NFL Week 8 Preview
Marquee Matchup for Week 8 in the NFL:
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (4:25 on 10/29)
The top matchup for week eight is a classic divisional matchup containing the Dallas Cowboys playing the Washington Redskins. The best thing about this matchup is that both teams are very good and possibly playing for second place in the division and a wild card spot in the playoffs. The Cowboys are coming off a 40-10 destruction of the 49ers in which star running back Ezekiel Elliott ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Neither of these teams records indicate how good they really are. Dallas is possibly a legit playoff contender with a record of 3-3. Washington is also playing very well despite being only 3-3, with their only losses coming to perhaps two of the best teams in football (Chiefs and Eagles). Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is currently having his best year yet throwing for 1,637 yards and 12 touchdowns with a 107.2 quarterback rating, and has housed impressive wins in Los Angeles (Rams) and against Oakland at home. This should be a great, hard fought divisional matchup between both teams with lots of drama and high stakes.
Prediction: Redskins’ quarterback Kirk Cousins has another great game, while battling with Ezekiel Elliott all game. I think the Redskins will use their home field advantage and pull out a tough, hard fought win against a good Dallas team. Redskins 24, Cowboys 20
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
Los Angeles Rams:
The Rams are heading into week eight by riding a two game winning streak and the highest scoring offense in the NFL. They are coming off a 33-0 romping of the struggling Arizona Cardinals while star running back Todd Gurley ran for his fourth 100-plus yard rushing game of the season. New Head Coach Sean McVay also has Jared Goff playing exceptional football. Throughout last year, Jared Goff only had two games with 200 plus passing yards. This year so far, he has six in only seven games. The Rams’ next game is week nine against the 1-6 New York Giants’ 27th ranked defense, so expect their high scoring offense to have a field day and for them to improve to 6-2 on the season.
New England Patriots:
The defending super bowl champion Patriots finally look like themselves again. After riding the league’s last ranked defense into their super bowl rematch against the high scoring Falcons, I had my doubts about this team. Those doubts are pretty much gone. Although failing to account for any turnovers, they were able to hold Matt Ryan and the Falcons top tier offense to only seven points. Their only score coming off a well defended fade route caught by Julio Jones showcasing his greatness again. The offense of this team was never in question, it was always about their defense. But after their breakout defensive performance against the Falcons on Sunday night, this team looks exactly how everyone expected to them be: dominant.
Perhaps the strangest games of week seven involved the Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears, and Carolina wasn’t on the better end of it. The Panthers started the season at 4-1 with impressive wins in New England and Detroit. They even had a hard fought loss against the 5-1 Philadelphia Eagles. This game was different. It was horrible and it starts and ends with the offense. The defense played great, holding rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to only four completions and 107 yards. They also held stud running back Jordan Howard to 65 yards with no touchdowns. To cap it off, Chicago only had a total of six first downs, and Carolina lost by 14. The Carolina offense played horrible, accounting for three turnovers, two of which were returned for 75 yard touchdowns. Carolina’s offense should be in panic mode right now. Simply put, you should never lose a game by 14 when your defense only allows a total of three points and six first downs.
The Colts need Andrew Luck back, badly. They also need a new offensive line, badly. Losing by 27 never looks good, but it looks worse considering they lost to an average team at best and got shut out at home. Their offensive line allowed a staggering nine sacks to Jacksonville while quarterback Jacoby Brissett threw for 200 yards with no touchdowns. Although that stat line isn’t the worst, considering how much pressure he was under the whole game, Andrew Luck still would’ve done better, he would’ve at least put some points up on the board. While all the focus will go on their poorly playing offense, their defense isn’t giving them any help. Their defense has allowed teams to score at least 23 points per game on them ever since week three, none of those games coming against spectacular offenses. The defense allowed quarterback Blake Bortles to throw for 330 yards and a touchdown. This loss dropped their record to 2-5 on the year and their only wins have come against the two teams still without a win (49ers and Browns). They’re lucky they play in such a weak division and may still have a chance at making the playoffs, or else there may be no point in trying to bring back Luck this season.
Top Storyline to Look for in Week 8:
Will the Falcons rebound in against the Jets?
The Atlanta Falcons look like they’re falling apart. They blew a 17 point third quarter lead against the Dolphins at home, then proceeded to only drop seven points against the Patriots then last ranked defense. They need to get back on track, it’s that simple, and what better way than against the Jets. While the Jets are not the worst team, they are certainly beatable, especially for a team that wants to prove the infamous super bowl hangover hasn’t caught up to them. Last year the Carolina Panthers proved exactly what a super bowl hangover can do to a team after going 6-10 while going 15-1 the year before. After starting the season 3-0, then losing three straight, the Falcons need to prove that the hangover hasn’t truly caught up to them. The perfect way to do that would be to put a beat down on the 3-4 New York Jets and use that game to propel them into the playoff race.
- Next Game: Vs. Cowboys (10/29)
- Previous Game: At Vikings (Loss 16-24)
- Notable Injuries:
- Mike Wallace, WR (Concussion)
- Terrance West, RB (Calf)
- Breshad Perriman, WR (Concussion)
- Next Game: Vs. Dolphins (10/26)
- Previous Game: At Eagles (Loss 24-34)
- Notable Injuries:
- Josh Norman, CB (Ribs)