The Broncos end the streak, the refs make some questionable calls and the Brotherly Shove gets stopped! Week 8 is in the books and lets look back at how this week in the NFL played out!
Teams On Bye
Thursday Night Football
Buffalo Bills 24 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18
Josh Allen guts it out to get the Bills over the line after appearing to hurt his shoulder in the first half of the game. While Allen didn’t miss a snap during the game his next pass after being hurt was a pick but the next two drives lead to touchdown’s so I guess he wasn’t that hurt? The game plan for the Bills was to pass the ball to everyone not named Diggs as they spread the love and did not become one dimensional in the passing game, something they should continue with going forward.
Baker played well but his constant indecision proved to be his downfall. He wasn’t able to overcome the Bills zone defence on Thursday Night, double clutching throws and hesitating, the Bills defence should have come away with more interceptions, Mayfield struggled to get Evans and Godwin going early resulting in the loss to the Bills.
The Bills remain close the Dolphins in a tight AFC East race by being only 1 game back where as the Buccaneers are still in a wide open race in the NFC South, being only 1 game back from the Saints and Falcons
Sunday Early Window
Carolina Panthers 15 – Houston Texans 13
There will be no winless team this season. The two top draft picks faced off and Carolina finally picked up their first win of the season against the Texans!
The Panthers got little help from their running game in this contest (44 total rushing yards) but Young recorded his first passer rating of 100 or better and he leaned heavily on Adam Thielen. In doing so Young threw for 235 yards and one touchdown in his first NFL win.
C.J. Stroud continued to avoid throwing picks but even remaining mistake free in this contest he struggled to find any kind of rhythm until the second quarter. Only leading two points scoring drives in the entire game and the Texans defence unable to step up to stop Young sealed the win for the Panthers.
The Texans now find themselves three games back to the Jaguars in the AFC South in joint second with the Titans.
Whereas the Panthers are in last in the NFC South but only two games behind the Buccaneers and three games behind the Saints and Falcons. The NFC South is still wide open!
Dallas Cowboys 43 – Los Angeles Rams 20
The Cowboys started strong early and did not stop until they had the Rams in a deep hole. In less than 3 minutes of game clock the Cowboys went from a 10-3 lead to a 26-3 lead, scoring on all three phases of the game! The big offensive breakout by the Cowboys has quickly put to rest the concerns fans and experts may have had heading into this game.
Stafford injured his thumb on his throwing hand on Sunday, appearing to have it hit twice, once during a sack and once during a two point try. Stafford previously injured the same thumb when he was with the Lions so there is something to be concerned about going forward. Brett Rypien stepped in for Stafford but there was no hope of a comeback against this monster Dallas defence.
In the NFC West the Rams find themselves two games back with the 49ers and the Seahawks ahead of them. If Stafford’s injury takes him out for significant time then the Rams season might just be over.
The Cowboys are two games back from the Eagles in second place in the NFC East, they will have the chance to take a shot at the Eagles next week!
Minnesota Vikings 24 – Green Bay Packers 10
The Vikings come away with the win against their division rivals but it is bittersweet as they have lost Kirk Cousins for the remainder of the season due to a torn achilles tendon suffered in this game. After starting 1-4 the Vikings seemed to be finding their stride, as Cousins continued his league high touchdown number to 18 before the injury. The Vikings will have to turn to their rookie Jaren Hall or more likely Josh Dobbs who they traded for..
The Packers keep starting cold, colder than Lambeau Field and Jordan Love leads the ice cold offense to another scoreless first half. The Packers are 0-4 in October and they are not looking like any kind of contender this season. I know I have said it multiple times but this might just be a rebuilding year for the Packers.
The Packers are two games behind the Vikings and four behind the Lions in the NFC North, they would need a leap higher than the Lambeau leap in performance to challenge for the division title.
The Vikings are two games back from the Lions and were finally looking like a contender for the division title in the NFC North but without Cousins, this may not be possible going forward.
