NFL INSIDER: Are you ready for some 'football'?

2013-10-24T18:00:00Z 2013-11-08T02:05:06Z NFL INSIDER: Are you ready for some 'football'?Matt Erickson Times Correspondent
October 24, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

MANCHESTER, England | With the Bears and Colts both on their bye week, I figured what better time to hop across the pond and take a break from football.

There's just one problem. That's all they talk about over here: football, football, football.

In Manchester, they have the National Football Hall of Fame. And here I thought it was in Canton, Ohio.

Of course, it turns out they're mad about soccer, which they incorrectly call "football." And for all my channel flipping, there's just no way I'm going to find the Thursday night game. But there is soccer to be found. And cricket.

So with that bit of inspiration, let's get to Week 8. Of the three heavy road favorites this week – San Francisco, Green Bay and Seattle – I think all win handily. But that big number for the Niners on the road scares me a little, even against lowly Jacksonville.

The heavy home favorites – New Orleans and Denver – should win, too. But I think the 'Skins give the Broncos a game.

I like the Cowboys and Falcons to go on the road and get upset wins. And watch out for the Jets and Giants as road 'dogs, as well.

Dallas (4-3) +3 (51) at Detroit (4-3)

MattE's pick: Cowboys 31, Lions 24

Buffalo (3-4) +11 (49) at New Orleans (5-1)

MattE's pick: Saints 37, Bills 17

Cleveland (3-4) +7.5 (39.5) at Kansas City (7-0)

MattE's pick: Chiefs 26, Browns 13

Miami (3-3) +6.5 (45.5) at New England (5-2)

MattE's pick: Patriots 31, Dolphins 21

N.Y. Giants (1-6) +6 (51.5) at Philadelphia (3-4)

MattE's pick: Eagles 34, Giants 31

San Francisco (5-2) -16.5 (41) at Jacksonville (0-7)

MattE's pick: 49ers 27, Jaguars 17

N.Y. Jets (4-3) +6.5 (41) at Cincinnati (5-2)

MattE's pick: Bengals 26, Jets 23

Pittsburgh (2-4) -2.5 (40.5) at Oakland (2-4)

MattE's pick: Steelers 27, Raiders 17

Atlanta (2-4) +2.5 (45) at Arizona (3-4)

MattE's pick: Falcons 27, Cardinals 17

Washington (2-4) +12 (58.5) at Denver (6-1)

MattE's pick: Broncos 31, Redskins 21

Green Bay (4-2) -9 (47) at Minnesota (1-5)

MattE's pick: Packers 34, Vikings 14

Seattle (6-1) -11 (42) at St. Louis (3-4)

MattE's pick: Seahawks 31, Rams 13

Last week: 10-5 straight up, 9-6 against the spread. Season: 68-38 (.642) straight up, 55-47-4 (.539) against the spread

Matt Erickson is an award-winning journalist whose NFL picks have appeared in The Times for 12 seasons. He covers mixed martial arts for The Times and is assistant MMA editor for USA Today and

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