If I sound tired right now, it’s because I stayed up until 2:17 a.m. last night recording a podcast with Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson. And the best part is that I was dressed up like Bruno from “Encanto.”
The three of us touched on our 10 biggest takeaways from Week 8 and here are a few of the biggest questions that we tried to answer:
What should the Vikings do at QB? With Kirk Cousins now out for the season after tearing his Achilles on Sunday, the Vikings are in serious need of a quarterback. The team’s backup QB is rookie Jaren Hall, but if they don’t want to roll with him, they have roughly 24 hours until the trade deadline to make a move. We threw out several names that they should look at. Two options in free agency are Carson Wentz and Colts McCoy. If the Vikings want to try to make a trade, they could make a call about Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater or Case Keenum. Whatever the Vikings do, they’re going to need to do it soon.
Should 49ers fans be panicking? The 49ers started the season 5-0, but they’re now 5-3 after losing their third straight game on Sunday. The 49ers have struggled with the biggest problem being Brock Purdy, who has thrown five interceptions over the past three games after throwing just two picks during his first 10 starts. The 49ers have been banged up — Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams both sat out Sunday — but they’ll have a bye in Week 9 to heal. If they’re still struggling in Week 10, then I’d be concerned, but right now, I wouldn’t start panicking just yet.
Should the Titans stick with Will Levis going forward? The Titans’ rookie QB had more touchdown passes on Sunday (four) than Ryan Tannehill has had all season (two). It was quite the debut for Levis, who threw for 238 yards in a 28-23 win over the Falcons. Levis will almost certainly be the starter on Thursday against the Steelers, and if he plays well there, then I think Mike Vrabel should just go ahead and name him the starter for the rest of the season. Even if he doesn’t play well, Vrabel should still give the idea some serious thought.
To check out the rest of our takeaways from Week 8, be sure to click here so you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast. You can also watch the episode on YouTube here, which you’ll want to do if you want to see my sad Bruno costum.
- Week 8 grades: Chiefs get a ‘D’ after blowout loss to Broncos
Every week I team up with four of my colleagues here at CBSSports.com to hand out grades, and this week, the Chiefs nearly failed out of our imaginary football school.
Here’s a look at the grades from two notable games that were played Sunday:
Jets 13-10 over Giants in OT (Click here for full game stats)
Jets takeaway: The Jets defense pulled off one of the most impressive performances of the season, holding the Giants to NEGATIVE passing yards. Even with the defense playing well, the Jets needed an offensive miracle to win and they actually got it. Zach Wilson, who struggled for most of the game, led a wild 58-yard drive with 24 seconds left in the fourth quarter to set up Greg Zuerlein’s game-tying field goal (Zuerlein also hit the game winner in overtime). Garrett Wilson had 40 of his 100 receiving yards on the two key drives. The Jets have mastered the art of winning ugly this year, which isn’t a bad thing to master. They’ve now won three in a row and they’re now over .500 for the first time this season. Grade: C+
Giants takeaway: It’s nearly impossible to win in the NFL when you finish with negative passing yards and that’s what happened with the Giants, who had -9 passing yards against the Jets, which was the lowest by any NFL team since 2000. Despite that ugly showing, the Giants still almost won this game, thanks to a defense that forced the Jets to punt 11 times. Unfortunately, the Giants just made too many big errors: Graham Gano missed two field goals and the Giants got flagged for two pass interference penalties on the Jets’ game-winning drive in overtime. Quite simply, the Giants lost a game they probably should have won. Grade: C
Broncos 24-9 over Chiefs (Click here for full game stats, analysis)
Chiefs takeaway: Patrick Mahomes apparently had the flu going into this game, which makes sense, because he played like he had the flu. The Chiefs QB, who was constantly flustered by the Broncos defense, was inaccurate on a day where Kansas City’s offense turned the ball over five times. The nine points scored by the Chiefs was the team’s second-lowest total since Mahomes took over as the starter in 2018. The Chiefs defense did its best to keep this close — they had six sacks of Russell Wilson while also forcing a turnover — but it wasn’t enough in a game where Kansas City’s offense was simply broken. The Chiefs probably shouldn’t be too worried about this performance considering Mahomes had the flu, but if they play like this next week against the Dolphins, it might be time to start panicking. Grade: D
Broncos takeaway: The curse is finally over. The Broncos have finally beaten Patrick Mahomes and for that, they get an “A.” Going into Sunday, the Broncos were 0-12 against Mahomes, but the streak finally ended and it was mostly thanks to a nearly perfect performance from Denver’s defense. The Broncos forced five turnovers and Denver was able to score 17 points off of those and that was the difference in the game. Offensively, Russell Wilson only completed 12 passes for 114 yards, but he made the most of those completions with three TD passes. The Broncos now have some positive momentum with two straight wins as they head into their bye. Grade: A
As for all the other grades that we handed out on Sunday, you can check those out by clicking here.
