Jake Morgan’s NFL Weekly Rundown: Week Eight

Jake Morgan, Sports Editor



Thursday Night Game: 


Falcons vs Panthers: An NFC South showdown in Carolina was Thursday’s game this week as the Falcons surprisingly took down the Panthers 25-17. The Falcons coming into the game were an abysmal 1-5 but played well against Carolina. Star wide receiver Julio Jones got going early with a couple of catches to set up two field goals for Atlanta. Veteran Matt Ryan looked solid as well, throwing for 281 yards and even rushing for a touchdown. Overall, an okay start to week eight, but nothing too special. 


Noon Games:


Vikings vs Packers: We kick off the Sunday slate with Minnesota shockingly beating Green Bay 28-22. Running back Dalvin Cook was doing just that, cooking. Nobody (and I mean NOBODY) could stop him as he finished with four touchdowns. With a whopping 30 carries, he had 163 yards on the ground as well as 63 receiving yards. Kirk Cousins only had to throw 14 times, the second-lowest in his career, but completed 11 of them for a mediocre 160 yards. Don’t let Cook’s numbers fool you though: the Packers were a drive away from winning the game. With 50 seconds left, Mr. Two Minute Drill Aaron Rodgers was ready to win it. After driving 30 yards to mid-field, however, rookie defensive end DJ Wonnum forced a fumble to end the game. 


Patriots vs Bills: A game of classic ground-and-pound gameplans was out in full force in Foxborough on Sunday, as the Bills were able to take down the Pats 24-21. Both teams had more rushing attempts than passing attempts, which is weird considering Josh Allen and Cam Newton were the two quarterbacks, but nonetheless the Bills got it done. Both Zach Moss and Devin Singletary had 14 carries and both went for 80 yards. However, it was Moss who scored two out of the three touchdowns to help the Bills grow their AFC East lead. 


Rams vs Dolphins: Usually the team with the more first downs, plays, and yards ends up winning the game, right? Not in this case. Despite losing in all three of those categories, the Dolphins somehow managed to come out with a win 28-17. Rookie Tua Tagovailoa looked rusty early on. On the first drive of his career, he was welcomed to the NFL by getting stripped by All-Pro defensive end Aaron Donald. It didn’t matter though, as the Dolphins defense looked phenomenal: picking off Jared Goff twice, recovered two fumbles, and even taking one of them to the house. With Miami’s defense on fire, Tua didn’t have to do much work; in fact, he only threw for 93 passing yards. Nonetheless, a win is a win as the Dolphins are now above .500. 


Titans vs Bengals: One could call this Joe Burrow’s “statement game” as he led the Bengals to a win over the highly favored Titans 31-20. Cincinnati scored on their opening drive and never looked back. A Giovani Bernard 12 yard run put the Bengals up 17-7 at half, and that was basically the nail in the coffin. With no scores in the third quarter, Cincy piled it on in the fourth with Burrow throwing for two touchdowns in the quarter alone to put the game away. 


Steelers vs Ravens: Undoubtedly my game of the week saw the Steelers improve to 7-0 with a nerve-wracking win over the Ravens 28-24. The Ravens, down by four with under a minute left, needed Lamar Jackson to step in in the clutch. Unfortunately, Baltimore was staring at a fourth and two at their own 45, down to their last play. When it seemed all but over, Jackson found Willie Snead for a huge 32-yard gain to set up a first and ten inside Pittsburgh’s 25. The Ravens had two plays to get in the endzone, but Jackson was unable to complete his first pass and the game clock dropped to five seconds. Jackson stepped back into the pocket and fired a bullet over the middle, but it was broken up by All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Game over. 


Raiders vs Browns: The Browns played host to the Raiders this week as it looked like both teams didn’t really want to play; nonetheless the Raiders came out with a win 16-6. Not much to say about this game except for how boring it was. If you like defense, then sure, this would be the game for you, but for everyone else, this was a massive letdown. A fourth-quarter Hunter Renfrow touchdown made all the difference in this one as Jarvis Landry wasn’t able to haul in two would-be touchdown passes that would’ve made all the difference in the game. 


Jets vs Chiefs: If you actually sat down and watched this game you either A) are a fan of either team or B) play fantasy football. Other than that there should be zero reasons why you would watch this game. To no surprise, Kansas City was able to take this one 35-9. Mahomes did what any quarterback would do against the Jets defense: tore them up. He threw for a very modest 416 yards with five touchdowns and even let his second and third-string quarterbacks get some reps. Tyreek Hill grabbed two of those touchdowns to go along with 98 yards and Travis Kelce led the receivers with 108. 


