In these weekly previews, I’ll highlight the results that I found shocking from the previous week, as well as preview the game I am most looking forward to from the weekend ahead. As we get later into the season, I may add some other sections to this, including playoff positioning and a look forward to the upcoming draft.
Surprising Results from Week 7
This week went pretty much as expected, but there were still some results that were unexpected based on my personal preseason expectations. These three scores stood out to me during the sixth week of the season:
New England Patriots 38 – Chicago Bears 31
I was a little off in my score prediction (I thought the Pats would win 30-24), but it was just as exciting as I expected the game to be. The Bears jumped out to a 17-7 lead after a Jordan Howard TD, but Cordarrelle Patterson returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards to pull the Pats within 3. A James White touchdown reception before the half put the Pats in the lead at 21-17, only to see the Bears open the second half with a touchdown drive to retake the lead. The Pats then scored 17 unanswered points, seemingly locking up the game, only to hold on down the stretch as the Bears faltered on the game-tying drive as time expired. The Pats look secure in first place in the division (as always) and a game against Buffalo this week may be a nice respite from the past two weeks against top clubs. They also may not need to score in the 30s to win in Buffalo, either.
Carolina Panthers 21 – Philadelphia Eagles 17
Carolina scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to come back and win over the defending Super Bowl champs. It was the biggest comeback in franchise history for the Panthers, and yet another example this season of teams coming to knockdown the defending champs. The Eagles hope a game against the Jaguars will be what they need to get back to 0.500 on the season, as they try to keep pace with the surprisingly 4-2 Washington team leading the NFC East. As it stands now, the Eagles would be out of the playoffs, and the best chance for returning to the playoffs at the end of the season might be through winning the division. The Panthers, on the other hand, have firmly established themselves as the second-best team in the NFC South, and now have a tiebreaker victory over an Eagles team that might challenge for a wild card should they not win the division.
New Orleans Saints 24 – Baltimore Ravens 23
There are few things that we can count on in the NFL: the Patriots winning the AFC East, Jason Garrett clapping his hands on the Cowboys sideline, Justin Tucker making extra points… what? He missed one?!? And it cost his team the game? Baltimore was up by 10 points with 3:30 left in the third quarter. Drew Brees did Drew Brees things and scored 17 straight points to put the Saints back in the lead with just over 2 minutes to play. The Ravens drove the length of the field, scoring a touchdown with 24 seconds on the clock, only needing the most reliable kicker in NFL history to make the extra point to potentially force overtime, And he missed it. For the first time in his career. The Ravens should be able to overcome the loss and still challenge for a playoff spot (if not the AFC North). But for one week at least, everyone was as shocked as Tucker that he missed.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>When you hear that Lamar still isn’t starting <a href=”https://t.co/eMFGM0B9a1″>pic.twitter.com/eMFGM0B9a1</a></p>— Mallory Rubin (@MalloryRubin) <a href=”https://twitter.com/MalloryRubin/status/1054150521513115648?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 21, 2018</a></blockquote>
Week 8 Game of the Week
With the top teams in the league overwhelming favorites this weekend (Pats -6.5 at Buffalo, Rams -9.5 against the Packers, Chiefs -11 versus the Broncos), there is another game that could determine the NFC pecking order when all is said and done, not to mention that the last time the two clubs played, it was one of the most exciting endings in years. And it’s also being played in the same stadium: the New Orleans Saints at the Minnesota Vikings is on Sunday night, and is a rematch of the game that ended in the Minneapolis Miracle in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs last season, sending the Vikings to the NFC Championship and the Saints home for the season.
The Saints haven’t changed much, but the Vikings have a new quarterback in Kirk Cousins, and Stefon Diggs is there. Hopefully it won’t require another one of these plays to end it, but we can only hope for the same level of excitement. Expect to see this video about two dozen times leading up to and during the game. Minnesota is currently favored by 1.5, but I like the Saints to get their revenge – Saints 31 Vikings 27.
Week 8 Bye Teams
To make sure you get your fantasy lineups adjusted as necessary, the following teams are on byes this week:
Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers, and Tennessee Titans
Until next time…
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