Around the NFL: Week 8 Recap

Concise game recaps and implications from Week 8 that provide you with information that matters to attack Week 9. Head over to our game matchup dashboards to understand each team’s strengths and weaknesses as teams as every team continues to reveal who they are in 2023. Once you digest takeaways from the Week 8, head over to our dashboard section to break down the Week 9 board.

Bills / Buccaneers

  • Somewhat of a leading final result here as the Bills lead 24-10 until about the 2-minute mark of this game before the Bucs capped off a 17-play, 92-yard drive that took over 7 minutes of clock time and featured several penalties against Buffalo’s defense that extended the drive over and over. Buffalo outgained Tampa by a margin of 427-302 and was able to get back on track at home off a losses to the Patriots and Jags and a near loss to the Giants over the last three weeks.
  • Josh Allen specifically got back on track in this one, finishing with 365 total yards from scrimmage, finishing with 324 yards, 2 TD’s and 1 INT on 31-40 passing and another 41 yards on the ground on 7 scrambles. Gabe Davis caught 9 balls for 87 yards and a TD on 12 targets, while Khalil Shakir caught 6 balls for 92 yards. Dalton Kincaid made an impact in the game as well, catching 5 balls for 65 yards and 1 TD on 7 targets.
  • Tampa posted 10 points in the 2nd quarter in less than a minute of clock time and headed into halftime down just 17-10, but punted on their first three drives of the 2nd half. They found themselves down two scores late in the 4th quarter that was ultimately insurmountable.
  • The Bucs have now lost three straight and drop to 3-4 – they head on the road as 2.5-point underdogs against the Texans in Week 9, while the Bills are 3-point underdogs on the road in Cincy.

Commanders / Eagles

  • Philly turned the ball over twice inside Washington’s 5-yard line, otherwise this game could have been more lopsided than it ultimately turned out to be. The Commanders jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the 2nd quarter and led 17-10 at halftime, but the Eagles scored TD’s on three of their first 4 drives of the 2nd half to take a 31-24 lead, converting a Reed Blankenship INT deep in Washington territory into a TD to take a 7-point lead midway through the 4th quarter. Philly ultimately lead this 38-24 before allowing Washington to score a TD on a 4-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a minute to go and recovered an onside kick to seal the win.
  • Washington outgained the Eagles by a margin of 472-374 as Sam Howell threw for 397 yards and 4 TD’s on 39-52 passing. Philly’s secondary continues to be suspect in the passing game as it heads into the most difficult part of its schedule with matchups against the Cowboys twice, the 49ers, Bills and Chiefs over the next month and a half.
  • AJ Brown continues to dominate the opposition – he caught 8 balls for 130 yards and 2 TD’s on 8 targets, while DeVonta Smith added another 7 catches for 99 yards and a 38-yard TD catch on 7 targets.
  • Jalen Hurts is dealing with a knee issue, but was extremely efficient through the air, finishing with 319 yards and 4 TD’s on 29-38 passing.
  • The Eagles are 3-point favorites at home against the Cowboys in Week 9, while the Commanders are 3-point underdogs on the road in New England.

Cowboys / Rams

  • The Cowboys got back on track in Week 8 off the bye at home against the Rams, dominating this game from start to finish by jumping out to a 33-9 lead at halftime, posting points on four of their five possessions in the first half and returning an INT for a TD. Dallas outgained the Rams by a margin of 387-280 in a game where Matt Stafford left the game with a thumb injury late in the 3rd quarter.
  • Dak Prescott was efficient off the bye, finishing with 304 yards and 4 TD’s on 25-31 passing. CeeDee Lamb caught 12 balls for 158 yards and 2 TD’s on 14 targets with a matchup coming up in Week 9 against a Philly secondary that has struggled to defend the pass.
  • The Rams had just 69 yards of offense in the first half before they strung together a 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive with under 2 minutes left in the first half to cut Dallas’ lead to 33-9. Stafford has a UCL sprain and is considered day-to-day.
  • Dallas heads to Philly as a 3-point underdog on the road, while the Rams are 3-point underdogs with Stafford’s health in question on the road in Green Bay.

