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PFT’s NFL Week Eight 2021 picks

Wild Card Round - Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 10: A fan of the Cleveland Browns celebrates during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on January 10, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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The lead is now three.

I picked up a game on MDS last week, with our one disagreement going my way. (Thank you, Colts.)

For Week Seven, I went 10-3. MDS finished 9-4.

For the year, I’m at 70-37. MDS is now 67-40.

This week, we disagree on four games. Check out all of our picks below.

Packers (+6.5) at Cardinals

MDS’s take: This looked like the greatest Thursday Night Football game ever until the Packers lost their top two wide receivers to the COVID-19 list. Now it looks like a game the Cardinals should win comfortably. I think the Packers will compete well under the circumstances, but ultimately fall short.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 24, Packers 21.

Florio’s take: The Packers are 6-0 after the last two years without Davante Adams. Make that 7-0, just like the Cardinals will be until Thursday’s game ends.

Florio’s pick: Packers 28, Cardinals 23.

Dolphins (+14) at Bills

MDS’s take: The Bills’ defense is going to destroy Tua Tagovailoa. This could be ugly.

MDS’s pick: Bills 27, Dolphins 3.

Florio’s take: “Tua Tagovailoa was our quarterback.”

Florio’s pick: Bills 34, Dolphins 13.

Panthers (+3) at Falcons

MDS’s take: It’s amazing how far the Panthers have fallen, and how fast. They are heading in the wrong direction, and if Sam Darnold can’t turn things around in a hurry, his 2022 salary of $18.9 million is going to start looking like a millstone for the team’s rebuilding efforts.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 28, Panthers 21.

Florio’s take: If David Tepper picked stocks like he picks quarterbacks, he would have never made enough money to buy even a copy of the Madden game.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 30, Panthers 24.

Eagles (-3) at Lions

MDS’s take: I like how hard Dan Campbell has his team playing, but right now he just doesn’t have the personnel. They’ll play hard but come up short. Again.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 17, Lions 10.

Florio’s take: The 2008 Lions can stop hoping that the 2021 Lions will render them a footnote to history.

Florio’s pick: Lions 24, Eagles 16.

Titans (+1) at Colts

MDS’s take: If the Titans win this game, they go from favorites to win the AFC South to overwhelming favorites to win the AFC South. I think they’ll do it.

MDS’s pick: Titans 27, Colts 21.

Florio’s take: It’s the de facto AFC South championship game, if Tennessee wins. Although they lost to the Jets, the Colts will have the full focus of the Titans.

Florio’s pick: Titans 27, Colts 20.

Rams (-14.5) at Texans

MDS’s take: The Texans are packing it in on this season. I don’t see them keeping it close.

MDS’s pick: Rams 38, Texans 13.

Florio’s take: Cal McNair currently has the team that he deserves.

Florio’s pick: Rams 42, Texans 14.

Bengals (-10.5) at Jets

MDS’s take: It’s amazing how dominant the Bengals have been in the last couple weeks. Zac Taylor deserves a ton of credit. I think he’s going to keep it going against a Jets team that is a huge mess and now can’t even accomplish its one goal of developing rookie quarterback Zach Wilson.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 31, Jets 17.

Florio’s take: The Bengals are good enough to beat great teams, and good enough to not stumble and fall against bad teams.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 35, Jets 17.

Steelers (+3.5) at Browns

MDS’s take: The Steelers have never been the worst team in the AFC North. Until this year.

MDS’s pick: Browns 28, Steelers 21.

Florio’s take: As evidenced by his comments from Tuesday about the USC job, Mike Tomlin is not messing around this week. His team won’t be either.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 27, Browns 24.

49ers (-4) at Bears

MDS’s take: Neither Kyle Shanahan nor Matt Nagy has done a good job this season with balancing the needs of developing their rookie quarterbacks with the desire to win now. But I think Shanahan’s team is in somewhat better shape.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 21, Bears 17.

Florio’s take: A win by the 49ers will simply delay the inevitable. They’ll still get a win.

Florio’s pick: 49ers 27, Bears 21.

Jaguars (+3) at Seahawks

MDS’s take: I’m tempted to pick the Jaguars to pull the upset on the theory that Trevor Lawrence is already a better quarterback than Geno Smith has ever been. But I just can’t quite see the Jaguars going to Seattle and winning.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 21, Jaguars 20.

Florio’s take: The low-water mark of the Pete Carroll era has arrived. It gets a little lower on Sunday, when a couple of former Carroll assistants who know how to beat the Seattle defense come to town with a defense that is good enough to contain Geno Smith and company.

Florio’s pick: Jaguars 23, Seahawks 20.

Patriots (+5.5) at Chargers

MDS’s take: The Patriots will be competitive but ultimately come up short, with Justin Herbert leading a fourth-quarter comeback.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 27, Patriots 24.

Florio’s take: The Chargers had extra time to get ready for this one, and extra incentive to make amends for last year’s 45-0 loss to the Patriots, who will wish they had saved some of the 54 they scored in Week Seven for this one.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 30, Patriots 23.

Washington (+3) at Broncos

MDS’s take: Both of these teams are desperate to turn things around, and I think the Broncos are just a little bit closer.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 23, Washington 21.

Florio’s take: Ron Rivera gets another crack at the team that kept him from winning a Super Bowl, with a team that isn’t nearly as good as the one he had in 2015.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 24, Washington 17.

Buccaneers (-5) at Saints

MDS’s take: The Saints struggled to put points on the board against a bad Seahawks defense on Monday night. It won’t be any easier against a good Buccaneers defense on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 20, Saints 10.

Florio’s take: Jameis Winston isn’t the answer. Tom Brady is.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 27, Saints 17.

Cowboys (-1) at Vikings

MDS’s take: Look for Dak Prescott to have a big night in a Cowboys win that’s more lopsided than expected.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 31, Vikings 20.

Florio’s take: I’ll reserve the right to change this on Sunday night, if Dak Prescott can’t play. With Dak, the Cowboys are in a different class than the Vikings.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 28, Vikings 24.

Giants (+9.5) at Chiefs

MDS’s take: The Chiefs just have to turn things around eventually, don’t they? I’ll pick them to blow out the Giants.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 40, Giants 14.

Florio’s take: The Chiefs are good enough to beat the bad teams, but they’ve currently lost their ability to beat the good ones.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 38, Giants 17.