Team Notes week 9 2022

By Bob Harris
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Directly from the desk of FlashUpdate Editor Bob Harris. The good; the bad; and yes. ... Even the Bears. There is no better way to jump start your weekend than browsing these always educational -- often irreverent -- team-by-team, Fantasy-specific offerings. ...
Access specific teams by clicking on a team name in the schedule appearing directly to your left or by clicking on a helmet below; return to the helmets by hitting the link labeled "Menu" following each teams notes. ...

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Arizona Cardinals

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

As Darren Urban of the team's official website reported it, the Cardinals still had a slow start against the Vikings and they still leaned on DeAndre Hopkins.

But they also did something Sunday that they really hadn't done all season, and that was turn the ball over.

They knew it, and yet, there was no getting it back.

Quarterback Kyler Murray threw a pair of interceptions and there was also a muffed punt.

"We've just got to be better offensively," Murray said in his postgame press conference. "Defensively we felt like they did enough. We were in the game. Everybody on the team knows we were in the game. Just got to be better. It's a good team. We know they're going to capitalize on those mistakes, and that's what they did."

Murray finished the game 31-of-44 passing for 326 yards with three touchdowns and two picks. Beginning next week with the Seahawks, Arizona will play each of its divisional opponents and host the Chargers before a Week 13 bye.

"It's always bad when you turn the ball over, especially against a good team like this," Hopkins said. "They are banking on you making mistakes."

"Obviously," Hopkins said, "you guys can see we're right there."

Hopkins had another 100-yard day -- 12 catches for 159 yards and a spectacular one-handed touchdown catch -- and Rondale Moore had seven catches for 92 yards and a score.

Murray had his best statistical game of the season, going 31-for-44 for 326 yards and a season-best three touchdowns. Murray said he thought the offense played well, and they did move the ball and scored four times. But the interceptions were killer.

Murray also said the defense played well enough to win, although it did surrender 381 yards.

"The details, that's as far as it goes," cornerback Byron Murphy said. "The small details that come with the game, stuff that you know you have to nail as a team, that's what we need.

"Plays happen. Good and bad, that happens in the NFL. This one, it's not what we wanted. We have to get back to work."

The Cardinals now have a stretch of three straight NFC West games, starting with a home rematch against the Seahawks in a week. If there is going to be any movement toward a postseason berth, all three loom large.

"It's very frustrating but we'll get over it," Murray said. "Everything we want is in front of us."

So how can the Cardinals get going in the first half?

According to ESPN's Josh Weinfuss, it comes down to tempo and utilizing the right personnel.

Getting Hopkins involved more quickly and having Murray make more plays with his feet, which would make the defense have to consider him at all times, could set the tone for Arizona in the early minutes.

Their next chance to get that all right comes Sunday, when they host Seattle, their first of three straight games against NFC West foes.

According to Urban, those games against the Seahawks, at the Rams and against the 49ers in Mexico City are in many ways, the last stand.

The Cardinals need to make a serious push against three teams all ahead of them in the division and the conference.

Other notes of interest. ... While the Cardinals got off a slow start in this game, the same can't be said of Hopkins more broadly.

Seven Cardinals were on the field for all 78 snaps: The offensive line, Murray and Hopkins.

As noted above, Moore had his best game of the year while playing all but one snap. A.J. Green started and played 37 snaps a week after not playing at all. Greg Dortch had 20 snaps and Robbie Anderson seven.

Hopkins made the 800th catch of his career, and after not accomplishing a 100-yard game all of 2021, he is now 2-for-2 this season.

Moore looked pretty good too, especially on his 38-yard touchdown catch-and-run. He's got moves when he has a little open space to work with.

That 38-yard pass was the Cardinals' longest pass play of the season.

At running back, Eno Benjamin ended up with 58 snaps while Darrel Williams had 21. Keaontay Ingram did not play on offense.

This workload came with James Conner sidelined for a third-straight game.

Conner was able to work on a limited basis in practice last week and appears to be close to returning from his rib injury. I'll be watching for more on that in coming days. Check the Late-Breaking Updates section for more.

But if Conner is back this weekend, it's all but certain to change the dynamic here. ...

Elsewhere, Kingsbury said C Rodney Hudson (knee) is probably out at least one more week. The Cardinals have a 1-3 record with Hudson on the sidelines. Several other starters missed Sunday's game, including G Max Garcia (shoulder), LT D.J. Humphries (back), OLB Dennis Gardeck (ankle) and Conner. ...

A few final items. ... J.J. Watt is on pace to have about 10 sacks, which would be his best mark since 2018. The five-time All-Pro had two sacks against the Vikings and has managed to avoid the major injuries that plagued him the last several seasons. ...

The Cardinals are signing free agent linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

The Texans released Grugier-Hill, at his request, on Thursday.

Grugier-Hill re-signed with the Texans during the 2022 offseason and started all five games he was in Houston this season. He has 40 tackles and a pass breakup in 2022.

In 2021, Grugier-Hill led the team with 108 tackles and added three sacks and an interception. ....

The Cardinals have tried to alleviate some of their problems with pre-snap penalties by getting in a huddle before plays, which is a change from Kingsbury's usual preference to play a hurry-up, no-huddle style. That switch has helped in some ways, but hurt in others.

On Sunday, the Cardinals were sometimes in a time crunch because it was taking them too long to huddle, call the play and get to the line of scrimmage.

Which brings up the last point this week. ... As Associated Press sports writer David Brandt reminded readers, it was about one year ago that Kingsbury was the toast of the NFL. The Cardinals looked like a Super Bowl contender with a 10-2 record to start the season.

The fourth-year coach hasn't been able to push the right buttons since that point, losing 10 of the past 14 games. His seat is getting warm in a hurry, with the franchise expecting results after signing Murray to a $230.5 million long-term deal just before training camp.

You can access complete stats for the Cardinals Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Kyler Murray, Desmond Ridder, Clayton Tune
RBs: James Conner, Michael Carter, Emari Demercado
WRs: Zay Jones, Michael Wilson, Rondale Moore, Greg Dortch, Zach Pascal
TEs: Trey McBride, Geoff Swaim

Atlanta Falcons

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

Marcus Mariota received a great present for his 29th birthday.

Mariota, playing his best game of the season, led the Atlanta Falcons to a wild 37-34 overtime win against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The win pushed the Falcons (4-4) into sole possession of first place in the NFC South, a position few would've predicted at the beginning of the season.

"I've been a part of a couple (wild games). ... but this is probably definitely at the top," Mariota told reporters after the game.

Mariota's arm and legs were keys to the Falcons' victory.

His 30-yard run in overtime set up kicker Younghoe Koo for a game-winning 41-yard field goal in overtime.

"In those situations, I just try to make the most of it," Mariota told reporters. "Our guys did a great job of blocking down the field. We found a way to make a play and Koo a chance."

Mariota completed 20 of 28 passes for 253 yards, a season-high three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran six times for 43 yards. Head coach Arthur Smith praised Mariota's performance, particularly after he threw an interception in overtime.

"He's a resilient guy" Smith told reporters after the game. "For him to come back, get the ball back and (that run), that's why we believe in Marcus. Not many guys can make that play. The moment is never too big for him."

The Falcons looked as if they had the game won in the fourth quarter, before a series of improbable plays forced overtime.

Trailing 28-24 with 3:06 remaining, Mariota engineered the Falcons on an impressive drive for the go-ahead touchdown.

Mariota, using his legs to buy a little time, found wide receiver Damiere Byrd on a short pass and Byrd outran several defenders for a 47-yard touchdown with 2:14 remaining.

Then, after Carolina turned the ball over on downs and Koo kicked a 34-yard field goal for a 34-28 lead with 36 seconds left, the Falcons surely figured the game was over. But, incredibly, Atlanta left too much time for quarterback P.J. Walker and the Carolina offense.

Walker's 62-yard "Hail Mary" pass was answered after wide receiver D.J. Moore sprinted behind two Atlanta defenders and snagged a stunning touchdown to tie the game 34-34 with 12 seconds remaining.

Moore removed his helmet on the field during the celebration, costing the Panthers 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.

That pushed Eddy Pineiro's extra point attempt to the 48-yard line, and he missed it wide left, sending the game into overtime.

"Our guys don't blink," Mariota told reporters. "Good plays, bad plays, they stay pretty even-keeled. When bad things happen, our guys are ready to step up and make a play. Our guys did."

The Falcons looked done after Mariota's deep pass attempt to Byrd was intercepted by Panthers' cornerback C.J. Henderson at his own 26. Henderson returned the pick 50 yards to the Atlanta 20, setting up a game-winning field goal for the Panthers. But Pineiro pulled his 32-yard attempt wide left.

Mariota and the Falcons were given new life.

"(We were) given another chance to go and win the game," Mariota told reporters after the game. "It just comes down to executing ... Great job by our coaches and the entire offense for finding ways to make plays and give Koo a chance at the end of the game."

For the record, the last time the Falcons were in first place in the division this late in the year was 2016, the last year the team went to the Super Bowl. And it all came from a game so wild hardly any Falcons had experienced anything like it.

Next up, Atlanta hopes the secondary gets healed in time to face Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. ...

On Wednesday, the team designated running back Cordarrelle Patterson to return to practice off injured reserve, which will allow him to return to work in Wednesday's practice. Smith made that announcement in his pre-practice press conference.

It also opens a 21-day window where he can practice before officially rejoining the active roster. If he's not activated in that window, he'll be placed on season-ending injured reserve.

That's not the expected outcome.

Patterson is on the mend after having a minor procedure on his knee, which Smith stated would not keep him out long.

Patterson was required to miss at least four games on IR, and that time has now passed. It remains uncertain whether Patterson will be ready to play in Sunday's home game against the Chargers.

It will be a big benefit whenever he returns, especially if he regains early-season form. Patterson thrived in his role as Falcons feature back, exceeding 120 rushing yards twice in the four games he played. He only had nine carries in a Week 4 contest against the Browns, where he didn't look right.

Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley have fared well in his stead, pacing a physical rushing attack that remains a highly-ranked unit despite Patterson's injury setback.

In fact, as Associated Press sports writer George Henry notes, the running game continues to be a strength. Atlanta ran 37 times for 4.5 yards per carry against Carolina. Huntley led the attack with 91 yards on 16 carries and had a 30-yarder. Smith isn't going to make any big changes to his approach as long as the Falcons hold their own at the line of scrimmage.

"It's about being unselfish and just trusting your teammate," Huntley said. ...

The combined targets for star tight end Kyle Pitts and receiver Drake London, the No. 8 overall draft pick hit 14 against the Panthers.

Though they are mostly asked to block in Atlanta's scheme, the 14 targets were a boost from six combined the previous week in a blowout loss at Cincinnati.

Pitts and London combined for nine catches, 111 yards receiving and one touchdown. ...

Finally. ... Calvin Ridley is suspended at least through the 2022 season, but when he returns, the receiver will have a new team.

The Falcons traded Ridley to the Jaguars for conditional draft compensation.

In March, the NFL suspended Ridley for betting on games during the 2021 season. He can apply for reinstatement on Feb. 15, 2023.

Ridley missed most of the 2021 season to deal with mental health issues.

The Falcons made Ridley a first-round choice in 2018, and he caught 248 passes for 3,342 yards and 28 touchdowns in his career in Atlanta.

In another move at Tuesday's trade deadline, the Falcons acquired cornerback Rashad Fenton from the Kansas City Chiefs, who got a conditional seventh-round pick in return. Atlanta also sent safety Dean Marlowe to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a 2023 seven-rounder.

In Fenton, the Falcons are getting a cornerback who has played 47 games with 15 starts over his three-plus years with the Chiefs.

You can access complete stats for the Falcons Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Taylor Heinicke, Logan Woodside, Kirk Cousins
RBs: Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier, Cordarrelle Patterson
WRs: Drake London, Darnell Mooney, Mack Hollins, KhaDarel Hodge, Van Jefferson, Scott Miller, Jared Bernhardt, Josh Ali
TEs: Kyle Pitts, MyCole Pruitt, John FitzPatrick

Baltimore Ravens

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

Last Thursday night, the Ravens headed to the locker room at halftime without a touchdown and without their top two targets in the passing game.

But they did have quarterback Lamar Jackson.

"Lamar is truly a home run just waiting to happen. You never know when it's going to come," Ravens right guard Kevin Zeitler said. "It could be the darkest time -- but boom! He is the sun coming just like that."

Thursday's 27-22 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was a reminder about how Jackson can turn a mess into a masterpiece, of sorts. After being held to a field goal in the first half for just the third time in his five-year career, Jackson completed all eight of his passes after halftime, including two touchdown throws, and ran for 42 yards in the second half.

The home-run play that set the tone for Baltimore's most productive second half of the season was a 25-yard run on the Ravens' first snap of the third quarter. Keeping the ball on a run option, Jackson ran past three Tampa defenders lunging at his legs before spinning out of a tackle 18 yards down the field. He traveled 59.8 yards of distance on that run, according to Next Gen Stats.

Jackson and the Ravens produced 24 points after halftime, scoring on all four of their drives before a kneel-down at the end.

"I think he put the game on his shoulders," Ravens outside linebacker Justin Houston said. "You saw the plays that he made. They were big-time plays. I think he didn't panic at all. I think he showed what he's about and what he [does] best and he did it."

In the first half, Jackson was erratic, throwing behind receivers and at their feet. He didn't do anything running the ball, gaining one yard on two attempts. The situation looked even more dire after tight end Mark Andrews (right shoulder) and wide receiver Rashod Bateman (left foot) were both declared out early in the second half.

Down 10-3 at halftime, Jackson led the comeback by relying on a couple of newcomers in rookie fourth-round tight end Isaiah Likely and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, who was signed as a free agent this summer. Likely finished the game with six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown while Robinson totaled six receptions for 64 yards. Jackson completed +27.8 percent of his passes over expected in the second half, his highest CPOE in a half since Week 12 of 2019.

"I think it's disappointing, frustrating, whatever you want to say, but there's nobody in the locker room screaming; nobody's upset," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said about the locker room at halftime. "Everyone just kind of locks in, [we] talk about what we need to do and come out and try to do it in the second half. Lamar probably does lead the charge on that."

Jackson, who won back-to-back starts for the first time since October 2021, usually leads that charge with big plays. His 10 runs of at least 15 yards rank third in the NFL behind Nick Chubb (12) and Saquon Barkley (11). His 15 touchdown passes are tied for third behind Patrick Mahomes (20) and Josh Allen (17).

For the past two weeks, Jackson has been emphasizing finishing. He wanted Justin Tucker to kick more extra points than field goals. In that second half, Baltimore reached the end zone on its first three possessions.

Asked how close the Ravens are to clicking, Jackson said, "I feel like we're very close; we're right there, but there's still room for improvement. The little mistakes, we're still making them out there. [If] we change those, then I feel like the sky's the limit for us."

The win was a confidence-booster for the Ravens. They've led by double digits in all eight games this season but lost three of them. This was the first time they've played substantially better in the second half than the first.

Coach John Harbaugh credited the Baltimore fans who were in attendance on this road trip.

"They were loud, they were into it the whole game, and it really helped us." he said. "This was kind of a fight-to-the-end kind of game from an energy standpoint, in terms of not wearing down and executing when you're tired. Trying to wear an opponent down, both teams were trying to do that, and our guys prevailed in that, and I think our fans were a big part of that."

Now, after surviving this road game on a Thursday night and winning for the second time in five days, Baltimore can now look forward to playing only one game in a 23-day span. They don't play again until a Monday night matchup at New Orleans on Nov. 7.

Then they have their open date, so there's a real chance for this team to heal up for the second half of the season.

But it's not all positive in Baltimore. ... Jackson will be without his top wide receiver for an extended period.

Bateman is expected to miss "a few weeks" after aggravating his left foot injury in last Thursday's win. Harbaugh said it's "disappointing" because Baltimore thought Bateman had just tweaked the foot again.

"There's a little more there from a strain standpoint," Harbaugh said Monday. "It looks like it's going to be a few weeks for him. We'll have more to report on that later in the week."

Bateman, a first-round pick from a year ago, entered this season as Baltimore's No. 1 wide receiver after the Ravens traded Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL draft. But Bateman is third on the team with 285 yards receiving on 15 receptions after missing two games earlier this season with the initial foot injury.

The loss of Bateman creates a void in Baltimore's deep passing game. Bateman ranks second in the NFL with a 19-yard per catch average.

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson is a "possibility" to play in Bateman's absence, Harbaugh said. Jackson, who has led the league in yards per catch four times in his 14-year career, was signed to Baltimore's practice squad Oct. 19.

"He's 35 years old, but he's a good-looking 35, I can tell you that," Harbaugh said. "He's running around really good. I think he probably feels like he's ready to go. If he is, he could be out there."

Meanwhile, Kenyan Drake got the start at running back and the majority of the action. He took 44 snaps (58 percent), compared to 16 (21 percent) for Edwards and Justice Hill each.

Edwards had the most carries (11 for 65 yards) while Drake had seven for 62, but Drake also caught four passes, including a touchdown. The Ravens were pass heavy in the first half, which meant more action for Drake, before they brought out Edwards as the second-half hammer.

Unfortunately, Edwards suffered a hamstring injury in the second half, which meant Drake and Hill finished out the game.

Harbaugh told reporters on Monday that Edwards' injury is a minor strain. Will be questionable for Monday night but hasn't been ruled out.

Andrews was questionable with a knee injury heading into Thursday's game only to go down with the shoulder injury early in the second quarter.

Harbaugh said the shoulder injury is not a "major thing".

After Andrews went down early with a shoulder injury (played just 10 snaps), rookie tight end Isaiah Likely basically took over Andrews' heavy job responsibilities. Likely played 51 snaps (67 percent) after seeing just seven offensive snaps the week before. Likely rose to the occasion with a team-high six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.

I'll be following up on Edwards and Andrews via Late-Breaking Update in coming days. ...

Finally. ... The Ravens added a playmaker to the defense ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline. They acquired linebacker Roquan Smith from the Chicago Bears for 2023 second- and fifth-round draft picks and LB A.J. Klein. Smith brings range to the Ravens' second level as a two-time second-team All-Pro. The former No. 8 overall pick in 2018 generated 607 tackles and seven interceptions in 69 games with the Bears.

The Ravens add the tackling machine to shore up a defense that currently ranks 28th in yards allowed and 20th in points allowed. ...

