Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Week eight of the NFL had some great games that influenced the NFL Power Rankings for week nine. This had to be one of the best weeks in the NFL so far.
It all started on Thursday night with the high scoring game between the Titans and Jaguars. That was followed by another game in London that resulted in another tie. This was the first time the NFL had ties in back to back weeks since 1997.
There were three overtime games providing for much excitement for the fans. Tom Brady and the Patriots exacted revenge on the Buffalo Bills. Denver also avenged a previous loss to the San Diego Chargers.
Matt Ryan produced a game-winning drive with under two minutes remaining to defeat Green Bay. Sebastian Janikowski, mister clutch, missed back to back field goals sending the game into overtime. But Derek Carr, yet again, found a way to win on the road.
The Jets looked like they would be the first victim to the Cleveland Browns but turned it around. In the Bengals-Redskins game, there were four missed kicks resulting in a tie. After a bye the Panthers finally found their defense tormenting the Cardinals all game.
The Texans keep finding ways to pull out victories. Dallas struggled throughout the game but when it came down to it, Prescott drove the team down the field.
Halloween weekend has brought strange events to the NFL in week eight. It changes the Power Rankings but for the second straight week, the Patriots hold on to the top spot. Meanwhile, Minnesota continues to fall down the rankings.
Oct 30, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) tries to break a tackle by Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) during the second half at New Era Field. The Patriots beat the Bills 41-25. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
1. New England Patriots – 7-1
The New England Patriots trounced the Bills, winning 41-25. Maintaining the best record in the NFL. Tom Brady has now defeated the Bills 26 times. Tying Brett Farve for most wins over a single opponent. Brady is undefeated in October goin 12-0 since 2014.
Brady went 22-of-33 for 315 yards and four touchdowns. Last time Brady threw four touchdowns was last October. This victory is the Patriots fourth straight win. The Patriots scored double digits in three-straight quarters but were held to three in the fourth quarter.
Rob Gronkowski is a menace to defenders, his size alone creates problems. Gronk is a tight end that can play like a wide receiver. Grabbing five receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown, he proved he is hard to stop. The defenders just have to try to throw him off his route.
The Patriots are playing like the best team in the NFL right now so it is hard to see a team knocking them off. This week they have a bye allowing them to rest, before taking over the remainder of the season.
Brady has a chip on his shoulder and will continue to dominate until someone can stop him. It will be hard for anyone to stop this team going forward.
The Cowboys took a commanding lead in the NFC East Sunday Night. With their come-from-behind victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, they are now two games ahead. The rookie quarterback struggled early against the Eagles.
But he put together a game winning drive in overtime to claim a 29-23 victory. Dak Prescott went 19-of-39 for 287 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Prescott also fumbled but recovered it. His favorite target was Dez Bryant.
Bryant is back from missing the last three games due to a hairline fracture. He was a key in this game, grabbing four receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown tied the game to send it into overtime.
At the half the Cowboys were trailing 13-10. Prescott threw an interception in the end zone at the end of the first half. That interception cost the Cowboys points. In the third quarter, the Eagles took a 10 point lead.
That 10 point lead proved to be daunting for the Cowboys. It wasn’t until the end of the fourth quarter that the Cowboys found a rhythm. Ezekiel Elliott played a huge roll in the game winning drive in overtime.
Elliott rushed for 18 yards and had a 10-yard reception bringing them to the five yard line. Setting up Jason Witten’s game winning touchdown. Elliott finished with 22 carries for 92 yards and 52 receiving yards. This ended his streak of 130 plus yards per game at four. Up next for the Cowboys is the Cleveland Browns.
This could be a trap game for the Cowboys with Pittsburgh coming up the following week. Also a controversy is brewing, will Tony Romo come back and take over his starting spot. He might have to if Prescott can’t play in the cold. Prescott is from Louisiana and played at Mississippi State.
He has yet to play a cold game but he could this week.
