NFL Week 8 open thread

posted at 11:30 am on October 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Last week the Pittsburgh Steelers put together a solid game on the road against the Arizona Cardinals with a dominating 32-20 victory, but this week the job gets a lot tougher.  New England comes to Heinz Field, bringing a 5-1 record, the first big test of the Steelers since they got blown out by the Baltimore Ravens.  So far, the line has the Patriots by three over the Steelers, but the Pats aren’t invulnerable, and the Steelers have begun to show their 2010 form.  I’m sure you won’t be surprised that I’m picking the Steelers at home in a squeaker, 20-17, but I’ll admit this is a pretty bold upset pick.

Unfortunately, I only went 3-3 last week, so I’m 27-15 for the season.  Let’s see if I can’t do better:

  • Vikings at Panthers — The Vikes put together a credible effort against the Packers at home last week but still fell short. Today they go on the road to face Cam Newton and the Panthers.  The Vikes have yet to win a road game, and Newton is having an impressive season even while the Panthers mainly flop.  Carolina will pull this one out in the second half, 27-20.
  • Lions at Broncos — Tim Tebow turned a game around late last week and won a comeback against the winless Dolphins in his first start.  I don’t think the Lions are going to give Tebow that kind of opportunity, not after losing two games in a row.  Lions over Broncos, 31-17.
  • Redskins at Bills — This should be another good game for fans, with two teams that are showing some promise after years of futility, the game will be important for both.  The home team usually wins in these situations, and given the QB instability and injuries for Washington, the Bills should prevail, 28-24.
  • Cowboys at Eagles — In contrast, these are two teams that are seriously underperforming and don’t appear to be improving at all.  The Cowboys are 1-2 on the road, but Philly is 0-2 at home.  In a town that booed Santa Claus, that’s a dangerous place to be.  I’ll pick the Eagles to win out of sheer self-preservation, but it won’t be easy at 35-31.
  • Chargers at Chiefs — After looking as though they might go o-16, the Chiefs finally woke up and started playing football, winning their last three games.  San Diego has lost two of their three road games.  I still think the Chargers will find a way to win and break KC’s winning streak, 31-27.

 

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May I just bask, for a minute, in the afterglow of the Iowa State -Texas Tech game yesterday? Ah,..thnak you. That’s all I needed.

a capella on October 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM

It’s not easy to be a Redskins fan.

Cindy Munford on October 30, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Steelers 49 – Enemy 3

Bishop on October 30, 2011 at 11:46 AM

cindy, its not been easy being a Skins fans in years. At least Snyder (yeah, go ahead & boo) & Bruce Allen are Republicans

kelley in virginia on October 30, 2011 at 11:47 AM

As long as the Saints beat the Rams, I don’t care what happens in these games.

Laura Curtis on October 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM

The “4th ranked” 49ers should beat the Cleveland Browns by at least ten points today at home. If the Steelers do get by/humble the Patriots, watch the ESPN folks run them right into the #2 slot, (more east coast sports media bias imo), right behind the Packers.

Which brings me to this question: Why are the Saints ranked higher than the Niners?

ESPN NFL Power Rankings

So, 5-2 New Orleans, looses to Tampa Bay 26-20, and beats the hapless Colts, and this some how moves them into the #3 spot in the power-rankings ahead of San Francisco?

Let’s see, a 5-1 SF team that beats Philly and an undefeated Lions team ON THE ROAD, and defeated, no slaughtered the Tampa Bay team (that BEAT NEW ORLEANS) 48-3, and ESPN thinks New Orleans should rank above the 49ers????

Me thinks there might be a serious flaw in your system.

C’mon Saints Fans—–show me the logic.

Rovin on October 30, 2011 at 12:03 PM

If we had logic, we wouldn’t be Saints fans. Sure, we had that amazing season, Superbowl, etc. But before then – Saints fans stuck with our team during decades of losing seasons. Loyalty, yes – logic, no.

Laura Curtis on October 30, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Meanwhile, the best team in football* is resting comfortably during the bye at 7-0.
Stillers 2010 form MIGHT be good enough for 2nd place – again.

* The 13 time World Champion Green Bay Packers

HammerNH on October 30, 2011 at 12:08 PM

kelley in virginia on October 30, 2011 at 11:47 AM

At least I can find a radio station to stream Sonny & Sam, for a few laughs.

Cindy Munford on October 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM

I just heard an amazing thing on local sports talk radio about the New Orleans–St. Louis game. The Saints scored more points last week than the Rams have scored ALL SEASON!

radjah shelduck on October 30, 2011 at 12:16 PM

The Lions are going 14-2!

But Ed picked the Lions, so they have to overcome his curse as well. Bad Ed!

