Another week in the NFL.
We saw some more trades earlier this week, with Mohamed Sanu heading to New England, Michael Bennett going to Dallas, and Emmanuel Sanders being sent to San Francisco. After the conclusion of Week 8, we’ll have technically reached the halfway point of the 2019 season… goes by quick, doesn’t it… and before you know it, we’ll be in Miami for the Super Bowl (and the Dolphins will be sitting at home). Anyway…
Biggest Rise: Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans (up 4 spots)
Biggest Fall: Chicago Bears (down 4 spots)
Awaaaaay we go
1. New England Patriots (PR: 1)
Record: 7-0 | Week 8 opponent: Cleveland Browns (home)
Stop it with the “their schedule has been too easy” narrative. Consider how the 49ers and Patriots have each played Washington and Pittsburgh. San Fran beat those teams by a combined 13 points; New England beat them by a combined 56 points. The defense has allowed 3 touchdowns all season. THREE! With Mohamed Sanu now on the team, the offense will receive a jolt. Still the class of the NFL, deal with it.
2. New Orleans Saints (PR: 3)
Record: 6-1 | Week 8 opponent: Arizona Cardinals (home)
New Orleans’ win against Chicago was super impressive. The Bears bread and butter is their defense, but they allowed 30 points for the first time this season, and only the 4th time since the beginning of 2018. With key players down, it was a legitimate performance, proving once again the Saints are a strong TEAM. Drew, I know you might be ready, but rest a little longer, let Teddy play one more game, and come back after the bye week.
3. San Francisco 49ers (PR: 2)
Record: 6-0 | Week 8 opponent: Carolina Panthers (home)
I read something last Sunday about how sloppy conditions favor the inferior team, and that seemed to be the case last Sunday in Washington. Nevertheless, the 49ers pitched a shutout, and they moved to 6-0. A win is a win, and this group continues to win. The addition of Emmanuel Sanders will help as well. Facing a gritty Panthers team tomorrow will be the biggest test of the season to date, and it will be a great game.
4. Green Bay Packers (PR: 5)
Record: 6-1 | Week 8 opponent: Kansas City Chiefs (away)
Well, that bad man in Green Bay is back. Facing a Raiders team coming off of strong wins against Indy and Chicago, Green Bay took them to town. It was a close game for most of the first half, but Rodgers was in his bag. Watch out for this Packers team now, they were good before, but with Rodgers clicking, they’re officially entering the dangerous category.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (PR: 6)
Record: 5-2 | Week 8 opponent: Green Bay Packers (home)
Every Washington fan has been screaming all week not to rush back Mahomes. He’s out tomorrow, but he’s been practicing… LET HIM REST, IT IS NOT WORTH RUSHING HIM BACK. For the sake of your future success, please be cautious. Even if it means some tough losses the next few weeks, having Mahomes healthy for a Wild Card Game is better than having a damaged product moving forward.
6. Seattle Seahawks (PR: 4)
Record: 5-2 | Week 8 opponent: Atlanta Falcons (away)
Seattle was outplayed at home for the second time this season, and Russell Wilson looked human for the first time all year. It might be fair to start questioning if Seattle has been a fluke thus far, but I don’t think this Wilson will show up often. Seattle’s defense still has question marks, and a 2-2 record at home for a team notoriously successful there is worrisome, but this is still a good team.
7. Buffalo Bills (PR: 7)
Record: 5-1 | Week 8 opponent: Philadelphia Eagles (home)
The Bills just keep winning. It was an ugly win against the lowly Miami Dolphins, but they got their act together and came out on top. This defense will keep them in games all season, and it will be a question of how good the offense can be. Once again, this is a playoff team, but their ceiling could be higher with a better QB.
8. Minnesota Vikings (PR: 10)
Record: 6-2 | Week 8 opponent: Washington (home); won
Kirk Cousins has completed the biggest heel-turn I have ever seen. From going 4 for 10 during Week 1 to going 23 for 26 Thursday. He’s actually putting up stats comparable to 2018 Patrick Mahomes through 8 games… yup, he’s proving us all wrong. It was an ugly win Thursday, but the Vikings are 6-2 now halfway through 2019… they’re in the mix.
9. Indianapolis Colts (PR: 9)
Record: 4-2 | Week 8 opponent: Denver Broncos (home)
Put some respect on the names of the division leaders of the AFC South. The Colts had a solid win against Houston, and continue to show they are a well-rounded football team. Jacoby Brissett was great, and is having an awesome season. The other facets of this team are strong, and overall, the Colts just might be the top challengers to the Patriots in the playoffs.
