NFL Week 8: What we learned
Panthers 31 Buccaneers 13
In Tampa, the Panthers won for the fourth time in five games on the back of Cam Newton. Newton accounted for three touchdowns and no turnovers as Carolina picked apart the win-less Buccaneers.
Lions 31 Cowboys 30
In Detroit, the Lions won a tightly contested thriller as Matthew Stafford executed a diving goal line sneak while the Cowboys defense was dormant, expecting a spike. Calvin Johnson exploded with an historic day, catching 14 passes for 329 yards, seven yards shy of the single-game NFL record. The win puts Detroit in position to make a playoff push.
49ers 42 Jaguars 10
In London, the 49ers put on a show for the U.K. fans, completely dismantling the lowly Jaguars. Colin Kaepernick brilliantly led the offense for a second straight week, and appears to have his rushing game back in tact as the Niners improved to 6-2.
Chiefs 23 Browns 17
In Kansas City, the Chiefs built a 20-7 first half lead before letting the Browns back in the game. Key stops form the vaunted Chiefs defense and heady play from Alex Smith enabled Kansas City to win the game, and remain the lone unbeaten team in the NFL.
Patriots 27 Dolphins 17
In Foxboro, the Patriots overcame a shaky first half to rally for the victory.Tom Brady again appeared out of top form, but led the team to their sixth victory with clutch play. The defense contributed largely in the defeat of the slumping Dolphins, forcing timely turnovers including an acrobatic interception that was tipped back into play by Devin McCourty.
Saints 35 Bills 17
In New Orleans, Drew Brees demonstrated his elite ability as the Saints thumped the injury-plagued Bills. Brees threw five TD passes en route to the easy victory, including two to injured TE Jimmy Graham. The Saints improved to 6-1 and hold a sizable NFC South lead.
Giants 15 Eagles 7
In Philadelphia, Josh Brown kicked a career-high five field goals to beat the Eagles in this match-up of two disappointing clubs. Michael Vick's return from a hamstring injury was short-lived as he re-aggravated it late in the first half. New York slowed Chip Kelly's high-powered offense, allowing just 200 total yards.
Bengals 49 Jets 9
In Cincinnati, the Bengals decimated the Jets from start to finish, and looked like a top AFC contender. Andy Dalton unleashed on the Rex Ryan's defense, throwing for 325 yards and five TDs, giving him 11 in his last three games. Former Cal WR Marvin Jones broke out, catching eight passes for 122 yards and four TDs.
Raiders 21 Steelers 18
In Oakland, a 93-yard TD run by Terrelle Pryor on the first play from scrimmage ignited the Raiders, who won their first post-bye contest in 11 tries. Oakland jumped out to a 21-3 halftime lead, and held the Steelers off with stellar defensive play to secure the win as they hope to make a push for Wild-Card contention.
Broncos 45 Redskins 21
In Denver, the Broncos surged back from a 21-7 deficit, scoring 38 unanswered points to overwhelm the Redskins. The Broncos made up for early mistakes with near-flawless fourth quarter play from both sides of the ball. Peyton Manning posted 354 yards and four TDs as he continued his historic statistical pace.
Cardinals 27 Falcons 13
In Glendale, the Cardinals defense loomed large, forcing four Matt Ryan interceptions in the win. The Arizona offense also performed well, as rookie RB Andre Ellington broke an 80-yard TD and Larry Fitzgerald became the youngest player in history to reach 800 receptions.
Packers 44 Vikings 31
In Minneapolis, after the Vikings Cordarrelle Patterson returned the opening kickoff for a TD, it was all Packers. Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay's offense fired on all cylinders, tallying 464 total yards. The Packers improved to 5-2, and lead the NFC North by a half game.
Seahawks 14 Rams 9
In St. Louis, the Seahawks stopped the Rams at the goal line as time expired to escape with the victory. The St. Louis defense played an excellent game, limiting Seattle to just 135 total yards and possibly providing a blueprint for how to shut down the Seahawks.