Hey everyone, Tyler Arthur here, welcome to my weekly NFL column.
I am going to be using this space to keep all of you guys up to date with what you may have missed in the NFL, the biggest takeaways and stats, and then preview the upcoming week and what I think you need to be watching next.
Thanks for reading, now let’s get into this week’s column.
Yet another wild week of epic NFL football comes to a close, and we have a whole lot to talk about. Some results were unexpected, some unlikely heroes made their names known and the mightiest team in the league fell. So, let’s not waste any more time!
What happened This Week in the NFL?
It’s over, ladies and gentlemen.
Arizona Cardinals, 7-1.
I warned you all last week that this Thursday Night Football clash was going to be a big obstacle, and it proved to be that and more. The Green Bay Packers were missing superstar receiver Davante Adams and a couple others due to COVID, but they still managed to hold onto the win in a tense game. Arizona struck first, but lost 27-24.
The final drive had the Cards moving the ball well, and they got into the red zone, down by three points. Overtime seemed likely, but they wanted more. Kyler Murray threw for the end zone with a pass intended for A.J Green, but there was a miscommunication and Green genuinely looked like he had no idea what was going on. Murray was intercepted and in an instant the Cardinals’ epic run was over.
Halloween Special! – Pre-Game Costume of the Year:
Winner: Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears
Winners and Losers
Green Bay Packers (7-1)
Carolina Panthers (4-4)
Buffalo Bills (5-2)
San Francisco 49ers (3-4)
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)
Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)
Tennessee Titans (6-2)
New York Jets (2-5)
Los Angeles Rams (7-1)
New England Patriots (4-4)
Seattle Seahawks (3-5)
Denver Broncos (4-4)
New Orleans Saints (5-2)
Dallas Cowboys (6-1)
Kansas City Chiefs (4-4)
Arizona Cardinals (7-1)
Atlanta Falcons (3-4)
Miami Dolphins (1-7)
Chicago Bears (3-4)
Cleveland Browns (4-4)
Detroit Lions (0-8)
Indianapolis Colts (3-5)
Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)
Houston Texans (1-7)
Los Angeles Chargers (4-3)
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)
Washington Football Team (2-6)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)
New York Giants (2-6)
Las Vegas Raiders (5-2)
Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
Standout Individual Performers
Mike White, New York Jets
82% completion rate, 405 passing yards and 3 TD’s.
If you watched football this weekend, I hope you had the pleasure of seeing the work of Jets impromptu starter Mike White. In his first NFL start, he toppled the incredibly strong Cincinnati Bengals, with what will very likely go down as the standout performance of his young career. He was drafted in the 5th round in 2018 by Dallas and didn’t play in a game until Zach Wilson got hurt last week.
White threw 405 yards on 37 completions (of 45 attempts). He also threw 3 touchdowns, including the go-ahead TD with just 3:45 to go. And to cap it off, he was also on the receiving end of a Philly Special 2-point conversion, on which he made the catch that gave them the three-point lead that they held onto for the win.
Michael Carter, New York Jets
15 carries for 77 rushing yards and a TD as well as 9 receptions for 95 yards.
The best running back performance was another one that was unexpected, and just happened to also come from the same team as Mike White’s big performance. Jets rookie RB Michael Carter had the best game of his year thus far, with 172 scrimmage yards and a score. 77 of them came from his rushing efforts, from his 15 carries. The rest were courtesy of a big day receiving, with White finding him 9 times for 95 receiving yards. He also scored his third TD of the year, helping New York to their big upset win.
Matthew Stafford, LA Rams
66% completion rate, 305 yards and 3 TD’s.
I don’t think it would be inappropriate to say that this was the most locked in result of the week, with the 6-1 Rams heading over to visit the Houston Texans, who were 1-6. The game went exactly how you’d expect – to the point where the score actually doesn’t reflect it. The Rams went into autopilot, and pulled all of their starters, thus the score actually only separating the teams by 16. However, while the starters were out there, Matthew Stafford was dominant. He threw 305 yards and 3 TD’s, and the game was done by the end of the third quarter at 38-0.
A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans
10 receptions, 155 yards and a TD.
