Sunday Snippets - Week 8

Sunday Snippets - Week 8

Game Analysis

Sunday Snippets - Week 8

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Taking a quick rundown of the Sunday NFL games with a fantasy perspective.

CAR 19, ATL 13
The Panthers end their four-game losing streak in a low-scoring and disappointingly defensive matchup.  Sam Darnold only passed for 129 yards and left with a concussion. DJ Moore was the top receiver with only four catches for 59 yards, while the passing effort was mediocre for both teams. Chuba Hubbard made the difference with 24 runs for 82 yards and the fourth-quarter touchdown that provided the winning margin.  The 4-4 Panthers host the Patriots this week.

Calvin Ridley was absent and said he is leaving the NFL for mental health reasons. Matt Ryan struggled in this one with just 146 passing yards and one score against two interceptions. Russell Gage was never thrown a pass. Cordarrelle Patterson (5-37, TD) caught the only touchdown and added 35 yards on nine carries. Tajae Sharpe (5-58) was the leading receiver. Mike Davis ran for 44 yards on nine runs and added five catches for 22 yards, but none of the Falcons had much fantasy value despite being at home against a team on a four-game losing streak. The Falcons drop to 3-4  and host the Saints for Week 9.

MIA 11, BUF 26
This game was far closer than expected, considering the Bills won 35-0 in Miami earlier this year. It was a mail-in game until the fourth quarter when the Bills scored a touchdown and field goal in the final six minutes. Josh Allen threw for 249 yards and two scores between Stefon Diggs (5-40, TD) and Gabriel Davis (4-29, TD). Cole Beasley (10-110) was the top receiver. Allen also rushed for 55 yards on eight runs and scored the only rushing touchdown while Devin Singletary (7-28) and Zack Moss (8-19) never got on track. The 5-2 Bills  play at the Jaguars this weekend.

Tua Tagovailoa threw for 205 yards and no scores, but at least DeVante Parker (8-85) led the receivers after missing three games. Jalen Waddle (4-29) and Mike Gesicki (3-48) were the next best but made little impact. Myles Gaskin (12-36) and Salvon Ahmed (7-22) handled the rushing duties to little effect. The Dolphins were in this game that was close but never felt in danger. The potential points were there, but the Bills didn’t care until late in the game. The 1-7 Dolphins host the Texans for a chance to end their seven-game losing streak.

SF 33, CHI 22

Yet another game that was low-scoring and close throughout until the 49ers scored ten points in the final six minutes to nail down the win. The Bears were without their COVID-laden head coach Matt Nagy, but they might consider keeping him away because Justin Fields looked preseason-good. He threw for 175 yards and one score plus ran ten times for 103 yards and a touchdown.  He looked like they played him towards his strengths – go figure. Darnell Mooney (6-64) was the top receiver, and Allen Robinson (3-21) was still the forgotten receiver. Khalil Herbert ran for 72 yards on 23 rushes as he controlled the backfield. The 3-5 Bears play in Pittsburgh this week.

The 49ers got the job done but needed two second-half rushing scores from Jimmy Garoppolo to secure the win. He threw for 322 yards but no scores while Deebo Samuel (6-171) included an 83-yard catch that almost scored. No other receivers gained more than 59 yards for the 49ers who relied mainly on Elijah Mitchell (18-137, TD) to keep the sticks moving.  The win sends the 3-4 49ers  back home to host the Cardinals.

PIT 15, CLE 10
This game was the low-scoring yawner of the day.  Najee Harris (26-91, TD) made the difference, along with his three catches for 29 yards. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 266 yards and one score to Pat Freiermuth (4-44) while Diontae Johnson (6-98) and Chase Claypool (4-45) were the only other receivers of any note, and Claypool added two runs for 16 yards. The 4-3 Steelers never scored a touchdown until the end of the third quarter, but the defense keep them in the game. They host the Bears this week.

Baker Mayfield threw for 225 yards but never scored. Jarvis Landry (5-65) only caught half of his ten targets but no other receiver gained more than 39 yards. Nick Chubb was back but only gained 61 yards on 16 carries. Just to make it worse, D’Ernest Johnson scored the only touchdown during his five rushes in the game. The loss drops Cleveland to 4-4 and they play in Cincinnati this week.

