NFL Week 8 – 32 Thoughts
With Week 8 in the books, here is a quick look from around the league.
Arizona Cardinals: Carson Palmer’s big plays to Larry Fitzgerald and rookie John Brown got the Cardinals another win (6-1) and off to their best start in 40 years. AFC East Connection: Antonio Cromartie had a two interception day which was the second in his career.
Atlanta Falcons: It’s hard to believe this team was 5 points away from the Super bowl less than 21 months ago. With their fifth straight loss, it’s hard to imagine that there will not be major changes made after this season. Franchise Fact: Losing a 21 point lead on Sunday was the biggest collapse in Falcon franchise history.
Baltimore Ravens: Another poor performance by Joe Flacco coupled with an offensive pass interference call against Steve Smith cost the Ravens not only a victory but first place in the division. Even with a 5-3 record, the Ravens are only 1-3 against teams with winning records including being swept by the division leading Bengals.
Buffalo Bills: Fueled by a defense that caused six turnovers and mistake free football from the Quarterback position, the Bills upended the Jets in the Jersey Swamps. In four games as Buffalo’s starter, Kyle Orton has completed 67% of his passes, has a three to one touchdown to interception ratio, and has not posted a quarterback rating less than 88.1.
Carolina Panthers: A horrible game from Cam Newton overshadowed the best defensive effort that the Panthers have had since Week 4. Unbelievable Stat: Even though the Panthers have lost 4 of their last 6 games, at 3-4-1, they are in first place in the NFC South.
Chicago Bears: The Bears Offense did not play terribly but two key Jay Cutler turnovers and a defense that could not get off the field gave the Bears little chance to win this game. Useless Trivia: Since beating the Patriots in Super Bowl XX, the Bears are 1-7 against New England.
Cincinnati Bengals: After going 0-2-1 in the last three weeks, the Bengals bounced back with a quarterback sneak with only 3:59 to go. The Bengals have moved back into first place of the AFC North.
Cleveland Browns: An unimpressive victory over Raiders help the Browns match their win total (four games) from last year.
Dallas Cowboys: Dallas’ Offensive Line were overwhelmed by not only great press clippings this past week but, more importantly, by the Redskins’ Defensive Line. Tony Romo was knocked out of the game with a back injury but returned in the 4th quarter and played through overtime. DeMarco Murray became the eighth player in NFL history to have 1,000 yards after the first eight games.
Denver Broncos: Denver took care of business on a short week against the Chargers at home. Emmanuel Sanders has emerged as the go to receiver for Peyton Manning and now only needs 106 yards to top his best season he ever had.
Detroit Lions: Thankfully for the Lions, their offense made it through customs by the second half.
Green Bay Packers: The Packers defense could not stop Drew Brees in the second half and the loss put Green Bay a game and a half behind Detroit in the NFC North. What is more concerning to Cheese-Head Nation is the possible injury to Aaron Rogers.
Houston Texans: A huge day by Arian Foster led the Texans past the Titans. Houston is now 4-4 and only one game behind Indianapolis in the division.
Indianapolis Colts: As hard as Andrew Luck tried to pull out a victory, he could not overcome the Colts defense giving up 522 yards to the Steelers. Apparently the Steelers uniforms were so ugly that none of the Colts defensive backs wanted to be within 10 yards of a Steelers receiver. Quick Note: During the Colts five game winning streak, their Defense gave up only 15 points per game…On Sunday that defense allowed 51 points.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Miscues on offense let this sure fire win over the in state rival Dolphins get away on Sunday. Blake Bortals became the first quarterback to throw two interceptions for touchdowns since Geno Smith.
Kansas City Chiefs: Defense and Special Teams dominated the Rams as the Chiefs scored 34 unanswered points to rout St. Louis.
Miami Dolphins: Ugly wins are still wins. The Dolphins defense saved the day and covered up what was a very flat offensive performance. Ryan Tannehill’s “Bortal-esqe” like performance certainly can’t have the Dolphin faithful feeling all that great.
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings bounced back with from a touch road loss last week by stifling the feeble Tampa Bay offensive attack and winning in dramatic fashion in overtime.
New England Patriots: The Patriots Offense was firing on all cylinders Sunday but the three touchdowns the Patriots scored in the last 57 seconds of the first half put the Bears in a 38-7 hole at half time that they had zero chance of coming back from. On their current four game winning streak, Tom Brady has thrown 1,268 yards, 14 touchdowns and no interceptions.
New Orleans Saints: After a relatively quiet first half, Drew Brees threw three second half touchdowns and cruised by the Green Bay Packers. New Orleans are 3-0 at home but have yet to win on the road. With a 3-4 record, the Saints now have a Thursday Night showdown against the Panthers for first place in the division.
New York Giants: The bye week could not have come at a better time after losing two games in a row by a combined score of 58-21.
New York Jets: The Jets season continued is slow and painful implosion as Geno Smith was benched after going 2 for 8 with five yards and three interceptions. This led to Michael Vick being named as the starter for next week’s game against Kansas City. At this point there can be little doubt that big changes are coming to the Jersey swamps….The only question will be if the GM will be fired with the Coach or not.
Oakland Raiders: The Raiders are terrible but Derek Carr is quietly having himself a decent rookie campaign completing 61% of his passes and having almost a 2 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio.
Philadelphia Eagles: Though outgaining the Cardinals by almost one hundred yards, three turnovers and eleven penalties for one hundred and three yards cost the Eagles in this close game. Season Stat: Without Darren Sproles, the Eagles were the first team this season to run for over one hundred yards on the Cardinals defense.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh finally put together a good offensive performance and dismantled the Colts secondary. However, that ancient Pittsburgh defense kept the Colts in the game for way too long.
St Louis Rams: After a going up 7-0 over the Chiefs, Jamal Charles and the Kansas City defense was way too much for the Rams to handle. Painful Stat: Austin Davis was sacked seven times and suffered fourteen quarterback hits.
San Diego Chargers: The Chargers were uncharacteristically sloppy and the Broncos made them pay for every mistake. Prior to the game against the Broncos, the Chargers had turned the ball over only three times….Against Denver, they turned it over twice.
San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers needed a week off after the beating they took at the hands of Denver.
Seattle Seahawks: Late game heroics from Russell Wilson and some timely defensive play helped snap Seattle’s two game losing streak. Game Stats: This was the first game this year that the Seahawks won when Marshawn Lynch did not have 100 yards of combine offense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: With the way Lovie Smith’s offense looked on Sunday, the NFL could have given Tampa an additional bye week to prepare and it would not have looked any better.
Tennessee Titans: A decent debut by Zach Mettenberger was overshadowed by the Titans defense’s inability to stop the Texans running game. Tennessee has lost 6 of their last 7 games going into their bye week and the week 15 match up against the Jets may be their next best hope at winning a game.
Washington Redskins: A big win for Colt McCoy and the Redskins on Monday Night. Washington’s defense harassed the Cowboys and recorded 5 sacks against Dallas. Crazy Stat: This was the first time since 2012 that the Redskins have won back to back games.