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NFL Caps Off Scary-Good October

Mill Woods

Posted on October 27, 2021 12:20

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We fans have witnessed the Cardinals dominating team after team and the Bengals toppling the mighty Ravens. We have shared the painful trials of the once-champion Chiefs and the phoenix-like resurgence of the Packers. In October, the NFL has been as exciting as a Halloween thriller, and Sunday, the 31st, the forecast calls for more hair-raising finishes.

All hail the new Kings of the Orange and Black! Before the NFL season began, I offered a positive outlook for the state of Ohio, but it centered around the Cleveland Browns. Nearly halfway through the NFL season, it's those big cats in Cincinnati who are scaring the daylights out of all the teams who once thought they had a laugher on their schedule.

The upstart Bengals now hold first place in the AFC North. If you like roaring underdogs — if you think that grizzled champions should have to scratch and claw to retain their thrones — then this NFL season is showing your favorite movie. 

2021 has the potential to take the title as the greatest 'Year of Upsets', but — at the risk of speaking too soon — I must crow a little about my trusty crystal ball — my preseason playoff picks. Before the season opener in September, I wrote: "instead of predicting the division winners or the Super Bowl champion, here are my 14 playoff picks — not ranked in any way, but in alphabetical order:

NFC: Buccaneers, Cardinals, Cowboys, Falcons, Packers, Saints, Seahawks.
AFC: Bills, Browns, Chiefs, Colts, Dolphins, Ravens, Titans."

As we dive into Week Eight, things are looking sweet for 11 of my 14 picks. The road ahead looks frightening for the 2-5 Seahawks and the 3-4 Chiefs, even though they still have time to find their pumpkins and bring home some treats. The 1-5 Dolphins are on oxygen and may soon need to be intubated.

If the 3-3 Falcons make the playoffs, that pick will win the award: "Scary-Good Prediction of the Year". The Rams and Bengals — if they continue maiming opponents — will prove to be the boogey men whom I most overlooked.

Are you too anxious to wait until Sunday? Good news! The thrills and chills of Week Eight will start with a heart-stopper Thursday night, when the undefeated Cardinals take on the 6-1 Packers. Then, on Sunday, other tasty matchups include three divisional showdowns: Titans vs. Colts, Bucs vs. Saints, and Dolphins vs. Bills.

The Week Eight matches — and my picks:

          Away                   Home                My Pick
 
1.       Packers                 Cardinals           Cardinals
2.       Bengals                 Jets                   Bengals
3.       Titans                    Colts                  Titans
4.        Rams                    Texans              Rams
5.        Steelers                 Browns             Browns
6.        Eagles                   Lions                 Lions
7.        49ers                     Bears                Bears
8.        Panthers               Falcons             Falcons
9.        Dolphins               Bills                   Bills
10.       Patriots               Chargers          Chargers
11.       Jaguars              Seahawks          Jaguars
12.       Washington         Broncos            Broncos
13.       Bucs                   Saints               Saints
14.       Cowboys             Vikings             Vikings
15.       Giants                 Chiefs                Chiefs

Last week, I scored a sweet 8-5.  Regardless of what we get in our bags, Sunday football will be a treat.

Mill Woods

Posted on October 27, 2021 12:20

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A 21-year-old rookie with one strong college football season under his belt now leads the AFC in receiving yardage, yards...

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