The NFL continues to deal with some of the residual effects of isolated COVID-19 outbreaks, but the reality is the season is nearing the halfway mark as we enter Week 8. Some teams have clearly established themselves as playoff contenders while several others need to start turning things around quickly or the focus will quickly turn to 2021, and what changes need to be made.
As for the games on tap, Week 8 gets started with an NFC South matchup on "Thursday Night Football" of two teams in unexpected positions. Atlanta has already fired its head coach with more changes potentially coming while Carolina has been more competitive than many people were expecting under first-year head coach Matt Rhule, especially considering Christian McCaffrey has been out since injuring his ankle in Week 2. He could return for this game, which seemingly would only add to the Falcons' misery.
That's just one of seven divisional matchups on the docket for Week 8. The big ones have Pittsburgh and Baltimore meeting up with first place in the AFC North on the line, while AFC East-leading Buffalo will look to hand New England a fourth straight loss. Elsewhere, Tua Tagovailoa will make his first NFL start for Miami at home against a Los Angeles Rams team fresh off of a convincing win on Monday night over Chicago.
The Bears will look to bounce back at home against a New Orleans Saints team that has won three in a row and is coming off of a bye. Seattle also will try to get back into the win column at home against San Francisco. The NFC West is the NFL's most competitive division as just one win separates all four teams.
The NFC East hasn't fared as well but someone has to win the division. Philadelphia can solidify its hold on first place when the Eagles host the battered and bruised Cowboys, who could start third-string quarterback Ben DiNucci on "Sunday Night Football." And to wrap up Week 8, Tom Brady returns to MetLife Stadium as surging Tampa Bay face the New York Giants on "Monday Night Football."
So which teams will come out on top in every NFL game in Week 8? Athlon's own Rob Doster (@AthlonDoster) and Ben Weinrib (@benweinrib), along with AthlonSports.com contributor Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer), predict the winners for every game this week:
NFL Week 8 Predictions
Teams on bye: Arizona, Houston, Jacksonville, Washington
Las Vegas at Cleveland
Indianapolis at Detroit
Minnesota at Green Bay
New York Jets at Kansas City
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver
^Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia in Week 3 ended in a tie.