NFL Picks, Week 8: All Hail The Halfway Point

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 23: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks upfield to pass during their game against the Washington Redskins at Bank of America Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

At the halfway point, Cam Newton is dominating, the Dolphins and Colts are searching for dignity, the Eagles and Cowboys meet on Sunday Night, and Norv is still Norv. Get ready for Week 8 with picks and lines for all of Sunday's games.

We're back and it's Week 8. The halfway point. From here on out, things begin to get real. We'll have all kinds of "halfway coverage" next week, but for now I'm way behind and you just want to see the picks for this week, so let's just get right into it.

We went 8-5 last week, restoring a modicum of respect to this column, so let's see if we can keep the momentum going a week later. As usual, all picks are in BOLD.

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Miami at New York Giants (-11) ... You know, it sorta got lost in all the hoopla during America's collective orgasm over Tim Tebow beating the Dolphins last week. But man, Miami really couldn't have been any worse over the final quarter of that game. Between Tony Sparano's baffling decision to go for two when the Dolphins went up 13-0, the glaring holes in coverage down the middle of the field, the complete collapse on the most predictable two-point play in history when Tebow tied it up... Everything, man. it was really something.

Sparano's generally gotten a raw deal in Miami, but if there's one game that just screams "FIRE THIS MAN IMMEDIATELY" it was that one. Things just aren't working. The team's quit on him, the personnel doesn't make any sense, and it all just seems like lost cause. So yeah, it was probably for the best when Tony Sparano put his house on the market.

But this quote's still pretty depressing.

"When I moved into my house I had seven people [in the house]," he said. "My daughter just moved out two weeks ago to go to college in Texas. I have zero people. Nobody is upstairs."

Really, it's been a rough year. But I'm picking the Dolphins this weekend because the first rule of gambling in the parity era is that nothing makes any sense. So this feels like a close Miami loss.

Do it for Lonely Tony, boys!

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Arizona at Baltimore (-14) ... You know who doesn't get enough credit for being completely awful? If you said "Joe Flacco" you wouldn't be wrong, but the correct answer here is the 2011 Arizona Cardinals. What looks worse: the Cardinals giving Kevin Kolb a five-year, $64 million contract, or Larry Fitzgerald signing an 8-year contract with the Cardinals?

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Jacksonville at Houston (-11) ... Reminderr: Every single year, Jack Del Rio wins just enough random games against good teams (like Monday's Ravens game) to keep his job, and ensure another year of hopelessness in JAX.

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Indianapolis at Tennesse (-10) ... How bad does a team have to be for Vegas to make them 10-point underdogs to a team that lost by 34 points at home during the previous week?

I mean, COT DAMN.

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New Orleans at St. Louis (-15) ... Pretty incredible stat right here. 

Screen_shot_2011-10-28_at_11

Meanwhile, QBs rate 93 points higher throwing against St. Louis' cornerbacks, one whom is hurt this week when they play Drew Brees, who has a million weapons with the Saints. And Sam Bradford is still hurt for St. Louis, meaning the A.J. Feeley Experience lasts another week.

Here's to hoping the Cards win Friday night, otherwise this game could be seriously depressing for the city of St. Louis. "Sure we lost, but hey, now we get to focus on football!"

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Detroit at Denver (+3) ... But you know who's even worse than the Rams in pass coverage? The Denver Broncos! QBs have a 104.2 rating against them this year. And considering those QBs have been Jason Campbell, Andy Dalton, Matt Hasselbeck, Aaron Rodgers, The Artist Formerly Known As Phillip Rivers, and Matt Moore... This seems like an ideal week for Matt Stafford to bounce back.

Also, here's Tim Tebow being electrocuted.

Screen_shot_2011-10-28_at_11

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Minnesota at Carolina (-3) ... CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM CAM. #Analysis

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Washington at Buffalo (-7) ... Not givin' up on the Skins yet! (But we're close.)

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Cincinnati at Seattle (+1.5) ... Such a terrifying matchup. 80 percent of the time the Seahawks are 100 percent awful, but then occasionally they'll throw a curveball and look competent. Last week in Cleveland was some of the most depressing football in the history of the game. But at home against a Bengals team that's become so underrated they're now overrated? Feel like this is one of the weeks Seattle surprises people.

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Cleveland at San Francisco (-9.5) ... I don't know, it just feels so wrong to bet on Alex Smith to cover more than seven points. Even at home. Even against the Browns. He's still Alex Smith, right?

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New England at Pittsburgh (+2.5) ... Remember, most years, one of the teams from the past year's Super Bowl ends up crashing back to earth the following season. The Steelers have looked better lately, but the Green Bay Packers are not the team that's going to crash back to earth.

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Dallas at Philadelphia (-3) ... Jason Garrett and Tony Romo are the modern-day Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb, only Andy Reid's still coaching in Philadelphia, so this game's sort of like the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object, and it should be pretty great.

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San Diego at Kansas City (+4) ... Via Chargers beat writer Scott Blair:

"You're up by 11 points in the fourth quarter and you can't finish the game up? That shows what kind of team you are -- a team that can't finish and that's been San Diego the whole time."

That's former-Charger Antonio Cromartie talking. Ordinarily an ex-teammate saying that about his old team would cause a little controversy. Where's the respect, you know? But when Cromartie said it about the Chargers, everyone's just like, "Yep, pretty much." LONG LIVE NORV.

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OVERALL RECORD:  55-45-2

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