This week in the NFL reminds me of a line in the song “All-Star” by Smash Mouth: “Well the hits start coming and they don’t stop coming.” Those aren’t the actual words, but close enough. Another week, another round of major injuries, questionable officiating, and mediocre football. Still a lot to discuss, including the trade deadline moves, so let’s jump right into my NFL week eight thoughts!
That Giants/Jets game was absolutely hideous. Might be in contention for the worst game of the year when we look back. These teams went a combined 4-for-34 on third down, worst since 2009. There were more punts (24) than points (23) – the most combined punts in a game since 1998.The Giants finished with -9 pass yards, which was the fewest by any team since 2000. Sure, the G-men were down to their third string quarterback due to injury, but why have a quarterback on the roster if you won’t let him throw the ball?! They ran the ball on like 30 straight plays in the second half. The Jets offense wasn’t much better, unable to muster anything on the ground, and struggling to move the ball without some help from penalties committed by the Big Blue defense. The Jets might have won, but everyone who watched that game lost.
Who’s the best team in the NFL? I thought it was San Francisco, but they just lost their third straight game and suddenly Brock Purdy is a turnover machine. It could have been the Chiefs, but the offense has had its issues, and they’ve also been bitten by the turnover bug. Buffalo, Miami, Baltimore, and Detroit? Not quite right. Cincinnati might be making a claim for the top spot sooner than later after rattling off their third straight win, but there’s still plenty of questions. Philadelphia might take it by default, but even they have looked suspect as often as they have looked great – they just keep winning.
The Detroit Lions bounced back impressively after getting smacked around by Baltimore last week. Jahmyr Gibbs finally showed why he was a top 12 pick in the NFL Draft, finishing with 189 total yards and a touchdown. Detroit’s defense stepped up, forcing three turnovers and getting six sacks. The secondary held Davante Adams to just one catch on seven targets for 11 yards, and the Lions defense held the Raiders to only 157 yards of total offense (lowest Detroit has allowed since 2013). I’m not getting too excited yet, because I remember starting 6-3 in 2013 only to lose six of the next seven games, but things are definitely looking good in Detroit so far.
2023 Trade Deadline moves:
The Washington Commanders traded edge rusher Montez Sweat to the Chicago Bears for a 2024 second round pick.
Seattle sent a 2024 second round pick and a 2025 fifth rounder to the New York Giants for defensive lineman Leonard Williams.
Philadelphia dealt defensive tackle Kentavius Street and a 2025 seventh round pick to the Atlanta Falcons for a 2024 sixth round pick.
Minnesota acquired Cardinals quarterback Joshua Dobbs and a 2024 seventh round pick, the Cardinals received a 2024 sixth rounder.
The Packers are sending CB Rasul Douglas and a 2024 fifth round pick to the Bills for a 2024 third round pick.
Detroit has acquired wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones from the Cleveland Browns, and are sending Cleveland a 2025 sixth round pick.
The Vikings are getting a 2024 sixth round draft pick from the Jaguars for guard Ezra Cleveland.
Commanders edge rusher Chase Young is being traded to the 49ers for a 2024 third-round draft pick.
Trade Deadline Thoughts
Winner: Washington Commanders
Washington’s front office should have leaned into the rebuild and traded away more pieces for more draft picks, but they did well. It didn’t seem like Washington was ever going to re-sign Sweat or Young, so getting a couple of day two picks is a win. I’m surprised guys in the last year of their contracts like Jacoby Brissett weren’t traded; several teams could use a veteran starting quarterback like Brissett for the stretch run.
Loser: Fans hoping to see a superstar traded
There were a lot of names being floated around on the rumor mill. In the end, no big name got moved. Davante Adams might be disgusted in Vegas, but the team made it clear he was going nowhere – then they fired the head coach and general manager. Derrick Henry, Jerry Jeudy, Danielle Hunter, Courtland Sutton, Brian Burns, Dalvin Cook, and Jaylon Johnson were some players thought to be on the block. In the end, none of them got moved, and injuries to Tannehill and Cousins killed the quarterback trade market.
Winner: New York Giants
I’m not sure how, but the Giants fleeced the Seahawks. I know Pete Carroll and the Seattle front office tend to make some interesting moves, but why trade a second round pick and a fifth rounder for Leonard Williams? Williams is in the last year of his contract, isn’t an elite pass rusher from the inside, and might be looking to get north of $16 million per year in free agency. Big win for Big Blue – they don’t get many of those these days…
Loser: Minnesota Vikings
Once Kirk Cousins went down with a season ending Achilles injury, their playoff hopes went down with him. No Jefferson, no ground game offensively, no defense, and now no Cousins. I appreciate the Vikings trying to remain competitive with their acquisition of quarterback Joshua Dobbs from Arizona, but Dobbs just doesn’t move the needle. He played well to start the year, but quickly showed that he can’t carry a team or make-up for bad plays/turnovers. The Vikings will be on the quarterback carousel again this off-season, in addition to having to beef up the defense and sorting out the rushing attack.
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