Packers / Vikings

  • Green Bay’s first half struggles on offense continued in this game – they amassed just 79 yards of offense on 26 plays, a majority of which came on a 14-play, 73-yard drive that ended in a field goal on their final possession of the first half. They went three-and-out on each of their first four drives for a net gain of just 6 yards.
  • Minnesota outgained the Packers by a margin of 346-270, but lost Kirk Cousins to a torn Achilles in the 4th quarter – that is a huge blow for the Vikings, who got back to 4-4 with the divisional win in which Cousins finished 23-31 for 274 yards and 2 TD’s. Cousins was playing some of the best football of his career, and his future is now in doubt.
  • KJ Osborn (8 catches, 99 yards, 10 targets), TJ Hockenson (6 catches, 88 yards, 1 TD, 9 targets) and Jordan Addison (7 catches, 82 yards, 1 TD, 8 targets) were all excellent filling in the void that Justin Jefferson leaves in this offense.
  • Green Bay drops to 2-5 in a transitional season where they’re trying to figure out if Love is their long-term solution at QB – he has not been in the first half of games, as the Packers entered Week 8 ranked 30th in 1H point differential.
  • The Packers are 3-point favorites at home against the Rams, who may be without Stafford in Week 9, while the Vikings are 4.5-point underdogs on the road in Atlanta with significant question marks at the QB position.

Titans / Falcons

  • Will Levis was impressive in his first NFL start against Atlanta, finishing with 238 yards and 4 TD’s on 19-29 passing, connecting with DeAndre Hopkins 4 times for 128 yards and 3 TD’s.
  • Desmond Ridder was brutal once again on the road in Tennessee – he was sacked 5 times and evaluated for a concussion. He was cleared but did not return to the game, as Arthur Smith elected to go with Taylor Heinicke in the second half. In total Atlanta punted 5 times in the first half, lost a fumble and converted a field goal – they amassed 80 yards of total offense on 30 plays in the first half.
  • Taylor Heinicke was significantly more effective in the second half, passing for 175 yards and 1 TD on 12-21 passing and getting the Falcons within one score down 28-23 late in the 4th quarter.
  • Derrick Henry carried the ball 22 times for 101 yards against an Atlanta run defense that ranked 9th in rushing YPG allowed heading into Week 8.
  • Levis is expected to start on TNF in Pittsburgh, where the Titans are 3-point underdogs against the Steelers. The Falcons have lost three of their last five games and fall to 4-4 on the season – Arthur Smith was somewhat dodgy in committing to Desmond Ridder as the starter in Week 9 on Monday; the Falcons are 4.5-point favorites at home against Minnesota as it currently stands.

Colts / Saints

  • The New Orleans’ offense looks to have found its footing over the L2 weeks after posting 511 yards of total offense on an Indy defense that has a young, depleted secondary that entered Week 8 ranking 25th in the league in passes of 10+ yards. The Saints posted TD’s on three of their first five drives of the first half.
  • The Saints outgained the Colts by a margin of 511-371, posting TD’s on three of four trips to the RZ and spreading the ball around to playmakers at the skill positions.
  • Alvin Kamara carried the ball 17 times for 59 yards and a TD and added another 4 catches for 51 yards and a TD on 5 targets through the air. Kamara is averaging 17 carries, 64 rushing YPG, 8 catches and 46 receiving yards per game since his return from suspension, good for nearly 110 yards from scrimmage per game.
  • Jonathan Taylor continues to split carries with Zack Moss as he works his way back from injury – he finished with 12 carries for 95 yards (87 of which came in the first quarter), while Moss carried the ball 11 times for 66 yards and a TD.
  • The Colts fall to 3-5 after losing three straight; they are 2.5-point road favorites against Carolina in Week 9. The Saints are 7.5-point favorites against Chicago at home in a matchup where Carr will look to continue on his success through the air against a Chicago secondary that entered Week 8 ranking 29th in passing YPG allowed and allowed Justin Herbert to pass for 298 yards and 3 TD’s on SNF.

