A Saints shutout, domination in Dallas and some McCaffrey magic highlight week 8 of the 2022 NFL season, but don't worry there are plenty of lowlights to complain about too...
Broncos 21 - 17 Jags
The Broncos snap a 4-game losing streak to move to 3-5 on the season, while Jacksonville log 5 straight losses.
Russell Wilson was the meme of the week after claiming to do 4 hours of 'high knees' on the flight to London, but the Broncos QB silenced most of the haters with a solid performance in this win.
Not me though... I'm sticking to Russ 'the Bust' being one of the worst trades in NFL history. I mean, beating the 2-6 Jags doesn't exactly redeem the season Wilson has been having in Denver. He threw 2 interceptions on the night, and that's about it. The box score may say '1 passing touchdown', but this had nothing to do with Russ...
You love to see it, @jerryjeudy 🤩— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 30, 2022
📺: ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/6oCyEdvZhf
The Jags side of the ball was no better. Trevor Lawrence had no luck in the passing game - with just 133 yards and 2 interceptions - so Doug Peterson turned to Travis Ettiene who was the lone bright spot for Jacksonville this weekend. The star running back clocked 156 yards and a touchdown on the night.
Travis Etienne is one of the most entertaining backs to watch in the league.— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 30, 2022
49-yards! (he breaks a huge run each week)pic.twitter.com/06gX0w6jXp
Bottom line - two pretty boring teams played some pretty boring football.
Dolphins 31 - 27 Lions
The Detroit offense finally found their feet again, but it wasn't quite enough against Tua and company.
By 'company' I mean Tyreek Hill and Jalen Waddle. The Cheetah hauled in a total of 12 receptions for 188 yards, while Waddle logged 106 and two touchdowns in the victory. Safe to say, Tua has fully recovered - throwing 29-of-36 for 382 yards and 3 TDs.
Unreal angle of Jaylen Waddle's second touchdown...@D1__JW came right at our camera! @nbc6 @sflow2 @MiamiDolphins pic.twitter.com/LbGGm2Ei9V— Ruthie Polinsky (@ruthiepolinsky) October 31, 2022
The Lions got back to their early-season ways in the first half as they found points on all 5 of their opening drives, but they quickly lost their footing as they were outscored 14-0 in the second half. There's still a sliver of hope for Detroit, but consistency is the big issue. At 1-5 it'll be a tough climb, but I wouldn't say the Packers and Bears are entirely safe.
Panthers 34 - 37 Falcons
The Falcons and Panthers combined for a total of 71 points in a true NFC South slugfest. The two sides traded scoring drives throughout both halves and it all came down to the wire, more than once.
By far the best play of the game was completely undermined by a 15-yard penalty that cost Carolina the win. PJ Walker launched a 62-yard touchdown pass to DJ Moore - tying the game with just 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter. But Moore removed his helmet during the celebration which pushed the extra point attempt 15 yards back. The kick was missed, and the game went to overtime. Still a great play though...
PJ WALKER JUST DID THAT. HAIL MARY TO DJ MOORE. pic.twitter.com/dDYwoZhaGG— NFL (@NFL) October 30, 2022
Atlanta won the toss, and Mariota threw a pick just 5 plays in. The ball now sat at the Falcons 20-yard line and after 3 plays, a field goal attempt from the 14-yard line was set up.
And would you believe it... Eddy Piñeiro missed again. The Falcons got the ball back and drove within field goal range to kick for the win.
A very tough loss for the Panthers who fall to 2-6 after the game was in the palm of their hands, multiple times. This may be one of the worst chokes you'll see all year.
Cardinals 26 - 34 Vikings
In another close matchup, Minnesota topped the Arizona Cardinals to move to 6-1 on the season.
Offensive highlights include Deandre Hopkins - who hasn't missed a beat since returning from his six-game suspension - and Dalvin Cook - who rushed for 111 yards and one touchdown on the night.
DEANDRE HOPKINS FILTHY TD CATCH.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 30, 2022
(Via: @NFL) pic.twitter.com/hV8lq1p6fU
The deciding factor in this one-score game was turnovers.