You can access complete stats for the Ravens Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Lamar Jackson, Josh Johnson
RBs: Derrick Henry, Justice Hill, Melvin Gordon, Keaton Mitchell
WRs: Zay Flowers, Rashod Bateman, Nelson Agholor, Tylan Wallace
TEs: Isaiah Likely, Charlie Kolar, Mark Andrews

Buffalo Bills

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

The chippiness between receiver Stefon Diggs and Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander began when both players ran out of the tunnel at the same time for pregame warm-ups.

But how it ended?

"I don't give a f--- who started it, I finished it. I got the win," Diggs said after the Bills defeated the Packers 27-17 on Sunday Night Football. "I don't deal with moral victories. I don't deal with one-on-one battles because it's not a one-on-one game. ... It's a team effort, and I got a dub. I feel like at the end of the day there are no moral victories."

The trash talk seemingly began when Diggs was spotted running sideways and yelling at Alexander on their way out of the tunnel. Their feud continued as the teams filed back to their locker rooms, and picked up again when they were coming out of the tunnel for the second half.

Diggs was once again the Bills' leading receiver on Sunday night, with a game-high six receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown catch. However, Alexander was not the nearest defender on any of Diggs' targets, per NFL Next Gen Stats. Alexander lined up against Diggs on only three of his routes (13 percent).

Diggs and Alexander had previously faced each other across two seasons when Diggs played for the Packers' NFC North rival, the Minnesota Vikings. Diggs, who spent his first five NFL seasons in Minnesota, became the first player to score a touchdown in eight consecutive games against Green Bay.

"I mean, I always thought he was a decent receiver, but not much I can say about him," said Alexander, who also said he was "just keeping it real" and told Diggs when they came out of the tunnel before the game that Diggs "couldn't mess with me," referring to the receiver as "a little boy."

In the first quarter, while Diggs was on the ground recovering his own fumble, Alexander ran over and appeared to push down on Diggs' helmet.

Alexander also appeared to exchange words with Bills wide receiver Gabe Davis, whom he lined up against on 60.9 percent of Davis' routes (14). Davis was targeted four times with zero receptions with Alexander as the nearest defender.

And Diggs at times got into it with Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas, who gave up three receptions for 85 yards and the touchdown as the nearest defender on Diggs. Following his 26-yard TD catch, Diggs had to be held back by teammates Isaiah McKenzie and Davis from getting near Douglas.

"Of course I'm going to be aggressive and set the tone. And they grabbed me in a crucial moment," Diggs said. "I could've had a flag. So it's not so much as far as like going after a guy, but he knows to be smart. That's just how this game goes when it gets a little chippy."

There appeared to be no love lost between the Bills' offense and the Packers' defense throughout the game.

"It's the most talking that's ever been with another team," Diggs said. "'Cause I don't know why. You know, we don't really do too much talking. You've seen us week in and week out. We just go in and try to get the job done. It happens this way sometimes. I don't care. No matter how a game approaches, I'm a leader in this football team, I'm going to continue to be a leader and I'm going to lead by example. And I'm not going to get pushed around by nobody."

Diggs on Sunday became the first Bills player with 100 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown in three straight games since Elbert Dubenion (1964). He also tied Dubenion for the most games with 100 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown in a season in franchise history (five). Diggs is now tied with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce for the most touchdown receptions this season (seven).

Meanwhile, coming out of their bye week, the Bills' opening possession was far from ideal.

It was a three and out. But after the Buffalo defense forced a punt by the Packers, Buffalo's offense turned to their ground game to kickstart their attack.

Offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey and Josh Allen went with five consecutive running plays on the drive with Devin Singletary handling the first four. Utilizing OL Bobby Hart as a second blocking tight end, Buffalo broke off run plays of nine and four yards to move the chains.

Two plays later, Singletary broke off a 30-yard run. After an Isaiah McKenzie run play was sniffed out by Green Bay for a loss, Allen scrambled on a pass play for 20 yards to set up first and goal.

Two plays later the Bills were in the end zone, with Allen taking a naked bootleg out to his left and drawing the defender before tossing a one-yard touchdown pass to Dawson Knox.

"It was good to see," said head coach Sean McDermott. "I mean, we were two dimensional in those situations. And I thought the offensive line really did a good job and I think Motor was the one carrying the ball maybe James Cook as well a couple of times there."

That first scoring drive, which clicked the offense into gear was the first of five consecutive scoring drives that included three straight possessions that resulted in touchdowns, followed by a pair of field goals staking Buffalo to a 24-7 halftime advantage and a 27-10 edge heading into the final quarter.

The Bills used their run game in a similar fashion in their last outing in Week 6 at Kansas City. Although that game was tied at 10 at the half, Buffalo ran the ball 17 times for 101 yards in through the first two quarters against the Chiefs for a 5.9 yards per carry average. Singletary himself averaged 7.6 yards per carry as he was breaking off runs in chunks.

On Sunday night, Buffalo had 13 carries for 107 yards for an 8.2 yards per carry average, and Singletary averaged 8.5 yards per rush.

Cook, who averaged seven yards per carry in limited work, also had the second-longest pass play of the day when he found space on a play that Allen extended by scrambling from pressure. He hit Cook on a crossing route that the rookie carried to space and Allen hit him for a 41-yard catch and run to set up a first and goal.

The Bills also turned to their run game up 10 late in the fourth quarter. Again, they ran it on six consecutive plays, again making use of Bobby Hart as a blocking tight end. Buffalo was again productive but managed to compromise their own effectiveness.

"I thought that our four-minute offense, towards the end of the game there, was moving the ball," said McDermott. "We were creating some holes and the backs were hitting it and then we got the penalty, and we can't do that. So, we've got to be better there. We've got to be more disciplined."

Still, the Bills may be building some consistency in their rushing attack like they did down the stretch last season. Buffalo's 5.9 yards per carry average was their second-best this season. Their best was in the Week 5 blowout of Pittsburgh (6.7 average).

Next up, a trip to the Meadowlands for Buffalo's first of two meetings against the Jets (5-3). The Bills have won each of their past four meetings. ...

On Tuesday, the Bills acquired running back Nyheim Hines from the Colts at the trading deadline in exchange for running back Zack Moss and a conditional sixth-round pick, the Bills announced.

Hines, 25, had 18 carries for 36 yards and a touchdown this season and also has 25 receptions for 188 yards.

"(He's) versatile as hell," an AFC defensive assistant told Buffalo News staffer Katherine Fitzgerald when asked about Hines. "Tough matchup versus linebackers in space. Can't spy Allen or double-team Diggs as much with Hines as a receiving threat. Tough runner for his size, too."

A fourth-round pick in 2018, Hines has 300 carries for 1,205 yards and 10 touchdowns and 235 receptions for 1,725 yards and seven scores.

I'll have more on the team's plans to incorporate him into the offense via Late-Breaking Update in coming days. ...

Also of interest. ... As noted above, Davis, Buffalo's No. 2 receiver, had an off day while managing just two catches on seven targets for 35 yards.

On the injury front. ... S Jordan Poyer's status is uncertain after he hurt his elbow in the fourth quarter. ... Linebacker Matt Milano sustained an oblique injury. ...

The Bills activated Tre'Davious White to their 53-player roster this week some 11 months after the starter tore a ligament in his left knee.

McDermott made the announcement Monday while saying it's uncertain as to whether White will play in Buffalo's game at the New York Jets on Sunday.

White opened the season on the physically unable to perform list before being cleared to practice three weeks ago. Under NFL rules, the Bills have until Wednesday to add White to the roster or place him on season-ending injured reserve.

White has been a starter since the Bills selected him in the first round of the 2017 draft, and was selected to the All-Pro team in 2019. He was hurt during a 31-6 win at New Orleans on Nov. 25.

The Bills also announced that they have acquired safety Dean Marlowe in a trade with the Falcons. They sent a 2023 seventh-round pick to Atlanta for Marlowe, who joins running back Hines as pre-trade deadline additions to the team. ...

You can access complete stats for the Bills Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Josh Allen
RBs: James Cook, Latavius Murray, Ty Johnson
WRs: Khalil Shakir, Curtis Samuel, Trent Sherfield, Deonte Harty
TEs: Dalton Kincaid, Dawson Knox, Quintin Morris

Carolina Panthers

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

As's David Newton wrote, "Those who follow the NFL but weren't aware of P.J. Walker before Sunday certainly have a new appreciation for the Carolina Panthers' quarterback now.

"Thanks to Patrick Mahomes, that is. ..."

The Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback, enjoying a bye weekend, went on social media late Sunday afternoon and called Walker's 62-yard game-tying touchdown pass to D.J. Moore with 12 seconds left in regulation against the Atlanta Falcons "the best throw of the year and not even close."

Sadly for the Panthers, the play was overshadowed by an unsportsmanlike penalty for celebrating that turned what could have been a game-winning 33-yard conversion kick into a 48-yarder that Eddy Pineiro missed.

Moore took responsibility for the penalty because he took his helmet off, but according to NFL senior VP Michael Signora, the penalty was called because Moore and tight end Stephen Sullivan took their helmets off during the celebration.

Pineiro also missed a 32-yard field goal that would have won the game in overtime. Instead, the Panthers are now 2-6 -- instead of 3-5 -- and in last place in the NFC South after the Falcons converted a 41-yard field goal for a 37-34 victory.

As disappointed as players were on Sunday about the loss, they still were talking about Walker's throw on Monday.

Nobody was surprised Walker made the throw that had a completion probability of 12 percent, according to ESPN Stats and Information, and covered a total distance of 67.6 yards to make it the longest air-distanced completion in the NFL Next Gen Stats era (since 2016).

Defensive end Brian Burns wouldn't even call it a "Hail Mary" since the pass had so much juice on it.

"Usually, when you throw like a 'Hail Mary' it's just in the air forever and its like a jump ball," Burns said. "He caught him in stride. That was a dot."'

Burns added he always knew the 5-11 undrafted quarterback, who entered training camp fourth on the depth chart, had a "cannon."

He also wasn't surprised interim coach Steve Wilks said Walker will remain the starter Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals even though Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold, the first and third picks of the 2018 draft, should be fully recovered from ankle sprains.

"I always knew he could do it," Burns said of Walker. "Sometimes he's dicing us up in practice. He's just got it. I'm happy for him."

Mayfield, who was healthy enough to play against Atlanta, certainly was happy for Walker. He celebrated the 62-yarder by giving Walker what appeared to be kisses on the helmet.

Disappointment still lingered in the air on Monday, but there also was a feeling of hope that Carolina continued to play hard for the third straight game since coach Matt Rhule was fired and second straight game since star running back Christian McCaffrey was traded to the San Francisco 49ers.

Wilks wasn't in a panic mode about Pineiro's misses, saying he had no plans to sign another kicker. He definitely didn't hesitate to say Walker would remain the starter, knowing it could mean making Mayfield or Darnold inactive when all three are on the active roster.

The Panthers have until next Tuesday to activate Darnold, but there's no hurry the way Walker is playing.

Asked if he had ever seen a throw travel as far as Walker's, Wilks said, "You've seen Aaron Rodgers throw quite a few of those."

First a Mahomes compliment. Now a Rodgers comparison.

The loss aside, it couldn't get much better for Walker.

Meanwhile, owner David Tepper said Wilks had to be "exceptional" to get a shot at the job permanently. Wilks has been exceptional at keeping a team competitive that was left for dead at 1-4, and accused of tanking when it dealt McCaffrey.

He didn't let them give up when they appeared beaten Sunday.

He kept them believing they could win by playing hard defensively and committing to the run game, something Rhule never did.

With D'Onta Foreman putting in consecutive 100-yard games, including a three-touchdown effort on Sunday, Wilks has helped Carolina fans forget about McCaffrey for the time being. ...

Wilks' commitment to the running game since taking over is certainly paying dividends. Foreman took advantage of Chuba Hubbard being out with an ankle injury and made the most of his 26 carries. His three TDs were a career best and he looked strong throughout the game, especially when getting to the second level of the defense.

Hubbard plans to return this week, but Associated Press sports writer Steve Reed advised readers to expect Foreman to start and get the majority of carries.

"I thought the offensive line, once again, did a great job and coming off the ball and creating a new line of scrimmage, and giving (Foreman) the avenues and opening up the holes where he could see it," Wilks said. ...

The Panthers' 80 offensive snaps were the most for Carolina since Week 9 of the 2020 season at Kansas City. Foreman played 68 percent of the snaps, a new single-game career high. He became the fourth player in franchise history with 110-plus rushing yards and three scores.

Spencer Brown, a standard practice squad elevation for Week 8, had 18 snaps and got six carries for 27 yards.

I'll have more on Hubbard, who was present for Wednesday's practice (although it wasn't clear if he was working or not), via Late-Breaking Update in coming days. ...

Terrace Marshall Jr. played a career-high 92 percent of the snaps, finishing with 87 receiving yards on four catches. Laviska Shenault Jr. played his most snaps as a Panther, seeing the field for 23 snaps and making five receptions for 26 yards. ...

Finally. ... As Reed noted, Wilks could have a tricky situation on his hands in the coming weeks when both Mayfield and Darnold are healthy and ready to compete.

Like most NFL teams, the Panthers normally only activate two quarterbacks on game day, meaning one of those top-three picks in the 2018 NFL draft won't be suiting up.

If Wilks chooses Mayfield over Darnold, it's hard to foresee that being an issue given Darnold's easygoing personality and the fact he has been out so long. But if Wilks picks Darnold over Mayfield -- sending him from opening day starter to third string -- it will be interesting to see how the fiery, often outspoken No. 1 overall pick reacts.

What will happen remains to be seen.

Wilks wasn't ready to broach the subject Monday on how he plans to handle the quarterback situation moving forward.

"The one thing I don't want to do right now is get into hypotheticals," Wilks said. "So I'm going to wait and see exactly what happens at that time and my decision will be the best decision for this team."

Wilks did praise Mayfield for being the "ultimate pro" in handling his backup role so far. ...

You can access complete stats for the Panthers Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Bryce Young, Andy Dalton
RBs: Chuba Hubbard, Miles Sanders, Raheem Blackshear
WRs: Adam Thielen, Diontae Johnson, Jonathan Mingo, D.J. Chark, Terrace Marshall Jr., Laviska Shenault, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Mike Strachan
TEs: Tommy Tremble, Stephen Sullivan, Ian Thomas, Hayden Hurst

Chicago Bears

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

Coming off a season-high 33 points in a road upset of the New England Patriots, the Bears faced some skeptics heading into Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.

What would the Bears be able to do against an elite defense that entered the game ranked second in points per game at 14.8?

According to's Courtney Cronin, the answer had two layers.

The Bears scored 29 points, which were the most Dallas has given up all season, but it came in a losing effort, 49-29.

Second-year quarterback Justin Fields and the Bears' offense remain a huge work in progress, but the key is progress, and that has been evident the past two weeks.

Fields' 72.5 QBR was the seventh-best in the league for Week 8 heading into Monday's game, and his passer rating of 120 was the highest of his career, although his numbers weren't gaudy. The 23-year-old quarterback completed 17 of 23 pass attempts for 151 yards and two touchdowns, and he picked up another 60 yards with his legs, including a 3-yard rushing touchdown.

"I think everyone is getting more and more comfortable as we game plan and put plays together," Fields said. "[Offensive coordinator] Luke [Getsy] and our offensive coaches have done a great job figuring out what we do good as an offense, what each player does individually well."

Getsy continued to draw up deep passing plays for Fields, who isn't throwing to the most established group of receivers in the league. But further proof Fields' connection with Darnell Mooney is coming together was exhibited on a 36-yard dart to the wide receiver that set up Khalil Herbert's 12-yard touchdown to cut Dallas' lead to 28-23 with 9:48 to play in the third quarter.

The talent gap between the Bears and Cowboys was too much to overcome as Dallas answered with running back Tony Pollard's second of three touchdowns, followed by Dallas linebacker Micah Parsons returning a David Montgomery fumble for a touchdown on the following drive to wrestle back a 19-point lead.

The Bears rushed for 240 yards against the Cowboys, the third straight game in which they topped 200 rushing yards, and the sixth in which Fields -- an essential part of the league's No. 1 rushing offense -- reached 40 yards on the ground.

"I think the guys are starting to really gel," head coach Matt Eberflus said. "You can see that we implemented some things that are really enhancing the skill levels of our players. I think it's starting to open up some things for us, and it's positive for sure."

Fields has accounted for 472 yards and five touchdowns since a Thursday night loss to Washington in Week 6. His passer rating in those weeks (103.4) has increased considerably from where it was his first six games of the season (72.7). So has his completion percentage (68 percent from 55 percent) and rushing output (71 yards per game from 47).

Fields is showing progress, but one major concern remains. He's the NFL's most-sacked (31) quarterback and was hit five times by the Cowboys, including four sacks. He paid a brief visit to the injury tent in the second quarter and said he reinjured his hip.

"He's got to stop taking hits," Mooney said. "I love him, he's a tough guy. But I don't need him to be a tough guy anymore. Just get out of bounds or something, because we're gonna need him."

In fact, it's safe to assume the Bears expecting to use Fields more as a passer going forward.

This after the team acquired wide receiver Chase Claypool in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday.

The Steelers are getting the Bears' second-round pick in return for Claypool.

Claypool, a 2020 second-round pick by Pittsburgh, has 153 catches for 2,044 yards and 12 touchdowns over the last two-plus seasons. Ten of Claypool's touchdowns came as a rookie.

The acquisition provides Fields with help at the receiver position.

Mooney leads Chicago in receiving production with 25 catches for 364 yards and no touchdowns through eight games. No other Bears wideout has more than 164 receiving yards or 11 catches, marks that both belong to Equanimeous St. Brown.

"... You can never have enough weapons and guys that help your quarterback gain confidence," general manager Ryan Poles said Tuesday. "I know a lot of the guys are starting to make plays for us. Adding another receiver is going to allow him to continue to grow and gain that confidence."

The Bears now have two big-body threats at wide receiver. At 6-4, 238 pounds, Claypool gives Chicago a speedy vertical threat, and N'Keal Harry (6-4, 225) has the ability to make contested catches and win one-on-ones in the red zone.

Claypool also brings an element the Bears have not used much this season. Since 2020, his 508 yards off tight-window throws are the fifth most in the league, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.

We'll see how Claypool figures into the rotation in coming days (watch the Late-Breaking Updates section for more on that), but it's safe to say this offense will still be run heavy.

Montgomery rushed for 53 yards on 15 carries and caught three passes for 22 yards against the Cowboys. In addition to Montgomery's output, Herbert rushed for 99 yards and one TD on 16 carries, Fields ran for 60 yards and one TD on eight attempts and Velus Jones Jr. gained 33 yards on two jet sweeps.

