A look around the NFL as the season hits its midway point for many teams and last ditch trade efforts fail to pan out.
- Chase Edmonds, starting in place of the injured David Johnson, exited due to injury himself on Sunday, leaving Arizona without much at all from the running back position.
- With Johnson and Edmonds both hurting, Arizona traded for Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake on Monday.
- The Cardinals are running into a buzz saw in Week 9, when the undefeated 49ers come to town - not a great time for multiple running back injuries.
- Matt Ryan was inactive due to an ankle injury on Sunday, forcing 338-year old Matt Schaub to make his first start since 2015.
- Despite falling to 1-7 on Sunday, owner Arthur Blank said he will not make major changes during the Falcons' upcoming bye week. Blank did, however, say he will evaluate "everything" in the coming weeks.
- Despite the loss, Matt Schaub, making his first start since 2015, threw for 460 yards on 39-of-52 passing against the Seahawks.
- Atlanta landed a second-round pick from the Patriots in exchange for Mohamed Sanu early last week.
- The Falcons expect Matt Ryan to return after their bye week. Sunday marked Ryan's first missed game since 2009.
- Coming out of the bye, the Ravens will look to hang with the undefeated Patriots on Sunday Night Football.
- Bill Belichick called Lamar Jackson "a hard guy to handle" ahead of Week 9. Mobile quarterbacks have historically shaken the Patriots' defense a bit, so perhaps the Ravens could have a chance for a statement win.
- The Bills lost handily at home to the Eagles on Sunday, but they'll have their chance to solidify themselves as playoff contenders in November, with four opponents that have a combined 5-25 record.
- Josh Allen hasn't been overly impressive this season, but his passing numbers - including a completion percentage over 60 and an 80.7 passer rating - are all-around better than his rookie campaign.
- Kyle Allen struggled mightily against the 49ers' tough defense, but he'll get at least one more start with Cam Newton still not healthy.
- Christian McCaffrey was one of very few bright spots for Carolina against the 49ers, amassing 155 yards from scrimmage in the blowout loss.
- With playoff implications, the Panthers' Week 10 matchup with the Packers was pushed from the early slate of games to 4:25 PM ET.
- The kicking issues may not be totally solved, as Eddy Pineiro missed what would have been a 41-yard game-winner against the Chargers on Sunday.
- The Bears committed to the run game this week, a week after Matt Nagy indicated they would. David Montgomery received 27 carries on the day, rushing for 135 yards and a touchdown.
- Mitchell Trubisky continues to come under fire for his poor play, but he will remain the starter going forward.
- Andy Dalton is the first quarterback in NFL history to engineer both an 8-0 start and an 0-8 start in his career.
- Jay Glazer reported on Sunday that the Bengals have told teams they are not trading star receiver A.J. Green, who has yet to play this season due to ankle surgery. Zac Taylor had previously said as much.
- The Bengals haven't been as uncompetitive as you'd expect an 0-8 team to be, but their execution simply hasn’t been good enough to this point. Perhaps a bye week can re-energize a broken team.
- Nick Chubb is on pace for nearly 1,700 rushing yards after a 131-yard performance against New England.
- The Browns committed three turnovers in the first quarter alone against the Patriots - two fumbles by Chubb and a Baker Mayfield shovel pass that landed in the arms of Lawrence Guy.
- The Browns have a chance to reset against Brandon Allen and the Broncos in Week 9, and they'll have to take advantage of a weak slate - only two teams with a winning record remain on their schedule - to have any chance of playoff contention.
- The Cowboys sent a conditional pick to the Patriots on Thursday, in exchange for former Pro-Bowl defensive lineman Michael Bennett. Bennett started only one game during his time with New England.
- Dallas has a chance to pad its NFC East lead out of the bye, with the scuffling Giants next up.
- Joe Flacco railed against what he considered a lack of aggressive play-calling after Sunday's game, saying, "I just look at it like we're a 2-6 football team and we're afraid to go for it in a two-minute drill."
- Flacco might not be seeing the field for some time, as he will miss Week 9 due to a herniated disc and could be placed on IR. Brandon Allen will make his first career start against Cleveland.
- Allen's play in Week 9 might help Denver determine whether Drew Lock will be activated this year. Placed on IR before the season, Lock was deemed "not ready" by John Elway last week, but this opportunity could help the Broncos see what they have in the second-round rookie.
- Second-year receiver Courtland Sutton continues to epitomize consistency - he now has between 60 and 95 yards in each of his last six games, even with poor play from the rest of the offense.
- The Lions moved out of last place in the NFC North with Sunday's win, but they remain more than two games out of a playoff slot after their three-game skid.
- Kerryon Johnson was placed on IR with a knee injury early last week, and Tra Carson led a largely ineffective backfield with 12 carries against the Giants.
- Kenny Golladay has been hit-or-miss this season, but he very much hit on Sunday with 123 yards and two touchdowns.
