Steve Believes: Week 8, 2018 NFL Season

  • Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans. After a big overtime win over the Chicago Bears in Week 6, the Dolphins experienced a major letdown last week against the recently resurgent Detroit Lions. As for the Texans, they are one of the hottest teams right now, as they have won four in a row following their 0-3 start. The Texans are 7-1 all-time against the Dolphins. Look for them to make it 8-1, along with getting their fifth win in a row.
  • Philadelphia Eagles vs. Jacksonville Jaguars. The Super Bowl champs and the AFC runner-up meet across the pond in a game that they both need to keep pace in their respective divisions. The Jaguars have been badly outplayed during their last three games, which have all been losses. However, I think that they respond in a big way to get back to .500 heading into their bye week. Jaguars for the win.
  • New York Jets vs. Chicago Bears. After getting back to .500 in Week 6 with a win against the Indianapolis Colts, the Jets got knocked down back to Earth via a 20-point loss against the Minnesota Vikings. As for the Bears, coming out of the bye hasn’t been their friend, as they have lost their past two. Four weeks ago, I would have convincingly given this one to the Monsters Of The Midway. But since their best player (Khalil Mack) has a very bad ankle injury, I’ve pumped the breaks on such an anointment. I still like the Bears in this one, but just barely.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Cincinnati Bengals. After failing to complete the comeback in Week 6 against the Atlanta Falcons, the Buccaneers overcame a blown 14-point lead against the Cleveland Browns, by winning in overtime. As for the Bengals, they were embarrassed by the Kansas City Chiefs in primetime. Look for the Bengals to play much better this week, and look for Andy Dalton to exploit a porous Tampa Bay secondary that gives up a lot of big plays. I like the Bengals in this one.
  • Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions. The pleasantly surprisingly Seahawks are coming off their bye week, following the beatdown that they put on the Oakland Raiders back in Week 6. As for the Lions, they administered a beatdown of their own, by taking it to the Dolphins in South Beach. The Lions have looked very improved since that embarrassing Week 1 loss against the Jets. However, I look for the Seahawks to come out of their bye week fresh, and getting over .500 for the first time this season.
  • Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs. Both of these AFC West rivals are coming off 45-10 victories, with the Broncos taking it to the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football, while the Chiefs took it out on the Bengals on Sunday night. A win gets the Broncos to .500, along with avenging their Week 4 loss against these very Chiefs. It’ll be close, but I see Patrick Mahomes leading the Chiefs to a game-ending field goal for their seventh win of the season.
  • Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants. After seven weeks, it’s the Redskins who have sole possession of the NFC East, with their head-to-head win last week against the Dallas Cowboys, along with the Eagles losing against the Carolina Panthers. As for the Giants, their comeback bid against the Falcons was a matter of too little, too late. The Giants can be an unlikely ally for both the Cowboys and Eagles, by beating the Redskins to allow both of those teams to get within striking distance of the NFC East lead. And I think that will happen, as I have the Giants pulling the upset.
  • Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns have been in all but one game this season and could easily be 6-1 right now. As for the Steelers, they took it to the Falcons in Week 5 and won towards the end against the Bengals in Week 6. The Browns are due for a road win eventually, but it ain’t happening this week at Heinz Field.
  • Baltimore Ravens vs. Carolina Panthers. Two teams with top defensive units and timely offensive units square off in what could be a preview of Super Bowl 53. The Ravens have been baffling of late, as they lost against the Browns in overtime in Week 5 and couldn’t lock down a 17-7 lead against the Saints last week. They lost that game, 24-23. The Panthers erased a 17-0 lead for the first time in franchise history, as they beat the Eagles on the road, 21-17. Now they return to the fortress known as Bank Of America Stadium to build on that huge road win. Including the playoffs, the Panthers are 22-6 (see Bloopers on www.artinfliction.biz) at home since 2015. However, I think it will be 22-7, because I don’t see the Panthers offense doing much against an angry and damn-near immovable object, known as the Ravens defense. So with that being said, I like the Ravens in this one.
  • Indianapolis Colts vs. Oakland Raiders. Last week, the Colts got their first home win in the Frank Reich era, as well as their first home win with Andrew Luck as the starting quarterback, the latter of which hasn’t happened since Week 17 of the 2016 season. As for the Raiders, it’s a toss-up between them and the Cardinals as the worst team in the league this season. The Raiders should be better coming off their bye week, but I see the Colts building off that big 37-5 win against the Buffalo Bills with another win this week.
  • Green Bay Packers vs. Los Angeles Rams. Prior to their bye week, the Packers had their hands full with a scrappy San Francisco 49ers team, as they needed the last play of the game to beat them. As for the Rams, they are a well-oiled machine, as they own the best record in the league at 7-0 and have the league’s sack leader in Aaron Donald. Will it be 8-0 or will Aaron Rodgers & Company pull off the upset? Logically, this could be a game in which the Rams lose. However, I don’t think the Packers have enough fire power to author the upset. So with that being said, I like the Rams to remain undefeated.
  • San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals. Two one-win teams face off in what is easily the least appealing game of the week. Plus, each team is coming off a loss in which they scored exactly 10 points, with the 49ers posting that number against the Rams, while the Cardinals posted it against the Broncos. The Cardinals are a total mess and the 49ers are less of a mess. So with that being said, I’ll take the 49ers.
  • New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings. The last time these two teams met, the Vikings won on the last play from scrimmage, as Stefon Diggs caught the 61-yard game-winner thrown by then-Vikings quarterback Case Keenum. That game is one that the Saints really want to avenge, and they attempt to do that at the same venue in which they lost at twice last season, with the other loss being Week 1 of last season. Will the third time be the charm for the Saints? I don’t think so, because their secondary will be exploited by both Diggs and NFL receiving yards leader Adam Thielen. Plus, the Vikings defense will be galvanized by the return of star defensive end Everson Griffen. Look for the Vikings to add to the Saints’ recent Minneapolis misery.
  • New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills. Opponents have picked apart the Patriots pass defense consistently and have picked off Tom Brady seven times so far this season, yet the Patriots are standing at 5-2. As for the Bills, they authored a big upset against the Vikings in Week 3 and authored a mini upset against the Tennessee Titans in Week 5. However, they are also coming off a 37-5 blowout loss against the Colts last week. And with all of that being said, which Bills team will we get this week? Probably better than last week, but still not good enough to beat the Patriots. So with that being said, I predict a Patriots win.