Whether it be for the sake of watching good football or to get an idea of playoff seeding down the road, here are the games you should watch in Week 8.
While many Arrowhead Addict readers are only here for Chiefs content, there will be a lot of football played on Sunday, which is not when Kansas City plays (they face the Giants on Monday Night Football). If you are an avid NFL fan, you watch much more than just the Chiefs game of the week. Whether it be a great matchup, or a game in which you’re hoping for an upset, football is football.
If you are one of those avid NFL fans, here are the (non-Chiefs) games that you should watch this week.
1. Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals – Thursday Night Football 7:20 pm CT
The Green Bay Packers are headed to Arizona to take on the undefeated Cardinals. The Packers are coming off of a 24-10 victory over the Washington Football Team in which Aaron Rodgers tossed three touchdowns for nearly 300 yards. While Arizona has been dominant this season on defense, they have not yet played a quarterback of Rodger’s ability.
To this point, the Cardinals have played Ryan Tannehill, Kirk Cousins, Trevor Lawrence, Matthew Stafford, Jimmy Garoppolo, Baker Mayfield, and Davis Mills. While a few quarterbacks on this list are nice players, they are not in the same tier as Aaron Rodgers. I would bet that the Cardinals will have their hands full with this offense and the game could come down to who has the ball last.
Kyler Murray has been electric and Green Bay is not likely to slow them down much. This one is a toss-up with high NFC stakes. It should be a really fun watch, especially for a Thursday night game.
PREDICTION: Green Bay Packers: 31 Arizona Cardinals: 28
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints – Sunday 3:25 pm CT
Tom Brady is immortal. We get it by now. He will throw 9000 touchdowns and for a million yards by the time he retires at the age of 75. Like many Chiefs fans, I am not a huge fan of Tom Brady. Any time that there is a chance that he may lose, it makes a game among the most intriguing of the week. This week, he heads to the Super Dome to take on Jameis Winston and the Saints.
While the Saints are not world-beaters, they are consistently one of the most well-coached teams in the NFL. The Saints have had a bizarre year in which they have lost to the Giants but have defeated the Packers. Typically, they are a team playing for playoff seeding. This year, they are playing for their playoff lives.
Desperation typically means good football. I would expect this one to be too close for comfort for the Bucs. Tampa’s defense is still not great and the Saints will not be able to stop Tom Brady’s passing attack. Look for this one to be high-scoring and down to the wire.
PREDICTION: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 41 New Orleans Saints: 37
3. Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns – Sunday 12:00 pm CT
Pittsburgh is desperate to claw its way to relevance in the AFC North. To accomplish this, they must beat the Cleveland Browns, who are ailing from injury. It is unclear at this point who will all play for Cleveland, but the injuries have been significant.
Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt are all nursing significant injuries. If Pittsburgh has any chance at the playoffs, they must defeat this football team. The pressure is on between these two rivals. It might get ugly and it might get overly physical. Either way, it will make for a great watching experience.
PREDICTION: Pittsburgh Steelers: 21 Cleveland Browns 16
4. New England Patriots @ Los Angeles Chargers – Sunday 3:05 pm CT
The Patriots may be underrated, but they will have a chance to prove their capabilities. Mac Jones and the Patriot offense have not produced as many points as they could have and the Los Angeles Chargers can’t stop anyone. While the Chargers lead the AFC West, it is no secret that they depend heavily on Justin Herbert to bail out their underwhelming defense. With Bill Belichick coming to town, bailing out the defense will not be so easy.
Los Angeles has a top-ten passing attack and is as explosive as any team in the NFL. Belichick does one thing better than any other coach; He makes you beat him without your best player. I would look for the Patriots to key on Austin Ekeler, who is the key cog in the Chargers offense.
Offensively, the Patriots have no problem running the football. Currently, the Chargers are allowing 5.4 yards per carry which is the worst in the league. This could be an upset waiting to happen, or it could be yet another impressive Charger victory. Either way, this one should get interesting.
5. Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings – Sunday Night Football 7:20 pm CT
Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth love to talk about the Cowboys. For non-Cowboys fans, this can get exhausting. That being said, this matchup should be at least a little intriguing. No one is quite sure how healthy Dak Prescott is and Ezekiel Elliot looks like he is back to his old ways.
Minnesota is coming off of an emotional overtime win against the Carolina Panthers and is looking to find sustainable success. By all accounts, Kirk Cousins is having a great year. This one should be intriguing for NFC playoff seeding.
Prediction: Dallas Cowboys: 31 Minnesota Vikings 24