New Orleans Saints 38 – Indianapolis Colts 27
The swiss army knife known as Taysom Hill helps the Saints break their losing streak by doing everything possible on offense! Hill rushed for 63 yards and two touchdowns, passed for 44 yards and caught a 14 yard pass, he proved too much for the Colts defence to handle especially when paired with the right hook that was Alvin Kamara who also racked up two touchdowns on the day. The Saints made a statement on Sunday and the Colts were the victim!
In a surprisingly high scoring game, Minshew Mania couldn’t get it done on the day. While he threw for two touchdowns, he had an interception and a completion rate barely over 55% which is not going to win you games. Even behind the return of Jonathan Taylor, the Colts couldn’t keep pace with the Saints and this might be a sign of future things to come. Can the Colts compete with a backup quarterback for the remainder of the season?
The Colts find themselves in the basement of the AFC South and are three games behind number one (Jacksonville) and tied in wins with the Texans and Titans. The battle for second place is wide open.
The Saints find themselves tied for first in the NFC South at 4-4 with the Falcons, this division has no clear favourite and it is wide open for anyone to win at this stage.
Miami Dolphins 31 – New England Patriots 17
The Dolphins are back on fire and they sliced and diced the Patriots defence in a decisive beatdown against a rival who used to do the same to them! Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle were unstoppable on Sunday as they both gained over 100 yards receiving on the day, something that the Patriots haven’t let happen all season up until this game. Jalen Ramsey finally made his first appearance as a Dolphin intercepting Mac Jones and setting up a field goal.
Mac Jones and the Patriots offense regressed after an impressive performance last week. Jones missed or couldn’t see Ramsey who he threw the ball right too which resulted in a field goal, and as the Patriots defence was already struggling, this costly mistake proved too much of a hill to climb. While they did drive late in the 4th quarter for the score, it was too little too late.
The Dolphins are stilling atop the AFC East, one game ahead of the Bills and four ahead of the Patriots. They will be in a tight race with the Bills for the remainder of the season but look like the future division champions.
The Patriots find themselves in the basement of the AFC East, yes they are behind the Jets, at 2-6 they will not be able to compete for the division title at this stage unless all hell breaks loose with the other teams and they go on a dramatic run!
New York Jets 13 – New York Giants 10 (OT)
The battle for New York was the worst game of football played in recent memory. Both teams struggled offensively, the Giants barely gaining 194 yards the entire game and the Jets a little better with 251 total yards gained. But the biggest stat shocker of the night was the Giants finishing the game with -9 passing yards, yes that’s correct, minus yards!
The punters for the Jets and Giants seen the field more than any other punters, with a total of 15 combined punts in the first half alone which is the most since 1991 and a the total number of punts in the game was 24 which is more than the combined score (23). An abysmal game of “football” played by both teams.
Shockingly the Jets are only 1 game back from the Bills and 2 games back from the Dolphins in the AFC East without Aaron Rodgers. Not something anyone would have thought possible.
The Giants dwell in the basement of the NFC East 1 game behind the Commanders but 5 behind the leaders the Eagles. The Giants will not make any kind of run and will at best finish 3rd in the division.
Jacksonville Jaguars 20 – Pittsburgh Steelers 10
Mike Tomlin may have his first losing season as a Steelers head coach. The Canada led offense is not NFL calibur and its causing players to become frustrated and players to regress in their development.While the Steelers defence always plays hard, totalling three takeaways, the offense did nothing with those opportunities they were given. The questionable calls by the referees resulted in a loud “REFS YOU SUCK” chant from Steeler Nation, which included a roughing the passer on Pickett which wasn’t called and resulted in him missing the remainder of the game, a questionable roughing the passer call in favour of the Jaguars and an offensive offsides on a field goal attempt which as Tomlin said “In 17 years coaching I’ve never heard this called”. Listen for the “Fire Canada” chants to return on Thursday Night.
The Jaguars are the real deal and the AFC needs to be on alert. They have improved game on game (even in losses) since last season and they are ready for a run. Travis Etienne had a day, grinding the game away in the wet and sloppy conditions and with Evan Engram through the air, the Jaguars rolled into Pittsburgh and silenced Steeler Nation.
The Jaguars sit comfortably atop the AFC South 3 games ahead of the Texans and Titans and are a sure fire lock for AFC South champions.
