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Top Takeaways From NFL Week 8

Cam shares his top takeaways from Week 8, plus his matchups to watch in Week 9.

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 15: Travis Etienne Jr. #1 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at EverBank Stadium on October 15, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Week 8 Reactions
  1. Jags win five in a row: The Jacksonville Jaguars are on a major heater. They’ve won five in a row and are 6-2. They are comfortably in first place and are in the mix to get the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye.
  2. Don’t look now, the Seahawks are in first place: With the 49ers slumping, the Seahawks have leapfrogged them to take over first place in the NFC West.
  3. Don’t look now, the 49ers have lost three in a row: The Niners are now looking up at the Seahawks, and if they don’t get their act together fast, they will find themselves in the Wild Card round. On the positive side, there are only eight NFC teams at or above .500, so at 5-3 San Fransisco shouldn’t be in jeopardy of missing the playoffs.
  4. The rivalry of the next decade?: In their first matchup, Bryce Young’s Panthers got the better of C.J. Stroud’s Texans. Young completed 22 of 31 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown and had a QB Rating of 111.2. Stroud had a respectable day, passing for 16-24 and 140 yards. He didn’t throw for a TD, but he did rush for one.
  5. Can the Panthers string together two in a row?: Sometimes, a win can lead to a winning streak. The Panthers got their first victory of the season against the Texans. They are at home this week against a very beatable 3-5 Colts team.
  6. Injuries: Something has to be done. I’ve never seen so many ruptured Achilles in my life. This week, Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins fell victim and is out for the rest of the season … along with Minnesota’s playoff chances. Additionally:
    • Falcons RB Drake London left the game with a groin injury.
    • Rams QB Matt Stafford left the game with a strained thumb on his throwing hand.
    • Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne has a torn ACL and is out for the rest of the season, and WR Devante Parker left the game in concussion protocol.
    • Steelers QB Kenny Pickett left the game with a rib injury.
    • Giants TE Darren Waller left early against the Jets with a hamstring issue.

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Matchups to Watch In Week 9
  1. Miami Dolphins vs Kansas City Chiefs (in Germany): The first-place 6-2 Dolphins are facing off against the first-place 6-2 Chiefs in Germany. This game is intriguing on so many levels. The Dolphins haven’t beaten a really solid opponent yet this year, and the Chiefs are coming off a dreary loss in Denver and surely want to rebound. Something has to give.
  2. Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles: The Cowboys had every reason to look past the Rams last week with this matchup against the Eagles coming up, but they took care of business. The Eagles almost did lose against the Commanders but were able to rally for the victory. This game means much more for the Cowboys. A win, and they are still in the race to win the NFC East, but a loss will drop them into the Wild Card hunt. An Eagles win would put them at 8-1 and drop the Cowboys to 5-3.
  3. Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals: We all remember what happened in this game last season, so a ton of emotions are bound to spring up, with everyone thinking about Damar Hamlin. The Bills rebounded nicely last week and desperately need to string some wins together. The Bengals are on a three-game winning streak but are still only 4-3. They can’t afford a loss that would take them back to .500.
  4. Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets: Nobody expected the Jets to be 4-3 at this point of the year after the Aaron Rodgers injury in Week 1. The Chargers are still under .500 and need this win to get to 4-4. Even without Mike Williams, the Chargers have the better team and should take care of business.