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This was a great week of football with a ton of engaging games and stellar highlights that had MAJOR playoff implications and defined some teams for the rest of the season heading forward. We are finding the pretenders from the contenders and have EVEN MORE major games in week 9 with 6 teams in my top 10 facing off soon.


Pittsburgh Steelers #1 (+0)

This defense is championship caliber. It’s not every day you for the reigning MVP to turn the ball over 4 times while almost getting a first one. The offense underwhelmed pretty hard with all the opportunities they were provided with and part of that was a slow start in the 1st half. Creative play calling on the offensive side of the ball kept Pittsburgh alive and preparation was key in knowing the defensive tendencies of the Ravens to score 21 points in the second half and walk away with a win.


Kansas City Chiefs #2 (+0)

No one is surprised how this game went and the Chiefs did what they were supposed to do to the worst team in the NFL. Mahomes stole the show going 31/42 for 416 yards and 5 TDs and no pics en route to a Madden-like day. I don’t know what else to put here XD

Seattle Seahawks #3 (+0)

Wilson was back to MVP form going 27/37 for 261 yards and 4 TDs after being setup in the RedZone by his defense and special teams early and often. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett continue to take turns week in and week out and this week DK was in with 12 receptions for 161 yards and 2 TDs. The Seahawks also stayed on the field well going 9/15 on 3rd downs. Exciting matchup next week against the Bills who have some DBs who may matchup well against WRs 1 and 2 for the Panthers.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers #4 (+0)

Brady had all day to throw on MNF and that’s why the Bucs win this game. Succop finished what the offense couldn’t in the RedZone which is odd considering that Mike Evans and Gronk are on this team (who were the only ones with RedZone TDs on the night). They’ll have to bring way more than what brought to New York this upcoming week with the division in the balance against the surging Saints.


Indianapolis Colts #5 (+4)

The defense came to play again today collecting 5 sacks and forcing 2 turnovers including one that Kenny Moore took to the house. Philip Rivers was fantastic and didn’t throw an INT for the second game in a row with 3 more TDs to his name. Nyheim Hines only had 3 catches but scored on 2 of them including an absolute highlight of a TD and proves to be one of the best change-of-pace backs in the NFL that reminds me a lot of Darren Sproles. Let’s see if the Indy holds this spot against the team, they just took this spot from in the next week.


New Orleans Saints #6 (+4)

On a day where the offense could not afford to make mistakes, they didn’t. 0 turnovers on the day and arguably Brees’ best game to date was what won this game for the Saints. Jared Cook was in the kitchen today with his biggest game to date catching 5 times on 7 targets for 51 yards and a score and keeping the Bears’ linebackers on their heels. Conversions need to come by more frequently for a team that’s heading into their biggest game of the year going ¼ in the RedZone and 2/13 on 3rd down. This was a huge win for playoff implications as we reach the halfway point of the season, and even bigger if the Saints can beat the Bucs for the second time this season.


Baltimore Ravens #7 (-2)

In a one possession game, the opening drive pic-6 looms large in 1 of the biggest games for Baltimore this year. If the Ravens are to go anywhere this season, Jackson HAS GOT to protect the ball better after being personally responsible for 4 TOs. Losing Ronnie Stanley is a big loss for this Ravens team that prides itself on being dominant up front and it showed throughout the game with the pressures LJ faced. J.K. Dobbins was huge this game going off for 113 yards on only 15 carries. Another week and another set of undisciplined penalties that gave the Steelers a free 110 yards and 5 first downs. The good thing for the Ravens is that all these problems are fixable. Bad news: They have to clean it up before next week against a stellar Colts defense.

Arizona Cardinals #8 (+0)

Not the best time for a bye week after the Cards’ biggest win to date but they’ll take the time to patch up and are probably happy to see 2 NFC west teams lose this past week. The Cardinals are in a good spot to widen the gap between them and the Rams but will have to do what LA and SF couldn’t: Beat the Dolphins.


Green Bay Packers #9 (-3)

It’s games like this where Packers fans are reminded that they did not take an offensive talent early for the last few years. The only receiver who could make plays was DeVante Adams who caught ALL 3 of Rodgers’ TDs and I see this continuing to be a problem for the Packers against quality opponents. The Packers also were super self-destructive with penalties committing 9 for 85 yards and handing the Vikings multiple shots at the RedZone early in the game that may have had a lot to do with how it ended. It also doesn’t help when you allow the opposing RB to drop over 200 yards of total offense and all of their TDs. Green Bay’s ceiling has already been established this early in the season and it has got to be frustrating to watch Rodgers’ career get wasted.


