I woke up this morning and found out it was November, which was weird, because I don't think I even knew that October happened. This year has been flying by and so has the NFL season.
Well, the NFL season was flying by until the Cowboys-Eagles got put into primetime on Sunday. That game felt like it was four years long. If 2020 was an NFL game, it would definitely be Cowboys-Eagles. Instead of electing a president tomorrow, we should vote on which NFL division should get the NFC East's playoff spot this year, because that division definitely doesn't deserve one.
Speaking of playoff spots, we'll be taking a look at the playoff picture for the first time in today's newsletter. Browns fans, if the season ended today, your team would be in! That being said, the season won't be ending today, so don't get too confident (I'm guessing overconfidence probably isn't an issue for Browns fans since their team hasn't made the playoffs since 2002).
As always, here's your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. All you have to do is click here and then share the link. We'll gladly accept all new sign-ups, even ones that come from Browns fans.
Alright, we've got a lot to get to because Week 8 was crazy, so let's get this thing off the ground.
1. Today's Show: Week 8 winners and losers plus full recap
It's Monday, which can only mean one thing: I stayed up until 3 a.m. last night recording a podcast with Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson that touched on everything you need to know about Week 8. One thing we do every week is hand out our weekly winners and losers from Sunday's action. For our winners this week, Wilson and I decided to go with AFC North teams while Brinson's winner was someone who didn't even play on Sunday and won't be playing a single game for the rest of the season.
- Winner: Steelers. The Steelers weren't on their 'A' game in Baltimore, but they still won, which should probably terrify the rest of the NFL.
- Loser: Browns. If the Browns had won on Sunday, they'd be 6-2 and tied with the Ravens for second place in the AFC North, but as the Browns always seem to do in key situations, they fell flat on their face in a 16-6 loss to the Raiders.
- Winner: Dak Prescott. After watching Ben DiNucci and Andy Dalton play quarterback for three weeks, Jerry Jones is going to have no choice but to pay Dak whatever he wants. Basically, Jerry is just going to have to give Prescott a blank check.
- Loser: Jared Goff. Tua Tagovailoa threw for just 93 yards and he still arguably outplayed Jared Goff on Sunday. The Rams quarterback had a terrible game in Miami. Not only did he throw two interceptions, but he also lost two fumbles.
- Winner: Joe Burrow. The Bengals were missing half their starters on offense, but that didn't matter to Burrow, who diced up the Titans in Cincinnati's stunning win.
- Loser: Bill Belichick. I'm starting to feel like Tom Brady is the one who's going to be getting the last laugh in this Patriots divorce. The Patriots could still make the playoffs this season, but I really, really, really don't like their chances after their 24-21 loss to Buffalo.
Not only did we list our winners and losers, but we also recapped every game from Sunday. If you want to listen -- and you definitely should -- you can click here.
2. Ravens star tests positive for COVID; Packers also dealing with COVID situation
There's a chance the Ravens could be shorthanded on defense when they play the Colts this week and that's because their star cornerback, Marlon Humphrey, has tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test means that Humphrey now has to self-quarantine and that the Ravens will be have to follow the league's intensive protocol guidelines for the rest of the week.
If Humphrey isn't showing symptoms, there's a chance that he'll still be able to play on Sunday, but he'll need to produce at a negative test on five consecutive days. On the other hand, if he is showing symptoms, it will get a little dicier and the Ravens probably shouldn't count on him to be on the field.
Humphrey wasn't the only player who had a positive test on Monday. Packers running back AJ Dillon also tested positive for COVID-19. This could turn into an ugly situation for Green Bay if the league finds that any of Dillon's teammates were exposed. The Packers play Thursday against the 49ers, which means that any player who has been exposed won't be allowed to play. If Dillon is the only player out, that's going be a rough blow for a Packers team that currently only has one healthy running back in Jamaal Williams (Aaron Jones missed Sunday's game against Minnesota and his status for Thursday is still up in the air).
Due to the fact that Dillon and Humphrey both tested positive today, there's a chance that they were both already positive on Sunday during their game. If that's the case, the Vikings -- who played the Packers -- will also likely have to take extra precautions this week. As for the Steelers -- who played the Ravens -- their tests have all come back negative, so they're in the clear for now.
3. Monday preview: Prepping you for Buccaneers-Giants
I'm not sure why the NFL is punishing everyone, but for the second straight day, the league is forcing an NFC East team on us in primetime. Last night, it was Cowboys-Eagles, which was as painful to watch as we all thought it would be. Tonight, we get the Little Giants hosting Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.
If the Buccaneers (-12.5) can beat the Giants, they'll move into first place in the NFC South. To get you ready for tonight's game, my good buddy Jared Dubin put a preview together and I'm going to give you a preview of that preview.
- On the Giants' end, Dubin does not really see a route to victory for them. Not only do they have an offense that averages just 282.4 yards per game, which is the second-worst number in the NFL, but they also only average 17.4 points per game, which is yup, you guessed it, the second-worst number in the NFL. Basically, the Giants have a bad offense and they'll be going up against the best defense they've faced all year. If you need a big day from Darius Slayton or Sterling Shepard or any other Giants offensive player to win your fantasy game this week, you might just want to save your self the anxiety and forfeit.
