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NFL WEEK 8 PICKS: PHILLY TAKES DOWN BUFFALO; NINERS SUFFER FIRST LOSS

Hate Clubs, Ghosts, Goat Cleats, and more. This is the NFL We Live In.

Deshaun Watson by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

NFL WEEK 8 PICKS: PHILLY TAKES DOWN BUFFALO; NINERS SUFFER FIRST LOSS


Estimated Reading Time: 12 Minutes

The Kirk Cousins Hate Club of America is at it again.

On Thursday night, the Vikings beat the the Redskins 19-9 in what was an absolute snoozer of a game. Kirk Cousins didn’t even play poorly at all, but leave it to the Kirk Cousins Hate Club of America to say otherwise. And by the way, this isn’t a made up club. I’m serious, this is a real thing:

Sorry buckaroo. Teddy isn’t coming back. And if he does leave the Saints, he ain’t coming over to your team; assuming you’re even a Vikings fan. Because that’s right folks, you can not even be a Vikings fan and still be part of the Kirk Cousins Hate Club of America (Ok, I threw the “of America” part in there myself).

Oh! How can YOU become a member of the Kirk Cousins Hate Club of America, you ask?! Well Sport, I must say…you came to the wrong place and asked the wrong person, because…I don’t hate Kirk Cousins. And quite frankly…I don’t give a f***. Ok, ya got that?! Aha! 🙂

Anyway, sorry I think I blacked out a bit there. So Cousins was nearly perfect throwing the football 23/26 passing for 285 yards. And all the Kirk Cousins haters said, “Well he didn’t throw a single touchdown pass, so he actually sucked….Cousins sucks!”

It’s Time for a Blind Resume

Ok. First of all…ugghhhhh I can’t believe I have to do one of these AGAIN, but here we go, I gotta do it:

Player A: 23/26 passing, 285 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 112.3 passer rating.

Player B: 12/21 passing, 151 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 59.8 passer rating.

So yeah, obviously Player A is Kirk Cousins against the Redskins on Thursday night. But Player B is Jimmy Garoppolo against the Redskins last week. But yeah, of course, no one ever rips on Jimmy G, do they?

Cousins is Not Elite, But He isn’t Bad

Secondly, Cousins was without his best receiver, Adam Thielen. And The 49ers didn’t even score in the first half of that game. No wonder they went out and traded for Emmanuel Sanders. Not sure how much of an impact Sanders is going to make catching passes from a QB such as Jimmy G (Ooooh that one stings the Cousins haters).

I don’t know how many times I have to defend this guy, but Kirk Cousins is a GOOD QUARTERBACK. Is he an elite quarterback? No. But you can’t say he’s a bad quarterback; I don’t know how one could say that.

I am on an island here, and even our very own Turf writers would probably call me crazy. But remember this: Once upon a time Kirk Cousins took a Jay Gruden-coached Redskins team to the playoffs with a 9-7 record. I don’t think the Redskins will ever go back to the playoffs for the rest of my lifetime. I’ll probably be dead from old age the next time they do it.

By the way, you know what’s really crazy? I am 7-1 on Thursday Night Football picks this season. I am on fire. The only Thursday Night game I have missed this year was Week 2 when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense decided to come out and show up as frequently as Punxatawny Phil comes out to see his shadow. And in case you don’t know how frequently that happens, it’s once a year folks…just once a year.

Anyway, I’m all fired up. Let’s get to the freaking picks…

Week 7 Picks: 11-3

Season Picks Record: 66-44

Seahawks at Falcons

I wasn’t going to pick the Falcons in this game, and quite frankly I don’t think I will in any more of their games this season.

You know you’ve hit rock bottom as a team when your fans start fantasizing about drafting Jalen Hurts to replace Matt Ryan at QB…

Now that Matt Ryan is out with a sprained ankle, this game could get real ugly, and the Seahawks haven’t lost on the road this season. I expect that to continue.

So what do you get when you have no Matt Ryan, the worst defense in football, and a head coach who is sitting on a seat as hot as Kirk Cousins’ past four weeks? You get a massacre. Seahawks win 38-20.

