Winners, Losers, and The Steady From Week 8

Written By: Justin Alberto

Welcome to the third edition of winners, losers, and the steady! This is where we take a dive into all the 1 PM and 4 Pm Sunday game action. This article will be used to analyze each team and see if your team is a winner, loser, or just staying steady this week. Keep reading to find out where your team stands.

** Teams on their Bye Week: Cardinals, Football Team, Jaguars, Texans. 

Jets @ Chiefs: Chiefs 35 , Jets 9

The Jets: The tank for Trevor Lawrence plan is going successful for the Jets. The Jets are Losers, no if, ands, or buts. Earlier this week, Head Coach Adam Gase committed to OC Dowell Loggains calling the offensive plays. To be honest, it doesn’t matter who is calling the plays because the Jets can’t get anything going. They failed to score a touchdown Sunday. All their points came off the leg of Sergio Castillo, who was 3 for 4 on FGA. His one miss got blocked right before halftime. Sam Darnold was 18/30 for 133 passing yards, 4 rushes for 21 yards, and no touchdowns. A positive is he had no turnovers. Sadly, Darnold’s talent is being wasted in New York. The Jets have not successfully built around Darnold. No playmakers, average-to below-average offensive line, and terrible play calling. It would help if they could get a run game going. Frank Gore was their leading rusher with 30 yards on 10 attempts (3 YAC). Chris Herndon coughed up the football on his only catch resulting in the only turnover of the game. The Jets are an absolute dumpster fire and are bad for the eyes. Hopefully, Trevor Lawrence declares for the draft to give poor Jets fans a glimmer of hope. 

The Chiefs: The Chiefs are obviously winners this week. They started off the game at their own 10-yard line. They drove down the field in 7 plays and scored on a Mecole Hardman receiving touchdown. In a game where no one expected to see much of the punter, the Jets forced an early 3-and-out. The punt unit comes on and punter Tommy Townsend throws a dart to Byron Pringle for the first down. Le’Veon Bell only mustered 7 yards on 6 carries to go along with 3 receptions for 31 yards. Bell did not have the revenge game production-wise but the Chiefs came out with the victory. The Chiefs held the non-existent Jets offense to 9 points. There’s not much else to say. This is what everyone expected going into the game.

Vikings @ Packers: Final: Vikings 28, Packers 22

The Vikings: The Vikings entered the game against the Packers with a 1-5 record against the division-leading Packers. They left Lambeau Field at 2-5. For this reason, the Vikings are winners. The good news for the Vikings is that they got their star running back, Dalvin Cook back. Dalvin Cook popped off with 226 scrimmage yards and 4 touchdowns, 3 rushing, 1 receiving. Kirk Cousins only had 3 incompletions. He completed 11 of 14 passes for 160 yards and 1 touchdown. Cousins didn’t have to do much because Cook led the way. Stud rookie wideout, Justin Jefferson has the respect of the Packers because they had one of the best corners in the league. Jaire Alexander shadowed him. The Vikings defense iced the game with 12 seconds left by forcing a fumble. DJ Wonnum got back there to hit Rodgers and force the fumble. The Vikings are sitting at 2-5 in the NFC North cellar, but maybe this win could be a momentum changer.

The Packers: The Packers lost a favorable matchup to the Vikings and fell to 5-2, so this week they are losers. Aaron Rodgers played well, 27/41, 291 passing yards, and 3 touchdowns. All 3 touchdowns went to Davante Adams. Jamaal Williams had a decent day on the ground, 16 carries for 75 yards, but he isn’t the game-changer that defenses have to prep all week for. The absence of Aaron Jones is a big factor in why Green Bay lost this one. Jones takes the pressure off the arm of Rodgers. Green Bay will travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers, in which they hope to have Aaron Jones back.

Rams @ Dolphins: Final: Dolphins 28, Rams 17

The Rams: The Rams lost a tough one where they will lose ground in the ever so tough NFC WEST. The Rams find themselves in the loser category. Jared Goff looked horrendous. Goff was 35/61 with 355 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions and 2 fumbles. Goff had no answers for the Dolphins defense. Robert Woods was the only bright spot for this Rams offense, as he found the end zone twice. Woods had 7 receptions/85 yards/1 touchdown, and a 4-yard rushing touchdown. The Rams defense was not the problem at all in this game, it was the brutal offense. The Rams have a date with the Seahawks next week.