The Steelers sit joint second with the Browns and Bengals who are all 2 game behind the Ravens in the AFC North in a historically tight division, it’s still anyone’s division.
Tennessee Titans 28 – Atlanta Falcons 23
Will Levis is the future of the Titans, the rookie who has to have a chip on his shoulder after sliding out of the first round of the draft, put the AFC South on notice with his performance. Against the NFL’s #3 defence, Levis dropped four touchdowns for 238 yards and no interceptions, three of those touchdowns went to DeAndre Hopkins who racked up 128 yards and with Derek Henry chewing up over 100 yards on the ground, the Titans look to have finally found their footing. It will be hard for the Titans coaching staff to switch back to Tannehill unless Levis has a melt down against the Steelers on Thursday Night.
It had to happen eventually, with his inconsistent play Desmond Ridder finally found himself benched as the Falcons struggled to get going against the Titans. Taylor Heinicke stepped into the void and led the Falcons to 20 totals in the second half to keep the game closer than it originally should have been. Ridder might find himself on a short leash going forward.
Despite the loss the Falcons are still atop the NFC South but tired with the Saints and only 1 game ahead of the Buccaneers. The NFC South is anyone’s at this point in the season even the Panthers!
The Titans are tied for second in the division with the Colts and Texans and 3 games back from the Jaguars who are in first. If Levis continues to play hot and the Titans defence can keep the games close then the Jaguars might find a challenger emerging.
Philadelphia Eagles 38 – Washington Commanders 31
This game was considered an easy win for the Eagles before kickoff especially with the most sacked man under centre for the Commanders however, Howell stepped up, despite the offensive lines previous struggles and kept the Commanders in this game. On his four touchdown day, Howell only made one mistake and that interception cost the Commanders the game as it provided the Eagles with the spark for a go ahead touchdown.
The Brotherly Shove was stopped by the Commanders, not only stopped but forced a fumble! Still the Eagles did not let this stop them as they continued to dial up A.J. Brown, who caught two or Hurts four touchdowns on the day. The Eagles defence stepped up when needed with a game ending interception to escape with the win over the Commanders.
The Eagles remain atop the NFC East two games clear of the Cowboys and looking like the division champions already.
The Commanders are 3rd in the NFC East, two games back from the Cowboys and four back from the Eagles. They will struggle to claw back wins to challenge for 2nd place in the division if Howell cannot remain standing.
Sunday Late Window
Seattle Seahawks 24 – Cleveland Browns 20
The Browns highly championed defence once again failed to close out the game as the Seahawks rallied back late to win the game. The Browns are trying to lean on PJ Walker with Watson out injured and it is not producing the results they need. Their defence is carrying the load and they cannot win the game themselves. Walker turned the ball over three times against the Seahawks, this pretty much took the drive out of the game for the Browns.
The Seahawks got the ball back down three and in less than two minutes they drove down the field and scored quickly ending the Browns lead in the game. This drive was thanks to the interception by Julian Love who sparked the dull Seahawks offense into their game winning drive.
The Seahawks find themselves atop the NFC West tied with the 49ers for 1st place and two games ahead of the Rams. With the 49ers slump recently the Seahawks have a chance to snatch the title!
The Browns find themselves in a three way tie for 2nd place with the Steelers and Bengals in the AFC North. Traditionally a tight division, it is still anyones to win.
Baltimore Ravens 31 – Arizona Cardinals 24
After a dominating showing over the Lions the Ravens let the Cardinals hang around longer than many would have expected. Josh Dobbs has played his last game as a Cardinal as he was traded to the Vikings. He played well holding the fort for Kyler Murray in the short period of time he was there however too many mistakes sealed the Ravens win, including two interceptions which the Ravens turned into 14 points.
The Baltimore Ravens are slowly building momentum as they start to build a lead in the AFC North. Although you wouldn’t have thought they still had momentum as the Cardinals defence contained the Ravens and Jackson for the first half of football however eventually the Ravens found their mojo and rushed for three scores closing out the win.
The Cardinals find themselves in the basement of the NFC West at 1-7 their season is practically over even if Kyler Murray returns the best they can hope for is a winning season.
