With six teams on byes, Week 8 has a few less games on the schedule than normal. However, that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of anticipation entering this slate of matchups. The marquee battle is between two teams led by rookie quarterbacks as the Cowboys look to remain atop the NFC East while the Eagles attempt to unseat them.
We’ve got you covered for that game, as well as the rest of the highly anticipated matchups. Here’s your Week 8 watch guide.
Washington Redskins at Cincinnati Bengals, (London) 9:30 a.m. FOX
Key matchup: Josh Norman vs. A.J. Green
While he flies somewhat under the radar, Green has quietly been one of the best receivers in the NFL this season. Norman, on the other hand, has been equally great for the Redskins. This is a marquee matchup that London fans will be treated to, assuming Norman is a full-go after suffering a concussion.
Fun fact: Since 2011, the Bengals are 15-5-1 against the NFC
Getty ImagesJohn Grieshop
Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers, 1:00 p.m. FOX (Sunday Ticket channel 709)
Key matchup: Greg Olsen vs. Arizona’s safeties
The Cardinals have one of the best secondaries in football, headlined by Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. Neither of them will be covering Olsen as that will likely be left to Tony Jefferson. Olsen has been a favorite target of Cam Newton’s and will remain such on Sunday, so long as he’s not blanketed.
Fun fact: The last time these two teams met, the Panthers won 49-15. The Panthers lead the all-time series 8-4, including 2-1 in the playoffs.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, 1:00 p.m. CBS (705)
Key matchup: Rob Gronkowski vs. Buffalo’s safeties
Gronk has been a Bills killer, catching 47 passes for 704 yards and 10 touchdowns in 10 games. If the Bills can’t find a way to contain Gronk, he’s going to have a huge game. Not having Aaron Williams hurts the Bills big time.
Fun fact: The Bills can become the first AFC East team to sweep the Patriots in a season since 2000.
Charles LeClaireCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets at Cleveland Browns, 1:00 p.m. CBS (706)
Key matchup: Brandon Marshall vs. Joe Haden
Marshall has struggled a bit this season, mainly because Ryan Fitzpatrick has been terrible. He’ll see Haden in coverage – assuming he plays as expected – but the cornerback might be a bit rusty after missing Week 7 with a groin injury. The Jets will likely test him early.
Fun fact: The Browns are just the 11th team ever to have six players complete at least five passes in a season.
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Detroit Lions at Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m. FOX (710)
Key matchup: DeAndre Hopkins vs. Detroit’s CBs
Darius Slay is a question mark for Sunday’s game and is in danger of missing it, which means Hopkins could be in for a huge day. He has yet to get on the same page as Brock Osweiler, but it might happen on Sunday if Slay is out. He figures to be a big focal point of the offense.
Fun fact: The Lions’ four wins have been by a total of 11 points and they have yet to play a game with a final score separating the two teams by more than a touchdown.
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Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts, 1:00 p.m. CBS (707)
Key matchup: Spencer Ware vs. Colts run defense
The Chiefs have won games by running the ball down opponents’ throats, and they should be able to continue that trend against the Colts’ 25th-ranked run defense. Ware should have success on the ground.
Fun fact: The Colts lead the all-time series 16-8 and beat the Chiefs in their last meeting 45-44 back in 2014.
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Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints, 1:00 p.m. FOX (711)
Key matchup: Seattle’s front seven vs. Mark Ingram
The Seahawks are allowing just 84.2 rushing yards per game this season, which is fifth-best in the NFL. Mark Ingram is having a decent season despite not being a workhorse, but he’ll have some trouble running against Seattle’s defense. If the Seahawks can shut down the run, it’ll force Drew Brees to challenge their outstanding secondary.
Fun fact: The Seahawks have the league’s best scoring defense while the Saints come in with the worst.
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Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m. CBS (708)
Key matchup: Michael Crabtree vs. Brent Grimes
Grimes has revitalized his career in Tampa Bay as he’s played extremely well for the Bucs this season. Crabtree has been Derek Carr’s favorite target and figures to remain such on Sunday – especially in the red zone. This should be a scrappy battle between two vets.
Fun fact: Despite being 5-2, the Raiders have the worst overall defense in the NFL, allowing 3,013 total yards.
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San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos, 4:05 p.m. CBS (712)
Key matchup: Joey Bosa vs. Donald Stephenson
Bosa has been a monster for the Chargers, and he’ll look to continue his hot streak against the Broncos. Denver’s offensive line has been great this season, especially in the running game. Bosa will have to win one-on-one matchups with Stephenson if he wants to get any pressure on Trevor Siemian.
Fun fact: Trevor Siemian is tied for the longest active streak with at least one touchdown pass and zero interceptions (four games).
FOX Sports San DiegoKevin Carden
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons, 4:25 p.m. FOX (713)
Key matchup: Devonta Freeman vs. Green Bay’s front seven
Freeman will have to carry the load with Tevin Coleman sidelined due to an injury. It won’t be easy considering the defense he’s going up against. The Packers boast the best rush defense in the NFL, allowing just 71.8 yards per game.
Fun fact: Aaron Rodgers is 2-2 against the Falcons but has thrown nine touchdowns and just one interception with a passer rating of 116 against them.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, 8:30 p.m. NBC
Key matchup: Dallas’ offensive line vs. Philadelphia’s defensive line
The Eagles wreaked havoc on Minnesota’s line last week, obliterating Sam Bradford on several occasions. Additionally, they shut down the run game. It will be a much tougher challenge this week against the Cowboys, who have the best offensive line in football. Fletcher Cox against the interior linemen will be a matchup to watch.
Fun fact: For the first time ever, two teams led by rookie quarterbacks will meet with a combined win percentage of at least .750.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsTim Heitman
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears, 8:30 p.m. ESPN
Key matchup: Alshon Jeffery vs. Xavier Rhodes
Jeffery has been underutilized for the Bears this season, particularly when Brian Hoyer was under center. Now with Jay Cutler back, he figures to see more targets. Rhodes will be covering him fairly often, which doesn’t bode well for the Bears.
Fun fact: The Vikings turned the ball over four times against the Eagles on Sunday after going into the game with just one giveaway on the year.