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2017 SQ Insiders: Week 8

Austin Taliaferro

With an interesting showdown between the Steelers and Lions, who are Insiders have coming out on top may surprise you.

This week, fans will be treated to a matchup between two of the better teams in the league when the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Detroit Lions. Though Detroit has struggled lately, they have been a solid team this season and should put up a fight. In a split decision, our insiders, who are coming off a solid Week 7, have them besting the Steelers by a score of 24-22. Who do the insiders have winning the NFL’s other marquee matchups? Find out below.


Matchup

Mitch B

Nick C

Adrian N

Minnesota at Cleveland
Oakland at Buffalo
Indianapolis at Cincinnati
LA Chargers at New England
Chicago at New Orleans
Atlanta at NY Jets
San Francisco at Philadelphia
Carolina at Tampa Bay
Houston at Seattle
Dallas at Washington
Pittsburgh at Detroit
Denver at Kansas City
Total Record

52-3751-3848-41



Matchup

Avg Score

Winner

Why They’ll Win

Why They May Not

Minnesota at Cleveland27-12The Vikings have won their last three games by an average of eight points, despite losing Sam Bradford half way through their game against the Bears. The Browns are simply awful and can’t seem to decide which terrible option they want to stick with at QB. Minnesota is simply better in all phases of the game.Cleveland is playing at home where three of their four losses were decided by three points. The Browns have a good pass rush, and if they can force Case Keenum to make some quick decisions, they may be able to capitalize on his mistakes.
Oakland at Buffalo26-27The Buffalo Bills are one of a handful of teams that are undefeated at home this season. Tyrod Taylor and Shady McCoy have the offense looking good, and the defense has played well enough to win. The Bills should extend their home winning streak here.Derek Carr came to life last week, exploding for over 400 yards and three touchdowns against a solid Chiefs defense. The Raiders are helped by the fact that they have a couple extra days to rest up and prep, following their thrilling Thursday night win over Kansas City. They will be ready for whatever Buffalo has to offer.
Indianapolis at Cincinnati16-25Despite having won a few games, at -103 the Colts have the worst point differential in the league. And although the Bengals have the same record, they have played a much higher quality of opponent and Andy Dalton appears to be starting to take off.Although he hasn’t put up big numbers, the one thing that Jacoby Brissett has managed to do is avoid the big mistake. He has only thrown three interceptions, and in the NFL if you can win the turnover battle, you will often win the game, and Andy Dalton has a penchant for giving the ball away.
LA Chargers at New England22-35Needless to say, the Patriots are the defending Super Bowl champions with the greatest quarterback ever still commanding this team. With so many pass-catching options, Brady should easily pick apart the Chargers’ defense.After starting 0-4, the Los Angeles Chargers are now riding a three-game win streak, beating division rivals Oakland and Denver. Philip Rivers is still leading a threatening offense going up against the surprisingly weak Patriots’ defense.
Chicago at New Orleans15-29New Orleans is the fourth highest scoring team in the league. Chicago scored zero offensive touchdowns in their 17-3 win last week and do not have a legitimate chance of keeping up with the Saints high powered offense.The Bears have pulled off back-to-back improbable wins, first on the road against the Baltimore Ravens, and then at home against the Carolina Panthers. Mitch Trubisky hasn’t been asked to do much, and if the Bears can stick to that formula, they may be able to pull off another upset.
Atlanta at NY Jets27-22Atlanta has the best quarterback-wide receiver combination in the league in Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. On top of that, Atlanta’s defense is already improved from last season. If Ryan and Julio can get this offense going, nobody can stop the Falcons.The Jets are somehow 3-4, and if the last two games went a little differently, they would be 5-2 with a win over the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots. Josh McCown and the running back trio of Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, and Matt Forte have been impressive, and are capable of leading this team to a win at home.
San Francisco at Philadelphia15-27Carson Wentz has the Eagles offense firing on all cylinders. They are the best team in the league in terms of point differential and are really solid in all phases of the game. San Francisco will be severely outmatched on Sunday.Before getting blown out last week, the Niners had lost their last five games by 3, 2, 3, 3, and 2 points. This team has a knack for staying in games they shouldn’t. For the Eagles, their biggest strength this year has been their offensive line, and with Jason Peters out, this unit may fail to find the cohesion that they’ve exhibited in week’s past.
Carolina at Tampa Bay21-20When Cam Newton gets going, Carolina’s offense is unstoppable. In games in which Newton has thrown for at least as many touchdowns as picks, Carolina is 4-0. In games where he has thrown more picks than touchdowns, they are 0-3. Look for Cam to have a big game against this Tampa Bay defense.Over the last two games, Newton has thrown only one touchdown to five interceptions in back-to-back losses. Just last week, the Panthers lost to the hapless Chicago Bears and only put up three points. If Carolina doesn’t get back to their early season form, the Bucs will take this one easily.
Houston at Seattle21-23Seattle’s defense is playing at a high level as of late, allowing an average of just 11.7 points the past three games, which have all been wins. Meanwhile, the Texans offense is putting up 41.3 points in the same time frame. What gives Seattle the advantage is its eighth-ranked pass defense. A stingy defense combined with a deafening crowd means DeShaun Watson may struggle after enjoying a three-game home stretch.The Seahawks’ offense has been a no-show on multiple occasions this year, while the Texans’ offense keeps rolling. Houston can lean on their third-ranked rushing attack to avoid Seattle’s strong secondary and control the clock. If DeShaun Watson can keep his composure in this hostile environment, Houston can come out on top.
Dallas at Washington29-24Ezekiel Elliott has over 100 yards in two straight contests and the offensive line is hitting its stride. Meanwhile, Washington’s offensive line is about as banged up as it could be, with three starters that could very well miss Sunday’s game. That bodes well for the Cowboys, who enter this week with 3.5 sacks per game, good for second in the league. They’ll need to pressure Kirk Cousins to secure the win. Dallas still has a middle-of-the-pack defense, while Kirk Cousins has been on fire over his past four games, with 11 total touchdowns compared to just two turnovers. Cousins will need to overcome his offensive line’s ailments and spread the ball around to his weapons in order to grab a win in this rivalry game. The Cowboys have allowed 35 or more points three times this year and are certainly beatable.
Pittsburgh at Detroit22-24The Steelers are heating up with three wins in their last four contests, while Detroit has lost three of four. This matchup plays right into the Steelers’ strengths. They bring the league’s top-ranked pass defense to town, which will help neutralize Matthew Stafford. Since the Lions’ rushing attack is nonexistent, they’ll have a tough time moving the ball at all, meaning the Steelers won’t have to score a ton to win. Pittsburgh has been running Le’Veon Bell into the ground lately, with an average of 34.3 touches for Bell over the past four weeks. To pull off the win, Detroit’s eighth-ranked rushing defense has to come up big and slow down Bell. By doing so, it can force Ben Roethlisberger to throw the ball and create enough turnovers to sink the Steelers.
Denver at Kansas City22-31The Chiefs have dropped two straight games after their 5-0 start, but there is little reason to panic. Kansas City is still a tough team at home to beat. Despite Denver’s strong rush defense, look for the Chiefs to ride Kareem Hunt all day long to a win. The Broncos have the best defense in the league as measured by yards allowed per game, and the second best rush defense. If it can slow down the explosive Kansas City offense, the Broncos have a shot in this divisional showdown.


Edited by Jeremy Losak.

SQuiz
How many points did the Lions and Saints combine for in Week 6 of the 2017 NFL season?
Created 10/26/17
  1. 58
  2. 71
  3. 83
  4. 90

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