NFL Week 8 is almost history. There are a few teams who are not looking forward to the film room session on Tuesday and conversely a group that can't wait. Why wait till Tuesday? Let's dive in and do the NFL Week 8 Review now!
NFL Week 8 Review
Redskins vs Vikings 9-19
Vikings winning formula. First, get the running game going. Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison combined for 159 yards averaging 4.4 yards a carry. Next, have QB Kirk Cousins put up a solid performance. 23/26 for 285 YD 0 TD's or INT against a tough Washington D checks that box. Third, you need to get your big-play guys active in the receiving game. Stefon Diggs was 7 for 143 yards on 7 targets. Dalvin added to his ground yardage with 5 receptions for 73 yards on 6 targets. Five other receivers got receptions so sure, the passing game was cooking. Then the Vikes flip the script and put a physical defense on the field which held Washington QB Case Keenum to 12/16 for 130 yards and rookie Dwayne Haskins to 3/5 for 33 and 1 INT. They held Adrian Peterson to under 100 yards and yes, this team is good and the Redskins are not.
Seahawks vs Falcons 27-20
I picked this one in my Week 8 NFL Picks post and it turned out pretty much as I expected. The 'Hawks were coming off an embarrassing loss at home courtesy of the Ravens and they took it out on a talented Falcons team that is in disarray trying to win without their star QB. Matt Schaub gave it a mighty try throwing for 460 yards, 39/52 1 TD and 1 INT on the day. The running game was toast however as Freeman only totaled 39 yards on 13 carries barley topping backup Brian Hills 29 yards on 3 carries. The Seahawks shut down the Atlanta running game. Then Russell Wilson did his thing going 14/20, 182 YDS, 2 TD and 0 INT and Carson and Penny added 90 and 55 yards to the running game respectively. Atlanta made a run late in the 4th but this game was over in the second quarter. The Falcons season is over now.
Eagles vs Bills 31-13
I actually had the Bills pulling this one out at home in my Picks post but the Eagles were having none of it. I mentioned facing the Birds would be an excellent gauge to get a feel for where the Bills are in their quest to compete with the Patriots. Let's just say they have a long way to go. Orlando Scandrick had Philly fired up with his exit comments earlier in the week and Fletcher Cox, Malcolm Jenkins and company were able to rest in the 4th with the game fully in hand. Wentz was excellent going 17/24, 172 YDS, 1 TD and 0 INT. Jordan Howard added 96 and Miles Sanders 74 with both getting touchdowns. Josh Allen wasn't horrible going 16/34, 169 yards, 2 TD and 0 INT but the running game was just not there totaling 79 yards on 17 carries between two backs. Lack of a running game was key and the Eagles were finally able to overcome their rash of injuries to put up a complete game. Bills running game won't be addressed until next year. The Eagles should be getting healthy later this season.
Chargers vs Bears 17-16
Two teams who fought HARD for the opportunity to blow the game. Trubisky is a wreck. Bad decisions are one thing but his penchant for staring down receivers would be laughable if not for the fact it's tragic. This is the guy they wanted over Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson? How do you live that down as a GM? 23/35 for 253 yards, 0 TD and 1 INT and 1 Fumble which just blew my mind how bad his ball security was. 5 trips in the 1st half into the redzone and not one TD for their effort. They came back after the half and had a GREAT drive for their only points in the second half. After that, it was back to staring down receivers and just being generally ineffective. The only reason they were in the game was the Bears defense and rookie RB David Montgomery who cashed in 135 yards and a TD on 27 carries. The Chargers find new ways to lose by the quarter. Phillip Rivers was 19/29 for 201 YDS 1 TD and 1 INT. He had two beautiful TD throws dropped. RB Melvin Gordon was ineffective on the ground except for one glorious, smash-mouth, old-school TD run in the second quarter (check out the highlight below).
The Bears lost (stop me if you've heard this one before) as their kicker missed a very makable FG on the last play of the game. The Chargers get the victory but not they didn't win it so much as the Bears lost it. Philip Rivers doesn't care. He is very, very tired of the dysfunction and lost it (again) this week. Watching the drops, the penalties, the miscues, I don't blame him.
Giants vs Lions 26-31
Another game I thought was going to go the other way, the Lions surprised. Matt Patricia proved his doubters wrong and had his troops ready after a week of Belichikian-like personnel moves had left the locker room simmering. Turnovers plagued both sides but the Giants' inability to keep Saquon Barkley an active part of the game plan bit them late. He tallied 64 yards on 19 carries and the GMen need to keep adding offensive line talent. Daniel Jones went 28/41, 322 yards, 4 TD and 0 INT on a VERY good day that saw him take another step in his evolution. Stafford was 25/32 for 342 yards, 3 TD and 1 INT and the ball was singing on both sides of the field. The Lions ground game mirrored the Giants, they just used two players to total 5 fewer yards on the same number of carries. The Lions D figured out how to get it done at home. That is winning football. The GMen fight hard but need more talent on both lines.
Raiders vs Texans 24-27
WHAT A GAME! Gruden has the Raiders playing gunslinger football and the Texans have Deshaun Watson. This was just fun to watch. Derek Carr threw 3 TD's going 18/30 for 285 YDS and 0 INT. The Texans did just enough to make the Oakland running game ineffective. Josh Jacobs got 66 yards on 15 carries but that wasn't enough to keep drives alive on a consistent basis. Deshaun Watson was 27/279 YDS, 3 TD, 0 INT and got 46 YDS on 10 carries on the ground. DeAndre Hopkins was electric having to fight through tough coverage to make plays. Which he did all night long.