The Bears lead the NFL in rushing and have now run for at least 200 yards in three straight games for the first time since 1968. They've topped 200 yards on the ground four times this season after failing to do so in any contest the previous four years.

Asked what accounts for the recent growth of the offense, tight end Cole Kmet said: "Just sticking with the run. That's kind of what our strength is. I don't think that's a secret at this point. They were prepared for it, but we were still able to run that football. So just sticking with the run game and let it create some opportunities for us in the pass game."

Kmet's 10-yard TD reception early in the fourth quarter was his first touchdown since Dec. 6, 2020 against the Lions. ...

Cairo Santos made the only field goal he attempted, extending his streak without a miss to 18, including all 12 he's tried this season. ...

Next up, the Bears will host the Dolphins on Sunday. ...

While the Claypool trade dominated the news in Chicago on Tuesday, the Bears also made news Monday when they agreed to trade linebacker Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens.

The Bears acquired LB A.J. Klein and 2023 second- and fifth-round picks from the Ravens in return. Signed by Baltimore earlier this month, Klein, 31, appeared in two games for the Ravens and has started 81 career games.

It's the Bears' second major trade involving a defensive player in less than a week.

The Smith deal follows last week's trade of veteran edge rusher Robert Quinn to Philadelphia. As Poles continues the rebuild, he's smartly stockpiled picks for players who weren't likely in his long-term plans.

In the past week, Poles has added second-, fourth- and fifth-round picks to his team's draft stable. Chicago currently has nine draft picks in the 2023 draft to go along with more than $100 million in salary cap space. Bears fans were frustrated by the lack of moves from Poles when he took over this offseason. With added draft picks and cap space, Chicago is headed for a pivotal 2023 spring in Poles' rebuild.

Finally. ... After trading for a receiver, the Bears are letting one go from their active roster.

Chicago announced on Tuesday that the club has waived Isaiah Coulter.

A Texans third-round pick in 2020, Coulter played just one game four Houston as a rookie and received just six offensive snaps. When the Texans cut him in 2021, he joined the Bears and appeared in three games for the club last year.

Coulter was promoted to Chicago's active roster in mid-October but has not yet appeared in a game in 2022. ...

You can access complete stats for the Bears Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Tyson Bagent, Nathan Peterman
RBs: Khalil Herbert, D'Andre Swift, Roschon Johnson, Travis Homer, Khari Blasingame
WRs: D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, Tyler Scott, Trent Taylor, Velus Jones Jr., Equanimeous St. Brown
TEs: Gerald Everett, Cole Kmet, Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, Jake Tonges

Cincinnati Bengals

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

As Associated Press sports writer Mitch Stacy reported, playing without Ja'Marr Chase, the Bengals had a rough night.

One that could have ramifications for the rest of the season.

Cincinnati lost its best cornerback when Chidobe Awuzie departed in the first half of Monday's ugly 32-13 loss at Cleveland because of a right knee injury. The 27-year-old Awuzie left the stadium on crutches, and coach Zac Taylor said the injury appears to be severe.

If Awuzie is sidelined for an extended period, it's another tough blow for a Bengals team already playing without Chase because of a hip injury for the dangerous wide receiver.

The growing list of health issues is one of several problems for Cincinnati (4-4), which dropped to 0-3 in the AFC North with its eighth loss in the past nine games in the "Battle of Ohio."

The Bengals were limited to two fourth-quarter touchdown passes by Joe Burrow in the loss to Cleveland. They managed just 36 yards on the ground, compared to 172 for the Browns, and Burrow was sacked five times.

Evan McPherson missed a 47-yard field goal attempt and an extra point, and Cincinnati's defense allowed three second-half touchdowns after holding its opponent without a second-half TD in its first seven games.

The Browns (3-5) had lost four straight games before hosting the Bengals in front of an amped-up crowd.

"This isn't the type of team we are," Taylor said. "It's a 17-game season, and this is one game. We weren't at our best, in any phase. I'm confident that's not who we are, and we can make the corrections and flush this one away quickly."

Burrow threw an interception on Cincinnati's first drive. He also lost a fumble in the second quarter.

The Bengals finished with just 229 yards after rolling to 537 yards in a 35-17 victory over Atlanta on Oct. 23.

Burrow, after throwing for a season-high 481 yards in the win over the Falcons, had a terrible game. It wasn't his worst statistically -- 232 yards, two TDs and a 71.4 completion rate -- but the game got out of hand quickly, and most of his production came after it was way too late.

Without Chase, 15 of Burrow's first 21 attempts were for 10 air yards or less, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. When the game was in balance, Burrow took a few downfield shots. But whether it was due to Chase's absence or another reason, Burrow and the offense just didn't have it.

"We're a better offense than we put out there tonight, even without (Chase)," Burrow said.

Maybe so, but the yards are getting harder to come by for Joe Mixon on the ground, but he did stay engaged as a receiver and picked up some tough yards after his catches. He had a team-high seven receptions for 32 yards as Burrow distributed passes to nine different receivers.

The Bengals faltered behind an offensive line that was overhauled before the season but still lacks consistency and push. Tackle Jonah Williams allowed two first-half sacks that ended drives. With Chase out, Burrow struggled to make explosive plays.

"We weren't playing collectively," said receiver Tyler Boyd, who had three catches for 38 yards and a TD. "We couldn't get that catch to get the offense going. We didn't protect Joe well. Everything was not going our way."

Cincinnati has a six-day week to address myriad issues before the Carolina Panthers (2-6) come to town Sunday ahead of an off week for the Bengals. Cincinnati plays at Pittsburgh coming out of the break Nov. 20, hosts the Browns on Dec. 11 and wraps up the regular season against Baltimore Jan. 8.

You can access complete stats for the Bengals Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Jake Browning, Joe Burrow
RBs: Zack Moss, Chase Brown, Chris Evans, Trayveon Williams
WRs: Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Trenton Irwin, Andrei Iosivas, Charlie Jones
TEs: Irv Smith Jr., Mike Gesicki, Tanner Hudson, Drew Sample, Mitchell Wilcox

Cleveland Browns

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

In the waning minutes of October, the Cleveland Browns cut loose in their locker room, releasing the pent-up frustrations caused by weeks filled with mistakes and injuries that put their season in peril.

There were smiles everywhere late Monday night, some yelling, a few sighs of relief.

As Associated Press sports writer Tom Withers noted, crisp tackling, smart play-calling and sublime execution -- except for a botched trick play -- resulted in their best all-around game this season as the Browns extinguished a four-game losing streak with a 32-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, embarrassing the defending AFC champions in prime time.

Written off. Knocked down. The Browns got back on their feet.

"We have a saying, 'Everything we want is on the other side of hard,'" quarterback Jacoby Brissett said. "You have to go through things for you to cherish things like this and a day like tonight."

There's still plenty of room for improvement, but there are also encouraging signs for the Browns (3-5), who head into a bye week that will provide injured starters time to heal and the team to recharge for its next nine games.

Brissett, who is down to a handful of starts with Deshaun Watson's expected return from an 11-game suspension later this month, savored a victory in which he outplayed Joe Burrow and posted the highest quarterback rating (133.7) of his career.

Other than a fumble when he tried to throw as the pocket collapsed, Brissett had another strong performance as the Browns beat one of their AFC North rivals for the fifth straight time. He completed 17 of 22 passes (77 percent) for 278 yards.

Brissett, hardly known for his speed, also added a 3-yard touchdown run on a play that perhaps best exemplifies his season and the one the Browns are having.

Flushed from the pocket, Brissett sprinted left and as he neared the goal line his mind flashed back to an eerily similar situation three weeks ago. On Oct. 9, Brissett forced a throw into the same end zone and was intercepted, a turnover that sealed Cleveland's fate in a 30-28 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

He wasn't making the same mistake.

"I have been beating myself up about that a lot just because that has been like sitting on my heart," said Brissett, who shook off several hard hits, including a blow to the throat. "I always told myself if I ever get that opportunity again, I am going to make the right decision."

This time, he dived and hit the pylon -- Browns 18, Bengals O.

Brissett learned. So have head coach Kevin Stefanski and the Browns, who after enduring some turbulent days early in the season's first two months believe better ones are ahead in November and December.

"The light was never gone," star end Myles Garrett said, disputing the idea the Browns flipped a switch. "That's all we talked about: Empty the tank, 100 percent commitment to your craft and your brother.

"See what we can get out of it, especially going into the bye week. We had a lot of guys buy completely into that message, and it really showed."

Worth noting. ... Nick Chubb rushed 23 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught his only target for three yards and ran in a two-point conversion.

Chubb found the end zone from three yards out on a direct snap to get the scoring started in the second quarter, then promptly tacked on a two-point conversion to give the Browns an 8-0 lead.

Consecutive Chubb runs of 21 and six yards worked the ball down to the three-yard line on Cleveland's first drive of the second half, and Brissett ran it in on the ensuing play to stretch Cleveland's lead to 18 points.

Chubb put an exclamation point on his night with an 11-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, bringing his season touchdown total to 10.

The star running back has been held to fewer than 87 rushing yards only once all season. ...

According to's Michael David Smith, wide receiver Amari Cooper threw one of the worst passes you'll ever see on Monday night, getting the ball on a trick play and throwing it directly to Bengals defensive back Vonn Bell. Afterward, Cooper put the blame squarely on himself.

"It was an abomination," Cooper said. "It kept running through my mind, 'OK, If he's not open, throw it away.' I didn't really realize how hard it was to throw the ball away, because that's what I tried to do. I did not try to throw it to him. I was trying to get the ball back to the line of scrimmage. I looked up, it was in another guy's hands. It was terrible. Don't have me throwing too many more passes."

Cooper said the Browns had watched film of other teams running the same play successfully, and he thought he could do it too, but he now has more respect for how hard Brissett's job is.

"I was very excited," Cooper said. "I saw it on film work a couple times. It was bad. Much respect to Jacoby and the other quarterbacks out there because they've got a touch position. I'm just going to stick to getting open."

Despite the ugly interception, Cooper had a great game, catching five passes for 131 yards and a touchdown.

"It was clear that it was my fault," he said. "It feels like the whole world is watching when you make a bad play like that. But I've been in the league a while so I know how to keep my composure."

Cooper did that. And he learned that he should stick to catching passes, not throwing them. ...

There were not passes targeted to Cleveland's tight ends, a statistical anomaly and incredibly unusual for Stefanski, who uses more tight-end formations that any coach. ...

Most important, for the second straight week, Cleveland's much-maligned defense stepped up.

With Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney pinching from the edges, the Browns were able to put constant pressure on Burrow, sacking him five times and rarely allowing Cincinnati's QB time to set his feet.

Coordinator Joe Woods' seat has cooled considerably. Despite some key injuries, he's got his group playing at a high level, and the Browns will need to stay there in order to make any playoff push. ...

Meanwhile, rookie Cade York had another long field-goal attempt blocked, this one from 53 yards.

Either Cleveland needs to shore up its protection unit or York has to find a different trajectory on deep kicks. After all, his range is what prompted the Browns to draft him in the fourth round.

In general, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer's units still aren't doing enough to make a major positive impact. While there were no major gaffes Monday night, Cleveland's punt and kickoff return teams haven't flipped the field often enough this season.

The lone kickoff return against Cincinnati went for 11 yards.

Fortunately, the team has a week to reset, self-scout and recover before a Nov. 13 visit to Miami, the first of four road games in five weeks for the Browns. ...

On the injury front. ... Stefanski said top cornerback Denzel Ward remains in concussion protocol after missing his third straight game. ... Tight end David Njoku (ankle), right guard Wyatt Teller (calf) and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah are all progressing and could be back after the bye.

One last item. ... As The Sporting News suggested, trading Kareem Hunt before Tuesday's deadline really felt like a given for the Browns.

Hunt requested a trade in the offseason as he has looked for an extension prior to hitting free agency at the end of the 2022 NFL season, and with D'Ernest Johnson showing last season that he's a more than capable backup for Chubb and the Browns still sitting at 3-5 even after the impressive win over Cincinnati, parting with Hunt felt like a given.

But that wasn't the case.

The Browns reportedly wanted a fourth-round draft pick for Hunt, and there was apparently no team out there willing to meet that demand. That no team was willing to give that up for Hunt is perhaps a bit surprising given that 49ers backup running back Jeff Wilson Jr. netted San Francisco a fifth-round pick, but perhaps just as surprising is that the Browns didn't budge on their asking price.

Unless they plan to extend Hunt, which seems unlikely at this point, he could just walk at the end of the 2022 campaign for nothing. ...

Finally. ... General manager Andrew Berry told reporters he expects Watson to play in Week 13 against the Texans.

As notes, Watson, barring any more legal issues cropping up in the next month, will be under center for Cleveland against his former team on December 4. Watson should be an upgrade over Brissett despite his preseason struggles in Stefanski's offense.

Watson completed 53 percent of his preseason passes for two touchdowns and two interceptions at 6.7 yards per attempt. ...

You can access complete stats for the Browns Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Jameis Winston, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Tyler Huntley, Deshaun Watson
RBs: Jerome Ford, D'Onta Foreman, Pierre Strong Jr., Nick Chubb
WRs: Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore, Jerry Jeudy, Cedric Tillman, Marquise Goodwin, David Bell
TEs: David Njoku, Jordan Akins, Harrison Bryant

Dallas Cowboys

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

Tony Pollard wasn't bragging when he said last week that if the Cowboys' coaches "call it, I'm going to haul it."

He first heard the phrase in a team meeting last week from tight ends coach Lunda Wells and, "it felt like it was a good spot to use it."

In Sunday's 49-29 victory over the Chicago Bears, the coaches called it, and Pollard hauled it while filling in for an injured Ezekiel Elliott, setting a career high in touchdowns (three) and equaling his career highs in carries (14) and rushing yards (131).

"He went out there and backed those words up," quarterback Dak Prescott said. "That's who he is, honestly. Him saying that statement is not about, 'Hey, give me 30 carries so I can show you.' It's, 'Hey, whatever Coach calls for me to do, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability.' Whether that's spelling Zeke in the past just in the run game or going out there and taking the starting role ... He's a playmaker. He's a weapon, and we'll continue to use him. He's just great for this offense and this team."

As's Todd Archer noted, Pollard became the first Cowboys running back with at least 100 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns in the same game since Julius Jones. On Dec. 6, 2004, Jones ran for 198 yards and three scores on 30 carries in a win against the Seattle Seahawks.

Pollard became the first player with at least 130 yards and three touchdowns on fewer than 15 carries since the Carolina Panthers' Tim Biakabutuka in 1999.

"It was big, just to show I can maximize the opportunities," Pollard said. "Just showing that I was ready."

Pollard's touchdown runs of 18, 7 and 54 yards came after Bears touchdown drives that had cut the Dallas lead to 14-7, 28-23 and 42-29.

"We look at Tony as a one and Zeke as a one," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "We're very fortunate to have this duo of backs. We prepare that way. We scheme that way. Tony just took the lead spot and we planned on; the goal was to get him around 20 carries. Frankly if the game would have gone a different direction, he could've gone to 30 ... Tony is a very disciplined runner and he's got the home run speed. His ability to run inside the tackles, but then when he gets on the perimeter, he's dangerous because he breaks tackles, and he can finish the run. I thought Tony Pollard played the way he always does; he just had more opportunities today."

Elliott was the least surprised by Pollard's production.

"I know exactly what Tony is capable of," Elliott said. "Yeah, he's an explosive back. He's physical too. He can do everything. So, I'm proud of Tony and, s---, we got to keep this thing going."

Elliott said his hyperextended right knee was feeling much improved and next week's bye should help him return for the Nov. 13 meeting against the Green Bay Packers. Seeing Pollard excel had Elliott wanting to play.

"It got me ready to be back out there. I was like, dang, that thing ready yet?" Elliott joked, grabbing his knee. "Shoot, today was a good day."

Especially for Pollard, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

His 54-yard touchdown run came on third-and-1 in the fourth quarter.

"It was basically a loaded box. They had a bunch of guys inside, so we wanted to hit them with an outside run," Pollard said. "We did a good job of getting the defenders to bite inside and then we bounced it and were able to hit a big one."

It was the third rushing touchdown of at least 50 yards in his career. Only Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, who was in attendance as the Cowboys marked his 20th anniversary of setting the NFL rushing record, and Tony Dorsett have more in team history with six.

His three runs of at least 40 yards are tied with Travis Etienne Jr. of the Jacksonville Jaguars for the most in the NFL this season.

"We've got two backs who can do it all, and it makes defenses have to think and worry about all the other stuff going on too," All-Pro right guard Zack Martin said. "We still have a lot of work to do, but we did take a step offensively, and it was good to see."

Meanwhile, Jerry Jones stood close to the same spot where seven weeks earlier the Dallas owner was addressing reporters after Prescott fractured a thumb in a season-opening loss.

He seemed as surprised as the rest of us that the Cowboys take a 6-2 record into their open week.

"It was unthinkable," said Jones, also the general manager. "Of course, the most important thing is I was second-guessing, had we gotten ready for ... if we lost Dak?"

One of the NFL's best defenses and mostly mistake-free backup Cooper Rush took care of that.

Now there will be plenty of talk about whether the Cowboys are good enough to end a 27-year stretch without even reaching an NFC championship game since the franchise's fifth Super Bowl title.

Dallas returns Nov. 13 at Green Bay, where McCarthy was a Super Bowl winner with the Packers 12 years ago.

"You have to stay in the moment," Prescott said. "When you play for this organization, you know what the ultimate goal is, so let's not be mistaken about that. You can't get ahead of yourself. ..."

Other notes of interest. ... As Associated Press sports writer Schuyler Dixon put it, "If it's not one thumb, it's the other for Prescott."

His left (non-throwing) thumb was stepped on at the end of what became a 25-yard run on a quarterback sneak.

Prescott was still on his feet, churning his legs behind his offensive line when he realized he was in the open field and still on his feet. He was tackled out of bounds.

"Just my luck right now. It's all right," Prescott said. "We were going down and I guess he stepped on my hand or something. Just scraped right there by the nail. It was just bleeding a lot, but it's not painful."

The break should provide enough time Elliott, Prescott and Dalton Schultz, who has been playing through a knee sprain of his own, to heal up. ...

While CeeDee Lamb is still looking for his first 100-yard game as the No. 1 receiver, he has been steady. Lamb had five catches for 77 yards, taking a hard shot on one grab and scoring a touchdown on a slant.

The 2020 first-round pick is averaging 75 yards per game since being held to two catches for 29 yards on 11 targets in the opener. ...

