I went 3-2 last week, in Week 7, which brings my season record to 22-13. Four teams have a bye in Week 8: San Diego, Dallas, Atlanta, and Tennessee.
I’m going to stretch the boundaries of the rules in the “PodcastOne SportsNet Challenge” this week, and I’m going to pick a winner from the Monday night game. We’re told to only pick from the Sunday slate, but I’ve been seeing others in the competition — Shaquille O’Neal and Adam Carolla, to name a few — choose from the Thursday night game and the Monday night game when those games are easy picks. So it’s time for me to do the same, as the Patriots travel to Buffalo for Monday Night Football.
Here are my picks for Week 8:
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS over Denver Broncos
-The 6-1 Chiefs are a 10-point favorite in this one Sunday at 1 p.m. in Kansas City. These two teams have already played once this season, back in Week 4 in Denver, and the Chiefs were able to score two late touchdowns in the 4th quarter to win the game, 27-23. Patrick Mahomes threw for only one touchdown, but he also ran a TD in himself, and Kareem Hunt rushed for 121 yards with a touchdown of his own. Outside of the Chiefs’ loss to the Patriots, their Week 4 win over the Broncos was their toughest game so far this year. The 3-4 Broncos are coming off a win over the lowly Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night, so they’ll have extra time to prepare. But it won’t be enough to go into KC and leave with a win. The Chiefs had a nice bounce-back win over the Bengals on Sunday night, and officially sent a message to the rest of the league that they’re for real. Give me Kansas City to win at home.
CINCINNATI BENGALS over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
-The 4-3 Bengals are licking their wounds after back-to-back losses to Pittsburgh and Kansas City. They got whooped by the Chiefs, 45-10, on Sunday night, and return home to Cincinnati Sunday at 1 to host the 3-3 Buccaneers. Tampa Bay is coming off an overtime win over the Cleveland Browns, but the story with the Buccaneers is that they have the worst defense in football and their quarterback — Jameis Winston — is a turnover machine, having thrown six interceptions in the three games he’s played in this season. The Bengals have the firepower to bounce back from getting embarrassed the week before, so this could be nothing more than just bad timing for Tampa Bay. Cincy takes care of business at home as a 4.5-point favorite.
CHICAGO BEARS over New York Jets
-The 3-3 Bears are in a four-team battle for first place in the NFC North, but they haven’t helped their own cause by losing their last two games against the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots. I expect Chicago to snap the losing skid against a 3-4 Jets team that’s coming off a los to the Vikings in Minnesota. New York just played three straight home games but allowed over 30 points in their last two. Now, the Jets go to Chicago Sunday at 1. Even though Khalil Mack is playing injured, this is a highly winnable game for Chicago, and perhaps a must-win at home if they want to keep pace with the 4-2 Vikings, the 3-2-1 Packers, and the 3-3 Lions in their division. I believe they’ll do just that. I’ll take the Bears.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS over New York Giants
-I told you before the season that Washington would win the NFC East this year. People laughed at me. Well, the Redskins are now 4-2 and in sole possession of first place in the division. Washington has won two straight and is coming off a huge win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7. Now, they’ll travel to MetLife Sunday at 1 to take on a 1-6 Giants team that has lost four straight and is coming off a 23-20 loss to the Falcons in Atlanta on Monday night. The Giants are brutal. it’s as simple as that. Give me Washington on the road as a 1-point favorite.
LOCK OF THE WEEK: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS over Buffalo Bills
-The 5-2 Patriots opened as a 13-point favorite in Buffalo on Monday night. I expect that to go up by the time we get to kickoff. But it’s a little extra time for the Pats to prepare for a struggling 2-5 Bills team that’ll be starting veteran backup quarterback Derek Anderson for the second-straight week because of an injury to Josh Allen. The Bills got crushed by the Indianapolis Colts last week, 37-5, and now they might even be without LeSean McCoy, who is in concussion protocol at the time that I write this. Meanwhile, the Patriots have won four straight, and have once again established themselves as one of the best teams in the NFL. It’s laughable to think they would lose this game.