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One Thing Week 8

AFC

North

Steelers- JuJu Smith-Schuster saved the day for the Steelers with his 97-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter. That catch and run helped overshadow what was a so-so performance from Roethlisberger and the rest of the offense. The defense didn’t have its best game either only registering 2 sacks against backup tackles and allowing 423 yards passing from Matt Stanford. They won the game however and that’s all that really matters as they remain on track for a first-round bye.

Ravens- the Ravens got a much needed win to stay alive in the division. After that scary hit from Kiko Alonso, it’s anyone’s guess as to if joe flaccid will miss any time. The Ravens defense returned to its old self with a dominant shutout and two defensive touchdowns and running back Alex Collins looked great against a good Miami defense. If they can keep this up the Ravens could challenge Pittsburgh for the division.

Bengals– Carlos Dunlap’s tipped pick-six may have been the play that won it for Cincinnati but there were a couple others that should have lost it for them. After asking for more carries last week Joe Mixon got them but he only picked up

Browns- well hue Jackson finally stuck with one quarterback for a full game and Deshone Kizer played maybe his best game of the season. For the most part, he made good decisions and good throws. Despite this progress, it’s getting more and more difficult to find a win on the Browns upcoming schedule.

South

Titans- After their bye, the Titans are still tied for first in their division. A win against the suddenly surging Ravens will help them keep pace.

Jaguars- Coming out of their bye the Jaguars look to keep in contention for the division lead with a win over the slumping Bengals.

Texans- Although this year’s Seahawks defense is a far cry from the units that beat Peyton Manning and almost beat Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, heck it’s not even as good as the unit that got trounced in the playoffs last year, Deshaun Watson put up the impressive totals of 402 yards passing, 67 yards rushing, and 4 touchdowns. However, Watson’s 3 interceptions seem to give away this team as one that’s at least a year away from true contention.

Colts- Jack Doyle is back. After dropped passes and fumbles over the past few games Doyle put up 12 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals. it wasn’t enough however as Indy fell 24-23. Indy has a tough test next week against Houston as they hope to remain relevant in a crowded division.

East

Patriots- At the end of September, the Patriots were in last place for points allowed, at the end of October the Pats have moved up to 18th. It seems though if it’s not one thing it’s another. This week on their red zone trips the Pats were 1 for 4 and with Gostkowski missing two kicks the game was definitely closer than it could have been. The Pats go into their bye tied for the best record in the AFC and at the perfect time with injuries mounting.

Bills- Who would have thought that the Bills would be 5-2 eight weeks into the season? The Bills continued their personnel approach of addition by subtraction when they traded defensive tackle Marcel Darius for a sixth-round pick. As long as they don’t trade away LeSean McCoy the Bills have as good a chance as they’ve ever had to break their 17-year postseason drought.

Dolphins- I can admit when I’m wrong, and I was terribly wrong about the impact Matt Moore would have on the Dolphins offense. After leading a 14 comeback against the Jets last week I was convinced that he would provide Miami with the spark they needed going forward. After getting shut out and with two pick-sixes its clear that Matt Moore is not the guy.

Jets- Now sitting at 3-5 the team that rallied for a 3 game win streak to go to 3-2 seems far off. The Jets are technically not out of it yet but a 1-3 record in the division and with the team seemingly finding ways to lose after blowing two 14 point leads and a fourth-quarter lead in its last three Games their chances of making the playoffs don’t look great.

NFC

North

Vikings- after coming out to a sluggish start in London mike simmers team finally realized they were playing the Browns and ended the game with a commanding 33-16 lead. Going into their bye week Minnesota is in a great spot with a division lead and a top record in the NFC.

Packers- The Packers had better hope they figured out with to do without Aaron Rodgers on their bye week. They have an opportunity to stay relevant with two division game coming up.