Eagles at Bills

The Eagles have been a hot mess lately, but I would say if they are going to turn their season around now is the time to do it. They face a very good Bills defense, but Buffalo is very limited offensively.

The Eagles’ secondary has been crap all year, but they catch a bit of a break facing a quarterback who is not very accurate and has 7 interceptions on the season.

If the Eagles want a shot at taking the NFC East division, this is a must-win game, and I think they will get it done. I just have a hard time believing that their season will go down the tubes by the hands of a quarterback who has 7 TDs and 7 Ints. I just don’t see it happening, and if it does, Philly has completely unraveled. Eagles win 24-20.

Chargers at Bears

This is a terrible matchup for the Chargers o-line. On one hand, I could see the Bears’ defensive line absolutely manhandling the Chargers o-line. But on the other hand, I just don’t trust Mitch Trubisky and this Bears offense. They are awful.

But I think I’m going to go with the better defense here. Bears will give Philip Rivers fits because his offensive line sucks. Chicago is also fighting to get above .500 and I think they will. Get ready for a low-scoring, sloppy affair. Bears win 17-14.

Giants at Lions

Every week in the NFL we always get that “What the Hell” kind of game. Where a team has no business winning the game, but they somehow do and we all just look at each other and say…”What the Hell?”

That’s this game.

Lions should probably win this game, but they won’t. Detroit has no running game at the moment after Kerryon Johnson’s injury, and the Giants have Saquon Barkley back healthy. The Lions’ defense has been terrible at stopping the run lately, so Barkely could run wild and have a big game.

The Lions also traded safety and team captain Quandre Diggs to the Seahawks earlier this week, and it seems like it didn’t really sit well in the locker room.

I think the Giants will establish a steady run-game, keep Stafford off the field, and catch the Lions defense on a down week. Give me the upset. Giants win 26-23.

Buccaneers at Titans

This is a tough game to pick because the Titans are probably one of the most unpredictable, confusing teams in the league. Every year they are the team I just cannot figure out.

Interestingly, the Bucs have been a much better team on the road, and so has Jameis Winston. Here are Winston’s numbers this season through three games on the road vs. three games at home:

Home: 57.8 completion percentage, 974 yards, 5 TDs, 9 INTs, 68.2 passer rating.

Away: 62.6 completion percentage, 797 yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT, 109.5 passer rating.

Maybe Tampa Bay should only start Jameis Winston for road games. Give me the road warrior to continue his (bizarre) success. Buccaneers win 23-20.

Broncos at Colts

Which Denver defense will show up this week? That is the big question. Meanwhiler, the Colts defense has been showing up lately, and I think that continues here.

After trading away Emmanuel Sanders to San Francisco, the Broncos are even more limited on offense. And when you trade your best receiver away in the middle of the season, it might as well be the equivalent of raising the white flag, and that’s what it feels like right now with Denver; unless your receiver is a crazy person like Antonio Brown, but I don’t get that from Sanders. John Elway is already looking ahead to the offseason. Colts win 20-13.

Bengals at Rams

Good Lord, this could get ugly. The Bengals were dreading this game at Los Angeles, and now the Rams have Jalen Ramsey which just rubs salt into the wound. And when I say wound, I mean it’s most likely going to be Andy Dalton’s wound.

But Andy Dalton could transform into Tom Brady this week and it still won’t even matter because the Bengals defense will blow up like a MacGyver episode. Cincinnati has allowed more than 25 points per game to the 49ers, Cardinals, and Jaguars. Do those sound like extraordinary offenses to you? Yeah, I don’t think so either. Rams could score 50 this week and it wouldn’t faze me at all. Rams win 42-14.

Cardinals at Saints

I thought to myself Teddy Bridgewater vs. Kyler Murray could be fun. But then I realized Drew Brees is returning to play in this game. At least that’s what Dianna Russini is saying, and I trust her:

With Brees coming back at home, this changes things a bit, and I am not sure if Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals defense is ready for this. Give me the Cardinals to hang around a bit, but I think New Orleans pulls away and the Saints keep rolling with Brees back in action. Saints win 30-20.

