NFL Week 8 Recap
By Jackson Posnik
This week’s NFL games were terrific, from blowouts to close games and history being made, the NFL was must watch TV. But the dangerous side of the NFL also reared its head with key players from multiple teams getting injured.
The early game this week was the Dolphins at Patriots. The Dolphins coming off an impressive couple of blowouts with new interim head coach Dan Campbell were supposed to provide an interesting challenge for the Patriots. They did not. The Patriots manhandled the Dolphins with Tom Brady throwing for four touchdowns and the defense completely dominated Ryan Tannehill led Dolphins. To add insult to injury Cameron Wake one of Miami’s pro bowl pass rushers was lost for the season with a torn achilles tendon. The Patriots won by a final score of 36-7. New England now sits at 7-0 and Miami 3-4.
The other early game, but only because it was played in London, was the Chiefs vs. Lions. This like the Thursday night game was a blowout, with Kansas City winning 45-10. The Lions defense looked horrible, unable to stop any Chiefs player, with Alex Smith running for 78 yards, as well as five different Chiefs scoring a touchdown. New Detroit offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s offense looked mediocre against Kansas City as the Lions dropped to 1-7. The Chiefs have now won two straight and are 3-5.
In one of the more surprising games of the weekend the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Atlanta Falcons 23-20 in overtime. The Buccaneers built another big lead this week but instead of squandering it, Jameis Winston led his team down the field in overtime and Connor Barth made a 31 yard field goal to win Tampa Bay the game. The Falcons offense was terrorized by linebacker Kwon Alexander who played an inspiring game with two interceptions and a strip fumble, just two days after the death of his 17 year old brother.
The Cardinals beat the Browns in what was a much closer game than the box score suggests. Josh McCown threw for three touchdowns in the first half to put the Browns up 20-3, but from there it was all Cardinals. Carson Palmer threw for three touchdowns in the second half and the Browns were shut out, with the final score being 34-20. One of the big injuries of the day also occurred with Browns pro bowl cornerback Joe Haden leaving the game with a concussion. With the loss the Browns fall to 2-6, as the Cardinals rise to 6-2.
The St. Louis Rams took care of business beating the San Francisco 49ers 27-6. Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley had another huge game, rushing for 133 yards on 20 carries, including a 71 yard touchdown. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick continued to struggle, going 20-41 on only 162 yards, as people wonder what his future with the 49ers looks like. The win pushed St. Louis over the .500 mark as they now are 4-3. Meanwhile the 49ers sink to 2-6 in what has been an overall sloppy season.
It was a shootout in the Big Easy this weekend. The Saints outscored the Giants to win 52-49 in dramatic fashion, with Kai Forbath kicking a 50 yard field goal as time expired. Drew Brees threw for a personal record of 511 yards and seven, yes seven touchdowns. Eli Manning was no slouch throwing for six touchdowns himself. In a game with almost no defense two of the better offenses in the league shined. Odell Beckham Jr. managed to have eight receptions for 130 yards and 3 touchdowns while not being the leading storyline of this game. The win brings New Orleans to 4-4, and puts the Giants at 4-4 as well.
The Vikings beat the Bears in a close game 23-20 Sunday. Adrian Peterson ran for 106 yards and Stefon Diggs had six receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown. It appeared as though the Bears would win this game, when with under five minutes to play Bears quarterback Jay Cutler lowered the boom on Vikings safety Harrison Smith for a four yard touchdown. But Stefon Diggs scored a 40 yard touchdown with under two minutes to go, and the Viking got the ball back and kicked the game winning field goal. The win puts Minnesota at 5-2 while Chicago sits at 2-5.
The Ravens ousted the Chargers by a narrow victory of 29-26. Joe Flacco threw for 319 yards and a touchdown to give San Diego the loss, but lost star wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. to a torn achilles for the season. Smith, who was supposed to be playing his last season, is reportedly contemplating coming back for one more season, not wanting to end his career by injury. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had 301 yards and three touchdowns but it was not enough, as Ravens kicker Justin Tucker put a 39 yard field goal through the uprights to seal the win for the win. Also of note Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen was lost for the year with a kidney injury. The loss puts the Chargers at 2-6, while the Ravens slide to the 2-6 with the win.
The Bengals beat the Steelers to remain undefeated by a score of 16-10. Ben Roethlisberger returned after missing time with an MCL sprain, but threw three interceptions in the loss. The game was close with the Steelers up 10-6 and the ball with nine minutes to go after an Andy Dalton interception, but with 5:34 to go Big Ben threw an interception. Andy Dalton then lead the Bengals down the field and completed a touchdown to AJ Green. The Bengals tacked on an additional field goal and picked of Roethlisberger again, to end the game. The Bengals move to 7-0 and the Steelers end up at 4-4. Le’veon Bell was also lost for the season after tearing the MCL in his right knee.
The Texans easily handled the Titans winning 20-6. Marcus Mariota was out with a knee injury and Zach Mettenberger was forced to start for the Titans. Mettenberger was constantly pressured, being sacked seven times by the Texans. Brian Hoyer threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns, in the win, putting the Texans at 3-5 and the Titans at a lowly 1-6.
The Raiders dismantled the Jets in a 34-20 win. Derek Carr tore up the Jets defense throwing for 333 yards and four touchdowns. Raiders running back Latavius Murray had 113 rushing yards on 20 carries, and wide receiver Andre Holmes had two touchdowns. On the first drive of the game Jets quarterback was hit by Raiders safety Charles Woodson, who also had got his league leading fifth interception, and had to exit the game with torn ligaments in his left thumb. Geno Smith then came in and actually played okay, with two touchdowns and one interception. But the Jets never win with Geno, and their great defense was beaten quite badly by Carr. With the win the Raiders move to 4-3 and the Jets to 4-3 as well.
The Seahawks were able to inch by the Cowboys, winning 13-12. Dan Bailey kicked four field goals for the Cowboys, who never scored a touchdown. The Seahawks were able to convert a touchdown, the only of the game, on a 22 yard pass to tight end Luke Wilson; but were unable to score until a late game drive by Russell Wilson, ending in a 24 yard field goal by Steven Hauschka for the win. The Seahawks advance to 4-4 while the Cowboys dropped to 2-5 and remain winless without Tony Romo.
In the battle of the undefeated teams, the Broncos beat the Packers 29-10 in a game that was never even close. The Broncos and their league leading defense held Aaron Rodgers to 77 yards passing, and were able to confuse and frustrate Rodgers the entire night. Peyton Manning managed to look much more like his old self throwing for 340 yards, though for no touchdowns and an interception. Much of Denver’s damage was done by the rushing attack. Ronnie Hillman had two touchdowns and CJ Anderson had over 100 yards rushing a touchdown. The Packer offense could get nothing going and the night was capped off by a terrible safety, for Green Bay. With the win the Broncos remain perfect at 7-0 and the Packers end up at 6-1.
This weeks football finale was the Panthers defeating the Colts 29-26 in OT. The Panthers went up early, with Cam Newton throwing touchdowns to Corey Brown and Greg Olsen. Andrew Luck played mediocre until the fourth quarter, when Indianapolis came roaring back, scoring 17 in the fourth quarter to sent the game into overtime. Each team kicked a field goal, but then Luck was picked off by Luke Kuechly on a tipped pass. Panthers kicker Graham Gano proceeded to connect on 52 yard field goal to end the game. The Panthers remain unbeaten at 7-0, while the Colts continue to struggle, sitting at 3-5.