The Ravens sit atop the AFC North two games clear of the rest of the division, if they keep their momentum going the rest of the North will struggle to keep pace.
Denver Broncos 24 – Kansas City Chiefs 9
The streak is over! The Broncos finally ended their 16 game losing streak against the Chiefs on Sunday thanks to their defence stepping up, keeping Mahomes under pressure all game and holding the 6th ranked scoring offense to just three field goals! Russell Wilson and the offense played just well enough to capitalise on what their defence generated against the Chiefs and controlled the clock in the second half running almost an entire quarter off the clock with their game management.
The Chiefs offense could not get going all game, maybe the lack of Taylor Swift in attendance was the downfall or maybe it was Mahomes being listed as having an illness on the injury report? Either way the Chiefs did not look like the Chiefs on Sunday but they occasionally do have questionable games and this shouldn’t worry Chiefs Kingdom.
The Broncos in the basement of the AFC West but tied up with the Raiders and 3 games back from the Chiefs.
The Chiefs sit atop of the AFC West and are 3 games clear of the Chargers, Broncos and Raiders and still look like the division champions.
Cincinnati Bengals 31 – San Francisco 49ers 17
The 49ers issues continue as they drop another game as the Bengals play their best game of the season so far! The 49ers 11 game winning streak at home came to an end on Sunday as Purdy continued to struggle, throwing another pair of interceptions and their defence gave up a season high 31 points. As the 49ers head towards their bye week they can focus on righting the ship and trying to get their new star Chase Young up to speed!
The Bengals looked like the Bengals from last season as Joe Burrow still battling his calf strain turned in a vintage Burrow experience throwing three touchdowns to three different receivers, after limping to a 1-3 start the Bengals head into a prime time showdown with the Bills, they look ready to make a playoff run.
The 49ers once were atop the NFC West and looking dominant but their recent problems have seen them drop to 2nd behind the Seahawks.
The Bengals are in a three way tie with the Steelers and Browns however their recent performances look to make a run at the AFC North title.
Sunday Night Football
Los Angeles Chargers 30 – Chicago Bears 13
Bagent dropped the bag on Sunday Night Football and struggled to hang with a Chargers team who finally unleashed Ekeler! Herbert had a perfect first quarter for 120 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions and kept the momentum going throughout the game. Leaning on Ekeler through the air for 94 yards and a touchdown, the Bears defence had no answer for the Chargers on SNF.
Bagent came into the game on a high following his first win last week however he couldn’t keep pace with the Chargers. Only his second ever start, Bagent struggled to find open receivers but still managed to drive 75 yards for points, but his two interceptions proved too much to bounce back from.
The Chargers are second in the AFC West but find themselves 3 games back behind the Chiefs and will struggle to keep pace.
The Bears are in the basement of the NFC North; they are tied with the Packers and are 2 games behind the Vikings and 4 games behind the Lions. The Bears are in rebuild mode.
Monday Night Football
Detroit Lions 26 – Las Vegas Raiders 14
The Lions bounce back after their beatdown by Ravens to put the hurt on the Raiders on Monday Night Football. The Raiders defence did everything they could in this game and they cannot shoulder the blame for this loss as the offense struggled to find any rhythm and Davante Adams was a no show the entire game. The Raiders responded in kind by firing both Josh McDaniels (HC) and David Ziegler (GM) following the loss.
The Lions didn’t let the loss to the Ravens last week affect them, it was like that game never happened. Jahmyr Gibbs had a breakout night racking up 152 yards and a touchdown while Amon-Ra St. Brown had his third straight 100 yard game, bringing the Lions their sixth victory of the season.
The Lions are atop the NFC North, 2 games ahead of the Vikings and 4 games ahead of the Bears and Packers. Unless the Vikings make a serious push with Josh Dobbs, the Lions are a lock for division champions.
The Raiders are 3rd in the AFC West and 3 games back from the Chiefs, with the Chargers starting to look like themselves again, the Raiders might struggle to finish third in this division.
Now that Week 8 is done and dusted and the trade deadline has past, its now or never for every team pushing for the playoffs. See ya in Week 9!