With the conclusion of Week Eight we are officially into the second half of the season. With the trade deadline coming up, some major moves could be made, and some already have.
Late last week, Emmanuel Sanders, then-wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, was traded to the undefeated 49ers in exchange for a third and fourth round pick. This trade makes a lot of sense for both teams because the 49ers were in desperate need for a #1 wide receiver and the Broncos are looking to build draft capital after starting 2-6 on the season.
Another notable trade involving an undefeated team and a receiver also went down as the New England Patriots acquired Mohamed Sanu from the Falcons for a second rounder.
Both of these trades were pretty similar. Both involved undefeated teams filling up holes at the receiver position, and two teams who have been extremely disappointing and have realized they should be prioritizing the future over this present season.
Now it’s time to get into a recap of the games. Starting off in Chicago, the 3-3 Bears were being faced with what felt like a must win game at home against the 2-5 Chargers.
This game was a bit of a defensive battle as both offenses were struggling to move the ball. The Bears finally got their rookie running back in the groove as he totaled 135 yards on 27 carries and also added a touchdown. With the game on the line, the Bears’ defense did their job and gave the ball back to Mitch Trubsiky and the offense.
Trubisky actually looked solid on the last drive and made some big plays with his legs to get his team into field goal position. With 3 seconds left, the Bears called out their kicker Eddy Pineiro to attempt a 41 yarder and save the day.
Unfortunately, he just missed wide left and the Bears lost an absolute heart breaker at home 16-17. Bears fans know how this misery feels after being eliminated from the playoffs last year on a similar play. The Bears look to be out of the NFC North playoff race as they fall to 3-4.
As I mentioned last week, the Eagles were heading into Buffalo with their confidence at an all time low this far into the season.
Heading into this game there had been a lot of talk about if the Eagles were going to even make the playoffs after getting crushed by the Cowboys last week. Going into Buffalo against a 5-1 Bills team was no easy task.
All the talk had been about how atrocious the Birds’ defense had been so far. Well this game, they silenced some critics as they held the Bills to 13 points and and only 169 passing yards by Josh Allen.
For the majority of this game Josh Allen was killing the Eagles on run plays, not in the air. But the Eagles eventually figured him out as they forced him to cough up the ball three times.
Rookie running back Miles Sanders has been a bit of an enigma this year because everyone knows how talented he is, but Coach Doug Pederson has decided to stick with veteran Jordan Howard for most of the rushing attempts.
Sanders flashed his talent in this game as he broke off a long touchdown run and finished with only three carries for 74 yards and a touchdown. But I guess Doug Pederson made the right decision as Jordan Howard rushed 23 times for 96 yards and a touchdown as well.
The Eagles run game was humming throughout the entire game.
Carson Wentz put up another mediocre performance as he passed for 174 yards and a touchdown, but most would argue he didn’t have to do much this game except to not turn it over, and make a few big throws.
The Eagles got a much needed victory in Buffalo as they kept themselves alive in the NFC East race, and improve to 4-4 on the year after impressively handling the Bills 31-13.
The last noteworthy game on the slate was Sunday Night Football, a matchup between the 6-1 Packers and the 5-2 Chiefs.
I was much more excited for this matchup before Patrick Mahomes got injured, and even though his injury has a timetable for return of at least 3-6 weeks, there was talk that Mahomes might even suit up for this game.
In the end I think him and Coach Andy Reid realized that probably wasn’t the best decision for him and the team going forward.
So once again the Chiefs went to battle with Matt Moore at the helm of the ship. Surprisingly Moore played extremely well, and kept the Chiefs close in this game.
In fact, the Chiefs were up 17-14 at halftime. But as Aaron Rodgers continues to get more comfortable with his new offense and get better, the Packers seem even more scary than they did before.
In the end, Aaron Rodgers made some amazing throws and led his team to a huge road victory in Kansas City. Running back Aaron Jones was phenomenal as he finished with 67 yards on the ground and seven receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
He became only the 5th running back in 30 years to finish a game with 150 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Jones is now the touchdown leader of the NFL with 11, one more than Christian McCaffrey.
The Packers improved to 7-1 with a 31-24 victory over the Chiefs and have asserted themselves as one of the top three teams in the NFC.
Other notable games and stories:
- Once again, the Patriots and 49ers both won, as they both stayed undefeated with a recipe of amazing defense and controlling time of possession.
- Drew Brees made his return from injury for the Saints and threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns in his return as the Saints easily beat the Cardinals 31-9.
- Giants dropped their fourth straight game, as their season looks like it has been lost even with their promising rookie QB Daniel Jones.
- The Jets lost once again, and standing at 1-6 it seems Sam Darnold will be seeing ghosts for the rest of the season.
The next couple of weeks will be interesting as teams re-evaluate their expectations, and plan for the future accordingly. It will also be fun to see which contenders make major moves at the trade deadline, and which teams decide to stay put, as we enter the second half of the season.
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