The last of the four London games this season will take place in Week 8 right before the cold starts to take the iconic city in its grasp. For the first time ever, the Cleveland Browns will be making the trip out to London and will face the Minnesota Vikings. This game will continue the trend of sending offensively challenged teams to Europe with neither team confident in whoever their starting quarterback will be for this game.
Another intriguing matchup in this week will be the game between the Houston Texans and the Seattle Seahawks. Like Seattle, Houston has been trying to build its team around a solid defense, but is still searching for postseason success. The Texans think they may have finally found that piece in Deshaun Watson, but drafting quarterbacks is a crapshoot, especially in their rookie seasons.
Arrowhead will be rocking on Monday night football, when the Denver Broncos make the short trip to Kansas City. The Chiefs got the better of the Broncos in both meetings last season with Travis Kelce tearing up Denver’s defense. Kelce had 261 yards against Denver last year as the Broncos defense just couldn’t handle the playmaking tight end out of Cincinnati.
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If your favorite team isn't located in Santa Clara or Cleveland, you could probably at least make a gripe that your season is one that is still full of hope.
If your favorite team is located anywhere in the United States, you could probably talk yourself into this year still finishing in disaster, too.
Inevitably, there will be some teams who fit into both categories when this year is said and done with, but perhaps more than in most other years before it, this feels like a league full of teams that should finish between 7-9 and 9-7. The Patriots don't feel all that great, and even the 1-6 Giants don't feel quite that bad.
Case in point: New England is only laying a touchdown against the Chargers. These are the same Chargers that were once 0-4 and are suddenly 3-4. A few weeks ago, you would have pegged this game at New England -14. Now, L.A. seems like it could be live with the way that it's been playing.
Perception, though, is relative. Both the Bengals and Colts were disasters last week. One team allowed 29 points and could have easily conceded 49. The other had its quarterback sacked 10 times in a shutout loss. You wouldn't know which is which based on the fact that Cincinnati is laying a whopping 10 points in this duel.
Sunday is going to be a nervy day throughout the country. A Carolina team that has lost its way and just lost to a Chicago outfit that completed just four passes in victory is still good at 4-3, but it feels like it has more questions than answers heading into a game with 2-4 Tampa Bay. The Bucs should be better than this, but their season now hangs in the balance.
The same could be said for Oakland. The Raiders picked up a huge win over Kansas City last week, but the perception here still isn't great. Oakland looks disjointed and feels lucky to still be in the AFC West chase this season. The Raiders have a game against surprising 4-2 Buffalo in Orchard Park this week, and a loss in this one puts them back in the same situation they would have probably been in had they lost to the Chiefs.
As far as those Chiefs are concerned, they've got another brawl in front of them with Denver. The difference this week? The Broncos are fresh off of their first shutout defeat in 25 years and are playing with absolutely nil for confidence.
Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens - 8:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Opening Line: Ravens -3, O/U 38
Preview: It's hard to believe that the Miami Dolphins are right in the thick of the fight in the AFC East and in the AFC playoff picture. They've got four wins in a year that figured to be lost before it ever started when Ryan Tannehill went down with a season-ending injury, and they're going to have a real shot of going on the road and taking out the reeling Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football. Continue...
Minnesota Vikings vs. Cleveland Browns (London) - 9:30 a.m. ET (NFL Network)
Opening Line: Vikings -9.5, O/U 37.5
Preview: Hue Jackson has to wonder how much longer he's going to be the coach of the Cleveland Browns. He's guided them to just one win in a season and a half on the job, and things really feel like they're getting worse, not better.
With a trip to England in store on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, the question that should be asked isn't how much longer Jackson will have this job, rather how long he'll want to suffer in it. Continue...
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints - 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Opening Line: Saints -9, O/U 50
Preview: The New Orleans Saints entered last week’s game at Green Bay +4800 underdogs to win Super Bowl LII. After going into the Land of Cheese and coming out with the 26-17 win and cover as 3.5-point favorites, those odds are sure to get shorter. Backed by a sterling defensive effort, the Chicago Bears won back-to-back games for the first time in nearly two calendar years. But before you get ahead of yourselves, they did so with the offense gaining 153 yards of total offense. They’ll need at least double that just to cover this game! Continue...
Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets - 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Opening Line: Falcons -4.5, O/U 47
Preview: The Atlanta Falcons got some explaining to do. After laying an enormous egg in their revenge bout with the Patriots on Sunday Night Football, the defending NFC champs will look to turn the page in Gotham. Their Week 8 opponent will be a New York Jets team that bolted out to big leads each of the last two weeks, but ultimately went on to lose both times. This is a must have game for both sides, so a sterling effort from each is expected. Continue...
