Broncos – 35 (6-1), Chargers – 21 (5-3) Thursday Night Game
Heroes – Peyton Manning (286 PaYd, 3 TD), Emmanuel Sanders (120 ReYd, 3 TD), Ronnie Hillman (109 RuYd, 29 ReYd), Demaryius Thomas (105 ReYd), Juwan Thompson (24 RuYd, 2 TD), Keenan Allen (73 ReYd, 1 TD), Antonio Gates (54 ReYd, 2 TD)
Zeroes – Julius Thomas (23 ReYd), Wes Welker (5 ReYd), Branden Oliver (36 RuYd, 27 ReYd)
The Chargers never really had a chance in this game as their defense couldn’t stop Peyton Manning and the prolific Denver offense. Manning connected with Emmanuel Sanders for three touchdowns, while the Denver rushing game was spot-on with 139 total rushing yards. The underrated factor in the game was the Denver defense, which limited running back Branden Oliver and kept Philip Rivers from making too many big plays. Oliver, who is known for breaking tackles, only had 11 yards after contact.
Interesting Game Fact: This was the 46th straight game with a TD pass for Peyton Manning.
Lions – 22 (6-2), Falcons – 21 (2-6)
Heroes – Matthew Stafford (325 PaYd, 2 TD, 1 INT), Golden Tate (151 ReYd, 1 TD), Theo Riddick (74 ReYd, 1 TD), Steven Jackson (60 RuYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Joique Bell (39 RuYd, 22 ReYd), Julio Jones (58 ReYd)
The Lions came back from a 21-0 first half deficit to beat the collapsing Falcons in front of fans in London, England. The game ended when kicker Matt Prater booted a 48-yard field goal as time expired. It took Matthew Stafford awhile to get going, but once he did he targeted receivers Golden Tate and Theo Riddick for touchdowns. The Lions conquered by days end without the services of Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush, Eric Ebron, Joseph Fauria and Brandon Pettigrew.
Interesting Game Fact: Since 1966, Stafford is only one of three quarterbacks to erase a 21-point deficit three times as a starter.
Chiefs – 34 (4-3), Rams – 7 (2-5)
Heroes – Jamaal Charles (73 RuYd, 44 ReYd, 2 TD), Knile Davis (49 RuYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Alex Smith (226 PaYd, 24 RuYd), Austin Davis (160 PaYd, 1 TD, 1 INT), Tre Mason (32 RuYd), Zac Stacy (17 RuYd, 20 ReYd), Brian Quick (10 ReYd)
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith only had to set his club up in the right situations for the victory on Sunday, as three of the Chiefs touchdowns came on the ground. The Chiefs beat the Rams up-and-down the field, even capitalizing on special teams as Knile Davis returned a kickoff for a 99-yard TD. The defense for the Chiefs came down hard on Rams quarterback Austin Davis as he was sacked seven times for a loss of 44 yards. Davis had extreme difficulty completing passes downfield, in turn keeping the Rams offense in check all day.
Interesting Game Fact: Alex Smith only threw one pass deeper than 10 yards in Week 8.
Texans – 30 (4-4), Titans – 16 (2-6)
Heroes – Arian Foster (151 RuYd, 22 ReYd, 3 TD), DeAndre Hopkins (95 ReYd), Zach Mettenberger (299 PaYd, 2 TD, 1 INT)
Zeroes – Andre Johnson (55 ReYd), Kendall Wright (53 ReYd)
This Texans win was all Arian Foster as he scored three times, two on the ground and one through the air as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick connected on a 5-yard TD pass. Most of Foster’s yards came between the tackles (126 yards), which now ranks him as the third best running back between the tackles behind DeMarco Murray and Le’Veon Bell in 2014. Rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger had a nice day statistically, although he couldn’t keep J.J. Watt off his back. The Texans defense played solid football all day long, putting the game out of reach by the start of the fourth quarter.
Interesting Game Fact: It was Foster’s 31st career 100-yard rushing game.
Vikings – 19 (3-5), Buccaneers – 13 (1-6)
Heroes – Greg Jennings (38 ReYd, 1 TD), Cordarrelle Patterson (86 ReYd), Jerick McKinnon (83 RuYd)
Zeroes – Matt Asiata (1 RuYd, 26 ReYd), Mike Glennon (171 PaYd, 1 TD, 1 INT), Doug Martin (27 RuYd), Vincent Jackson (13 ReYd)
Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr scored the game winner as he stripped the ball away from Buccaneers tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and ran it back for a touchdown in overtime. In a game that only totaled 557 yards in offense from both teams, rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater targeted Cordarrelle Patterson ten times in the game. The Vikings were able to keep control of the contest for the most part, while kicker Blair Walsh struck twice with field goals as time expired – once before halftime and once before regulation time ended.
Interesting Game Fact: Bucs RB Doug Martin left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury.