Buffalo Bills #10 (+2)

The Bills didn’t really need the arm of Allen for this game but converted on the legs of Singletary and Moss who both had 14 carries apiece for a combined 167 yards. Not to mention all 3 of the Bills’ TDs were on the ground. The biggest difference of the Bills from the whole season and today is they were able to score TDs in the RedZone and they went 75% today as opposed to their season average around 62%. The defense stepped up once again this week with a huge strip of Cam Newton with 30 seconds left to seal the win and push them one step closer to the AFC East crown. This week will be another glance if the Bills are just division winners or title contenders as they get ready to square off against the Seahawks.

Tennessee Titans #11 (-4)

It was just too little too late for the Titans because the Bengals were up 31-14 with 7 mins left and that just completely eliminated Henry from the game who was running all over the Bengals and a Titans team that was averaging 7.5 yards per rush. Penalties came at inopportune times for the Titans who gave the Bengals 4 1st downs from penalties that probably bought another 5 minutes of possession time. The secondary was a liability this week, but they have a chance to bounce back against a Bears’ passing attack that ranks 17th in the pass.


Las Vegas Raiders #12 (+4)

On a day ruled by short plays, the Raiders jumped on Josh Jacobs’ back to victory where he had 31 carries for 129 yards and helped the Raiders hold onto the ball for 37 minutes! The conditions played to the Raiders favor forcing Gruden to keep it on the ground and limiting the line in pass protection and helping the Raiders run for over 200 yards. The RedZone efficiency can be forgiven on a day where the wind was howling but ¼ is a consistent pattern that needs some cleaning up in order to push to the postseason.


Los Angeles Rams #13 (-2)

On a day where the Rams defense held the Dolphins offense to less than 200 yards, the offense could not get out of its own way. The Rams were their own worst enemy this game throwing the ball 61 times when Goff was exclusively turning the ball over for big Miami possessions. Robert Woods was the only pulse from LA all day catching 7 passes for 85 yards and a score while tallying one on the ground as well. In a competitive NFC the Rams could not afford to lose a game to the Dolphins. Proof that the Rams beat themselves is they outgained the Dolphins 471-145 in yards, 31-8 in 1st downs, and ran ALMOST TWICE AS MANY PLAYS (92-48)! They’ll use this bye week to sit in timeout and think about what they’ve done.


Miami Dolphins #14 (+4)

One of the best ways to win a football game is to win on 2/3 of the parts of the game (Offense, defense and special teams) and the Dolphins handily won in special Teams and defense with a Jakeem Grant punt return TD and 4 turnovers forced on defense (2 fumbles and 2 INTs). Tua’s debut was off to a rocky start and he wasn’t overly impressive, but he didn’t make as many mistakes as Fitzpatrick would have made and Tua went 12/22 for an unimpressive 93 yards and a TD and a fumble. The Dolphins defense was rowdy and vicious on a day where they registered 9 QBH and constantly brought pressure forcing Goff to make mistakes and also stripped him on both sacks they got during the game. This is a huge jump for a team that I think is trending in the right direction, but they have a huge test in another NFC West opponent coming up next.


Philadelphia Eagles #15 (+4)

You are probably thinking it’s odd to have a team with a losing record this high up but getting an important in-division win before heading into a bye week for a banged-up Eagles team was HUGE. It was a tale of 2 halves for Wentz who threw some terrible INTs on deep passes in the first half and then strung together a good drive to make it 15-9. It was against a 3rd string quarterback, but that defensive performance was great collecting 4 sacks and returning a strip sack to the house to seal this game. The offense had another bad night for conversions going 0/3 on 4th.


Cleveland Browns #16 (-1)

Tough day for the Browns that are arguably 2 catches away from winning this game if Landry can haul 1 of those 2 throws in and I think it’s right here where we see Cleveland missing Odell Beckham. The defense also had no answers for a Raiders rushing attack and proved to be vulnerable even when they knew the run was going to be called almost every time. The offense was also abysmal on 3rd down going 3-10 which you just can’t do on a day where the Raiders are already playing keep away. I’m not punishing the Browns too hard since they’re in a good spot for Playoffs but losing a tiebreaker game to Vegas is rough.