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Opening Line: Buccaneers -1, O/U 44
Preview: If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are to have any shot at challenging for the NFC South crown, they must turn their season around in Week 8 by coming up with a win against the division rival Carolina Panthers. Ron Rivera’s troops will no doubt invade Raymond James Stadium with fire in their eyes after looking nothing short of putrid in the first leg of this road trip at Chicago, but will it be enough to get the best of a Bucs squad that coughed one up in Buffalo? Continue...
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles - 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Opening Line: Eagles -13, O/U 47.5
Preview: Fresh off a handling of the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football, the NFC leading Philadelphia Eagles will be out to snag win No. 7 when they welcome the winless San Francisco 49ers into the Linc in Week 8. The Niners enter this tilt off getting blasted at home by the Dallas Cowboys, but Kyle Shanahan’s squad has been competitive in all four of its road games in going 3-1 against the spread with the lone defeat coming in overtime at Indianapolis. Continue...
Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills - 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Opening Line: Bills -3, O/U 44.5
Preview: All of a sudden, the Week 8 clash between the Buffalo Bills and the Oakland Raiders feels like one that could have tremendous playoff implications. The Bills are perhaps the quietest 4-2 team in the NFL this season, and they are set to be favored in each of their next four games. Can they put the Oakland Raiders down and improve to 5-2? Continue...
Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals - 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Opening Line: Bengals -10, O/U 41
Preview: Through a half of play, the Cincinnati Bengals looked like they were going to give the division rival Steelers a battle all the way through. Then the second half occurred. Marvin Lewis’ squad is badly in need of a bounceback effort in Week 8 to get off the mat. Thankfully, the Indianapolis Colts are next up on the docket and Chuck Pagano’s squad has dropped all three of its road games by the aggregate score of 128-49. If Cincy’s offense doesn’t go off in this spot, heads are going to roll! Continue...
Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots - 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Opening Line: Patriots -7.5, O/U 49
Preview: Fresh off cutting through the Atlanta Falcons like a hot knife through butter, the New England Patriots will now set their sights upon a Los Angeles Chargers outfit that will be looking to pull to .500 overall after taking down three straight opponents. This Week 8 matchup between Philip Rivers and Tom Brady is certainly one to watch with each very capable of turning this game into a shootout. Both defenses will have something to say about that however. Continue...
Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks - 4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)
Opening Line: Seahawks -6, O/U 43
Preview: The reenergized offense of the Houston Texans is going to face a stiff challenge on Sunday when they travel to CenturyLink Field to tango with the Seattle Seahawks in front of the “12th Man.” Bill O’Brien’s squad enters off its bye having won two of its last three games, while Pete Carroll’s troops seem to have rediscovered their swagger. Get your popcorn ready for what looks to be one of the more interesting matchups of the Week 8 slate. Continue...
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins - 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX)
Opening Line: Cowboys -2.5, O/U 50.5
Preview: The Dallas Cowboys took all their pent up frustration out on the hapless 49ers last week after going into their bye week off two straight home defeats to the Rams and Packers. Jason Garrett will hope his squad has more left in the tank for the second leg of their current road trip which takes them to the nation’s capital where the salty Washington Redskins await. Dallas swept the season rivalry last season for the first time since 2013. Continue...
Pittsburgh Steelers at Detroit Lions - 8:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
Opening Line: Steelers -3, O/U 44.5
Preview: It’s back to the road for the Pittsburgh Steelers who’ve bounced back from an ugly home defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars by taking care of both Kansas City and Cincinnati to get out to a comfy two-game lead atop the AFC North standings. Losers in three of their last four, the Detroit Lions enter Week 8 off a bye looking to get back on track with the NFC North now up for grabs after Aaron Rodgers went down with a season-ending injury. This week’s edition of Sunday Night Football should play out to a white knuckled brawl! Continue...
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs - 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Opening Line: Chiefs -7, O/U 44.5
Preview: Two games clear of all AFC West opposition, the Kansas City Chiefs will take the field on Monday Night Football looking to put an end to a two-game losing streak after falling to the Steelers and Raiders the last couple weeks. The Denver Broncos have been flat-out awful since returning from their Week 5 bye falling at home to the New York Giants as gargantuan home favorites, and following it up with a less than inspiring effort in getting shutout by the Chargers. This is a huge game with both sides looking to get back on track. Continue...
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