Micah Parsons recovered a fumble and was on all fours securing the ball when Fields jumped over him instead of touching him. Parsons got up to celebrate, and his teammates told him to start running. The reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year ended up with his first career touchdown on a 36-yard return.

Addressing reporters after the game, the second-year linebacker suggested he deserves some offensive reps moving forward, even proposing a "red-zone package" featuring him as a ball-carrier.

"Zeke said I look just like him," Parsons said of his TD return. "I think I definitely deserve a rep now. They can't say they haven't seen it in a game. So hopefully I get thrown in a goal-line package or red-zone package."

While Parsons made the remark in jest, it stems from a serious desire to play both sides of the ball. Or at least that's what McCarthy alluded to when speaking on the linebacker's TD later Sunday.

"I was obviously very excited," McCarthy said. "But part of me is annoyed because he wants to be on offense already. Now I'm going to have a hard time keeping him out of my office. ..."

And finally. ... An NFL-record 10 trades were made on trade deadline day. None involved Brandin Cooks.

The Texans receiver was not at practice for personal reasons, and his social media post suggests he is unhappy at still being in Houston.

It's unclear how close he got to traveling four hours north on Interstate 45, but the Cowboys discussed a potential deal with the Texans, Ed Werder of ESPN reports.

According to Werder, the draft pick compensation and the $18 million fully guaranteed salary for Cooks in 2023 ended the Cowboys' interest. ...

You can access complete stats for the Cowboys Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush, Trey Lance
RBs: Ezekiel Elliott, Rico Dowdle, Deuce Vaughn, Hunter Luepke
WRs: CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, Michael Gallup, Jalen Tolbert, KaVontae Turpin, Jalen Brooks
TEs: Jake Ferguson, Luke Schoonmaker, Peyton Hendershot

Denver Broncos

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

As's Jeff Legwold reported, after a week in London filled with questions about head coach Nathaniel Hackett's future and what was wrong with Russell Wilson, Hackett felt it was time to look into his quarterback's eyes.

After the Broncos' offense, which entered Sunday last in the league in scoring, opened the game with a lackluster three-and-out, Wilson ended the team's second possession by throwing an interception on just his second pass attempt of the day.

"First quarter, that was a hot start," Hackett said, tongue firmly planted in cheek, after the Broncos' 21-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium. "We come out and go three and out and we throw a pick on the second [pass] play. That comes to that pressing, to people wanting to make things happen instead of operating and not trying to do too much.

"I talked with Russell, told him to take a breath, breathe, just do what he does. And as we kind of came into this game. ... We were able to [make] some efficient plays for him, and that's how he was able to start feeling that groove."

The Broncos (3-5) and Wilson did indeed rebound, driving 80 yards for the deciding touchdown with less than two minutes left to erase a 10-0 second-quarter deficit, snap their four-game losing streak and turn down the criticism thermostat -- at least going into the bye week.

Wilson finished 18-of-30 for 252 yards with a touchdown as the Broncos scored more than 16 points for just the second time this season. It also was the first time they topped 16 points in a victory. The offense also put together a nine-play, 98-yard drive for its first third-quarter touchdown of the season, and Wilson led the game-winning drive that was capped off by Latavius Murray's 2-yard touchdown run.

"We challenged the offense this whole week. We need to be able to make big-time plays in big-time situations. I think that's been the kind of thing that's been holding us back," Hackett said.

Jerry Jeudy stepped up first, grabbing a 25-yard pass to the Jaguars 6, then sweeping in front of Wilson for a tiny toss that he took to the end zone.

Rookie tight end Greg Dulcich came up huge in Denver's second touchdown drive, a 98-yard masterpiece in which he caught three passes for 78 yards, setting up Melvin Gordon's 1-yard TD run.

"I thought that it was great to see Russell feel comfortable, especially on that drive," Hackett said. "Just sitting in the pocket, the line did a great job of protecting him during that time."

K.J. Hamler was the hero of Denver's winning drive, hauling in a 47-yard pass on the first snap and adding a 9-yard run before Murray took it in from 2 yards out.

Hamler, who famously slammed his helmet to the ground after Wilson didn't see him wide open and misfired a pass to a covered Courtland Sutton to seal a loss to the Colts on Oct. 6, gave Wilson a big bear hug as his quarterback was doing a postgame interview.

Hackett has said throughout the offense's balky start this season that he believed players were pressing at times as the difficulties piled up. And he said after Sunday's game it was the first time, given Wilson's interception came so early in the game, he felt he needed to take his quarterback's temperature after a mistake.

"We hadn't had something like that happen to us that early and that quick ... just went up to him and just tried to explain, 'Take what they give you, don't force it,"' Hackett said. "And he looked, and he had a big smile on his face. You learn a lot about a quarterback when they throw a pick, especially early. I've had some quarterbacks that go into the tank, and I've had some quarterbacks say, 'I got that out of the way.' He was able to rebound and come back and make some plays."

"You know, sometimes guys make a play," Wilson said. "Trust our defense, just keep balling, and just find a way to make some plays. Any time something negative happens, it's how you respond."

The Broncos did finish with 12 penalties and the Jaguars did pound out 191 rushing yards -- the second-highest total the Broncos have surrendered this season behind the Raiders' 212 in Week 4. Travis Etienne Jr. finished with 156 of those yards, including a 49-yard run in the second quarter. But the Broncos held Trevor Lawrence to 133 passing yards and intercepted him twice, once in the end zone by Justin Simmons and one by K'Waun Williams with 1:36 left to seal the win.

"With the losing streak, it was good to see [the offense] hold it down," Broncos defensive end Dre'Mont Jones said. "They helped us out more this game than we helped them out."

After a bye next weekend, the Broncos face a formidable second half with two games against the Chiefs and trips to Tennessee, Baltimore and Los Angeles to face the Rams. ...

Worth noting. ... After coming back and beating the Jaguars on Sunday, Wilson said he knew he would bounce back.

"Adversity is temporary," Wilson said, via the Denver Post. "I've never shied away from pressure. You've got to look right at it and keep going and keep believing and stay the course."

Wilson also cracked a joke about his much-mocked high knee exercises on the flight to London, saying after the win over the Jaguars that his high knees helped him on a crucial third down conversion.

"Yeah, I got the high knees on that third down," Wilson said. "While the guys are playing 'Uno' on the flight, maybe we'll all have to."

Receiver Courtland Sutton caught just one of four passes thrown his way and failed to block his guy on a screen pass for the third consecutive week.

Denver's defense, which has held seven opponents under 20 points and is allowing just 16.5 points per game -- second in the NFL behind Buffalo (14.0). ...

Finally. ... Bradley Chubb is heading to Miami. Chubb, the Broncos linebacker who has been the subject of trade talks for the last few weeks, has been traded to the Dolphins.

The package the Dolphins are giving up will be the 49ers' 2023 first-round draft pick, the Broncos' 2024 fourth-round pick and running back Chase Edmonds for Chubb and the Broncos' 2025 fifth-round pick, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The Dolphins have the 49ers' first-round pick next year because the 49ers traded up with them to draft Trey Lance in 2021. The Dolphins forfeited their own first-round pick for violating NFL tampering rules.

Chubb arrived in Denver as the fifth overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, and he's in the fifth and final season of his five-year rookie contract. The Dolphins certainly expect to sign Chubb to a long-term contract extension or else they wouldn't have made this trade.

The Dolphins clearly see themselves as Super Bowl contenders, and now they've added a big piece to a defense that they hope will help them go on a postseason run.

Conversely, Denver gets draft capital and a piece that will provide additional depth to a backfield currently held down by Gordon and Murray.

It's fair to assume Edmonds will be asked to contribute when the Broncos return from the bye. But general manager George Paton told reporters after the deal was announced that Gordon will remains the Broncos' starting running back.

Still, I'll have more on that as developments warrant in coming days. ...

The Broncos also struck a deal to bring another edge rusher to Denver from the AFC East.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that they have agreed to a trade with the Jets for Jacob Martin. The Broncos will send a 2024 fourth-round pick to the Jets and the Jets will send a 2024 fifth-rounder to Denver with Martin.

Martin has eight tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble this season. ...

You can access complete stats for the Broncos Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Zach Wilson, Jarrett Stidham
RBs: Javonte Williams, Jaleel McLaughlin, Samaje Perine
WRs: Courtland Sutton, Marvin Mims Jr., Lil'Jordan Humphrey, Brandon Johnson
TEs: Adam Trautman, Chris Manhertz, Greg Dulcich

Detroit Lions

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

After Sunday's loss to the Dolphins, the Lions are 1-6.

General Manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell received a vote of confidence from team owner Sheila Ford Hamp last week. And Detroit put together a solid first half against Miami, taking a 27-17 lead into the break.

But the Dolphins outscored the Lions 14-0 in the final 30 minutes, once again leaving Campbell to explain defeat in his postgame press conference.

"That was tough, to say the least," Campbell said. "Hey, those guys came back and played well the second half and stayed to their game plan, what they did and we didn't overcome it. We were pretty good in the first half, offensively, and in the second half we stalled out."

The Lions have lost their last five games after defeating the Commanders in Week 2. While they're No. 4 in offensive yards and No. 8 in points scored, they're still last in yards allowed and points allowed.

"My thought is as frustrating as it is, I know how close we are because we are still talking about one play," Campbell said. "And the hard thing is to just keep doing your job and staying in the thick of the storm, and the easy thing is to go down below and get under the blanket, eat all the food and whatever. Guys who are going on the deck and just continue to do their part because they know the sun's coming, those are the guys we're looking for. So that's how I choose to think of this.

"The only way to clean up everything is to go back to work, that's just -- that's all I know. So, we go back to work because if we don't, we have no chance of being in any of these games. So let's get back into it. We had a chance to win that game, and once we get that chance, let's see if we can handle the pressure better and not shoot ourselves in the foot."

Campbell also brought up one of his former coaches when talking about handling pressure.

"I think it's all-encompassing," Campbell said. "Bill Parcells just used to say, 'The only way to win close games is win close games.' So, like, we've got to find a way to win a close game when we're actually playing in close games, and that's how you build confidence to do it. And until then, you've got to do all the little things right. So, I think it's all-encompassing.

"Hey, it's frustrating, but I know everybody's tired of hearing it's close, but I do know we're close, and you just don't know when it's going to turn. But if we don't keep swinging away at it, it'll only get worse."

Close as it may be, as Chris Burke of The Athletic put it Sunday afternoon, "At some point, the Lions need to win a game."

The results have to start appearing at some point. Otherwise, major change will become inevitable.

In the meantime, incremental change began on Monday when Campbell fired defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant with the team at 1-6.

"It was a tough decision, but we're a results-based business," Campbell said Monday. "After seven weeks, it just felt like a change needed to be made."

Safeties coach Brian Duker will take over for Pleasant.

"I think Aubrey is a hell of a coach -- I've got a ton of respect for him," Campbell said.

"But we need to get everyone on the same page and cut our mental (mistakes) in half."

Entering Monday, the Lions defense is ranked last in the NFL in points and yards allowed and the pass defense has allowed an average of 266.4 yards per game and 12 touchdowns with only two interceptions.

More -- and for fantasy managers more important-- change came on Tuesday, when the team traded star tight end T.J. Hockenson to division rival Minnesota.

The Lions give up Hockenson, a 2023 fourth-round pick and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick in exchange for a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported, per sources.

Hockenson was the eighth overall pick in the 2019 draft, then led all NFC tight ends in catches a year later, when he hauled in 67 footballs for 723 yards and six touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl for his efforts, becoming the first Lions tight end to do that since David Sloan in 1999.

He was on pace for even better numbers across the board last year, but shut things down in November after sustaining a finger injury.

The Lions picked up Hockenson's fifth-year option over the offseason, ensuring he would remain under club control through at least 2023 no matter what happened with his contract negotiations. His raw numbers remain good through seven games too, including ranking among the top-five tight ends in the league with 395 receiving yards.

But 81 of those yards came on a single reception against Seattle, and he's otherwise struggled with his week-to-week consistency.

He failed to catch more than four passes in all the other games this season and has topped 50 yards just once.

Even so, this move will make the worst team in the league even worse in the short term, although beefs up the Lions' already impressive war chest in the draft too.

Detroit is now sitting on six picks in the first 100 picks of the draft, two of which currently project for the top 15, including one at No. 1 overall. That's a lot of ammunition for Holmes to continue plugging holes on one of the league's worst rosters.

Meanwhile, after scoring six points combined in losses to the Patriots and Cowboys, the Lions showed what their offense can do with Amon-Ra St. Brown and D'Andre Swift on the field. Detroit put up 393 yards and scored 27 first-half points against a tough Dallas defense.

There were still some hiccups -- they didn't score in the second half, allowing Miami to rally for the win -- but that was the offense that was among the league leaders for the first four weeks.

Will is stay that way?

Swift was back in action for the first time in more than a month, but's Benjamin Raven reports running back wasn't 100 percent while dealing with shoulder and ankle injuries.

And Campbell openly regrets how much work the team gave Swift in his first game back.

Campbell told 97.1 The Ticket's Stoney and Jansen that "he's not back" and they should've spread more of Swift's work around.

"We probably gave Swift one too many carries. We love Swift. Glad he's out there. But he's not back," Campbell said on Tuesday. "He's given us what he has. But it's just not, you know. And so maybe give another one of those carries to Jamaal. These are things you go through and you learn, and figure out what you can do better.

"Those are things that we talk about. We are in constant communication with Swifty. There again, he's out there and he wanted to give it a go. And we appreciate that, but we always have to gauge that. We'll see where he's at this week. That's something that we've thought about. It's, we want to make sure he's up to feeling himself and that we can get the most out of him. Whatever those are, even if that's 10 reps. But we'll gauge that this week. He'll come out here and work in practice and we'll see where it goes."

Swift led the running backs with 33 snaps. But he carried the ball only five times for 6 yards while catching all five targets for 27 yards and one touchdown. The third-year running back spoke with reporters on Monday, saying his role will grow "as I get better each day."

"Yeah, a little bit (of limitations) because I'm still dealing with both of them (injuries)," Swift said. "It just felt good to get back out there with the guys and be able to run around and help, any way possible.

"I can't say that (I'll be 100 percent this season). I don't know. All I can do is come in here every day and attack the rehab and just get better each day. I'm not 100 percent, no, but I'm out there with my team, and that's what matters."

As Raven went on to suggest, it's been a frustrating three years for Swift, both for himself and the Lions.

There have been flashes of dynamic brilliance. Swift had 617 rushing yards and five touchdowns paired with 62 receptions, 452 yards and two scores last season. And then he got off to a hot start this season, running for 144 yards and a touchdown in the opener after spraining his ankle in the first half. And while the ankle slowed him, he was still strong until the shoulder halted things.

He's struggled to stay available while limited in a handful of other games since landing with the team. There were times when the Lions felt Swift could have pushed more, so they focused on teaching him the difference between "hurt and injured." The summer of tough love from running backs and assistant head coach Duce Staley was on full display for reporters in OTAa, and then the world on HBO's "Hard Knocks," but now his status heads into the second half with more uncertainty.

"Yeah, I mean, we hope (Swift will be 100 percent this season), but we'll take it as it comes," Campbell said after the loss to Miami. "It was good to -- look, at least we got him out there moving around. It's better than him not being at the game. And let's see if we can -- how he came out of this game and hopefully he'll be a little bit better next week and maybe a little bit better the week after."

That all starts Sunday when they host the Packers. Campbell, defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and Duker are going to have to come up with a plan to stop Aaron Rodgers while Campbell and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson figure out how to navigate around absence of Hockenson while being mindful of Swift's workload.

Fortunately, the team has running back Jamaal Williams, who scored two more rushing touchdowns Sunday, working behind Swift.

Those who TDs give Williams eight for the season, a personal record. ...

For the record, Swift did not practice Wednesday due to those ongoing ankle and shoulder issues. I'll follow up via Late-Breaking Update as needed. ...

St. Brown caught 7-of-10 targets for 69 yards against the Dolphins.

As noted, St. Brown had a somewhat quiet day, as Hockenson and Kalif Raymond hit big plays early in the game before the Lions cooled off as the game went on. St. Brown was involved throughout the game but got rolling. He had an eighth near reception that was ruled incomplete.

Campbell challenged, hoping that it would be ruled a catch and fumble out of bounds, but the call stood. ...

The Athletic's Colton Pouncy writes that the Lions will "get a good look" at James Mitchell with Hockenson gone.

Brock Wright, Detroit's other main tight end on the roster, was concussed last week, while the rookie fifth-rounder was only recently brought back after tearing his ACL at Virginia Tech last fall.

Mitchell caught his first pass last week and could get some more looks in Week 9, though St. Brown figures to be the early beneficiary of the Hockenson trade. ...

You can access complete stats for the Lions Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Jared Goff, Teddy Bridgewater
RBs: David Montgomery, Jahmyr Gibbs, Craig Reynolds, Zonovan Knight
WRs: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds, Kalif Raymond, Jameson Williams, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Antoine Green
TEs: Sam LaPorta, Brock Wright, James Mitchell

Green Bay Packers

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

As's Rob Demovsky noted, eight games into the season, the Green Bay Packers still don't know how they need to play on offense in order to win.

Head coach Matt LaFleur made one of his biggest commitments of the season to the run (31 attempts) on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, and the production matched (208 yards, most of it by Aaron Jones).

But they still lost their fourth straight game, 27-17, to one of the best teams in football, so even that can't be declared a recipe for success.

The bigger problem is they left Buffalo with nearly half of their season completed, and they still don't have a winning formula.

"We're going to have to push the ball down the field in order to win games in this league," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.

Rodgers actually did some of that for a change.

Both of his touchdowns -- a 19-yarder to Romeo Doubs in the second quarter and a 37-yarder to Samori Toure in the fourth -- were on throws of 15-plus yards down the field. It marked the first time this season he has completed two touchdown passes in the same game on such throws.

But it was more about the running game. Their 30 attempts were the most since their last win, a month ago against the New England Patriots. But because they were so far behind, their run-heavy game plan ate up too much clock to mount a legitimate comeback.

"It just depends on how we're going to play," Rodgers said when asked after the game if he needs to carry the team. "Tonight, limited attempts. For most of the game, we were running the football. So, if that's how we want to play. ...

"If there's more opportunities, I've got to raise my game. If it's like tonight, I've just got to manage the game."

When asked which way he thinks they need to play, Rodgers said: "I'm not sure. Let me go back and look at it and I'll give you a better answer on Wednesday."