Chicago Bears #17

The last offensive snap for the Bears was a good summary of the game as Nick Foles held onto the ball too long and killed a drive by taking a sack. Foles was sacked 5X on the day and most of the time it was from holding the ball too long. David Montgomery ran hard and kept drives alive for Chicago running for 89 yards on 21 attempts with another 16 in the air. Robinson is so electric and bailed Foles out with a diving TD catch and more as he moved the chains in crunch time more than once finishing with 6 catches for 87 yards and a touch. This was a bad loss for the Bears to take but now they have to be Saints fans and force the Buccaneers into a tiebreaker scenario with them. Another huge game looms large this weekend against a Titans team that also needs to get back into the win column.


San Francisco 49ers #18 (-5)

The 49ers just made too many mistakes too early on offense and defense to compete in this game. Losing the turnover battle 2-0 is not how you win football games. This team looked way better with Mullens in the lineup and will have to look for a QB this offseason because they will not be contenders with Jimmy G. It also doesn’t help that the Niners run game was the worst it has been all season with only 52 yards all game. Things don’t get much brighter for the Niners with Green Bay on Thursday and a bunch of starters being ruled out with COVID/injuries. This season has been one of the unluckier ones I have seen for one team and I think it’s time San Fran called it a wrap for the future.


Denver Broncos #19 (+4)

The Denver offense had no answers in the 1st half and the defense could not stop the run to save their lives. The whole momentum of the game changed after Lindsay’s 55-yard TD run. Drew Lock ramped it up in the 2nd half including a PHENOMENAL game-winning TD throw to the rookie KJ Hamler and Lock finished the day 26/41 for 248 yards, 3 TD and an INT. Bryce Callahan’s INT maybe goes down as the play of the game after the offense turned the ball over and the ball was thrown for the dagger TD, Callahan ripped it out of the receiver’s hands to give Denver a full breath of air to have a chance in the game. The Falcons’ coach Morris declared that Lindsay is the heart and soul of the Broncos and if the Broncos also realize this after Philip averaged over 13 yards per carry this game, there still may be hope for a Broncos team where the schedule gets easier.

Detroit Lions #20 (-3)

Matthew Stafford was bloodied and battered at the end of a day where he got sacked 5 times and just kept getting killed on drives. The Lions couldn’t run the ball to save their lives against this Indy front and it forced the issue onto Stafford’s arm (tell me if you’ve heard that one before). The defense was unable to close the turnover gap this game and is still struggling to keep the Lions offense within reach of football games once the other team gets momentum. This upcoming game against Minnesota is a must-win for a Lions team trying to claw their way to the seven seed in the NFC.


Washington Football Team #21 (+0)

Washington had a bye week to enjoy the embarrassment inflicted on America’s team, and then to watch Dallas get bullied by the Eagles who own the division. If the offense got in some good work in the bye week and can score 21 points a game, I think the defense will hold up its end and give Washington a shot to win the division.


Carolina Panthers #22 (-2)

Going 1/3 on 4th down ended up adding up on the night for the Panthers as the Falcons were able to score on both of the failed conversions. Curtis Samuel was dynamic on a rainy Thursday night scoring both of the Panthers’ TDs with one on the ground and one on a flea flicker. Bridgewater threw an INT to end the game for the second game in a row and it’s imperative that the OC and Teddy talk out how to close a game on his arm or this team will never get over the hump. Carolina can’t afford mistakes this upcoming week against the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs. They will pay for it hard and fast.


Cincinnati Bengals #23 (+6)

Had to reward the Bengals for pulling off a stellar upset win over a solid AFC contender. Only having 5 yards to go on average of 3rd down makes a huge difference in conversions as they were 10/15 on the day and held onto the ball for over 35 mins taking away from the Titans best strength in Derrick Henry and the run game. Burrow got bailed out on that PI call on Butler for him to not throw a pic in this game against Tennessee and put up a stellar stat line. Burrow is gaining comfortability throwing up jump balls to his big receiving core and it’s a sound strategy heading forward.

