One thing appears clear about the upcoming set of Sunday NFL games: The 4:00 pm and prime time contests could be stinkers. The same can be said about the Thursday night affair that features a winless side. I guess baseball does deserve the limelight this week.
2013 Week 8 NFL picks: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs lost me for good last week when they were unable to knock off an Atlanta side that limped into that contest. Tampa Bay is in need of drastic changes on and off the field. Cam Newton and company have made a living off of beating up on bad teams in 2013. The short week is not a reason to believe that trend is going away soon.
2013 Week 8 NFL picks: Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs
Cleveland head coach Rob Chudzinski had no choice but to go to Jason Campbell. Brandon Weeden just wasn't getting the job done. That aside, expecting Campbell, who doesn't have the world's quickest release, to survive against the league's top pass rush is unrealistic. This one could get ugly and quick.
2013 Week 8 NFL picks: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
They may be on life support, but the G-Men are not yet dead. Truth is that New York could be getting Philly at the right time. Nick Foles is sidelined with a concussion, and Michael Vick isn't likely to be 100 percent if he takes the field at all. Nobody should believe that the pass rush of the Giants turned a corner due to four solid quarters against a lousy opponent. Still, the Eagles are too unreliable at the moment, especially at home.
2013 Week 8 NFL picks: Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions
I'll say it. Dallas hasn't beaten anything resembling a good team in 2013. Their pass defense is also the third-worst in the NFL. Detroit's biggest concern, as has been the case multiple times this season, is the status of the knee of Calvin Johnson. Johnson has made impacts in games after not participating in Wednesday practice as was the case this week. I'm assuming he can do so again.
2013 Week 8 NFL picks: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
This isn't meant to be Miami's week. They dropped their third straight contest last Sunday, the latest being a home game against Buffalo when the Dolphins were coming off a Bye week. Add in that New England will be entering this contest with a chip on both shoulders following what occurred at MetLife Stadium, and you've got the makings for a blowout.
2013 Week 8 NFL picks: Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints
Go back and look at the games Buffalo has thus far played this season, and you'll see that the Bills have been in every contest. It's for that reason that I see the 13-point spread as being nearly absurd. New Orleans is, for my money, still the best team in the NFC, and that is why I'm going with the hosts. The Saints could be in for a shocker, though, if they aren't fully up for this one.