10. Baltimore Ravens (PR: 13)
Record: 5-2 | Week 8 opponent: none (bye week)
What a solid victory last Sunday. Going into Seattle and winning is no easy feat, but the Ravens made it look simple. Lamar Jackson is no joke, putting up numbers we have never seen at the QB position before. He is the straw that stirs the drink that is the Ravens offense. Their next game? At home versus New England… I cannot wait.
11. Houston Texans (PR: 8)
Record: 4-3 | Week 8 opponent: Oakland Raiders (home)
Houston got screwed out of a touchdown in the second quarter because of a Deshaun Watson “sack,” but they were outplayed all game. Watson was fine, but I think they just faced a more well-rounded team, and as a result, never had a lead during the game. The Colts take the edge in the division for now, but we’ll see a rematch on Thursday, November 21.
12. Carolina Panthers (PR: 12)
Record: 4-2 | Week 8 opponent: San Francisco 49ers (away)
Cam Newton seems to be closer to 100%. but the Panthers are still riding with Kyle Allen (as they should be). Solving the vaunted 49ers defense will be a challenge, but this Panthers team seems to be up to the test. Things are clicking, players are buying in, and in a deep NFC, every game matters; even in October, this game will have huge implications moving forward.
13. Dallas Cowboys (PR: 17)
Record: 4-3 | Week 8 opponent: none (bye week)
Dallas came out with a HUGE win last Sunday, absolutely shutting down an Eagles team who had guaranteed a win the week prior. Ezekiel Elliot had a strong game, and the Cowboys defense shut down Carson Wentz and the Eagles. Like the Colts in the AFC South, Dallas has the edge in the NFC East at the moment. How they lost to the Jets, I don’t know, but hopefully that was just an ugly outlier.
14. Los Angeles Rams (PR: 16)
Record: 4-3 | Week 8 opponent: Cincinnati Bengals (home)
The Rams got a get-back-on-track win against the Atlanta Falcons, but every team the Falcons have faced this season (minus Philly) has done this, so nothing too special. Jared Goff was okay, Todd Gurley was… there… but the Rams defense had a fun time getting to Matt Ryan, totaling 5 sacks. The Rams have another layup coming tomorrow, and then their bye week. Call me after that when they play some real competition.
15. Chicago Bears (PR: 11)
Record: 3-3 | Week 8 opponent: Los Angeles Chargers (home)
Um… yes, Mitch Trubisky still sucks. No, Tom Brady isn’t coming to the rescue, but this team needs a new QB, FAST. They apparently had a player-only meeting on Wednesday, which is not a good sign. Similar to the Bills, the defense should keep them in every game they play, but we’re being deprived of seeing their full potential because of the play at QB.
16. Philadelphia Eagles (PR: 14)
Record: 3-3 | Week 8 opponent: Buffalo Bills (away)
Well, this team sucks right now. After head coach Doug Pederson guaranteed a win the week prior, Philly got their doors blown off in Dallas, looking like a shell of any Pederson-coached team we’ve seen over the years. The Eagles schedule does not get any easier, as their next 4 games are against the Bills, Bears, Patriots and Seahawks. Things could go south if they don’t get their act together soon.
17. Detroit Lions (PR: 15)
Record: 2-3-1 | Week 8 opponent: New York Giants (home)
Although Matthew Stafford had a great game, the Lions defense could not keep Minnesota off the field, and all the goodwill from the first three games of the season is quickly vanishing… and Kerryon Johnson is out for the rest of the year. The team is losing ground in the NFC North, as well as the NFC playoff race. They can still probably win 7-8 games this season, but it won’t be enough to play in the postseason.
18. Oakland Raiders (PR: 18)
Record: 3-3 | Week 8 opponent: Houston Texans (away)
Another team that has to go back to the drawing board. If Derek Carr had just a bit further of a jump to the pylon in the second quarter against Green Bay (and held onto the ball), the Raiders go into the half winning by 3, or at worst losing by 4. Sadly that wasn’t the case. All is not lost, as the AFC is pretty wide open outside of New England right now. The goal now becomes winning games over the next month while the Chiefs are without Patrick Mahomes.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars (PR: 20)
Record: 3-4 | Week 8 opponent: New York Jets (home)
It might not have been pretty, but the Jags got their third win of the season last Sunday, and are still in the thick of things in the AFC South. For a division where every team has between 3 and 4 wins, it could go anyone’s way, but the Jags will need to continue to win before their remaining contests against the Colts and Texans.
