Welcome to another installment of my weekly NFL Column. My goal is to watch everything so that you don’t have to. I will present to you the best games to watch back; the craziest moments; the best individual performances and the season-long stat leaders and records. I will also be previewing the upcoming gameweek, too.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in, check in each week.
Not everybody in the UK has the ability to watch almost 20 hours of live NFL every week, but I’ll make sure you don’t miss anything you’d wish you didn’t. Without further delay…
This is what happened This Week in the NFL.
Game of the Week
If you can only watch one full game in its entirety, watch this one:
Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts
This game was NUTS. I would actually say that this might have been one of the more rollercoaster-ride games this season, so far! Both of these teams came into this matchup with 3 wins, the Browns rocking a 3-2 record and the Colts at 3-3. Cleveland’s defense is absolutely elite and Indianapolis have got their star running back in the lineup again.
In terms of calling which way it would go, it wasn’t easy, but I’ll tell you one thing for free, I wouldn’t have predicted this exciting, crazy and action-packed as this!
I won’t spoil any of it, I genuinely couldn’t recommend more that you watch this game.
Other games to watch back
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New Orleans Saints
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
Upset of the Week
Buffalo Bills 25 – 29 New England Patriots
Wow. For the longest time, the New England Patriots dominated this division, as the Bills struggled. In more recent years the tables had turned. However, this week, the Patriots pulled off a huge upset, toppling one of the best teams in the AFC, knocking them off with a 29-25 victory at home. The Bills took ages to get started, letting the Pats get out to a promising lead. They eventually mustered up the offense to steal the lead, but it didn’t last long. Mac Jones managed to find Mike Gesicki for a game-winning touchdown and a terrible griddy, to hand the Bills their third loss of the year.
Honourable Mention: San Francisco 49ers 17 – 22 Minnesota Vikings
Winless Watch! (AKA the race for Caleb)
Winners and Losers
Jacksonville Jaguars (5-2)
Chicago Bears (2-5)
Cleveland Browns (4-2)
New England Patriots (2-5)
New York Giants (2-5)
Atlanta Falcons (4-3)
Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
Seattle Seahawks (4-2)
Denver Broncos (2-5)
Kansas City Chiefs (6-1)
Philadelphia Eagles (6-1)
Minnesota Vikings (3-4)
New Orleans Saints (3-4)
Las Vegas Raiders (3-4)
Indianapolis Colts (3-4)
Buffalo Bills (4-3)
Washington Commanders (3-4)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3)
Detroit Lions (5-2)
Los Angeles Rams (3-4)
Arizona Cardinals (1-6)
Green Bay Packers (2-4)
Los Angeles Chargers (2-4)
Miami Dolphins (5-2)
San Francisco 49ers (5-2)
Teams on Bye
Cincinnati Bengals (3-3)
Dallas Cowboys (4-2)
Tennessee Titans (2-4)
New York Jets (3-3)
Carolina Panthers (0-6)
Houston Texans (3-3)
Standout Individual Performers
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
12 receptions on 13 targets for 179 receiving yards and a TD.
Happy National Tight End Day everyone!!! I hope you all enjoyed the festivities on Sunday. Naturally, in honour of this fine holiday, Travis Kelce did his damn thing. The best TE in football showed out, with 12 receptions for 179 receiving yards and a touchdown in a dominant performance. With Taylor Swift in the stands, and on National Tight End Day, this was practically set in stone. His 179 yards was actually the second-most yards in his impressive career.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
76.2% completion rate, 424 passing yards, 4 TD’s and an INT.
While I had to celebrate a TE first, the guy throwing Kelce the ball also happened to have a pretty unreal week, too. This year hasn’t been the best for Patrick Mahomes, but he was back to his unbelievable ways this week. He completed 32 of his 42 pass attempts (76%) for 424 passing yards and 4 TD’s. He threw one interception, but that’s not a bad trade off for the rest of his stat line.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
77.8% completion rate, 357 passing yards and 3 TD’s and a 155.8 Quarterback rating, plus 36 rushing yards and a TD.
From one ex-MVP to another, this week, Lamar Jackson went absolutely nuts this week. He only threw 21 completions (on 27 targets for 77.8%), and yet he was able to put up an efficient 357 passing yards and 3 TD’s. Plus, he also rushed 9 times for 36 more yards and a touchdown of his own. We’ve seen Jackson play out of his mind before, so we know it’s possible, but boy is it fun to see him at his best when it happens. An world in which Lamar Jackson is playing at an MVP-level is better for it.
Jordan Addison, WR, Minnesota Vikings
7 receptions on 10 targets for 123 receiving yards and 2 TD’s.
When Justin Jefferson got hurt, it was obviously going to be a big loss for Minnesota, but it did present a very big opportunity for rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison. Selected 23rd overall, Addison came out of USC with a great opportunity to play alongside a superstar – now he has to become one. In his second game without Jettas, he proved that he has some serious talent. He also has a serious knack for the end zone. In the Vikings’ surprise MNF victory over the Niners, he caught 7 of his 10 targets for 124 receiving yards and scored a brace, taking his touchdown tally to 6 in 7 games.
Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns
7 solo tackles and 2 assists including 2.0 Sacks and a forced fumble.
I am not being hyperbolic, when I say, I think Myles Garrett is the best football player on the planet, right now. He is absolutely ridiculous. The Browns defensive end absolutely dominated this week. With 7 solo tackles and 2 assists, he recorded 2.0 Sacks, including a strip sack in the first quarter. His brace of sacks this week puts him on 7.5 for the season. Putting you just half a sack off the NFL-lead. He is a true gamewrecker, and this week, I don’t think they could have won in this tightly-contested game without him.
Camryn Bynum, S, Minnesota Vikings
7 solo tackles and 2 assists, plus 2 INT’s, including the game-sealing interception.
