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Week 8 of the NFL season wasn’t highly anticipated on paper, but it delivered some memorable moments. Jacoby Brissett and Deshaun Watson made two of the best plays of the year by escaping the pressure and delivering huge dimes to help their teams escape in home matchups. Also, the San Francisco 49ers delivered the statement of the year in the “Game of the Week”. They dominated the 4-2 Carolina Panthers. 51-13. Here are my thoughts on the NFL after Week 8’s action.
- If I am the Jacksonville Jaguars, I am trading Nick Foles after the season. While he hasn’t been bad in the very little time he has played, it is clear Gardner Minshew is the future of this franchise. He is 4-3 as a starter, has given the Jaguars a passing attack they’ve been lacking since Blake Bortles had a good stretch in 2017, and is only a rookie with a lot to build on. Minshew gives this offense a lot of explosiveness and they should build around him going forward and clear the salary of Foles. The Jaguars can get into the thick of the playoff race if they beat Houston in London on Sunday.
- The New Orleans Saints are better than they were a year ago. The two main reasons: Jared Cook has given them more weapons to use going forward, but mainly a much-improved pass defense. Last year, they were 29th in pass defense, this year they are 13th. This has taken a lot of pressure off the offense who turned to a backup quarterback for five games and won all of them. I expect the defense to deliver unlike last year’s NFC Championship Game loss to the LA Rams where Goff torched them in the second half. Drew Brees, this is the chance to win your second ring.
- The San Francisco 49ers made an emphatic statement on Sunday against the Panthers. It was the first time in 16 years they scored more than 50 points in a game, and they did this with what has made them successful, bruising running game and a dominant defense. The 49ers are second in rushing offense, and they dominated as backup Tevin Coleman had four touchdowns and third-string running back Raheem Mostert had a long run in the 4th quarter. Nick Bosa is building his case as Defensive Rookie of the Year as he had three sacks and an interception. He anchors a brick wall of a defensive line, and having a veteran and Super Bowl champion Richard Sherman leading the secondary is huge for their success going into the big games of their season. In late November and early December, the 49ers have a stretch of three games that will be very telling of how they do come January: vs Green Bay, at Baltimore, and at New Orleans. The matchup at New Orleans could be the game of the year.
- The Tennesse Titans continue to be inconsistent, but they are always in the thick of the AFC Wild Card race. Their defense continues to be the only consistent aspect of this team as they currently rank sixth in total defense and sixth in pass defense. They have a great secondary with safeties Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro, and cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan. They forced four turnovers in their close 27-23 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ryan Tannehill had a solid game with three touchdowns and no interceptions, and if the Titans can continue to play a mistake-free offense, then they could claw their way back into the division race.
- Jacoby Brissett made one of the three best plays of the year. To get away from Von Miller and throwing on the run toward the sideline during crunch time is incredible. If Brissett gets sacked there, the game is over, and the Broncos would have stolen a win and the Houston Texans would be currently in first place. When Andrew Luck retired, he currently left the Colts in good hands.