Alrighty folks, it is already Week 8 in the NFL! Time flies when you’re having a blast, and there are certainly teams who look ready for more fun this weekend, starting with an NFC East divisional contest in MetLife.
Washington -2 at New York Giants
If their 1-6 record wasn’t enough, the Giants are officially in rebuild mode with the trades of Eli Apple and Damon “Snacks” Harrison. There could be more on the way as well. This offense just wrapped up playing one of the worst defenses in the NFL and could only muster up six points through about 55 minutes before scoring late and then adding a meaningless touchdown to wrap it up. Their defense, which was supposed to be their strong suit, hasn’t lived up to expectations and they got torched by Matt Ryan.
While Alex Smith is no Matt Ryan, if given time, he can make teams pay. Washington should allow for Smith to have plenty of time this week with their outstanding offensive line. They’ve only allowed 13 sacks, and the Giants can’t rush the passer. But even more important for Washington? No more Snacks in the middle of the defense. He’s a monster. For a Giants run defense that was already near the bottom, according to Football Outsiders, this will make it worse.
Flipping to the other side of the contest, we have the Washington defensive line, with all its weapons, up against a Giants OL with an immobile QB in Eli. Yes, the Giants have Saquon Barkley, who’s either rushing for a long gain or nothing, and Odell, but neither has been able to spark the offense for an entire game. Lastly, Washington is 4-2 and with the Eagles playing Jacksonville this week, a win for the Washington football team could put them up by two games in the NFC East. They will be highly motivated to win this game.
Give me the Minnesota Vikings in this Minneapolis Miracle rematch. The Saints won five in a row and are the darlings of the NFL. They deserve it. They are playing well. They’ve also beaten the Browns, who missed four field goals, and while impressively coming back from 17-7 against the Ravens, we all know how that game ended. They also won against an awful Giants team and a beat-up Falcons squad. And yes, you can only play the teams on your schedule.
Now, they head back on the road to face a Vikings team quietly playing some good ball.
The Vikings paid a huge amount of money for Kirk Cousins and he’s been worth every cent. He’s completing 70 percent of passes with a QB rating of 101. He’s got weapons to spread the ball around, and even without an excellent run game, he’s getting it done. His offensive line worries me, but I think they will be ok versus the Saints pass rush.
Finally, the Saints aren’t going to keep winning at this pace. This feels like a spot where they could run into a buzz saw.
The Lions are one of those teams everyone forgot because of their national TV embarrassment Week 1 against the New York Jets. The Jets then went to San Francisco and lost a close contest to 49ers with Jimmy Garoppolo. Since then, the Lions are 3-1 with wins against the Patriots, Packers and a 4-win Dolphins team last weekend. Their only loss in that stretch was a 2-point loss in Dallas.
After about five years of not being able to run the ball, the Lions can finally do it. On the flip side, they just traded for Damon Harrison to shore up the run defense to go along with their excellent pass defense.
And in comes Seattle, off a bye and sitting at 3-3 as well. What’s worrisome about putting money on this game is that I don’t know what Seattle team I’m going to get. They have been all over the place this season. It’s hard to get a read. That’s why I’m going with the team I know is playing well in the Lions, especially as short home favorites.