Well, another week is in the books and the clutter mess that is known as the 2017 NFL Season has become a slightly less cluttered mess after week 8. Teams are starting to separate from one another, and some that were once considered division favorites are in must win mode for the next two months. Let’s go through NFL Week 8 together in this week’s Sunday Breakdown.
Minnesota Vikings 33 vs. Cleveland Browns 16:
Oh, Cleveland. You sent last week’s match against the Titans to overtime, only to collapse and lose that matchup by a field goal. It looked like you were going to give the Vikings a run for their money in London and get your first win of the season. That lasted about the half before the Curse of the Browns kicked in and the Browns left London in what turned out to be a not so close game. The Browns have gone 25 STRAIGHT SUNDAYS with a loss (They won on Christmas EVE last year, but that was on a Saturday). At least you can’t lose on the bye week, although I wouldn’t be shocked if you found a way to the way things are going.
Indianapolis Colts 23 vs. Cincinnati Bengals 24:
This looked like it could’ve gone either way for most of the game, and honestly the way I would describe the Colts loss at this point is unfortunate. The Bengals should not have let this game become so close, and the fact that it was makes me want to give Jacoby Brissett some credit. He’s been on the team for less than half a regular season and he understands the offense enough that makes me believe that he’ll win at least one game as the Colts QB. Jack Doyle had a remarkable game, catching 12 balls for 131 yards and a TD. Unfortunately, unlucky catch number 13 did not occur on this game before Halloween, and it became the game deciding play for this unlucky, unfortunate, and mostly untalented team.
Los Angeles Chargers 13 vs. New England Patriots 21:
This game shouldn’t be this close. The Patriots are coming off a Super Bowl victory and battling the lowly Chargers should’ve been decided in the first quarter in New England’s Favor. Tom Brady hasn’t hit his playing wall yet, so this is a team that’s supposed to be definitively win games. The Chargers were 23 yards and a 2-point conversion away from going into overtime against the reigning Super Bowl Champions. THIS SHOULDN’T HAPPEN. Yes, If this was the only occasion this season, it could just be a bad week for this Super Bowl contending team. The Patriots have won very few games definitively this year, only beating the out of conference Falcons and Saints by about 2 TDS. The Patriots might have won this game, but the AFC is wide open come January.
Chicago Bears 12 vs. New Orleans Saints 20:
A QB who literally completed 4 passes in his previous complete and successful start had to make 32 attempts during this game against the high powered offense known as the New Orleans Saints. How do you think that went? Answer: 14/32, 164 yards, and an interception. That can beat teams without competent offenses, but this isn’t going to cut it against future Hall of Fame Drew Brees. Brees didn’t even have a TD today, but the Bears made that fact unnecessary. Keep trying Trubisky, you possibly might get their one day.
Oakland Raiders 14 vs. Buffalo Bills 34:
I mentioned above about how the league is still pretty cluttered halfway through the seasons, but the AFC East and AFC West divisions seem to be going in opposite directions with that kind of thinking, with the Bills staying a half game back of the New England Patriots and about only 1-1.5 game(s) ahead of the Jets and Dolphins. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs seem to already have the AFC West wrapped with about a 3 game lead on all of their divisional opponents. Weren’t the Raiders suppose the challenge the Patriots for the crown this year. Well, at least Marshawn Lynch has his own reality TV show.
Atlanta Falcons 25 vs. New York Jets 20:
Dan Quinn before the Bills Matchup: “We’ve got this in the bag, Buffalo are a bunch of nobodies coming in our house, they’ve got no chance.”
Dan Quinn before the Dolphins Matchup: “We’re back from the bye with Julio Jones healthy again against a Dolphins team that was shutout by the SAINTS! Piece of Cake:”
Dan Quinn before the Patriots Matchup: “Okay, Okay, those last two losses were definitely unfortunate, and this is against the New England Patriots. Let’s just keep this game close and show America that we are still a team not to be messed with.”
Dan Quinn before the Jets Matchup: “LISTEN UP, NO ONE EATS UNLESS WE BEAT THE JETS. WE ARE NOT LOSING TO A JOSH MCCOWN LED FOOTBALL TEAM. WE ARE BEATING ONE MOTHERFLIPPING TEAM FROM THE AFC EAST AND YOU’LL ALL SUFFER MY WRATH FOR ALL ETERNITY!!!”
San Francisco 49ers 10 vs. Philadelphia Eagles 33:
When I made predictions before this week’s matchups, I actually predicted the 49ers would win this game. I thought I was genius for calling this “trap game” and that the Carson Wentz hype was overrated and that the 49ers were due for a win against a team that was going to be thinking ahead to the Broncos Defense. Sometimes these predictions are genius decisions and sometimes its just pure paranoia. I was the latter this week.
Carolina Panthers 17 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3:
This game was a boring matchup that was decided in the first quarter. There was an article on Bleacher Report this week on the end of Cam Newton in the NFL (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2740726-cam-newtons-latest-outburst-has-some-in-nfl-wondering-if-his-end-is-near) due to his recent outbursts. The team is currently 5-2 with no end in sight right now. Are the press conference outbursts a distraction, yes. If this was Colin Kaepernick would he never play in the NFL again, yes. Were Cam Newton’s against female reporters at least somewhat disrespectful, yes. At least he gets results though.
Dallas Cowboys 33 vs. Washington Redskins 19:
An advantage of writing this post on Tuesday Morning is that I know the outcome of the Ezekiel Elliott suspension, which right now looks like Elliott will be out of commission through Week 14. First of all, RIP anyone’s fantasy season who owns Elliott, your hope is likely gone unless you got him for a huge bargain. Second, The Cowboys are 4-3 and while it definitely looks like the Eagles have this division wrapped up pretty well, this team is still very much in the hunt for a wildcard spot. They have all 3 divisional opponents during this ban and will play the Chiefs this upcoming week. .500 is necessary at minimum during this stretch to make Elliott play with purpose in December.
Houston Texans 38 vs. Seattle Seahawks 41:
TWO EPIC MATCHUPS WITH HOUSTON SPORTS TEAMS ON THE SAME DAY. If we and Houston sports fans like to be honest, they would happily keep the results the same, as Watson has shown Elite QB play in his Rookie Season to show at least potential for an amazing NFL career, and the Astros are one win away from the World Series. On a serious note, Houston has been reeling from the Harvey Hurricane months ago and the city of Houston needs a moral win right now. Needless to say, Go Astros. On the Texans front, they’ve just got to allow the Jaguars to collapse on themselves like they always do and they’ll find a way to sneak into the NFL Postseason. This team is currently a dangerous team if the postseason started today, and this is without JJ Watt. The future of Houston Football looks bright.
Pittsburgh Steelers 20 vs. Detroit Lions 15:
The Pittsburgh Steelers benched Martavis Bryant after he publicly demanded to be traded away from a team that in his opinion didn’t want him. Little did we know that this would trigger the Steelers making his replacement Juju Smith-Schuster an NFL name overnight after catching 7 balls for 193 yards and a TD in a primetime victory over the Lions. Maybe the Steelers don’t want Bryant on their roster after this result, maybe they never wanted Bryant in the first place. This could all be a conspiracy to make Juju the next great receiver in NFL history. Maybe the NFL is rigged to have the same teams succeed over and over again. Or… I might be looking into one game too intensely. Congrats to Juju and the now 6-2 Steelers on a successful game. As for the Lions, at least Aaron Rodgers isn’t playing, right?