20. Cleveland Browns (PR: 19)
Record: 2-4 | Week 8 opponent: New England Patriots (away)
Turnover machine Baker Mayfield gets the honor of facing what might go down as one of the greatest defenses in NFL history. It sounds like a recipe for disaster. If he can surpass his output from is game against the 49ers (8 for 22, 100 yards, 2 INTs), consider it a miracle. At least the schedule eases up the rest of the way.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers (PR: 21)
Record: 2-4 | Week 8 opponent: Miami Dolphins (home)
We are on the verge of the greatest Monday Night Football game in NFL history as the Steelers prepare to host the Miami Dolphins. After Monday, the Steelers have the Colts and Rams on their schedule, so they’d be best served by taking advantage of this game.
22. Arizona Cardinals (PR: 26)
Record: 3-3-1 | Week 8 opponent: New Orleans Saints (away)
While I am disappointed no one told me David Johnson (who is on my fantasy team) was hurt and Chase Edmunds would have the game of his life, the Cardinals are certainly happy. The QBs in that game were mediocre at best, but Arizona was able to prevail. Finally at .500, the Cardinals get the prize of facing the Saints and 49ers the next 2 weeks!
23. Tennessee Titans (PR: 27)
Record: 3-4 | Week 8 opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (home)
I guess Ryan Tannehill was the answer all along. I never understood why everyone hated him so much in Miami. Obviously he wasn’t great, but he didn’t suck that bad. Probably the next Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tannehill was great, and Tennesse pulled out a win. The Chargers had plenty of chances, but shot themselves in the foot a few times too many. At 3-4, they’re still in the conversation for a playoff birth.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (PR: 22)
Record: 2-4 | Week 8 opponent: Tennessee Titans (away)
Well, lets hope the bye week gave Jameis Winston amble time to forget the Carolina game ever happened. I am mad Tampa didn’t trade O.J. Howard to the Pats (he’s being wasted!), not much else new to report. The Bucs head to Tennessee to face a Titans team coming off of a big win. The last time these two played each other, it was the first NFL game for Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota; what a difference 4 years makes.
25. Denver Broncos (PR: 23)
Record: 2-5 | Week 8 opponent: Indianapolis Colts (away)
The Broncos began selling off parts as they traded Emmanuel Sanders to the 49ers on Tuesday. Maybe we’ll see more of that before Tuesday, but regardless, I think Thursday showed this team isn’t doing anything this season. Onto 2020.
26. Los Angeles Chargers (PR: 24)
Record: 2-5 | Week 8 opponent: Chicago Bears (away)
The Chargers lost a heart-breaker last Sunday to the Titans, and are now 1-5 since their thrilling Week 1 victory against the Indianapolis Colts. Maybe they have enough to beat the Bears tomorrow, but after that they get games against the improved Raiders and surging Packers… if they can’t win two of those games, it’s time to call it a season.
27. New York Giants (PR: 25)
Record: 2-5 | Week 8 opponent: Detroit Lions (away)
The debut of Danny Dimes against Tampa Bay seems like forever ago, as the Giants have lost 3 straight games. This is what most probably expected when Jones took over, but he had us very hopeful early on. Not to say he can’t reach those heights down the line, but at the moment he’s just not there. The goal is to find that consistency before this season is over and build on it for 2020.
28. New York Jets (PR: 28)
Record: 1-5 | Week 8 opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars (away)
Well, I bought back in too soon. Sam Darnold looked awful, and he was seeing ghosts out there… maybe if he threw to them he wouldn’t have had so many interceptions. They were able to pick Brady off due to hitting him and effect his pass, but that was their only success of the night. Back to the drawing board.
29. Atlanta Falcons (PR: 29)
Record: 1-6 | Week 8 opponent: Seattle Seahawks (home)
At least Mohamed Sanu is free now. Wonder who else can get out before it’s too late. What a mess. Onto 2020
30. Washington (PR: 30)
Record: 1-7 | Week 8 opponent: Minnesota Vikings (away); lost
How bout them Nationals!… Onto 2020.
31. Cincinnati Bengals (PR: 31)
Record: 0-7 | Week 8 opponent: Los Angeles Rams (away)
To the Bengals credit, at least when they lose they make it interesting. I know I’ve been harsh on Andy Dalton, but he’s not awful, and the Bengals might want to try trading him to a team like Chicago or Buffalo. Go all-in on the tank. Onto 2020.
32. Miami Dolphins (PR: 32)
Record: 0-6 | Week 8 opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers (away)
I thought we were going to get a classic Fitzmagic win last Sunday, but Miami couldn’t pull it off. They face the Steelers on Monday, a team Fitzpatrick went off against last season on Monday Night Football. Should be
fun… yeah I won’t say it. Onto 2020.
Photo above via Packers Wire – USA TODAY
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