The Broncos had a scare during their game. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was carted off the field. A Chargers player ran into Phillips on the sideline knocking him backwards. Phillips was taken to the hospital for evaluation. He was released Monday with no serious injury.
Linebackers coach took over the defensive play calling. The defense didn’t skip a beat and even won the game. The defense caused the Chargers to turn the ball over on downs to win the game. Until this game, the defense hadn’t allowed a wide receiver to score a touchdown since week one.
The Broncos were only behind in this game in the first quarter. Trevor Siemian went 20-of-38 for 276 yards and one interception. Siemian also fumbled twice loosing one. The offense didn’t produce much, scoring two touchdowns.
The defense was the key in this game wreaking havoc on the Chargers offense. They sacked Philip Rivers four times and caught three interceptions. Their biggest play of the game was when they caused a turnover on downs to seal their victory.
This week, the Broncos face off with the hot Raiders. Fortunately for the Broncos the Raiders are playing at home where they have struggled. They are currently tied with the Raiders. This game will determine the leader of the division.
The Falcons were in a back and forth game with the Green Bay Packers. Matt Ryan went score for score with Aaron Rodgers. But it was Ryan’s drive that put the Falcons ahead to claim a 33-32 victory. Ryan finished with 28-of-35 for 288 yards and three touchdowns.
With under two minutes Ryan put together a game winning drive. Going 9-of-11 for 75 yards and a touchdown to Mohamed Sanu, Ryan reclaimed the lead.
With only 38 seconds left, all the defense had to do was hold the Packers. Rodgers got the ball with 31 seconds left. But the Falcons defense got the best of him forcing a turnover on downs sealing their victory.
Despite having minimal yards, Devonta Freeman made a big impact on offense. Freeman had 11 carries for 35 yards, four receptions for 23 yards and two touchdowns. With this victory, Atlanta stopped a two game losing streak.
They hope to make it two in row on a short week. Thursday the Falcons come up against their division foe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Falcons are currently ahead in the division by two games.
Despite the records the NFC South has the potential to have all four teams in the running. A win over Tampa Bay will help to keep the Falcons on top and hard to catch.
The Vikings suffered their second straight loss this week. The Bears pulled out a 20-10 victory on Halloween night. Sam Bradford was under pressure throughout the game. The Bears sacked him five times. Bradford went 23-of-37 for 228 yards, one touchdown and a fumble.
The offense was held to only three points the first three-quarters. The defense only had one sack the whole game. The Vikings defense is supposed to be one of the top defenses. They struggled against a 2-6 Bears offense. The defense gave up two touchdowns and two field goals.
Things don’t get any easier for the Vikings. This week, they face another division foe in the Detroit Lions. The Vikings have lost two straight games after starting 5-0. In order to beat the Lions, the Vikings will need their defense to play better.
The Vikings have watched their near walk away with the division diminish to a one game lead. With the Packers starting to play better, the Vikings might have something to worry about. They need to get back to the way they started the season.
Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports
6. Kansas City – 5-2
The Kansas City Chiefs watched their starting quarterback leave the field twice during the game. Alex Smith left twice due to hits to the head. After being diagnosed with a concussion Smith sat out the rest of the game.
Nick Foles stepped in for Smith, holding on to lead the Chiefs to a 30-14 victory. The Chiefs held off the Indianapolis Colts. Smith left the game in the third quarter going 9-of-19 for 127 yards and a touchdown.
Foles finished the game going 16-of-22 for 223 yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs also lost Spencer Ware to a concussion. This left them with only one healthy running back. Despite the back and forth between quarterbacks, the offense ran smoothly. Since the bye, the Chiefs have won two straight.
If Smith has to sit out for any time, Foles will be called to start. Foles was a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams. He also went to a Pro Bowl. Foles is capable of carrying a team so if Smith cannot play, the Chiefs won’t fall off with him at the helm.
But if the running backs can’t get healthy, it will affect this offense. The defense also needs to keep playing the way they have. Against the Colts they tallied six sacks, one interception and one forced fumble. This defense gets better every week.
