NFL Week 8 game picks: Can the Saints get back to .500?

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Oct 25, 2015; London, United Kingdom; General view of Wembley Stadium during the opening kickoff of the NFL International Series game between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

8:30 am CT – Detroit (1-6) at Kansas City (2-5) [in London]

The NFL’s International Series received a major shot in the arm with last week’s Jaguars-Bill game. It started very one-sided, but ended up having a thrilling finish. I wish I could tell you we’ll have a repeat this week between the Lions and Chiefs, but the bottom line is that these two squads are struggling. The Lions made some personnel changes, most notably the firing of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. This one could be decent, but are you really expecting it?

Noon Games

Tampa Bay (2-4) at Atlanta (6-1)

Atlanta is trying to stay hot on Carolina’s tail for the NFC South division crown currently, and there’s little to no reason they shouldn’t be in the mix after playing against the Bucs. Tampa had last week’s game all but locked up against the Redskins, but completely squandered their lead. There’s not much hope for the Bucs this week.

Arizona (5-2) at Cleveland (2-5)

Josh McCown channeled his inner Gus Frerotte last week against the Rams. Why? Who in the hell knows. We’re now left to wonder if McCown will get the nod on Sunday, or if the Browns turn to the embattled Johnny Manziel. Either way, it won’t matter. The Cardinals showed up in a big way against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football, and it should carry over against the Dawg Pound.

San Francisco (2-5) at St. Louis (3-3)

Tempers are mounting, and the 49ers are just about to the point where they are boiling over. A report came out that offensive lineman Joe Staley and tight end Vernon Davis got into a heated altercation involving Colin Kaepernick in a player’s only meeting. That’s essentially where we are at. The 49ers are struggling, and maybe the Rams are just what the doctor ordered. However, Jeff Fisher’s squad has won two of their last three games, and their defense could realistically give Kaepernick fits all day.

November 28, 2011; New Orleans, LA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) gets hit by New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith (91) fumbling the ball during the third quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

NY Giants (4-3) at New Orleans (3-4)

The New Orleans Saints had themselves an October, finishing out 3-1. Things have come together for the black and gold, and they now face yet another real daunting challenge with the NFC East leading New York Giants coming to town. If you didn’t know, the G-Men haven’t won in New Orleans since 1993. Let’s hope this isn’t the game that the Saints decide not to show up, as they have back-to-back games in front of Who Dat Nation.

Minnesota (4-2) at Chicago (2-4)

The Bears have been relatively quiet this year, and that’s not because they are coming off of the bye. After a horrid 0-3 start, they’ve actually played up a level against some favored opponents. The loss to the Lions was a big punch in the gut, but that’s how divisional games tend to go. The Vikes have won three straight home contests against the Bears, and after last week’s 28-19 come from behind rally against the Lions, they stay in the hunt for a wild card this week.

San Diego (2-5) at Baltimore (1-6)

These have been two of the most disappointing teams in the league this season, but more so Baltimore. It’s not like the Ravens have been blown out in their respective games, but they just can’t manage to put anything in the win column. Bad breaks, lack of turnovers, and some bad breaks have this squad at the bottom of the barrel looking up. The Chargers find themselves in the middle of relocation talks while trying to focus on actual football. I don’t think this game will help their cause much, because Joe Flacco and company are better.

Cincinnati (6-0) at Pittsburgh (4-3)

The Bengals have had a week off to enjoy the luxury of a ball club that’s undefeated, but now have to put on their thinking caps against the Steelers. Why? Because Big Ben is likely back in the mix this week. Mike Vick and Landry Jones did enough to keep the Steelers respectable in Roethlisberger’s absence, and their offense is completely different with him at the helm. I think the Bengals are a good ball club, but the Steelers get the best of them this week.

Tennessee (1-5) at Houston (2-5)

For the second time this season, the Texans found themselves absolutely obliterated in the first half. At least the Titans held their own against the Falcons, and Zach Mettenberger was able to make it a game. In all fairness, this might be the most uninteresting game of the week.

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