Wrapping Up: Week 8 Games
Cowboys at Lions: Wow, where do I start? This game was filled with temper tantrums, record breaking performances, and heads up plays, all of which combined to make it the most exciting contest on Sunday. Calvin Johnson had 329 receiving yards which is more than any other Lions player has all season. Meanwhile, on the opposing sideline, Dez Bryant was caught on camera complaining to Tony Romo for not getting the ball enough and getting heated towards Jason Witten in two separate instances. While it wasn’t pretty on the Cowboys bench, Bryant tried to make up for his antics with 2 touchdowns on the day. After a back and forth game, Detroit got the ball down by 6 with about a minute remaining. Matthew Stafford led his team all the way down to the one yard line with 12 seconds left and then had one of the greatest plays of the season so far. Just watch.
Dolphins at Patriots: After getting shutdown 17-3 in the first half, New England scored 24 unanswered points after the break to win yet another important division game. Tom Brady had another poor outing, especially from a fantasy perspective, but he did enough to engineer a Pats victory. Stevan Ridley struggled to get carries, but when he did, he made the most of them to the tune of 79 yards and a touchdown. For Miami, Lamar Miller had 112 total yards but that was about the only bright spot for the Fins. No receiver had over 41 receiving yards.
Browns at Chiefs: This game was a lot closer than many people expected, but Kansas City really controlled the tempo the whole way. Both teams got touchdowns from unusual sources (Anthony Sherman for KC, Foswhitt Whittaker for CLE) but it was really the studs (Jamaal Charles and Josh Gordon) that carried their respective teams. Jason Campbell played well enough in his debut to earn another start in week 9, but after Brian Hoyer’s injury, Cleveland’s season is going nowhere fast. The Chiefs improved to 8-0 but remain untested in 2013 with half their wins coming against Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, and Jason Campbell.
Bills at Saints: Coming off a bye, there was no way New Orleans would lose this game to a depleted Buffalo team. Drew Brees threw 5 touchdowns for the 8th time in his career which is an NFL record; a very impressive feat indeed. Kenny Stills, a rookie 5th round pick out of the University of Oklahoma, had 2 touchdowns of 40+ yards and is becoming Brees’ favorite outside receiver. Jimmy Graham continued his dominance (2 touchdowns) and Pierre Thomas added 94 total yards to round out the Saints offensive attack. For the Bills, Thad Lewis was extremely mediocre and Fred Jackson disappointed fantasy owners across the country in a game the Bills really had no chance of winning.
Giants at Eagles: Slow down Giants fans, in your past 2 wins you have beaten Josh Freeman and Matt Barkley, not exactly anything to brag about. Saying that, New York is now just 2 games out of first place in the NFC East, leaving a sliver of hope that will most likely not amount to anything. For the Eagles, their struggles really hinge on injuries. Michael Vick tweaked his hamstring (as I called in my HOT/COLD list) and Nick Foles was already out with a concussion so Matt Barkley had to play for the second straight week. Despite looking awful these past few weeks, any team would with their 3rd string quarterback in the lineup.
49ers at Jaguars: It turns out that London isn’t any kinder to Jacksonville than America as the Jaguars fell to 0-8 on the day… and it wasn’t even close. The 49ers really controlled this game on the ground as they rushed for 221 yards and 4 touchdowns as a team. Colin Kaepernick only needed to throw 16 passes and backup Colt McCoy even completed his only attempt for 13 yards. The Jaguars offense continues to be dreadful as only put up 10 points on Sunday.
Jets at Bengals: Andy Dalton has turned into an absolute stud recently. After a 5 touchdown performance against the Jets, Dalton is averaging 27 fantasy points over his past 3 weeks and is a must-add in all leagues. Sunday was a great day to be a 5th round pick because after Kenny Stills’ stellar performance, Marvin Jones (5th rounder out of Cal) outdid him with 4 touchdowns and 122 receiving yards. As for the Jets, their performance was just awful. Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell combined for just 30 rushing yards and Geno Smith threw 2 picks in 49-9 whooping by the Bengals.
Steelers at Raiders: After 2 straight wins, many thought that Pittsburgh had turned their season around. Nope. Todd Haley’s offense struggled all afternoon, but credit the Raiders’ defense for taking them out of what they like to do. Le’Veon Bell scored a late TD to salvage some fantasy value but he managed just 24 yards on the ground and it was easy to tell that the Raiders keyed on taking away the Steelers’ running game. On one dazzling run early in the first quarter, Terrelle Pryor smoked the Steelers’ D for a 93 yard run which turned out to be longer than the amount of passing yards (88) that Pryor had all afternoon.
Redskins at Broncos: With 11:25 left in the third quarter, Deangelo Hall intercepted Peyton Manning and took it back to the house to extend the Redskins’ lead to 21-7. After that? All Broncos. From that point on, Denver scored 38 unanswered points and rolled to an easy 45-21 victory. One big story coming out of this game were key injuries to both clubs. RGIII left the game with 5 minutes left after hurting his knee (the other one, not the one with the torn ACL) but it seemed to be more of a precautionary measure because Griffin said after the game that he could’ve gone back in if it was within reach. For Denver, breakout TE Julius Thomas left early with an ankle injury but the MRI on Monday showed no serious damage.
Falcons at Cardinals: Matt Ryan just cant do it all by himself. Harry Douglas is certainly the beneficiary of a lot of Ryan’s passes (122 yards for the wideout) but the Falcons’ quarterback threw 4 interceptions to just 1 touchdown. For the Cardinals, Andre Ellington (whom I suggested to pickup 2 weeks ago) had a true breakout game with 154 rushing yards and a touchdown. That performance was good enough for the most fantasy points from a running back in week 8. Ellington becomes a must-own from this point forward.
Packers at Vikings: Save for a kneel-down at the end of the game, the Packers scored on every single drive of the game. Yes, you read that right, every single drive. That stat is a testament to Aaron Rodgers’ skill and what he can do without star receivers Randall Cobb, James Jones, and Jermichael Finley. Christian Ponder did a good job of not turning the ball over for the Vikings but he just did not make enough plays to hang with Rodgers and his boys.
Seahawks at Rams: Well, Monday night was a bad night to be a St. Louis sports fan as the Cardinals lost game 5 of the World Series and the Rams lost Monday Night Football on the same day. The Seahawks offense struggled mightily in this game as Marshawn Lynch had just 23 rushing yards on 8 carries and Russell Wilson only threw for 139 yards. However, the difference was the turnovers: Kellen Clemens threw 2 picks and Wilson didn’t throw any. The Rams actually had a first and goal from inside the 10 with a minute to play and only down by 5 with a chance to win the game, but Seattle’s defense was up to the task.