This week they come up against the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars are capable of producing offense and putting up points. The Chiefs defense just need to keep getting after the quarterback.
The Eagles watched a 10 point lead fade away to the Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles have lost three straight since going 4-0. They still have one of the top defenses in the league. In a battle for the top of the NFC East, the Eagles came up just short.
Carson Wentz and the offense played decent all game holding on to a 10 point lead. The defense sacked Dak Prescott twice and came up with an interception to end the first half. Wentz went 32-of-43 for 202 yards and a touchdown.
The offense was in control for most of the game. The Eagles held on to a 10 point lead until the fourth quarter. The defense frustrated the Cowboy offense almost all game. They sacked Prescott twice and grabbed one interception.
In the fourth quarter, they gave up one drive that led to the Cowboys tying the game.In overtime the Eagles never got a chance. The Cowboys marched down the field and scored a touchdown to win the game. Eagles suffered their third straight loss.
They hope to bounce back in another NFC East Match up this week. They play the Giants in the first of two meetings this season. This game will be crucial in the NFC East battle with the Cowboys two games ahead.
They are 5-0 on the road after beating Tampa Bay 30-24 in overtime. All of their wins are to teams with loosing records. Five of those wins could have gone either way. But the Raiders pulled out a late victory. Their two losses are to teams with winning records.
Oakland tied the game with the Buccaneers with 1:38 left in the game. They had a chance to win with four seconds left but Sebastian Janikowski missed a 50 yard field goal.
After the Raiders got the ball first in overtime, Janikowski missed again from 52 yards out. Head coach Jack Del Rio wouldn’t put the field goal unit out on the field again. With under two minutes left in OT the Raiders went for it on fourth down.
Quarterback Derek Carr found Seth Roberts across the middle for a 41-yard game-winning touchdown. Carr went 40-of-59 for 513 yards, four touchdowns and a fumble. With 513 passing yards Carr set the franchise passing record. He threw 379 yards after halftime.
This is the Raiders best start in 15 years. But from here on out, the easy part of their schedule is over. The next five games are going to show if Oakland is really a top team. Starting with the Denver Broncos on Sunday night. The team is currently tied with for first in the AFC West.
The Green Bay Packers had 31 seconds to drive down the field and win the game. But they were stopped on fourth down falling to the Falcons 33-32. This was an exciting back and fourth game that came down to the wire.
Unfortunately, the Packers were stopped by the Falcons defense. This was a high-octane offensive game. Rodgers went 28-of-38 for 246 yards, four touchdowns and 60 rushing yards. Jody Nelson came alive in this game grabbing four receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown.
The offense has come alive the past two games. They were looking like the Packer offense of recent years. Rodgers passed to seven different receivers. With two receivers getting their first touchdowns of the year.
The Packers were missing a lot of components in this game. Clay Matthews, Randal Cobb and Eddie Lacey sat out of this game. The Packers still had a chance to win without those key components.
Green Bay is two games behind the Vikings in the NFC North. Up next for the Packers is the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have been struggling. With the Packers offense back to the way they were, this could be a blow out.
Seattle’s offense was practically non-existent in Sunday’s game. The Seahawks fell 30-25 to the New Orleans Saints. In the first half, they held on to a 14-13 lead. But those two scores came from a defensive play and a trick play.
Russell Wilson struggled to get the offense going. While the defense had trouble containing Drew Brees and company. Wilson went 22-of-34 for 253 yards and an interception. Last week, the offense was unable to score a touchdown.
If Seattle wants to remain at the top the NFC West they need to find their offense fast. The Cardinals are only a game behind them in the division. The Seahawks had a chance to win the game with under a minute left.
Wilson had a chance to bring his offense down the field and win the game. With two seconds left, he threw the ball in back of end zone out-of-bounds, handing the Saints the victory. This week the Seahawks come up against another tough defense.
They will play the Buffalo Bills. If this offense plays the way they have the past two weeks this will be another tough week. Wilson and company need to be able to produce offense to stay alive and win games.
