As soon as Monday Night Football finishes, thousands of NFL fans eagerly await the next week of action. The regular-season fixtures are starting to get more intense as the playoffs get closer and closer. Each game starts to matter more and most teams are in that mid-season form they will likely carry on through to the end of the campaign.
As much as some people would like, it is just not feasible or reasonable to be able to watch every single NFL game. There a handful of games that do deserve your attention, however. Here they are for Week 8:
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills – 4.00am (AEDT), Monday, October 31
The Pats have had their eyes set on this game since the Bills took them down 16-0 in Week 4. Brady’s back, Gronk’s healthy, and the Patriots are ready to do some damage. The Bills lost some of their steam with last week’s loss to the Dolphins. This was a tough defeat for the Bills and enduring back-to-back losses against conference rivals could potentially knock them down from the second spot to the third.
This is obviously not what coach Rex Ryan wants his season with the Bills to look like, so I would expect a tough, gritty game from the home side. Bill Belichick seems like the kind of guy who would do everything in his power to not risk losing to the same team twice in the same season, and Brady likely shares that feeling.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Tom Brady is on fire lately and still has blood in his eyes from his four-game suspension. You can likely expect another monster game from him.
Keep in mind that Brady is 39 years old and retirement is inevitably around the corner – there are only so many games left to watch the legendary Brady-Gronk-Belichick trio.
The Bills are going to be trying their hardest to figure out ways to play Brady, but that’s asking a lot from this team.
My prediction is a high-scoring game, with the Patriots winning by a minimum touchdown margin.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) October 26, 2016
San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos – 7.05am (AEDT), Monday, October 31
Another rematch to look out for is the Chargers-Broncos clash at Mile High. The Chargers handed the Broncos their second loss of the season just two games ago, and the result is still fresh for the defending champs.
The Chargers are hanging onto a two-game win streak and do not want to give it up and revert to the same pressure they had before beating the Broncos. The Broncos just came off a two-game losing streak with a 27-9 win over the Texans.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Keep your eyes on how Philip Rivers handles the Denver defense. Von Miller has been playing a huge role in rushing QBs, and Rivers isn’t known for his composure in those situations.
My prediction is a low-scoring game, with a couple of interceptions between Rivers and
Trevor Siemian. This will be a huge win for the Chargers if they can pull off the upset at Denver – and that’s my pick.
We’re eyeing a series sweep against the Broncos👀 pic.twitter.com/5ogRmUIWPG
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) October 26, 2016
GAMES TO FLIP THROUGH
Oakland Raiders @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 4.00am (AEDT), Monday, October 31
The Raiders just finished wreaking havoc in Jacksonville, so it’s only natural they swing by Tampa to do the same on their way back home. I predict a high-scoring game with Oakland winning by at least two touchdowns.
Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons – 7.25am (AEDT), Monday, October 31
The Falcons had a four-game hot streak before getting robbed by the refs in their loss to Seattle, which was followed by an OT loss to the Chargers. Now, the Falcons get a chance to win back their momentum by hosting the Packers at home.
This will likely be a high-scoring game, but with a narrow victory by the Falcons.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys – 11.30am (AEDT), Monday, October 31
The Cowboys are 5-1 but have had a pretty easy season so far. The Eagles just handed the Vikings their first loss, and are going to light up the Cowboys in Arlington.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 24, 2016