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The Oratory's NFL Picks for Week 8
by John Canton (NFL)
Posted on October 30, 2009, 2:19 PM

John: Welcome to week eight of the Oratory's NFL Picks. I am John Canton joined as always by my fellow prognosticators James Deaux and Matt Henry. I went 8-5 last week, which I'm not proud of. I picked too many favorites. I always seem to do that. I probably will again. My thoughts are going to be much shorter than the norm this week due to being crazy busy and because nothing else really matters this week aside from my Rams at the Lions. Finally the game of the year is here!

James: No lengthy intro from me this week. Let’s just get to the picks, already!

Matt: When nearly half of the games on the schedule are divisional matchups, there is plenty of potential for upsets. I’m short on time this week so I’ll try to keep the mocking of the upsets to a minimum and focus on the competitive games.

Last week's results:
Matt 10-3
James 9-4
John 8-5

The standings for the season:
James 76-27 (.738)
Matt 68-35 (.660)
John 67-36 (.650)

The following teams have byes this week: Bengals, Chiefs, Patriots, Steelers, Buccaneers, Redskins

All game times are Eastern.

Houston at Buffalo 1:00 PM
James: Houston seems to be settling into a groove offensively and I can’t see any possible way that Buffalo stops them. Houston 31 – Buffalo 10

Matt: About half of the games this week are too close to call. It’s almost a blessing in disguise that I forgot to do Survivor last week and don’t have to pick from this group. This might be one of the toughest of the bunch. I can’t give much in the way of backing this up because it comes down to a coin toss. Gut says Texans, but Mr. Washington says Bills. Bills 24-21

John: I think Houston has found their groove, especially on offense. Matt Schaub is having the best year of his career, he's healthy and the guys around him like Andre 3000, Daniels and Slaton are making the plays to get the win. The Bills just don't have that although I can see the game being closer than most think. Texans 23-16

Cleveland at Chicago 1:00 PM
James: Chicago sure can look horrid in games. Cleveland, on the other hand, looks horrid in every game. The Bears have no excuse losing this game against the worst defense in the NFL. Chicago 34 – Cleveland 13

Matt: As poorly as the Bears have been playing recently, even they can’t manage to fail against the Browns, can they? Look for them to come out and make a statement against the hapless Browns. Bears 34-10

John: I'm not picking Cleveland. The Bears offense isn't as good as it needs to be to make the playoffs, but they're good enough to win this game. Bears 20-7

Seattle at Dallas 1:00 PM
James: Dallas got back on track by mauling the Falcons last week with vicious hits on both sides of the ball. If they keep up that intensity and brutality, they should easily beat a much worse Seattle team. Dallas 33 – Seattle 9

Matt: This pick has nothing to do with me being impressed by the Cowboys last week. It has everything to do with the state of the Seahawks these days. Cowboys 30-20

John: The Seahawks are too banged up to win a game like this. Losing Lofa Tatupu for the year is a huge loss for them. At home they might be able to pull it off, but they don't travel well. The Dallas passing game is surprising me. They're tough to stop right now. Cowboys 34-14

St. Louis at Detroit 1:00 PM
James: Wow. This could rival that Buffalo/Cleveland game from a few weeks ago for worst game of the year. St. Louis 24 – Detroit 21

Matt: Two teams that have got some major problems to overcome. At least the Lions have managed to win a game this year. Although the Lions are bad, the Rams are horrible. I have to stop, it is painful just writing about this mess. Lowest possible score I could come up with since I don’t think even these teams could manage to come up with negative points. Lions 3-0

John: Ah, the Showdown in Motown. Seventeen straight losses for my Rams. I'm so tired of it. And what game do they put just three days before my birthday? The Rams at the Lions. Come on football gods, you owe me one. I want a victory. Steven Jackson, the number three rusher in the NFL, is due for multiple scores after having zero in the first seven games. I can feel it. Please? Rams 27-20

San Francisco at Indianapolis 1:00 PM
James: Alex Smith sighting! Doesn’t really matter who is at QB for the 49ers because they’re playing in Indy. Indianapolis 30 – San Francisco 17

Matt: As much as I want to pick the 49ers in an upset here, it won’t be happening unless both of Manning’s arms fall off. The media will be talking about Farve as long as he keeps winning with the Vikings, but true fans know that Peyton Manning is the biggest difference making QB in the league right now. Colts 28-17

John: Peyton Manning's too good right now. I love watching him every week even in blowouts, which is what this game is going to be. Alex Smith had a nice showing last week. The Colts pass D is a different beast. It won't be that easy. Colts 33-10

