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NFL Predictions Week Eight: Anthony Watson takes on Richard Graves

Anthony Watson of England scores his team's third try
Image: Anthony Watson gives his predictions for Week Eight in the NFL

In Week Eight, England rugby union international Anthony Watson takes on Sky Sports News' NFL reporter Richard Graves for our weekly predictions.

Graves slipped back to 3-4 on the season despite a stellar 11-4 record from Week Seven - Jen Welter's stunning 12-3 mark beating him out by one game.

2017 Prediction Results

Richard Graves Opponent's score Graves' season record
v Paul Merson 9-6 10-5 0-1
v Sam Quek 13-3 12-4 1-1
v Vernon Kay 10-6 6-10 2-1
v Laura Wright 9-7 10-6 2-2
v Anya Shrubsole 7-7 4-10 3-2
v Gethin Jones 4-10 7-7 3-3
v Jen Welter 11-4 12-3 3-4

His opponent this week is Watson, who was at his second home, Twickenham, to watch the Los Angeles Rams trounce the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and has since been called up to the England squad for the autumn internationals.

Here's a look at his, and Richard's, Week Eight predictions...

Minnesota Vikings @ Cleveland Browns, Twickenham

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 08: DeShone Kizer #7 of the Cleveland Browns drops back for a pass in the second quarter against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy S
Image: DeShone Kizer will be back as starting QB for the Browns at Twickenham

Graves: Joe Thomas' experience will be missed by Cleveland this week against a Minnesota team whose strength is their defense. They're fifth in points allowed, giving up only 17 per game, while the Browns are dead last in scoring, averaging less than 15 per game! It'll come as no surprise that the Vikings know their way to the QB as well - tied sixth this season with 21 sacks. Add into the mix that no team has turned the ball over more than the Browns this season (19) and everything points to another tough day at the office for Cleveland in London.


Watson: Sorry Browns fans, I don't see you picking up their first victory here. The Vikings are sitting very nicely at 5-2 and I can't predict them slipping up against the 0-7 Browns.

Also See:


Oakland Raiders @ Buffalo Bills, NFL Sunday LIVE
Sky Sports Action (407), 4.30pm, Sunday

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 19:  Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Oakland Raiders is restrained after coming off the bench and shoving a referee during a scrum with the
Image: Marshawn Lynch will be missing for the Raiders against the Bills after being banned for pushing an official

Graves: Last week's dramatic win over the Chiefs was as hard fought as it was invaluable in keeping their season alive for the Raiders. It cost them Marshawn Lynch for the trip to Buffalo after he was suspended one game for pushing an official. However, this could be a blessing for Oakland - Lynch's numbers haven't been what was expected.

While there's no question Oakland's offense can score points, defensively they continue to look vulnerable - especially in their secondary - and that may ultimately be the unit that prevents this team from realising their preseason playoff expectations.

Live NFL

Buffalo, meanwhile, find themselves just half a game behind the AFC East-leading Patriots. They've experienced just two defeats this season and they've been perfect at home, winning all three games.


Watson: This one looks like it will be a really close match-up. Both offenses scored 20+ points last weekend, while both defenses allowed a similar margin. Home advantage may swing it, so I'll go with the Bills.


Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins, NFL Sunday LIVE
Sky Sports Action (407), 8.25pm, Sunday

LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 19: Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins passes the ball against the Green Bay Packers in the first half during a p
Image: Kirk Cousins looks to lead the Redskins to a first divisional win of the season

Graves: In the two meetings last year, offenses dominated and there's little reason to believe anything will be any different again this time around. Always a heated rivalry, the temperature has risen a few degrees heading into this clash with both teams tied with 3-3 records.

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It can be argued that this game is more important to the Redskins than it is to the Cowboys after Monday night's loss to Philadelphia - their second of the season to the Eagles, leaving their record 0-2 in a division where the tie-breaker could prove vital.


Watson: I fancy a Redskins upset here. Kirk Cousins had a big Monday night against the Eagles last week, though they lost. As a result, I just feel Washington have a point to prove in this one.


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Detroit Lions, NFL Sunday LIVE
Sky Sports Action (407), 12.20am, Monday

Ben Roethlisberger shapes to pass during a game against the Miami Dolphins
Image: Ben Roethlisberger has answered his doubters with Steelers wins in the last two weeks

Graves: Not so long ago, Pittsburgh were being written off and QB Ben Roethlisberger was being questioned over whether he could still succeed in the NFL. However, back-to-back wins over the Chiefs and Bengals have not only silenced the doubters but they've catapulted Pittsburgh to the top of the AFC North with a 5-2 record.

Live NFL

At the same time as doubts were circling over the Steelers, there was growing optimism surrounding the Lions. However, they've suffered heavy defeats to the Panthers and Saints in their last two games and now badly need a win to restore some confidence. That effort won't be helped by the loss of wide receiver Golden Tate though.


Watson: I've got to go with the Steelers. The Lions are coming off their bye weekend, which could work either way for them, but I just don't see them being good enough to stop Big Ben and his Steelers.


Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs, Monday Night Football
Sky Sports Action (407), 12.15am, Tuesday

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 15:  Quarterback Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos is tackled by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants aft
Image: Broncos QB Trevor Siemian has struggled during their last two defeats

Graves: A couple of weeks ago, it would not have been unreasonable to suggest this might be a meeting of the two best records in the NFL. However, both have suffered back-to-back losses in that time and while there's every reason to remain confident about the Chiefs, the same cannot be said about the Broncos.


Live NFL

Watson: I'm rooting for the Chiefs here. The Broncos struggled last week, with Trevor Siemian failing to get the offense going - Denver failed to register a point for the first time since 1992! Kansas City are on the back of two losses now, but I think they'll come flying out of the blocks in this one.


Week Eight Predictions

Richard Graves Anthony Watson
Dolphins @ Ravens Dolphins Dolphins
Vikings @ Browns Vikings Vikings
Raiders @ Bills Bills Bills
Falcons @ Jets Falcons Falcons
Panthers @ Buccaneers Buccaneers Buccaneers
49ers @ Eagles Eagles Eagles
Bears @ Saints Saints Bears
Chargers @ Patriots Patriots Patriots
Colts @ Bengals Bengals Bengals
Cowboys @ Redskins Cowboys Redskins
Texans @ Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks
Steelers @ Lions Steelers Steelers
Broncos @ Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs

Miami Dolphins 0-40 Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 26: Quarterback Matt Moore #8 of the Miami Dolphins walks off the filed after being sacked in the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadiu
Image: Quarterback Matt Moore of the Miami Dolphins walks off the field after being sacked in the fourth quarter

Graves: Miami have won three straight to improve their record to 4-2 and they've overturned 17 and 14-point deficits to win their last two games. In fact, the only teams to have a better record than Miami's 13-4 over their last 17 games are Kansas City and New England!

Even with Matt Moore replacing Jay Cutler (ribs) midway through last weekend's win over the Jets, Miami's offense kept rolling. By contrast, there's been little to cheer about in Baltimore, who have lost three of their last four games. Simply put, their offense can't score enough points and their defense has given up 138 in their last five.


Watson: After Jarvis Landry's 'stop doubting us!' interview after the Dolphins came back from 14 points down to beat the Jets, I'm doing just that and riding with the hot hand of the Dolphins. Landry and fellow wide receiver Kenny Stills are on fire, and with Davante Parker potentially returning, it has to be Miami!


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