The Dolphins: Tua’s first NFL start was nothing special, as he was 12/22, for 93 yards, and 1 touchdown. On Tua’s first drop back of the game, he was met by Aaron Donald who recorded a forced fumble, which was recovered by LA. But hey, they came away with the win, so they find themselves in the winner’s category. Running back Myles Gaskin had 18 carries/47 yards/1 TD. The Dolphins’ ferocious defense did most of the damage though. They forced 4 turnovers. Big man Christian Wilkins started it off by undercutting Goff’s pass that was intended for Cooper Kupp. The second turnover was an Emmanuel Ogbah strip-sack that was taken to the house by LB Andrew Van Ginkel. The third turnover was an Eric Rowe interception. The fourth turnover was a Shaq Lawson strip-sack that was recovered by LB Kyle Van Noy. There’s no question the Dolphins got bargains with their defensive signings of Emanuel Ogbah and Shaq Lawson. The special teams unit also got in on the scoring with an 88-yard punt return touchdown by Jakeem Grant. Brian Flores and this coaching staff know how to develop and scout players and are coming around earlier than many anticipated. The Dolphins don’t lose any ground in the winnable AFC East. 

Steelers @ Ravens: Final: Steelers 28, Ravens 24

The Steelers: This game went all the way to the wire but the Steelers held on and found themselves in the winner’s category. On the opening drive of the game, Pittsburg LB Robert Spillane jumps a Lamar Jackson throw intended for James Proche and takes it for a pick-six. Later in the quarter, Bud Dupree records a key strip-sack in the red zone to end the Ravens drive. There’s no question the Steelers are elite on defense. Are they the favorite to dethrone the Chiefs as the best in the AFC? The Steelers offense is also not too shabby. Big Ben was 21/32, with 182 yards and 2 touchdowns. Free-agent acquisition, TE Eric Ebron went 4/48/1 and Chase Claypool had a bounceback game going 5/42/1. With 5 seconds remaining in the game, it came down to the Steelers defense vs Lamar’s arm. Minkah Fitzpatrick denies the pass that was intended for Willie Snead and Pittsburg hangs on. The Steelers remain undefeated, thanks to the league’s best defense. 

The Ravens: The former MVP had a rough go at it in this one. Although he threw for 2 scores, he threw two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. In my opinion, the good teams are starting to figure out Lamar Jackson and forcing him to beat you with his arm. The Ravens fall two games behind the Steelers in the division and find themselves in the loser category. First of all, our thoughts go out to LT Ronnie Stanley, who was carted off the field with an air cast on his leg. Postgame, Head Coach John Harbaugh told reporters Stanley will miss the rest of the season with a “severe ankle injury.” This is a tough loss to the Ravens offense, as he is one of the best at his position. The running game for the Ravens was working all day as they totaled 265 yards and 1 score on the ground. Rookie JK Dobbins led the way with 15 carries for 113 yards. Maybe make him the RB1 in Baltimore, No? Gus Edwards also had a great day on the ground with 16 carries for 87 yards and a score. The Ravens defense forced one turnover, a Chase Claypool fumble that was forced by and recovered by CB Marcus Peters. 

Patriots @ Bills: Final: Bills 24, Patriots 21

The Patriots: New England finds themselves as losers, which is very rare under Bill Belichick. This is the Patriot’s first four-game losing streak since 2002. Cam Newton has not been the same player since returning from COVID-19. Since returning from COVID-19, Cam has 0 TD passes, 5 interceptions, 3 fumbles (1 lost), and an 0-3 record. Belichick told reporters Cam will continue to be their starter. If he continues his woes, could they turn to Stidham? I think Cam will turn it around. On a positive note for New England, I think they found something with RB Damien Harris who had 16 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots had a chance to win the game or at least tie it on their final drive of the game but Cam Newton coughed it up. It’s a tough way to lose and it’s a tough first year for New England without Tom Brady. I think it’s fair to say some Patriots players will be on the move before Tuesday’s trade deadline. Will All-Pro CB Stephon Gilmore get traded?

The Bills: Man, oh man. The Bills. Even though the Bills won, they have not looked like the explosive team that started the year. I have the Bills as Staying Steady.  QB Josh Allen cooled off drastically. He is no longer putting up MVP-like numbers but he is doing well enough to keep the Bills at 6-2. All the offensive damage came on the ground. The Bills have an underrated one-two punch in the backfield with RB Devin Singletary and RB Zack Moss. Singletary had 14 carries for 86 yards, and Moss had 14 carries for 81 yards and 2 scores. Allen also added to the ground game with a 2-yard rushing touchdown. Are the Bills serious contenders, or are they taking advantage of beating the bad teams on their schedule?

Raiders @ Browns: Final: Raiders 16, Browns 6

The Raiders: It was a windy one in Cleveland and that’s why both offenses looked out of sorts. Kicker Daniel Carlson had a field goal attempt that went swirling to the left. Derek Carr was 15/24 for 112 yards and 1 touchdown. His lone touchdown was a 4-yard pass to Hunter Renfrow. Josh Jacobs carried the load with 31 carries for 128 yards. I have the Raiders as winners because they went into Cleveland with windy conditions and beat them at home. The Browns are not a pushover team anymore but the better team won today.