As much as LaFleur has repeated this season that they need to get the ball more to Jones, who had his most rushing yards (143) since Week 15 of 2020, even he wasn't ready to commit to that as their offensive identity.

"I do think there is something to having the mix, the threat, because otherwise, like, the fourth down's a great representation of that," LaFleur said. "You start getting everybody up in there, you've got to be able to throw it over their head from time to time as well."

The fourth-down LaFleur was referring to came early in the fourth quarter, when they went for it on the Bills' 26-yard line. They needed only a yard, and as effective as Jones was all night, he got stuffed for a 1-yard loss.

Even Buffalo's Von Miller was surprised they ran it.

"I was like, 'OK, they've got to start passing the ball. They've got to start passing the ball,'" Miller said. "But nope, they just kept on running. I even asked them, I even asked Aaron Rodgers. On that fourth-and-1, I was like, 'Hey, you're not gonna drop back and pass the ball?'

"I'm not going to tell you what he said, because that's my guy. I don't want to get anything started. I was just, it was a shocker for me personally."

LaFleur might have called the game differently had he not lost his fastest receiver, Christian Watson, to a concussion in the first quarter. In Watson's return from a two-game absence due to a hamstring injury, the Packers put in a package of plays to utilize his speed.

Watson's injury left Sammy Watkins, Amari Rodgers and rookies Doubs and Samori Toure as Green Bay's only available wideouts.

Green Bay is scoring just 18.1 points per game to rank 26th of 32 teams.

According to Associated Press sports writer Steve Megargee, the Packers could deal with their issues on offense more easily if their defense was living up to its preseason billing.

That hasn't happened.

Green Bay ranks 29th in yards rushing allowed per game (141.3) and 25th in yards allowed per carry (4.9).

"We need to be more physical," LaFleur said. "I think you look at the teams that are toughest to deal with in this league, especially from a defensive standpoint, and physicality, it jumps out to you. There were moments where we're not always getting that."

While the Packers have given up the second-fewest yards passing per game of any NFL team, quality receivers such as Buffalo's Stefon Diggs and Washington's Terry McLaurin have thrived against this secondary.

LaFleur was asked if he'd consider a midseason firing of defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

"Absolutely not," LaFleur replied.

Rodgers believes Green Bay's defense needs a little more assistance from its offense.

"We've got to help our defense out a little better early in the game," Rodgers said. "When we went on a run back in '16, we started those games faster so we could play more one-dimensionally on defense. We just haven't done that. We haven't put up any points early in games to get our defense to have a chance to pin their ears back and get after the passer."

While this season might feel to some like 2016, when the Packers were 4-6 before Rodgers made his infamous "run the table" remark that sparked an eight-game winning streak all the way to the NFC Championship Game, Demovsky points out the differences: This team at 3-5 hasn't found enough playmakers on offense, has underachieved on defense and has played with a lack of discipline and with a penchant for ill-timed penalties.

"When we went on a run back in '16, we started those games faster so we could play more one-dimensionally on defense," Rodgers said. "We just haven't done that. We haven't put up any points early in games to get our defense to have a chance to pin their ears back and get after the passer."

Next up, the Packers try to avoid their first five-game losing streak since 2008 as they close a three-game road swing at Detroit. The Lions have lost five straight. ...

Other notes of interest. ... Jones has rushed for 575 yards this season to rank fifth in the NFL entering Monday. Jones is gaining 5.9 yards per carry. ...

After failing to catch a pass in a 23-21 loss at Washington last week, Doubs had four receptions for 62 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown. ... Toure had a 37-yard score for his first career touchdown. ...

On the injury front. ... Along with the injuries at receiver, LB De'Vondre Campbell didn't return after injuring his right knee. "I don't think it's long-term, but whether or not he'll be available for this week, I'd say it's kind of up in the air," LaFleur said. ... OL Elgton Jenkins (knee/foot) didn't play Sunday.

I'll have more on Watson and Lazard, who was expected to return to practice Wednesday, via Late-Breaking Update in coming days. ...

In a semi-related note. ... Lazard leads the team with 340 yards and four touchdowns. Tight end Robert Tonyan leads the club with 35 catches. Doubs has 30 catches for 296 yards with three touchdowns.

Watson has caught just eight passes for 64 yards in five games. Watkins has nine receptions for 150 yards.

All of which explains why Rodgers was hopeful the Packers would be in the mix for a wideout before Tuesday's trade deadline.

Turns out they were.

The Bears were able to acquire receiver Chase Claypool from the Steelers in exchange for their original second-round pick in 2023.

But Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the Packers were players too.

In fact, the Packers offered their second-round pick in 2023 for Claypool.

But Pittsburgh believed Chicago's second-rounder would be "considerably higher" than Green Bay's second-round selection by the time the season ends. That's even though both teams are currently 3-5.

And finally. ... The Packers have committed 17 penalties over their past two games and had LB Quay Walker ejected for shoving Bills practice squad TE Zach Davidson on the sideline in the second quarter.

You can access complete stats for the Packers Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Jordan Love, Sean Clifford
RBs: Josh Jacobs, A.J. Dillon, Patrick Taylor
WRs: Jayden Reed, Romeo Doubs, Christian Watson, Dontayvion Wicks, Samori Toure, Malik Heath
TEs: Tucker Kraft, Ben Sims, Josiah Deguara, Luke Musgrave

Houston Texans

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

The Titans didn't make any secret about their offensive plans on Sunday, but knowing what was coming didn't help the Texans do anything to stop it.

Titans quarterback Malik Willis only threw 10 passes all day and one in the second as the team let running backs Derrick Henry and Dontrell Hilliard carry the offensive load in a 17-10 win. The Titans finished the day with 314 rushing yards and head coach Lovie Smith said in his postgame press conference that his defense wasn't able to counteract the physical approach that Tennessee brought to the game.

"We knew who we were playing," Smith said. "One of the best backs in the game. That physical brand of football, we weren't ready to play that today."

Smith was asked where the defense goes from here and the short answer is that they have to get ready to face the 7-0 Eagles on Thursday night.

That's a tall task for any team and it may be too much to ask for the 1-5-1 Texans.

Ranked 31st in the NFL against the run last season by allowing 142.2 yards a game, Smith focused on improving in that area this year.

So far things have gone the opposite way with the Texans giving up 186 yards rushing a game to again rank last in the league -- 30 yards more than the 31st-ranked Bears.

"When you have a hard time getting off of blocks and missed tackles, you have a hard time to getting their big running back down," Smith said. "That was the day."

Smith was asked if the team needed to return to fundamentals in practice this week to attempt to shore up its run defense.

"We've been getting back to the fundamentals," he said. "Sometimes it just doesn't happen, simple as that. We practice each week. Believe it or not, we go over the fundamentals. Some days you miss tackles. (Sunday) was one of those days."

It's hard to say anything is working on this team after the Texans gave up more than 300 yards rushing and didn't crack 100 yards of offense until late in the fourth quarter. They join the Lions as the only teams in the NFL with just one win this season.

Meanwhile, quarterback Davis Mills continues to play poorly in his second season. He had just 64 yards passing with an interception until Houston's last drive when he finally moved the offense. He threw for 88 yards on that possession, capped by a 3-yard touchdown pass to Dameon Pierce, but it was too little, too late for the Texans who lost their second straight game since their only win of the season over Jacksonville Oct. 9.

"This week just shot ourselves in the foot too much," Mills said. "Got in bad situations that are tough to get out of. I felt like that was kind of the story of the game. This was one of those games, can't do much. Flush it and move on to next week."

Pierce struggled to run the ball after having several strong games that made him the top rookie rusher in the league. He caught the late touchdown, but managed just 35 yards on 15 carries after averaging more than 107 yards over the past three games.

"We're a running football team and that's something we pride ourselves on," he said. "We were unable to do that (Sunday) unfortunately, but we're going to get some things corrected up front and we're going to make sure that we get this thing rolling going forward."

Now, after playing perhaps their worst game of the season, the Texans have just five days to regroup before a Thursday night visit by the undefeated Eagles.

"It would have been tough any team we play coming in right now," Smith said. "But a team that hasn't lost. ... It's going to be really tough. They're arguably the best football team in our league right now."

Though he knows Philadelphia will be a huge test for his struggling team, Smith believes the quick turnaround will be good as his team tries to forget about its terrible performance against Tennessee.

"When you play that bad, you can't wait to get back and get that bad taste out of your mouth," he said. "That's the good thing about having a Thursday game. ..."

There was a lot of trade speculation involving wide receiver Brandin Cooks recently and his absence from practice on Tuesday made it look like a deal might be imminent, but nothing came together before Tuesday afternoon's deadline.

A tweet from Cooks that was posted as the deadline passed suggests that Cooks was not happy to find out he'll be staying in Houston.

"Don't take a man's kindness for granted. Covered for the lies for too long those days are done. Crossed the line with playing with my career," Cooks wrote.

Cooks has a fully guaranteed salary of $18 million for the 2023 season.

That was seen as a significant hurdle to overcome in any trade talks and having that money coming his way doesn't appear to be of much comfort to Cooks on Tuesday afternoon. ...

Finally. ... The Texans' final injury report shows that Cooks is questionable with "wrist/not injury related-personal" listed as the reason.

Receiver Nico Collins (groin) was ruled out for Thursday night.

Collins also missed Sunday's game with the same injury.

I'll follow up on Cooks as needed via Late-Breaking Update before Thursday's kickoff. ...

You can access complete stats for the Texans Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: C.J. Stroud, Case Keenum, Davis Mills
RBs: Joe Mixon, Dameon Pierce, Mike Boone, Dare Ogunbowale
WRs: Nico Collins, Stefon Diggs, Noah Brown, Robert Woods, John Metchie III, Xavier Hutchinson, Tank Dell
TEs: Dalton Schultz, Brevin Jordan

Indianapolis Colts

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

The Indianapolis Colts on Sunday deployed their sixth different starting quarterback since Andrew Luck's retirement in August 2019.

Unsurprisingly, after one game with Sam Ehlinger as their starting quarterback, the Colts have not resolved all their quarterback questions.

This problem, now four seasons in the making, won't be solved overnight.

In the end, the Colts lost a 17-16 contest to the Washington Commanders. Their offense produced 17 or fewer points for the fifth time in eight games. The Colts had a negative turnover margin for the fifth time this season (going 0-4-1 in those games). And for the fourth time in 2022, the Colts scored one touchdown or fewer in a game.

That's about as bad as it gets for a modern-day offense.

So, after the quarterback change didn't jumpstart the offense, head coach Frank Reich made another big move.

The Colts announced Tuesday they fired offensive coordinator Marcus Brady.

"This was an incredibly hard decision, but one I felt needed to be made in the best interest of the team," Reich said in a statement, via the team's website. "I appreciate Marcus's commitment to the organization, and he made a significant contribution to our offensive success over the last five seasons. I wish him the best moving forward."

Brady joined the Colts when Reich was hired in 2018. He served as assistant QB coach before being promoted to quarterbacks coach (2019-2020). Brady took over as offensive coordinator in 2021 when Nick Sirianni left for Philadelphia.

The decision to fire Brady comes less than a week after Reich benched Matt Ryan in favor of Ehlinger.

The Colts' offense continued to struggle, netting 324 yards and 15 first downs while turning the ball over twice in Sunday's 17-16 loss to the Washington Commanders.

With Reich calling the plays, it remains to be seen how much canning the offensive coordinator will change the fortunes of the 3-4-1 Colts.

Entering the season with postseason aspirations, Indy has been a disappointment through eight weeks, unable to get out of its own way.

Brady is the latest scapegoat for the Colts' struggles.

If the losing continues, the sword could eventually fall on Reich and general manager Chris Ballard.

Of course, it's safe to say Ehlinger didn't reverse all the negative offensive trends the Colts have established this season.

But here is what he achieved on Sunday: He left the Colts wanting to at least see more.

As's Stephen Holder suggested, decades of history suggest that the 2021 sixth-round selection will not prove to be the Colts' long-term solution at quarterback. But Ehlinger at least looked like he belonged under center against Washington.

Granted, the Colts employed a very different offensive attack with Ehlinger at quarterback. After they attempted an average of 42.4 passes per game with Ryan through the first seven games, Ehlinger attempted just 23 on Sunday. But he was efficient with those attempts, throwing for 201 yards on 17-of-23 passing. He didn't muster a touchdown pass, but he didn't throw any interceptions, either.

Is Ehlinger the answer? Who knows? But after one week, the Colts don't know that he's not, either.

"No disrespect to Matt because I thought he had some good moments," Reich said. "But I thought Sam looked good. He looked really poised. He threw it well. I thought he played well."

Reich, the Colts' playcaller, called a very cautious game but gradually became more aggressive during the course of the day as Ehlinger settled in. But mostly, there were moments when it was obvious the coaching staff took a very specific approach given that it was playing with a second-year quarterback who had not previously thrown a pass in a regular-season game.

Eventually, Ehlinger showed he had earned the right to take greater liberties and made good on those opportunities. First, he hit Alec Pierce with an impressive deep ball for 47 yards. He pushed another ball down the field in the fourth quarter, resulting in a 30-yard pass-interference call drawn by receiver Parris Campbell.

To be clear, Ehlinger can't fix the Colts' broken offensive line (even if he is more mobile and therefore can escape pressure better than Ryan). Sunday confirmed this fact. He also can't fix the underwhelming running game (Jonathan Taylor's aggravation of an ankle injury didn't help, either).

Still, the Colts are telling themselves something about this game felt different. Time will tell if that was mere emotion from a new starter or something more tangible.

"I know we didn't gain, like, a thousand yards or anything like that," Reich said, "but I felt today we could find a rhythm with what we have out there. I felt today that we can put something together and continue to get better."

For his part, Ehlinger sounded all the right notes after the game. A four-year starter at Texas, he is extremely polished in the off-the-field aspects of being a quarterback -- like handling media.

"How do you know you're ready?" he said. "You never know if you're ready until you're put in the situation. My goal now is just to improve every week. I understand that it wasn't good enough, and there's a lot of things to clean up. Just keep improving every single week."

Can Ehlinger improve enough to permanently change the Colts' plans at quarterback?

As Holder summed up, "It's way too early to say. But after one start, he's at least earned the right to keep trying."

The real test comes this weekend when Ehlinger matches wits with Patriots coach Bill Belichick. ...

Zeroing in on some specific issues, Associated Press sports writer Michael Marot pointed to the red-zone offense.

In addition to the turnover woes, Indy continues to be inefficient inside the opponents' 20-yard line. They've settled for far too many field goals, including another when they failed to score from inside Washington's 1. The same problem exists in short-yardage, third-down situations.

Additionally, the running backs were stuffed at key moments because of a lack of running lanes, like when Taylor was stopped for no gain on a critical third-and-3 in the third quarter (resulting in another field goal).

Reich did not provide an update on Taylor, who left in the first half with a twisted ankle. Trainers retaped the ankle and Taylor finished the game. But he missed two games earlier this season with a sprained ankle. Reich doesn't anticipate knowing Taylor status for New England until later this week. Taylor did not practice Wednesday.

I'll be following up on that via Late-Breaking Update as the week progresses. ...

But we might have gotten a clue as Tuesday's trade deadline hit.

That's when the Colts acquired running back Zack Moss and a conditional 2023 sixth round pick from the Buffalo Bills in exchange for running back Nyheim Hines.

Moss, a third round pick (No. 86 overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft, has 91 yards on 17 carries (5.4 yards/attempt) and seven catches for 27 yards (3.9 yards/reception) for the Bills in 2022. Over his career, Moss has 917 yards on 225 carries (4.1 yards/attempt) with eight rushing touchdowns, and 44 catches for 319 yards (7.3 yards/reception) with two touchdowns.

Hines in 2022 had 18 carries for 36 yards (2.0 yards/attempt) with one touchdown, and caught 25 passes for 188 yards (7.5 yards/reception) over seven games. He also returned 11 punts for 111 yards.

Over his five-year career with the Colts, Hines rushed 300 times for 1,205 yards (4.0 yards/attempt) and caught 235 passes for 1,725 yards (7.3 yards/reception) with 17 total touchdowns. Hines joined the Colts as a fourth round pick (No. 104 overall) in 2018.

It's fair to wonder if the team would make a move like this if they didn't have some confidence that Taylor would be available. That said, they also signed Jordan Wilkins to the practice squad on Wednesday. So the tea leaves are hard to read here.

Again, I'll be following up daily, so those invested should check back often. ...

You can access complete stats for the Colts Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Joe Flacco, Sam Ehlinger, Kellen Mond, Anthony Richardson
RBs: Jonathan Taylor, Trey Sermon, Evan Hull
WRs: Michael Pittman Jr., Josh Downs, Alec Pierce, Isaiah McKenzie, D.J. Montgomery
TEs: Mo Alie-Cox, Kylen Granson, Will Mallory, Andrew Ogletree, Jelani Woods

Jacksonville Jaguars

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

As's Josh Alper reminded readers, when the Jaguars hired Doug Pederson as their new head coach this year, there was a lot of talk about the impact his arrival would have on quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Lawrence's rookie year fell short of expectations and some of his struggles were blamed on the fallout from the Urban Meyer fiasco.

Through eight games with Pederson, however, Lawrence hasn't made the kind of leap that many thought they'd see.

After Sunday's 21-17 loss to the Broncos, Lawrence has completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 1,838 yards, 10 touchdowns, and six interceptions. In his first eight games in 2021, Lawrence completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 1,821 yards, eight touchdowns, and nine interceptions. The Jaguars have opened each season with a 2-6 record.

On Sunday, Lawrence threw two interceptions. One was in the end zone on a pass that Lawrence should have thrown away and the second came one play after the Broncos took the lead in the fourth quarter.

He ended the day 18-of-31 for 133 yards.

According to Associated Press sports writer Mark Long, Pederson and general manager Trent Baalke essentially considered Lawrence a rookie following an 11-month debacle under Urban Meyer in which the head coach and his offensive coordinator rarely agreed on how to best use the former Clemson star.

So the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft, the one often called a "generational talent," was mostly starting over in Year 2.

"We still have a lot of trust and a lot of faith in him," Pederson said. "We're just going to continue to grow. We're going to grow together. ... He knows that we've got to be better in a few situations, but again, those are really good learning opportunities for Trevor."

The Jaguars (2-6) have lost five in a row heading into Sunday's home game against the Las Vegas Raiders (2-5).

"I've got to look in the mirror and I've got to play better," Lawrence said, via the team's website.

Pederson said games like Sunday's are "really good learning opportunities" for Lawrence and that the team still has "a lot of trust and a lot of faith" in the first overall pick of the 2021 draft.

