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San Francisco continued its stellar 2011 with a perfunctory victory over the lowly Browns in Week 8.
Cincinnati just keeps winning with just enough offense and defense. The Bengals moved to 5-2 in 2011 after defeating the Seahawks on Sunday.
Tim Tebow against the Detroit defense? Yeah, that one went to the Lions.
Pittsburgh only beat New England by eight points. But the Steelers' dominance was deceptive.
Good try, New England Patriots! I like the onside kick idea, but the execution could've used some work. I mean, the whole attempt might've paid off, had the kick traveled more than about six yards. It also looked like the kick hit the kicker in the back of the leg, so New England gets bonus points for that.
Buffalo didn't need to be home to treat the Redskins rudely. The Bills did their throttling of Washington in Toronto.
Cleveland Browns running back Montario Hardesty left today’s game against the San Francisco 49ers with a calf injury. His return is questionable, according to John Clayton of ESPN. Hardesty is starting in place of Peyton Hillis, who sat out this week still recovering from a hamstring injury.
The Browns are struggling against a resurgent 49ers team. They trail 17-3 in the third quarter. If Hardesty cannot return, it will leave Cleveland thin at running back. Recent addition Chris Ogbonnaya has done the bulk of the rushing work today, picking up eight carries for 25 yards. The 49ers defense is one of the toughest in the league, especially for opposing running backs.
This is Hardesty’s second season in the NFL. Prior to this game, he had 238 rushing yards on 73 carries for a very unproductive 3.3 yards per carry. He had 12 catches for 113 yards prior to this game, and he has yet to score either a receiving or rushing touchdown this season.
Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is having a rough day. Struggling to do much of anything, besides get sacked, with the Broncos' offense, Tebow made a costly third quarter fumble that dug the hole even deeper for the Broncos. At this point, a fourth quarter comeback like last week's seems all but impossible.
Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril sacked Tebow on second down early in the third quarter. The sack resulted in a fumble which Avril scooped up to return 24 yards for a touchdown. That gave Detroit a 31-3 lead over the Broncos. Check out the video of Tebow's fumble and Avril's touchdown.
Fortunately for Avril and the Lions, he declined the opportunity for some Tebowing following his sack. He even declined to add to the Lions' Tebowing today.
Halfway through the third quarter, Tebow has completed just four of 13 passes for 37 yards. On the ground, he has 15 yards on four rushing attempts.
The foot injury that Ahmad Bradshaw suffered against the Dolphins on Sunday doesn't appear to be terribly serious. The Giants running back left during the game to get X-rays in the locker room, but the X-Rays were negative.
Bradshaw got his foot taped and returned to the game. He finished with 13 carries for 50 yards in the Giants 20-17 victory against winless Miami.
After the game, Bradshaw said that his foot is "just sore right now." (via New York Daily News' Ebenezer Samuel)
Bradshaw has been the Giants most productive running back this season and New York would struggled to replace Bradshaw's production. Collectively, the Giants have been one of the worst-rushing teams in the NFL this season.
Baltimore spotted Arizona a three-touchdown second quarter lead — and the Ravens still came back to win in regulation.
The Detroit Lions scored their first touchdown of the day through air, something that will come as no surprise since Matt Stafford was in action. However, Stafford did not connect with Calvin Johnson for this touchdown, as would be the logical guess. Instead, he hit rookie wide receiver Titus Young on a 41-yard pass for the score.
The Lions' touchdown came after Denver kicked a field goal on their opening drive of the game.
Through the first quarter, Young leads all Detroit receivers with three catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. Matt Stafford is a perfect seven for seven with 83 yards passing.
This was Young's first touchdown of the season. Prior to this game he had just 15 receptions and 209 yards. Young was a second-round pick out of Boise state. Speedy, most viewed him as a downfield threat in Detroit's loaded offense, which is exactly what he has been today.
Steven Jackson and the Rams rose up to shock the Saints and stage one of the biggest upsets of the 2011 NFL season.
Houston wasn't spectacular, but Matt Schaub and Arian Foster did more than enough to help the Texans down the Jaguars.
The Titans weren't thoroughly impressive in Week 8, but NFL teams don't have to be impressive to beat the Colts.