When A.J Brown returned to full health two weeks ago he hit the ground running with a great game with 91 yards. Then in Week 7 he had 133 yards and a score. And this week, he somehow continued his upward trajectory with a ridiculous 155 yards and another TD on 10 catches. The Titans had to work hard for their overtime win, but damn did A.J Brown do just that. After a rough start to the year, the Tennessee wideout has really lit himself on fire and this was his best performance yet.
Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers
6 receptions, 171 yards.
As far as a scoreless performance goes, Deebo Samuel did about as much as he could in the Niners win over Chicago. He was ruthlessly efficient, with just 6 receptions turning into a huge 171-yard performance on the road. Samuel continues to have a fantastic season, stepping up to be the number one receiving option in George Kittle’s absence.
Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts
10 receptions, 86 yards, 2 TD’s.
Although it’s always nice to shine a light on those who perform well enough to help their team to victory, sometimes you have to empathise for those who did it all but their team couldn’t get it done. The Colts’ wideout Michael Pittman Jr. had a great day, with 86 yards on 10 catches and two scores. The Titans defense couldn’t stop him, and it was definitely not for his lack of effort that they fell short in OT.
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8 receptions, 140 yards and a TD.
The Bucs were one of the multiple teams expected to win this week who failed to do so, partially because of their turnover issues, a rare thing for a Tom Brady-led team. However, Chris Godwin still had a great day individually. He hauled in 8 of his 12 targets and he turned them into 140 yards and a score. On a day where Brady was as sharp as we’d expect, he’d likely have had an even bigger day.
Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
18 carries, 137 yards and a TD.
It seems all-but impossible to know before any given season who is going to be the best running back for the Niners, but when one eventually stands as the main-man in their rushing attack, there’s always serious upside. Thus far, the best RB in San Francisco appears to be Elijah Mitchell, who this week had his third 100-yard game of the year. His 18 carries resulted in 137 yards, and he also scored for the third time. Weirdly he only seems to score in the games where he also gets triple-digit yardage. His big week was a big part of keeping Justin Fields off the field, and control the game over a struggling Chicago side.
Adrian Phillips, New England Patriots
3 combined tackles and 2 Interceptions including an acrobatic pick 6.
The standout defensive performance of the week goes to Adrian Phillips, who had a day in the Patriots secondary, terrorising star QB Justin Herbert in their closely contested win this week. He got 2 assisted tackles, one solo tackle and two interceptions. The second time he picked off Herbert it was an acrobatic diving catch, which he then returned 38 yards for a touchdown, and which was key in winning the game.
Josh Allen, Jacksonville Jaguars
5 solo tackles and 2.0 sacks.
No, not that Josh Allen. The young defensive end from Jacksonville. This week, in a pretty tough game against the Seahawks, he was a rare bright spot, with a very solid rushing performance, recording 2.0 sacks. He made 6 combined tackles, including 5 solo, in the defeat to Seattle.
Games to watch back
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals
Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints
Stat Leaders Through Week 8
Passing Yards – Tom Brady, 2650
Passing TD’s – Tom Brady, 25
Rushing Yards – Derrick Henry, 937
Rushing TD’s – Derrick Henry, 10
Receiving Yards – Cooper Kupp, 924
Receiving TD’s – Cooper Kupp, 10
Total TD’s – Derrick Henry and Cooper Kupp, 10
Tackles (combined) – Bobby Wagner, 93
Sacks – Myles Garrett, 10.5
Interceptions – Trevon Diggs, 7
Week 9 Preview – What to watch
Week 9 Best Games
Browns @ Bengals, 6pm.
Packers @ Chiefs, 9:25pm
Cardinals @ 49ers, 9:25pm
Titans @ Rams, SNF
Week 9 – Storylines and who to watch
Can Mike White back up his wild performance from Week 8 on TNF? Jets @ Colts, TNF
The battle of 1-7 teams aka the first annual Tank Bowl, Texans @ Dolphins, 6pm
Can the Bengals bounce back in a tough AFC North matchup? Browns @ Bengals, 6pm
Can Justin Herbert and co. bounce back? Chargers @ Eagles, 9:05pm
Can Kansas City return to their former glory against a streaking Green Bay? Packers @ Chiefs, 9:25
Epic NFC West Clash (aren’t they all, at this point?), Cardinals @ 49ers, 9:25
Can a Derrick Henry-less Tennessee pose any danger to the Rams? Titans @ Rams, SNF
How long will it take for another RB to overtake Henry as the leading rusher, with him not playing?