NFL Week 8 schedule and game-by-game predictions: 49ers to upset Seahawks?

By Vincent Frank
December 29, 2019; Seattle, Washington, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10, left) talks to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3, right) after the game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Week 8 represents the unofficial midway point of the 2020 season. It’s when things start getting real as it relates to playoff contention.

That includes the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers renewing a rivalry and the San Francisco 49ers taking on the undefeated Seattle Seahawks.

As we have done all season, here’s a look at the NFL Week 8 schedule with game-by-game predictions for each matchup.

Related: NFL Power Rankings – Ranking each team for NFL Playoffs.

Updated: Nov. 1, 9:45 AM EST

Related: NFL Rookie of the Year, Week 17 – Jonathan Taylor surges, Justin Herbert still the favorite.

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox

Vikings-Packers point spread: Packers -6.5 (over/under 50.0)

Injury update: Vikings Aaron Jones out, Dalvin Cook will play

Week 1 set the tone for both Minnesota and Green Bay. Both teams were coming off playoff failures the previous season. Both were looking to start the 2020 campaign off on a high note against a division rival. In the end, Green Bay came out on top by the score of 43-34 in a matchup that wasn’t as close as the score suggests. Aaron Rodgers threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns, outplaying Kirk Cousins in the process. Green Bay then rebounded from a Week 6 loss to Tampa Bay by blowing out the Houston Texans this past Sunday. Rodgers tossed four more touchdowns compared to zero interceptions in that game.

I have a hard time imagining the 1-5 Vikings keeping the game as close as the seven-point margin suggests. Cousins has been terrible this season. Minnesota is yielding an average of 32 points per outing and just traded one of its best defensive players. One of my strongest predictions this week will include the Packers winning in blowout fashion.

NFL Week 8 predictions: Packers 35, Vikings 21

Related: NFL defense rankings – Examining the top defenses in the NFL.

Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Titans-Bengals point spread: Titans -7.0 (over/under 50.5)

What we’ve seen from Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill thus far this season is nothing short of extraordinary. A legit NFL MVP candidate, Tannehill is on pace for 40 touchdowns and just five interceptions. That included a near comeback win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7. Alas, it was not to be. Tennessee heads into this matchup at 5-1.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Titans, check out #Titans rumors, rankings, and news here.

As for the Bengals, they are once again coming off a narrow loss that saw Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield win the game with a touchdown pass in the final seconds. At 1-5-1, four the Bengals’ losses have come by one score. The good news? Stud rookie quarterback Joe Burrow put up 406 yards with three touchdowns and one interception last Sunday. He should keep Cincinnati close here.

Week 8 NFL predictions: Titans 31, Bengals 23

Related: NFL QB rankings – Russell Wilson not a top-five QB? Aaron Rodgers for MVP.

New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Jets-Chiefs point spread: Chiefs -20.0 (over/under 49.5)

Twenty-one. That’s the point spread for this game. It’s among the highest in recent NFL history, joining a 2013 game between the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars in that category. The Jets are a laughingstock in pretty much every way. They boast an 0-7 record after a narrow loss to the Bills in Week 7. Adam Gase is not a head coach in the NFL.

On the other hand, Kansas City rebounded from its Week 5 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders to defeat a good Buffalo Bills squad in Week 6. Le’Veon Bell will be on the field for this game against his former team. I think he’s going to want to make a major statement.

NFL Week 8 predictions: Chiefs 41, Jets 10

Related: Fantasy football sleepers – Tua Tagovailoa primed for a big Week 15.

Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Colts-Lions point spread: Colts -3.0 (over/under 49.5)

Lions news: Team trades for Everson Griffen

Despite some struggles from Philip Rivers (seven touchdowns, six interceptions) this season, the Colts sit at 2-4 heading into this game against a losing Detroit Lions squad. That’s primarily because Indy’s defense shockingly ranks No. 6 in the NFL in points allowed. The Colts’ offense ever steps up, this could be a conference title contender.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Colts, check out #ForTheShoe rumors, rankings, and news here.

As for the Lions, they have now won two consecutive following a 1-3 start to the season. This has seemingly saved Matt Patricia’s job for now. That included a dramatic late-game win over the Falcons in Week 7. Unfortunately, Detroit is not playing Atlanta this coming Sunday.

NFL Week 8 predictions: Colts 27, Lions 17

Related: NFL trade rumors

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Steelers-Ravens point spread: Ravens -4.0 (over/under 46.0)

Two legit AFC title contenders. Pittsburgh looking to put two games between itself and the defending AFC North champion Ravens. Strength against strength. A rivalry that has withstood the test of time. We couldn’t ask for a better matchup as the NFL season reaches its midway point.