The Houston Texans keep finding ways to pull out victories. This week against the Detroit Lions, they took a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. The Lions never got a chance to come back with the Texans winning 20-13.
The Texans defense held the Lions to only three points in the first three quarters. In the fourth quarter, they let up 10 points. They did their job to seal the victory.
Brock Osweiler went 20-of-29 for 186 yards, a touchdown and an interception. With the touchdown coming in the second quarter paired with a rushing touchdown. Those two touchdowns proved to be enough to hold off the Lions.
The Texans are holding on to a one game lead in the AFC South. With the Titans only a game behind them, they have a bye this week. During that bye, they need to figure out how to produce more offense.
They have the talent but Osweiler just needs to find his footing and get comfortable. In Denver, Osweiler was more comfortable with the offense. That is why he was able to keep the Broncos on top while filling in for Peyton Manning.
In order to stay on top of their division, they need better production from the offense. The defense needs to put more pressure on opposing offenses. This team has a chance to win their division. Osweiler just needs to get comfortable with his offense.
The Redskins traveled to London only to come back home without a win or a loss. They ended in a 27 point tie with the Cincinnati Bengals. The kicker missed two field goals during the game. One missed kick came with 2:11 left in overtime, which would have won the game.
Kirk Cousins went 38-of-56 for 458 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The offense produced three touchdowns keeping up with the Bengals. Jordan Reed returned this week grabbing nine receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown. Jamieson Crowder also played big for the offense, grabbing nine catches for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Josh Norman played in the game and had some choice words for the referees after the game. Norman needs to start playing better and containing wide receivers. He is getting paid big money but seems unable to contain top offenders.
The Redskins defense gave up 223 yards to two Bengals receivers. But the defense also sacked Andy Dalton three times, grabbed an interception and forced a fumble. All the production on both sides of the ball was for nothing because they walked away with a tie.
The tie puts them at the bottom of the division going into their bye this week.
Coming off a bye the Giants are currently tied for second place in the NFC East. This week, they come up against the Philadelphia Eagles for outright second place. The Eagles have lost three straight and the Giants have won two straight.
Last week, the Giants found their defense. This week, that defense will need to continue to get better and dominate this game. Eli Manning is going to need to air the ball out. While the running game will also have to get going behind Rashad Jennings.
The Eagles have one of the top defenses in the league. The Giants offense will have to keep them guessing in order to get the win. If the Giants get their offense and OBJ going, they could pull out the victory. With Dallas two games ahead the Giants need to win to stay in the mix.
The Eagles have a rookie quarterback and the Giants will look to welcome him to the NFL. With a week rest, the Giants are hoping their defense has only gotten better. This is going to be an interesting battle in the NFC East this Sunday as both teams will be tested.
Coming off a bye the Steelers will face off with division rival the Baltimore Ravens. The week off came at the right time for the Steelers. The Steelers needed to devise an offensive game plan for Landry Jones.
Jones was winging it last week but after a week off he should have his own game plan. He isn’t Roethlisberger but he is capable of carrying the Steelers. Plus he has LeVeon Bell to help even out the offense.
If the running game can get going that will make it easier for Jones to throw the ball deep. Mike Tomlin is a great coach and finds ways to win. With a week off, he definitely came up with a plan for Jones.
Pittsburgh is currently in first place in the AFC North leading by only a game. In order to stay on top they need to beat the Ravens. This game is always close and a battle to the finish. The Steelers will be in a struggle in this game.
The Bills never stood a chance against the Patriots. Tom Brady was out to exact revenge for the shut-out while he was suspended. The Bills allowed the Patriots to score double digits in three out of the four quarter. They fell to the Patriots 41-25.
Buffalo shut out the Patriots in their first meeting without Brady. In this game LeSean McCoy was sidelined with a hamstring injury. The Bills didn’t have an answer for the Patriots. Only scoring three points in the first quarter while allowing New England to score 14.