Seahawks – 13 (4-3), Panthers – 9 (3-4)
Heroes – Luke Willson (23 ReYd, 1 TD), Kelvin Benjamin (94 ReYd), Jonathan Stewart (79 RuYd)
Zeroes – Russell Wilson (199 PaYd, 35 RuYd, 1 TD, 1 INT), Marshawn Lynch (62 ReYd), Cam Newton (171 PaYd, 24 RuYd, 1 INT), Greg Olsen (16 ReYd)
It was an offensive struggle for most of the game, but Russell Wilson came through yet again for the Seahawks as he threw a last-minute TD pass to receiver Luke Willson. The Seahawks quarterback was 4-for-4 in the drive as he picked up 53 yards through the air, but the key was Wilson’s ability to land first downs by running with the ball for 20 yards twice during the drive. The Panthers defense finally stepped up after being the doormat of the league over their last five games, allowing over 30 points in four out of the five played. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to come up with the all-important stop when needed.
Interesting Game Fact: Marshawn Lynch dropped three passes in the game.
Bengals – 27 (4-2-1), Ravens – 24 (5-3)
Heroes – Andy Dalton (266 PaYd, 14 RuYd, 2 TD), Mohamed Sanu (125 ReYd, 27 RuYd), Giovani Bernard (45 RuYd, 2 ReYd, 1 TD), Lorenzo Taliaferro (27 RuYd, 42 ReYd, 2 TD), Justin Tucker (3 FG)
Zeroes – Joe Flacco (195 PaYd, 2 INT), Steve Smith (35 ReYd), Torrey Smith (0 ReYd)
The Bengals have had some disappointing losses this season, but they came together under the leadership of quarterback Andy Dalton as he scored twice on one-yard runs, the second which he scored with only 57 seconds left in the game. Mohamed Sanu stepped up again for A.J. Green, who missed Sunday’s contest due to injury. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had a horrible performance as he was only 3-of-11 when he targeted Steve Smith and Torrey Smith.
Interesting Game Fact: Giovani Bernard left the game in the third quarter with a hip injury.
Dolphins – 27 (4-3), Jaguars – 13 (1-7)
Heroes – Miami Defense (2 TD), Lamar Miller (78 RuYd, 21 ReYd), Denard Robinson (108 RuYd, 10 ReYd), Allen Robinson (82 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Ryan Tannehill (196 PaYd, 1 TD, 1 INT), Mike Wallace (59 ReYd), Blake Bortles (221 PaYd, 1 TD, 2 INT)
Rookie quarterback Blake Bortles threw two interceptions in the game, both of which were returned for touchdowns by the Miami defense. It was a nice showing by the Miami D, as they sacked Bortles three times when sending five or more pass rushers. If you’re looking for positive news from the Jaguars, running back Denard Robinson picked up 100 yards in back-to-back games putting him on the map as a decent value contributor for DraftKing owners.
Interesting Game Fact: Bortles has 13 turnovers in six games, four of which have been interceptions returned for touchdowns.
Patriots – 51 (6-2), Bears – 23 (3-5)
Heroes – Tom Brady (354 PaYd, 5 TD), Jonas Gray (86 RuYd), Rob Gronkowski (149 ReYd, 3 TD), Brandon LaFell (124 ReYd, 1 TD), Tim Wright (61 ReYd, 1 TD), Jay Cutler (227 PaYd, 3 TD, 1 INT), Matt Forte (114 RuYd, 54 ReYd, 1 TD), Alshon Jeffery (59 ReYd, 1 TD), Martellus Bennett (95 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Shane Vereen (22 RuYd, 23 ReYd), Brandon Marshall (35 ReYd)
Stick a fork in Tom Brady? No, not yet. I admit it, I was one of Brady’s detractors early in the season but he sure straightened me out with his five TD passes in Week 8. It seemed like everyone on the Patriots offense got involved in Brady’s mad scoring run, although tight end Rob Gronkowski was the main benefactor with three touchdown receptions. Jay Cutler and the Bears are reeling with a 3-5 record and will have a very difficult time getting back into the playoff mix, even with Matt Forte trying to carry most of the load.
Interesting Game Fact: Since 2010, Rob Gronkowski and Lions receiver Calvin Johnson are tied with the most TD receptions (47).
Bills – 43 (5-3), Jets – 23 (1-7)
Heroes – Kyle Orton (238 PaYd, 4 TD), Sammy Watkins (157 ReYd, 1 TD), Robert Woods (50 ReYd, 1 TD), Scott Chandler (12 ReYd, 1 TD), Lee Smith (5 ReYd, 1 TD), Chris Ivory (43 RuYd, 2 TD)
Zeroes – Anthony Dixon (44 RuYd), Bryce Brown (15 RuYd), Percy Harvin (22 ReYd), Geno Smith (5 PaYd, 3 INT), Eric Decker (40 ReYd)
The Bills have found a quarterback that can win them games, and, yes, his name is Kyle Orton! It didn’t help the Jets chances that they turned the ball over six times, even with Orton’s good play on Sunday. All three of Geno Smith’s turnovers were first quarter interceptions, with no other quarterback duplicating the feat this season. Orton was 6-for-8 for 184 yards and three TDs when the Jets sent five rushers or more.
