NFL Best and Worst of Week 8

Best: Aaron Rodgers is a baaaad man. It may have been forgotten in the media because he played Thursday night, but Aaron Rodgers is still a top 5 QB in the league. Rodgers was without WR’s Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, and Marquez Valdez-Scantling, he was missing his All-Pro Left Tackle, David Bahktiari, and his rookie Center Josh Myers. The defense was fielding backups and practice squad players in the secondary. They were on the road on a short week facing the undefeated Cardinals as 6.5 point underdogs. The odds were very much against the Packers that night. But Aaron Rodgers pulled out his inner Thanos and said “Fine. I’ll do it myself.” This man willed his team to a victory as he pulled off maybe the upset of the year. Some may say that he was bailed out by his defense or the defense was the reason they won the game. While the defense did play surprisingly well against one of the top offenses, the Cardinals were their own worst enemy. They turned the ball over three times, one of them on a muffed punt that touched the fingers on Rondale Moore and another where Kyler Murrays pass went through the hands of Moore again and into the hands of the Packers defender. Both turnovers gave the Packers offense the ball already in the redzone. When Rodgers wasn’t starting drives in the redzone, he easily marched his offense down the field as if they weren’t fielding a JV roster on offense. NFC opponents beware, Rodgers doesn’t need a plethora of talented players to beat you, he just needs the football.

Worst: Carson Wentz had his chance to make a statement win against the rival Titans but instead he ended up being the reason they lost. His stats were ok but it was his bad decision making in late in the fourth quarter and overtime that landed him on this list. With the game tied at 24 with less than two minutes, the colts had the chance to drive down the field to win the game. Backed up in his own endzone, he threw an embarrassing pick-six to Elijah Molden to give the Titans the lead. On the next drive, Wentz drove down the field to tie the game thanks to the classic “underthrow your receiver so he has to come back to it and draw a flag” play. But in overtime, Wentz threw another bad interception setting Tennessee up with great field position. A few plays later, Titans Kicker Randy Bullock nailed the 45-yd field goal. Wentz finished the game completing 27 of 51 passes for 231 yards, three TDs and two costly interceptions. He isn’t the reason for the teams 3-5 start, but when the team needed him Sunday, he couldn’t deliver.

Best: Move over Zach Wilson! There’s a new Quarterback for Gang Green! Mike White! This man came out of nowhere and threw for 405 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Bengals who, by the way, were the number one seed in the AFC. He made his NFL debut and embarrassed Cincinnati. There’s a reason they say “any given Sunday”, because you never know when some madman named Mike White will come into the lineup and ruin your Sunday. The Bengals had a 31-20 lead late in the fourth, but that wasn’t a big enough lead to stop Mike White. He led his team down the field to close the gap with a 19-yd TD pass. They went for two but failed to convert, making the score 31-26. The defense then picked off Joe Burrow to give White the chance to get his first win. Less than a minute later, White hits his TE Tyler Kroft for the go-ahead touchdown to go up 31-32 with 3:45 left in the fourth. They successfully went for two to make it a 3-pt game with a sweet trick play. The Jets defense held and were able to get their 2nd win of the season. The Jets two wins have come against the Titans and the Bengals, two teams currently in the thick of the playoff race. Head Coach Robert Saleh was asked after the game who the starting quarterback would be after Wilson comes back from his knee injury. His response? “We’ll take it day-by-day, but anything is possible.”

Worst: The Washington vs Denver game was one of the sloppiest games this year. Both teams struggled to produce any points for the majority of the game. Their were 3 missed field goals, 2 interceptions and just 3 touchdowns scored all game. I truly feel for any fan of Denver or Washington for having to endure this snoozefest. This game was boring for the first 58 minutes, but it’s what happened in the final 2 minutes of the game that secured a spot on this list. With a 17-10 lead, Denver had to hold off Taylor Heinicke as the young QB tried to drive his team down the field to tie the game. Heinicke manage to get his team in the redzone but on 4th down threw a pick in the endzone with 37 seconds left. Denver wins right? All they have to do is get a first down and run out the clock. Their drive went like this. Fumble, incomplete pass, fumble recovered by Washington. 19 seconds off the clock. Thankfully, for the Broncos, the Football Team couldn’t capitalize on the turnover and the game finally ended, 17-10 Denver. But who is responsible for that last drive? The running backs for fumbling twice, the QB for throwing a pass into the dirt to avoid a sack, or the Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur, who called the plays? I would say all of the above. The Denver Broncos are not a good team. They are not a well coached team, either. All of their wins have come against some of the worst teams in the NFL. They will be one of those teams that will need to do a complete overhaul of their roster and coaching staff this offseason. They already seemingly raised the white flag on the season after trading star pass rusher Von Miller to the Rams. Denver fans will have to endure the next few years as the rebuild starts up again for the second time in 5 years.

Best: Cooper Kupp is the first player in the Super Bowl era to have over 900 yds and 10 TDs through the first 8 games of the season. That’s the same era as guys like Jerry Rice, Calvin Johnson, and Randy Moss. Kupp finished Sundays game catching 7 of 9 passes for 115 yards and a score. He now leads the NFL in catches (63) yards (924) and TDs (10). Everyone knew that Matt Stafford would be the final piece in the Sean McVay offense but who could have predicted that that trade would would have resulted in Cooper Kupp emerging as one of the best receivers in the league? Is it too early to put him up their with Davante Adams and Deandre Hopkins? The man is on pace for 133 receptions, 1,963 yards and 21 TDs. The record for yards in a single season is 1,964 set by Calvin Johnson, and who was the QB that year for Calvin? Matthew Stafford. Who’s to say Kupp cant break that record in the newly extended 17 game season?

Worst: I thought I’d save myself some ink and put the Lions and Texans in the same category. These poor teams were the victims of a massive blowout loss this week. The Eagles are a very flawed team but Detroit made them look like Super Bowl contenders, and everyone knew how Houston would play against an actual Super Bowl contender in the Rams. The Lions are 0-8 and the Texans are 1-7 and both of their schedules suggest neither of them may exceed 3 wins on the season. Both teams are near the bottom of the league in almost every major category and they lack playmakers and leaders in all three stages of the game. Its hard to find any positives at all this year as they suffer either a blowout loss or last minute loss every week. The season is only half over and who knows, maybe one of these teams will be on the winning side of a last second miracle win for once.

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