October 27, 2013 in Sports

Week 8

Dan Caesar St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 

49ers vs. Jaguars

Kickoff: 10 a.m. at London

Records: San Francisco (5-2, 2-1 away), Jacksonville (0-7, 0-3 home)

Line: SF by 15; O/U: 40 1/2

Synopsis: San Francisco has won four in a row and scored more than 30 points in each, and now makes the cross-Atlantic trip to face the NFL’s worst team, which is 31st against the run. That’s a good sign for the 49ers, who love to keep the ball on the ground. Jacksonville starts quarterback Chad Henne for the third straight time.

Pick: 49ers 33-13

Cowboys at Lions

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Dallas (4-3, 1-2 away), Detroit (4-3, 2-1 home)

Line: DET by 3; O/U: 51

Synopsis: This should be an offensive show. Dallas’ Tony Romo and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford each have thrown 15 TD passes, tying San Diego’s Philip Rivers for No. 2 in the league - behind Peyton Manning’s 25. And these teams’ pass defenses are bad - the Lions rank 27th, the Cowboys are No. 29. So it could be a big day for the Lions’ Calvin Johnson and the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant. Both have six TD catches to lead NFC receivers.

Pick: Lions 33-27

Giants at Eagles

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: New York (1-6, 0-4 away), Philadelphia (3-4, 0-3 home)

Line: PHI by 5 1/2; O/U: 50 1/2

Synopsis: Philly has lost a team-record nine home games in a row, but hopes to have QB Michael Vick back from a hamstring injury that has KO’d him the last few weeks. If he can’t go, rookie Matt Barkley gets the call to face the NFL’s worst defense (412.7 yards per game allowed). NY is coming off its first win of the season, albeit via a woeful performance by Minnesota. Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy leads the NFL with 97.9 yards per game on the ground.

Pick: Eagles 30-24

Browns at Chiefs

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Cleveland (3-4, 1-2 away), Kansas City (7-0, 4-0 home)

Line: KC by 7 1/2; O/U: 39 1/2

Synopsis: KC is the NFL’s lone unbeaten team, but has played a weak schedule. That continues here as Cleveland is switching QBs, with journeyman Jason Campbell replacing the ineffective Brandon Weeden. Campbell started once for the Bears last year. The Chiefs allow just 11.6 points per game, tops in the NFL, lead the league in sacks (35) and have the fifth-rated “D” in terms of yards allowed.

Pick: Chiefs 23-13

Bills at Saints

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Buffalo (3-4, 1-2 away), New Orleans (5-1, 3-0 home)

Line: NO by 11; O/U: 49

Synopsis: Buffalo comes off an upset victory in Miami, now faces a team that is rested after its bye week. But Saints TE Jimmy Graham is slowed by a foot injury and even if he plays he probably will be less than full strength. NO’s high-powered attack (sixth in scoring and yards) gets all the attention, but the Saints’ defense has been impressive - fourth in points allowed and 11th in yardage permitted.

Pick: Saints 27-20

Dolphins at Patriots

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Miami (3-3, 2-1 away), New England (5-2, 3-0 home)

Line: NE by 6 1/2; O/U: 45 1/2

Synopsis: Pats TE Rob Gronkowski makes his second start this season after returning from injuries and should be more in sync with QB Tom Brady as NE tries to get its passing game that uncharacteristically ranks 20th in the league going. Helping is that key WR Danny Amendola (concussion) is back. Miami ranks only 27th in total offense, but faces a foe that is banged up on defense.

Pick: Patriots 24-17

Jets at Bengals

Kickoff: 1:05 p.m.

Records: New York (4-3, 1-2 away), Cincinnati (5-2, 3-0 home)

Line: CIN by 6; O/U: 41 1/2

Synopsis: Cincinnati has won three games in a row and now leads the AFC North by two games and QB Andy Dalton has thrown for 709 yards, six touchdowns with only one interception in the club’s last two games. But CIN still relies on its defense, which ranks No. 7 and faces inconsistent Jets rookie QB Geno Smith.

Pick: Bengals 23-17

Steelers at Raiders

Kickoff: 1:05 p.m.

Records: Pittsburgh (2-4, 1-2 away), Oakland (2-4, 2-1 home)

Line: PIT by 2 1/2; O/U: 40 1/2

Synopsis: Pittsburgh is finally back on track after its 0-4 start, having allowed an average of just 11 points in winning its last two games as the run defense has clamped down. That’s a good sign here, because Oakland has the No. 9 rushing attack and RB Darren McFadden is healthy after battling recent ailments. The Raiders have stepped up at home before and it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see a big effort here as the Steelers enter the “Black Hole.”

Pick: Raiders 20-16

Redskins at Broncos

Kickoff: 1:25 p.m.

Records: Washington (2-4, 1-2 away), Denver (6-1, 4-0 home)

Line: DEN by 12; O/U: 58 1/2

Synopsis: Redskins coach Mike Shanahan returns to his old stomping grounds and brings in the league’s 25th ranked defense in terms of yards allowed and is No. 30 in points given up, a terrible sign against Denver’s Peyton Manning-led attack that tops the league in scoring, passing and total offense. But the Broncos are last vs. the pass, so look for Redskins QB Robert Griffin III to be slinging the ball a lot as WASH’s ground game figures to be curtailed - Denver is No. 1 vs. the run, giving up just 77.1 yards per game.

Pick: Broncos 37-27

Falcons at Cardinals

Kickoff: 1:25 p.m.

Records: Atlanta (2-4, 0-2 away), Arizona (3-4, 2-1 home)

Line: ARI by 2 1/2; O/U: 45 1/2

Synopsis: Beat-up Atlanta hopes to have RB Steven Jackson back from a hamstring injury that has kept him out for four games. Key Cards WR Larry Fitzgerald has been slowed by a sore hamstring but should be able to face the Falcons’ 23rd-rated pass defense. Atlanta’s “D” will be trying to tee off on Cards QB Carson Palmer, who has been intercepted 11 times in his last five outings. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan leads the NFL’s third-rated aerial attack, but ARIZ is No. 7 vs. the pass.

Pick: Cards 23-20

Packers at Vikings

Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. (NBC)

Records: Green Bay (4-2, 1-2 away), Minnesota (1-5, 1-2 home)

Line: GB by 9; O/U: 47 1/2

Synopsis: GB still dealing with a beat-up receiving corps, so it is relying more on its ground game than usual. Eddie Lacy has run for 301 yards over his last three games, and the Aaron Rodgers-led attack will be facing the league’s 27th-ranked “D.” Meanwhile, the Vikings have been employing a QB carousel all season and formerly benched Christian Ponder is back at the helm. The Vikes will try to get RB Adrian Peterson on track after being held to a season-low 28 yards Monday by the Giants.

Pick: Packers 24-17


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