As if the Minnesota Vikings defeating one of the best teams in the league wasn’t surprising enough, the defensive player who shone brightest in their victory was also unexpected. When you think Vikings defense you normally think Danielle Hunter and Harrison Smith, but nope, this week it was Camryn Bynum! The young Safety was all over the field, with 7 solo tackles and 2 assists. He also secured 2 interceptions, including the game-sealing pick, to seal the
Foyesade Oluokun, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars
9 solo tackles and 5 assists, plus a pick-six.
One of the busiest linebackers in the league over the last five years, Foyesade Oluokun is an absolute tackle monster. This week was no different, as the Jags linebacker made 9 solo tackles, and also had his hand in 5 assists, too. Then, as a nice cherry on top, he also scored a pick-six, when he took Derek Carr’s pass attempt 24 yards to the house in the third quarter. Seeing as Jacksonville only won by 7, that pick-six was a huge play in the game.
Michael Hoecht, DE, Los Angeles Rams
4 solo tackles and 3 assists for 2.0 Sacks and a forced fumble.
The LA Rams’ defensive line has a household name on it, as it contains one of the best defensive players in history. That household name is not Michael Hoecht. However, that’s the name of the player who balled out this week for them. In a tight matchup against the Steelers, the third-year defensive end made 7 combined tackles including 4 solo. He forced a fumble and also managed to record 2.0 Sacks.
A.J. Brown, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
10 receptions on 15 targets for 137 receiving yards and a TD.
The discourse about the Philadelphia offense can often be geared towards the running game, but let’s not forget that they also have one of the most dynamic pairs of wide receivers in the NFL. The head of that one-two punch is A.J. Brown, who is one of the most dangerous wideouts around. In their primetime win over a high-flying Miami team, Brown secured 10 of his 15 targets and turned them into 137 receiving yards and his third touchdown of the season.
D’Onta Foreman, RB, Chicago Bears
16 carries for 89 rushing yards and 2 TD’s, plus 3 receptions for 31 yards and a TD.
The Chicago Bears have had a bit of a revolving door at running back this season, but this week’s lucky starter was D’Onta Foreman. The veteran halfback carried the ball 16 times, but against the porous Raiders defense that was plenty. He turned those rushes into 89 yards (5.5 ypc) and ran for 2 TD’s. Plus, he also added 3 receptions for an additional 31 yards through the air, and another score, to complete just the second hat-trick of his six-year career.
Josh Downs, WR, Indianapolis Colts
5 receptions on 6 targets for 125 receiving yards and a TD.
In the epic game between the Browns and the Colts, it would be rude not to mention anyone from Indy who put in a good performance, despite losing. The player who I thought impressed me was Josh Downs. The rookie WR out of North Carolina has shown flashes of potential in his first seven games, and this week was the best we’ve seen so far. On 6 targets from Gardner Minshew, Downs had 5 catches for 125 receiving yard, and found the endzone for the second time in as many weeks.
Puka Nacua, WR, Los Angeles Rams
8 receptions on 12 targets for 154 receiving yards.
If I’d asked you before the season started how often you thought you’d see Puka Nacua’s name in my ‘Standout Individual Performers’ segment I wouldn’t have judged you for asking me “who?” And yet, he’s practically in here every week! This game he saw 12 targets and pulled in 8 receptions. Those catches turned into 154 receiving yards (his third time with over 145 yards in just 7 games!) against a decent Steelers defense. Pittsburgh got the better of LA, but not for the lack of production from their unsuspecting rookie sensation.
Darren Waller, TE, New York Giants
7 receptions of 8 targets for 98 receiving yards and a TD.
Let’s finish off our annual celebration of National Tight End day with one final TE performance. Since leaving the Raiders, Darren Waller has struggled to output with the level of dominance we became accustomed to. However, this week he looked more like we expect, turning 7 receptions into 98 receiving yards and finding the end zone against the Giants’ divisional rival Commanders. Also, finally, he found the end zone for the first time as a Giant!
Stat Leaders Through Week 8
Passing Yards – Tua Tagovailoa MIA, 2092
Passing TD’s – Kirk Cousins MIN, 16
Rushing Yards – Christian McCaffrey SF, 598
Rushing TD’s – Raheem Mostert MIA, 9
Receiving Yards – Tyreek Hill MIA, 902
Receiving TD’s – Tyreek Hill MIA, 7
Total TD’s – Raheem Mostert MIA, 11
Tackles (combined) – Zaire Franklin IND, 88
Sacks – Danielle Hunter MIN, 9.0
Interceptions – Geno Stone BAL, 4
Week 8 Preview – What to watch
REMINDER – THE CLOCKS GO BACK, SO SUNDAY’S GAMES KICK OFF AN HOUR EARLY
THE FIRST SLATE IS AT 5PM
Teams on Bye
No Teams this week.
Week 8 Best Games
Cincinnati Bengals @ San Francisco 49ers, 8:25pm
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Buffalo Bills, TNF
Los Angeles Rams @ Dallas Cowboys, 5pm
Tyler’s Bold Week 8 Prediction
The Buccaneers will surprise the Bills!
Week 8 Storylines
Will Buffalo bounce back after a surprise loss? Buccaneers @ Bills, TNF
Can Stafford and co. deliver Dallas’ first home loss? Rams @ Cowboys, 5pm
An unpredictable matchup between two struggling NFC North sides, Vikings @ Packers, 5pm
The battle for New York! Jets @ Giants, 5pm
Two 4-2 teams looking to keep momentum, Browns @ Seahawks, 8:05pm
What could have been projected as a Super Bowl matchup now looks a little more one-sided, can Cincinnati prove themselves? Bengals @ 49ers, 8:25pm