- 14 crazy facts from Week 8: Cowboys are crushing everyone
Los Angeles Rams v Dallas Cowboys
Every Sunday night, I get an email from our research department here at CBS Sports, and every Sunday, that email always includes some amazingly wild facts about the games that were just played.
With that in mind, here are 14 crazy facts about Week 8:
First 43-20 final score in NFL history. The Cowboys beat the Rams 43-20, which was notable because that marked the first time an NFL game has ever ended with that final score. That’s known as a scorigami, and you can read more about it here.
Cowboys are crushing teams at home. The Cowboys are 3-0 at home this season and they’ve won all three games by at least 20 points. They’re now the first team since the 2007 Steelers to win their first three home games of the season by at least 20 points.
Cowboys hit the triple crown. The Cowboys became the first team with a defensive TD, a blocked punt and a safety in the first half of a game since 2007 when the Lions did it.
Pick-six king. It’s only Week 8, but Cowboys corner DaRon Bland has already set the franchise record for most pick-sixes in a season with three after notching another one on Sunday against the Rams. Bland also tied the NFL record for most pick-sixes through seven games.
Jaguars will be sad to see October go: Their 20-10 win over the Steelers means that the Jaguars went 5-0 in October, marking the first time in franchise history they’ve won five games in a single month.
Brown out. With 130 yards in Philadelphia’s 38-31 win over the Commanders, A.J. Brown has now gone over 125 yards in six consecutive games, which is a new NFL record. Brown had been tied with Calvin Johnson (2012) and Pat Studstill (1966) for the NFL record)
Puka still putting up big numbers. With three catches against the Cowboys, Puka Nacua now has 61 grabs for the season, which is the most in NFL history by a player in his first eight career games, topping Saquon Barkley, who had 58 in 2018. Nacua’s 795 receiving yards are also the most for any player in their first eight career games, beating out Ja’Marr Chase, who had 786 in 2021.
Tyreek Hill is on fire. With 112 yards against the Patriots, Hill now has 1,014 for the season, making him the first player in the Super Bowl era (and fourth player ever) to hit the 1,000-yard mark in just eight games.
Will the Thrill. With four TD passes against the Falcons, Will Levis became the third player in NFL history to throw four touchdowns in his NFL debut, joining Fran Tarkenton and Marcus Mariota.
Rookie quarterbacks are everywhere. Will Levis became the sixth rookie quarterback to start a game this season, which is tied for the most in NFL history through eight weeks. The only other times it happened came in 1971 and 2021.
Three wild streaks end for Mahomes. Going into Sunday, Patrick Mahomes had never lost to the Broncos (12-0), he had never lost a divisional road game (16-0) and he had never lost to a team that was multiple games under .500 (25-0), but all of those streaks are now done, thanks to the Broncos’ 24-9 win.
Tua owns Belichick. With Miami’s win on Sunday, Tua Tagovailoa is now 6-0 all time against Bill Belichick, which is the most regular-season wins by any quarterback ever against the Patriots coach.
McCaffrey is a scoring machine. With two touchdowns against the Bengals, the 49er running back has now scored in 17 straight games, which is tied with Lenny Moore for the longest streak in NFL history. After a bye in Week 9, McCaffrey will need to score in Week 10 to break the record.
49ers suddenly can’t win. The 49ers are now on a three-game losing streak after losing to the Bengals 31-17 on Sunday. That makes the 49ers just the second team in NFL history to follow up a 15-game regular-season winning streak with a three-game losing streak. The only other team to do that was the 2008-09 Colts. The good news for the 49ers there is that the 2009 Colts ended up making the Super Bowl that year.
If you see any other fun facts, feel free to tweet them at me.
- NFL Week 8 winners and losers: Titans might have finally found a QB
You can’t have a week of NFL action without having winners and losers, so we have some winners and losers.
Cody Benjamin came up with this week’s list, which you can check out below.
Will Levis. “The Titans turned to their second-round rookie. … The Kentucky product chucked deep shot after deep shot, unlocking DeAndre Hopkins as a downfield threat, en route to four touchdowns and the most promising win by Tennessee in a long time.”
Rashid Shaheed. “Shaheed topped 150 yards on just three catches to help New Orleans past the Colts, and he’s easily averaging more than 16 yards per reception early in his big-play career.”
Sam Howell. “The Commanders may not be ready to contend. But they at least briefly scared the Eagles for the second time this season. … On a day A.J. Brown dominated the stat sheet for Philly, Howell was just as lethal, approaching 400 yards and four scores against the Eagles’ opportunistic defense.”
Brock Purdy. “The second-year phenom is quickly losing the ‘phenom’ label for his crunch-time results, or lack thereof. While Purdy opened 2023 with the same poise that marked his improbable 2022 debut, he’s suddenly building a reputation as a late-game turnover magnet, and his two picks against the Bengals were a big reason San Francisco’s 5-3 after a 5-0 start.”