NotCoach on October 30, 2011 at 12:17 PM

J.E.T….. oh wait bye week, dang.

NY Conservative on October 30, 2011 at 12:32 PM

The Lions are going 14-2!

But Ed picked the Lions, so they have to overcome his curse as well. Bad Ed!

NotCoach on October 30, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Nooo, good Ed for not mentioning the “J” team…on a bye anyway. Stillers I gotta root for…pound the cheatriots into da ground.

JetBoy on October 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM

J.E.T….. oh wait bye week, dang.

NY Conservative on October 30, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Yeah, and Gang Green doesn’t normally do well after a bye. Something to look forward to.

JetBoy on October 30, 2011 at 12:36 PM

pound the cheatriots into da ground.

JetBoy on October 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Me likey.

hillbillyjim on October 30, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Meanwhile, NASCAR in Martinsville should be interesting.

hillbillyjim on October 30, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Go Pats, Go Bengals.

(even though it pains me to root for new england… it simply must be done today)

knob on October 30, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Lets go Dolphins!! Suck For Luck!!

JP1986UM on October 30, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Lets go Dolphins!! Suck For Luck!!

JP1986UM on October 30, 2011 at 1:03 PM

You poor, poor thing…Me likey.

hillbillyjim on October 30, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Me likey.

hillbillyjim on October 30, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Me too…it would certainly brighten my Sunday!

JetBoy on October 30, 2011 at 1:05 PM

The Lions are going 14-2!

But Ed picked the Lions, so they have to overcome his curse as well. Bad Ed!

NotCoach on October 30, 2011 at 12:17 PM

..14 and 2? Are they playing the 49ers again?

(Just funnin’ ya. I will be rooting for them as well.)

The War Planner on October 30, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Oops…another JetBoy Quote Fail there…

JetBoy on October 30, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Dolphins just took over on downs!

Tim_CA on October 30, 2011 at 1:11 PM

C’mon Saints Fans—–show me the logic.

Rovin on October 30, 2011 at 12:03 PM

I think it’s because New Orleans has a real quarterback, and the 49ers are limping along with Alex Smith.

Saints are putting up the most points in the league (34.1), almost a touchdown better than the 49ers (27.8). Also putting up an average of 160 more yards a game. Oh, the Frank Gore show??? Is that what you’ll counter with? The 49s only average 5 yards more rushing than the Saints. Passing, the Saints are ahead 170 yards a game.

The 49ers have a good run defense, but that’s about all they have on the Saints.

Good enough? ;-)

Abby Adams on October 30, 2011 at 1:14 PM

pound the cheatriots into da ground.

JetBoy on October 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Heh.

portlandon on October 30, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Anyone else sick of the way these games are commercialized? I’m watching the Giants/Dolphins game and they break after the NY field goal, come back for the kick off, go to another break with 17 seconds left in the quarter and i’m guessing they’ll run one play and more commercials. Making me sick!

Firmworm on October 30, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Patriots 31 Steelers 20

Broncos 24 Lions 17

Bengals 27 Seahawks 16

shanimal on October 30, 2011 at 1:49 PM

I’m watching the Giants/Dolphins game and they break after the NY field goal, come back for the kick off, go to another break with 17 seconds left in the quarter and i’m guessing they’ll run one play and more commercials. Making me sick!

Firmworm on October 30, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Moore just scrambled for a TD – you might want to run outside, wash the car and have a beer……then come back in and watch the extra point.

Tim_CA on October 30, 2011 at 1:52 PM

The “4th ranked” 49ers should beat the Cleveland Browns by at least ten points today at home. If the Steelers do get by/humble the Patriots, watch the ESPN folks run them right into the #2 slot, (more east coast sports media bias imo), right behind the Packers.

Which brings me to this question: Why are the Saints ranked higher than the Niners?

ESPN NFL Power Rankings

So, 5-2 New Orleans, looses to Tampa Bay 26-20, and beats the hapless Colts, and this some how moves them into the #3 spot in the power-rankings ahead of San Francisco?

Let’s see, a 5-1 SF team that beats Philly and an undefeated Lions team ON THE ROAD, and defeated, no slaughtered the Tampa Bay team (that BEAT NEW ORLEANS) 48-3, and ESPN thinks New Orleans should rank above the 49ers????

Me thinks there might be a serious flaw in your system.

C’mon Saints Fans—–show me the logic.

Rovin on October 30, 2011 at 12:03 PM

It is because ESPN still loves to use the “Saints are winning it for Katrina” mantra. That way they can point out how stupid Bush is.

cobrakai99 on October 30, 2011 at 1:55 PM

May I just bask, for a minute, in the afterglow of the Iowa State -Texas Tech game yesterday? Ah,..thnak you. That’s all I needed.

a capella on October 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Alright, quit hogging all ‘the “afterglow.”

