NFL Week 8 will commence with a huge matchup on Thursday Night Football as the Green Bay Packers travel to take on the Arizona Cardinals. There’s a couple of big divisional matchups to take place this week as well. As we hit the mid-way point of the season, teams are still trying to figure out their full identity as we head down the stretch. NFL Week 8 is setting up to be one of the best on the season so far and it all starts with a huge game on Thursday.
NFL Week 8 Games to Watch on Sunday
Buccaneers vs Saints
Although this rivalry isn’t as hyped as last season with Drew Brees gone, it’ll still have a big fight feel. The New Orleans Saints are fighting to catch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who look as dangerous as last season. Reinforcements came for New Orleans this past Monday on defense in a gritty win against the Seahawks.
As they get healthy, this team is still trying to figure out this offense, more so the passing game with Jameis Winston. They’ll be counting on Alvin Kamara even more than usual this Sunday against Tampa Bay. The defense also is trying to get back to what they were in years past or close to it. They too will be counted on heavily this game.
Even though the game is in New Orleans, the Buccaneers are favorites to win it and why wouldn’t they be? Tom Brady is yet again playing at an MVP level at age 44 and the weapons he has around in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown are competing at a high level. Leonard Fournette is running the ball very well and Rob Gronkowski is expected to play on Sunday. Tampa Bay’s defense is also finding their groove as the weeks move on. If they can pick up their pass defense just a little, everything about this team will be dangerous.
Steelers vs Browns
Both of these teams come into NFL week 8 fighting for position in the AFC North. The Pittsburgh Steelers come into this game coming off of a bye week with a record of 3-3. They’ve won their last two games but it hasn’t been pretty. The Steelers’ offense ranks towards the bottom of the league in total yards. Not only does Ben Roethlisberger not look like his past self anymore, but the Steelers haven’t been able to run the ball effectively. Najee Harris has given some signs of improvement both in the run and passing game, but it’s not enough. This defense isn’t quite where they were last season but they’re improving.
The injury bug has come out this season and the Cleveland Browns are among the hardest hit in the league. They were without Nick Chubb the last two weeks and have put Kareem Hunt on IR after missing the last game as well. Baker Mayfield has been banged almost all year and he also missed the last game. Luckily, running back D’Ernest Johnson stepped in and had rushed for 146 yards.
The Browns got some great news on the injury front as Chubb returned to practice. It looks like this team will be beaten up yet again, meaning Case Keenum might have to start his second game this season. As both teams try to gain ground in the division, look for this one to be a heavy fight.
Cowboys vs Vikings
Sunday Night Football will feature two teams coming off of their bye week. The Dallas Cowboys come into NFL week 8 sitting at 5-1 and atop of the NFC East. They have surpassed everyone’s expectations so far and the biggest reason is the return of Dak Prescott. He has found himself as an early MVP candidate, who’s thrown for 1,813 yards and 16 touchdowns with only four-interceptions so far this season.
Ezekiel Elliott is looking better than he has in a while and this defense has improved, led by Trevon Diggs, who’s making his claim for Defensive Player of the Year as he has seven interceptions while returning two for touchdowns.
On the other side is the Minnesota Vikings, who is a tough team to play at home. They are 5th in total yards on offense thanks in part to Kirk Cousins, who’s thrown for 1,769 yards with 13 touchdowns. Justin Jefferson hasn’t missed a beat from last season and Dalvin Cook is coming off a 140-yard rushing performance in week 6. This defense is in the middle of the pack and it’ll be a good test against the number one ranked offense for Dallas. Primetime football games haven’t been too kind to Cousins so this week, he’ll try to move the needle a little in the right direction.
Other Games to Watch
Titans vs Colts
Patriots vs Chargers
49ers vs Bears
Panthers vs Falcons
Dolphins vs Bills