When is the last time a league was this lopsided? The top seven teams could be in the AFC, and it’s not even close. The Steelers, Ravens, Patriots, Jets, Colts, Titans, and Texans have all been great this year, and no NFC team wants to stand out at all. The Cowboys and Vikings have won three games combined, the Giants, Saints, and Falcons are too inconsistent, and no one is worth talking about in the West.
At this point, when an AFC team goes up against an NFC team, its a good bet to go with the AFC. An average team playing in the tougher conference could very well be one of the top teams in the weak NFC. Do you want free money? Take the AFC over the NFC in the Super Bowl; the spread is under three points still!
Here are my Week 8 NFC picks; home teams in CAPS.
Dolphins (+2.5) over BENGALS
Since when have the Bengals been good? The Dolphins have been road warriors, and they’re sneaking under the nation’s radar because they’re not fancy. They pound the ball, play tough defense, and have a conservative pass game. I like the Dolphins straight up, so the points are just gravy at this point. Mmmmmm….gravy….like a Bojangles’ Lock o’ the Week!
COWBOYS (-6.5) over Jaguars
How popular are the Cowboys? More people are going to watch the 1-5 Cowboys with a second string, 38-year old quarterback who hasn’t started since he went 0-16 with the Lions two years ago go up against the most deadbeat team in the NFL over the Rangers, who are in their first World Series.
Redskins (+2.5) over LIONS
You do realize the Lions are 1-5, right? They can keep it close with great teams and beat up on the Rams of the world, but they’re not going to beat the ‘Skins.
Bills (+7.5) over CHIEFS
I’m ready to jump off the Chiefs’ bandwagon. There’s nothing wrong with Matt Cassel, but there’s nothing right with him either. Dwayne Bowe is too inconsistent for my taste, and there aren’t many blue chippers on defense. With Buffalo’s suddenly more-than-competent pass game, I’ll take Buffalo to cover, not necessarily to win.
Panthers (+3.5) over RAMS
Every rookie hits a wall some time, and this is it for Sam Bradford. Sure, the Panthers don’t look like a tough matchup, but they’ve actually been great on defense this season. Seventh overall in defense and fourth in pass defense, the Panthers have greatly benefited from top-notch years from Jon Beason, Charles Godfrey, and James Anderson. Carolina has momentum on their side; so I see them getting a not-so-tough road win to help keep their season barely alive.
JETS (-6.5) over Packers
The Packers could not have imagined a worse start in their worst dreams. First, All Pro Ryan Grant went down with an ankle injury, then Jermichael Finley. Aaron Rodgers leads the NFL in interceptions, and they have a measly 4-3 record. Going to Jersey won’t help restart the year. Is this a reverse jinx? Maybe. Or maybe the Jets are this good. Or not.
Broncos (+0.5) over NINERS
Thank God we won’t have to see this terrible game. Have fun, London!
Titans (-3.5) over CHARGERS
Vince Young is back, and Kenny Britt has exploded into a very good receiver in the last few weeks. The Chargers are still missing Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd, and the Titans play a lot better defense, so I’ll take the team with that Chris Johnson guy.
Bucs (+3.5) over CARDINALS
The Bucs may not be a great team, but they sure can beat up on bad teams!
PATRIOTS (-5.5) over Vikings
Randy Moss gets an early return to New England, but Brett Favre won’t be at full strength. If anyone won’t be affected by potential legal trouble, however, it would have to be Favre. But in the end, the team in silver and blue has the Man named Brady and the Hoodie in this matchup.
RAIDERS (-2.5) over Seahawks
The Seahawks absolutely cannot win on the road. The Raiders aren’t great, but they’re coming off their best win since 1999. Darren McFadden runs exponentially better when he’s not frustrated, and the Seahawks will have trouble winning in the Black Hole.
Steelers (+0.5) over SAINTS
At this point, the Steelers are the best team in the NFL. The Saints, on the other hand, have been very disappointing this year, especially after losing to the Browns at home. Not only did they lose to the lowly Cleveland Browns, they also gave up a 68-yard run … to a punter! The Steelers are more physical, and they’re just a better team right now.
COLTS (-5.5) over Texans
Until we reach January, I am never going to bet against Peyton Manning in primetime.
Last Week: 6-8
Bojangles’ Lock o’ the Week: 4-2