Posted: Thursday October 25, 2012 2:05PM ; Updated: Thursday October 25, 2012 3:23PM
Peter King
Peter King>WEEKEND PICKOFF

NFL Week 8
 
Last Week: 9-4 (.692); This Season: 60-44 (.577)
 
Thursday, Oct. 25
 
8:20 p.m. ET (NFLN) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4) at Minnesota Vikings (5-2)
So impressed with Adrian Peterson. Not just that he comes back from knee reconstruction after nine months, but that he's been so much like his old self. Average per carry the last four games: 4.9, 5.2, 4.6, 6.7.
 
Sunday, Oct. 28
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Carolina Panthers (1-5) at Chicago Bears (5-1)
The Quarterbacks With Attitude Bowl. Wouldn't be surprised if, after the game, Jay Cutler says to Cam Newton: "Hey, I love you acting all sullen and bitter after games. Makes me look great."
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) San Diego Chargers (3-3) at Cleveland Browns (1-6)
This would make the Browns a nice, even 10-30 since the day Mike Holmgren walked in the building following the 2009 season. I feel for Holmgren. You can't rebuild a bad team in 2.5 years, especially a bad team not committed to a quarterback. Not sure, but Brandon Weeden is starting to play like he might be The Guy (94.6 rating over the last two weeks). It won't be enough against Philip Rivers in a game the Chargers need to get the blown Monday-nighter against Denver off their minds.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Seattle Seahawks (4-3) at Detroit Lions (2-4)
Desperate Lions, as of this morning, do not face a team with a record below .500 in the last eight weeks of the season. A fifth loss in a division with three teams clearly better right now would doom any realistic playoff hopes, especially when a quarterback who threw 41 touchdown passes in 16 games last year has five in six games this year.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) at Green Bay Packers (4-3)
The definition of an Aaron Rodgers stat-padder.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) New England Patriots (4-3) at St. Louis Rams (3-4)
In the next couple of days, the media will debate which team is smarter -- the Rams for having flown to London Monday and practiced there all week, or the Patriots, for practicing at home through Thursday and then, spending minimal time over there, flying to London late in the week. And after the game on Sunday, it'll be one dead story angle, because it just doesn't matter. Tom Brady's not going to have better or worse chemistry with Wes Welker Sunday at Wembley Stadium whether he practices in Foxboro or Burkina Faso.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Miami Dolphins (3-3) at New York Jets (3-4)
The Dolphins are the most underrated team in the league right now. They'll be a factor in the wild card race late in the season, and a win in the Meadowlands Sunday would put them in the driver's seat for No. 2 in the division. Key stats in this one: Dolfins are holding foes to 3.3 yards per rush and a 57.5 percent completion rate.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Atlanta Falcons (6-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-3)
All six wins by the Falcons are against teams currently .500 or less, which is no fault of their own obviously, simply a commentary on the fact they haven't played a tough schedule. The Eagles, obviously, are the seventh, and a deceiving 3-3. I do believe Mike Vick, as he says, will play angry this week, not only because this is his old team but because he knows Andy Reid isn't going to put up with his 2.2 turnovers per game, the highest quarterback average in the league.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Washington Redskins (3-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3)
Enough RGIII. What about AMI? Alfred Morris is one yard behind Arian Foster for the NFL rushing lead. Morris, sixth-round pick. Foster, free agent. I sense a trend. "I knew it from his first practice in camp," Mike Shanahan said. Now Washington needs to throw him the ball more. He's caught only five balls. If Pittsburgh, allowing a generous 4.1 yards per carry this year, lets Morris rush for more than 100, I'd be surprised. I expect more snaps for Steelers nose man Casey Hampton, just so Morris doesn't run wild.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Indianapolis Colts (3-3) at Tennessee Titans (3-4)
The Colts are allowing 142 rush yards per game. Chris Johnson has woken from his September slumber. Bad news for Andrew Luck trying to exceed Peyton's rookie-season win total. Good news for a bad Titans team trying to get to .500 after a first month looking like a 3-13 team.
 
4:05 p.m. ET (CBS) Oakland Raiders (2-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-5)
After this one in Arrowhead (I'll take Carson Palmer in a Carson Palmer-Brady Quinn duel, thanks), I wouldn't be surprise if the Chiefs file papers to play the rest of the season (maybe the decade) on the road. The booing with a loss to the Davises would be jet-on-the-runway decibel levels.
 
4:25 p.m. ET (FOX) New York Giants (5-2) at Dallas Cowboys (3-3)
For the Cowboys, it's the fourth game against the Giants in their last 11 games. Seems amazing. Also their first time in those four that FOX has the game. So there's no secret what either team is going to try to do to win. There have been 71, 76 and 64 points scored the last three times these teams played in Dallas -- all Giant wins. I get the point: Eli Manning's going to outplay Tony Romo.
 
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) New Orleans Saints (2-4) at Denver Broncos (3-3)
Game of the weekend, and likely the last time Drew Brees will face off against Peyton Manning. I greatly admire the Saints' pluck from their goal-line stand and the terrific individual play by Malcolm Jenkins last week in Tampa. They clearly have not given up. But with that old Lloyd Bentsen/Dan Quayle line in mind, you, Josh Freeman, are no Peyton Manning.
 
Monday, Oct. 29
 
8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) San Francisco 49ers (5-2) at Arizona Cardinals (4-3)
Three questions: Are the 49ers on national TV more than Tom Brady and Jerry Jones combined? Is every NFC West game going to be an Ali-Frazier bout? Does anyone remember John Skelton throwing three touchdown passes and beating the Niners last December? That last one is incredible to me, and you can bet Niners defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has shown those three gems to his unit about 63 times this week.
 
Week 8 Fantasy Projections               Start 'em, Sit 'em
 

 
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