Five quick takes on NFL Week 8

Looking ahead to Week 8 in the NFL:

1. The Los Angeles Rams, the NFL’s only unbeaten team, can reach the halfway mark with a perfect 8-0 mark Sunday when they host the Green Bay Packers, who are struggling at 3-2-1 but are always dangerous when Aaron Rodgers is pulling the trigger. This is the start of a four game stretch that will show how good the Rams are. They play at New Orleans next week followed by a home game against Seattle and a game in Mexico City against the Chiefs before their bye.

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A quick look back at NFL Week 7

Five quick takes on Week 7 in the NFL:
1. Drew Brees continues to reach new milestones. A week after he became the all-time passing yardage leader, he became the fourth player to pass for 500 touchdowns against Baltimore.The other three are Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Tom Brady. He threw for two in a 24-23 win over the Ravens. And he kept the Saints a game behind the unbeaten Rams for the best record in the NFC.
2. The league’s overtime streak continued. Each week of the season this year, there has been an overtime game.  The Bucs beat the Browns, 26-23 in overtime as Chandler Catanazaro kicked a 59-yard field goal for the game winner. It was the longest game winning overtime field goal since overtime was instituted in 1974. If he had missed it, the Browns would have had great field position. The previous long one was 57 yards by Sebastian Janikowski of the Raiders in 2008. There would have been three overtime games if the Titans had kicked an extra point instead of going for two against the Chargers and Justin Tucker of Baltimore hadn’t missed his first extra point of his career against the Saints. Since the Titans dominated the second half, coach Mike Vrabel’s decision to go for two instead of playing for overtime was not a good move. Assuming, of course, the Titans had made the extra point.
3. Philip Rivers threw for exactly 300 yards in the Chargersvictory in London over the Titans. He now is the sixth player in NFL history to have at least 60 300-yard passing games. The other five are Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Dan Marino and Brett Favre.
4. After a 1-2 start, the Patriots are rolling again. The Patriots scored 38 points two weeks in a row against the Chiefs and Bears to go to 5-2 and they are virtually guaranteed a 6-2 mark at the halfway point because they play the Bills next Monday night. The Patriots seem headed towards another AFC title game, this time probably against the Chiefs. The Patriots are trying to become the first team to lose the Super Bowl and win it the next season since the 1972 perfect Dolphins.
5. The Houston Texans started out 0-3 and now have won four in a row to take over first place in the AFC South after beating Jacksonville last week. They are the first team to win four in a row after starting out 0-3 since the 2011 Chiefs. They are the sixth teams to do it.

Five things to watch out for in NFL Week 7

Five things to look for in NFL Week 7:

1. New Orleans’ Drew Brees continues to reach more milestones. After becoming the all-time leader in passing yards last week, he now needs one more touchdown pass to become the fourth quarterback to throw 500 touchdown passes behind only Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Tom Brady. And if he beats Baltimore, Brees will join Manning and Favre as the only quarterbacks to beat the other 31 current teams.

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Already looking like a do-or-die week for limping Jaguars

The seventh game of the season is usually much too early for a team to have a make-or-break game.

Unless that team is the 2018 Jacksonville Jaguars.

It’s hard to overestimate what the game Sunday against the Houston Texans means to the Jaguars after they lost three of their last four, including back-to-back blowout losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys.

The Jaguars came into the season with hopes of being a Super Bowl contender and looked like one when they started off 2-0, including a victory over the New England Patriots that avenged Jacksonville’s loss in the AFC title game last January.

But the Jaguars are now 3-3, and their home game Sunday will likely determine whether they have a shot to at least win the AFC South title.

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A quick look back at NFL Week 6

Six quick takes on Week 6 in the NFL:

1. The NFL’s new roughing the passer rules are changing the way defensive players are playing the game. With five minutes left Sunday night and the Kansas City leading New England by three on third-and-goal at the four-yard-line, Chiefs rookie linebacker Breeland Speaks had chance to sack Tom Brady from behind to force the Patriots to take a field goal. But he let Brady escape because he thought Brady had thrown the ball and Brady scampered for a touchdown in a game the Pats wound up winning, 43-40. Speaks said he didn’t take want to take Brady to the ground because he feared a flag. “It sucks, it sucks,’’ he said. “You’re supposed to finish plays like that.’’ In the future, he said he will risk the flag and make the play. For better or worse, the NFL is fundamentally changing the way the game has been played since the days of Pop Warner.

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