NFL

NFL Week 8 – Interesting Match Up Statistics, News and Notes

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Another week of NFL games kicked off Thursday night when the New England Patriots demolished the Miami Dolphins, 36-7.  Find out what you need to know about the rest of this weekend’s match ups.

Detroit Lions vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Lions: Detroit has won the last two meetings against the Chiefs but still trails the series with a 5-7 record. The Lions are 1-5 against the Chiefs on the road at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City is considered the home team this weekend, but the game is being played in London at Wembley Stadium. It will be interesting to see if the road woes continue for the Lions against the Chiefs, even if they are overseas in a virtual neutral field.

Kansas City Chiefs: Quarterback Alex Smith is 5-2 lifetime during Week 8 since beginning his career with the San Francisco 49ers in 2005. Kansas City will look to win their first set of back-to-back games since Week 9 and 10 last year.

 

San Diego Chargers vs. Baltimore Ravens

Chargers: Over the course of the Philip Rivers era in San Diego, the Chargers have twice lost four or more consecutive games in a single season. Currently the Chargers are on a three-game skid and looking for a little luck in Baltimore this weekend to avoid their fourth loss in a row.

Baltimore: Receiver Steve Smith is 36 years of age and is still playing at an extremely high level. Over the course of his 15-year career in the NFL, only once has he averaged more than 100 yards receiving during a season (101.5). Smith is averaging 98.0 yards per game this season.  He’ll face a tough Chargers secondary that is ranked 9th overall in total pass defense. Against the Chargers, the opposing teams top receiver in yardage is 74.2 with one 100-yard receiver (Amari Copper, 133 yards).

 

Arizona Cardinals vs. Cleveland Browns

Cardinals: The Cardinals are 2-2 over their last four games and are the only team in the NFL to rank in the top five in both total offense (4th) and total defense (4th).  It sounds impressive, but reality is that their wins are against teams with an overall record of 9-28. The St. Louis Rams (3-3) and Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) combined for a 7-6 overall record and both beat the Cardinals.

Browns: Josh McCown is expected to make the start against Arizona, despite having an MRI on his shoulder earlier this week. Another thing to expect is solid quarterback play by both McCown and Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer. Over the first seven games Cleveland and their opponents are exactly even with 11 touchdown passes and four interceptions each.

 

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears

Vikings: Only the Green Bay Packers have allowed fewer points this season (101) than the Vikings (102), who are tied with the Denver Broncos. Minnesota ranks 27th in the league in total points scored which makes me think that the 108th meeting between these two long time NFC North rivals will be low scoring.

Bears: In the Bears last 38 games that have included two different head coaches, Chicago has an overall record of 15-23. Over the course of Lovie Smith’s last 38 games before being let go in Chicago, he had a record of 22-16.

 

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Bengals: Cincinnati has had overwhelming success over the last few seasons winning 10 or more games three years in a row. Although that success has not come at the expense of the Pittsburgh Steelers of late, who have won the last three games against Cincinnati. The Bengals, under head coach Marvin Lewis, are 7-16 against Pittsburgh (including playoff games).

Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh has plenty to be excited about in Week 8. It is the first time all season that they will have Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Martavis Bryant and Antonio Brown all on the field together. Between injury and suspensions, the Steelers are 4-3 and aiming to put the first loss of the season in the Bengals column.

 

Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans

Titans: Tennessee has not defeated Houston since 2013, and are 1-5 over the last six contests against it’s AFC South opponent. Marcus Mariota, the leagues second-overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, will miss his second game in a row due to a knee sprain leaving Zach Mettenberger under center. Mettenberger is 0-7 as a starter and will look to take his first win from the Texans this weekend.

Texans: Luckily it’s a home game and no one will miss the team flight. Last week backup quarterback Ryan Mallett missed the team charter to Miami and now finds himself just as yours truly; Not playing in the NFL.

 

New York Giants vs. New Orleans Saints

Giants: Naughty By Nature was down with ‘OPP’ and the Giants are down with JPP. Jason Pierre-Paul finally has arrived in New York after a July 4th fireworks accident that cost Pierre-Paul a finger. He just signed a one-year incentive filled contract with New York. The Giants defense anxiously awaits the return (Even without a finger) of their best defensive player. Currently the Giants rank 31st in quarterback sacks with eight.  New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones has 8.5 himself.