Green Bay Packers
- Aaron Jones had a career day against Kansas City, totaling 226 yards from scrimmage.
- Matt LaFleur is off to the best eight-game start of any first-year Packers head coach at 7-1, and Green Bay has already exceeded its 2018 win total.
- Davante Adams remained out with a toe injury in Week 8.
- Aaron Rodgers is beginning to generate some MVP buzz after another big performance. Rodgers has 2,324 yards, 16 touchdowns, and two interceptions through eight games (seven wins).
- The Texans lost J.J. Watt to a season-ending torn pectoral muscle, leaving a huge hole in their defense.
- Despite losing Watt, the Texans managed a close win over Oakland and remain only a half-game out of first place in the AFC South.
- Deshaun Watson avoided turnovers in Sunday's win, after tossing four interceptions in his previous two games. Another promising sign: Watson has only been sacked six times across the last four games.
- The Texans hold the AFC's second wild card slot after eight weeks.
- A narrow win over the Broncos ensures the Colts maintain control of the AFC South for at least another week.
- Frank Reich has to be garnering Coach of the Year consideration, with his team now 5-2 despite Andrew Luck's abrupt retirement in August.
- Jacoby Brissett took four sacks in the win over Denver, the most the Colts have allowed in any game this season.
- Indianapolis started 1-5 last season and is 14-3 since that point.
- Despite Leonard Fournette being second among all rushing leaders, the Jaguars have just one rushing touchdown this season.
- Gardner Minshew recorded the highest passer rating of his career on Sunday, excluding his Week 1 relief appearance, finishing 22-of-34 for 279 yards and three touchdowns in a win.
- The Jaguars are 2-0 since trading Jalen Ramsey, though their opponents have a combined one win. Next up, a key divisional matchup with Houston.
Kansas City Chiefs
- Patrick Mahomes wasn’t ruled out for Week 8 until Friday, despite earlier expectations that he would miss multiple weeks with a knee injury. It would seem a return after missing just one game is a possibility.
- Matt Moore was effective in place of Mahomes, finishing 24-of-36 for 267 yards and two touchdowns.
- The Chiefs already have three losses, but fortunately they do not have many teams chasing them in the AFC West - the rest of the pack is all under .500.
Los Angeles Chargers
- Joey Bosa recorded two sacks and two tackles-for-loss in Sunday's win but still didn’t have a better day than his brother, Nick, who came away with three sacks and an interception for the 49ers.
- The Chargers fired offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt on Monday night, after a painfully slow first half of the season by the offense.
- Russell Okung returned Sunday after recovering from a pulmonary embolism over the offseason, though he was forced out due to a minor calf injury.
Los Angeles Rams
- Cooper Kupp had a career day against the Bengals, totaling 220 receiving yards as well as a touchdown. Kupp still had well over a quarter remaining when he hit 220, but it was enough to shatter his career-high of 162.
- Brandin Cooks suffered his second concussion of the season on Sunday.
- The Rams are reportedly open to trading veteran cornerback Aqib Talib, who is currently on IR but can return later in the season.
- The Rams have taken advantage of weak opponents to gain momentum heading into their bye week
- Kenyan Drake, who didn’t travel with the Dolphins in anticipation of a trade, was dealt to the Cardinals in exchange for a 2020 conditional pick on Monday.
- The Dolphins kept pace with the Bengals in the race for the No. 1 pick, remaining winless after blowing a 14-0 lead against the Steelers.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick now has seven interceptions in just four starts this season.
- Xavien Howard, one of the few high-caliber players left in Miami, will undergo an MRI on a knee injury Tuesday.
- Kirk Cousins took down his former team on Thursday night, and his numbers across the Vikings' last four games are terrific: 78.5 CMP%, 1,261 yards, ten touchdowns, and one interception.
- Dalvin Cook is the NFL's leader in rushing yards (823) and yards from scrimmage (1,116).
- The Vikings are on a quiet four-game win streak but still trail the Packers by a game in the NFC North.
New England Patriots
- The Patriots acquired veteran receiver Mohamed Sanu from the Falcons early last week, in exchange for a second-round pick. Like many Belichick favorites, Sanu spent his college days at Rutgers.
- Tom Brady is now ten touchdown passes shy of breaking Peyton Manning's all-time record.
- New England is 8-0 for the second time in five years. The Patriots will hope for better fortunes this time around, as they lost four of their last six games in 2015 and fell short of the Super Bowl.
New Orleans Saints
- Drew Brees made his return from thumb surgery after missing five weeks, and he kept the Saints rolling for their sixth consecutive win. Brees finished 34-of-43 for 373 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception without Alvin Kamara.
- Latavius Murray shined in Kamara's absence, totaling 157 yards and two touchdowns on the day.
- Brees is fifteen touchdown passes shy of breaking the all-time record, but he's also five behind Tom Brady. Now healthy, it will be interesting to see whether Brees can make up ground on Brady.