- As for Tampa Bay, keep your eye on Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette. Gronk seems like he's finally getting comfortable in Tampa's offense as he's caught 20 passes for 269 yards and two scores, which is impressive when you consider he only caught two passes total over the first two weeks of the season. On Fournette's end, he appears to be Tampa's passing-down back and he looked comfortable in his job last week, catching six passes for 47 yards.
Dubin's prediction: Buccaneers 27-13 over Giants.
To check out Dubin's full preview, be sure to click here.
4. Saints-Bears brawl
When I turned on the Bears-Saints game Sunday, I didn't realize I was going to be watching a "Fight Club" sequel, but that's exactly what we got starting in the second half. For some reason, Bears receiver Javon Wims decided to punch Saints cornerback Chauncey Gardner-Johnson after a play in the third quarter.
Now, the weird thing here is that Wims threw the punches even though Gardner-Johnson was still wearing his helmet, which means if anyone was going to get injured during the fight, IT'S WIMS. Have you ever punched a brick wall before, because that's what it's like to punch a helmet. Wims could have broken his hand. Although he didn't get injured, he did get ejected from the game and could eventually get suspended for his actions.
Bears coach Matt Nagy called the punches "Irresponsible and selfish."
If you're wondering why Mims decided to go full Tyler Durden on Gardner-Johnson, he claims that the Saints corner ripped out his mouthpiece and spit on him. You can check out the entire fight, including the footage, by clicking here. Also, someone on Twitter decided to break down all the footage that led to the fight and you can check that out by clicking here (People on Twitter apparently have a lot of free time).
5. Week 8 grades: Bengals get an A+ for upsetting Titans
Every week, I team up with six of my colleagues here at CBSSports.com to hand out grades, and this week, the Cincinnati Bengals went home with an 'A+.' If you've been reading this newsletter over the past month, then you know that I'm the resident Bengals homer here at CBSSports.com, which has actually been a pretty depressing thing to admit over the past four years, but that depression went out the window after their 31-20 win over the Titans.
The Bengals didn't have their starting left tackle (Jonah Williams), their starting center (Trey Hopkins), their starting right tackle (Bobby Hart) or their starting running back (Joe Mixon), but despite that, Joe Burrow still had a big day (249 pass yards, two touchdowns). The Bengals defense also had a surprising performance and that's mostly due to the fact that they held the Titans to just seven points through the first three quarters (The Titans got a 'C-' for their shocking loss).
On the other end of the spectrum, the Los Angeles Rams got an 'F,' because that's the grade we give a team that out-gains its opponent by more than 300 yards and still manages to lose. The Rams had 471 yards of total offense to Miami's 154, but still lost 28-17. The Rams were the first team since the 2006 Eagles to lose a game where they out-gained their opponent by at least 300 yards (The Dolphins got an 'A' for their win).
As for the other 20 grades we handed out on Sunday, you can check those out by clicking here.
6. NFL playoff picture heading into Monday night
It's November, which means I'm allowed to start talking about the playoff picture here without sounding ridiculous. I mean, I wanted to start talking about the playoff picture after Week 2, but then I realized that no one cares about the playoff picture after Week 2.
Now that we're eight weeks through the season, now is a good time to see how things are shaking out, so let's check out how the playoff race is looking in each conference starting with the AFC. Two key things to remember this year is that SEVEN teams will be getting in and that only the top seed will be getting a bye.
It's been 18 years since the Browns last made the playoffs and if that drought is going to end, this year definitely seems like the one where it would happen. I mean, everything has been so crazy in 2020 that the cherry on top of the crazy sundae would be Cleveland advancing to the postseason.
If the Buccaneers win on Monday, that will have quite the ripple effect: They would jump to the second spot and the Packers would drop to three, which would cause the Saints to fall to five and the Cardinals to six. My biggest takeaway here is that the NFC East should not be allowed to host a playoff game this year. I'm going to write Roger Goodell a letter today and see if we can get that changed.
7. The Kicker!
If you've ever wondered what would happen if someone attempted a field goal during a hurricane, you don't have to wonder anymore because that's basically what happened on Sunday in Cleveland. Sure, there wasn't technically a hurricane in northern Ohio, but there were some 50 mph winds that turned every field goal attempt into a hilarious exercise in futility.
In the first quarter, Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson attempted a 41-yard field goal that looked like it was going to split the uprights, but then the wind got a hold of the football and hilarity ensued. Carlson ended up missing the kick and you can see a replay of the miss by clicking here.
Later in the game, poor Cody Parkey got sent out to try a 37-yard field goal, and well, you can probably guess what happened. The wind decided it didn't want the kick to go through and when the wind decides something, that something simply is not going to happen. Between the double-doink and this kick the football gods clearly hate Parkey. You can check out Parkey's windy miss by clicking here.
Does all this wind mean that the winds of change are upon us? I have no idea, but Election Day is tomorrow, so don't forget to vote. See you guys then!