Dolphins / Patriots

  • Miami bounced back in Week 8 after a disappointing loss on the road on SNF in Week 7 in Philly, outgaining New England by a margin of 390-218 in a 31-17 victory in which Tua threw for 324 yards and 3 TD’s on 30-45 and the Dolphins got Jalen Ramsey back from injury and saw him record his first INT as a Dolphin. Tua is now 6-0 in his career against Bill Belichick.
  • Jaylen Waddle caught 7 balls for 121 yards and a TD on 12 targets, while Tyreek Hill caught 7 balls for 112 yards and a TD on 13 targets against a New England secondary that is missing Christian Gonzalez.
  • New England finished just 1-9 on 3rd down in a game where Mac Jones was inconsistent, finishing for just 161 yards, 2 TD’s and an INT on 19-29 passing. New England entered Week 8 ranking 31st in 1H point differential and trailed 17-7 at half in this one. The Patriots scored a TD with just over 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter to cut the deficit to 24-17, but Miami answered with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive to take a 31-17 lead to put the win on ice.
  • The Dolphins head to Germany to face the Chiefs on Sunday morning as 2.5-point underdogs, while the Patriots are 3-point favorites at home against the Commanders.

Giants / Jets

  • The Jets won this game in OT in what was perhaps the ugliest game of the 2023 season that featured 23 punts, two turnovers and a missed 35-yard FG by the Giants with 28 seconds left in regulation that would have given them a 13-7 lead that opened the door for the Jets to rally and kick a game-tying FG of their own to force OT.
  • This game was a shocking display of offensive incompetence in which the Giants posted -9 yards passing when sacks are factored in. Tyrod Taylor was 4-7 for 8 yards and relieved by Tommy DeVito, who finished 2-7 for -1 yards. The Jets finished 2-15 on 3rd down, while the Giants were 2-19.
  • Saquon Barkley carried the ball 36 times for 128 yards, while the Jets managed just 58 yards in total on 22 carries on the ground against a Giants’ run defense that entered Week 8 ranking 27th in rushing YPG allowed, 29th in YPC and 31st in runs of 10+ yards allowed.
  • The Giants lost TE Darren Waller to a hamstring injury and Tyrod Taylor to a rib injury in the 2nd quarter, while the Jets OL’s Connor McGovern and Wes Schweitzer both left with injuries.
  • A win is a win in the NFL and the Jets improve to 4-3 – they will face the Chargers as a 3-point underdog at home on MNF. The Giants are 2.5-point underdogs on the road against the Raiders.

Steelers / Jaguars

  • The Jags logged their 5th straight win on the road in Pittsburgh in a low scoring game impacted by rainy conditions. The Jags are 5-0 ATS in that stretch and look to be rounding into form near the season’s midpoint off a performance in which they outgained Pittsburgh by a margin of 377-261, held Pittsburgh to 3-12 on 3rd down and allowed just 70 yards rushing.
  • Kenny Pickett left the game late in the first half with a rib injury and did not return. Mitch Trubisky threw for 139 yards and a TD to George Pickens late in the third quarter that cut the lead to 17-10, but two costly INT’s in the 4th quarter sealed the win for the Jags.
  • Pickett was not effective when he was on the field, leading Pittsburgh to just 127 yards in the first half, 118 of which came on the Steelers’ final two drives of the first half. Pickett was just 10-16 for 73 yards before he left with an injury, leading a Pittsburgh offense that’s been brutal all season and entered Week 8 ranked 29th in EPA/play, 24th in YPP and 31st in early down success rate.
  • Trevor Lawrence finished 24-32 for 292 yards through the air, 1 TD and 1 INT – the Jags finished 0-3 in the red zone, settling for FG’s instead of TD’s and fueling the UNDER that we predicted in the Week 8 preview.
  • Travis Etienne ran the ball 24 times for 79 yards on a Pittsburgh run defense that entered Week 8 ranking 28th in rushing YPG and 27th in YPC that badly needs Cam Heyward back on the field at DT.
  • The Jags head into the bye at 6-2 and winners of five straight, while the Steelers have a tight turnaround as they will host the Titans as 3-point favorites at home on TNF where Kenny Pickett will be a game-time decision.

