We’ve barely had time to breathe in this NFL season and it’s already Week 8. That’s what happens in a bizarre season like this. It doesn’t matter whether you think this all doesn’t really count because of the Covid pandemic, or not — it matters especially to the teams who are way out-performing expectations.
One of these teams are the Browns, who face an interesting test in Week 8. Finally done with being “on paper” contenders, Cleveland is finally putting it together and making a real run. Now, with new Odell Beckham Jr. is lost for the season they’re going to have a serious test to prove they can mitigate losing one of their best offensive weapons, and the Las Vegas Raiders are a solid test. Our panel is almost unanimous on the Browns this week, which really isn’t something we would have said before his season began.
We’re also fully on “Tank of Trevor” watch, which begins this week in the NFC South. There’s no doubt the Jets are firmly the worst team in the NFL, but Atlanta isn’t far behind. The Falcons are in dire need of a loss this week to the Panthers to keep their hopes alive for the Clemson passing phenom, and a win for Atlanta could mean the loss of something far more.
Another team hoping they can suck their way to the No. 1 pick at the Minnesota Vikings, who are struggling with Kirk Cousins and his massive contract at the helm. This week they play the Packers, which should put another “L” in the column for them. Minnesota still faces an uphill battle to try and get the top pick, but this week should be relatively easy for them.
On the other end of the spectrum we have some seriously tough games that could have major playoff implications. The Cowboys and Giants meet in a match that could help determine the winner of the very sad NFC East, while Seattle and the Niners should be a game to watch. Seattle are coming off a crushing late loss to the Cardinals, while San Francisco is starting to find its footing and bouncing back from injury. That will be a fun game to see for sure, and should help really shake out who will stick around in the brutal NFC West.
The game to watch this week though, at least for me, will be Bills vs. Patriots. Not only could this game solidify the standings in the AFC East, but it will basically tell us whether New England is done. Bill Belichick is hoping Cam Newton can bounce back after a horrible outing in Week 7, and that will really determine who far this team can go.