HOUSTON, October 27, 2016 — As the 2016 National Football League season comes close to the midpoint, can anybody stop the New England Patriots? Tom Brady is playing like a demon possessed. Rob Gronkowski is on pace to be the greatest tight end in NFL history.
Bill Belichick remains the Evil Hoodie mastermind. It is a good thing somebody beat them when Brady was suspended, because he now burning through the league like Achilles took down the Trojans.
Last year the Patriots began 10-0, but went 2-4 down the stretch and blew home field advantage because of a porous offensive line. If their beef in the trenches protecting Brady holds up, there is nobody to stop them.
The Denver Broncos are better with Trevor Siemian than Paxton Lynch, but their offense is still a bit out of sync. The Kansas City Chiefs will never win anything with Alex Smith dunking and dunking four-yard West Coast Offense passes. The Oakland Raiders have a real fearless gunslinger in Derek Carr but a terrible secondary. The Minnesota Vikings are winning with defense and special teams, but Mike Zimmer even called out his own offensive line for being soft.
The Arizona Cardinals already lost to New England at home when Jimmy Garoppolo started. The Dallas Cowboys are playing well but are led by guys with zero playoff experience. The Atlanta Falcons are underachieving on defense. The Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers are underachieving on offense.
The Brady-less Patriots lost to the Buffalo Bills 16-0. New England may win the rematch 73-0.
After seven week of the NFL 2016, everyone except the Patriots are a giant question mark. With that, here is the NFL 2016 Week 8 Preview and Bettor’s Guide, with point spreads provided by FootballLocks.com and all times Eastern.
Thursday, October 27, 2016, 8:30 p.m.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-3.5) — The worst football game is still better than baseball. This game puts that to the test. A pair of bad teams play. The Titans are at home and Blake Bortles has regressed. Titans win but fail to cover.
Sunday, October 30, 9:30 a.m.
Washington Redskins at Cincinnati Bengals (-3) in London — Both teams have taken steps backward from last year. The Bengals are underachieving this year while the Redskins overachieved last year. Go with the more talented team. Bengals cover.
Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers (-3) — Last year’s NFC Title game is now an afterthought. The Panthers are a mess, while the Cardinals seem to have corrected some of their problems. Upset special, Cardinals win outright.
Detroit Lions at Houston Texans (-2.5) — The Lions have quietly won three straight to get to 4-3 because Jim Caldwell does everything quietly. Matthew Stafford is playing well. Brock Osweiler is not. Upset special, Lions win outright.
Seattle Seahawks (-3) at New Orleans Saints — The Seahawks have the Legion of Boom and the Saints still have their pinball wizard quarterback Drew Brees. Seattle’s offense is not getting it done. Upset special, Saints win outright.
New England Patriots (-6.5) at Buffalo Bills — With Tom Brady suspended, Buffalo dominated. Expect Bill Belichick to unleash the gates of hell on Rex Ryan. The Bills will never get respect until they win a game like this. Not on this day, not after Buffalo’s choke last week. Patriots cover.
New York Jets (-3.5) at Cleveland Browns — Geno Smith is out injured and Ryan Fitzpatrick after last week’s win torched his own team from ownership on down. Hue Jackson will finally get the Browns their first win of the season. It’ really hard to trust a team playing a fourth string quarterback, but if ever a team could lose to the Browns, it’s the dysfunctional Jets. Upset special, Browns win outright.
Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1) — The oddsmakers made a curious decision on this one. The Raiders offense has been getting solid play from Derek Carr. The secondary is awful, but Tampa Bay’s offense is not potent enough to exploit it. Upset special, Raiders win outright.
Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5) at Indianapolis Colts — The Chiefs have the defense but the Colt have Andrew Luck. Alex Smith will not be able to dink and dunk if the Chiefs are trailing late. Even if the Chiefs are ahead, Luck has pulled rabbits out of the hat this year. At home, give Luck the nod, even against a very good defense. Upset special, Colts win outright.
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons (-3) — Both of these teams look great on paper but have been inconsistent. Atlanta blew a 17 point lead last week. Green Bay won last week, but that was at home against lowly Chicago. Give the Falcons one more chance at home to show they are for real. Falcons cover.
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (-5.5) — San Diego was in free fall until they beat Denver two weeks ago in San Diego. Now comes the reality check. Von Miller and the Denver defense will stop Philip Rivers when it counts. A healthy Trevor Siemian gives Denver a decisive advantage. Rivers may get a garbage touchdown to keep it close. Broncos win but fail to cover.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-4.5) — This game will be up against Game 5 of the World Series, which is bad news for baseball. Carson went and Dak Prescott are both rookie surprises, although Wentz has cooled off since his hot start. Despite beating previously unbeaten Minnesota at home, the Eagles have struggled on the road. Cowboys cover.
Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) at Chicago Bears — After being the last unbeaten team to fall, Mike Zimmer lit into his offensive line. Expect Minnesota to bounce back against a pathetic Chicago team playing its third string quarterback. Minnesota has been winning with defense and special teams, and Chicago has no offense. Vikings cover.