Scully's NFL Week 8 picks: Colts will take down Titans
Six teams were on a bye last week in the NFL, and heavy favorites were prevalent, but a better slate of games is set for Week 8, and our selections focus upon three divisional matchups.
Let's dive in.
Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts
Sun, October 31 2021, 5:00 PM
This is must-win game for Indianapolis, which has turned its offense around the last two weeks. Jonathon Taylor and Carson Wentz are finally rolling, and the formidable Colts run defense can slow Derrick Henry.
Tennessee has been the hottest team in the league the last two weeks, with wins over Buffalo and Kansas City, and the Titans' defensive improvement is noted. But they are not a model of consistency, with a loss to the New York Jets in Week 4, and they won’t be able to match Indy’s intensity, following a pair of emotional wins.
The Colts' inability to convert red zone opportunities cost them in Week 3, a 25-16 setback to Tennessee, but they’ve cleaned up those issues. Indianapolis has averaged nearly 30 points over the last three games, and the Colts have covered four straight.
These teams often split regular-season meetings, and Indianapolis is the play this time around.
NFL pick: Indianapolis -1
Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Sun, October 31 2021, 5:00 PM
Atlanta enters on the upswing, and Carolina is slumping.
Matt Ryan and the Falcons are starting to thrive in Arthur Smith’s new offense and have won three of the last four games. Their scoring average has risen significantly, and Atlanta has covered 14 straight games when they win straight-up.
Carolina desperately misses running back Christian McCaffrey, and Sam Darnold is playing himself out of a job. After he threw three interceptions against Philadelphia in Week 5, Darnold failed to complete 50% of his passes the last two weeks.
Rumors surrounding head coach Matt Rhule’s possible return to college football are swirling, as well.
Atlanta will take care of business against reeling Carolina.
NFL pick: Atlanta -3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints
Sun, October 31 2021, 8:25 PM
Even though they have playe to the level of their competition this season, the Saints enter this important divisional matchup with a 4-2 record.
The New Orleans pass rush has been key to every win. The Saints get after opposing quarterbacks, and protecting Tom Brady was a liability in Tampa Bay’s lone loss.
Since it lost at Los Angeles in Week 3, Tampa Bay has won four straight over teams with losing records. Those opponents have lacked the personnel to attack Tampa's injury-depleted secondary, but Jameis Winston threw seven combined touchdown passes against Green Bay and New England this year.
When it has received three points or more as a divisional underdog, New Orleans has covered 10 straight games. The Saints bring the third-ranked scoring defense (16.8 points allowed per game) and will keep it close enough to cover.
NFL pick: New Orleans +5