Clear progress in the second half of the season will make it easier for others to share that faith in Lawrence.

On a more positive note. ... The Jaguars made a clear statement that Travis Etienne is their No. 1 running back when they traded James Robinson to the Jets last week.

Etienne rewarded their faith in him on Sunday.

Etienne had 24 carries for 156 yards, the best game of his young career, in Sunday's loss to the Broncos. On a day Lawrence struggled, Etienne was one of the few things going right for Jacksonville on offense.

Jacksonville has 712 yards rushing in its past four games, with Etienne becoming the team's top big-play threat. Etienne has 356 yards rushing in three starts, averaging a whopping 7.42 yards a carry.

Beyond that, tight end Evan Engram had four receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown against Denver, finding the end zone for the first time since signing a one-year, $9 million contract with Jacksonville.

He has 29 catches for 231 yards in the past four games.

The team's biggest issue?

Lawrence and the Jaguars are flailing in the red zone.

After scoring just two touchdowns in five trips inside the 20-yard line last week against the New York Giants, Jacksonville went 1 for 3 in those situations against the Broncos.

The Jags are now tied for 24th in the league, having scored 15 TDs in 30 red zone trips.

That needs to change in order to end the franchise's sixth skid of at least five games in the past five years. ...

On the injury front. ... Receiver/returner Jamal Agnew (knee) was inactive for the second consecutive week. He was limited in practice last week, but expected to be cleared for more work this week. I'll follow via Late-Breaking Update as developments warrant. ...

And finally. ... The Jaguars got a much-needed No. 1 receiver for Lawrence -- for 2023, at least.

The team on Tuesday traded for suspended Atlanta Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley, who is sitting out at least the 2022 season for gambling on NFL games.

The earliest Ridley can apply for reinstatement is Feb. 15, 2023.

"We are excited to welcome Calvin Ridley to our organization and the Duval community," Baalke said in a statement. "This is an opportunity to add a proven playmaker to our already talented wide receiver room as we continue to build our roster for 2023 and beyond. We are looking forward to finishing strong this season and integrating Calvin into our program at the appropriate time."

In exchange, the Falcons would receive a 2023 fifth-round pick and a 2024 conditional fourth-round selection, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. The conditional pick could become a third-rounder if Ridley reaches certain incentives in 2023, or it could become a second-rounder if he's signed to an extension.

Ridley, the 26th overall pick in 2018, has one more year remaining on his rookie contract. It would be the fifth-year option and he is scheduled to earn $11.12 million next season.

Ridley, who turns 28 on Dec. 20, had 248 catches for 3,342 yards and 28 touchdowns in 49 games with the Falcons, including 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020.

The Jaguars signed receivers Christian Kirk (four years, $72 million, $37 million guaranteed) and Zay Jones (three years, $24 million, $14 million guaranteed) to free-agent contracts last March. Receiver Marvin Jones Jr. is scheduled to become a free agent after this season and the Jaguars are not expected to bring him back.

Ripley would be the Jaguars' No. 1 receiver and would allow Kirk, the team's leading receiver this season with 35 catches for 498 yards and four touchdowns, to play primarily in the slot, where he's at his best.

Ridley gives the Jaguars the downfield threat they haven't had since Allen Robinson left following the 2017 season. Ridley, who averaged 13.5 yards per catch with the Falcons, has 49 catches of 20 or more yards and five catches of 50 or more yards in his career. ...

You can access complete stats for the Jaguars Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Trevor Lawrence, Mac Jones, C.J. Beathard, Nathan Rourke
RBs: Travis Etienne Jr., Tank Bigsby, D'Ernest Johnson
WRs: Gabe Davis, Parker Washington, Tim Jones, Jamal Agnew, Christian Kirk
TEs: Evan Engram, Brenton Strange, Luke Farrell, Elijah Cooks

Kansas City Chiefs

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

As Associated Press sports writer Dave Skretta suggested, the timing of the Kansas City Chiefs' bye this week couldn't have come at a better time for Patrick Mahomes.

And not just because the bumps and bruises from the first seven games of the NFL season will have a chance to heal.

There was the Kansas City Current, the women's professional soccer team owned in party by his wife Brittany, who played the Portland Thorns for the NWSL championship on Saturday in Washington, D.C (the Current lost 2-0). And the Kansas City Royals, the Major League Baseball club in which he owns an interest, were closing in on hiring Matt Quatraro as their new manager.

Oh, and then there was "Call of Duty" with his buds.

It was playing that game with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Travis Kelce and Marquez Valdes-Scantling a week ago that Mahomes credited with improved communication in the Week 7 win over San Francisco.

For the first time all season, Mahomes looked to be on the same page with his new wide receivers along with his venerable tight end, and the result was an offensive explosion against one of the NFL's best defenses. The 44-23 victory sent Kansas City into its week off 5-2 and atop the AFC West, rather than 4-3 and tied for the lead with the Chargers.

"I don't play all the time," Mahomes explained afterward. "I had a free night on Friday, so I told them, 'I'll get on with y'all for a little while.' It was me, Travis, Marquez and JuJu. Marquez and JuJu are really good. Me and Travis are just all right. We did our part and we went three-for-three with three wins in Warzone, which I don't do often.

"So," Mahomes said in a segue to facing the 49ers, "I felt pretty good about it going into the game."

In truth, Mahomes should be feeling good about the way the first half of the season has gone.

The big question mark surrounding the Chiefs had to do with replacing Tyreek Hill, the speedy security blanket for Mahomes the past several years. But his numbers through the first seven games have been as good as ever: He leads the NFL in touchdown passes (20), yards passing (2,159) and passer rating (109.5) among true quarterbacks, all while facing three of the top 10 scoring defenses in the NFL over that time period.

Against the 49ers, when Mahomes threw for 423 yards and three scores, Valdes-Scantling caught three balls for 111 yards and Smith-Schuster caught seven for 124 and a score. It was the first time Mahomes had two players with at least 100 yards receiving in a game in which neither player was Kelce or Hill.

"Patrick Mahomes is the definition of a Hall of Famer. He's changed the game," Bills pass rusher Von Miller said. "Nobody has ever played the game like he has. He's left a mark on our sport, left a mark on our league.

"And," Miller said, "he's influenced his teammates to play at a higher level than they normally would."

Speaking of Hall of Fame, the win over the 49ers was the 55th in Mahomes' first 70 starts, tying Hall of Famer Ken Stabler for the second most at that stage in an NFL career. Only Otto Graham, another member of the Hall of Fame, has started off better with 56 wins since the NFL began tracking such numbers in 1950.

Mahomes keep rewriting Chiefs history, too.

He just passed Trent Green for the second most passes completed in a career with 1,726, and he needs 360 yards to pass Green (21,549) for second in yards passing. At his current rate, he could top Hall of Famer Len Dawson (28,507) for No. 1 at some point next season, along with breaking Lenny the Cool's record for TD passes (237).

"He's too crazy fun," said another Hall of Fame quarterback, Joe Montana. "He does everything you tell every quarterback you can't do or don't do. He does all of it and does it well. You don't throw off your back foot, don't go this way, don't throw sidearm, don't throw late down the middle. He is one of the most talented guys that you'll see in that position."

The result are plays that few other quarterbacks in the NFL can make.

"Some guys just have that innate ability to look down field and try to make a play," Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said. "He has that pilot vision eyes where he can see the entire field. Some guys don't have that where they can basically see a flag being thrown from their left and also understand, 'I have receivers potentially open down field,' because the defensive slacked off. So, we're encouraging that. We want him to try (to) make a play whenever possible."

The Chiefs made a move over off week they hope adds to Mahomes' ability to make plays when they acquired New York Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney last Thursday for a pair of picks in next year's draft.

Toney was drafted in the first round by the Giants last year and is under contract through the 2024 season with a fifth-year team option.

That makes the trade relatively low risk for the Chiefs, who still have eight selections in next year's draft.

Toney only has two catches for no yards this season in part because of a right hamstring injury he sustained in training camp. He tweaked the injury in Week 2 against Carolina, then hurt his left hamstring in practice earlier this month.

The hope was, Toney will have time enough to recover (he claimed he was pretty much ready to go last week) -- and learn their playbook -- before they begin the second half of the season against the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium.

The newcomer was on the practice field Wednesday.

The Giants were eager to gain draft capital for Toney, who had been bypassed on the depth chart in New York, while the Chiefs were eager to gain a high-upside wide receiver signed for the next two years. Their top two wide receivers, Mecole Hardman and Smith-Schuster, are scheduled to become free agents after this season.

Toney has only appeared in 12 of a possible 24 games because of injuries and a bout with COVID-19. He has 41 catches for 420 yards, including a game against Dallas last year in which he caught 10 passes for 189 yards.

He was ejected from that game for throwing a punch late in a blowout loss to the Cowboys.

The Chiefs had been looking for help at wide receiver ahead of the Nov. 1 trade deadline. They had recently inquired about Elijah Moore, who had requested a trade from the Jets, and veterans Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

If he's able to stay healthy, Toney could end up being a steal in Kansas City, where Mahomes has turned a series of lower-profile receivers into stars. And he would do it at a bargain price for the cap-strapped Chiefs, who would owe Toney just over $1.9 million guaranteed next season and $2.5 million in 2024 before the fifth-year option for 2025.

His skillset, which in some ways mimics Hill, also fits nicely in head coach Andy Reid's scheme. Toney has the speed to beat defenses deep, quickness enough to line up in the slot and can even work out of the backfield.

And finally. ... The Chiefs dealt cornerback Rashad Fenton to the Falcons at the trading deadline, but they're getting another corner back on the field.

Kansas City announced Trent McDuffie has been activated off injured reserve on Tuesday.

A first-round pick in this year's draft, McDuffie has been out with a hamstring injury since Week One. He was designated to return in mid-October, so his 21-day practice window was running out.

McDuffie was the 21st overall pick in the spring. He had one tackle in his first 32 snaps of the season opener.

QBs: Patrick Mahomes, Blaine Gabbert, Carson Wentz
RBs: Isiah Pacheco, Clyde Edwards-Helaire
WRs: Marquise Brown, Rashee Rice, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Justin Watson, Kadarius Toney, Richie James, Justyn Ross, Skyy Moore, Mecole Hardman
TEs: Travis Kelce, Noah Gray, Blake Bell, Jody Fortson

Las Vegas Raiders

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

As's Michael David Smith reminded readers, when Josh McDaniels became head coach of the Raiders this offseason, he was taking over a playoff team, and in the offseason, he added one of the NFL's top playmakers in Davante Adams. Expectations were high.

The results have not been good. The Raiders are 2-5 and turned in a pathetic performance in yesterday's 24-0 loss to the Saints. McDaniels, fresh from a lengthy post-game meeting with team owner Mark Davis after Las Vegas' first shutout loss in nearly eight years, acknowledges he hasn't gotten the job done.

"Obviously that wasn't good enough in any way, shape or form," McDaniels said immediately following the loss to the Saints. "And that's my responsibility, so I have to do a much better job of getting ourselves ready to go here. We're better than that, and I apologize to Raider Nation for that performance and, again, I own that. That's my responsibility, so we have to do much better, obviously, in every phase of the game to be able to compete with a team like that who's well coached, has good players, they obviously came ready to play and did a much better job than we did.

"So it starts with me, and we're going to work hard. We're going to fix it."

McDaniels' job would seem to be safe for the simple reason that Davis won't want to make yet another coaching change after going through two different coaches last season in Jon Gruden and Rich Bisaccia. But McDaniels knows that he has fallen far short of those high preseason expectations.

Indeed, the Raiders, listless and lifeless, fell to 2-5 on the season, and back into last place in the AFC West after winning two of three games, including a seeming get-right 38-20 blowout of the Houston Texans last week.

As's Paul Gutierrez noted, the offense, which looked so in sync a week earlier, was discombobulated by a defense that entered the day allowing 28.6 points per game, the second-worst such mark in the NFL.

As such, the Raiders' offense did not cross midfield until its final drive, when starting quarterback Derek Carr, who had been sacked three times while taking eight QB hits, was replaced by Jarrett Stidham as a safety measure of sorts.

"Embarrassing," said Carr, whose 101 passing yards were the fewest of his career in a game he did not leave with an injury. "We are so much better than that.

"It's going to be an amazing challenge to see how we respond as a team."

The Raiders will spend the next week in Sarasota, Florida, practicing at the IMG Academy in nearby Bradenton before playing at the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6) on Sunday.

Sitting on the sideline as the clock wound down on the Raiders' Halloween weekend horror show in the Caesars Superdome, Carr said he had a similar feeling the last time the Raiders were shut out, on Nov. 30, 2014, in a 52-0 loss at the then-St. Louis Rams.

Carr was a rookie then, and the Raiders were coming off his first career win, after an 0-10, start, and they responded to the Rams blowout by winning another game.

"You can speak into something because you've been through it," said Carr, who completed 15 of 26 passes with an interception and a 50.3 passer rating, the third-worst of his career. "It does give me some things that I can put a finger on with certain guys and with myself to make sure I'm better, to make sure we're better going forward.

"But we've got to correct this tomorrow. We've got to flush it as fast as we can and get ready to practice. Because the only thing that's going to fix it is on that practice field."

Like figuring out how Adams had just one touch -- a 1-yard loss on a jet-sweep run -- entering the fourth quarter and finished with one catch, for 3 yards, on five targets.

Adams' 2 yards from scrimmage were his fewest in a game when he played at least 10 plays since getting blanked in the final game of his rookie season in 2014. This marked the third time this season Adams was held to fewer than 40 yards receiving.

That happened just three times in his last 56 games with Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback in Green Bay.

Urgency, Carr said, will be needed by the Raiders this week with the season on the brink.

"You hope that's the last time [you get that kind of performance]," Carr said. "That's what you hope."

According to Associated Press sports writer Josh Dubow, the Raiders' 3.27 yards per play were their lowest in a game since 2017 and their 1.19 yards per play on first down were their fewest in a game since they had 1.08 in a 7-6 win over Chargers on Oct. 11, 1998. ...

On the injury front. ... Tight end Darren Waller missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury. He tested it out pregame, but was unable to play Sunday. The Raiders are hopeful he can return this week.

Waller was limited Wednesday, as was Adams -- apparently still dealing with lingering symptoms from last week's illness -- and Mack Hollins, who has been playing through a heel issue.

I'll have more on their progress via Late-Breaking Update in coming days. ...

You can access complete stats for the Raiders Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Aidan O'Connell, Gardner Minshew, Brian Hoyer
RBs: Alexander Mattison, Zamir White, Ameer Abdullah, Brandon Bolden
WRs: Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, Tre Tucker, Hunter Renfrow, DeAndre Carter, Kristian Wilkerson
TEs: Michael Mayer, Austin Hooper, Jesper Horsted

Los Angeles Chargers

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

Who would have thought six weeks ago Justin Herbert's ribs would be the least of the Los Angeles Chargers' concerns?

The star quarterback continues to progress from his early season injury, but he has seen his favorite targets and other key players end up sidelined.

The Chargers' lousy luck with injuries seems to be a theme every year, but the first seven weeks of this season have been especially tough.

Despite that, the Chargers are 4-3. But as the players get a well-deserved couple of days rest on their bye week, head coach Brandon Staley and his staff need to figure out how to contend with a short-handed roster, especially on offense.

The one constant Staley has been able to count on is Herbert's ability to weather everything around him.

"I know that it's probably one of the first times where there has been a lot that's happened around him, including within himself in dealing with an injury for the first time," Staley said. "He's experiencing a lot of tough stuff that happens in the NFL, and he's who he always is. He's poised and steady."

Entering Week 8, Herbert is tied for the league lead in completions (203), third with 2,009 passing yards, and fifth with 12 touchdown passes despite playing most of the season with fractured rib cartilage. The injury occurred when he took a brutal hit during the fourth quarter against Kansas City on Sept. 15, but he missed only one play.

After struggling in a Week 3 loss to Jacksonville, Herbert passed for 340 yards and two touchdowns the following week at Houston. Last Sunday's game against Seattle marked the first time he wasn't on the injury report in four weeks.

"It's just continuing to progress, get better, do everything I can to rehab, to get treatment and take care of my body," Herbert said. "As long as you stay ahead and get after it, I think you can limit those."

Making the Chargers' run of injuries worse this season is that nearly all of the significant ones have happened on their home field at Hollywood Park.

Wide receiver Keenan Allen strained a hamstring during the Sept. 11 opener against Las Vegas that would sideline him for five games. Two weeks later against Jacksonville, All-Pro offensive left tackle Rashawn Slater (biceps) and wide receiver Jalen Guyton (knee) suffered season-ending injuries. Linebacker Joey Bosa had a groin injury that will keep him out until at least December.

In the Oct. 17 Monday night overtime win against Denver, Dustin Hopkins kicked four field goals, including the game-winner, but strained his hamstring after the first kick.

This past Sunday, cornerback JC Jackson was lost for the season after rupturing the patellar tendon in his right knee. In the fourth quarter, Mike Williams suffered a high right ankle sprain that will keep him out for at least four weeks.

Of the five receivers that made the opening week roster, DeAndre Carter is the only one that hasn't been sidelined.

"That group has been banged up. It hasn't played together very much, that's for sure," Staley said. "We have to make improvements, for sure, on our whole offensive football team. I want to see that group together playing because that hasn't been able to happen yet so far this season."

Herbert has gone three straight games without going over 300 yards for the first time in his three-year career. He is 1 of 13 on passes of 20 yards or more in the past three games.

With the injuries at receiver, Austin Ekeler has become the first running back in 18 years to have at least 10 catches in consecutive games. His 53 receptions are third in the league entering Week 8. Tight end Gerald Everett has also stepped up with at least five receptions in three of the past four games.

It also hasn't helped that the running game has been inconsistent. The Chargers are averaging 88.9 yards per game on the ground, the seventh-worst mark in the league, and have the league's fourth-biggest disparity between running and passing rates. They've gone to the ground only 34.4 percent of the time compared to passing it 65.5 percent.

Entering Week 8, Ekeler is tied for the league lead with eight touchdowns and is third among running backs with 737 scrimmage yards. More than half of those yards have been receiving. Of his 380 yards rushing, a career-high 173 came in the win Oct. 9 over Cleveland.

Even though the offensive line has struggled with run blocking, it has kept Herbert clean. Herbert has been sacked only 10 times. The line has two rookies, with sixth-round pick Jamaree Salyer taking over for Slater at left tackle and first-round selection Zion Johnson at right guard. All-Pro center Corey Linsley has also missed two games.