Vikings. “When has a road win over the Packers felt so deflating for this group? Minnesota is definitely on the rise, now 4-4 after a third straight win Sunday. But all hope for a wild-card push seemed to vanish upon news that Kirk Cousins suffered a likely Achilles tear in the victory.”
Giants. “You somehow manage to hold a late fourth-quarter lead against the Jets and their vaunted defense? Solid. You then proceed to forfeit said lead and lose to Zach Wilson in overtime? Not solid. Brian Daboll’s squad was already ailing. … But to squander a very winnable one this time out still hurts.”
If you want to see Cody’s full list of winners and losers, be sure to click here.
- Monday preview: Prepping you for Raiders at Lions
After missing Week 7, Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be back under center for the Raiders tonight. This a huge game for a Las Vegas team (3-4) that could move into second place in the AFC West with a win over the Lions (5-2). However, a win won’t be coming easy. Not only have the Raiders lost three straight games in the Eastern time zone, but they’re also a huge underdog with the Lions favored by 7.5 points.
My good buddy Jared Dubin put together our deep-dive preview for this game here at CBSSports.com, and here’s how he sees the game playing out:
Why the Raiders can win: If the Lions defense has struggled at one thing this year, it’s stopping the pass. The Lions have allowed 240.6 yards per game through the air, which ranks in the bottom 10 of the NFL. If Jimmy Garoppolo can take advantage of that by getting the ball to Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers or even Josh Jacobs, the Raiders could have a fighting chance to pull off the upset. The Lions are 0-2 this season when allowing 300 yards or more in the passing game. On the flip side, they’re 5-0 when holding teams under 300 passing yards.
Why the Lions can win: The Raiders have struggled to get pressure on the QB this year and they’ve struggled to protect the middle of the field, and both of those could mean good things for the Lions. It won’t be surprising if the Lions attack the middle of the field with players like Amon-Ra St. Brown, Sam LaPorta and rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who could all have a big night. Also, Jared Goff is extremely good when he’s not being pressured and the Raiders don’t generate a lot of pressure. The team only has 15 sacks on the season, which is one of the lowest numbers in the NFL. Basically, the Lions are built to take advantage of the Raiders’ defensive weaknesses, which means it could be a big night for Detroit’s offense.
You can get a full preview of the game from Jared by clicking here.
If you’re thinking about betting on the game, here’s one prop I like:
ONE PROP I LIKE: Daniel Carlson OVER 5.5 points (-115). This is a pretty low number for Carlson, who has scored at least six points in each of the Raiders’ past two games. That total includes a Week 6 win over the Patriots when he scored 13 points in a 21-17 win. Also, through seven weeks, opposing kickers have been averaging two field goal attempts per game this year against the Lions and if Carlson gets two attempts, it’s all but certain that he’ll end up going over 5.5.
My prime-time prop record is 10-6 this year.
Finally, if you’re wondering who we’re picking, here’s who we have tonight:
Jared’s pick: Lions 31-16 over Raiders
My pick: Lions 27-23 over Raiders
Over on our CBSSports.com picks page, all eight of us are taking the Lions to win and seven of us are also taking the Lions to cover the spread as a 7.5-point favorite.
- Extra points: Kirk Cousins done for the season
It was a busy weekend in the NFL, and since it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.
Kirk Cousins out for the year. The Vikings QB is going to miss the rest of the season after suffering an apparent Achilles tear against the Packers. The Vikings will now have to decide what they want to do at QB, and if you want to know what they can do, we took a list at 12 different options here.
Kenny Pickett could miss Week 9. The Steelers QB left Sunday’s game with a rib injury and it’s looking unlikely that he’ll be able to play this week. The Steelers have the Thursday night game this week, which means Pickett won’t get a lot of time to heal. If he can’t go, then Mitchell Trubisky will start against the Titans.
Injury roundup for Week 8. It was an ugly day for QB injuries with Matthew Stafford (thumb) and Tyrod Taylor (ribs) also going down. Patriots receiver Kenrick Bourne and Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett were also lost for the year after suffering the same injury: a torn ACL. If you want the full list of every key player who was injured in Week 8, then be sure to check out our full roundup here.
Kyler Murray won’t play in Week 9. It seems that the Cardinals aren’t quite ready to put Murray back on the field. Following the Cards’ 31-24 loss to Baltimore, Arizona coach Jonathan Gannon said that Joshua Dobbs will definitely be starting in Week 9 against the Browns. Murray has to be moved to the active roster shortly after that game, which means there’s a good chance we could see him in Week 10 against the Falcons.
Rashan Gary gets huge extension from Packers. The Packers’ star pass-rusher just landed a new four-year extension that will pay him $107 million. It’s a huge contract for Gary, who missed the final eight games of the 2022 season after tearing his ACL.
Jim Harbaugh might not be able to get an NFL job. If Harbaugh loses his job at Michigan over the team’s current sign-stealing controversy, he’s not going to be allowed to just waltz to the NFL. According to NFL.com, if Harbaugh gets suspended by the NCAA, he’ll be forced to serve some or all of that suspension in the NFL if he takes a job.