Miami at NY Jets 1:00 PM
James: The Jets dismantled Oakland last week, but, I mean really—it was Oakland. This is a much better Dolphins team we’re talking about here. The loss of Leon Washington is going to hurt, despite the Jets seeking revenge for a few weeks ago. Dolphins win again. Miami 28 – New York 21

Matt: The Dolphins won a close one at home the last time these two faced. I expect a similar, home field close game again. Both teams continue to be very difficult to pick this year as it is almost impossible to guess which version of which team will show up each week. Jets 24-20

John: I'm still pissed about the Jets losing to the Dolphins earlier in the year in a Monday nighter because I could have won some serious coin in the Jets won. Now this week I probably won't bet on it and the Jets will win because that’s how the gambling gods are. How's that for logic? I like it. Jets 23-21

NY Giants at Philadelphia 1:00 PM
James: Very intriguing matchup here because these two teams are so similar. Neither of these two team’s defenses has been particularly impressive lately, but I think Philly can rise to the occasion here against their hated rivals at home. Philadelphia 24 – New York 21

Matt: Even odds going into this one, I’m guessing that if not for the unexplainable loss to the Raiders, this one would be Eagles by at least 3. The Giants have been looking quite flat since they’ve had to face some strong teams in the past few weeks. I’m most concerned about the Arizona loss if I’m a Giants fan because it seems that the Giants weak points have been exposed. A loss to the Eagles this week will put them in a very tough spot as they really only have two “should win”s left. Both Philly and Dallas have an easier second half of the season. The Giants need to start proving that they can win against stronger teams. Eagles 28-27

John: Fitting that there's a New York/Philly football game on the same day as game four of a New York/Philly World Series game. This feels like one of those games where everybody's going to pick the Eagles because the Giants have lost two straight in unimpressive fashion. Then when I think about the Eagles I remember they lost to the Raiders two weeks ago. That's enough of a reason to pick against somebody, I think. Plus, this year is all about going against popular opinion and that's what I'll do here. Giants 27-24

Denver at Baltimore 1:00 PM
James: When people were looking at this matchup before the season started, did anyone think Denver would have the superior defense? Baltimore doesn’t strike me as being as mediocre as their record, but I think Denver is too hot and a more complete team than Baltimore is right now. Denver 28 – Baltimore 20

Matt: Baltimore is favored here by what amounts to homefield advantage. To be completely honest, as much as I believe that the Ravens should be the better team here, the numbers just don’t add up to support that idea. If I bet on football, the Broncos would be starting to become very appealing to me. Despite being stacked up as the underdog every week, they still manage to win. Broncos 24-21

John: How many times have I been wrong picking against Denver this year? Three? Four? How about one more! Too much Ray Rice in this one. Plus, I still don't really believe in Denver. Ravens 23-17

Jacksonville at Tennessee 4:05 PM
James: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...... Future Hall of Famer Vince Young (*snicker*) will start this game, and I think they can get their first win in a close one. Tennessee 21 – Jacksonville 20

Matt: The Jags almost lost to the Rams, and got shut out by Seattle. On the positive side, they hung tough against the Colts, they rolled over the Texans, and have already soundly beaten the Titans once this year. Also in their favor, the fact that they are not the Titans. As for the Titans, at least their run game isn’t looking too bad, and the Jags aren’t going to embarrass them anywhere near the level that Pats and Colts have the past few games. The Titans are favored here, but I’d still consider this to be an upset if they won here. Could flip this score the either way. Jaguars 32-10

John: Vince Young at QB of a winless team and they're favored? Nice. Gives me a reason to pick an underdog. Thanks Vince. Jaguars 24-14

Oakland at San Diego 4:05 PM
James: For the sake of my fantasy team, I really hope Philip Rivers has a better game against the worthless Raiders than he did in Week 1. He should, and will, despite San Diego’s overall crappy play. San Diego 31 – Oakland 14

Matt: I don’t really have a reason to think that the Chargers are good enough to win many games this year, but when they have the Raiders who insist on continuing to start JaMarcus Russell, there isn’t much chance that even Norv Turner can foul things up that badly. I’m still confused as to how a team with two “should be” fantasy Allstars, can be running the ball so poorly. Unless the Broncos have a total breakdown in the second half of the season, neither team has a shot playoffs this year. Chargers 26-10

John: I really don't think the Chargers are that good, but I have strong faith in the Raiders being really bad. This is one of those "pick against the bad team" type games that is flooding the NFL this season due to so many bad teams being present. Chargers 27-6