Staley's goal during the bye week is to get more consistency out of the running game while increasing the number of explosive plays. Getting back Allen and Joshua Palmer should help the passing game expand.

That said, Allen was not practicing for Los Angeles' extra Monday session as the club began to prepare to face Atlanta on Sunday.

Allen suffered a hamstring injury in the Week 1 win over the Raiders and was sidelined until Week 7. He caught a pair of passes for 11 yards in 23 offensive snaps in the 37-22 loss to Seattle.

Staley addressed reporters on Wednesday and characterized Allen as day to day.

“We are being careful with him. It hasn’t responded the way we have wanted,” Staley said.

Staley added that Allen would not practice Wednesday.

Multiple reporters also noted receiver Palmer and tight end Donald Parham were both participating in Monday's practice and Staley confirmed on Wednesdeay that Palmer has been cleared through the concussion protocol.

I'll have more on all three via Late-Breaking Update in coming days. ...

Remember, four of Los Angeles' next five games are on the road as it tries to get to the playoffs for the first time since 2018. The Chargers' only home game during that stretch is Nov. 20 against Kansas City.

"I think that over the next two weeks, it's just us coming together," Staley said, "and making sure that in the second half of the season, we go into that week and try to maximize this group."

QBs: Easton Stick, Justin Herbert
RBs: Gus Edwards, Joshua Kelley, Isaiah Spiller, Elijah Dotson, J.K. Dobbins
WRs: Josh Palmer, Quentin Johnston, Jalen Guyton, Derius Davis
TEs: Donald Parham, Stone Smartt

Los Angeles Rams

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

As Associated Press sports writer Greg Beacham framed it, "The brightest side of the Los Angeles Rams' latest blowout loss is they don't have to play the San Francisco 49ers again this season. ..."

Almost everything else coming out of Los Angeles' 31-14 home defeat Sunday was pretty dark, and it all cast serious doubt on the Rams' talent, offensive game-planning and overall fitness to defend their Super Bowl title.

The Rams were comprehensively outplayed by the 49ers, a .500 team that has recorded two of its four victories this season against Los Angeles.

Christian McCaffrey embarrassed the team that failed to get him in the trade market, while the running backs in horned helmets were just as ineffective as nearly everybody else.

Not much about these Rams (3-4) suggests they're a team that would benefit from going all-in at the trade deadline this week. The Rams have never been at .500 or worse this late in McVay's six seasons.

"You always want to take into consideration any of your moves not only for the given year, but for the long term," McVay said Monday. "That is certainly a factor, just based on where we're at in the season and what it looks like for us."

General manager Les Snead reportedly was active in discussions about the likes of McCaffrey and Carolina edge rusher Brian Burns, but the one-sided nature of the Rams' four defeats has given no indication this team is capable of contending with the NFL's best.

Most of this ineptitude sits squarely on McVay and his offense. Los Angeles got 163 of its paltry 223 yards Sunday on two drives in the first half, and every other drive was a different shade of awful.

McVay's offensive acumen hasn't overcome the challenges of having a subpar offensive line and a pronounced lack of talent at running back and receiver.

"If you said, 'Is this what you expected through seven games?' No, it's nothing like what we had expected," McVay said. "But this is where we're at, and there's got to be an evolution and an adaptation that's absolutely necessary. It hasn't been good enough, and I take a lot of responsibility for that, but there has been a whole lot of moving parts that have contributed to that."

As noted above, the Rams were bidders for McCaffrey, who provided vivid reminder of why they were interested in him.

McCaffrey became the first player since 2005 to throw, catch, and run for a touchdown in the same game against the Rams. While McCaffrey was putting on a show, the Rams were running for 56 yards on 21 carries with a long run of six yards on the day.

At his postgame press conference, McVay was asked about the team's running backs and said he didn't think they should shoulder all the blame for the shortcomings in the run game before venturing into the subject of adding a back before Tuesday's trade deadline.

"The reason we didn't run the football efficiently wasn't because of our backs, in my opinion," McVay said. "I'll have to go back and look at it, but we are always looking for ways to upgrade the football team, but we [have] a lot of things that we [have to] be able to address and what that means looking forward, getting into the trade deadline or as we progress, we'll be looking at that over the next couple days."

While they were looking at possible additions, the Rams were also trying to deal running back Cam Akers.

Neither of those thing came to pass.

Now we'll all be waiting to see what they do to try to jumpstart a rushing attack that ranks 31st in the league with 68.4 yards rushing per game.

Its most productive rusher, Darrell Henderson, is 54th in the NFL with just 197 yards. Undrafted free-agent rookie Ronnie Rivers, who was released by two teams in August, was the Rams' leading rusher Sunday. McVay refused to specular on whether the disgruntled Akers will still be on the team after the trade deadline after sitting out the past two games.

For now, the answers are not forthcoming. ...

Akers and the Rams seemed primed for a divorce for weeks, with the third-year running back peeved with his role in Los Angeles and the trade deadline looming. But when the clock hit 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Akers was still on the team, not for a lack of other suitors' trying.

The Rams turned down multiple offers for the disgruntled tailback ahead of the trade deadline, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported on Wednesday. Los Angeles is now working with Akers and his representation in hopes that he will play for the team again this season, Pelissero added, per sources.

Akers has been inactive for the past two games for what the team has called "personal reasons."

Whether the former second-round pick is ready this week for a second chance in L.A. remains to be seen, but now that the trade deadline has passed, the Rams and their unhappy running back have run out of options: Either play or part ways. ...

If you're looking for positives, Matthew Stafford and Allen Robinson are finally building a relationship. Robinson had a season-high five catches for the second straight game, including a pair of big third-down conversion grabs on solid throws from Stafford, who appears to be trusting the Rams' big offseason addition more.

Stafford had a solid game overall against San Francisco's formidable defense, making several strong throws and not turning the ball over despite two sacks and five QB hits.

Next up is a long trip to face struggling Tampa Bay, the only team with a worse rushing offense than the Rams. This rematch of a postseason thriller is a golden opportunity to get back on track for Los Angeles, which has long been an excellent road team under McVay. ...

Also of interest. ... McVay said Monday that he anticipates wide receiver Cooper Kupp will play Sunday against the Buccaneers after he avoided structural damage to his right ankle.

Kupp injured the ankle near the end of the Rams' Week 8 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, when he was tackled after making a catch late in the fourth quarter.

McVay said tests showed Kupp had "a little lateral soft-tissue swelling in that ankle."

"I think he's going to be OK," McVay said. "You guys all know how tough he is, and so, really just kind of managing that swelling. But fortunately, there wasn't anything structurally wrong, and so that's very positive news for us."

McVay reiterated Monday that in hindsight, he would not have run the same play to Kupp and left him "possibly exposed to that hit" in the blowout loss.

Kupp had eight catches for 79 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers on Sunday.

Tight end Tyler Higbee had a rough game after fighting through a neck stinger in the first quarter. He struggled in pass protection, and he made an awful drop on a third-down pass that could have kept the Rams in the game.

More on Kupp, who took part in the team's Wednesday walkthrough but not the regular practice, Higbee and the team's plans at running back via Late-Breaking Update as the week progresses. ...

You can access complete stats for the Rams Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Matthew Stafford, Jimmy Garoppolo, Stetson Bennett
RBs: Kyren Williams, Royce Freeman, Zach Evans, Ronnie Rivers
WRs: Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowronek, Demarcus Robinson
TEs: Tyler Higbee, Brycen Hopkins, Colby Parkinson, Hunter Long, Davis Allen

Miami Dolphins

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

The Broncos traded outside linebacker Bradley Chubb to the Dolphins on Tuesday for a package that includes the 2023 first-round pick that Miami acquired from the San Francisco 49ers last year.

The Dolphins also sent running back Chase Edmonds and a 2024 fourth-round pick to Denver for a 2025 fifth-round selection along with Chubb.

The trade is pending Chubb and Edmonds passing physical exams, the Dolphins said.

Miami then replaced Edmonds by acquiring running back Jeff Wilson Jr. for a 2023 fifth-round pick from the San Francisco 49ers in a separate deal, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. The trade reunites Wilson with head coach Mike McDaniel and running back Raheem Mostert, his former backfield mate in San Francisco.

Wilson has rushed for 468 yards and two touchdowns this season.

The Dolphins have pressured opposing quarterbacks on 22 percent of their dropbacks this season, the fourth-lowest rate in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats and Information research. Miami has 15 sacks in eight games, ranked 21st in the NFL.

Chubb has 5.5 sacks, tied for the team lead, and 26 in his career in 49 games with the Broncos.

Chubb is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. The Dolphins are expected to work out a long-term deal with Chubb, sources told Schefter.

With the trade the Dolphins will not have a first-round draft pick next year after forfeiting their own selection as punishment for tampering with Tom Brady and Sean Payton before this season.

The Dolphins signed Edmonds in free agency this year. He has rushed for 120 yards and has scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in his first season in Miami.

The Dolphins entered the 2022 season hoping for their offense to drastically improve and for their defense to carry over its success from the 2021 season, when they led the league in defensive expected points added from Week 8 to Week 18.

While Miami ranks seventh in yards per game through eight games, its defense has sputtered, ranking 23rd in yards allowed per game and 27th in defensive EPA. Chubb fits in as a boon to a pass rush that blitzes at the sixth-highest rate in the league but owns the sixth-lowest sack percentage. The Dolphins rank 27th in pressures with 15 and 69, respectively.

Chubb and Dolphins 2021 first-round pick Jaelan Phillips rank 12th and ninth in pressures created, respectively.

With Chubb's arrival, the Dolphins turned their 2021 trade with the San Francisco 49ers for the No. 3 overall pick into essentially Jaylen Waddle, Tyreek Hill and now Chubb.

Back to the offense. ... As Associated Press sports writer Tim Reynolds noted, it's been nearly four decades since the Dolphins finished a season with the highest-rated passer in the NFL. And they've never had a receiver lead the league in yards.

Hello, Tua Tagovailoa.

Hello, Tyreek Hill.

There was a now-infamous video that the Dolphins posted to Twitter on May 10, showing Tagovailoa -- in a bucket hat and shorts, not a helmet and pads -- dropping back and sending a pass to Hill. The pass was underthrown, Hill was basically standing still when he caught it and tweeters who thought it was an ominous sign for the season reacted predictably.

"Delete this," some wrote.

The tweet is still standing. And Tagovailoa and Hill are standing taller than all others.

The oft-criticized Tagovailoa is the current leader in NFL passer rating; 112.7, which is 3.2 points higher than second-place Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Through eight games, Hill is the runaway leader in NFL receiving yards with 961. He added 188 on 12 catches against the Lions on Sunday.

That's an average of 120.125 receiving yards per game. It projects to a 17-game total of 2,042 yards.

Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson set the single-season record a decade ago, with 1,964 yards. Last year, Rams receiver Cooper Kupp came within 17 yards of tying the record in 2021, the first year of 17 games.

Per the NFL, Hill's 961 receiving yards are the third highest in league history through eight games. Hill passed Wes Welker, who had 960 in the first eight games of 2011 with the Patriots. Hill only trailed Torry Holt (978 yards in 2003) and Marvin Harrison (962 yards in 2000).

With his ninth career game of 10 or more catches and 150 or more receiving yards, Hill is tied with Tim Brown for fifth all time and one behind the four-way tie for most ever. Antonio Brown, Andre Johnson, Julio Jones, and Jerry Rice each have 10.

Hill has four 160-yard receiving games so far this season. That's second most in Dolphins history. Mark Duper had six of those in 146 games. Hill has played eight games with Miami.

And the Dolphins are now winners of two straight, rallying to top Detroit 31-27 on Sunday to improve to 5-3 and remain squarely in the AFC playoff mix.

"I feel like we can be light years better," Hill said.

That's a scary stance. But probably accurate.

"I'm seeing a lot of improvement across the board," McDaniel said.

The Dolphins are 5-1 when Tagovailoa plays, 5-0 when he's healthy enough to finish games.

They lost at Cincinnati when he had the frightening concussion and needed to be taken off the field on a stretcher, then lost their next two games to the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings with him sidelined.

It's not as simple as Play Tua, Win Games.

The defense gave up 64 points in the two games he missed, an obvious factor in those decisions.

But Tagovailoa's two best games of the year -- and of his career -- came when the Dolphins were in trouble.

In Week 2, he had four touchdown passes in the final 12:12, six of them in the game, as the Dolphins rallied from a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit to stun Baltimore 42-38. And on Sunday, Tagovailoa had the first three-touchdown, zero-interception game of his career to help Miami erase an early 21-7 deficit.

And, in similar sentiments to the ones Hill shared, Tagovailoa says he expects more.

"The greatest thing about this game is that you can never get content," said Tagovailoa, who is averaging a league-best 9.0 yards per pass attempt. "You have to continue to keep growing. We'll go and watch the film and look at things that we could've done better."

No doubt, but this much is clear: The Dolphins are different when Tagovailoa is on the field. In the five games he finished, they've averaged 26 points and converted 47.5 percent of their third downs. In the three games he didn't finish or play at all, they averaged 16 points and converted 28.6 percent of their third downs.

Even with Hill on his record pace, his co-star, Waddle -- who has 727 receiving yards and 17.3 yards per catch, can't be overlooked. There were four 700-yard receivers in the NFL this season entering Monday and two of them play for the Dolphins.

Looking ahead, the players were off Monday and Tuesday with the Dolphins scheduled to resume practice Wednesday for a game Sunday at Chicago. ...

On the injury front. ... The Dolphins have made a pair of roster moves along their offensive line.

Miami announced Liam Eichenberg has been placed on injured reserve and Austin Jackson has been activated to the 53-man roster.

McDaniel said on Monday that Eichenberg would miss some time with an MCL sprain. Eichenberg suffered the injury late in the team's victory over the Lions on Sunday.

Jackson is returning from an ankle injury suffered in Week 1. His 21-day practice window after he was designated to return was about to expire. But Jackson's activation doesn't mean he'll be on the field on Sunday.

"We're just going to be taking it day by day and for me, I'm going to be ultra-conservative and see it as very unlikely that I would let him go out there and play this week," McDaniel said in his Monday press conference, "but that process of returning will start and we'll take it day by day with that."

Additionally, the Dolphins have released quarterback Reid Sinnett from their practice squad. ...

You can access complete stats for the Dolphins Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Tua Tagovailoa, Mike White, Skylar Thompson
RBs: Raheem Mostert, De'Von Achane, Jeff Wilson, Salvon Ahmed, Christopher Brooks
WRs: Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Odell Beckham, Braxton Berrios, Cedrick Wilson, Chase Claypool, River Cracraft
TEs: Durham Smythe, Jonnu Smith, Julian Hill, Tyler Kroft

Minnesota Vikings

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

The Minnesota Vikings acquired tight end T.J. Hockenson from the division rival Detroit Lions a few hours before the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday, giving the NFC North leader another skill-position standout for a high-caliber offense.

The Vikings simply downgraded two draft picks with no net loss to make the swap with the Lions. They sent a 2023 second-rounder and a 2024 third-rounder for the Lions, for a 2023 fourth-rounder and a conditional 2024 fourth-rounder. The deal, which was pending completion of Hockenson passing a physical exam, came two days after a serious ankle injury for primary Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr.

The Lions (1-6) previously picked up Hockenson's fifth-year contract option for 2023, so the Vikings (6-1) are getting more than just a short-term rental from a last-place team going through another rebuilding process.

Hockenson has been one of the league's most productive pass-catching tight ends since the Lions picked him eighth overall in the first round of the 2019 draft out of Iowa. He made the Pro Bowl in 2020 and has 2,068 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns on 186 receptions in 47 games, having missed the last four games of his rookie year with torn ankle ligaments and a broken leg and missed the final five games of last season for a thumb injury that needed surgery.

The Vikings now have another proven field-stretching option for quarterback Kirk Cousins to pass to and help keep some of the opposing defensive attention off wide receiver Justin Jefferson and running back Dalvin Cook.

With 395 receiving yards, Hockenson has the highest seven-game total of his career. He has a league-leading average of 15.2 yards per catch among qualifying tight ends.

The Vikings are last in the NFL with an average of 7.3 yards per reception by a tight end, according to Sportradar data. Vikings tight ends also have four dropped passes, tied for the fourth-highest team total in the league.

The Vikings placed Smith on injured reserve on Tuesday, meaning he must sit out for a minimum of four games. He was hurt when he was blocking in front of running back Alexander Mattison during a touchdown pass from Cousins to K.J. Osborn in the fourth quarter on Sunday against Arizona. Mattison lost his balance and fell into the back of Smith's leg.

Hockenson will carry a salary cap hit in 2023 of more than $9.3 million. Smith will become a free agent after this season.

Johnny Mundt, who caught his first career touchdown pass against the Cardinals, has played 223 snaps (48 percent) for the Vikings. Smith has played 253 snaps (54 percent). With backup Ben Ellefson also on injured reserve, the Vikings recently signed six-year veteran Jacob Hollister for additional depth.

Coach Kevin O'Connell called Mundt's performance "ultra-consistent" on Monday, but he also made clear the Vikings were seeking more impact in the passing game from that position. Smith, who missed the entire 2021 season with a knee injury, was being counted on to provide that.

"That's our job as a staff to continue to give Kirk all of the weapons and possibilities to make five eligible come to life," O'Connell said on Monday, before the trade was made. "I expect a lot out of that room when their number is called."

Meanwhile, the Vikings picked up where they left off before their bye: Needing second-half heroics to hold on for a victory. They forced three turnovers after halftime Sunday and closed out the game with two sacks to beat the Arizona Cardinals 34-26.

Their offense set a season high with 34 points, but eight weeks in, fans might need to accept that this is the way the team will play this season: Well enough to win, but needing four quarters and some white-knuckling along the way to do so.

Still, O'Connell and new general manager Adofo-Mensah have the Vikings off to a 6-1 record with five straight victories. Only the Philadelphia Eagles (7-0) have a better record in the NFC.

Minnesota has three more wins than the next closest competitor in its division and has beaten each division opponent already this season.

Up next, reunions abound as Minnesota heads to Washington.

It will be a return to where quarterback Cousins first played for O'Connell, who was the quarterbacks coach for Cousins' final two seasons in Washington. Also, the Commanders are starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who was with the Vikings from 2015-17. ...

Other notes of interest. ... As Associated Press sports writer Brian Hall notes, Minnesota scored touchdowns on all five trips within the 20-yard line on Sunday and is now fifth in the league in red zone percentage, scoring touchdowns on 66.67 percent of their opportunities this season.