Tyrod Taylor went 19-of-38 for 183 yards. Despite poor production he did not turn the ball over. With this loss, the Bills are three games behind the Patriots, in second place in the NFC East. This week, the Bills come up against the Seahawks.
The Seahawks have been struggling on offense lately so the Bills can take advantage of that. Taylor is going to have to make plays and have no mistakes against the Seahawks. The Seahawks defense is stingy but Taylor has the opportunity to keep play alive by being mobile.
With Taylor making plays with his feet, he will keep the defense off-balance. Taylor also needs to throw the ball long. The Seahawks can get beat on the deep threat.
The Cardinals started the game slow and before they knew it they were down 24-0. That deficit proved to be too much to come back from, falling to the Panthers 30-20.
After Carson Palmer started going the Cardinals got back in the mix of it.
Palmer went 35-of-46 for 363 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. J.J Nelson grabbed eight receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
If the Cardinals didn’t fall behind 24-0 early in the game, this would have had a different outcome. They battled back to pull within 10. With 3:18 left Palmer got the Cardinals down to their own 36 yard line. But Palmer’s pass was batted and intercepted sealing their loss.
This week the Cardinals have a bye. The Cardinals are only a game behind the Seahawks. This week off will give Palmer rest he needs. In the second half Palmer came on strong helping to get the team back in the game.
With rest Palmer will come back energized and ready to take on the rest of the season. The Cardinals still have a chance to win the division. They tied with the Seahawks and that could help them come the end of the season.
Coming off the bye the Rams will face the rejuvenated Panthers. In their bye week, the Rams needed to figure out how to get their offense going. This is not how the Rams season was supposed to be.
After a break out season last year Todd Gurley has yet to get going. In order for the Rams to bounce back they need to find their running game. They also need to find a way to stop committing so many penalties.
In order to win, the Rams have to come off the bye week ready to play. They are playing the Panthers. The Panthers found their defense last week. The Rams won’t be able to make mistakes coming against the Panthers defense.
Case Keenum has eight touchdowns on the year. Gurley only has three touchdowns. The offensive line will have to create holes and protect the quarterback in order to win.
The Rams were supposed to have a high-powered offense but so far this season, they have had problems. They are currently tied for second place in the wide-open NFC West. If the Rams fix their offensive line, they could end up walking away with the division title.
The Dolphins come into this week with a matchup with the Jets. Before going into their bye week, the Dolphins won two-straight games, against the Steelers and the Bills. Ryan Tannehill is inconsistent but finds a way to win against top teams.
The Dolphins have a long-time rivalry with the Jets. Despite the record this game always comes down the wire. Their offenses are nearly identical while the Jets have the edge on the defense. Either team can walk away with the victory.
It will be hard to run on the Jets so Tannehill will have to throw the ball to his talented wide outs. Jarvis Landry is going to have come up big for the Dolphins. With his speed, the Jets will have trouble keeping up as long as the offensive line protects
With both teams sitting the bottom of the division this is a must win for both teams. The Dolphins will try to extend their winning streak on Sunday.
The Cincinnati Bengals were able to keep their offense going on Sunday but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to win. They tied the Washington Redskins in a game they should have won. Mike Nugent missed a field goal in the second quarter and an extra point in the third.
Both of those could have changed the outcome of this game. In overtime, Andy Dalton was sacked and fumbled the ball. This gave the Redskins the ball back. But the Bengals held the Redskins offense resulting in a tie. This was the second tie in the NFL this season.
Dalton went 27-of-42 for 284 yards, a touchdown and an interception. AJ Green grabbed nine receptions for 121 yards. The offense continued to produce but were unable to score in overtime. Tyler Eifert coming back off of back surgery grabbed nine receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown.
With Eifert back, this offense is only going to get better. This week the Bengals have a bye. They are only one game behind the Steelers in the NFC North. With this offense back to playing the way they should, the Bengals can still win the division.
