Looking Ahead to Week 8 in the NFL: Key Match-ups

Eric Fishbin, National Sports Editor

Thursday Night Football

The 4-3 Miami Dolphins visit the Houston Texans to kick off Week 8 of the 2018 NFL season. With quarterback Ryan Tannehill sidelined by injury, the Dolphins have been turning to Brock Osweiler, the 27-year-old NFL journeyman for the last two weeks. Miami split those two games, beating the Chicago Bears (3-3) and losing to the Detroit Lions (3-3).

Now that Tannehill is almost back, Osweiler has more pressure to perform and win the starting job. The Dolphins may be without wide receiver Albert Wilson, who suffered a leg injury last week. Wilson had a breakout game on October 14 against the Bears, picking up 155 yards on six receptions and scoring two touchdowns. With Wilson’s status unknown, receivers Kenny Stills and veteran Danny Amendola could have enhanced roles in the offense.

The Texans, after dropping their first three, have won four games in a row to make up for their early season blunders. They will look to continue the streak at home on October 25, led by quarterback Deshaun Watson and receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Sunday Morning Football, in London

In the second game to be played in London this season, the defending Su- per Bowl Champion Eagles will meet with owner Shahid Khan’s Jaguars in Wembley Stadium. Khan, also owner of London’s Fulham F.C., had interest in purchasing Wembley, but withdrew his $790 million bid on October 17. Consequently, it does not seem like American football will find a permanent home in London anytime soon.

After benching former third overall pick quarterback Blake Bortles in a blowout loss to AFC South rival Texans, the Jaguars will look to rebound from three straight losses on October 28 at 9:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, the Eagles, coming off a disappointing home defeat against the Carolina Panthers in which they surrendered 21 unanswered points, are hoping to fly back to the States and into the bye week after getting back on the winning track in London.

The Sunday Afternoon Game to Watch

The undefeated Rams (7-0) host quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, in what could be a playoff matchup later on. Los Angeles will host quite the afternoon of sports, as Game Five of the World Series featuring the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers is scheduled that night in Dodger Stadium as well. Though Rams running back Todd Gurley is proud of his city’s baseball team, he does not want to let the Dodgers take all of the headlines.

“When you see stuff like [the Dodgers’ success], it’s more just like inspiration, and you want that feeling as well,” said Gurley after practice to the media.

Meanwhile, the 3-2-1 Packers, coming off of their bye week, will hope to make up for their fellow Milwaukee Brewers’ short- comings against the L.A. Dodgers and take down the unbeaten L.A. Rams.

After visiting the Rams, the Packers will be charged with the task of taking down Tom Brady in New England; it is no easy road for the Pack here on out.

Sunday Night Football

The Minnesota Vikings, and the rambunctious home crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium, will welcome the New Orleans Saints for Sunday Night Football on October 28.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees tossed his 500th career touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens on October 21, and the team picked up its fifth consecutive win. This was Brees’ second career milestone in two weeks. On a 62-yard touchdown pass to receiver Tre’Quan Smith, Brees surpassed two-time Super Bowl Champion and Hall-of-Fame bound quarterback Peyton Manning to become the NFL’s all-time leader in yards passing the previous week.

Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen extended his season-long streak of games with 100+ receiving yards to five after hauling in nine receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown against the New York Jets on October 21. He and the rest of the Vikings offense will need to produce in order to keep up with the explosive Saints offense.

Bye week teams:

ATL, DAL, TEN, LAC

Contact Eric Fishbin at [email protected]