NFL Week 8 Recap: Peyton Manning Beat the Packers & Tied Brett Favre
If you thought veteran quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Drew Brees might be fading, they proved you wrong on Sunday. Here’s what else we learned in Week 8:
The Broncos Are Still Undefeated; The Packers Are Not
Peyton Manning threw for 340 yards, and the Broncos crushed the Green Bay Packers, 29-10, in Denver on Sunday night. With the victory, Manning tied Brett Favre for the most wins by a starting quarterback in NFL history with 186.
Meanwhile, the Broncos defense made its case as the NFL’s best unit. Denver (7-0) sacked Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers three times, including once for a safety, and held him to just 77 yards passing for the entire game.
Green Bay (6-1) trailed just 17-7 at the half, but they never did figure out how to solve the Broncos’ defense in the second half. Ronnie Hillman ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns for Denver.
The win meant the Broncos joined the Patriots, Bengals, and Panthers, who play Monday night, as the NFL’s last unbeaten teams in 2015.
The Bengals Keep Winning
The Bengals just keep finding ways to win games, even against the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger. Andy Dalton threw a go-ahead touchdown pass with 2:57 to play, and Cincinnati edged out Pittsburgh, 16-10, on Sunday. The victory allowed the Bengals to remain unbeaten and take a 3 1/2 game lead in the AFC North.
Cincinnati (7-0) nearly lost. Pittsburgh (4-4) picked off Dalton twice and led 10-6 in the fourth quarter as a rusty Roethlisberger returned from a knee injury. However, a late Shawn Williams’ interception of Big Ben gave the Bengals a chance to go-ahead, which they did when Dalton threw a 9-yard touchdown strike to A.J. Green with just under three minutes to play.
The game may not have been the biggest loss of the day for the Steelers: running back Le’Veon Bell left with a serious knee injury that may sideline him for the rest of the season.
Drew Brees & Eli Manning Combined to Set an NFL Record
Quarterbacks Drew Brees of the Saints and Eli Manning of the Giants set an NFL record with 13 combined touchdown passes, but a 50-yard field goal as time expired — set up by a face mask penalty on New York punter Brad Wing — decided one of the wildest games in NFL history and gave New Orleans a 52-49 win on Sunday.
Brees tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes, while throwing for 511 yards. His last TD toss — a 9-yarder to C.J. Spiller — tied the game at 49 with 36 seconds to play.
Manning threw for 350 yards and six scores, passing both Joe Montana and Vinny Testaverde to reach No. 10 on the NFL’s all-time touchdown pass list. He rallied New York (4-4) from 14 points down in the fourth quarter.
When the Giants offense couldn’t run out the clock to force overtime, the Saints were given the chance to rally. A late punt by Wing was returned across midfield and fumbled by the Saints, but New Orleans (4-4) recovered and was given 15 crucial yards on a face mask penalty on the punter. Kai Forbath’s 50-yard boot sealed the win.
Todd Gurley Will Probably Be NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
St. Louis rookie running back Todd Gurley ran for 133 yards on 20 carries, including a dazzling 71-yard touchdown dash, and the Rams dominated the San Francisco 49ers, 27-6, on Sunday. St. Louis (4-3) moved to 3-0 against the NFC West, while San Francisco (2-6) continued to struggle on offense. The Niners went without a touchdown for the second consecutive game.
The No. 10-overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, Gurley’s 566 rushing yards are the most in a player’s first four NFL starts in the Super Bowl era. Even if Gurley’s amazing pace slows down, he has to be the new favorite for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.
Key Injuries Could Alter the Second Half of the 2015 Season
Injuries changed the course of games on Sunday. Several players could be out well into the second half of the 2015 NFL season and beyond.
Among the most notable injured players: running backs Le’Veon Bell of the Steelers, Reggie Bush of the 49ers and Matt Forte of the Bears; wide receivers Ricardo Lockette of the Seahawks, Steve Smith of the Ravens and Mike Evans of the Buccaneers, and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Jets.
Lockette, Evans and Smith’s teams were able to get wins on Sunday, but each had to rely on late or game-winning field goals to do so. As of Sunday night, Bell and Smith were ruled out for the remainder of the regular season — devastating blows to the playoff chances of Pittsburgh and Baltimore, respectively. More could follow.
Thursday, October 29
New England 36, Miami 7
Sunday, November 1
Kansas City 45, Detroit 10
Houston 20, Tennessee 6
Minnesota 23, Chicago 20
Baltimore 29, San Diego 26
Arizona 34, Cleveland 20
Tampa Bay 23, Atlanta 20 (OT)
Oakland 34, N.Y. Jets 20
Seattle 13, Dallas 12
Buffalo, Philadelphia, Washington, Jacksonville