LAR 38, HOU 22

Make no mistake – this was never a game. The Rams led 38-0 in the third quarter before they let random season-ticket holders take their turns defending the Texans. Davis Mills threw for 310 yards and two scores between Brandin Cooks (6-83, TD) and Brevin Jordan (3-41, TD) and Cooks continues to be a fantasy star solely because of garbage time yards and scores. Rex Burkhead (4-21, TD) was the best of the FOUR different running backs that the Texans used that now include Scottie Phillips (5-11), Phillip Lindsay (3-8), and David Johnson (2-4). The loss drops the Texans to 1-7 and they head to Miami for Week 9.

The Rams cruised to this win behind Matt Stafford who passed for 305 yards and three touchdowns. Cooper Kupp (7-115, TD) cared enough to dominate even in an easy win, and Robert Woods (3-35, TD) added a score to salvage his fantasy value. Darrell Henderson (14-90, TD) was effective and shared with Sony Michel (9-42) during the blowout win. The Rams took this one seriously until the fourth quarter. The 7-1 Rams host the Titans this week.

CIN 31, NYJ 34
Let’s see, the best record in the AFC plays a team with one win, so naturally, the Jets beat the Bengals who led 31-20 midway in the fourth quarter. Mike White becomes one of the greatest fantasy desperation starts of all time by throwing for 405 yards and three touchdowns in the first game of his career. Michael Carter (9-95) was the top receiver and the top rusher (15-77, TD), while Jamison Crowder (8-84) and Ty Johnson (5-71, TD) also turned in great efforts as receivers. They hung in despite trailing most of the game and then stepped up when it counted most. The win sends the 2-5 Jets to Indianapolis this week.

The oddity in this upset was that Joe Mixon only gained 33 yards on 14 rushes but ran in a touchdown and added four catches for 58 yards and a second score. Joe Burrow threw for 259  yards and three touchdowns but  Ja’Marr Chase (3-32, TD) was held in check other than the one obligatory score.  Tee Higgins (4-97) and Tyler Boyd (5-69, TD) were the busiest receivers. The Bengals seemed sure to win but let up in the final seven minutes and let the Jets pull off this surprising win. They fall to  5-3 and host the Browns in a divisional matchup that becomes a must-win.

NE 27,  LAC 24

Are there any good teams in the AFC anymore? The Chargers lose their second in a row thanks in part to throwing a pick-six to the Patriots in the fourth quarter. Mac Jones threw for 217 yards and no scores. Nelson Agholor (3-60) and Kendrick Bourne (4-38) were the top receivers, and Damien Harris (23-80) scored the only offensive touchdown. Rhamondre Stevenson (8-26) spent a day out of the doghouse, but the game was won with four field goals and the defensive touchdown. The win sends the 4-4 Patriots  to Carolina this week.

For the second week in a row, Justin Herbert had a down game. He threw for 223 yards and two scores with two interceptions. Keenan Allen (6-77, TD) was the top receiver, but Mike Williams (2-19) was the guy the Pats defense targeted. Austin Ekeler was limited in practices but ran for 64 yards and a score on 11 rushes and added six catches for 60 yards. Justin Jackson broke off a 75-yard run but later left the game with a quad injury. The Chargers fall to 4-3 and play at the Eagles for Week 9.

JAC 7, SEA 31
No surprises here other than Alex Collins injured his ankle and let Carlos Hyde (9-32) become the lead rusher for the Jags, who were never remotely in this game. Trevor Lawrence passed for 238 yards and one score and an interception. Jamal Agnew (6-38, TD) was the lone scorer, while Dan Arnold (8-68) and Carlos Hyde (6-40) were the top receivers. The Jaguars never scored until 1:49 left in the game and even then, the Seahawks returned the onside attempt for a touchdown. The 1-6 Jaguars  host the Bills this week.

Geno Smith was more than adequate against the visiting Jaguars. He threw for 195 yards and two scores to D.K. Metcalf (6-43, 2 TD). Tyler Lockett (12-142) had a monster game but there were only two completions other than Metcalf and Lockett. Alex Collins ran for only 44 yards on ten rushes but the Seahawks let Travis Homer (4-9) and Rashaad Penny (7-7) also take turns in the blowout win. The 3-5 Seahawks head onto their bye.

WAS 10, DEN 17
Another yawner. And a fantasy wasteland. Antonio Gibson ran for 34 yards on eight carries and added three catches for 20 yards, but J.D. McKissic (8-83) was the top receiver, and Jaret Patterson (11-46) was their top rusher. Taylor Heinicke threw for 270 yards and a score to DeAndre Carter (3-51, TD). Terry McLaurin was held to only 23 yards on three catches. The backfield is a full-blown committee but at least the defense was better this week. The 2-6 Football Team heads onto their bye.

