Talbs & His Theories

Examining Week 8

In case you weren’t yet convinced, this year’s Patriots team is very good.

Thursday night’s victory over the Dolphins was the final push I needed — the Patriots will repeat as Super Bowl Champions and complete a 19-0 season.

Sure, I’m kidding — a little — but I can’t get over how good Tom Brady is. We should be used to it by now, but the man defies logic. He shouldn’t be this good at this age. Just look at Peyton Manning.

Hopefully you bet the Pats on Thursday night and got your week off to a strong start. Let’s examine the rest of Week 8.

Lions at Chiefs (-3.5)

Detroit may have changed offensive coordinators, but until their offensive line starts blocking they are going to continue to struggle. Charcandrick West went over 100 yards last week and has a solid matchup against the Lions this week. The Chiefs will need him. Look for Jeremy Maclin to get involved early after sitting out last week. Chiefs 24-17.

Vikings (-1) at Bears

Adrian Peterson remains the key for Minnesota, but Teddy Bridgwater and Stefon Diggs have something brewing. Chicago has played some competitive football of late and will be hungry coming out of the bye. Look for Alshon Jeffrey to have a big one after having the bye week to rest up. Bears 27-24.

Bucs at Falcons (-7)

If the Tampa defense couldn’t close out Kirk Cousins and the Redskins, what chance do they have against Matt Ryan and Julio Jones? The Atlanta offense may have struggled last week, but they will roll in the dome. Falcons 40-17.

Giants at Saints (-3)

I wrote New Orleans off after an 0-3 start, but now that they have won three-of-four it may be time to reconsider. The defense hasn’t been half bad this year, either. As for the Giants, the offense was putrid last week against Dallas. Look for Eli to bounce back. Giants 27-24.

49ers at Rams (-8)

Todd Gurley is really good and the Rams defense should harass Colin Kaepernick all afternoon. Kap struggled against the Rams back when the 49ers were good and he’ll struggle again this week. Rams 27-13.

Cardinals (-5.5) at Browns

Arizona has cooled off after starting the year on fire. Expect Chris Johnson to have a big game against the Browns’ struggling rush defense. Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel are both expected to see time under center for Cleveland. If you have two quarterbacks, you have none. Cardinals 31-17.

Bengals at Steelers (pk)

The Pittsburgh offense will be at full strength for the first time this season, but I’m not sure Ben Roethlisberger will be at 100-percent for this one. The Steelers might need a week to get their feet under them which should open the door for another Cincinnati victory. Bengals 24-17.

Chargers at Ravens (-3.5)

The San Diego defense has been terrible this year. So bad that even Joe Flacco is a good fantasy play this week. Look for Flacco to have a big game and the Ravens to win in a shooutout. Ravens 34-28.

Titans at Texans (-4.5)

Arian Foster is done for the year. When Foster has been sidelined in the past, the Texans have banked on their defense. That unit stinks this year. Expect Brian Hoyer to throw a ton of passes in this one. Marucs Mariota appears to be sidelined for another week. That should be all Houston needs. Texans 27-17.

Jets (-3) at Raiders

This will be the week we learn a lot about the Jets. If they respond from last week’s loss to the Patriots with a win, then we know they are a good football team. Jets 27-20.

Seahawks (-5) at Cowboys

Injuries have destroyed Dallas, but they keep fighting. The good news is Seattle is nearly as good as they have been in recent years. I’m expecting the Cowboys to make a game of it. Seahawks 20-17.

Packers (-3) at Broncos 

Denver is undefeated despite Peyton Manning’s struggles. His issues will be the topic of conversation on Monday morning. Packers 31-14.

Colts at Panthers (-7)

Indianapolis is a soft football team. Carolina is not. Look for the Panthers to hit the Colts in the mouth early and coast to victory. Panthers 30-17.

 Against the spread: 4-8 in Week 7; 51-48-3 on the season

Straight up: 6-6 in Week 8; 65-37 on the season

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