The weekly "Final Word" item scheduled for later Friday includes a note about the defenses NFC West teams face in Week 8.
Basically, three of four opponents rank fourth or higher in yards allowed this season. All four have faced NFC West offenses, too.
There is a connection, in case you missed the Seattle Seahawks' 6-3 defeat to Cleveland or the San Francisco 49ers' 13-8 victory at Cincinnati. I'm not predicting a sudden scoring run for NFC West offenses this week, suffice to say.
A look at Week 8 predictions for division teams after a 2-1 showing last week left my record at 16-6 for the season:
Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. ET. Something tells me Anquan Boldin finishes this game with at least one touchdown reception. The Ravens have generally been much better than they showed in losing to Jacksonville last week. They'll presumably look to right some wrongs here. Sando's best guess: Ravens 27, Cardinals 9.
New Orleans Saints at St. Louis Rams, 1 p.m. ET. The Saints, despite their 62-7 pummeling of Indianapolis last week, have posted unimpressive defensive rankings almost across the board, including No. 31 in yards per carry allowed. It's an upset if A.J. Feeley does much about it. Sando's best guess: Saints 37, Rams 7.
Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers, 4:15 p.m. ET. The 49ers' linebackers keep getting their hands on the football without collecting interceptions. The odds should even out at some point. Why not against Colt McCoy and the Browns? Sando's best guess: 49ers 20, Browns 9.
Cincinnati Bengals at Seattle Seahawks, 4:15 p.m. ET. The Seahawks aren't as bad as their offense made them appear at Cleveland. The Bengals aren't as good as their record appears after claiming victories over Cleveland, Jacksonville and Indianapolis. Still, this pick is made based solely on venue, and with some hesitation. Sando's best guess: Seahawks 17, Bengals 14.
That works out to 53 points from the NFC West this week. OK, where am I wrong this week?