Week eight was highlighted by gruesome injuries to stars and starters. Four running backs suffered injuries most notably, Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers back tore his MCL in a home game against the Bengals and he’s is out for the season. Other running backs to get injuries include Matt Forte (knee), Reggie Bush (knee) and Khiry Robinson (leg).
Four wide receivers suffered injuries: Ricardo Lockette, Calvin Johnson, Keenan Allen and Steve Smith. Lockette’s injury certainly was the most gruesome: the Seattle receiver was the victim of a vicious block by Jeff Heath on a punt return. Lockette suffered a concussion in the Seahawks-Cowboys game. Other notables were Smith Sr. who suffered a torn Achilles, Keenan Allen who had a kidney injury and Calvin Johnson who had an ankle injury. The Raven’s Steve Smith is ruled out for the season.
The Superdome played host to an offensive shootout between the Saints and the Giants. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees tied an NFL record passing for 7 touchdowns and 511 yards. New York also had a star under center in this matchup. Giants quarterback Eli Manning passed for 6 touchdowns and 350 yards. New Orleans ousted New York, 52-49.
Four teams remain undefeated: The Patriots, Bengals, Broncos and Panthers.
New England Patriots (7-0): The Patriots brought the Dolphins back to reality abruptly. New England routed Miami 36-7, behind a stifling defense. The Patriots sacked Ryan Tannehill five times and picked him off twice.
Denver Broncos (7-0): The Broncos made a statement, defensively against the Packers Sunday night. Denver held Green Bay to just 140 total yards on offense as the Broncos destroyed the Packers, 29-10.
Carolina Panthers (7-0): Phew, that was close! Carolina gave away a 17-point game to Indianapolis only to win 29-26 in overtime on a 52-yard field goal make by Graham Gano. Quarterback Cam Newton passed for 268 yards and ran for another 41 with a touchdown in the win.
Green Bay Packers (6-1): R.I.P. Packers offense AND defense. Green Bay gained only 140 yards of offense. Their defense didn’t do much either giving 500 yards on offense as Green Bay was handed their first loss, 29-10 to Denver.
Cincinnati Bengals (7-0): Gritty win for the Bengals. Cincinnati receiver A.J. Green hauled in 11 catches for 118 yards and a touchdown as The Bengals escaped 16-10 versus the Steelers.
Arizona Cardinals (6-2): Carson Palmer is a pure winner. The Cardinals quarterback has won 29 games in 39 starts since he began playing in the dessert. Sunday was no different as Arizona topped Cleveland 34-20.
Atlanta Falcons (6-2): Atlanta looked sloppy in their 23-20-overtime loss to Tampa Bay. The Falcons coughed up the ball four times, had 11 penalties and only averaged three-yards a clip rushing in the loss. Ouch.
Minnesota Vikings (5-2): Chicago meet Adrian Peterson. Adrian Peterson meet the Bears. “All Day” had 20 carries for 103 yards in a 23-20 win over the Bears. Rookie receiver Stefon Diggs also left his mark hauling in six receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown in the win.
Seattle Seahawks (4-4): 2 wins in a row for Seattle to reach the .500 mark on the season. Quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 210 yards and a touchdown in a 13-12 nail-bitter against the Cowboys.
Oakland Raiders (4-3): Oakland has already surpassed their win total from last season and is looking stronger every game. The Raiders beat the Jets, 34-20 behind Derek Carr’s masterful performance. Carr passed for 333 yards and four touchdowns in the Raiders win.
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4): The Good News: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned for the Steelers against the Bengals. The Bad News: He threw three interceptions in a 16-10 loss to Cincinnati. The Worst News: Steelers back Le’Veon Bell suffered a torn MCL and is out for the season.
New York Jets (4-3): The Jets running game was engulfed in Oakland Coliseum Sunday. New York rushed for 74 yards on 21 carries in their 34-20 loss to the Raiders.
New Orleans Saints (4-4): Who needs defense anyways? Quarterback Drew Brees threw for 511 yards and seven touchdowns in a 52-49 win over the Giants. His seven-touchdown performance tied an NFL record. New Orleans is 3-1 at home.
