By Dan Durkin–
(CBS) After eight weeks, it’s become pretty clear that there are only six good teams in the NFL, three in each conference.READ MORE: Concert Venue Metro Requiring Proof Of COVID-19 Vaccination For All Events
The best matchup of the weekend takes place in Carolina, where the undefeated Panthers (7-0) take on the Packers (6-1).
Here’s my take on how this weekend’s action will play out.
BILLS 23, Dolphins 20 — noon
The Bills took it to the Dolphins in Miami in the season opener. The Dolphins are a different team now under interim coach Dan Campbell. However, the Bills are rested and more physical in the trenches, which will be the difference.
Packers 27, PANTHERS 23 — noon
The Green Bay offense was humbled last week in Denver. It will face another stiff test in Carolina, but I sense a strong rebound by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers limiting the limited weapons that Cam Newton has to work with.
Rams 23, VIKINGS 17 — noon
This is an interesting midseason matchup between two wild-card hopefuls. It’ll be a treat to see the NFL’s two best running backs on the same field. I favor the fast Rams defensive line on turf against a shaky Vikings front five.
PATRIOTS 37, REDSKINS 17 — noon
This is the most lopsided matchup of the weekend. The Patriots will jump out to a big lead and force Kurt Cousins into several bad decisions, which no Redskins fan will like.
SAINTS 34, Titans 17 — noon
Winners of three straight, the streaking Saints get the rebooted Titans at home. Coaching change or not, the Titans simply aren’t a good team and will be dominated in Mike Mularkey’s first game as interim coach.
JETS 24, Jaguars 17 — noonREAD MORE: Chicago FOP Trying To Help Officer Charged In Capitol Riot Get Back His FOID Card
The Jets defense was shredded last week in Oakland as was a ligament in quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s left (non-throwing) thumb. Even with a one-handed quarterback, the Jets are a better team. Their defense will rebound and stymie the Jags.
STEELERS 31, Raiders 27 — noon
Ben Roethlisberger was rusty in his return from a knee injury, throwing some uncharacteristically bad balls. The Raiders, on the other hand, are riding high. Still, in a potential shootout in Pittsburgh, the Steelers receivers will be the difference in this game.
Falcons 31, 49ERS 13 — 3:05 p.m.
The 49ers will be starting Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. By choice. Enough said.
Giants 30, BUCS 23 — 3:05 p.m.
The Giants defense collapsed last week against the Saints. While the Bucs offense has improved, it’s still not good enough to overcome their porous secondary. Eli Manning and Odell Beckham will be too much for Tampa.
Broncos 34, COLTS 20 — 3:25 p.m.
Peyton Manning facing his old team will be the storyline here, but the focus should be on the Broncos defense. After stifling Rodgers and the Packers, they’ll do the same to Andrew Luck and the reeling Colts, who seem destined for a house cleaning.
Eagles 24, COWBOYS 20 — 7:30 p.m.
It’s nearly impossible to believe in an offense led by Matt Cassell. As well as the Cowboys defense played against the Eagles back in Week 2, it won’t be enough as the Philadelphia out a win in Big D.
CHARGERS 31, Bears 26 — 7:30 p.m. Monday
There are plenty of ties between these two disappointing teams. The Chargers’ strength is their passing game, and the Bears’ biggest weakness is their pass defense. Philip Rivers will be the difference.
Season record through Week 8: 76-44 (Last week: 8-6)MORE NEWS: Five More States Added To Chicago's Travel Advisory List
Dan Durkin covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @djdurkin.