Derrick Gunn's NFL Week 8 picks: Cowboys, Redskins battle for 2nd in NFC East

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Derrick Gunn's NFL Week 8 picks: Cowboys, Redskins battle for 2nd in NFC East

Derrick Gunn makes his picks for Week 8 of the NFL season.

49ers at Eagles (1 p.m. on FOX)
Losing both future Hall of Famer LT Jason Peters and LB Jordan Hicks for the season are big blows, but the Eagles have become used to the next-man-up mentality. Each week, the legend of Carson Wentz continues to grow. In comes a 49ers squad still in search of its first win of the year. Prior to getting blown out by Dallas, the Niners had set an NFL record for losing five consecutive games by three points or less. Last Sunday, the Cowboys attacked a porous Niners' run defense (29th, allowing 134.6 yards per game) by running the ball 43 times for 265 yards, including 26 by Dak Prescott.

The Eagles must do the same ground and pound and put the Niners away early. San Fran rookie QB C.J. Beathard has potential, but he's not ready for what Jim Schwartz will throw at him. It should be an interesting game for at least a half, but the team with the best record in the league should eventually pull away.

Pick: Eagles 31, Niners 10

Vikings at Browns in London (9:30 a.m. on NFL Network)
This matchup just isn't fair. The Vikes' fourth-ranked defense against the Browns' inept offense. Cleveland could put QBs DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan in at the same time and it still wouldn't help.

Pick: Vikings

Raiders at Bills (1 p.m. on CBS)
The Raiders may have saved their season with a win over KC but now they have to go into the Bills' domain and do what no one has done this season: Beat Buffalo at home (3-0). Head coach Sean McDermott has his guys believing in themselves. I believe the Bills stay perfect at home.

Pick: Bills

Colts at Bengals (1 p.m. on CBS)
It wasn't that long ago that both squads were consistent playoff teams. Now, they're both hard to watch. The Colts are winless on the road this season. That won't change in Cincy.

Pick: Bengals

Chargers at Patriots (1 p.m. on CBS)
After losing their first four, the Chargers have won three straight. The Pats have also won three in a row. Philip Rivers vs. Tom Brady should be fun to watch. Surprisingly, the Pats' home record is 2-2, but the Chargers' streak ends in Foxboro.

Pick: Patriots

Bears at Saints (1 p.m. on FOX)
Get this. Bears rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky has thrown 23 passes in his last two games, completing just 12, and the Bears have won two in a row. Drew Brees throws that many passes in a half, plus the Saints have won four straight. Trubisky and Chi-town will go down in the Bayou. 

Pick: Saints

Falcons at Jets (1 p.m.  on FOX)
At the beginning of the season, this looked like a Falcons' route. But my, how times have changed. The Falcons can't score and the Jets are winning games no one expected them to. This is the fourth straight game the Falcons play an AFC East foe (0-3 so far). I look for the Dirty Birds to slip out of town with a dirty win.

Pick: Falcons

Panthers at Buccaneers (1 p.m. on FOX)
Both teams have been disappointments as of late. There's still time to right their wrongs but it has to start now. In this NFC South matchup, I like the Panthers' third-ranked D more than the Bucs 30th-ranked D.

Pick: Panthers

Texans at Seahawks (4:05 p.m. on CBS)
Texans rookie QB DeShaun Watson has played well this season. He will be thoroughly tested by the Seahawks' stout defense. The 'Hawks are 2-0 at home, plus the CenturyLink Field 12th man will be too much for Watson and the Texans to overcome.

Pick: Seahawks

Cowboys at Redskins (4:25 p.m. on FOX)
Both the 'Boys and 'Skins are trying to stay within striking distance of the Eagles. Dallas is getting healthy on defense and their run game was hitting on all cylinders last Sunday vs. the Niners. The 'Skins need to show they've shaken off a Monday night loss to the Eagles. I don't think they can.

Pick: Cowboys

Steelers at Lions (8:30 p.m. Sunday Night on NBC)
The Lions are coming off a bye week but their offense has injuries all over the place, including QB Matt Stafford, who's played through hamstring and ankle injuries. The Steelers' second-ranked defense has been tough to score on and the Killer B's on offense have been swarming. The Lions are about to get stung.

Pick: Steelers

Broncos at Chiefs (8:30 p.m. Monday night on ESPN)
It looked like KC would run away with the AFC West, but a two-game slide brought them back to Earth. The Broncos' two-game slide looks worse, because they lost to the Giants and Chargers, scoring a grand total of 10 points in those two games. Denver picked a bad time to go into an offensive drought with the Chiefs having so many explosive weapons.

Pick: Chiefs

Vikings win 7th straight to stay on Eagles' heels

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Vikings win 7th straight to stay on Eagles' heels

DETROIT -- Case Keenum threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score all in the first half to give the Minnesota Vikings a double-digit lead and they went on to beat the Detroit Lions 30-23 Thursday.

The Vikings (9-2) took a huge step toward winning the NFC North, taking a three-game lead over the second-place Lions.

Detroit (6-5) made mistakes in every phase of the game and Minnesota took advantage.

Keenum was 21 of 30 for 282 yards with both TD passes to Kyle Rudolph that gave the Vikings a 20-3 lead late in the second quarter.

The Lions rallied to pull within four points early in the fourth quarter on Matthew Stafford's second TD pass to Marvin Jones.

Xavier Rhodes ended Detroit's comeback hopes with an interception at the Detroit 37 late in the game.

Eagles injury report: Jake Elliott still in concussion protocol

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Eagles injury report: Jake Elliott still in concussion protocol

Eagles kicker Jake Elliott is still in the NFL’s concussion protocol but it looks likely that he’ll be able to play on Sunday.

Elliott was a full participant in Thursday’s practice after being a limited participant on Wednesday. In Phase 4 of the concussion protocol, players are allowed to participate in non-contact drills.

Elliott suffered a concussion in the first half of Sunday’s game in Dallas and the team played the second half without a kicker. If Elliott can’t play against the Bears the Eagles will either bring back Caleb Sturgis from IR or sign an outside kicker.

While Elliott was able to practice  on Thursday, Beau Allen (knee) and Trey Burton (back) did not practice. Allen has missed practice Wednesday and Thursday.

Rodney McLeod (oblique) was a full participant on Thursday.