St. Louis Rams (4-3): In the last two games, the Rams defense has limited offenses to just 12 total points, both of which were wins. Running back Todd Gurley has looked like a super star too. The St. Louis back had another huge game rushing for 133 yards and a touchdown in the Rams 27-6 routing of the 49ers.
New York Giants (4-4): Help Wanted: New Yorks needs a new defensive coordinator, defensive line, linebackers and secondary. The Giants was shredded for 614 yards and 52 points in a 52-49 loss to the Saints. New York is now holding open tryouts for anyone who can tackle.
Miami Dolphins (3-4): The Dolphins are also holding open tryouts for anyone who can run the ball. Miami rushed for 15 yards of 13 carries in a 36-7 drubbing to New England.
Indianapolis Colts (3-5): A valiant effort by the Colts was just hauled short by the Panther on Sunday Night Football. Indianapolis comeback from 17 only to fall 29-26 in overtime to Carolina. Quarterback Andrew Luck has struggled this season and today was no different throwing three interceptions.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-4): Bye Week. The Eagles will play the Cowboys next Sunday.
Washington (3-4): Bye Week. The Redskins will play the Patriots next Sunday.
Buffalo Bills (3-4): Bye Week. Buffalo will play Miami this Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs (3-5): Back-to-back wins for the Chiefs. Kansas City played Detroit in London for the third game overseas this year. The Chiefs whipped the Lions 45-10 behind quarterback Alex Smith’s monster day. Smith passed for 145 yards and rushed for another 78 with three total touchdowns in the win.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4): Tampa Bay picked up a huge road win against Atlanta in their 23-20 overtime win Sunday. Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander had 11 tackles, an interception and fumble recovery in the win. Alexander did this all after the death of his brother that occurred a day ago.
Dallas Cowboys (2-5): Ugh, Dallas can provoke migraines while watching their games. Especially quarterback Matt Cassel who averaged 3.7 a pass play against the Seahawks. Needless to say, the Cowboys lost to Seattle 13-12 despite stellar defensive play.
Houston Texans (3-5): Oh! There’s that Texans defense we’ve waited for all year. Houston sacked Zach Mettenberger seven times, recovered two fumbles and forced an interception in a 20-6 drubbing of the Titans.
Cleveland Browns (2-6): Offseason needs: running back, defensive line, linebackers and secondary. The Browns rushed for just 39 on 20 carries. While the defense surrendered 491 total yards in 34-20 loss to the Cardinals. At last there’s no quarterback controversy, right?
San Diego Chargers (2-6): The Chargers are winless on the road this season. So, yes, they lost on the road again against the Baltimore Ravens, 29-26. Doing this, despite Phillip Rivers passing for 301 yards and three touchdowns in the loss.
San Francisco 49ers (2-6): Well the good news: The 49ers are perfectly set up for Top-5 NFL Daft pick in this year’s draft. Then there’s the bad: They lost to the St. Louis Rams, 27-6 keeping them winless on the road.
Chicago Bears (2-5): The Bears have lost in a variety of ways. This time it was getting run over by Adrian Peterson and the Vikings, 23-20. Speaking of running backs, Matt Forte suffered an awkward knee injury. Luckily, it was ruled not season-ending according to Head coach John Fox. Chicago could look to trade wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and go into full-rebuild mode.
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5): Bye Week. The Jaguars will play the New York Jets this Sunday.
Baltimore Ravens (2-6): Winning is a good feeling. Losing Steve Smith Sr. for the season is not. Despite the Ravens 29-26 win over the Chargers, Baltimore lost its veteran receiver to an Achilles injury. Smith Sr. was scheduled to retire after this season.
Tennessee Titans (1-6): The Titans should explore any options at offensive line they can get. Because thus far, their line has been non-existent. Same with their offense with coughed up the ball three times, gave up seven sacks and threw an interception in 20-6 smack down against the Texans.
Detroit Lions (1-7): The Lions should work in correspondence with the Titans to secure a new offensive line. They both share this problem, but Detroit’s struggles could be worse. The Lions were sacked six times by the Chiefs as Kansas City grounded Detroit, 45-10. They’re on pace for the No. 1 pick in this years draft.