NOTE: J.J. Watt reportedly tore his shoulder labrum and is out for the season.
The Raiders scored a TD in every quarter but the 4th where they settled for a FG while Houston put up 14 points and won the game. Field goals keep it close but touchdowns win games. It will be true tomorrow. It was true on Sunday.
Jets vs Jaguars 15-29
The drive summary from the first quarter tells the story. Jags TD. Jets TD. Jags Punt. Jets INT. Jags TD. Jets Punt. Rinse, repeat. Sam Darnold was 21/30 218 yards, 2 TD and 3 INT. Three. Le'Veon Bell had 9 carries for 23 yards and added 3 receptions. He has to be wondering if financial security is worth it.
On the other side of reality .....
Gardner Minshew was 22/34, 279 YDS, 3 TD and 0 INT. Leonard Fournette had a quiet 76 yard 19 carry night but was effective moving the sticks. The Jags did not seem to miss the best CB in football much at all and they have 2 first-round picks in their pocket. The Jets have talent, but they are the Jets.
Bengals vs Rams 10-24
London Town! Rams started slow, got rolling, got it done. Did you see the double-reverse 65 yard TD toss to Cooper Kupp?!?! Pulease. High School fun! Jared Goff was 17/31, 372 YDS and 2 TD. Henderson and Gurley combined (get used to this new normal) for 21 carries (split evenly) for 93 yards and 1 TD (Gurley). Cooper Kupp had 7 receptions on 10 targets for 220 yards and 1 TD. He is the best WR in football right now and the most fun to watch by a HUGE margin. The Bengals had some stats and stuff. They didn't matter on the field and they don't matter here.
Cardinals vs Saints 9-31
I suggested you take the under and it was good advice. It took Brees a quarter to get going as the Saints did not tickle the scoreboard until the second quarter. Once he did New Orleans didn't take the foot off the gas. Kyler Murray was 19/33 for 220 yards and 0 TD or picks. There really was no rushing game with only 9 ground plays called for the game. Brees was 34/43, 373 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT, and Latavius Murray had 21 carries for 102 yards and a TD. The Saints have a D. The Cards don't.
Buccaneers vs Titans 23-27
It all boils down to this. The Buccaneers had a fumble recovery and a clear path to the goal line in the final minutes which would have given them the lead. The referees blew the play dead (they should not have) and the Titans had to settle for a FG and the loss.
The referees (ideally) are not supposed to be noticed. Here they (again) were the catalyst for defeat. All they had to do was let it play out and then sort it out on replay. Instead the bonehead call was made by part-time employees and the fortunes of more than a few were impacted.
The NFL needs to do better. This isn't a Titans' win. This is an NFL loss.
Panthers 49ers 13-51
WOW game alert! Wondered what would happen when the Niners matched up with a talented, physical team? A 50-burger-butt-whooping is what.
Jimmy Garoppolo was 18/22, 175 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT and handled his role masterfully. Tevin Coleman was the back today putting up 105 YDS on 11 carries but the running game was cooking for all the 49ers backs. But it is the DEFENSE (all caps out of respect) that is the story of the day. Nick Bosa and company are just insane. 3 picks on the day and when you can hold Christian McCaffrey to 14 carries, 117 YDS and 1 TD it's a good day. The Panthers can't wait for Cam Newton to get back and the Niners are focused on the next opponent.
Broncos Colts 13-15
Another game where the losing side scored 13 points on the day. Joe Flacco is a joke and when are the Broncos going to admit Elway sucks at finding QB's. Is Eli Manning next? Flacco and Lindsay were shut down on the day for the Broncos. The colts Brissett was a just enough better going 15/25 for 202 yards. Marlon Mack was the most effective guy on the ground for the game getting 76 YDS and 1 TD on 19 carries. Brissett lost a fumble but the Broncos coughed up 3 losing 2 of them and that was the difference in the game. Vinatieri hitting the 51-yard game-winner with 1:26 on the clock was priceless.
Browns Patriots 13-27
Baker Mayfield was 20/31 for 194 YDS 1 TD and threw an interception on a shovel pass. Nick Chubb got 131 yards on 20 carries, 2 fumbles and got stripped of the ball to negate his huge run. Sony Michel got 74 YDS on 21 carries. Brady was 20/36, 259 YDS, 2 TD. Zero turnovers for the team and that is the difference in the game and between the Pats and the rest of the league. I would not want to be Nick Chubb on film room day.
Packers vs Chiefs 31-24
Let's get the stats out of the way. Matt Moore was 24/36 for 267 YDS and 2 TD. Aaron Rodgers was 23/33 for 305 YDS and 3 TD. Neither side bothered to employ much of a ground game though Aaron Jones did get 67 yards on 13 carries. He also tabbed 2 TD on 159 YDS receiving via 7 receptions. Yep, 226 yards from scrimmage.
Big play after big play after big play. The highlights are seriously too numerous to mention. I will point out Any Reid does not get near enough credit for generating the offense he does on a consistent basis with any talent he has on hand. But watching Aaron Rodgers is one of two things. If you are a Packers fan it's magical. You believe because he delivers. If you are rooting for the other team life sucks. Because he delivers. He should change his name to the mailman.
Watch the highlights below and just marvel. Both sides. The NFL at it's best.
Another Left Coast Sports Post