After a week of upsets and blown spreads, football analyst Wade Zanchetta gives you his thoughts on the top five storylines from week eight and a look ahead to week nine.
AFC North Showdown
The Pittsburgh Steelers moved to 7-0 after staging a second half comeback against the Baltimore Ravens. The divisional rivalry came down to the wire as Canadian Chase Claypool scored the game winning touchdown while Minkah Fitzpatrick broke up Lamar Jackson’s last second pass to secure the win.
The Baltimore Ravens quarterback however, did everything he could to hand this game to the Steelers. He tallied four turnovers, which led to 14 points and wasted crucial drives that Baltimore could have used to put the game away.
While the Steelers look to be the only team who could possibly take down Kansas City, their defence will have to rebound after giving up 457 yards including 265 on the ground.
Burrow the Titan Slayer
First overall pick Joe Burrow picked up his second career win while handing Tennessee their second loss in as many weeks. Burrow showed great poise down the stretch in the game while developing chemistry with fellow rookie Tee Higgins.
As for the Titans, their formula of Derrick Henry carrying the team was wasted as they found themselves down 24-7 in the third quarter. While they made a small comeback, Ryan Tannehill looked pedestrian when Henry was no longer a major factor.
The Titans are now tied for the division lead with the Indianapolis Colts who are going to keep pressuring them as they go into the second half of the season.
Packers Cook-ed in Lambeau
The Green Bay Packers suffered their second loss of the season at the hands of Dalvin Cook who tallied all four scores for the Minnesota Vikings who won 28-22.
The star running back registered 32 touches for 226 total yards and four touchdowns in his return from injury and exposed Green Bay’s long standing issue, stopping the run. Much like last year, the Packers have shown an inability to stop teams that commit to the run going back to their matchups against San Francisco.
The New England Patriots have now fallen to 2-5 after Cam Newton fumbled the ball late against the Buffalo Bills giving them the 24-21 victory.
The Patriots have now dropped four games in a row and quarterback Cam Newton has accounted for more turnovers than touchdowns. His play has put New England in prime position for one of the top quarterbacks in the upcoming draft.
If New England does find themselves with a chance to get a top signal caller, they will still need to address their severe lack of skill players. With Julian Edelman aging poorly, N’Keal Harry lacking the ability to separate from defenders, and no notable tight ends on the roster, Bill Belichik will have to successfully draft the position he has not been able to for 20 years.
Saints Struggle in the Windy City
The New Orleans Saints struggled outside the comfort of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome as they barely escaped Chicago with a 26-23 overtime win over the Chicago Bears.
While they did accumulate 394 yards of offence, thanks mainly to Alvin Kamara’s ability to generate yards after the catch, the Saints have shown that they are no longer contenders for the Superbowl.
Against a Chicago team that has shown an inability to consistently maintain drives, New Orleans was unable to pull away and needed a late field goal in overtime to seal the victory.
Moving forward the Saints will face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football in a rematch of week one’s showdown. Drew Brees’ command of the offence will be tested against a Tampa Defence that will take away his best weapon in Kamara with their linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David.
Want to see last weeks headlines? Check out Wade’s thoughts on week seven.