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AFC Week 8 Preview

Athletes in Motion
Athletes in Motion
October 29, 2015
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AFC week 8 preview

Sports Analyst Tim CarrollTim is a freelance Sports Reporter with previous work in the Daily Vidette at Illinois State University.

Thursday 29 October, 2015

Miami Dolphins (3-3) at New England Patriots (6-0)


Every team in the AFC East made it known they wanted to come after the Patriots and threaten their stranglehold on the division title. But so far, it’s been all New England. Both Buffalo and New York gave New England all they could handle, but it wasn’t enough, and the Patriots never really even doubted themselves. Tom Brady is currently in a zone, and even when he’s been even a little inefficient, he’s always found ways for this team to pull away. The Patriots defense leaves you wanting more, but will they even need it in the regular season badly enough? The Dolphins have bounced back nicely after axing Joe Philbin, but I have a hard time believing they’ll pull a win out this week.

Prediction: New England 28, Miami 20.

Sunday 1 November, 2015

Detroit Lions (1-6) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (2-5) (In London)


It’s a battle of two teams who may be shooting for the top pick in the next draft! This is the treat we bring over to London to enjoy, the two worst teams in the NFL! Both of these teams have a lot of talent, and were hoping to compete for the playoffs this season, but at this point, they’d both have to go on phenomenal runs that neither team appear to have. With that being said, the winner of this game will believing this is the turning point. I’d be more inclined to believe either team if it wasn't for up and coming teams in both divisions looking to make the playoffs as well. Expect a competitive football game, but it’ll leave you wanting more unless Jamaal Charles or Calvin Johnson have record-setting days.

Prediction: Detroit 24, Kansas City 19.

Arizona Cardinals (5-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-5)


The Browns have become a mess (again). They not only are a bad team, but now Manziel is being interviewed and investigated for domestic violence. Josh McCown is injured but may play anyway, and the Browns defense isn’t the pillar they thought they could hang their hat on. This has all the makings of a Cardinal blowout. Palmer for a few TDs and Chris Johnson looking the most like CJ2K he has since his 2000 yard season in 2009. And still without a real running game, the Browns will have added pressure on whatever quarterback plays, with the Cardinals pass-rushers pinning their ears back to hit the QB.

Prediction: Arizona 35, Cleveland 16.

San Diego Chargers (2-5) at Baltimore Ravens (1-6)


In another matchup of teams shooting for the top pick, the Chargers and Ravens hope to ride their quarterback to victory. Both teams were in a playoffs or bust type of mindset before the season, but it hasn’t panned out so far. Joe Flacco and Philip Rivers are the type of guys who can keep you in a lot of football games and keep things interesting, but overcoming teams with more talent is extremely difficult for them. Flacco’s Super Bowl run was incredible, but their aging defense turned back the clock and Flacco’s decision making may have peaked on that run. Rivers is capable of a similar run, but he’s never had the team around him all the way through. He’s either lacking a run game, 3rd down back, receivers, or something on the defensive end. Expect a close game, but one of these QBs to ultimately make a costly mistake.

Prediction: Baltimore 26, San Diego 24.


Cincinnati Bengals (6-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)


Rumor has it Ben Roethlisberger may indeed play this week. If that’s the case, expect a significant boost in offensive production for these guys. The Bengals are used to having a good defense; it’s been their calling-card the last few years with all these playoff trips. This time around though, the defense has been okay, but Andy Dalton is paying like an MVP candidate, and not to mention Giovani Bernard running wild. Long gone are the days when these teams would fight out 17-14 victories, the offenses lead the way now. Expect the team with the final possession to be in a great spot to win this game.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 31, Cincinnati 30.

New York Jets (4-2) at Oakland Raiders (3-3)


The Jets are the latest casualty of the Patriots eff-you quest. And the Raiders keep looking like they want to break through. Beating a team with a winning record would go a long way in proving to the critics that the Silver and Black is back. The Jets provide just that type of challenge. To be fair to Oakland, two of the teams they’ve lost to have yet to lose this season, so it’s hard to blame this team. And they’ve competed in every game this year with the exception of kickoff weekend. The Jets, meanwhile, are 4-2 with a solid offense to pair with their great defense, but something is going to smell fishy about this team all year until they finally clinch of playoff spot. No one will buy the Jets until their in, it’s just the way it’s gone ever since the Rex Ryan era started to go south.

Prediction: Oakland 24, New York 21.

Monday 2 November, 2015

Green Bay Packers (6-0) at Denver Broncos (6-0)


Aaron Rodgers leads his offense into the Mile-High city against the most talented defense in the NFL. Peyton Manning hopes to score enough points to keep his team competitive. Peyton Manning has been criticized all year, but now he faces his toughest test. The Packers defense has surrendered a league-low 16 points per game this season. After a week off, Peyton is truly going to have a chance to prove he can still do it at the highest level. Hopefully his defense can keep him in it. Despite the two quarterbacks though, this seems like it could be low-scoring all the way around, as I don’t think the Broncos could possibly get blown out. Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have his full repertoire of receiver, after all. I trust the Pack’s offense more, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a big win.

Prediction: Green Bay 21, Denver 17.

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