Save some for the Buckeye fans. : )

My Nittany Lions won, but how well they deserved it might be called to question. Their mistakes on offense ALL SEASON are like the Energizer Rabbit.

listens2glenn on October 30, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Anyone else sick of the way these games are commercialized? I’m watching the Giants/Dolphins game and they break after the NY field goal, come back for the kick off, go to another break with 17 seconds left in the quarter and i’m guessing they’ll run one play and more commercials. Making me sick!

Firmworm on October 30, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Some guy on the radio refers to those as “obscene profit-center timeouts.”

listens2glenn on October 30, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Moore just scrambled for a TD – you might want to run outside, wash the car and have a beer……then come back in and watch the extra point.

Tim_CA on October 30, 2011 at 1:52 PM

: )

listens2glenn on October 30, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Arizona is pouring it on the Ravens. I thought they were supposed to be good. (17-3 at the moment)

Abby Adams on October 30, 2011 at 2:10 PM

CBS Halftime Report if you’ve got Miami vs. NYG.

Tim_CA on October 30, 2011 at 2:26 PM

ESPN NFL Power Rankings

So, 5-2 New Orleans, looses to Tampa Bay 26-20, and beats the hapless Colts, and this some how moves them into the #3 spot in the power-rankings ahead of San Francisco?

Let’s see, a 5-1 SF team that beats Philly and an undefeated Lions team ON THE ROAD, and defeated, no slaughtered the Tampa Bay team (that BEAT NEW ORLEANS) 48-3, and ESPN thinks New Orleans should rank above the 49ers????

Me thinks there might be a serious flaw in your system.

C’mon Saints Fans—–show me the logic.

Well, the Saints were in the Top 5 in the Power Rankings pretty much all season until they lost to Tampa Bay, then they dropped to 7 or so. BTW, Tampa Bay historically plays NO tough, no matter where the two teams are in the standings.

Any team that scores 62 points in 1 game is going to get into the Top 5, for 1 week at least!

Del Dolemonte on October 30, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Stillers I gotta root for…pound the cheatriots into da ground.

JetBoy on October 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Brady is 6-1 against the Steelers. Greg Bedard of the NY Times-owned Boston Glob discovered that in the six wins, Brady has 14 touchdowns and one interception. The last four games have included a 70.9 completion percentage, nine touchdowns, one pick, and a yards-per-attempt average of 8.79. Brady also has a 104.8 career passer rating versus Pittsburgh and a 67.8 completion percentage.

Del Dolemonte on October 30, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Hated to see Miami lose that!

Tim_CA on October 30, 2011 at 3:57 PM

I need to go buy a lottery ticket. My Gophers and the Vikings won in the same weekend!

That hasn’t happened in awhile :)

gophergirl on October 30, 2011 at 4:05 PM

The 49ers have a good run defense, but that’s about all they have on the Saints.

Good enough? ;-)

Abby Adams on October 30, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Abby, Abby, Abby……nice try

The Saints are definite leaders in the total offense category #1 and Brees leads in the passer ratings……

However…………

Team Rushing Offense (yards per game) SF 131.5 NO 126.1

Team Rushing Defense Statistics—SF #2 NO #24

Team Passing Defense—SF #20 NO #22

Total Defense—49ers #7 Saints #21

In fact, the 49ers lead the Saints in every defensive category except allowing 4th down conversions.

If you haven’t heard the phrase “defense wins playoffs and Superbowls”, let me say it.

Final thought: How’s the Saints doing against them 0-6 Rams????

Rovin on October 30, 2011 at 4:09 PM

As a Saints and Rams fan AND a St. Louis Cardinals fan, good job, everybody! IYKWIMAITYD. ;)

WHO DAT?!

Christien on October 30, 2011 at 4:49 PM

GO LIONS!

Tim_CA on October 30, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Live Feed – St. Louis “Cardi Gras” parade

Christien on October 30, 2011 at 5:22 PM

If you haven’t heard the phrase “defense wins playoffs and Superbowls”, let me say it.

Rovin on October 30, 2011 at 4:09 PM

The Saints didn’t beat the Colts in the Super Bowl with defense (though it helped seal the win), they won with offense, including running 26 offensive plays in the second quarter compared to 6 for the Colts.

As for the “Power Rankings”, if they were solely based on defensive stats, you would have a point. But they are also based on offensive stats.

I wouldn’t get too worked up about it, the ESPN “Power Ranking” is simply a poll of 5 people, mostly bloggers.

As for that Saints score, any time Brees is sacked 6 times and throws two picks, there’s a good chance the Saints will lose the game. Especially if said game is on the road. And all 3 of their losses this year have now been away from home.

