Week 8 Matchup Predictions
Buccaneers @ Vikings: Since their bye in Week 5, the Bucs have averaged 488 yards of offense per game. However, those games were against the Chiefs and Saints, and the Bucs will have a much tougher time handling the Vikings' top-10 defense. Adrian Peterson looked a whole lot like the pre-surgery Adrian Peterson against the Cardinals top-10 defense last Sunday, and if he's in peak form he'll be a massive headache for every team he faces. Christian Ponder has proven he can take advantage of a bad pass secondary, and the Bucs' defense is ranked 31st in that category. To top it off, the Vikings are at home in the Metrodome.
Vikings win 27-17.
Panthers @ Bears: While the Bears' defense has proven to be a vexatious force, their offense has also proven they can get wins in a number of ways - slinging it all over the field to put up points in a shootout, or simply controlling the ball to edge out the opponent in a low scoring game. The Panthers are arguably the league's biggest disappointment at 1-5, and they'll be hard pressed to find an elusive victory in Chicago against one of the league's top teams. With Jon Beason placed on the injured reserve for the Panthers, and Jay Cutler (ribs) set to resume practicing on Thursday for the Bears, I don't see the Panthers pulling this one off.
Bears win 30-17.
Chargers @ Browns: The Chargers are coming out of their bye on a two game losing streak, with their most recent loss being a massive blown lead to the Broncos. Philip Rivers is capable of being much safer with the ball than he was in that Broncos game (six turnovers), and he won't feel any pressure to make risky plays against a Browns team that can't generate much in the way of offense. Trent Richardson will either be out for the Browns or be playing through a troublesome rib injury. The Chargers are ranked 6th in the league in takeaways, which is bad news for rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, who leads the league in interceptions.
Chargers win 24-10.
Seahawks @ Lions: The Lions could barely get on the scoreboard against the top ranked Bears' scoring defense, and this week they'll face the Seahawks' 3rd ranked scoring defense. After a long week of rest, the Seahawks will be ready to get extremely physical with this turnover-prone Lions team that struggles to run the ball. I still think the Lions will be playing much better by the end of the season, but they will have a tough time getting their offense to click against a very disruptive Seahawks' defensive unit.
Seahawks win 19-13.