Lions- On Sunday Night Matt Stanford passed for over 400 yards with no touchdowns. That’s the second time in his career he’s done that. Over the last 20 years, no other QB has even one such performance. What does that mean? I’m not totally sure but here’s an easier to digest stat: The lions were 0-5 in the red zone and did not register a single touchdown the entire game. Couple that with a defense that was penalized at seemingly the worst times and you have the lions sitting at 3-4. With Aaron Rodgers out the division is still wide open bu the Lions cant have any more performances like this if they hope to qualify for the postseason.

Bears- On this weeks installment of “no one knows what a catch is” we take you to the Superdome where Bears tight end Zach Miller has apparently pulled in a TD pass grabbing the ball and pulling it in as he goes to the ground. But no, its called back and everyone is left wondering what a catch in the national football league is. Miller suffered a gruesome knee injury on the play but luckily he had successful emergency surgery and doctors were able to save his leg. As Mitch Trubisky slowly comes along the future is bright for the Bears… next season.

South

Saints- This game was tighter than it needed to be after two late Mark Ingram fumbles but once again, on offense, the day was won through Ingram and his backfield partner Alvin Kamara. Both backs chipped in over 75 total yards a TD apiece paving the way for the Saints fifth straight win. The division is still anyone’s to win right now the saints will need to keep their winning ways going against the Buccaneers next week.

Panthers- A solid win against a division opponent lets Carolina keep pace in a competitive division and the return of Luke Kuechly bodes well for an already good Panthers defense. A win against Atlanta next week would go a long way to cementing their place in the division.

Falcons- Things didn’t always look good for Atlanta in the rain on Sunday with Matt Ryan fumbling he snap three or four times but in the end, they pulled it out with Matt Bryant a perfect 4-4 on field goals and an outstanding catch by Mohamed Sanu in the back of the end zone. Next week the Falcons have a chance to move to second place in the division with a win over the Panthers.

Buccaneers- Jameis Winston is good? Jameis Winston is bad? Jameis Winston is inconsistent. That’s the one of the only thing you can really say about Winston in his third year. There’s not a lot of great things your can say about the Buccaneers as a team; they seem directionless and unmotivated. At 2-5 not sure where this team goes from here.

East

Eagles- Carson Wentz continues to shine throwing 2 touchdowns and leading his team to victory. The Eagles sit at 7-1with the best record in the league but Wentz no his offense will be tested next week when they take on the dangerous Denver defense.

Cowboys- This was a big win for the ‘Boys. At 4-3 and 2-0 in the division, the Cowboys have not yet played the first place Eagles. Now that Elliott’s suspension is back The Cowboys could be in trouble as their next six games are the Chiefs, Falcons, Eagles, Chargers, Redskins, and Giants. It will take a team effort and big showing from Dak to keep this team in contention for the division.

Redskins- This loss as brutal for the ‘Skins. They now sit at 3-4 and 0-3 in the division and their hopes of making the playoffs took a major hit. Technically no one is eliminated this early in the season but its awfully unlikely that Washington makes the playoffs.

Giants- The Giants are in an interesting spot, at 1-6 they’re most likely not going to make the playoffs so what’s the move for them? Do they keep valiantly trying and pursue the victories, or do they see this as an opportunity to get younger guys involved and work toward next season? We’ll get a look at their future plans when they take on the Rams next week.

West

Seahawks- with a win on Sunday the Hawks moved into first in the division but all throughout the day Russel Wilson was running for his life. The Seahawks hope that will change after trading for left tackle Duane Brown to help stabilize the offensive line.

Rams- Coming off their bye the Rams will look to keep pace with the Seahawks for the top record in the division in their game against the Giants.

Cardinals- With the news that David Johnson will most likely not be back the Cardinals season has an even more bleak outlook. This could be Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgeralds last year in the league and its a little sad if this is their swan song.

49ers- With their stunning trade for Jimmy Garoppolo The Niners have injected hope into their franchise. while not expected to suit up this weekend to play he seems to be the perfect fit for the offense Kyle Shanahan likes to run. Things could be looking up in San Francisco.

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