Here’s The 2015 Week 8 NFL Thursday Night & Survivor Pick
Enjoy tonight’s football game on CBS, it’s last of its Thursday night schedule. It actually matches two teams with .500 records or better. After tonight the games move to NFL Network for the rest of the year. Then you get exciting match-ups like Bengals vs. Browns, Titans vs. Jaguars, and Buccaneers vs. Rams. Per usual the NFL mails in their Thursday night games for the extra paycheck once they leave CBS. I’ll still watch because I’m a junkie and the baseball playoffs will be over, but man it’s not something I’m looking forward to. I guess if they all turn out to be as watchable as the second half of the Bills vs. Jaguars dumpster fire in London then we’re all winners.
Survivor Pick of the Week:
CAROLINA over Indianapolis
Carolina just keeps winning games and they show no signs of letting up. Cam Newton and the defense have been carrying the team for seven weeks and they show no signs of letting up. Indianapolis comes to town this weekend with all sorts of problems. Andrew Luck still looks a little off after returning from injury and it doesn’t help that his offensive line is a sieve. Now he gets to go against the second ranked passing defense according to Football Outsiders DVOA. The other side of the ball hasn’t been faring much better allowing 122.7 rushing yards per game. That should be something Carolina capitalizes on since they’re the #1 ranked rush offense according to DVOA.
It’s best to avoid divisional games in survivor, but there are a couple staring you in the face if you so choose. San Francisco has not fared well offensively when facing a stout defense and that’s exactly what they’ll be up against this weekend in St. Louis. San Francisco defense also has fared far worse on the road so look for Todd Gurley to run wild again on Sunday. You may have already used Atlanta in survivor pools because of their hot start, but you could do worse than taking them against the Bucs this Sunday. Tampa Bay’s defense gives up 29.8 points a game so the Falcons should be able to get back in track offensively. And as we’ll get to below, New England should be able to dispose of Miami, but you may want to save New England for another game this season because they’re the best team in the league.
Thursday Night Pick:
Miami +8 over NEW ENGLAND
Times have changed down in Miami. It’s amazing what happens when a competent head coach enters the equation and his players don’t hate him. Dan Campbell has injected life into the Dolphins since taking over the job as head coach. He’s committed to running the ball with one of the league’s best backs. The defense has also changed although that’s also a product of a new coordinator.
But here’s the catch: Miami’s strong performances have come against Tennessee and Houston. Those teams have combined for three wins so far this season. The Patriots are obviously a quite different beast. Consider that the Patriots haven’t scored less than 23 in any game this season and that was last week against one of the league’s best defenses. We’ll truly find out how much Miami’s defense has improved. New England should be even more successful if a banged up Brent Grimes can’t give it his best in pass coverage.
With a total of 50.5, this game is expected to be a shootout. The question comes down to whether or not Miami can keep up. New England’s defense has been ok this year, but not great. They’re 11th overall in defensive DVOA with rankings of 11th against the pass and 21st the rush. Miami will have to run the ball heavily to stay in this game. The question is whether or not they get away from the run if they get down by double digits early in the game. It’ll be a true test of Dan Campbell’s resolve.
Look closely at New England’s results and they’re not necessarily blowing teams away. The only teams they blew out were Jacksonville with a second year quarterback and Dallas with Brandon Weeden. Ryan Tannehill has struggled historically against Bill Bellichick’s defenses in his six games against the Patriots. He’s completed only 57.2% of his passes with a 8:6 touchdown to interception ratio. But that was all under Joe Philbin and without all these offensive weapons. It’s a tough number at 8 points because a late score has the Dolphins covering the number like the Jets did last week. I’ll take the points for that reason.
J.Camm’s Pick: New England (Pats haven’t covered in last two games and I’m expecting that to change at home against what is still a very shitty football team.)
Last Week: 6-7-1