5 Lessons Learned – NFL Week 8

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There was drama aplenty on Monday morning as the bulk of the NFL Week 8 schedule played out over 11 hours.

Backup quarterbacks stepped up and delivered in a big way as some big stars were forced to sit out.

For new arrivals to the blog, before you check your calendar and wonder what day it is, there is a method to offering a weekly recap before the week in question has been completed.

As is Cup week tradition here for NFL 5 Lessons Learned, we’re bringing you our weekly recap on a Monday so you can focus on Flemington tomorrow.

And let’s be honest, what are we going to pick up from tomorrow’s Chiefs-Giants game anyway?

1 – Trick or Treat

It was only fitting that the games played on October 31 produced some scary results across the board.

On the American holiday where you go around to other people’s houses and come away with candy,  road teams provided a fill up.

Prior to the Vikings and Chiefs playing, only three of the eight home favourites managed to win and cover, while home underdogs went 2-3 head to head and against the spread.

Perhaps the least surprising outcome of the week was the LA Rams going to Houston and belting the daylights off the hapless Texans.

Don’t let the final score of 38-22 fool you, most of the Rams starters were nice and comfortable on the bench with a 38-0 lead before the Texans managed to get beyond the Rams’ 42-yard line, let alone into the end-zone.

Houston also faces a tough off field decision as the trade deadline looms with teams once again enquiring about star quarterback Deshaun Watson.

It’s hard to see anything happening there for two reasons, primarily the 22 pending lawsuits hanging over his head, and the primary suitor for his services, is Houston’s next opponent.

2 – We’d Better Enjoy Aaron Rodgers While We Can

It wasn’t exactly a vintage performance from Aaron Rodgers on Friday if you are just going off the stat line.

He only tallied 184 yards through the air but under the circumstances it was a very impressive performance.

Missing Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, plus losing touchdown machine Robert Tonyan after a reception, Rodgers played a smart game, opting for efficient check downs time and time again.

Thankfully for him he was able to go to his old friend Randall Cobb, whom he insisted the Packers trade for at the start of the season, and Cobb delivered with two touchdowns.

He did need a bit of help at the end from his defence, but they came through with the game on the line.

The Packers will put a seven game winning streak on the line in a blockbuster clash against the Chiefs and it is easily the pick of the bunch.

3 – 0-17 Is Now In Play

It took a special kind of bad team to go a whole 16-game season without recording a win prior to 2021.

The 2021 Detroit Lions might just be that bad.

Punters had a real case that this would be the week the NFL’s last winless team would finally break through, at home against a Philadelphia side that is more than capable of falling in a heap.

That was not the case as the Lions were embarrassed by the Eagles in a mistake riddled performance that handed them their biggest loss of the season.

You wondered when the Lions would reach breaking point and this team could be in limp home mode already.

After their Week 9 bye, they have back to back road trips against Pittsburgh and Cleveland, followed by home dates with Chicago and Minnesota.

Over their final five games they will visit Denver, host Arizona, travel to Atlanta and Seattle before hosting Green Bay.

Find a game they should be even close to favoured in barring a catastrophic run of injuries for an opponent.

4 – It Is Possible To Get Too Excited

The Jets should be up and about after their big win over the Bengals.

After all they actually played pretty well and beat an opponent who was expected to come away with a comfortable victory.

Perhaps the adrenaline of the game had not worn off when head coach Robert Saleh came to the podium afterwards.

That might be the only logical explanation for this puzzling declaration.

That seems a bit optimistic for a guy who most people had to Google when he came into last week’s game in New England.

White had a phenomenal day in his first career start, putting up 405 yards and three touchdowns on the Bengals, plus this two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.

That was the first time a Jets’ quarterback had thrown for 400 yards since Vinny Testaverde had 481 yards in a 34-20 loss against Baltimore in Week 17 of the 2000 season.

But let’s not kid ourselves here, Zac Wilson is the Jets’ quarterback of the future unless that knee injury turns out to be a lot worse than first thought.

Although if the job is open, White will have a chance to further his case when the Jets take on the Colts on Friday morning (AEDT).

5 – Dallas Stays Perfect At The Line

Patient punters were rewarded when Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott was ruled out with an injury, confirming what had been hinted at over the last couple of days.

The Cowboys were one point favourites early in the week however when the inactives came out, Minnesota swung into -4.5 in the Ladbrokes NFL line markets.

It did not matter as Dallas rode the arm of replacement quarterback Cooper Rush to continue one of the NFL’s best streaks in the 2021 season.

That win moved Dallas to 7-0 against the spread this season as they not only covered the pregame line but the early one as well, thanks to this late touchdown.

Green Bay is the next best team against the spread at 7-1 but only the Cowboys have been a winner in that market every week so far.

Next week they will host the Broncos who boast a 5-3 record at the line, having just covered against Dallas’ division rival Washington this week.