Matthew Stafford couldn’t get the offense going so the Detroit he Lions fell 20-13 to the Houston Texans. In the first three quarters, the Lions could only score three points while the Texans scored 17 points. And they couldn’t recover from the hole, scoring 10 more points.
The Lions were able to pull within a score in the fourth quarter. But on the ensuing onside kick, the Texans recovered and ran out the clock handing the Lions their fourth loss. Stafford went 27-of-41 for 240 yards and a touchdown.
The Touchdown to Theo Riddick would be the only touchdown on the day for the Lions. Riddick grabbed eight receptions for 77 yards with the touchdown. The Lions are currently are sitting in third in the NFC North.
The Minnesota Vikings losing to the Chicago Bears just made the division more interesting too. They were exposed in their two recent losses so if the Lions get their offense going, they can win. A win can keep the Lions in the mix of the NFC North.
The New Orleans Saints benefitted from a struggling Seahawks Offense. After falling behind early in the game, Drew Brees brought his team back to win 25-20. Taking a 14-13 lead into halftime the Seahawks looked like they had things in control.
But Brees had different ideas, leading his team back to take over the lead in the fourth quarter. Seattle’s defense has been struggling with the deep threats. Brees went 27-of-35 for 265 yards and a touchdown. He also ran in a one yard touchdown.
Tim Hightower carried the ball 26 times for 102 yards. The Saints were able to break down the Seattle defense by throwing and running the ball.The Saints took the lead with under two minutes left in the game. Seattle had a chance to win the game.
But Russell Wilson was flushed out of the pocket with seconds remaining, throwing the ball out of bounds. The clock then ran out, sealing the victory for the Saints. In the NFC South, the Saints are tied for second with the Buccaneers.
Atlanta is two games ahead and with the San Francisco 49ers up next. the Saints are still in the mix of the division. The 49ers have been bad this year and there is no reason to think that will change. The Saints’ esplosive offense plus the 49ers struggling defense this may be a blow out.
The Panthers showed signs of being the team they were last year. They dominated the Cardinals, claiming a 30-20 victory and snapped a four-game losing streak.
In their losses, their once dominate defense was non-existent. This week they came back with a vengeance. The defense sacked Palmer eight times, grabbed an interception and forced a fumble, returning it for a touchdown.
If this defense can continue to play this way, the Panthers will be right back in the thick of things. They are currently in last place in the NFC South. But they are only three games out of the lead. The offense came to life in this game also.
Cam Newton went 14-of-27 for 212 yards and rushed seven times for 43 yards. Jonathan Stewart also had a big game with 25 carries for 95 yards and two touchdowns. For the Panthers to produce against a defense that doesn’t give up a lot, that was huge.
This week the Panthers play the LA Rams. The Rams are having struggles of their own. But if the Panthers play the way they did Sunday this will be an easy victory.
Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
23. New York Jets -3-5
The Jets struggled early on against the winless Browns. They found themselves in a 20-7 hole at halftime. It looked like they would be the first victim of the Browns.
In the second half the Jets came out as a different team. They scored 24 points rallying to take of the lead and win. Ryan Fitzpatrick went 16-of-34 for 228 yards and a touchdown. Matt Forte carried the ball 25 times for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
The defense sacked McCown once and grabbed two interceptions. After giving up 20 points in the first half they held the Browns scoreless in the third. Only giving up eight points he entire second half.
The Jets are tied for last place in the AFC East with the Dolphins. It is nearly impossible for anyone of the teams to catch the Patriots. But the Jets can climb up to second place if they turn their season around.
This week they play their long time rival the Miami Dolphins. This game is always a hard-fought battle. Both the Dolphins and Jets have something to prove this week. The offenses are nearly identical so far this season.
The Jets have an advantage on defense. The defense will have to create turnover in order to win this game.
The Ravens started the season hot, going 3-0 but lost four-straight before going into their bye week. One thing that needs to change is the fact that Joe Flacco only has five touchdowns this season. Going into Week 9 with only five touchdowns is not good.
Hopefully, during the bye week, they took the time to figure out what the problem is. Flacco needs better protection and time to throw the ball down the field. Terrance West is the only running back that has produced this season since they let Justin Forsett go.
This week, they come up against their long time rival the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fortunately for the Ravens, Roethlisberger is sitting this one out and Landry Jones is filling in for the Steelers. Jones doesn’t create the high-powered offense that Roethlisberger does.
The Ravens are tied for second in the AFC North. With the Steelers leading the way by a game, the Ravens can move into a tie with the Steelers if they get the win. The defense will need to get after Jones and disrupt the offense and contain LeVeon Bell.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers came up just short against a hot road team. The Raiders defeated the Buccaneers 30-24 with under two minutes remaining in overtime on a 41-yard touchdown on a fourth down. They allowed the most yards in franchise history.
The kicker missed an extra point in regulation that could’ve made this a different outcome. In regulation the Buccaneers took a 24-17 lead on a touchdown and a two point conversion. But the Raiders threw a touchdown pass to tie it with 1:38 remaining.
The Buccaneers offense couldn’t advance after getting the ball back so they kicked it back to the Raiders. The Raiders then missed a 50 yard field goal to send the game into overtime. In overtime, they missed their second potiential game-winning field goal, this time from 52 yards out.
Tampa was unable to get close enough to score in overtime. Even with the loss the Buccaneers are tied for second in the NFC South with a short week to recover. On Thursday, they play the division-leading Atlanta Falcons.
In a rematch with the Denver Broncos, the Chargers came up short, loosing 27-19. The kicker missed and extra point and a filed goal in the Chargers loss. Despite the mistakes made by the Chargers, they had an opportunity to tie the game.
But they turned the ball over on downs with 1:12 left with no timeouts, allowing the Broncos to run out the clock. Philips Rivers went 20-of-47 for 267 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Melvin Gordon had 23 carries for 111 yards.
With the mistakes made in this game, it could have easily been a blow out. Rivers was sacked four times and forced out of the pocket on numerous occasions. The Chargers are inconsistent and Rivers is prone to mistakes. WIth that, he still finds a way to keep his team alive in games.
The Chargers are always right there in the game and have opportunities to win. They just have a problem closing out games. When Rivers makes mistakes his team helps to carry them and keep them in the game. This loss places the Chargers three games out of first in their division.
This week they come up against the Tennessee Titans. These two offenses are almost identical. Rivers has an advantage because he is able to gain more passing yards. The Chargers need to win to keep their hopes alive in their division.
The Colts offense struggled in Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. They were held scoreless in the first and fourth quarter of the game, falling 30-14.The Colts were only able to score a touchdown in the second and third quarter.
Andrew Luck went 19-of-35 for 210 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. This season, Luck came back healthy and this offense was supposed to thrive. But they have struggled as none of the receivers gained more the 45 yards receiving in this game.
The most rushing yards came from Luck with 60 and he was sacked six times. The offensive line needs to do a better job of protecting their quarterback and creating holes for the runners. Meanwhile, the defense needs to be able to cause turnovers.
Sitting currently in the third spot of the AFC South, the Colts have a lot of work to do. This week, they will play the revamped Green Bay Packers. This is going to be a hard game for the Colts if their offense continues to struggle.
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
28. Tennessee Titans -4-4
The Titans kicked off Week 8 on Thursday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars and played a well-rounded game winning 36-22. This was the Titans highest point total of the season, giving them hope going forward. Marcus Mariotta ended his home struggles with this win.
Mariotta went 18-of-22 for 270 yards and two touchdowns. DeMarco Murray carried the ball 21 times for 123 yards and a touchdown. Murray left the game early with a toe injury. Monday he got an MRI that showed no structural damage to the toe and they list him as day-to-day.
Their third win in four games has them only a game out of first place in their division. This week, they have an opportunity to move into a tie for first with a win over the Chargers. The Texans have a bye this week allowing the Titans an opportunity to move up.
