Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season sees a pair of huge divisional matchups, one in the AFC North and one in the NFC West.
The visiting Pittsburgh Steelers (6-0) will put the league’s only unblemished record on the line against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, and later the visiting San Francisco 49ers will try to close the gap on the Seattle Seahawks.
We asked our experts for their thoughts on the Patriots’ fortunes, as well as biggest potential upsets, fantasy football flops and potential sleepers.
What’s your top upset pick for Week 8?
Matt Bowen, NFL analyst: Raiders (+2.5) over Browns. With Derek Carr pushing the ball down the field in recent weeks, coach Jon Gruden can scheme up vertical throws versus a Browns defense that lacks urgency and ball production in the back end.
Kevin Seifert, national NFL writer: Raiders (+2.5) over Browns. The Raiders will see the film of Baker Mayfield‘s season, see that he has really struggled when pressured, and adjust accordingly. When under duress this season, Mayfield ranks No. 27 in NFL QBR (50.5). When not under duress, he ranks No. 8 (79.2).
Seth Walder, sports analytics writer: Lions (+3) over Colts. Detroit came through for me last week (thanks Todd Gurley II!), so I’ll roll with them again. Kenny Golladay is catching absolutely everything. His 71% catch rate is almost 19% above expectation given the targets he has received, per NFL Next Gen Stats, so I’m banking on him to win a tough matchup against a resurgent Xavier Rhodes.
Field Yates, NFL analyst: 49ers (+3) over Seahawks. Coach Kyle Shanahan remains a treasure of an offensive mind, and despite a host of injuries and Jimmy Garoppolo‘s at-times unsteady production down the field, the team can scheme up ways for players to put together chunk plays consistently. I expect this game to be close, perhaps with some of the typical 49ers-Seahawks drama, but ultimately believe San Francisco can pull off the upset in Seattle.