Cam Newton can do a lot of things well. One of them is not kicking a football. So, as much as Carolina Panthers fans probably would have liked to see the fate of Sunday's game resting on Newton, the responsibility fell to Olindo Mare. All he needed to do was hit a 31-yard field goal to send the game into overtime. Of course, he knocked it wide and Newton could do nothing about it.
As it was, the Panthers lost 24-21 and Newton's three-touchdown effort was for naught.
Cam Newton may have outplayed Christian Ponder, but it was Ponder's Vikings that got the victory in Carolina.
Hakeem Nicks left the Giants game with a hamstring injury late in the fourth quarter of New York's 20-17 win against Miami on Sunday afternoon. He missed the final two minutes.
Nicks has been the most productive Giants receiver this season with better than 100 yards more than any other wide receiver for New York. The Giants would be hurt if the hamstring strain keeps Nicks out of the lineup next week against the Patriots
The Giants avoided an upset against the winless Dolphins, but New York could not escape the injury bug. An Ahmad Bradshaw injury sent the Giants running back to the locker room for X-rays on his foot during the game, too.
Eli Manning's big day more than cancelled Reggie Bush's explosion, and the Dolphins coughed up another fourth quarter lead to remain winless.
Chris Johnson is having a terrible season. The Titans running back has rushed for more than 100 yards in just one game and totaled less than 55 yards in four of the first five weeks of the season.
How much worse could it get? Well, he started losing carries to backup Javon Ringer on Sunday. And now Johnson doesn't even look like the Titans top running back any more. RotoWorld.com's Evan Silva:
Credit Miami for finding new and exciting ways to #SuckForLuck. Here, Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz spins out of a tackle and gets into the end zone to give New York a 20-17 lead late in the fourth quarter.
Here's the video:
One week after losing to the Jaguars on Monday Night Football, the Ravens are trying to avoid another upset vs. the Cardinals. Arizona jumped out to a 24-6 lead at halftime, but the Ravens have scored three second-half touchdowns to reclaim the lead, 27-24, early in the fourth quarter.
Running back Ray Rice has been an effective closer with three touchdowns. He capped two long third-quarter drives with one-yard TD runs, then punched in the go-ahead score after Kevin Kolb tossed an interception in Cardinals territory. Joe Flacco has relied on Anquan Boldin, who has seven catches for 145 yards.
Here's video of the go-ahead TD:
The Ravens struggled mightily in the first half, which included this highlight reel video of Patrick Peterson's punt return for a touchdown where half the Baltimore kick coverage team whiffed at a chance to make a tackle.
UPDATE: Ahmad Bradshaw returned to the field after the Giants running back suffered a foot injury that required X-Rays in the the locker room. Details below.
Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw suffered a foot injury and headed to the locker room to get x-rays. He returned to the sideline where he is getting taped. His return is questionable.
New York trails the Dolphins 17-10 after three quarters on Sunday. Without a healthy Bradshaw, the Giants will have to rely on Eli Manning and the pass attack to come back in this game.
The Giants can ill afford to lose Bradshaw, the only back who has given New York anything this season. The Giants rank 30th in the NFL in rushing yards per game. Bradshaw is 19th in the league, averaging 65 yards per game. Backup Brandon Jacobs is averaging 29 yards per game on just 3.1 yards per carry.
The St. Louis Rams flipped the script today. In a game that was supposed to be another Saints blowout, the Rams lead by a score of 24-0 in the third quarter. The whole team is playing much better than they have all season, but running back Steven Jackson has been the spark plug.
Jackson scored twice, including a third quarter rushing touchdown. He has 110 yards on 17 carries, so far. Earlier in the week, following an ugly loss to the Cowboys, Jackson spoke publicly about everyone on the Rams needing to step up and play a better game. Here's Jackson following his touchdown.
Newly acquired wide receiver Brandon Lloyd has also scored a touchdown for the Rams, his first since coming over at the NFL trade deadline. Starting quarterback Sam Bradford is out this week, his second missed game in a row, dealing with a high ankle sprain.
St. Louis has 250 total yards of offense so far.
Steve Smith has been having a monster season, heading into Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings with more than 800 yards receiving. The one thing he hasn't done much of, though, is score touchdowns, as he had just three at the start of action. Well, make it four, as Smith scored in the third quarter against to give the Carolina Panthers a 21-14 lead.