Kyler Murray may have thrown for 326 yards and 3 touchdowns, but his two second-half interceptions proved costly in the loss. One gave Minnesota an easy touchdown drive after Harrison Smith returned his pick to the Cardinals 30-yard line.
With this interception, Harrison Smith passes Nate Wright for 5th all time in #Vikings history pic.twitter.com/POrUgR5QSb— Matt Anderson (@MattAnderson_8) October 30, 2022
Bears 29 - 49 Cowboys
The Dallas offense explodes against the Bears to bag a 20-point victory in Week 8.
Tony Pollard set the backfield on fire - accounting for 131 yards and 3 touchdowns in the matchup - while linebacker Micah Parsons also got involved in the end zone action - scoring a 36-yard fumble recovery.
Fact of the day: @MicahhParsons11 was a running back in high school. And you can tell from this touchdown return! 😤— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) October 30, 2022
📺: @NFLonFOX | #CHIvsDAL pic.twitter.com/6l8EU3vHwU
The ground game may have been the highlight for Dallas, but they can certainly do more than run the ball. Dak threw for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns on the night, as he cements his name as the starter above Cooper Rush, who had a successful campaign in his absence.
Justin Fields is still better at running than throwing. The Bears are still the Bears.
Raiders 0 - 24 Saints
Alvin Kamara starred in this Saints shutout of the Raiders, as the New Orlean's RB led the team in both rushing and receiving yards to find the end zone three times.
Kamara logged 62 yards on the ground (just one more than Taysom Hill) and 96 yards through the passing game. His 3 touchdowns contributed 18 points to the 24-0 victory and puts him just one score away from the Saints all time touchdown leader Marques Colston.
Alvin Kamara with his 3rd TD of the day 👏— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) October 30, 2022
Dalton to Kamara for the 36-yard TD #LVvsNO | 📺: CBS pic.twitter.com/eM61FEMsSg
The Raiders on the other hand, failed to bank a single point on the night. Josh Jacobs had a surprisingly underwhelming day - with 43 rushing yards - while Derrick Carr threw for just 101 yards and an interception before Jarrett Stidham took over. Pretty disappointing all round for Las Vegas, who move to 2-5 on the year.
Steelers 13 - 35 Eagles
The Birds continue to soar.
Jalen Hurts proves himself once again, as he leads the Eagles offense through the air. The star QB completed 19 of 28 passes for 285 yards and four touchdowns, but AJ Brown was the difference-maker in this game.
Brown hauled in 3 touchdowns in the first half alone to bag the first end-zone hat-trick of his career.
AJ BROWN. THREE FIRST HALF TOUCHDOWNS.— NFL (@NFL) October 30, 2022
📺: #PITvsPHI on CBS
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/kHi66m0LGX pic.twitter.com/Ih3iKlG2D1
Meanwhile, Kenny Pickett threw for just 191 yards and one interception - though it could be said that Chase Claypool stole his only shot at a touchdown with this play. Either way, the Pittsburgh offense averaged 4.3 yards per play as they lost their second consecutive game and fall to 2-6.
.@ChaseClaypool ➡️ @DerekWatt34 for six!— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 30, 2022
📺 #PITvsPHI on CBS pic.twitter.com/WbBDnAeMnf
Patriots 22 - 17 Jets
Bill Belichick passes George Halas for second place on the all-time wins list, as the Pats log their 13th consecutive victory over the Jets.
Mac Jones threw for just 194 yards (7 yards short of my 144/1 parlay paying off...), while Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for 71.
Given the lack of offensive production, you may be wondering how New England won this game... Zach Wilson throwing 3 picks is the answer - including this one, which was an attempt to throw out of bounds.
Zach Wilson is really holding this #Jets back big time.— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 30, 2022
Another INT. Goes to Devin McCourty.pic.twitter.com/rSDRLAB06h
New England progress to 4-4, although they still sit at the bottom of a competitive AFC East, while the Jets fall to 5-3 but still hold on to second place above Miami.
