Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached the halfway point of the NFL season. Here are my top five NFL week 8 performances. Remember, you have to win to get on my list.
Tadi Abedje’s Top NFL Week 8 Performances
Deshaun Watson (Quarterback) – Houston Texans
Week Eight Stats: 16/20 passing, 239 yards, five touchdowns
The Houston Texans‘ franchise quarterback, Deshaun Watson, had one of his best performances of his young career. On Thursday Night, the former Clemson star and national champion had more touchdown passes than incompletions. Two of his touchdowns were to rookie tight end Jordan Thomas. He had a 73-yard touchdown pass off play action to a wide open Will Fuller IV. He hit DeAndre Hopkins for a 49-yard touchdown strike as he was left way open from the Miami Dolphins secondary and connected with him for another touchdown later on. In addition, Hopkins had an impressive one hand and between the legs catch that was negated due to offsetting penalties. Watson joins Kurt Warner and Dan Marino as the only quarterbacks to throw 30 touchdowns in their first 15 games.
Patrick Mahomes II (Quarterback) – Kansas City Chiefs
Week Eight Stats: 24/34 passing, 303 yards, four touchdowns, one INT
Another day, another impressive performance by the Kansas City Chiefs franchise quarterback Patrick Mahomes. In his second contest against the Chiefs division rival, the Denver Broncos, he would have his seventh straight 300-yard passing game to add to his resume. Also, he threw four touchdowns to make it a league-leading 26 touchdown strikes on the year. Two of his touchdown passes went to new acquisition Sammy Watkins, who also had eight catches for 107 yards. The young stud continues to make history while leading the most prolific offense in the league right now. He joins Tom Brady and Peyton Manning (twice) as the only players in league history to throw at least 25 touchdowns in their first eight games of a season. This guy is clearly making his case of winning the Most Valuable Player award.
Adrian Peterson (Running back) – Washington Redskins
Week Eight Stats: 26 carries for 149 yards and two total touchdowns
Oh man, Adrian Peterson continues to defy father time each time he steps onto the gridiron. The Washington Redskins had a balanced approach (33 runs, 32 passes) against the lowly New York Giants. With that, Peterson would have his 54th career 100-yard rushing game (26 runs for 149). He would catch a touchdown pass in the first quarter, which was his first since 2013. His number one highlight was when he took a handoff and ran 64 yards down the right sideline to the house to put the game on ice. The future Hall of Famer became the ninth leading rusher in league history by surpassing Tony Dorsett. According to NFL.com, he became the oldest running back to have 100 yards, a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game in the Super Bowl era.
James Conner (Running back) – Pittsburgh Steelers
Week Eight Stats: 24 carries for 146 yards and two touchdowns
It was another dominant game for James Conner as the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ leading ball carrier. The Pittsburgh product had his second game of over 130 yards against their division rivals, the Cleveland Browns. He also had his fourth game of scoring multiple touchdowns. Additionally, he did work in the passing game as he caught five balls for 66 yards. This guy is clearly making the most of his chance while Le’Veon Bell sits on his couch and is doing things that the All-Pro Bell couldn’t do. According to NFL.com, Conner is the first Steeler ever to have two rushing touchdowns in three straight games. With his emergence, Pittsburgh might just move on from Bell.
Todd Gurley (Running back) – Los Angeles Rams
Week Eight Stats: 25 carries for 114 yards and 6 receptions for 81 yards and one touchdown
Surprisingly, the Los Angeles Rams were in a nail-biter against the Green Bay Packers but found a way to survive thanks to All-Pro running back. Todd Gurley almost had 200 yards from scrimmage but had a 30-yard touchdown catch-and-run running a crossing route and a two-point conversion. Historically, it was his 11th consecutive game with a touchdown. His most impressive play came with 1:05 left with LA facing a third-and-10 at the Green Bay 21. Gurley took the pitch and with open space got the first down and went down without scoring a touchdown. It made fantasy owners upset but it was the right thing to do. There’s no question that he’s the best running back in the league on the best team right now and is an MVP candidate.
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