Friday, November 27, 2020

Reviewing Week 8 In The NFL

We have officially reached the halfway of the 2020 NFL season. Week 8 concluded in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beating the New York Giants 25-23. Let’s look over how the rest of the action played out.

Is The Dynasty Now Over?

The Buffalo Bills beat the New England Patriots 24-21 in week 8. The Pats had the chance to tie the game and take it to overtime. They were in field goal range with just over 30 seconds left on the clock.

New England quarterback Cam Newton ran with the ball and fumbled it, allowing the Buffalo Bills players to take the ball and seal the win.

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton.

This result moved the Buffalo Bills to 6-2 and the New England to 2-5 in this NFL season. With a four game difference, the AFC East will surely be won by a team other than the Patriots for the first time since the 2008 season.

Whether this is the Buffalo Bills or Miami Dolphins that clinch the division, it would take an unlikely set of results for the New England Patriots to win the AFC East.

After the Patriots’ first three games, people had them down as a contender and Cam Newton was in brilliant form.

Cam Newton enjoyed a good start to life with the New England Patriots. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

He then tested positive COVID and missed the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Since he has returned, he has not been the same player and appears unlikely to extend his one year contract.

In the first three games played by Cam before he tested positive for coronavirus he ran for four touchdowns, threw for 714 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Since he came back, he has ran for two touchdowns in three games and thrown for 429 yards. Crucially, he has thrown for 0 touchdowns and five interceptions.

This indicates a significant drop off and there are increasing calls for back up Jarett Stidham to start for New England.

Is it Jarett Stidham’s time in New England?

Stidham hasn’t done alot to show he is a starter, but Cam has been so disappointing that the Patriots may have no choice but to start Stidham over Newton.

The AFC East is certainly not New England’s this year. With the Bills and Dolphins improving this year, this could kickstart a new era in the division. When the Bills and Dolphins were last battling for the AFC East, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly were the starting quarterbacks.

Offensive Player Of The Week: Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings)

Dalvin Cook in action for the Minnesota Vikings during week 8.

In one of the biggest shocks of the weekend, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook not only showed he is one of the best backs in the league but also how crucial he is to the Vikings offense. In the Vikings’ 28-22 win over the Green Bay Packers, Cook recorded 3 rushing touchdowns and 163 rushing yards along with 63 receiving yards and 1 receiving touchdown.

Defensive Player Of The Week: Anyone On The Miami Dolphins Defense

The Miami Dolphins getting to Jared Goff in week 8.

It has to be this Miami Dolphins defensive unit. They truly made the Los Angeles Rams pay.

The Miami Dolphins recorded two interceptions, two sacks, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. They were the reason that Miami won this game and also showed the league the flaws that the Rams have. This was a big win for Miami and this puts them in the playoff picture.

Elsewhere In The League

The Kansas City Chiefs destroyed the winless New York Jets 35-9, with quarterback Patrick Mahomes throwing for 5 touchdowns and 416 yards. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow had a great day as they beat the Tennesee Titans 31-20 in a shock win. Burrow threw for 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 249 passing yards and a 70.3% completion rate (26 from 37).

Joe Burrow after the week 8 win over the Titans.

The Los Angeles Chargers found a new way to lose, with their last gasp 31-30 loss to the Denver Broncos. It was another defeat for the Chargers despite a big lead. This was the third time this season that the Chargers have lost a game after having a 17 point lead.

Finally, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receiver DK Metcalf had a big day in their win over the San Francisco 49ers. Wilson threw for four touchdowns and 261 yards, with Metcalf a big part of that. Metcalf caught 12 from 15 targets and recorded two touchdowns and 161 receiving yards.

Metcalf had a quiet day in last week’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals but was alot more involved in the win on Sunday, which shows how important a figure he is to this Seattle offense. For his first touchdown it was a brilliant run after a catch around the 35 yard line. Metcalf took to the end zone to put Seattle 7-0 up on the last play of the first quarter. What a pair of pickups this was for Seattle to get Russell Wilson in the third round of the draft in 2012 and to get DK Metcalf in the second round in 2019.

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