There’s a whole heck of a lot to look at here. Can Lamar Jackson finally solve the Steelers? He’s thrown one touchdown compared to three interceptions in three career starts against the team. That’s the biggest question given that points will be hard to come by in this one.

NFL Week 8 predictions: Steelers 24, Ravens 20

Related: Ryan Fitzpatrick upset over benching

Los Angeles Rams at Miami Dolphins

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox

Rams-Dolphins point spread: Rams -3.5 (over/under 45.5)

Tua time. Tua Tagovailoa will make his first career NFL start Week 8 against one of the best defenses in the NFL. It was initially a shock when Dolphins head coach Brian Flores benched starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. After all, he’s been among the top-10 signal callers in the NFL this season. Then again, Fitzpatrick knew full well the writing was on the table with Miami made Tua Tagovailoa the fifth overall pick back in April.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Dolphins, check out #FinsUp rumors, rankings, and news here.

As for this game, Tua is going to have an incredibly tough time against a Rams defense that has yielded the third-fewest points in the NFL and an opposing 87.9 passer rating. That’s especially true following the Rams’ brilliant showing against the Chicago Bears in Week 7.

NFL Week 8 predictions: Rams 20, Dolphins 16

Related: 2021 NFL mock draft – Blockbuster trades shake up 2021 NFL Draft.

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Patriots-Bills point spread: Bills -4.5 (over/under 40.5)

Update: Patriots WR Julian Edelman, CB Stephon Gilmore out

Riding a two-game losing streak after winning four consecutive to start the season, the Bills are in desperate need for a rebound performance. Primarily, it has been the team’s defense that’s struggled during this span. Buffalo has yielded 384 rushing yards over the past two outings.

It should come against a reeling Patriots team that was absolutely embarrassed by the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7, losing at home by the score of 33-6. It’s a game that saw Cam Newton benched after throwing three interceptions. All said, Patriots quarterbacks have tossed three touchdowns and 11 picks en route to a 2-4 start to the season. This one shouldn’t be close.

NFL Week 8 predictions: Bills 28, Patriots 13

Related: Raiders COVID-19 situation

Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Raiders-Browns point spread: Browns -1.5 (over/under 48.0)

Injury update: Browns Odell Beckham Jr. (ACL) out for season

Two surprising teams taking on one another with a potential wild card spot on the line. That’s not a sentence many expected us to include when it comes to a Raiders-Browns matchup. But here we are. Las Vegas sits at 3-3 on the season with impressive wins over Super Bowl contenders in that of the Saints and Chiefs. Unfortunately, the team was destroyed by Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Week 7, losing by the score of 45-20.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Browns, check out #Browns rumors, rankings, and news here.

On the other side, Cleveland is coming off a dramatic late-game win over Cincinnati last week and sits at 5-2 on the season. Unfortunately, star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a serious injury in said game. Can Baker Mayfield continue what we saw last week without his No. 1 receiver in the mix? I am not too sure.

NFL Week 8 predictions: Raiders 31, Browns 23

Related: Worst quarterback performances

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos

Time/station: 4:05 PM EST, CBS

Chargers-Broncos point spread: Chargers -3.0 (over/under 44.5)

Two teams that struggle to win the close game. Dating back to the start of last season, Anthony Lynn and the Chargers have lost 13 one-score games. They are 0-4 in said games with impressive rookie quarterback Justin Herbert under center. The good news? Los Angeles ended its four-game losing streak this past Sunday in a 39-29 win over the Jaguars. Herbert tallied north of 400 total yards and four touchdowns.

Much like their division rivals, the Broncos have also struggled in close games under Vic Fangio. That includes a 5-8 mark in 13 games. That didn’t factor in to the equation in Week 7 with Denver losing to the Kansas City Chiefs by the score of 43-16. Drew Lock threw two more interceptions in a brutal all-around performance. Thus far this season, Broncos quarterbacks have thrown six touchdowns against 10 interceptions. That’s not going to cut it.

NFL Week 8 predictions: Chargers 28, Broncos 17

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears

Time/station: 4:25 PM EST, Fox

Saints-Bears point spread: Saints -4.0 (over/under 42.5)

Injury update: Bears WR Allen Robinson active, Saints WR Michael Thomas out

A surprisingly good Week 8 NFC matchup. The Chicago Bears sit at a shocking 5-2 on the season despite some struggles under center and a recent loss to the Rams. That’s primarily because Chicago’s defense ranks seventh in the NFL in points allowed. It has also yielded six passing touchdowns passes compared to six interceptions in seven outings.

For New Orleans, it was all about getting back on track last week following a pedestrian 3-2 start to the season. That included a narrow win over a game Carolina Panthers squad. For his part, Drew Brees responded after struggling earlier in the year. One has to wonder if New Orleans has righted the ship.