Saints: The last time the Saints were square in both the win/loss column was Week 9 of last season with a mark of 4-4. New Orleans are winners of three of their last four games and riding a two-game winning streak.

 

San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

49ers: It appears you are getting all or nothing with quarterback Colin Kaepernick in regards of him finding the end zone. He has either thrown two touchdown passes per game or none in the seven games played by San Francisco this season. In four of those seven games, he has failed to find a target for six points and has six touchdown passes for the year.

 

Rams: Plenty of behind the scene shenanigans must take place before the St. Louis Rams become the Los Angeles Rams. With an eye on the future, do not be surprised if rookie Todd Gurley becomes the second running back in Los Angeles to rush for over 2,000 yards when it is all said and done. Gurley would join Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson, who holds the all-time single season mark with 2,105. Gurley also looks to reach 100 yards rushing for the fourth-consecutive game against the 49ers.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Buccaneers: Many people were waiting to see Charles Sims unseat running back Doug Martin as the main ball carrier in Tampa Bay. Martin has rushed for over 100 yards in his last three games and it gives him nine in his career. James Wilder holds the team record with six-consecutive 100-yard rushing games from 1984-85. Martin can share the single season mark of four if he breaks the century mark against the Falcons.

Falcons: The last time the Buccaneers visited the state of Georgia to play the Falcons, quarterback Matt Ryan had his best passer rating as a professional quarterback. Ryan completed 21 of his 24 pass attempts for 286 yards and three touchdowns. His passer rating was 155.9 in the 56-14 blowout of the Buccaneers.

 

New York Jets vs. Oakland Raiders

Jets: The Jets and Raiders share a similarity after their first six games. Each team ranks 26th overall in quarterback sacks with 11 a piece. Good news for Ryan Fitzpatrick and Derek Carr, odds are that your uniform stays cleans this weekend.

Raiders: Oakland has already matched their winning total from last season. The Raiders finished 3-13 in 2014 and after six games this year are 3-3. It’s a gigantic jump in the right direction for an organization that has not had a winning season in 13 years (2002). The last time Oakland was 4-3 was 2011, and went on to finish 8-8.

 

Seattle Seahawks vs. Dallas Cowboys

Seahawks: Russell Wilson has thrown a touchdown pass in every game this season. Throwing eight touchdowns in seven games marks his second longest streak and his longest is 14 games from 2013-14.

Cowboys: Dez Bryant is expected to return from his broken foot he suffered in Week 1 to take on the ‘Legion of Boom’ known as the Seattle secondary. Bryant has faced the LOB three times in his career and has never scored a touchdown. The Cowboys are surprisingly 2-1 in those three games.

 

Green Bay Packers vs. Denver Broncos

Packers: Would you believe me if I told you that the Packers and Broncos are near the bottom of the NFL in passing yards per game? Well the fact is the Broncos rank 23rd and the Packers are 25th in the league.

Broncos: Would you believe me if I told you that the Packers and Broncos are the stingiest teams in the NFL in points allowed? Well the fact is the Packers are No. 1 overall in the league with 101 points allowed followed by the Broncos with 102 points (Tied with Minnesota Vikings).

 

Indianapolis Colts vs. Carolina Panthers

Colts: In Andrew Luck’s last seven games (including playoffs), he has thrown 13 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. His passer rating over that span (67.5) is one of the worst in the NFL.

Panthers: The Panthers are 4-1 against the Colts all-time and the last time the two teams met each other (2011), the Indianapolis quarterback was none other than – Wait for it – Curtis Painter, baby!


About Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte is an NFL writer for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade. His background includes being staff for the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game as a talent evaluator for player personnel along with an internship scouting with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League. Bo’s draft background includes working for the NFL Draft Bible and currently owns and operates College2Pro.com. He has done radio spots on NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN and their affiliates in different markets around the country. Bo covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers along with other colleges in the northeast.