The Browns: The Browns failed to find the endzone in the first game without star WR Odell Beckham Jr, who is done for the year with a torn ACL. The Browns had no offense today. Baker Mayfield did have a touchdown to WR Jarvis Landry who threw up “13” for OBJ, but they took a look at the play and came to the conclusion that it was incomplete and overturned the call. Baker Mayfield went 12/25 for 122 yards, in the tough, windy, rainy weather conditions. Kareem Hunt only totaled 66 rushing yards on 14 carries. It was not an ideal spot for any offense to succeed but I have the Browns as losers this week. Everyone has to stop with the Browns are better without Odell talk. He takes the pressure off Baker and draws attention from defenses that opens up other things for his teammates. On a positive note, Olivier Vernon’s trade value went up with 2 sacks today.

Colts @ Lions: Final: Colts 41, Lions 21

The Colts: The Colts continue to be one of the NFL’s most underrated teams in the league. They have a top-5 defense and they continue to give opposing offenses trouble. Kenny Moore II had a 29-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter. The Colts had 5 sacks in today’s game. Darius Leonard had a sack, Tyquan Lewis had 2 sacks, and Denico Autry had 2 sacks. The offense was also clicking on all cylinders. Phillip Rivers had a nice day going 23/33, for 262 yards and 3 touchdowns. But the Colts RBs stole the show. RB Jordan Wilkins did his damage on the ground with 20 carries for 89 yards and a score. RB Nyheim Hines did his damage through the air with 3 receptions for 54 yards and two scores. The Colts are winners this week and will continue to trend up.

The Lions: The Lions had to completely abandon the running game because it simply was not working. Their leading rusher was Jamal Agnew, who had 11 yards on one carry! Matthew Stafford had a solid day besides the interception. He was 24/42 for 336 yards 3 touchdowns and 1 INT. He hit Marvin Jones Jr for 2 of those touchdowns. His third one went to RB Kerryon Johnson. Yes, Kerryon Johnson was actually used today. He has been non-existent for this team. The Lions need to clean the house. They have talent, just below average coaching. They are losers this week.

Titans @ Bengals: Final: Bengals 31, Titans 20

The Titans: What is there to say? The Bengals just flat out outplayed them. Early on the momentum shifted. Titans QB Ryan Tannehill had the Titans driving. They were at the Cincinnati 8 yard line and he threw a crucial interception in the direction of Jessie Bates. Tannehill had a solid outing other than the INT. He went 18/33 for 233 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an INT. Corey Davis was his favorite target today. He led the team in targets (10), receptions (8), and receiving yards (128). Davis also had a score to go along with that. WR AJ Brown had a quiet day until the 4th quarter, where he had a 9-yard receiving touchdown. Derrick Henry had a Derrick Henry type day with 18 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown. Yet, this wasn’t enough to take down the Bengals. This week the Titans find themselves as losers and they now see themselves tied with the Colts for first place in the AFC South.

The Bengals: What a performance by the Bengals, who were missing four, yes FOUR, starting offensive lineman AND star RB Joe Mixon. Joe Burrow continues to show why he was the first overall pick in this past year’s draft and further cementing himself as the future of this franchise. Burrow was 26/37 for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR’s Tyler Boyd 6/67/1, Tee Higgins 6/78, and Auden Tate 7/65, make up a very good receiving core. WR AJ Green was a non-factor today. Don’t be surprised if he’s moved before Tuesday’s trade deadline. RB Giovanni Bernard did a good job filling in for Joe Mixon. Bernard had 15 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown. He also found the endzone on a 6-yard reception. Bengals fans should be excited about the future of this team. As long as they correctly build around Burrow, this team can be good for a long time. This week the Bengals find themselves in the winner’s category. 

49ers @ Seahawks: Final Seahawks 37, 49ers 27

The 49ers: The 49ers have been decimated by injuries all year. That didn’t stop today. Tevin Coleman had returned from IR for today’s game which is good news. But he then left today’s game with a knee injury. Things only got worse after that QB Jimmy Garoppolo and TE George Kittle exited today’s game with ankle injuries. Jimmy G wasn’t doing great anyway today but you never want to see anyone get hurt. Nick Mullens did an exceptional job in relief. Mullens was 18/25 for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns. He connected with Dwelly on a 16-yard pass and he hit rookie Brandon Aiyuk for a 3-yard pass. The 49ers added two scores on the ground. Both 1-yard runs. One by JaMycal Hasty and the other by Jerick McKinnon. The offense put up 27 points but the defense had no answer for Russell Wilson led Seahawks, giving up 5 touchdowns. I wish I could say they’re staying steady, but with all the injuries this year and a tough division loss, they find themselves as losers.