Jets at Jaguars

If the Jaguars played their home games in St. Augustine, Florida, the Jets would be in serious trouble. Because Sam Darnold has been seeing ghosts, he does not like ghosts, and St. Augustine is the most haunted place in Florida. But actually, St. Augustine is a wonderful place. I was there earlier this year – I recommend it if you have not been there.

Anyway, luckily for Darnold, Jacksonville is not as scary as St. Augustine. But we are approaching Halloween, the ghouls and goblins are about, and you can bet some of them will be wearing Jaguars uniforms. And just like the thundering sound of the galloping headless horseman on his horse, Leonard Fournette will come thundering into the end zone at least twice this game. Darnold will have a better game, but the Jaguars defense is still capable of spooking Darnold into a back-to-back Jets loss. Jaguars win 21-17.

Panthers at 49ers

This will be the best defense San Francisco plays yet this season. These are two really good defenses, and I still think the Niners may have the best defense in football right now. But they will be tested by Christian McCaffrey who is having an MVP-caliber season and has been the best running back in football this year.

I need to see Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners offense play a lot better in order for me to really believe in this 49ers team. Putting up just 9 points against the Redskins is really concerning for me.

I think this will be the game where the Niners will take their first loss of the season. Carolina takes it convincingly. Panthers win 27-14.

Browns at Patriots

Baker Mayfield has not had a good season, and he leads the NFL in interceptions thrown (11). Now he faces the best secondary in football.

Mayfield’s top two receivers aren’t helping Cleveland’s chances either. One practically wishes he was playing in New England and loves Tom Brady so much that he had cleats made of goat hair to give to him at the game. The other one basically guaranteed a win, and when you guarantee a win against the Patriots before playing them, that’s pretty much signing a death wish for you and your team. Meanwhile, we have Bill Belichick praising how good of a player Myles Garrett is.

That’s the difference between the Cleveland Browns and the New England Patriots. Patriots win 28-20.

Raiders at Texans

The Texans are a good team, and I still believe they will win their division. But if you’ve noticed, they have not fared well against good defenses.

Their three losses this season are against the Saints, Panthers, and Colts – three teams that have very good defenses. The Raiders defense this year has been surprisingly not bad, so they could give Houston a good run this week. But I wouldn’t necessarily say Oakland has a great defense.

This will be a close one. As a matter of fact, I think it will be so close that the game will go to overtime. But I like the Texans to survive the scare. Texans win in OT 27-24.

Packers at Chiefs (Sunday Night)

Patrick Mahomes will not be back for this game from his knee injury. Still, I think the Chiefs can play a tough game against the Packers on Sunday night. Aaron Rodgers has been brilliant, but I think the difference-maker in this game will be the run game. Green Bay has actually been running the ball quite well lately, and I think that will be huge here. Packers win 27-21.

Dolphins at Steelers (Monday Night)

Can the Dolphins finally win their first game of the season facing a third-string quarterback and a bad secondary on Monday night? They’ll come close…but I don’t think they’ll do it. The Steelers are coming off a bye week, and usually Mike Tomlin and the Steelers show up for primetime games. Pittsburgh has had extra time to prepare for the worst team in the NFL, but crazy things have happened; especially involving the Steelers, so you never know. But I like Pittsburgh to win at home Monday night and get to 3-4 on the season, which looks a lot better than 2-5. The defensive front will be what wins it for Pittsburgh. Steelers win 17-10.

Enjoy the games!

2019 NFL Draft Hats from New Era

Matt lives in Newnan, Georgia but was born and raised in Upstate New York. He is a fan of the New York Yankees, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Boston Celtics. At the collegiate level, he is a Notre Dame and Syracuse fan (yeah he can root for both, and what?!) He must, however, find a soccer team to root for. So please...help him out there. All suggestions are welcome. You can catch Matt on the Turf mostly covering NFL, NBA, MLB, College Football and Basketball, and Horse Racing (that is not a typo, he practically grew up on a racetrack). It's nothing personal...it's strictly sports.

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