Week 8 NFL Picks: It's A Passing League, Get Over It

Thearon W. Henderson

The NFL is on an unprecedented scoring pace so far this year, and most of that offensive craziness is due to the passing game reaching an unprecedented level of productiveness.

NFL teams have combined for 4,928 points in 2013, the most points through seven weeks in NFL history. The previous high was 4,803 points last season. That record total equates to 46.10 points per game. If the current average stays at this pace, it would rank as the second-highest of any season in history (1948, 46.48 points per game).

Teams have combined to score 542 touchdowns, the most at this point in NFL history (529 in 2002). Of the 542 touchdowns, 331 have been TD passes, the most through the first seven weeks of any season. The previous high was 314 in 2012.

If you like your football with an Arena League flavor, you'll probably love the NFL matchups this weekend. One of the stats I like to look at the most closely over the season is passer rating differential, the difference between a team's offensive passer rating and its defensive passer rating. Good teams consistently have a positive differential, bad teams consistently have a negative differential. This weekend features an exceptionally high number of games in which there's a significant gap between in the passer rating differential of both teams, as the table below illustrates:

Passer Rating Differentials (PRD) 2013
Game PRD Away Team PRD Home Team Difference
SF @ JAC 11.3 -44.3 55.6
WAS @ DEN -18.7 33.4 52.0
SEA @ STL 34.7 -13.2 47.9
CAR @ TB 16.9 -22.3 39.2
GB @ MIN 7.5 -25.5 33.0
BUF @ NO -0.7 25.5 26.2
NYJ @ CIN -13.2 10.6 23.9
CLE @ KC -7.3 14.4 21.7
NYG @ PHI -22.2 -1.6 20.6
ATL @ ARI 1.1 -17.7 18.7
PIT @ OAK 6.3 -11.7 18.0
DAL @ DET 14.2 12.3 1.9
MIA @ NE 1.1 3.0 1.9

Take the second game in the table, Washington @ Denver: The Broncos have an offensive passer rating of 122.7 and a defensive passer rating of 89.4 for a passer rating differential of 33.3, second best in the league behind the Seahawks. The Redskins on the other hand have a fairly low offensive passer rating of 83.4 and one of the highest defensive passer ratings of 102.1. As a result, their passer rating differential of -18.7 ranks 28th in the league. The difference between the two PRDs is 53.9, the second highest such value this weekend.

The difference in PRDs is fairly pronounced in 11 out of 13 games, an indication that we could see some fairly lopsided games this weekend. The only two games that promise to be a little more tightly contested (at least on paper) are the Dolphins @ Patriots and the Cowboys @ Lions. Naturally, you'd expect our panel to be split down the middle in those two games, but is it?

Here are our picks for Week 8, 2013.

Dawn Joey KD Junior Captain_medium Emmittintro_medium Dr_fate_medium BTB Logo

Coty Dave Dawn Joey KD OCC rabble Tom Consensus
Season Record 55-52 70-37 68-39 65-42 57-50 64-43 69-38 65-42 66-41
Percentage .514 .654 .636 .607 .533 .598 .645 .607 .617
Last Week
7-8 10-5 10-5 8-7 9-6 8-7 11-4 8-7 9-6

CAR (-6) @ TB Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium
SF (-16.5) @ JAC Sf_medium Sf_medium Sf_medium Sf_medium Sf_medium Sf_medium Sf_medium Sf_medium Sf_medium
DAL @ DET (-3)
Dal_medium Dal_medium Dal_medium Dal_medium Dal_medium Dal_medium Dal_medium Dal_medium Dal_medium
NYG @ PHI (-5.5)
Phi_medium Nyg_medium Phi_medium Phi_medium Nyg_medium Phi_medium Phi_medium Phi_medium Phi_medium
CLE @ KC (-7.5)
Kc_medium Kc_medium Kc_medium Kc_medium Kc_medium Kc_medium Kc_medium Kc_medium Kc_medium
BUF @ NO (-12)
No_medium No_medium No_medium No_medium No_medium No_medium No_medium No_medium No_medium
MIA @ NE (-6.5)
Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium
NYJ @ CIN (-6.5)
Cin_medium Cin_medium Cin_medium Cin_medium Nyj_medium Cin_medium Cin_medium Cin_medium Cin_medium
PIT (-2.5) @ OAK
Pit_medium Pit_medium Pit_medium Pit_medium Oak_medium Oak_medium Oak_medium Pit_medium Pit_medium
WAS @ DEN (-12.5)
Den_medium Den_medium Den_medium Den_medium Den_medium Den_medium Den_medium Den_medium Den_medium
ATL @ ARI (-2.5)
Ari_medium Ari_medium Ari_medium Atl_medium Atl_medium Atl_medium Atl_medium Atl_medium Atl_medium
GB (-9.5) @ MIN
Gb_medium Gb_medium Gb_medium Gb_medium Gb_medium Gb_medium Gb_medium Gb_medium Gb_medium
SEA (-10.5) @ STL Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium

Star_medium

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