Minnesota Vikings #24 (+4)

Amazing what happens when Cousins only throws the ball 14 times… The Vikings win! When Dalvin Cook is healthy, he is probably a top 10 player in the league and he proved it on Sunday with a 30 carry, 163 yard and 3 TD rushing performance. Cook also provided Cousins with his only passing touchdown by taking a screen 50 yards to the house. The defense stepped up HUGE in this game with the final play being a strip sack on a 3-man rush against the best single play QB in the NFL. Shoutout to DJ Wonnum on making the play.

Houston Texans #25 (+0)

A week of rest for the Texans could prove beneficial towards putting out a healthy team seeing as how they have a handful of injury prone players on offense and maybe the defense can figure out how to slow anything down. A favorable matchup against division opponent Jacksonville could prove to be a good turning point for an undefined Texans team.


Atlanta Falcons #26 (+1)

On a night where Ryan wasn’t a highlight reel with his arm, he had some pretty big runs including his 10th TD run of his career where the safety just fell, and Ryan also collected some HUGE first downs to keep drives alive. The RedZone offense was abysmal going 2 for 6 and having Koo kick 4 FGs. It was even weirder to see Atlanta kick a PAT from the right hash after Koo was so successfully from the left all night just for him to keep it a one score game. It was a change of pace to watch the Falcons close out a game with an INT on defense. That’s huge towards building confidence against a team that just overcame a 24-3 deficit last week in Denver.


New England Patriots #27 (-3)

The Pats were running the ball well (34 attempts for 188 yards and 2 scores) , but you can see they’re over reliant on running the ball with how many times they tried to run for 1st downs on 3rd and that definitely had something to do with their 5/10 on the day. On a day where the field position was huge it was bold to go for an onside kick so early and it end up costing the Pats this game. I don’t see the Bills having it in them to drive down the whole field for a TD. The secondary continues to be the strongest unit on this team holding Allen to 154 yards and JC Jackson continues his stellar 2020 season with another INT against Josh Allen. The Pats have a chance to get their first win in over a month with the Jets coming up next.


Los Angeles Chargers #28 (-6)

Up 24-3 halfway through the 3rd all the Chargers had to do was run out this game since they ran for 210 on the day and averaged 5.5 per carry. Justin Jackson was the star this weekend with 142 yards from scrimmage and will probably take lead back role entirely from Joshua Kelley heading forward. The defense let the Broncos walk all over them in this game and the offense failed to come away with more than field goals down the stretch and that could cost Anthony Lynn his job here soon with all the blown leads the Chargers have allowed this season. I bet this Vegas game determines if Lynn gets fired or not.


Dallas Cowboys #29 (-3)

I don’t know if it’s a change of pace role, or if Pollard is legit but regardless, he needs more carries heading forward after he averaged over 5 yards per carry. Trevon Diggs continues to impress as a rookie with a 2-interception night and is the highest rated rookie DB in football and one of the only bright spots on an otherwise garbage Dallas D. The defense stepped up for the first time all year just for the offense to not break double digit points. DiNucci looks like the guy for the foreseeable future and I don’t see them Boyz competing.


New York Giants #30 (+0)

Owning a 14-3 lead near the end of the first half and the run game averages 5 yards a carry just to throw the ball 40 times leaves me scratching my head at the coaching in the 2nd. Damn Daniel! Stop throwing the ball when you’re getting hit and the Giants win this game. PHENOMENAL final drive from New York to give them a chance with 2 HUGE 4th down conversions. Really sad we didn’t get to see overtime in the Big Apple. I never like to say this, but the refs were kind of whack and accounted for 73 of the Bucs’ yards, and I’m not going to be too hard on a Giants team that went to the wire against a Super Bowl contender.

Jacksonville Jaguars #31 (+0)

Refreshed and heading into a meaningless AFC South matchup after the bye is the headline here. Sorry Jags fans there’s really nothing to talk about.


New York Jets #32 (+0)

One lone bright spot is that the Jets actually held the Chiefs rushing attack to below 3 yards per carry… Other than that, it was not a great day to be a Jet. Good for the Jets for at one point being within 5 points of the Chiefs. The Jets also only had 1 turnover all game which is progress and had close to 100 rushing yards. The only thing that sucks is that they are still the worst team in the NFL.


Written by Kodey Stauffer

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