Panthers / Texans

  • Houston’s offense lacked explosiveness on the road against Carolina and logged just one play of 20+ yards against a Panthers’ defense that’s been shredded by Detroit and Miami over the L2 weeks.
  • Neither offense was spectacular – Houston managed just 229 yards of total offense, while Carolina posted just 224 yards of their own, but Bryce Young led a 15-play, 86-yard drive that gave the Panthers an opportunity to chip a 20-yard field goal through the uprights to give Young his first win as an NFL starter.
  • Stroud has been excellent thus far in his rookie season, but managed just 140 yards on 16-24 passing against a Carolina secondary that ranked 9th in passing YPG allowed and 6th in passes of 10+ yards allowed heading into Week 8.
  • Carolina finished just 1-4 in the red zone and allowed Bryce Young to be sacked 6 times – they managed just 35 yards of total offense in the 2nd half before their final drive of the game gave them the opportunity to push the game winning field goal through the uprights. Carolina lacks explosiveness on the offensive side of the ball – they entered Week 8 ranking 31st in EPA/play, 30th in YPP, 31st in YPA and 26th in sacks allowed.
  • The Panthers are 2.5-point underdogs on the road in Indy in Week 9, while the Texans are 2.5-point favorites at home against Tampa.

Seahawks / Browns

  • The Browns had an opportunity to steal an outright win on the road in Seattle as they possessed the ball, up 3 points with just over 2 minutes left in regulation, needing two first downs to seal the win. PJ Walker however threw an INT at his own 41-yard line that Seattle converted into the game-winning TD five plays later when Geno Smith found Jaxon Smith-Njigba for a 9-yard TD to take a 24-20 lead.
  • The Browns did themselves no favors in this one, turning the ball over three times and spotting Seattle excellent field position in the game’s most critical moment. That said, the Browns will continue to be a contender in the AFC as long as their defense continues to put them in position to win games – they entered Week 8 ranking 1st in EPA/play and 2nd in YPP allowed, forced 2 INT’s and dropped another INT late in the 3rd quarter that would have been a house call.
  • Cleveland outgained Seattle by a margin of 385-362 and posted 155 yards on the ground on 40 carries against a Seahawks’ run defense that entered Week 8 ranking 6th in rushing YPG allowed and 1st in YPC.
  • Geno Smith finished with 254 yards, 2 TD’s and 2 INT’s on 23-37 passing against a Browns’ defense that entered Week 8 ranking 1st in passing YPG allowed (171 YPG), 5th in YPA and 1st in passes of 10+ yards allowed. Tyler Lockett caught 8 balls for 81 yards and a TD on 9 targets, while Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonett combined for 118 yards on the ground on just 13 carries against a CLE run defense that also entered Week 8 ranking 7th in rushing YPG allowed and 9th in YPC.
  • Cleveland needs Deshaun Watson to return and start playing like he did at the start of his career in Houston, or else they will be wasting a historically dominant defense albeit that has struggled a bit the L2 weeks against the Colts and Seahawks.
  • The Browns are 8-point favorites at home against Arizona (Dobbs will continue as starter despite Kyler Murray’s return to practice), while the Seahawks head across the country as 5-point underdogs against Baltimore.

Broncos / Chiefs

  • The Chiefs laid an egg in Denver as Pat Mahomes battled the flu and failed to exploit a Denver secondary that entered Week 8 ranking 32nd in EPA/play, YPP allowed, 30th in passing YPG allowed and 32nd in rushing YPG allowed. KC turned the ball over 5 times – if you lose the turnover battle in the NFL you’re generally going to lose games.
  • KC outgained Denver 275-240, but finished 3-10 on 3rd down, 0-3 in the RZ and fumbled 3 times; still, KC trailed just 14-9 heading into halftime.
  • Russell Wilson and Denver’s offense cashed in off turnovers – Wilson finished with just 114 yards, but threw three TD’s on 12-19 passing, while Javonte Williams and Jaleel McLaughlin ran for 119 yards on 31 carries.
  • The Chiefs will look to bury this one as they head to Germany to take on the Dolphins as 2.5-point favorites in what should be a highly entertaining matchup on Sunday morning; Denver heads into the bye at 3-5.

Cardinals / Ravens

  • Baltimore took a 31-15 with 2:51 left in regulation, but Arizona posted 10 points in the game’s final two minutes to cut the lead to 31-24, aided by a botched onside recovery attempt by Nelson Agholor. Arizona scored a TD on their opening drive, but their offense went silent until the final w minutes of the game. Excluding their first drive and final two drives of the game, Arizona posted just 157 yards of offense and trailed 24-7 with under 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
  • Lamar Jackson struggled in the pocket a week removed from his best game of the season against Baltimore in which he threw for 357 yards and 3 TD’s – he finished with just 157 yards through the air and 1 TD on 18-27 passing against an ARI defense that entered Week 8 ranking 25th in passing YPG allowed and 30th in both YPA and passes of 10+ yards allowed. Gus Edwards picked up the slack on offense, rushing for 80 yards and 3 TD’s on 19 carries.
  • Baltimore lost the cover but won the game and improved to 6-2 – they head home to face the Seahawks as 5-point favorites in Week 9, while Arizona dropped to 1-7 and travels to Cleveland as an 8-point underdog.