Colts vs Lions: A high-scoring affair saw the Colts come out with a win against the struggling Lions 41-21. The Colts offense was humming in this game as they scored a touchdown each time they were in the red zone, which is unusual considering their defense is the staple of the team. Rookie running back Jonathon Taylor, who has had much of the workload since Marlon Mack’s injury, was actually benched because of his poor play. Both Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins picked up the slack with Hines catching two touchdowns out of the backfield and Wilkins running for as well. Overall, a great performance out of Indianapolis’ offense while their defense kept the Lions in check with a fumble and an interception. 


Afternoon Games:


Chargers vs Broncos: Remember when we said that the Falcons were the team that always blew leads? Well, that torch has now been handed to the Chargers, as they were defeated in the final seconds by the Broncos 31-30. Leading by as much as 21, the Chargers once again looked like they had this game wrapped up, especially against a poor Denver offense. Well, not so fast. This Phillip Lindsay 55 yard touchdown run kick-started the Broncos comeback, andthey never looked back. An Albert Okwuegbunam touchdown then made it 24-17 early in the fourth. The Chargers were able to kick a field goal, but soon after, a Desean Hamilton 44-yard catch-and-run made it 27-24. Marvin Badgley made it 30-24 with just under three minutes to go. Drew Lock then marched his team down the field with three third-down conversions as well as a fourth-down conversion. And then, with one second left, he fired this dart to KJ Hamler for the touchdown and Brandon McManus sealed the deal. The Chargers are now the first team in NFL history to blow leads of 16+ four times. 


Saints vs Bears: Two heavyweight playoff contenders duked it out in Chicago on Sunday, as the Saints were able to grab the win in overtime 26-23. A one-sided Bears first half had them going into the third quarter with a 13-10 lead. Their defense got stop after stop but unfortunately, they were on the wrong side of the field, as they allowed Will Lutz to drill two field goals to make it a 16-13 game going into the fourth. The Bears offense showed more life than normal as they were able to tie the game with 13 seconds left, but questionable play calling from head coach Matt Nagy ultimately led to the overtime loss. As for the Saints, running back Alvin Kamara was able to keep them in it. Racking up 67 yards on the ground to go along with 96 through the air, he was a force as both a rusher and receiver. 


49ers vs Seahawks: An absolutely dominant performance from the Seahawks propelled them past the 49ers on Sunday 37-27. This game wasn’t as close as what the scoreline suggests.  With the Hawks leading 30-7 in the fourth quarter, it was basically all garbage-time touchdowns for the 49ers. The real loss for them, however, was the loss of starting quarterback Jimmy Garappolo and star tight end George Kittle. Garappolo injured his ankle after a hit early in the game while Kittle hurt his right ankle while making a catch. Both are expected to miss significant time, which could be a devastating blow to the Niners as they try to hang in the playoff race. 


Sunday Night Game:


Cowboys vs Eagles: Why the NFL decided to put two NFC East teams in primetime once again is baffling. Two teams that are a part of the worst division in the NFL, both of which don’t have a winning record, played on Sunday Night. One could argue that maybe Seahawks vs Niners or Saints vs Bears was a better game, but nope, the NFL wanted to make sure that we all were sitting on couches watching a complete dumpster fire. Nonetheless, it was the Eagles who took down the Cowboys 23-9. With both teams combining for SIX turnovers, it was Philly was able to capitalize off of rookie quarterback Ben Dinucci. Leading by only six with five minutes left to go, linebacker Rodney McLeod was able to seal the deal for the Eagles with a 53-yard scoop and score. 


Monday Night Game:


Buccaneers vs Giants: Monday Nights showdown was also a head-scratcher, as the 5-2 Buccaneers traveled to New York to play the 1-6 Giants. However, the Giants were able to make it entertaining. Down by eight and needing a game-tying drive by one of the worst quarterbacks in the league, Daniel Jones, it looked over for New York. Not so fast. Danny Dimes was able to march downfield, including completing a fourth and 16, to find Golden Tate for the late touchdown. However, they still needed to go for two to send it into overtime. Unfortunately, Jones wasn’t able to find running back Dion Lewis, as it was broken up by rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr and the Bucs were able to hang on 25-23.