, Roethlisberger loves how Antonio Brown can create space and get open. He uses his route running ability and speed to his advantage. With Le’Veon Bell back, we will see the Steelers running game improve against a struggling Saints defense.