49ers / Bengals

  • Cincy finally looked like the team that was plays away from an AFC Championship and a trip to the Super Bowl from a year ago, while the 49ers played like a team that’s lost three straight games and has allowed 400+ yards in each of the last two weeks. Cincy posted TD’s on their first two drives of this game as Burrow looked like his old self, finishing 28-32 for 283 yards and 3 TD’s and at one point completing 19 straight passes.
  • Brock Purdy threw INT’s on consecutive drives late in the third quarter and early in the fourth, the second of which Cincy converted into a TD to take a 24-10 lead. In total, Purdy turned the ball over three times in the second half. SF outgained Cincy by a margin of 460-400, but could not overcome their turnover woes.
  • If Burrow continues to play the way he did in SF, there will be a significant divide between how the Bengals’ offense grades on paper and how they’re playing at this instant; they entered Week 8 ranking 31st in YPP, 28th in passing YPG, 30th in passes of 10+ yards, 31st in rushing YPG and 30th in RZ trips per game.
  • Jamar Chase caught 10 balls for 100 yards and a TD on 12 targets, while Tee Higgins caught 5 balls for 69 yards on 6 targets; Burrow added another 43 yards on the ground on 6 scrambles, while Joe Mixon carried the ball 16 times for 87 yards and a TD.
  • SF was missing both Trent Williams and Deebo Samuel if you’re looking for a silver lining in this one for a team that’s now 5-3.
  • SF heads into the bye, while the Bengals will host the Bills as 3-point favorites on Sunday Night Football.

Chargers / Bears

  • The Chargers actually took care of business quickly against the Bears on SNF at home, taking advantage of a Chicago secondary that entered Week 8 ranking 30th in the league in passing YPG allowed. LA posted points on each of their four drives in the first half to take a 24-7 lead into halftime, forcing three punts, two INT’s and two turnovers on downs over the course of the game.
  • Justin Herbert was efficient, finishing 31-40 for 298 yards and 3 TD’s; Austin Ekeler was held in check in the run game against Chicago’s top-5 run defense (15 carries, 29 yards), but caught 7 balls for 94 yards and a TD on 8 targets. Keenan Allen caught another 8 balls for 69 yards on 10 targets, but his production has taken a marked dip since Mike Williams was lost for the season.
  • The Chargers are 3-point favorites on the road at the Jets on MNF against a defense that has made Pat Mahomes, Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts all look pedestrian. The Bears head to New Orleans as 7.5-point underdogs as Justin Fields remains week-to-week.

Lions / Raiders

  • The Lions could have put the Raiders away much earlier in this game than they did, but ultimately took care of business by outgaining the Raiders by a margin of 486-157 and rushing for 222 yarsd on the ground on 43 carries. The Lions finished just 1-5 in the RZ and turned the ball over 3 times, yet still beat the Raiders by two scores thanks to a defense that held Jimmy G to 126 yards passing through the air, sacked him 6 times and benefitted from several key overthrows to Davante Adams.
  • Jahmyr Gibbs rushed for 152 yards and a TD on 26 carries with David Montgomery sidelined against a Raiders’ defense that entered Week 8 ranked 25th in the league in rushing YPG and 26th in YPC. Gibbs also caught 5 balls for 37 yards, totaling 189 total yards from scrimmage.
  • The Lions’ defense held LV to 1-9 on 3rd down and just 80 yards rushing (4.4 YPC) – they entered the week ranking 2nd in the league in rushing YPG and 4th in YPC.
  • The Lions head into the bye at 6-2, while the Raiders 2.5-point favorites at home against the Giants in Week 9.

Made it here? Head over to our game and player matchup dashboards to dissect every matchup and identify the biggest mismatches to attack the betting markets or optimize your DFS and fantasy football lineups in Week 9.