Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
Yahoo – 15%, ESPN – 10.4%
They are one of just nine teams allowing under 20 points per game, so you have to wonder why they haven’t garnered much attention. Throw in 18 sacks (tied for ninth) and 7 INT (tied for eleventh) and there is even more to like.
The Jets’ offense is far from explosive and has lost its best weapon (Santonio Holmes). Mark Sanchez showed flashes against the Patriots, but he has always had a penchant to turn the ball over. The Jets have thrown 7 INT and fumbled the ball 12 times (losing 5). Throw in 15 sacks allowed and there are going to be opportunities for the Dolphins’ defense to make plays.
In the two teams meeting earlier in this season Sanchez threw 2 INT, fumbled once and was sacked twice. If there was one under-the-radar defense worth rolling the dice on, that’s the one I would take.
Detroit Lions vs. Seattle
Yahoo – 30%, ESPN – 51.7%
The Lions were supposed to be a good defense this season, though they have disappointed overall by allowing 25 points per game while managing just 2 INT and 17 sacks. However, they do a good job of limiting the damage in the running game (only 1 rushing TD allowed) and if they can slow down Marshawn Lynch they could be in for a good day.
The Seahawks rank next to last in passing yards per game, at 161.9, and tied at 21st in the league with just 8 TD passes (only seven teams have fewer).
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland
Yahoo – 4%, ESPN – 5.2%
They have allowed over 30 points per game this season, so how can we trust them this week? Considering Oakland is one of the least explosive offenses in the league (thanks to the struggles of Darren McFadden), there is a lot of potential for the Chiefs to make some plays. However, the Raiders have also thrown just 4 INT and allowed 12 sacks, so consider this a low-end option.
San Diego Chargers at Cleveland
Yahoo – 11%, ESPN – 5.8%
If Trent Richardson is unable to go, just what exactly do the Browns have that will scare you? The passing attack has shown some potential (Brandon Weedon has looked good over the past few weeks), but they are among the least threatening units in the league. Even if Richardson is playing, the Chargers have been the best rushing defense in the league (71.2 yards per game, 2 TD). While they would be a little less appealing, they certainly offer upside.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings: