Takeaways from NFL Week 8
The Lions are not a playoff team.
Two straight wins over a couple bad teams gave Detroit a chance to climb above .500 for the first time all season and rejoin the playoff race. A trade for DE Everson Griffen also gave Lions fans hope that the team was about to make a run. Unfortunately, they fell flat against a playoff contender once again, showing that any signs of life were just false hope. They still have some bad teams on the schedule, but they'll likely finish 8-8 at best.
The Steelers might be the best team in the league.
Pittsburgh is 7-0 and has wins over four current playoff teams. Sunday's win over Baltimore was further proof that they're for real. The Steelers gave the Ravens' offense fits all day and came up with a crucial stop to end the game. They're the only remaining unbeaten team and have excelled at playing complementary football. A prime example of reloading the right way, Pittsburgh is a fun team to watch and has the ability to beat anybody.
The Dolphins are better than anyone thought they would be.
Miami was widely considered the worst team in the league in 2019, but surpassed those low expectations. They were expected to earnt he first overall pick in the 2020 Draft but instead had pick number six. Now, Coach Brian Flores once again has his team performing above expectations, led by a dominant defense. They've taken down the Rams and the 49ers on their way to a 4-3 record so far this season and are just half a game out of the playoffs. Aside from a game with the Chiefs and game number two against Buffalo, their remaining schedule is favorable, so keep an eye on Miami.
The AFC East belongs to the Bills.
We wondered if the Bills were finally going to be able to take out the Patriots as this division's top team, and it's become blatantly obvious that they have. Buffalo is 6-2 and their closest competitions seems to be the suddenly surging Miami Dolphins. Meanwhile, the "mighty" Patriots have fallen to 2-5 in the first season of the post-Tom Brady era, and the Jets are the worst team in the league.
The NFC West is still the best division.
No team in this division is under .500, despite some struggling moments. Seattle is struggling on defense but has developed one of the league's most powerful offenses with Russell Wilson playing at an MVP-level. The Rams and 49ers have battled their way through injuries to stay afloat, Arizona has a couple bad losses but still sit in second place at 5-2. Three of these teams would be in the playoffs if the season ended today, and San Francisco is just barely on the outside. Just as it did last season, this division should come down to the wire.
The NFC (L) East is still a sh*t show, but the Eagles are the favorite.
You can count out the Cowboys based on their QB situation, current offensive line, porous defense, and incompetent coaching. The Giants may have played well against Tampa last night but are 1-7 on the season with tough games against the Seahawks, Ravens, Cardinals, and Browns (yes, I said Browns) remaining. Washington has has a favorable next four games or so but then hits a wall with the Steelers and 49ers in back to back weeks. The Eagles are only 3-41- and have been inconsistent but have a win over San Francisco and close losses to Baltimore and Pittsburgh. I'm not saying moral victories should count, but that's all this division has. Philly does finish with a hard schedule as well, but they are better equipped to handle it at this point.
The Bears are not good.
Chicago had some people fooled with 5-1 start that included a lucky win over Tampa, but they don't have the efficiency on offense to sustain that start. The Chicago offense is in the bottom five in the NFL in rushing yards per game, points per game, and total offense. Yes, defense can carry a team sometimes, but you need to be able to score against the good offenses. Two straight losses have the Bears coming back down to Earth. They still have some bad team to play, so they won't fall completely off the wagon, but they're taking a long overdue step back.