What To Look For In Week 8 In The NFL
Entering Week 8, the undefeated NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-0) lead the league in both points for per game (31.9) and points against per game (6.9).
Against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS), the Patriots can become the first team to average more than 30 points per game and allow fewer than 10 points per game through eight games of a season since the 1962 GREEN BAY PACKERS.
Additionally, New England’s point differential (+175) is the second-highest at this point of a season in NFL history, trailing only the 1920 Buffalo All-Americans (+218). With a win on Sunday, New England can continue its historic point differential pace and jump into the top five in NFL history through their first eight games.
New England also tops the NFL in turnover differential (+14), led by safety DEVIN McCOURTY’s league-high five interceptions. With a positive turnover differential on Sunday, New England can move into the top five for the highest turnover margin through eight games since 1970.
The SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS enter Week 8 as the lone undefeated team (6-0) in the NFC. San Francisco’s defense has allowed 223.5 total net yards per game – more than 100 fewer yards per game than any other team in the NFC (Dallas, 324.9) – and has limited their opponents to fewer than 200 total net yards of offense in each of the past three games.
With fewer than 200 total net yards allowed on Sunday against Carolina (4:05 PM ET, FOX), San Francisco would become the sixth team to allow fewer than 200 total net yards of offense in at least four consecutive games since 1970. Three of the previous five teams to do so went on to win the Super Bowl.
To continue its streak of games allowing fewer than 200 total net yards of offense on Sunday, San Francisco will need to limit Carolina running back CHRISTIAN McCAFFREY, who has scored both a rushing and a receiving touchdown in each of his past two games. With both a rushing and receiving touchdown on Sunday, McCaffrey would tie PETE JOHNSON (three consecutive games in 1981 with Cincinnati) for the longest streak of games with at least one rushing and one receiving touchdown in NFL history
Over the past three weeks, Minnesota quarterback KIRK COUSINS leads the NFL in touchdown passes (10) and passer rating (142.6). In Week 7, Cousins became the first quarterback in NFL history to have at least 300 passing yards and a passer rating of 135 or higher in three consecutive games.
On Thursday Night Football against Washington (8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFLN/Amazon), Cousins can become the third player with a passer rating of 130 or higher in four consecutive games in NFL history.
Additionally, if Cousins passes for at least 300 yards and has a passer rating of 120 or higher on Thursday night, he would become the first player in NFL history to accomplish the feat in four consecutive games.
Dating back to Week 8 of the 2018 season, Seattle quarterback RUSSELL WILSON has 16 touchdown passes and zero interceptions in his past seven starts on the road and his streak of eight consecutive road games with a passer rating of 110 or higher is the longest such streak in NFL history.
With at least one touchdown pass and zero interceptions on Sunday at Atlanta (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Wilson would surpass TOM BRADY (seven games in 2010) and NICK FOLES (seven in 2012-13) for the most consecutive road games with at least one touchdown pass and zero interceptions in NFL history.
Buffalo running back FRANK GORE (15,136 rush yards) and Washington running back ADRIAN PETERSON (13,625) rank fourth and eighth, respectively, on the NFL’s all-time rushing list.
On Thursday Night Football (8;20 PM ET, FOX/NFLN/Amazon) against his former team, the Minnesota Vikings, Peterson needs 60 rushing yards to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famers JEROME BETTIS (13,662) and LaDAINIAN TOMLINSON (13,684) for the sixth-most rushing yards in NFL history.
Additionally, Gore – who earlier this season became the fourth player in NFL history to eclipse 15,000 career rushing yards – needs 134 rushing yards against Philadelphia (1:00 PM ET, FOX) to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer BARRY SANDERS (15,269) for the third-most rushing yards in NFL history.
Since entering the league in 2013, Houston wide receiver DeANDRE HOPKINS ranks second in the NFL in touchdown receptions (50), and third in catches (577) and receiving yards (7,945).
Hopkins, who will be 27 years and 143 days old on Sunday, needs 55 receiving yards against Oakland (4:25 PM ET, CBS) to become the third-youngest player to reach 8,000 career receiving yards in NFL history.
Cleveland defensive end MYLES GARRETT is tied for the league lead with nine sacks this season and has had at least two sacks in three games in 2019.
With two sacks on Sunday against New England (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Garrett would become the first player since ROBERT MATHIS (2013) and the eighth player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to have four games with at least two sacks through his team’s first seven games of a season.