Playing the Chargers can go either way as it depends on which team comes to play on Sunday. If the Titans offense is able to produce again this week they have a chance to win. The defense will need to flush Rivers out of the pocket and rush him.
If the defense can cause turnovers the Titans will be able to pull off the win.
The Chicago Bears welcomed back Jay Cutler this week after he missed five games. They also pulled off the impossible on Halloween night, defeating the Minnesota Vikings 20-10. The Bears caught the Vikings off guard on Monday night.
With the defense holding their offense to only three points in the first half. They were able to sack Sam Bradford five times. In the first half, the Bears had a 13-0 lead over the once undefeated Vikings.
Jay Cutler went 20-of-31 for 252 yards and one touchdown. Jordan Howard carried the ball 26 times for 153 yards and a touchdown. This was impressive, considering the Vikings defense is one of the top defenses in the NFL.
The Bears have been battling through key injuries and were happy to have Cutler back in their offense. This week, the Bears go into their bye-week with hope, having defeated the No. 1 team in their division.
With the Vikings loosing their second straight game the NFC North has made things interesting. The Bears are three games behind but with the confidence boost from this win, they could get back in it.
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
30. Jacksonville Jaguars -2-5
The Jaguars found their offense in the second half but in the first half, they were held scoreless. They fought back, making the game interesting but they fell 36-22 to the Titans. Blake Bortles went 33-of-54 for 337 yards and three touchdowns and rushed four times for 22 yards.
If the offense would have played like they did in the second half this would have been a different outcome. The defense was unable to get to the Titans quarterback or create turnovers. This Jaguars team was supposed to be good this season with all their young talent.
This week will be another tough week for the Jags as they come up against the Kansas City Chiefs. They are currently three games behind the leader in their division. It is going to be hard to stay in the mix if they can’t stop opposing offenses.
Playing the Chiefs is going to be an uphill battle but nothing is impossible. If they can upset the Chiefs, they can stay in the running for their division.
The Browns have improved over the weeks but have been unable to get a win. Against the Jets they took a 20-7 lead only to watch it go away in the second half. They suffered their eighth-straight loss on Sunday, falling 31-28 to the Jets.
After scoring 20 points in the first half, they were held to only eight in the second half. Josh McCown returned this week for the Bears after being out with a fractured collarbone. This was good news for the Browns since they were on their sixth quarterback on the season.
McCown went 25-of-49 for 341 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. While Terrelle Pryor continued to show his worth grabbing six receptions for 101 yards. There is a lot of work that needs to be done for the Browns.
This week, they come up against the best team in the NFC, the Dallas Cowboys. The Browns are only focused on getting their first win. If the Cowboys are overlooking the Browns and thinking about next week they might be able to pull off an upset.
October 23, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly (center) talks to quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) and quarterback Blaine Gabbert (2) during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi
32. San Francisco 49ers -1-6
Coming off a bye week the 49ers will play the Saints. The 49ers have struggled on both sides of the ball. But on the Bright side, they are fourth in rushing yards. Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kapernick combine for a total of seven touchdowns on the season.
This week, going against the Saints, they have an advantage with running the ball. If they can get the rushing game going they may have a chance. But they will have to be able to score a lot of points in order to win.
The Saints will put up a lot of points and if the 49ers can’t keep up, this will be a blow out. The 49ers don’t have a chance of catching their division so that shouldn’t be a concern now. The 49ers don’t even know who should be their starting quarterback.
Kapernick should be starting this game and will need to rely on his running backs to keep the game close on Sunday. Carlos Hyde is still questionable with a shoulder injury. But the 49ers expect him to be able to play in Sunday’s game.
Week 9 kicks off with a NFC South divisional matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Teams are starting to separate from the pack and show they are top teams.
The Cowboys now lead the NFC with the Vikings surprising loss to the Bears. WIll the Browns be able to do what Chicago did and knock off the Cowboys? There are a lot of divisional match ups this week. Which means hard fought games.