By all appearances, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson is healthy. Yet, in Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, he has received just eight carries and picked up 14 yards. Meanwhile, third-year running back Javon Ringer has gotten five carries for 16 yards. Ringer also has four catches for 27 yards.
It would seem more than a little counter-intuitive for Ringer to supplant Johnson as the primary ball carrier for the Titans, but that could be what we're seeing. Johnson has rushed for more than 4,500 yards over the past three seasons, but had just 268 yards heading into Sunday's game. Even more concerning is the fact that he's averaging just 2.9 yards per carry and scored only one touchdown.
Johnson, who had 503 receiving yards two years ago when he also rushed for more than 2,000 yards, has just 143 receiving yards this year.
The good news for Johnson owners is that Ringer isn't exactly tearing it up either. Ringer had just 62 yards on 20 carries heading into this game.
It’s been a crazy week for the city of St. Louis. After watching the St. Louis Cardinals’ wrap up an improbable World Series championship on Friday, the St. Louis Rams game against the New Orleans Saints was seen by most as an afterthought. With the first half of the game in the books, the Rams have a seemingly impossible 17-0 lead over Saints. They can thank rookie defensive end Robert Quinn, in part, for that.
Quinn blocked a second quarter punt that gave the Rams the ball at the New Orleans 15-yard line. Here is the video of Quinn’s blocked punt.
Quinn is in the midst of a solid game today, one in which he looks to be living up to his first-round pedigree. He also sacked Saints quarterback Drew Brees for a loss of nine yards.
The Rams picked off Brees late in the second quarter. They scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive, giving them a 17-0 lead.
Today’s fat guy play of the day from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Linebacker Clint Sessions sacked Houston quarterback Matt Schaub, forcing a fumble that was recovered by defensive end Matt Roth. Roth headed down the field, finding his fellow defenders along the way. Three laterals later, the Jaguars had the ball on their own eight-yard line.
Behold the fat guy laterals in all their glory.
Jacksonville’s defense is playing a solid game, giving the underdogs a chance against a Texans team missing wide receiver Andre Johnson. The Jaguars defense has limited Texans running back Arian Foster to just 41 yards on 14 rushing attempts for the day. They have sacked Schaub twice through two quarters of play.
The sack was Sessions’ first of the season.
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert left the game against the Houston Texans after big hit.
Facing a Minnesota Vikings team at home, the Carolina Panthers surely figured this was a game they should win. Well, it didn't get off to such a hot start. Cam Newton fumbled on the Panthers' first play from scrimmage when he was hit from behind by EJ Henderson. Jared Allen then pounced on it, to give the Minnesota Vikings possession deep in Panthers territory.
The Vikings wasted little time making the Panthers pay. On their second play, Percy Harvin took a carry 10 yards to give the Vikings the early 7-0 advantage.
Tom Brady and Wes Welker take their potentially record setting show on the road to face the Pittsburgh Steelers
Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions are in a playoff race, but have dropped their last two. Can they get back on track against the Denver Broncos? Who cares, Tim Tebow is playing!
The Seattle Seahawks host the Cincinnati Bengals at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.
Without quarterback Sam Bradford, a struggling Rams team will host the New Orleans Saints, who are coming off a 62-7 thrashing of the Colts.
The Colts come off an embarrassing loss in primetime and head to Nashville in an AFC South match up against the Titans.
The Baltimore Ravens are reeling after 12-7 upset loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night. Baltimore will host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in what they hope should be an easy win against a 1-5 opponent.
The Miami Dolphins look to rebound off of their historic loss last week as they head north to face the New York Giants.
The Jaguars will look to keep their focus coming off a huge Monday Night win over the Ravens. Heading into Houston to face the Texans, the Jaguars are just 1-4 coming off Monday Night Football under Jack Del Rio.
The Cleveland Browns will visit the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in a cross-conference showdown. The Niners are seeking their fifth consecutive win.
The Washington Redskins will meet up with the Buffalo Bills in Toronto on Sunday. Both teams will be without several key players due to injuries.
The Minnesota Vikings (1-6) will head to Carolina to take on the Panthers (2-5) on Sunday. Both hope to get their seasons back on track with rookie quarterbacks under center.
No Packers, no problem. The NFL week 8 schedule features plenty of important and exciting games for your viewing pleasure this week.
The Bengals, Patriots and Eagles are on upset watch in Week 8 of the 2011 NFL season.