Del Dolemonte on October 30, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Tim Tebow “saves America”? Dude, this guy is not an NFL quarterback, in any way, shape or form.

Jaibones on October 30, 2011 at 6:03 PM

It’s nice to see New York’s only football team doing so well!! :) :)

Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills!

athenanyc on October 30, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Tim Tebow “saves America”? Dude, this guy is not an NFL quarterback, in any way, shape or form.

Jaibones on October 30, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Drop back passing with no protection makes anyone look terrible. I think Denver’s offense is horrible in general. He would look a lot better on just about any other team.

GO LIONS!

NotCoach on October 30, 2011 at 6:36 PM

L I O N S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry Denver…..

turn out the lights…….

Tim_CA on October 30, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Deeeeetroit Rocks!!!

Cowboy football comin’ up!

Tim_CA on October 30, 2011 at 7:24 PM

The Lions are going 14-2!

NotCoach on October 30, 2011 at 7:28 PM

I did not get to post it earlier as it is part of my normal Sunday regimen but go Steelers!!

-

Tim Tebow “saves America”? Dude, this guy is not an NFL quarterback, in any way, shape or form.

Jaibones on October 30, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Why do you hater Chrixtians?

/

CW on October 30, 2011 at 7:41 PM

Redskins at Bills: the leaking, freaking Redskins couldn’t score even a field goal? Ø points? R U kidding me?

ExpressoBold on October 30, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Rovin on October 30, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Del Dolemonte on October 30, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Another interesting stat-between 1986 and 1996 the Saints were one of the best teams in the NFL record-wise, and were famous for their great defense-remember the “Dome Patrol”?

But in all those years they went to the playoffs 4 or 5 times and never won.

They deserved better of course, but the playing field road to the playoffs was stacked against them, as during that time they were ludicrously placed in the same NFC Division as the San Francisco 49ers.

Del Dolemonte on October 30, 2011 at 9:32 PM

Brady is 6-1 against the Steelers. Greg Bedard of the NY Times-owned Boston Glob discovered that in the six wins, Brady has 14 touchdowns and one interception. The last four games have included a 70.9 completion percentage, nine touchdowns, one pick, and a yards-per-attempt average of 8.79. Brady also has a 104.8 career passer rating versus Pittsburgh and a 67.8 completion percentage.

Del Dolemonte on October 30, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Not any more.

Ed Morrissey on October 30, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Nice to see Christian Ponder beat Cammy (Ain’t he dreamy?!) Cam. Second week in a row #1 Cammy ballhogs it and gets popped out of bounds right before the end zone. Props to Duck Jonathan Stewart for, once again, letting Cammy play #1 rusher…muwahahahaha. Too bad Dante Rosario isn’t still there, too.

As you can tell, I am enjoying Newton’s !EP!C! rookie season.

Christien on October 30, 2011 at 10:31 PM

The Pat’s media guide is rightly proud of Tom Brady. But he is behind some Rothlis guy in some categories. Just sayin.

http://archive.patriots.com/team/index.cfm?ac=playerbio&bio=566

And if the Cards are named after Catholic officials, why have birds on the unis?

I am just back from Philly. Some Texan bet me on a football game up in there. I concluded last week that the Eagles were now going to sober up and start playing.

Ye Eagles were 22 to 1 dogs for winning the SB. While GB was 2-7 before today. Unless someone in the NFC gets a defense, the Pack is a lock. The Cardinals D let a high school offense come from behind and beat them.

The Stillers are the TOP SEED in the AFC.

A Raisin fan called me a liar on that one. Maybe so. Look it up.

Raisins could go to the SB.

IlikedAUH2O on October 31, 2011 at 4:43 AM

Only thing funnier than the Saint’s choke in St Louis is these predictions that the Lions will go 14-2.
Don’t choke on your turkey when the Pack lays a holiday ASS whippin’ on you (twice).

HammerNH on October 31, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Brady is 6-1 against the Steelers. Greg Bedard of the NY Times-owned Boston Glob discovered that in the six wins, Brady has 14 touchdowns and one interception. The last four games have included a 70.9 completion percentage, nine touchdowns, one pick, and a yards-per-attempt average of 8.79. Brady also has a 104.8 career passer rating versus Pittsburgh and a 67.8 completion percentage.

Del Dolemonte on October 30, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Not any more.

Ed Morrissey on October 30, 2011 at 10:31 PM

And yet he still ended the game with a better QB rating then Ben.

And how about that Patriots D? Held the Steelers to only 3 points in the third quarter and 8 points in the 4th quarter.

Del Dolemonte on October 31, 2011 at 11:26 AM