2021 NFL Week Eight: Biggest Storylines and Takeaways
2021 NFL Week Eight is in the books and it was a weird one. In a day dominated by backup quarterbacks, the NFL proved once again why it is the best sport in the world. Check out other storylines from week eight right here!
2021 NFL Week Eight- Backup QBs Rule The Day
Not only did Mike White, Trevor Siemian, and Cooper Rush all win games on Sunday, there is a very compelling argument that they outplayed the opposing quarterbacks. The most impressive performance of the day goes to Mike White. White became the first Jets’ quarterback to throw for 400 yards since 2000 when Vinny Testaverde accomplished that feat. White and the Jets also knocked off the one-seeded Bengals and provided a glimmer of hope for Jets fans.
Another game where I was just impressed with the organization as a whole was the New Orleans Saints vs the Bucs. They are playing the defending Super Bowl Champs and once Jameis went down with a potential season-ending injury it kind of felt like their season was over. Enter Sean Payton, who seemingly has become underrated as a head coach in this league. Payton was 12-3 without Brees entering the game today and even when their starter went down, it was no different. Trevor Siemian came in and made just enough throws for the Saints to knock off the Brady and the Bucs. I must apologize for thinking this team would be bad after Drew Brees retired.
2021 NFL Week Eight- Something Is Wrong In Cleveland
The Browns’ season has been nothing short of underwhelming performances filled with disappointment. Sunday was no different as Cleveland struggled to score points against Pittsburgh scoring only ten points in the contest. It’s not like they got blown out, the Steelers’ jurassic offense with Big Ben only scored fifteen points. I don’t know what is the problem but something just feels off and a Browns team that had playoff expectations suddenly is on the outside looking in.
The Browns also find themselves with a decision to make, what to do with Baker Mayfield? Baker has played what feels like the whole year with an injured shoulder and does not look like the quarterback we saw in 2020. If I am the Browns, under no circumstances can I pay Mayfield what Josh Allen got or what Lamar Jackson is going to get. You also run the risk of not paying him and entering quarterback limbo which this franchise is very accustomed to. Things are getting weird in Cleveland.
2021 NFL Week Eight- Lions Running On Empty
As much as I want Dan Campbell and the Lions to succeed, I am starting to lose faith. I have said for the past five weeks that the Lions play tough enough to pick up a win here or there. This week was no different as the Lions took on the Eagles, from a pure coaching standpoint I would take Campbell over Nick Sirianni ten times out of ten. However, the Eagles dismantled Campbell and the Lions scored 44 points in a dominant performance. The Lions are in a tough spot because they are stuck with Jared Goff financially until next year. Additionally, this crop of college quarterbacks is nothing special so even if they do draft a rookie, he probably won’t be ready to play right away.
I have a hard time seeing Dan Campbell just riding it out with Goff, he clearly does not want to be there and Detroits’ lack of talent is exposing him for the QB he truly is. Campbell made his way to the NFL by grinding and overachieving, I don’t think he is going to sit around much longer watching Jared Goff throw interceptions while making $35M a year. Lions fans might be in for another brutal season but I love the culture that Dan Campbell has established despite their lack of winning.
2021 NFL Week Eight- Bill Belichick Owns Justin Herbert
It is no secret that Bill Belichick eats young quarterbacks alive and Belichick put on a clinic. The Patriots made Justin Herbert look extremely average and got in the young quarterback’s head very quickly. They disguised coverages, masked blitz packages, and gave the young QB fits. Justin Herbert has played the Patriots and Belichick twice in his career and in both games posted the worst stats of his young career. In 2020 when the Pats won 45-0, Herbert had only 200 yards and a passer rating of 43.6. Sunday was a little better in the sense that the Chargers did not get blown out but Hererbet struggled once again throwing two picks while posting a passer rating of 66.7.
As for the Chargers, they have cooled off after everyone seemingly anointed them one of the better teams in the AFC while I think they’ll make the playoffs, they have come back down to Earth. As for the Patriots, they have had back-to-back wins over teams coming off their bye as they sit with a 4-4 record. They are currently on the outside looking in but if they start rattling off some wins, they could be right back in the mix.
2021 NFL Week Eight- Chiefs Hobble to Monday Night Victory
I know no one criticizes the Chiefs because they don’t want to be wrong but this team is not playing good football. It starts with the quarterback, I love Patrick Mahomes and think he is all-time talent but the guy is making some horrendous decisions with the football. While he only threw one early interception there were a handful of plays where the Giants could have come up with a couple more INTs. Had it not been for an offsides call at the end, the Giants interception would have stood and they probably win that game. The best way I can describe his current playstyle is what he looked like at Texas Tech, reckless, always pressing, and constantly pushing the ball down the field with dangerous throws. Their defense continues to be a huge problem but if the Chiefs offense is going to struggle to score points, that could spell disaster.
The Chiefs sit at 4-4 and unlike some of these bubble playoff teams, their next three games are brutal. They play the Packers, Cowboys, and AFC West-leading Raiders. The Chiefs don’t have the defensive personnel to stop a Green Bay or a Dallas and the Raiders are playing some of the best football in the league. Kansas City has its work cut out for them, I am interested to see how they respond.
Check out week seven here, come back for week nine!
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