Minnesota at Green Bay 4:15 PM
James: Did you know Brett Favre used to play for the Packers? I know, I know, I was shocked, too. Despite the collective load-blowing of every Internet sports website in existence, this will be a damn good football game. I think Minnesota gets the win, though maybe not quite as emphatically on defense as they did last time when they sacked Aaron Rodgers eight times. Minnesota 28 – Green Bay 25

Matt: Brett Favre used to be the QB of the Packers, and now he’s playing for a division rival, the Vikings. This will be his first appearance as a Viking in the stadium that he called home for so many years. I just had to throw that out there since I couldn’t be certain that people interested enough in football to read this have heard that little known fact. The Vikings won at home in week 4, and I think they are strong enough to do it again on the road. The Packers have proven their ability to contain Peterson, but they will also need to contain a future Hall of Fame QB motivated to make up for some key mistakes from last week if they hope to attain the upset win here. Vikings 24-17

John: Favre Bowl II. Sunday's the day where we turn back the clock an hour, so I have to make sure I go to sleep even later on Saturday night and wake up at exactly 1pm because I want to avoid all pregame shows. I can't take it anymore. The game should be great. In their first encounter the Vikes threw all over the Pack. I think the Pack have gotten better since then. They're learning a new defense and it can take time for a team to really thrive in it. I think the best player in the game is going to be Aaron Rodgers. While the Vikes sill post a great run D, their pass D is just average now. The Pack know that. They're going to throw all day on them and I think they'll do enough to get the victory. The atmosphere will be great too. Packers 27-20

Carolina at Arizona 4:15 PM
James: Jake Delhomme is having the worst year of his career, and now he has to face the defense that picked him off five times in the playoffs last year. This won’t be pretty if you’re a Panthers’ fan. Which QB do you think Carolina is going to choose in the 2010 Draft? Arizona 31 – Kitty Cats 6

Matt: Easy pick for the Cardinals this week. Delhomme is still the worst passer in the league right now, and I can’t even say except for Russell anymore. I can’t imagine that even the weak Cardinals pass D is going to be able to turn things around for him these days. Cardinals 27-6

John: After the Panthers laid an egg at home against a terrible Bills team last week I won't be picking them the rest of the way unless they play the Bucs again. The Cards were impressive last week. I think they will roll here. Cardinals 30-13

Atlanta at New Orleans 8:30 PM (Mon)
James: Atlanta is hurting way too much on defense to win this game. They’ve lost two key players in the secondary to the injured reserve in the last two weeks, in addition to not having 1st-round pick Peria Jerry since Week 2. Losing Heath Evans will hurt much more than people think, but Drew Brees is going to eviscerate the Falcons’ defense. Atlanta should put up plenty of points, too. New Orleans 42 – Atlanta 28

Matt: We all had the Falcons last week because the team they were facing had close wins over some lousy teams. I still think Atlanta has a strong team, I just don’t think they are able to play anywhere near the level of the Saints right now. Odds are that the Saints don’t really find themselves tested again until week 12 when the Patriots come to town. Saints 34-24

John: Too many things going the Saints way this year. They're healthy, the offense is performing at a 1999 Rams or 2007 Patriots type of pace and the defense is creating turnovers. Basically they're not costing the Saints any games because they're good enough to win. The Falcons aren't a very good road team yet, which is what they'll have to become if they want to pass the Saints this year. I don't see it happening. Saints 41-20

JC's Money Picks
John: Every week I'll pick four games against the spread or using the over/under. Let's review last week first. Saints/Dolphins OVER 47 (that was correct), Giants -7 over the Cards (nope), Pats -14½ over Bucs (yep) and Colts -13 over Rams (yep). That means I went 3-1 after a 0-3-1 week the one before that. That's a nice bounce back week. These odds come from pinnaclesports.com on Friday morning as I write this.

Season: 17-10-1 (.630)

COLTS -11½ over the Niners. Not enough points. They will roll.
Jags/Titans UNDER 45. I don't like either offense enough to think it'll go over although watch out for the defensive TDs.
CARDINALS -10 over the Panthers. Carolina hasn't recovered from their playoff loss against them.
Rams +4 over the LIONS. The Rams are due. Come on!

Thanks for reading. We'll see you next Friday for week nine.

Enjoy the games.

Contact James at xenomaster_17@yahoo.com
Contact Matt at Kane_matthews@hotmail.com
Contact John at oratoryjohn@gmail.com

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