NFL Week 8 predictions: Bears 24, Saints 21

Related: If you’re a fan of the 49ers, check out #NinerNation rumors, rankings, and news here.

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

Time/station: 4:25 PM EST, Fox

49ers-Seahawks point spread: Seahawks -3.0 (over/under 53.5)

Injury update: Seahawks RB Chris Carson (ankle) out

These bitter NFC West rivals played two epic outings a season ago. Seattle came away with a 27-24 overtime road win in Week 10 before San Francisco clinched the title in the Pacific Northwest with a 26-21 victory. Regardless of their records, this has always been an intense matchup.

Related: If you’re a fan of the 49ers, check out #NinerNation rumors, rankings, and news here.

That’s not going to change Week 8 with San Francisco looking to remain alive in the NFC West race. The team sits at 4-3 following a blowout win over New England last Sunday. As with Seattle, it’s been all about Russell Wilson’s performance in high-scoring games. That changed to an extent Week 7 against the Cardinals. Wilson shockingly threw three interceptions in the overtime defeat. Will he be able to rebound here? That’s the biggest question. However, I am going with the road team for a third consecutive upset win during what is a brutal seven-game stretch.

NFL Week 8 predictions: 49ers 31, Seahawks 28

NFL Week 8 Sunday Night Football

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

Time/station: 8:20 PM EST, NBC

Cowboys-Eagles point spread: Eagles -10.5 (over/under 42.5)

Injury update: Eagles place DeSean Jackson on IR

Injury update: Ben DiNucci will start at QB for Cowboys

Two teams battling to win the worst division in football and a likely first-round exit in the playoffs. Probably the worst “Sunday Night Football” matchup we’ll see this season. Andy Dalton struggling replacing Dak Prescott under center. Carson Wentz being a turnover machine.

But you know what? This should still be a fun prime-time matchup. I am more intrigued to see how two struggling coaches in Doug Pederson and Mike McCarthy perform here. As for a prediction, time to go with the home team.

Related: Mike McCarthy’s struggles

NFL Week 8 predictions: Eagles 27, Cowboys 24

NFL Week 8 Monday Night Football

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants

Time/station: 8:15 PM EST, ESPN

Buccaneers-Giants point spread: Buccaneers -12.5 (over/under 45.0)

This game is not going to be terribly close. My prediction is that Tom Brady and the Buccaneers will come away with a 20-plus point victory. Simply put, Daniel Jones turnover proneness and issues reaching the end zone has his Giants as one of the worst teams in the NFL. In addition to this, Brady has been brilliant in Tampa after some initial struggles. The six-time Super Bowl champion

Related: If you’re a fan of the Buccaneers, check out #GoBucs rumors, rankings, and news here.

Shockingly, the Buccaneers’ defense is one of the primary reason they are now seen as legit conference title contenders. If you’re predictions during the preseason included this unit ranking eighth in points allowed, a trip to Las Vegas should be in store. He’s accounted for 16 touchdowns and just one interception over the past five games.

NFL Week 8 predictions: Buccaneers 31, Giants 9

NFL Week 8 Thursday Night Football

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers

Time/station: 8:20 PM EST, NFL Network

Falcons-Panthers point spread: Panthers -1.5 (over/under 51.5)

Injury update: Christian McCaffrey (ankle) questionable

Atlanta’s first game since firing head coach Dan Quinn included it hanging 40 points on the Minnesota Vikings. Matt Ryan threw for 371 yards and four touchdowns. Julio Jones went for 137 yards and two scores. The backdrop here being the possibility that both might be dealt ahead of the Nov. 3 trade deadline. Unfortunately for the Falcons, those good feeling were wiped away by another late-game loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 7. It’s a game that saw Detroit come out on top via a Matthew Stafford touchdown pass with no time remaining on the clock.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Falcons, check out #RiseUpATL rumors, rankings, and news here.

At 1-6 on the season, the Falcons will head to Carolina to take on a surprising 3-3 Panthers squad. Can Teddy Bridgewater take advantage of Atlanta’s poor defense one week after putting up a tremendous performance in a narrow loss to the Saints? I tend to think so.

NFL Week 8 predictions: Panthers 28, Falcons 24

Vincent Frank’s NFL predictions record

Week 1: 8-8, Week 2: 15-1, Week 3: 10-3, Week 4: 10-4, Week 5: 9-4, Week 6: 5-7, Week 7: 9-5

Overall record: 66-32

“As you can see, I struggled Week 1 and Week 6. In between those, Sportsnaut hoped you listened to these predictions. A 44-12 record is not too shabby. With that said, I will now likely go 2-12 in Week 8 after boasting like that.” – Vincent Frank.