Gerry Dulac's NFL Forecast: Week 8

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Last week: 8-7 (.533)

Season record: 65-42 (.607)

THURSDAY

Carolina Panthers (3-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6), 8:25 p.m.

The Skinny: Professional football is not being well-represented in Florida, at least, not the northern part of the state. Tampa Bay is one of two winless teams remaining – Jacksonville is the other – and that might not change against the Panthers. Mike Glennon, who has replaced departed Josh Freeman as quarterback, should keep his eye on CB Captain Munnerlyn, who has four interception returns for touchdowns since 2010, including a 45-yarder last week.

Prediction: Panthers, 17-12

SUNDAY

Steelers (2-4) at Oakland Raiders (2-4), 4:05 p.m.

The Skinny: The Steelers have not fared well recently against bad Oakland teams, losing three of the past four meetings, including the past two in the dump that passes for the Raiders’ stadium. The Raiders, though, haven’t won a game following a bye week since 2002.

Prediction: Steelers, 23-13

Dallas Cowboys (4-3) at Detroit Lions (4-3), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: When these silver-and-blue teams met two years ago, the Cowboys and Tony Romo pulled one of their signature implosions, blowing a 24-point lead in the second half. But, since allowing 51 points to Denver, the Cowboys have yielded just 19 points the past two games.

Prediction: Lions, 24-21

San Francisco 49ers (5-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-7) in London, 1 p.m.

The Skinny: Pity the British. This is the second international game already this season at Wembley Stadium, and three of the four teams have been winless at the time. The latest entry is the Jaguars, who are bound to remain that way against the 49ers, who have won four in a row and scored 30+ points in all four.

Prediction: 49ers, 34-9

Cleveland Browns (3-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-0), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: How loud is Arrowhead Stadium? Two weeks ago, Chiefs fans broke the world record at an outdoor stadium when the noise level reached 137.5 decibels (a jet engine at 100 feet is 140 decibels). No wonder. KC is the first NFL team to start 7-0 after losing 14 games a year earlier.

Prediction: Chiefs, 27-16

Miami Dolphins (3-3) at New England Patriots (5-2), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: After starting the season with three consecutive victories, the Dolphins have lost three in a row, the latest a disconcerting home loss to the Bills. Now they will try to regroup at New England, where the Patriots have won 13 consecutive home games against division opponents.

Prediction: Patriots, 30-20

Buffalo Bills (3-4) at New Orleans Saints (5-1), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The Bills have become something of a pest, taking the Bengals to OT two weeks ago and winning in Miami last week. What’s more, they lead the AFC in rushing and have scored 20 or more points in every game this season. They will need that against the Saints.

Prediction: Saints, 38-24

New York Giants (1-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-4), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: Three weeks after the Eagles beat them the first time, the Giants will try to win their second game in a row after an 0-6 start. But, no matter who plays quarterback for the Eagles, whether Mike Vick or rookie Matt Barkley, the Giants won’t face anyone as abysmal as Minnesota’s Josh Freeman.

Prediction: Eagles, 23-20

New York Jets (4-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-2), 4:05 p.m.

The Skinny: The Bengals have had a couple near-misses the past two weeks against the Bills and Lions. The Jets have victories in Atlanta and against the Patriots in the past three games, thanks to Geno Smith, who is first player since 1970 merger to lead four game-winning drives in fourth quarter or overtime in his first seven games.

Prediction: Bengals, 27-23

Atlanta Falcons (2-4) at Arizona Cardinals (3-4), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: Judging from the way he was tortured by the Seahawks, Carson Palmer probably wishes the Cardinals never traded Levi Brown. The Falcons needed a victory, even if it was against the winless Buccaneers, but QB Matt Ryan needs to worry about the Cards’ pressure and his former teammate, John Abraham.

Prediction: Falcons, 24-23

Washington Redskins (2-4) at Denver Broncos (6-1), 4:25 p.m.

The Skinny: The Broncos keep piling up the points – an NFL-record 298 through seven games – and they will continue to do so against the Redskins, who continue to surrender points (xxx). One week after Peyton Manning returned to his old haunt, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan will do the same, returning to the city where he coached 14 years and won two Super Bowls.

Prediction: Broncos, 49-34

Green Bay Packers (4-2) at Minnesota Vikings (1-5), 8:30 p.m.

The Skinny: After watching Josh Freeman completed just 20 of 53 passes in his debut with the Vikings, Minnesota fans will be heartened to know that Christian Ponder, not Freeman (concussion), will start against Green Bay. The Packers are starting to look like their old selves, winning three of the past four to move back atop the NFC North.

Prediction: Packers, 30-20

MONDAY

Seattle Seahawks (6-1) at St. Louis Rams (3-4), 8:40 p.m.

The Skinny: It’s bad enough having to prepare for the Seahawks without quarterback Sam Bradford, who is injured and out for the season. But the Seahawks have had 10 days since their last game, a 34-22 victory in Arizona, giving RB Marshawn Lynch and their defense even more time to hone their nasty dispositions.

Prediction: Seahawks, 31-9


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