Week 8 picks

0 Comments 📁 Slider 🕔26.October 2014
Week 8 picks

Dolphins at Jaguars – under 43

Jacksonville’s defense has quietly solidified after allowing at least 33 points in each of the first four games. Since then, they’ve surrendered just 17 to the Steelers, 16 to the Titans and 6 to the Browns, with Pittsburgh and Cleveland qualifying as above-average offenses. The Jags have been especially stingy in the red zone, holding opponents to a 37-percent touchdown rate, which ranks just behind Baltimore (36.6 percent) for best in the NFL and well ahead of second-ranked Detroit (44.4). The Jaguars offense, conversely, has been awful all year, averaging a league-worst 15 points per game while averaging 4.8 yards per play (tied for last) and converting just 50 percent of their red zone chances into touchdowns (25th). Added up, it could be a long day against a Miami defense that ranks first in the league in yards per play (4.7) and yards per completion (9.3) while checking in at No. 3 overall according to Football Outsider’s defensive DVOA metric. It would take some sloppy ball control from both offenses for this game to be played in the 20s.

Jets (-3) vs. Bills

Seldom, if ever, will you see a 1-6 team laying points against a 4-3 team, but this the rare scenario. And as much as it would appear otherwise, the Jets are in a favorable situational spot. While they’ve lost six straight since opening the season with a win over Oakland, it was an absolutely brutal stretch: at Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit, at San Diego, Denver, at New England (combined record: 29-14). With the exception of a 31-0 loss to the Chargers, the Jets were in every game and had a legitimate chance to beat both the Packers and Patriots. So this is a case of a team’s record not being indicative of its performance on the field. The only question in this type of scenario is motivation. To that end, the Jets have two major things going for them. First, they have Rex Ryan’s back through and through, and will not roll over. Second, with the recent trade for Percy Harvin, management sent a clear message that nobody within the front office is throwing in the towel on 2014. That combination of factors should give way to a motivated team taking the field for what equates to their season, against a divisional rival no less. And that foe, Buffalo, is suddenly more banged up than its been all season after losing its top two running backs – C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson – in Sunday’s 17-16 win over the Vikings. That glaring void is going to put extra pressure on Kyle Orton, who has thrown three interceptions and lost two fumbles in three games. The Bills have also found little success at the Meadowlands recently, dropping their last four games, three of them by at least a touchdown.

Last week: 1-2
Overall: 7-14-2

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