The Broncos didn’t do much, but at least they scored with a pass and a rush. Both belonged to Melvin Gordon, who ran for 47 yards on ten rushes and caught three passes for 15 yards. Javonte Williams only gained 35 yards on nine runs and added two receptions for 13 yards. Teddy Bridgewater threw for 213 yards and the one score. Tim Patrick (3-64) and Courtland Sutton (2-40) led the receiving effort, and Jerry Jeudy (4-39) returned from injured reserve for a muted game. The 4-4 Broncos head to Dallas for Week 9.

TB 27, NO 36
Sunday was a good time to be using backup quarterbacks. The Saints lost Jameis Winston and turned to Trevor Siemian with no drop-off. Alvin Kamara ran for 61 yards and a score on 19 carries but only caught three passes for 15 yards. Mark Ingram’s return to New Orleans had him run for 27 yards on six carries and two receptions for 25 yards. There were no standout Saints receivers, not that there usually is anyway. Tre’Quan Smith (3-33, TD) scored, but no receiver broke 40 yards. And despite switching to Siemian, the Saints had no turnovers, unlike the three by Tom Brady, who the Saints just have his number. The 4-2 Saints stay at home and host the Falcons this week.

The Buccaneers lost, but Tom Brady still threw for 375 yards and four touchdowns but with two interceptions and a lost fumble. Chris Godwin (8-140, TD) and Mike Evans (2-48, TD) both scored, but Godwin enjoyed having CB Marshon Lattimore lock onto Evans. Rob Gronkowski was active but left with back spasms. Leonard Fournette (8-26) added three catches for 17 yards, but the Buccaneers kept falling behind, battling back, and then eventually had an interception returned forty yards for a score with only 1:24 left to play. The loss drops the Bucs to 6-2 just in time for their Week 9 bye.

DAL 20, MIN 16
This game wasn’t the shootout that was hoped, but again – why use a starting quarterback when it seems all the backups were winning games this week? Cooper Rush’s first NFL start ended with 325 yards and two touchdowns, and that spawned two monster games by receivers. Amari Cooper (8-122, TD) and CeeDee Lamb (6-112) both broke the century mark and even Cedrick Wilson ended with three catches for 84 yards that included a 73-yard score. Ezekiel Elliott was limited to 50 yards on 16 rushes and added four receptions for 23 yards to salvage some value on the night.  It was the first game that the Dallas defense failed to intercept a pass, but they held the Vikings to only one touchdown. The 6-1 Cowboys host the Broncos this week.

The Vikings didn’t meet expectations versus the Cowboys. Kirk Cousins only passed for 184 yards and one score to Adam Thielen (6-78, TD) on their opening drive and then only managed three field goals for the rest of the game. Justin Jefferson was held to only two catches for 21 yards. Dalvin Cook ran for 78 yards on 18 rushes but failed to catch either of his passes. This game met the common theme of the day – backup quarterbacks ruled. The 3-4 Vikings head to Baltimore for Week 9.

 

The Game-o-the-Week

TEN 34, IND 31 OT

This was the sort of game that every matchup in the AFC South should provide. These two teams were always within one touchdown of each other during the game and while it appeared that the Titans wrapped it up with a ridiculously easy interception touchdown with 1:26 left to play, but the Colts scored their touchdown with 22 seconds left to send it into overtime. After each team had a punt in overtime, Carson Wentz threw his second interception in the game to give the Titans the ball at the IND 32-yard line, and they kicked the winning field goal.

Derrick Henry was held to only 68 yards on 28 carries in one of his rare down games. Ryan Tannehill threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns with A.J. Brown (10-155, TD) as the only receiver with more than 33 yards. Julio Jones was out, and tight end Geoff Swain (4-23, TD) and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (2-16, TD) also scored. The Titans didn’t get the usual boost from rushing Henry, though with 28 carries, they gave him plenty of chances. Tannehill proved he could win games too. The 5-2 Titans play at the Rams for Week 9.

Carson Wentz passed for 231 yards and three scores but tossed two critical interceptions. Michael Pittman scored twice on his ten catches for 86 yards but no other wideout or tight end gained more than 43 yards. Jonathan Taylor ran for 70 yards and a touchdown on his 16 carries and added three receptions for 52 yards.  Wentz threw for three scores but only turned in a 68.3 QB rating because of the interceptions and only completing 27-of-51 passes. The 3-5 Colts host the Jets this week, so there is a light at the end on a one-week tunnel.

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