The Seahawks: The Seahawks bounced back with a huge offensive explosion and showed why they’re the NFC powerhouse. Their defense has many holes, but their offense does enough to put them on top in most games. DK Metcalf is turning into a superstar right before our eyes, he had 12 catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns. DK Metcalf is showing everyone why 31 teams shouldn’t have passed on him in the 2019 draft. Russell Wilson continues to play like an MVP. He was 27/37 with 261 yards and 4 touchdowns. Two of them went to Metcalf, one of them went to David Moore for a 6-yard score and the other went to Deejay Dallas for a 2-yard score. Deejay Dallas had his best day as a pro. The Seahawks were without RB’s Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde. Travis Homer only had one carry, as he was dealing with a knee injury. The Seahawks defense will get a big boost once All-Pro Safety Jamal Adams returns. The Seahawks find themselves as winners, as they usually do, and they will continue to see themselves in the winner’s category if they keep playing like this.

Chargers @ Broncos: Final: Broncos 31, Chargers 30

The Chargers: Another blown lead for the Chargers. The Chargers and Falcons are notorious for blowing leads. This one has to crush the spirits of Charger fans. The Chargers are the most unclutch team in the league, yes more unclutch than the Falcons. We all made fun of the Falcons for blowing leads, that we overlooked how bad these Chargers are at closing out games. Justin Herbert played well, made some rookie mistakes, but overall, played well. Herbert went 29/43, with 3 touchdowns and 2 INT’s. Herbert hit Keenan Allen on a 9-yard score, Gabe Nabers on a 2-yard score, and Mike Williams on a 24-yard score. Rayshawn Jenkins intercepted Broncos’ QB Drew Lock on a pass intended for Jerry Jeudy. That was really all the defense did. In the third and fourth quarters, the Charger’s defense just crumbled. The Chargers had a chance to stop Drew Lock and the Broncos but as time expired, Lock hit rookie wideout KJ Hamler for a 2-yard score. The Chargers are definitely better than their record shows. It’s pretty evident they’re missing star Safety Derwin James back there in the secondary. The Charger’s inability of closing out games lands them on the loser’s side of things. I for one am a big fan of Anthony Lynn and I do not think he should be on the hot seat.

The Broncos: What. A. Comeback. Drew Lock wanted to quiet the people that think he isn’t the franchise quarterback. I know, and he knows one game like this won’t definitely prove he’s the future, but if he builds off this he very well could be in Denver for the long haul. Drew Lock was 26/41, for 248 yards, 3 touchdowns, and an INT. Lock spread the ball around, hitting three different receivers for 3 TD’s. He hit TE Albert Okwurgbunam for a 9-yard score. He connected with DaeSean Hamilton for a 40-yard score. Lock then delivered a game-winning touchdown pass to KJ Hamler as time expired. The ground game wasn’t impressive. Melvin Gordon out-carried Phillip Lindsay 8 to 6, but Lindsay was by far the most effective runner. In the third quarter, Lindsay had a 55-yard rushing touchdown and finished the day with 83 rushing yards. Bryce Callahan and Justin Simmons both picked off Justin Herbert. This Broncos team is pesky and quietly playing very good football this year with the talent they have. They find themselves as winners this week.

Saints @ Bears: Final OT: Saints 26, Bears 23

The Saints: The Saints offense is missing two playmakers in Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, which decreases their offensive production, but they still got the job done. Once they get those two back, this team can be explosive. Kamara continues to be one of the best RB’s in the league. He did most of his damage through the air, with 9 catches for 96 yards. The Saints are one of the best teams in the league when healthy. They have a good defense also. Marshon Lattimore had one INT, he could’ve had another on a 4th down throw by Foles but he dropped it as he was going to the floor. Demario Davis could’ve had a fumble recovery on a Cole Kmet fumble, but the officials came together and said Bears TE Cole Kmet’s forward progress was stopped, which took away the turnover. I have the Saints as Staying Steady this week, but they have the potential for so much more once healthy. The Saints are hoping for a Giants win against the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football so they can take over first place.

The Bears: I truthfully have no idea how the Bears have 5 wins with this offense. I truly don’t. Nick Foles didn’t play terribly, but he also didn’t play well. Foles was 28/41 with 272 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an INT. He would have thrown 2 INT’s, but the second one slipped through Saints CB Marshon Lattimore’s hands. The Bears receivers had a good day. Allen Robinson went 6/87/1, Anthony Miller went 8/73, and rookie Darnell Mooney went 5/69/1. David Montgomery had a solid day on the ground with 21 carries for 89 yards. In my opinion, they have to get Montgomery the ball more. The potential is through the roof for this kid. This Bears defense forced 3 fumbles, but recovered none of them. Khalil Mack had the lone Bears sack today. The Bears are losers this week and are the worst 5 win team in football.

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