NFL Week 8 picks: Cardinals, Chargers win; Lions get first win of season

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Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds (2) takes the handoff form the quarterback during a NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds takes the handoff from quarterback Kyler Murray against the Houston Texans on Sunday in Glendale, Ariz. (Matt Patterson / Associated Press)

Week 8 of the 2021 NFL season begins Thursday with the Green Bay Packers visiting the undefeated Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups.

Farmer's record last week: 9-4 (.692); season 70-37 (.654). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 6-7 (.462); season 51-54-2 (.486).

Teams on bye: Ravens, Raiders.

Times Pacific. Lines according to FanDuel (O/U = over/under):

Packers (6-1) at Cardinals (7-0)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks to pass the ball.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks to pass the ball against the Washington Football Team during the first half on Sunday in Green Bay, Wis. (Kamil Krzaczynski / Associated Press)

Thursday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Channel 11, NFL Network, Amazon.

Line: Cardinals by 61/2. O/U: 501/2.

The Cardinals are rolling and at home, and the Green Bay defense is pretty banged up. Still, Aaron Rodgers is capable of putting up at least 24 points. Arizona keeps it going on a short week.

Prediction: Cardinals 31, Packers 24

Dolphins (1-6) at Bills (4-2)

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen looks to pass against the Tennessee Titans.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen looks to pass against the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 18 in Nashville. (Matt Patterson / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Bills by 131/2. O/U: 491/2.

If the Dolphins try to play man defense, Josh Allen and those Buffalo receivers are going to have a huge day. Miami can dink and dunk with Tua Tagovailoa, but that’s not going to get it done.

Prediction: Bills 38, Dolphins 13

Steelers (3-3) at Browns (4-3)

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb runs with the ball against the Chargers.
Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb runs with the ball against the Chargers on Oct. 10 at SoFi Stadium. (Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Browns by 31/2. O/U: 421/2.

Pittsburgh’s offensive line isn’t very good and the defense might not be as good as advertised. Cleveland is getting some players back, including Nick Chubb, and Case Keenum is up to QB job if necessary.

Prediction: Browns 23, Steelers 20

Titans (5-2) at Colts (3-4)

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill hands off to running back Derrick Henry.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill hands off to running back Derrick Henry during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Nashville. (Wade Payne / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Colts by 1. O/U: 51.

Teams on winning streaks. The Titans are coming off big wins over Buffalo and Kansas City. The Colts are solid and getting healthier. Titans lean on Derrick Henry and keeps Indy offense sidelined.

Prediction: Titans 24, Colts 21

Bengals (5-2) at Jets (1-5)

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow rolls out to pass against the Baltimore Ravens.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow rolls out to pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half on Sunday in Baltimore. (Nick Wass / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: B engals by 101/2. O/U: 42.

The Jets are playing OK on defense, but their offense is a collection of turnovers and three-and-outs. They might improve a bit with Joe Flacco. The Bengals are loaded with ways to score.

Prediction: Bengals 27, Jets 14

Panthers (3-4) at Falcons (3-3)

Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts makes a catch while defended by Miami Dolphins defenders.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts makes a catch while defended by Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25), center, and free safety Jevon Holland (8), during a game on Sunday in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Hans Deryk / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Falcons by 3. O/U: 46.

The Panthers are really struggling. Sam Darnold has regressed since the start of the season and badly needs Christian McCaffrey. Atlanta is nothing great, but Kyle Pitts is a difference-maker.

Prediction: Falcons 24, Panthers 20

49ers (2-4) at Bears (3-4)

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields attempts a pass during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields attempts a pass during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in Tampa, Fla. (Alex Menendez / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: 49ers by 31/2. O/U: 391/2.

Justin Fields is getting hit by the time he plants his foot. Now, introduce him to Nick Bosa, Dee Ford and the rest of the 49ers front. Bears do get better if Akiem Hicks can play, but not enough better.