Interesting Game Fact: Michael Vick and Geno Smith each had three turnovers.
Cardinals – 24 (6-1), Eagles – 20 (5-2)
Heroes – Carson Palmer (329 PaYd, 2 TD), Andre Ellington (71 RuYd, 14 ReYd, 1 TD), Larry Fitzgerald (160 ReYd, 1 TD), John Brown (119 ReYd, 1 TD), Nick Foles (411 PaYd, 2 TD, 2 INT), LeSean McCoy (83 RuYd, 14 ReYd), Jeremy Maclin (187 ReYd, 2 TD), Riley Cooper (88 ReYd)
Zeroes –Michael Floyd (0 ReYd), Zach Ertz (48 ReYd)
The Cardinals had to rely on the pass if they were going to win this game, as their running game only netted two plays of 10 yards or longer against the Eagles on Sunday. They had two touchdown passes of 75-plus yards facing he Eagles. Carson Palmer hit rookie John Brown for a 75-yard score in the game after they stopped the Eagles on the previous possession at the one-yard line, forcing them to kick a field goal. The Cards defense blitzed heavily on Sunday, forcing Nick Foles to feel pressure on 14 of the 19 times they sent an extra pass rusher.
Interesting Game Fact: The Eagles were the first team to get 100 yards rushing against the Cardinals in 2014.
Browns – 23 (4-3), Raiders – 13 (0-7)
Heroes – Brian Hoyer (275 PaYd, 1 TD), Ben Tate (26 RuYd, 8 ReYd, 1 TD), Andrew Hawkins (88 ReYd, 1 TD), Derek Carr (328 PaYd, 1 TD), Darren McFadden (59 RuYd, 26 ReYd), Mychal Rivera (83 ReYd), Andre Holmes (69 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Terrance West (11 RuYd, 10 ReYd), Isaiah Crowell (1 RuYd, 8 ReYd), Jordan Cameron (40 ReYd)
The Browns made this game much tougher than it should have been, as the lowly Raiders remain win-less on the season. The Browns still had trouble getting their running game going, but did manage to get solid defensive production and timely pass plays from quarterback Brian Hoyer. Hoyer remained very cool under pressure as he was able to avoid turnovers, something the Raiders could not do (three in the game). The Browns only netted 15 first downs in the game compared to the Raiders 19, but were able to convert when necessary.
Interesting Game Fact: Raiders QB Matt Schaub threw an interception on his first pass attempt as a Raiders teammate.
Steelers – 51 (5-3), Colts – 34 (5-3)
Heroes – Ben Roethlisberger (522 PaYd, 6 TD), Le’Veon Bell (92 RuYd, 56 ReYd), Antonio Brown (133 ReYd, 2 TD), Heath Miller (112 ReYd, 1 TD), Martavis Bryant (83 ReYd, 2 TD), Markus Wheaton (56 ReYd, 1 TD), Andrew Luck (400 PaYd, 26 RuYd, 3 TD, 2 INT), Ahmad Bradshaw (35 RuYd, 52 ReYd, 1 TD), T.Y. Hilton (155 ReYd, 1 TD), Donte Moncrief (113 ReYd, 1 TD), Dwayne Allen (21 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Hakeem Nicks (27 ReYd), Coby Fleener (4 ReYd)
The Steelers have been so hot-and-cold this season, losing to teams like the Buccaneers but managing to win games against teams like the Colts putting up a massive amount of points. Big Ben Roethlisberger set a career high with 522 passing yards as the Colts defense gave up 639 yards while never taking the lead in the game even with superstar QB Andrew Luck trying to create his magic. A big part of the Steelers success was their ability to convert third-downs, as they were successful on 8-of-13 chances on Sunday.
Interesting Game Fact: A big part of Big Ben’s day was his ability to succeed on play action passes, where he was 10-of-12 for 169 yards and three TDs.
Saints – 44 (3-4), Packers – 23 (5-3)
Heroes – Drew Brees (311 PaYd, 3 TD), Mark Ingram (172 RuYd, 1 TD), Brandin Cooks (94 ReYd, 1 TD), Jimmy Graham (59 ReYd, 1 TD), Aaron Rodgers (418 PaYd, 21 RuYd, 2 TD, 2 INT), Randall Cobb (126 ReYd, 1 TD), Eddie Lacy (59 RuYd, 123 ReYd)
Zeroes – Marques Colston (49 ReYd), Jordy Nelson(25 ReYd)
There’s no way that quarterback Aaron Rodgers expected the game to be a blowout, but that’s exactly what it was at the start of the fourth quarter as the Drew Brees and the Saints took a 37-16 lead in the game. Mark Ingram was a big part of the Saints winning ways as he had 92 yards after contact, which opened up passing opportunities for Brees. Rodgers’ play suffered when the Saints defense sent five or more pass rushers as he could only complete 1-of-5 passes for 14 yards, while throwing two interceptions on the night.
Interesting Game Fact: Aaron Rodgers threw for 203 yards in the first quarter against the Saints.
Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you for Week 9! And, don’t forget that you can catch me on Twitter @TheRolyPolyBoy