HOUSTON, October 22, 2014 — Brock Osweiler is only 510 touchdown passes behind Peyton Manning, who is only 90 touchdown passes from 600. Manning will have to work very hard to top Brett Favre’s interceptions record, while Derek Carr is a thoroughly talented quarterback playing for a thoroughly talentless team. DeMarco Murray has Cowboys fans remembering Emmitt Smith and Ryan’s Hope used to be a soap opera in the 1980s that got canceled.
Now it is a football soap opera as Buddy Ryan’s hope is that sons Rex and Rob do not get canceled. Every NFL game is theatre, so with that let’s get to the NFL 2014 Week 8 Preview and Bettor’s Guide, with point spreads provided by FootballLocks.com and all times Eastern.
Thursday, October 23, 2014, 8:30 p.m.
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (-7.5) — Peyton Manning will not allow his team to have letdown after he made history last week, especially at home. However, Philip Rivers in a shootout could make this game close and San Diego did beat Denver in Denver last year. Broncos win but fail to cover
Sunday, October 26, 9:30 a.m.
Detroit Lions (-4) at Atlanta Falcons in London — The Lions were supposed to have a great offense, but they have been winning with hard-nosed defense. The Falcons seem to have fixed none of the problems from last year and are winless away from home. Lions cover
Minnesota Vikings at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) — NFL rules require this game be played. Both teams have looked awful in stretches, so take the home team by default. Buccaneers cover
Chicago Bears at New England Patriots (-6.5) — The Bears are a mess and the Patriots are now clicking on all cylinders. Chicago can put up points, but Jay Cutler sometimes throws touchdown passes to both teams. Patriots cover
St. Louis Rams at Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) — The Rams beat the defending champions last week with one of the gutsiest calls in the last five years. They just do not have the firepower to keep up with Kansas City, unless the Rams are challenging the Royals to a football game. Chiefs cover
Seattle Seahawks (-4.5) at Carolina Panthers — Carolina was expected to regress, but the Seahawks are only 3-3. Both teams are desperate, making for a defensive slog. Give the edge to the champions until proven otherwise. Seahawks win but fail to cover.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (-3) — Geno Smith played great last week, but the Jets still lost. Kyle Orton had a miserable, ugly game, but pulled out the win. That is what winners do. The 1-6 Jets are fighting hard for Rex Ryan and this game is winnable. Orton somehow just gets it done. Upset special, Bills win outright.
Miami Dolphins (-5.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars — The Jaguars finally got their first win of the year against a decent Cleveland team. Miami stunned Chicago on the road, but this could be the game that gets Jacksonville out of the cellar. Upset special, Jaguars win outright
Houston Texans (-1) at Tennessee Titans — The Texans gave up 24 points in three minutes last week, self-destructing in every possible way not involving a butt-fumble. Tennessee is just awful, allowing for Houston’s talent to make the difference. Texans cover
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5) — When a pair of average, underachieving teams meet, go with the home team by default. Neither squad has shown much ability to do anything outside of their own stadium. Bengals cover
Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) — Both of these teams are for real. They have high-powered offenses and solid coaches. For the first time since the Greatest Show in the Desert 2008 team, the home fans truly believe. They should. Cardinals cover
Indianapolis Colts (-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers — While the Steelers showed resiliency in overcoming a 13-0 deficit last week, it was more about their opponent self-destructing. That will not happen with Andrew Luck and his offense. Colts cover
Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns (-7) — Cleveland went from winning at home by 21 to losing to a previously winless Jacksonville team by 18. However, Oakland is still winless for good reason. Derek Carr is talented, but the Dawg Pound will be frothing at the mouth as the defense chases him like he is a fresh t-bone. Browns win but fail to cover
Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints (-1.5) — It is desperation time for the 2-4 Saints as Drew Brees was shockingly the goat last week. Aaron Rodgers is playing phenomenal, but the Saints will save their season. Saints cover
Monday, October 27, 8:30 p.m.
Washington at Dallas Cowboys (-9.5) — Washington did show some spark under third string quarterback Colt McCoy, but 6-1 Dallas is not pathetic Tennessee. Keanu Reeves did lead the Washington Sentinels to a win over Dallas, but this is real life. The upset of the year will occur somewhere, but not in this game. Cowboys cover