Saturday, October 29, 2011

NFL 2011: Week 8 - Almost Halfway

Week 8

Teams who have not had their bye week hit the halfway point in the 2011 season as the true competitors for the season continue to emerge. A week ago, the Baltimore Ravens were toasted as the top team in the AFC. They might still well be, but after an embarrassing loss where the team did not gain one first down until the second half raises concerns about the offense particularly the hobbled offensive line who assured a miserable game for QB Joe Flacco.  The NFC East presents an interesting picture as the expected leader, Philadelphia, has failed miserably and is just beginning to flex its muscle while the Redskins who surprised fans with their fast start have plunged into the mediocrity that embarrassed the team a year ago. The Dallas Cowboys never live up to the hype that follows them, while the Giants are squarely in the picture. Perhaps the most asked question is: Can anyone stop the Green Bay Packers?

The games:
Arizona @ Baltimore (-13)
The Ravens hopefully got their poor play out of their system and won’t be looking ahead to their trip to Pittsburgh as they should easily handle Arizona.

New Orleans (-13 ½) @ St. Louis
For St. Louis sports fans who are serious Rams fans, Sunday’s game will be a cruel end to their World Series’ celebration.

Jacksonville @ Houston (-9 ½)
This might be one to mark for an upset if Jacksonville gained confidence from Monday’s victory and Houston coughs up probable wins in the second half, but Houston should prevail in this divisional game.

Minnesota @ Carolina (-3 ½)
There’s not much to hope for in Minnesota as a bigger glimpse of Carolina’s future with rookie QB Cam Newton should provide much to cheer in Charlotte.

Indianapolis @ Tennessee (-8)
Okay, the Colts are missing superstar QB Peyton Manning, but their play in 2011 defies explanation. They are a true embarrassment.

Miami @ New York Giants (-9 ½)
Miami’s struggles will continue as the Giants should have little trouble winning one for the home fans.

Detroit (-3) @ Denver
After a brilliant start, the Lions now have a two game losing streak as they attempt to smash Tebow magic in Denver. Injuries are taking a toll.

Washington @ Buffalo (-4 ½)
Buffalo needs a win to live up to early season promise as the Washington QB situation can only yield disaster for the ‘Skins.

Cincinnati (-3) @ Seattle
The Bengals are beginning to work their way into playoff conversations given their record being right there with the mighty Ravens and Steelers. They should win in Seattle and could be in 2nd place if Pittsburgh loses to the Patriots.

New England (-3) @ Pittsburgh
If Pittsburgh is a championship team, they must prove it against the constantly improving Patriots. Pittsburgh’s season could hinge on their next two games meeting Baltimore at home next week. The Pats just look stronger.

Cleveland @ San Francisco (-9)
Playing Cleveland should be an easy payday for the 49er’s at home.

Dallas @ Philadelphia (-3)
If Dallas is so hot, prove it in Philadelphia. That probably won’t happen as the Eagles are putting things together though a far cry from the super team they were hyped to be in August.

San Diego (-3 ½) @ Kansas City
The Bolts need to play well to show themselves as a top tier team. Their strength is the weakness of their division.

Green Bay
New York Jets
Tampa Bay

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