Titans 17 - 10 Texans
Derrick Henry continues to dominate, as his sixth 200-yard rushing game provided a reliable source of offense after a rocky start from back-up QB Malik Willis.
Logging 219 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground, it's safe to say Henry carried the Titans to this one-score victory in Houston.
Derrick Henry with a Touchdown 🐘🔥 pic.twitter.com/IXkvqyh7iC— Alabama DieHards (@DiehardsAlabama) October 30, 2022
Davis Mills found Dameon Pierce in the end zone well into the fourth quarter to score Houston's only touchdown of the night, but it was far too little, far too late.
The Titans will win the AFC south by default.
Giants 13 - 27 Seahawks
Geno Smith could be making a late campaign for Comeback Player of the Year.
The ex-Giants QB was calm and collected against his former team - throwing for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns - finding his favourite targets DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett for the scores.
Tyler Lockett hits the tough double move to beat the Giants secondary for the touchdown.— The Athletic NFL (@TheAthleticNFL) October 30, 2022
He redeems himself after fumbling earlier in the game.
🎥 @NFL | @Seahawks pic.twitter.com/lB87k7FDHm
Kenneth Walker also continued his scoring streak. The rookie RB has stepped in for the injured Rashad Penny to put up at least one TD in four consecutive games. Rookie of the Year contender for sure.
Meanwhile, Dan Jones couldn't quite keep up in Seattle. The Giants QB threw for just 176 yards, and the usual star of the show, Saquon Barkley only logged 53 yards on 20 carries. This was not the same Giants we've been getting used to.
The Blues fall to third place in a tough NFC East and to everyone's surprise, the Hawks somehow top the West. Who'd have thought?
Commanders 17 - 16 Colts
Washington land their first win over the Colts in 20 years. If the Taylor Heinicke magic continues, we may not see Carson Wentz touch Commander's turf ever again.
In such a close game, there's only one-man you can rely on - Terry Mclaurin. Heinicke's favourite target hauled in one of the best catches of the week to set up the game winning score. It doesn't get much better than this.
SCARY TERRY IN THE CLUTCH 👻— ESPN (@espn) October 30, 2022
In other news, the Colts continue to disappoint in the run game that was so dominant last year. Jonathan Taylor is coming off a league-leading 1811 yards that landed him 18 touchdowns last year, to find the endzone just once in 6 appearances this season.
Sam Ehlinger stood in for Matt Ryan to deliver an okay performance. If only he could rely on the run game a little more...
49ers 31 - 14 Rams
Christian McCaffrey becomes the 11th player in NFL history to bag a rushing, receiving and passing touchdown in the same game. I think he's starting to feel at home in San Francisco.
I couldn't choose just one play, so here's every CMC highlight of the game.
Crown him 👑!@CMC_22's highlights from his touchdown triple crown performance 👇 pic.twitter.com/QZzUP4rjmd— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) October 31, 2022
Besides C-Mac dominating all over the field, the Rams second half choke is something worth mentioning.
LA went into the break with a 14-10 lead and couldn't muster a single point in their four second-half drives. But Stafford didn't throw an interception, so I guess there's that...
Packers 17 - 27 Bills
After calling out underperforming players that should be benched, Rodgers put in another mediocre performance while Aaron Jones carried the Pack for 143 yards.
Josh Allen surprisingly threw two interceptions and wasn't quite the touchdown machine we all expect him to be. Meanwhile Stephon Diggs remains unstoppable - 108 yards and a touchdown for the Bills star wideout. He should be everyone's pick for Offensive Player of the Year right now.
Allen ➡️ Diggs— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 31, 2022
Like clockwork 🤝
(via @BuffaloBills) pic.twitter.com/cBiKF9P1OJ
The Bills played an average game by their standards and still beat Green Bay by double digits. They are scary good this year.
So, there you have it - the Birds are still soaring, the Panthers are still finding a way to lose, and CMC is a serious problem for any defense.
Join me for a Monday Night Football recap tomorrow, where I'll probably be talking about Nick Chubb's multiple trips to the end zone.