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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / NFL Week 8, Top 10 Takeaways: The Bengals are Back, Mahomes struggles, Love is a bust, Brown for MVP and Much More

NFL Week 8, Top 10 Takeaways: The Bengals are Back, Mahomes struggles, Love is a bust, Brown for MVP and Much More

Publish Date: 10/30/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Top Takeaways

1) The Cincinnati Bengals are back and Joe Burrow is healthy

The Bengals treaded water at 3-3, then the bye week came and now Joe Burrow is healthy. A healthy Joe Burrow is the best quarterback in the NFL and he proved it by shredding the 49ers defense on Sunday completing 28 of his 32 passes. The Bengals defence also stepped up shutting down the 49ers running game and intercepting Brock Purdy twice. The Bengals still have work to do, but when the offense and defense play like they did on Sunday they are the best team in the NFL.

2) Patrick Mahomes struggles

Mahomes more than struggled as the Chiefs offense was dominated by the lowly Broncos on Sunday. Mahomes never even threatened to bring the Chiefs back, the Chiefs defense played well enough to win. With a game against the Dolphins on the horizon the Chiefs better get things straightened out quickly or they will lose their grip on the number one seed in the AFC.

3) The 49ers are in trouble

The Niners Defense has struggled mightily this season due to poor tackling and soft coverage combined with low pressure rates; the offense was unstoppable but is now mistake-prone in key situations; injuries have also sidelined key players from San Francisco’s roster (they were undefeated at one point!) Three weeks ago they sat atop every Super Bowl contender list; hopefully a bye week will provide health relief as well as time to assess themselves before heading into trade deadline.

4) The battle for New Jersey was a sad spectacle

Well-known for their comebacks, the Jets pulled off an astonishing victory on Sunday against an unimpressive Giants team with 98% win probability after 1:26 of fourth quarter play, ESPN analytics showed. To make matters even more astonishing was Tommy DeVito almost beat the Jets, can you get a worse quarterback matchup than Devito vs Wilson? The coaching was bad, everything was bad and neither one of these teams have a shot at the playoffs right now. The Giants have a better shot at landing the number one pick than they do ending up in the playoffs.

5) The Colts have an issue at Head Coach

Shane Steichen often appeared to overlook his team’s apparent advantage in the running game, such as when running back Jonathan Taylor had his highest first-half yardage total in nearly two years (94), yet only received one carry in the second half. All this occurred against the backdrop of Gardner Minshew’s continued struggles as quarterback; connecting with receivers proved challenging while throwing an interception after halftime – is Steichen asking too much from his backup quarterback? Of course he is, he should be feeding his running backs which are the strength of his team.

6) The Titans may have found their Quarterback of the future

Levis displayed his strong arm on three touchdown passes that traveled 20 or more air yards, using pump fakes to move defenders out of position and open passing lanes. Tennessee wide receivers came alive under Levis; entering this game they had three total touchdown receptions on the season but four on Sunday! At least Levis has earned himself an opportunity to start Thursday against the Pittsburgh Steelers’ aggressive defense, giving Ryan Tannehill extra time to recover from right high ankle sprain he sustained earlier. If Levis plays well again against the Steelers that may signal an end to the Tanneyhill era in Tennessee.

7) A. J. Brown for NFL MVP?

Brown became the first player in NFL history to record 125 or more receiving yards in six consecutive games since the merger, shattering a post-merger record held by Calvin Johnson. Brown has made life easier for quarterback Jalen Hurts; both touchdown catches against Washington were close calls; this gives Brown 12 touchdown catches with throws of 15 yards or further since last season, more than any other NFL receiver since. I know MVP has become just a Quarterback award, but if Brown continues on this pace there could be an exception this season.

8) Jordan Love is officially a bust

3 games into the season, it seemed that Packers quarterback Love would become their next franchise quarterback. Unfortunately, Love has since proven himself less than reliable as he missed open receivers, ran on third downs when there was no hope at conversion and threw an interception — his eighth in five games. Love is in way over his head and the Packers season is all but over. Love is just not THE guy in Green Bay.

9) The Steelers are decimated by injuries

Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was taken out with a hamstring injury midway through the first quarter, quarterback Kenny Pickett left 17 seconds before halftime with a rib injury, and Diontae Johnson limped into the blue injury tent following George Pickens’ 22-yard touchdown reception in the subsequent series left tackle Dan Moore Jr. briefly exited with knee discomfort. Without Fitzpatrick as their top tackler the team gave up 56 yard touchdown reception to Travis Etienne Jr but still forced three turnovers; the Steelers biggest issue is playing Thursday night, the short week could doom their chances against tennessee.

10) The Miami Dolphins have offensive line issues

The Dolphins were down four starters during this game – Terron Armstead, Isaiah Wynn and Connor Williams was active but did not play due to a groin injury, while Robert Hunt left due to a hamstring strain. To make matters worse, backup left tackle Kendall Lamm briefly left with an abdominal injury but returned later in the second half. Though the loss is significant, Armstead should return for next week’s matchup against Chiefs while Williams should also be healthy enough to contribute; Hunt could even play in an emergency scenario. The Dolphins are a contender but a banged up offensive line and a below-average defense are cause for concern in Miami.

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