- Michael Thomas is the NFL's leaders in receiving yards with 875 through exactly half of the season. Thomas' 1,750-yard pace would place him sixth all-time for a single season.
New York Giants
- Daniel Jones was a bright spot in a loss to the Lions, finishing 28-of-41 for 322 yards and four touchdowns.
- The Giants are now 10-30 since the start of the 2017 season. Combined, the Giants and Jets are 20-59 since that point.
- The Giants acquired a potential a long-term piece in defensive lineman Leonard Williams on Monday, sending a 2020 third-round pick and 2021 conditional fifth-round pick to the Jets.
New York Jets
- The Jets released offseason acquisition Kelechi Osemele on Saturday, amid a battle regarding his health. Osemele underwent shoulder surgery late in the week after maintaining he had a significant injury, while the Jets refused to approve any procedure.
- Sam Darnold went 7-of-7 for 88 yards and a touchdown on the Jets' opening drive against Jacksonville, putting last week's nightmare against New England behind him, but he still tossed three interceptions and suffered a thumb sprain.
- New York sent Leonard Williams to the Giants on Monday, landing a 2020 third-round pick and conditional 2021 fifth-round pick.
- The Raiders played the Texans closely on Sunday but couldn't finish, dropping under .500 at 3-4.
- Tyrell Williams played for the first time since Week 4 and kept his streak alive, hauling in a touchdown for a fifth consecutive game.
- Rookie receiver Hunter Renfrow has been targeted multiple times in each game this season, and he scored his first career touchdown in Sunday's loss.
- The Eagles find themselves just a game out of the NFC East lead despite their struggles, after an impressive win over the Bills on Sunday.
- DeSean Jackson, who has missed several weeks due to an abdomen injury, will return to practice this week.
- Miles Sanders broke through with a big 65-yard touchdown against Buffalo, and he's day-to-day with a shoulder injury despite exiting early.
- The Steelers went down 14-0 against the winless Dolphins on Monday but quickly rebounded, putting ten points on the board in the final three minutes of the 2nd quarter.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster recorded his first 100-yard game of the season on Monday night; he totaled more than 100 yards in half of his games last season. Despite the slow start, Smith-Schuster now has the most 100-yard receiving games of any player before turning 23.
- Mason Rudolph returned after missing a game due to a concussion, throwing for a career-best 255 yards.
- Pittsburgh, 3-1 in its last four games, is still clinging to life in the AFC playoff picture.
- James Conner suffered what has been labeled a shoulder injury, but it could potentially be a collarbone issue.
San Francisco 49ers
- The 49ers landed veteran receiver Emmanuel Sanders in a deal with the Broncos early last week, and Sanders found the end zone in his first game with the team.
- The 49ers will head into November undefeated at 7-0, and they might have played their best all-around game of the season on Sunday, dismantling the Panthers for a 51-13 victory.
- San Francisco totaled more rushing yards (232) than the Panthers did yards from scrimmage (230), dominating on both sides of the ball.
- Nick Bosa became the first player in 49ers history to record three sacks and an interception in a single game.
- The 49ers will bring the football world some fun matchups down the stretch, as five of their last six opponents are the Packers, Ravens, Saints, Rams, and Seahawks. Some of those games will undoubtedly be flexed to primetime.
- The Seahawks fear center Justin Britt suffered a season-ending torn ACL, which would be a significant hit to their offensive line.
- Russell Wilson is on pace for 4,254 passing yards and 34 touchdown passes, perhaps making him the MVP frontrunner through eight weeks.
- Seattle enters the second half of the season holding the NFC's first wild card slot, and two matchups with the 49ers mean they could still make a run at an NFC West title.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Jameis Winston recorded his 17th career game with both an interception and a fumble on Sunday.
- Mike Evans, still just 26, became the Buccaneers' franchise leader in receptions during Sunday's win. Evans' 198 yards were the second-highest total of his career.
- Bruce Arians voiced support for Jameis Winston after Sunday's loss, saying, "his receivers let him down today." Winston threw two interceptions and completed fewer than 50% of passes against Tennessee.
- Arians also complained about the officials on Monday, saying, "referees aren't held accountable."
- Ryan Tannehill is now 2-0 as the Titans' starting quarterback, and Tennessee is just a half-game out of a playoff spot at the midway point of the season.
- Cody Parkey has started his tenure with the Titans 3-of-3 on field goal attempts, including a 51-yarder against Tampa on Sunday.
- Tennessee still has a ways to go offensively, as they totaled only 70 yards in the first half on Sunday and likely would not have won if not for points scored off turnovers.
- Adrian Peterson moved into sixth on the all-time rushing list during Thursday's loss to his former team, passing LaDainian Tomlinson and Jerome Bettis.
- Case Keenum remains in the concussion protocol as of Monday, and rookie Dwayne Haskins will make his first career start if Keenum is not cleared.
- The Redskins are now open to trading longtime left tackle Trent Williams, who has stayed away from the team this season, and would like to trade Josh Norman.