Dan Kohn's Week 8 NFL predictions

Jerry World could be in more trouble than anyone could have imagined.

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Jerry World could be in more trouble than anyone could have imagined.

When Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones decided to take a flyer on Greg Hardy during the offseason, all the warning signs were there.

Hardy is a talented defensive end, but his excessive off-the-field baggage had most teams running the other way.

Hardy, 27, was convicted in 2014 of assaulting a female and threatening a former girlfriend. But the charges were dismissed after prosecutors said the accuser could not be found.

The Carolina Panthers, Hardy's employer at the time, cut ties with the loose cannon and the NFL suspended him for 10 games. The suspension was later reduced to four games.

On Sunday, during the Cowboys’ game against the New York Giants, Hardy again showed his true character as he was out of control on the sidelines, knocking a clipboard out of the hands of an assistant coach. He also got into a verbal exchange with a couple of teammates, including Dez Bryant, the team’s best receiver, who is out with a foot injury.

Instead of disciplining him, Jones decided to tell the world that Hardy was the type of leader his team needed.

On Monday, Jones told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas that the team was pursuing a long-term contract with Hardy.

When will Jones ever learn? If a divisive locker room is his ultimate goal, he’s well on his way. This can only end badly. Very badly.

Miami at New England: The Dolphins have beaten the Patriots in two of their past three meetings, but none were at Foxborough. Tom Brady finds a way to keep the Pats perfect. Patriots 35, Dolphins 28.

Detroit vs. Kansas City at London: The teams have combined for just three wins, but the Chiefs may have rediscovered their rushing attack two weeks after losing Jamaal Charles for the season with a knee injury. The Lions are a mess and went so far as to fire offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, Vince Lombardi’s grandson. Chiefs 23, Lions 17.

Arizona at Cleveland: At 5-2, the Cardinals are in the driver’s seat in the NFC West. To stay there, however, they can’t afford to stumble against the lowly Browns. Cleveland is 2-5 and its season is already on life support. Cardinals 30, Browns 17.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: The Bengals have outscored opponents by 60 points this season and at 6-0, lead the second-place Steelers by 2½ games. But early indications are that Ben Roethlisberger could return for Pittsburgh after injuring a knee in Week 3. If Big Ben is back, so are the Steelers. Steelers 27, Bengals 20.

New York Giants at New Orleans: Both teams enter the game on a bit of a roll. The Giants have won four of five, while the Saints have won two in a row. After inexplicably losing its home-field advantage last season, it appears New Orleans may have its mojo back, going 2-1 at the Superdome this season. Saints 24, Giants 21.

Tampa Bay at Atlanta: The Buccaneers are struggling again this season and have been outscored by 39 points through six games. Atlanta, however, is doing the exact opposite, mauling most opponents by 43 points through seven games. The Falcons put it in cruise control at home. Falcons 37, Buccaneers 17.

Seattle at Dallas: The Tony Romo-less Cowboys have dropped four straight and are close to imploding. As bad as the Seahawks have played on the road, they are a picture of health compared to Dallas. Seahawks 20, Cowboys 17.

San Diego at Baltimore: After playing so well against the Packers two weeks ago, the Chargers took a huge step back in a loss to Oakland. The Ravens have lost three in a row as well. If Philip Rivers gets time, he could pick the Baltimore secondary apart. Chargers 24, Ravens 20.

Minnesota at Chicago: The Vikings and Bears have split the last six games they have played with the home team winning each time. For that trend to continue, Jay Cutler must guard against making stupid mistakes. Vikings 23, Bears 20.

Tennessee at Houston: The Texans have won five of the previous seven meetings, including both last season. But Houston is a mess, falling behind by 41 points in the first half against the Dolphins last week in a big loss. Then their backup quarterback, Ryan Mallett, who missed the flight to Miami, was waived. The Titans pull out a late win. Titans 19, Texans 16.

San Francisco at St. Louis: The 49ers appear to be destined for the NFC West basement this season, while the Rams find themselves within shouting distance of the first-place Cardinals. Look for the rugged St. Louis defense to take charge early. Rams 27, 49ers 17.

New York Jets at Oakland: After suffering a tough loss to New England, the Jets must travel across the country to face the inconsistent Raiders. A loss by either team could put a serious damper in their hopes to challenge for their respective division titles. Raiders 22, Jets 20.

Green Bay at Denver: The Packers are 9-1 under coach Mike McCarthy after coming off a bye. Although the Broncos have a formidable defense, Green Bay appears to be getting healthy on offense. If the Packers can keep Peyton Manning in check, they stand a good chance to win. Packers 31, Broncos 28.

Indianapolis at Carolina: The Panthers continue to turn heads with a solid defense and explosive offense. The Colts, on the other hand, continue to struggle with their only wins coming inside the weak AFC South. Panthers 35, Colts 21.

Byes: Buffalo, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Washington.

Last week: 7-7 (.500).

For the season: 62-43 (.590).

Predicting the Packers: 6-0 (1.000).

Dan Kohn: 920-993-7173 or dkohn@postcrescent.com; on Twitter @PCDanKohn

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