Oct 25, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) celebrates after running back Lamar Miller (not pictured) scors a touchdown against the Houston Texans during the first half at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Week 7 is in the books, and the NFL is getting more and more interesting. Many top teams are coming off byes, and the bad teams aren’t playing well. Despite this, a few teams who were originally thought of as bad are now righting ship and are back in the hunt. If you missed our weekly Power Rankings, check them out right here. With so many intriguing matchups, let’s get right into our Week 8 game-by-game predictions.
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Last Week’s Record: 10-4
Season Record: 69-36
Teams with byes: Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins
With that, let’s get into my first two predictions, namely the prediction for Thursday night’s matchup between the surging Dolphins and the NFL’s top team, the New England Patriots. In addition, let’s take a look at Sunday’s first game, a matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Kansas City Chiefs in London.
Oct 25, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with defensive end Chandler Jones (95) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) after throwing a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots won 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Miami Dolphins (3-3) at New England Patriots (6-0)
Thursday 10/29 at 8:25PM EST
The Patriots have been the NFL’s best team through seven weeks, landing atop our Power Rankings every week of the regular season. There’s no solution to stopping Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski on offense. In fact, New England is so confident in its passing attack that Brady led the team in both rushing attempts and yards in the Pats’ Week 7 victory over the New York Jets. The Dolphins may be playing well, but there’s no way I’m picking against the Patriots until they lose their first game.
Miami has played well since Dan Campbell has taken over as the team’s interim head coach, and who knows, maybe the Dolphins come out strong and win this game. But New England is the hottest team in the NFL; the last two times the Patriots have gotten off to a 6-0 start in the Brady era, they’ve made the Super Bowl. This team cannot be stopped on offense, and New England’s defense is almost just as strong as its offense.
The third London game of 2015 will pit the Detroit Lions up against the Kansas City Chiefs. Neither team has been performing particularly well, but the Chiefs are coming off a nice win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams have struggled on offense this season, and both the Lions and Chiefs have had their fare share of defensive woes as well. But the Chiefs’ defense is the best unit in this game, so Kansas City should be the favorite on Sunday morning.
Detroit Lions (1-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (2-5)
Sunday 11/1 at 9:30AM EST
Oct 25, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs free safety Eric Berry (29) celebrates with cornerback Marcus Peters (22) after intercepting a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won 23-13. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
The Chiefs haven’t been nearly as dreadful as their 2-5 record indicates, although they’re a drastically different team without Jamaal Charles taking handoffs. Jeremy Maclin could return to action after suffering a concussion two weeks ago; this could drastically help Kansas City’s miserable passing attack. Charcandrick West had a nice breakout game in Week 7, and against a putrid Lions run defense, he could do even more damage this week. While Calvin Johnson has been making some plays on offense for the Lions this season, Eric Berry has enjoyed a nice comeback season after suffering Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is playing like a Pro Bowler. He will be key in preventing any deep shots from the Lions’ offense.
Next: Sunday Afternoon Games, Part 1