Sunday 18 February 2018 / 09:32 PM


Week 8 of the NFL season rolled around with a fiery clash to open a weekend of quality around the country. From the beat down in Baltimore through to Wilson and Watson’s QB shootout, Commentary Box Sports brings you the best of the action.

Games of the Week

New England Patriots 21 San Diego Chargers 13

It’s just about the worst nightmare of every New England fan to have to watch their fragile defence try and hold on to win the game, but this time around they played the role to perfection.

The Patriots led 18-7 at the start of the fourth, with San Diego striking back through a touchdown to Travis Benjamin with eight and a half minutes left.

A Stephen Gostkowski field goal with just over a minute on the clock left the Chargers needing a touchdown, and while QB Philip Rivers got them marching, a late interception secured the win for New England, who improve to 6-2.

San Diego made a number of key errors which contributed to them falling short of a huge road win, none more so than this self-inflicted safety on a punt return.

Cincinnati Bengals 24 Indianapolis Colts 23

A fourth-quarter pick six from Carlos Dunlap lifted the Bengals to a comeback victory over Indy, which delivered another crucial breath to their play-off hopes.

After going scoreless through the first quarter, the Colts clocked 20 in the next two thanks to touchdowns from tight end Jack Doyle and running back Marlon Mack, on a day where QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 233 yards.

Veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri gave Indy a six-point buffer in the fourth, but minutes later as Brissett tried to work his side up the field, his pass was tipped by Dunlap, who recovered it in the air four yards away, broke a tackle took it to the house for the winner.

Standout Stars

LeSean McCoy

Shady had one of his best games of the season in Buffalo’s 34-14 rout of Oakland, as the Bills punished the Raiders with their ground game.

After struggling at the start of the season, McCoy got busy with 27 carries for 151 yards, making easy work of the Oakland linebackers, with a peach 48-yard TD run in the fourth.

The 29-year-old veteran also had 22 yards receiving as Buffalo keep their perfect home record intact.

The Baltimore defence

Beleaguered heading into Week 8, Baltimore’s defence made a dramatic statement in the 40-0 shutout of Miami, swarming to suffocate the woeful Dolphins.

After being eaten alive by the run at times this year, the Ravens closed the gate to limit Miami to less than 50 yards in total rushing offence, while they harassed back-up QB Matt Moore into a number of mistakes.

The Ravens’ D had multiple sacks, returned two interceptions for touchdowns, and helped their team get the job done even without quarterback Joe Flacco for the entire second half.

Deshaun Watson

His team lost a thriller 41-38 to Seattle, but the remarkable performance from this rookie deserves special recognition.

Against one of the NFL’s best defensive units, in arguably the most feared away stadium in the league, Watson was composed, accurate and very nearly the reason Houston won.

There were key plays throughout, with a patient 14-yard run for a first down early in the third quarter, followed by a clutch TD throw in the fourth where he dodged heavy pressure which spun him a full 360 degrees, before he gave Lamar Miller the ball in the end zone.

The 12th overall pick in this year’s draft finished the game with a colossal 402 throwing yards, four touchdowns and 67 rushing yards.

In the process Watson also equaled the legendary Kurt Warner as the only man to toss 18 touchdowns in the first seven games of his career.

It was a bad week for….

Whoever is charge of discipline in Miami

Not only were they embarrassed 40-0 against a Ravens team operating with their back-up QB for the majority of the game, the Miami Dolphins outraged many with their tactics along the way.

The big one which continues to demand headlines was the hit from linebacker Kiko Alonso, which knocked a defenseless Joe Flacco into tomorrow and was a terrible look for the campaign to better protect quarterbacks.

There were also instances of apparent eye-gouging and this moment below where Ndamukong Suh, who has a long-standing reputation as a dirty player, decided to take matters into his own hands.

Let’s hope there’s plenty of money in the petty cash try, because we get the feeling some nasty fines are heading Miami’s way.

Texans owner Robert McNair

Almost his entire team took a knee in protest of his comments during the week, and the whole world knows about it. Bad week indeed.

McNair commented during an NFL owners meeting that “we can’t have the inmates running the prison”, referring to the very players he employees.

He later apologised, but the backlash from the Houston players went ahead. While many earlier in the season had declined to take a knee, as part of ongoing racial injustice protests, out of respect for their owner, in Week 8 they joined to send a message directly to him before kick-off against the Seahawks.

It was a powerful show of solidarity against their boss, and sent shockwaves around the NFL on social media.

Best plays of Week 3

Joe Mixon had to get creative on this play, and almost ended up going all the way thanks to his athletic shimmy and go.

While Mixon went with the explosive approach, Steelers’ RB Le’Veon Bell preferred patience, and gets extra points for the celebration.

Finally, in a game full of amazing plays this bullet and catch between Russell Wilson and Paul Richardson, to set up the game-winning TD a short time later, was in a league of its own.

Week 8 results so far

Minnesota Vikings 33, Cleveland Browns 16 (London)

Buffalo Bills 34, Oakland Raiders 14

Cincinnati Bengals 24, Indianapolis Colts 23

New England Patriots 21, Los Angeles Chargers 13

New Orleans Saints 20, Chicago Bears 12

Atlanta Falcons 25, New York Jets 20

Philadelphia Eagles 33, San Francisco 49ers 10

Carolina Panthers 17, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3

Seattle Seahawks 41, Houston Texans 38

Dallas Cowboys 33, Washington 19

Games to watch for next week

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons
Dallas Cowboys v Kansas City Chiefs
Philadelphia Eagles v Denver Broncos

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About the author

Corey Rosser

One of CBS’s newest contributors, Te Aroha product Corey is the New Zealand correspondent for, the editor for the excellent new site Kiwi League Central, and a guru of the local Auckland rugby league scene.

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