Prediction: 49ers 21, Bears 13

Eagles (2-5) at Lions (0-7)

INGLEWOOD, CALIF. - OCT. 24, 2021. Lions quarterback Jared Goff is fluished from the pocket by Rams defenders.
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff is flushed from the pocket by Rams defenders Leonard Floyd (54) and Terrell Lewis (52) in the second quarter at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Eagles by 31/2. O/U: 48.

Detroit is going to beat somebody, and two-win Eagles are a strong candidate. Lions are playing hard for Dan Campbell (ask the Rams) and the Eagles are hobbled on offense. Jalen Hurts is too streaky.

Prediction: Lions 27, Eagles 24

Rams (6-1) at Texans (1-6)

Rams wide receiver Robert Woods runs out of bounds after making a catch and first down.
Rams wide receiver Robert Woods runs out of bounds after making a catch and first down against the Detroit Lions in the second quarter at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Rams by 141/2. O/U: 471/2.

The Rams let Detroit hang around too long and special teams were terrible. But that scare should inspire them to put Texans away quickly. Texans are terrible and would need to get really lucky.

Prediction: Rams 34, Texans 13

Patriots (3-4) at Chargers (4-2)

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws against the Cleveland Browns.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws against the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 11 at SoFi Stadium. (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Chargers by 6. O/U: 49.

People expect the Patriots to be good because they’re the Patriots. But Chargers are rested, ready and loaded with more talent. Plus, they’re at home. Brandon Staley should have them ready.

Prediction: Chargers 27, Patriots 17

Jaguars (1-5) at Seattle (2-5)

Seattle Seahawks defensive back Jamal Adams gestures during a game.
Seattle Seahawks defensive back Jamal Adams gestures during a game against the New Orleans Saints on Monday in Seattle. (Stephen Brashear / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Seahawks by 3. O/U: 431/2.

The wind is out of the Seahawks’ sails, and they’re susceptible to a loss. But Jaguars just aren’t good, and it’s hard to see them pulling off the upset. QB Geno Smith does enough to get the job done.

Prediction: Seahawks 23, Jaguars 21

Washington Football Team (2-5) at Broncos (3-4)

Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant plays against Cleveland Browns defensive back Ronnie Harrison.
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant plays against Cleveland Browns defensive back Ronnie Harrison during the second half on Oct. 21 in Cleveland. (Ron Schwane / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Broncos by 3. O/U: 44.

Getting Jerry Jeudy back is big for Broncos. He can beat man coverage quickly, allowing indecisive Teddy Bridgewater to get the ball out of his hands. What happened to Washington’s defense?

Prediction: Broncos 27, Washington 21

Buccaneers (6-1) at Saints (4-2)

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston runs with the ball against the Seattle Seahawks.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston runs with the ball against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday in Seattle. (Stephen Brashear / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Buccaneers by 5. O/U: 50.

But for one big breakdown, Saints pass defense looked great in last weekend’s win at Seattle. But that was against Geno Smith, and this week it’s against Tom Brady. The Buccaneers come through.

Prediction: Buccaneers 30, Saints 20

Cowboys (5-1) at Vikings (3-3)

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins plays against the Carolina Panthers.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins plays against the Carolina Panthers during overtime on Sunday in Charlotte, N.C. (Jacob Kupferman / Associated Press)

Sunday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Cowboys by 11/2. O/U: 55.

Both teams are rested. Cowboys have an explosive passing offense, but Minnesota has the pass rush to give quarterbacks problems. Kirk Cousins is good enough to direct the home team to a minor upset.

Prediction: Vikings 28, Cowboys 27

Giants (2-5) at Chiefs (3-4)

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Byron Pringle celebrates during a game.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Byron Pringle celebrates during a game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Nashville. (John Amis / Associated Press)

Monday, 5:15 p.m.

TV: ESPN.

Line: Chiefs by 91/2. O/U: 52.

Bounce-back game for struggling Chiefs. Giants sacked Carolina quarterbacks six times Sunday, but getting to Patrick Mahomes won’t be so easy. Neither of these teams has a good pass defense.

Prediction: Chiefs 27, Giants 21

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.