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NFL AM: Week 8 Analysis and Observations

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Week 8 of the NFL season was one of the most exciting weekends of the year and we’re going to share our news, notes and nuggets from each game.

Kansas City 45, Detroit 10

Alex Smith is going to win just enough games so the Chiefs can’t get his replacement in the Draft.  Quarterback purgatory continues!  Meanwhile in Detroit, the franchise is in major need of a reboot and that shouldn’t involve Jim Caldwell.  Nobody is doing less with more and Matt Stafford looks like the second coming of Jay Cutler

Tampa Bay 23, Atlanta 20 (OT)

Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is doing a magnificent job with a one-read quarterback.  The Falcons are nowhere near as good as their record and that will play itself out over the second half of the season.  Matt Ryan needs to play better.

Arizona 34, Cleveland 20

The Cardinals haven’t beat anyone good, but they’ll have a chance to change that this weekend at Seattle.  Why do we feel like they’re about to lay an egg?  There’s talk about the Browns trading Joe Thomas and Alex Mack.  I know this is commonplace in baseball, but I fail to see the logic in trading your best players for middle-round picks.  The Browns need more talent, giving away their best talent doesn’t make sense.

St. Louis 27, San Francisco 6

The Rams keep beating the teams they’re supposed to beat.  That’s what playoff teams do.  Colin Kaepernick isn’t playing well, but does anyone believe Blaine Gabbert is a better option?  Kaep needs a change of scenery if he’s going to have any hope to revive his career.

New Orleans 52, N.Y. Giants 49

Drew Brees was “in the zone” on Sunday, and despite the Saints defense having fatal flaws, they might be playing the best football in the division and nobody in the NFC wants them to make the playoffs.  The Giants need a healthy JPP back quickly, as they’re ruining a chance to run away with the NFC East.

Minnesota 23, Chicago 20

The Vikings are not nearly as good as their 5-2 record, but they’re beating the teams they should beat and that’s what playoff teams do.  Teddy Bridgewater has to play better.  The Bears are playing hard, but they are missing playmakers, especially on defense.  Jay Cutler is playing better than most would’ve expected.

Baltimore 29, San Diego 26

The Ravens nightmare season got worse despite the win.  They lost Steve Smith for the season and possibly his career and the win hurts them in draft position.  The Chargers are one of the worst teams in the NFL and it makes no sense with a great quarterback like Philip Rivers.  Mike McCoy is on a very hot seat.

Cincinnati 16, Pittsburgh 10

The Bengals wrapped up the AFC North on Sunday and now they’re competing for home-field advantage.  Andy Dalton continues to make big plays.  The Steelers lost Le’Veon Bell for the season and it probably won’t hurt them as much as you’d think.  He’s the best back in the game, but DeAngelo Williams is very capable.

Houston 20, Tennessee 6

As bad as the Texans are, they are in division title contention.  Brian Hoyer is actually playing solid football and the Texans could possibly turn things around.  Ken Whisenhunt is 3-20 in his first 23 games.  Unless they show legitimate improvement in the second half, he’s going to be out of a job.

Oakland 34, N.Y. Jets 20

I’m not sure that I’m ready to call the Raiders good, but they’re tough at home and they’re finally respectable.  Derek Carr is playing well, but Amari Cooper makes him much better.  The Jets aren’t in that much trouble if Ryan Fitzpatrick misses significant time, as he’s not that good and Geno Smith has a greater upside.

Seattle 13, Dallas 12

The Seahawks offense is pretty mediocre due to a bad offensive line and an overrated quarterback.  Russell Wilson can’t win solely from the pocket.  Tony Romo should get consideration for MVP.  He’s the main reason why the Cowboys have been competitive over the last decade.

Denver 29, Green Bay 10

The Broncos defense could be all-time great, and they can beat New England if Peyton Manning can just “not be terrible.”  The Packers receivers have a tough time getting open quickly, and that could put them in a bad spot in the postseason, especially considering Eddie Lacy has lost his mojo.

Carolina 29, Indianapolis 26

The Panthers might be the least impressive 7-0 team in NFL history.  With that said, Cam Newton makes big plays at big times and is turning into one of the most clutch QB’s in the NFL.  There’s something wrong physically and mentally with Andrew Luck, and it’s affecting his mechanics.  I’m still confident that he will bounce back and play well going forward.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.