According to Sportradar, which tracks the stat back to the 2000 season, it's the second-best rate the Vikings have had in the red zone, behind only a 71.2 percent conversion rate in 2020.

In addition. ... Cook had his first 100-yard rushing game of the season on Sunday with 111 yards on 20 carries. He added a season-high five catches and 30 yards receiving.

Cook scored a third-quarter touchdown as Minnesota ran for three scores in the game. The Vikings ran for a season-high 173 yards, averaging 6.0 yards per carry. ...

Finally. ... Kicker Greg Joseph is just 9 of 14 on field-goal attempts and 16 of 19 on extra-point attempts this season. He missed a 56-yard field-goal try on Sunday, as well as an extra-point attempt.

He's missed his past five field-goal attempts at home, including having one blocked.

You can access complete stats for the Vikings Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Nick Mullens, Jaren Hall, Sam Darnold
RBs: Aaron Jones, Ty Chandler, C.J. Ham, Kene Nwangwu, Cam Akers
WRs: Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, K.J. Osborn, Brandon Powell, Jalen Nailor
TEs: Josh Oliver, Johnny Mundt, Nick Muse, T.J. Hockenson

New England Patriots

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

According to's Mike Reiss, Mac Jones is turning the page to Sunday's game against the visiting Colts, as he returns to play at Gillette Stadium for the first time since home fans were chanting for backup Bailey Zappe to replace him in Week 7.

Calling it tough love from the paying customers might be too kind, but one thing has become clear in recent days within the team's locker room: While a vocal segment of fans might prefer Zappe, coaches and players are united in rallying behind Jones.

That much was clear in the aftermath of Sunday's 22-17 win over the New York Jets when head coach Bill Belichick sought out Jones for an embrace, then the two did something similar in the tunnel before boarding the buses to depart MetLife Stadium.

"I thought Mac did a nice job," Belichick said Monday after having a chance to review the game in which Jones finished 24 of 35 for 194 yards, with 1 TD and 1 INT, while adding four rushes for 25 yards (not including kneel-downs).

"We had pressure on quite a few pass plays, more than we would like, for sure. I thought he made good decisions and had to pull the ball down a couple times and make some key runs for us. … I thought he gave us a lot of good plays."

Sunday was an important, yet imperfect, day for Jones to start building momentum after a rocky start to the season, followed by a three-game absence after suffering a high left ankle sprain, then a three-series cameo last Monday night in which fans called for Zappe.

Belichick cited Jones' toughness Sunday and added: "He managed our team well. That's what a quarterback's job is to do -- to help the team win. That's what he did."

Jones lived on the edge at times with a few questionable throws and was running for his life at other times due to shaky protection against an impressive Jets defensive front. He acknowledged there were times he could have thrown the ball sooner to avoid a sack (he was dropped six times).

The Patriots managed just one touchdown, to pair with five Nick Folk field goals, with Jones saying: "We did enough to put points up, but we want to do better. And we will."

Jones' remarks highlight what appears to be a concerted effort to wipe the slate clean from his challenging start to the season when frustrations sometimes bubbled to the surface.

"There's obviously things you can control, and for me, it's just my attitude and effort, being a good teammate and showing up and trying to lead the guys," he said.

Teammates see it too.

"He looked ready to go, man. Obviously, you know what happened last week [33-14 loss to the Chicago Bears]," receiver Kendrick Bourne said.

Jones said Sunday that members of the offense "did extra things to come together as a team" leading into the game, which he believes must continue to happen in order to produce better results.

"I thought the process is there. I'm just super happy to be a part of this and want to continue to grow here," he said.

Receiver Jakobi Meyers said last week that hearing home fans cheering for Zappe was "tough as a man to see somebody who worked so hard get that kind of treatment." He once again had Jones' back on Sunday

Now, an improved performance Sunday against lockdown cornerback Stephon Gilmore and the 3-4-1 Colts, before heading into the Nov. 13 bye, is the goal.

"I wouldn't say just Mac. It wasn't just him out there trying to fit pieces of the puzzle together," Meyers said. "We all kind of had to come together, block better, run routes better, get open better for him, protect him. It doesn't all fall on him. ..."

Other notes of interest. ... Belichick often says the biggest jump in a player's development occurs between his first and second seasons. According to Associated Press sports writer Kyle Hightower, running back Rhamondre Stevenson continues to be emblematic of that.

He had 71 of the Patriots' 127 rushing yards Sunday and remains the team's leading rusher with 558 yards (4.9 yards per carry) and four touchdowns.

Belichick credits Stevenson's training habits for his success.

"Mondre just gets better every day," Belichick said. "He's one of the guys that I've coached that really has shown just continuous improvement almost every day he walks into the building. Just in every phase of the game. This kid's really come a long way in just every part of his game."

Also according to Hightower, the red zone has been a sticking point for the Patriots all season and it will continue to be after they went just 1 for 3 inside the 20 against the Jets. They remain ranked 29th in the league in red zone efficiency, scoring a TD on just 11 of 24 opportunities this seasons. ...

On the injury front. ... Receiver DeVante Parker received "good news" on tests from the knee injury that knocked him out of Sunday's win over the New York Jets. It has been diagnosed as a sprain, a source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

Parker could miss some time, but it shouldn't be an extended absence and is not considered a major injury, the source told Fowler.

Receiver is one of the deeper positions on the roster, with Parker and Meyers as starters, and Bourne and rookie Tyquan Thornton the next pass-catchers on the depth chart the past two weeks. Veteran Nelson Agholor was the fifth option in Sunday's victory over the New York Jets.

Parker entered Sunday third on the team with 15 receptions for 321 yards and one touchdown, playing 84 percent of the offensive snaps. He was the intended receiver on a slant pass on the Patriots' first offensive play and appeared to injure the knee on that play.

Parker, 29, went to the medical tent on the sideline, then stayed with his teammates for a short period after the initial evaluation before heading to the locker room for further tests.

The Patriots had initially called his return to the game questionable before downgrading him to out at halftime.

Parker was on on the practice field Wednesday.

Also not spotted Wednesday: running back Damien Harris.

Harris missed one game with a hamstring injury but was removed from the injury report two weeks ago and played 32 snaps against the Jets, rushing 11 times for 37 yards and catching two passes for 15 yards. The reason for his practice absence was unclear.

Harris has started six of the seven games he’s played this season, but as noted above, Stevenson has emerged as New England’s most active and productive backfield threat.

I'll have more on Parker and Harris via Late-Breaking Update in coming days. ...

Finally. ... Folk was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance Sunday.

As noted above, Folk sent five field goals and one PAT through the uprights, with the field goals coming from 31, 42, 49, 45 and 52 yards. According to the NFL, Folk is the first player this season to hit four field goals of at least 40 yards in a single game.

Folk has now earned eight Special Teams Player of the Week awards since he entered the league with Dallas in 2007. He’s won four of them with New England. ...

You can access complete stats for the Patriots Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Bailey Zappe, Jacoby Brissett
RBs: Rhamondre Stevenson, Antonio Gibson, JaMycal Hasty
WRs: DeVante Parker, Demario Douglas, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyquan Thornton, Kayshon Boutte, Matt Slater, Kendrick Bourne
TEs: Hunter Henry, Pharaoh Brown

New Orleans Saints

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

As's Katherine Terrell reminded readers, Alvin Kamara challenged the team to "get its swag back" after a prime-time loss to the Cardinals last week.

The Saints (3-5) responded with a 24-0 shutout of the Las Vegas Raiders, led by Kamara's three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) and their best defensive performance of the season.

"I think that's the type of team we're capable of being," head coach Dennis Allen said after the win. "It's a big win for us. We get a little bit of momentum, and so, I felt good about the way our guys played."

He added: "Any time you get a chance to get a shutout in a game, I think that's huge. They're hard to come by in this league. The defense was challenged this week, in terms of stepping up and playing the way they're capable of playing. I thought they came out and played with energy, passion. I thought they played with swagger, which was good to see."

In Kamara's fiery postgame speech after the Cardinals loss, he preached accountability and playing "Saints football." Now he wants the team to do that every week.

"I think [the swagger] is probably on its way back. We had a nice performance right there. But swag ain't s--- if it's not consistent," Kamara said. "You can do it one time, but you've got to be able to string it together. We're looking for the same type of preparation this week. I know I am. I'm ready to go. I'm ready for the next time. I ain't trying really to celebrate this one. I expect to win every week, so I'm not like, 'hip, hip hooray" right now.' I'm like, 'OK cool, we put it together. Let's see if we can do it again.'"

Kamara said he's calling on the team to continue that type of performance against the Baltimore Ravens this coming Monday and beyond after its 2-5 start to the season. The Saints have an opportunity to take advantage of a weak NFC South division with the Atlanta Falcons (4-4) taking first place Sunday after beating the Carolina Panthers in overtime.

"Just because we had a nice game this week doesn't mean that there's a fall-off or taper down," Kamara said. "We've got to do the same thing the next week, and the next week and the next week. Put it together. That's really what swag is. Swag is consistency."

Allen said that he thinks Kamara's leadership has grown this season and that his challenge to his teammates was one example of that.

"I thought it was good to see him step up this week," Allen said. "And you know what? He didn't just step up in his words; he stepped up in his actions. And I think that's what a real leader does."

The Saints came into the Raiders game as one of the most penalized teams in the league and were also the worst team in turnover differential. They made the decision to permanently go with quarterback Andy Dalton as a starter after he had been filling in weekly for an injured Jameis Winston.

The problems that had previously cost the Saints games didn't show up against the Raiders, who could not stop Kamara or tight end Taysom Hill, who ran for 61 yards. Dalton played an almost mistake-free game, completing 22 of 30 passes for 229 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. He also was not sacked, while Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was sacked three times and threw an interception.

"We got back on track, went out there. Our defense played lights-out. That's how our defense plays. That's how they're supposed to play; that's what they expect," Kamara said. "Offense, we went out there and did what we're supposed to do. That's what we expect every week. When it doesn't happen, I'm pissed. I'm sure the coaches are pissed. It's just holding everybody accountable. It's like ethics, you know? Everybody being accountable to themselves and then to their teammates. And then it's just operating a certain [way] of self-accountability, policing each other."

Kamara said the win was also particularly gratifying for Allen, who was fired by the Raiders four games into the 2014 season, leaving Oakland with an 8-28 record. Kamara said Allen didn't mention what a win might mean to him until he addressed the team in the locker room after the game. Earlier in the week, Kamara proclaimed they would "whup the Raiders' ass" for Allen.

"He lied," Kamara said. "During the week, I was for real. I was telling the truth. He didn't really say anything about it. But in the locker room, he was like, 'Yeah, I lied. This [game] meant a lot to me.' I stick to what I said: We was going to go out there and beat their ass, and we did that."

Allen smiled when asked about his feelings on Kamara's statement before and after the game.

"I feel much better about it now," Allen said.

Said Dalton: "I think it's always extra special when you can get a win against a former team. Like AK was saying, he made it seem like it wasn't a big deal, but it is. I'm happy we were able to get the win, not only win but win the way we did. I think that means even more. ..."

Worth noting. ... The use of Kamara in the passing game has increased since Dalton took over at quarterback. Kamara had five receptions for 19 yards in his first two games combined when Winston was in the lineup.

In four games with Dalton, Kamara has 28 catches for 268 yards and two TDs, including his season highs of nine catches for 96 yards against the Raiders.

Dalton "utilized Alvin in the passing game really well," Allen said.

The Saints got a lot of production out of Kamara on Sunday, but it sounds like New Orleans won't have a piece of its depth at the position for a few weeks.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Mark Ingram suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain on Sunday and is likely out for three-to-four weeks.

Ingram -- who had been playing limited snaps for New Orleans anyway -- was on the field for just five offensive snaps. He caught one pass for 2 yards.

At age 32, Ingram has rushed for 196 yards with a touchdown and caught 11 passes for 46 yards this season.

Aside from Kamara, the Saints also have veteran Dwayne Washington on their 53-man roster at running back. But Hill can also take his share of carries to be a threat in the run game, as evidenced by his 10-carry, 61-yard performance in Sunday's victory.

The Saints also played without receivers Michael Thomas (foot) and Jarvis Landry (ankle), as well as cornerback Marshon Lattimore (abdomen) and tight end Adam Trautman (ankle). Thomas, who was expected to be New Orleans top receiver this season after missing all of last season with an ankle injury, has been inactive for five straight games.

I'll have more on all involved via Late-Breaking Update in coming days. ...

One last note. ... Kicker Wil Lutz missed his second field goal of the season from within 40 yards and has missed four of 12 attempts inside of 50 yards.

He had another narrow miss this season, albeit from 61 yards, and it hit two posts. ...

You can access complete stats for the Saints Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Derek Carr, Jake Haener
RBs: Alvin Kamara, Jamaal Williams, Kendre Miller
WRs: Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed, A.T. Perry, Keith Kirkwood, Lynn Bowden, Michael Thomas
TEs: Juwan Johnson, Taysom Hill, Foster Moreau, Jimmy Graham

New York Giants

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

According to Associated Press sports writer Tom Canavan, while they finished the first half of the season with a very unexpected 6-2 record, the Giants showed in their loss to Seattle their margin of error is slim.

The Giants are not one of those teams so deep in talent it can overcome turnovers, penalties, missed assignments, bad luck or even bad calls.

Brian Daboll isn't coaching the Chiefs, or Bills or the Eagles. The Giants are a team with some talent -- Saquon Barkley -- that plays hard and fights until the end. They staged some nice comebacks in beating the Titans, Ravens and Packers earlier in the season.

However, they were not good enough to overcome two lost fumbles by Richie James on punt returns and an anemic offensive performance in a 27-13 loss to the Seahawks (5-3) on Sunday.

"You might be a good team, but if you have breakdowns, then you lose games," safety Julian Love said Monday. "That's what it was for us yesterday: turnovers, penalties. That's the story of the game in the league and we've done a great job up to this point of keeping that in check, so we're going to clear that stuff out of the way and handle that."

What's encouraging for the Giants is they have found ways to win, despite outscoring their opponents by only six points this season. Daboll and his staff have gotten the most out of their players, even the ones stepping up to fill in for an injured teammate.

Don't forget, this was an organization that has had five straight losing seasons and has not been to the playoffs since 2016. In his first year as coach, Daboll has turned things around.

"I think we're all excited," quarterback Daniel Jones said. "It's been fun to win, it's been fun to play well, and pull out some of these games down the stretch. We appreciate the position we're in, we're enjoying that. But there's a lot of work to do. I don't think anyone is satisfied with where we are."

Opposing teams are starting to realize the Giants are a run-first team with Barkley, with no deep threats for Jones. General manager Joe Schoen needs to add a wideout who can make defenses not stay so close to the line of scrimmage. The current group of wideouts is incapable of doing that.

Several weeks back, free-agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr. visited the Giants' facility. But it wasn't officially a visit. And it doesn't mean the Giants aren't interested in a reunion with their 2014 first-round draft pick.

"I had no idea he was in the building," Schoen told reporters on Tuesday, via Ralph Vacchiano of Fox Sports. "Obviously he's a guy we would consider and talk to when he's healthy."

The problem with waiting until he's healthy is that someone else possibly won't wait. There will be an ideal time to make the move, before Beckham has full clearance to play.

The prevailing thought in league circles continues to be that Beckham will end up in Buffalo, when it's all said and done. But there's no current indication with any real certainty as to when he'll be ready to play. Reports originating from Beckham's camp have indicated that he'll be ready to go in the middle of November.

Multiple teams think he won't be ready to play until the middle of December.

The longer it goes, the more informed a decision Beckham will be able to make regarding his next destination. New contenders can emerge, new injuries can occur.

Even today, the dynamics may have altered. The fact, for example, that the Rams weren't able to figure out a deal for a reunion with Texans receiver Brandin Cooks could prompt L.A. to sweeten its offer for Beckham. The fact that the Packers and Cowboys didn't trade for a receiver could put them in play, too.

We'll see if the Giants make a move. ...

Meanwhile, the team is banged up and needs to rest. Barkley has been playing through a shoulder injury. CB Cor'Dale Flott (calf), LB Oshane Ximines (quad), WR Kenny Golladay (knee) and OT Evan Neal (knee) all will be closer to returning this month.

You can access complete stats for the Giants Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Tommy DeVito, Drew Lock, Daniel Jones
RBs: Devin Singletary, Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell, Eric Gray
WRs: Darius Slayton, Wan'Dale Robinson, Jalin Hyatt, Parris Campbell, Isaiah Hodgins, Sterling Shepard
TEs: Darren Waller, Daniel Bellinger, Lawrence Cager, Chris Myarick

New York Jets

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

As's Rich Cimini reported, the New York Jets aren't considering a quarterback change -- not this week, not for the rest of the season.

Zach Wilson received a strong vote of confidence Monday from head coach Robert Saleh, who said he has "full faith" in the second-year quarterback despite three "backbreaking" interceptions in Sunday's 22-17 loss to the New England Patriots.

Saleh said he's planning to ride Wilson for the duration, barring injury.

"Correct," Saleh said. "He's our quarterback."

Wilson, drafted second overall in 2021, never has been benched despite plenty of rocky performances in 18 career starts. He's 24th out of 31 qualified passers in Total QBR (41.8). After three straight games without a turnover, he imploded against the Patriots, who ended the Jets' four-game winning streak.

Saleh tried to spin the positive, saying Wilson is one of the reasons the Jets are a surprising 5-3.

"Nobody had us at five wins at this point to start the season, and Zach is a big part of that," he said.

"He's gotten a lot better," Saleh added. "We expect him to continue to get better. Do I expect it to all be clean? No, every quarterback has their days, but he's our quarterback because we think he's going to get better and he's going to continue to prove why he was the No. 2 pick."

Still, as Cimini noted, Wilson has a maddening tendency to make mistakes when he's under duress, trying to create something out of nothing. All three interceptions came on plays in which he was under pressure from a pass-rusher. He admitted after the game, "Sometimes you sit there and you wonder, 'Why did I just do that?'"

Invoking a theme from last season, Saleh said Wilson must understand that "boring" can be good -- meaning taking a checkdown or throwing the ball out of bounds.

"There's that simple reminder: It's OK to be bored, and just remember you have a bunch of guys in that locker room who are pretty good at football too and they've got your back," he said.

Saleh said Wilson is "pressing," but quickly backed off that word.

"I want to make sure I say this right: He's a young man that wants to prove his worth," the coach said. "To be honest with you, you can prove your worth by just executing and doing your job to the best of your ability."

Wilson has completed only 54.9 percent of his passes, with three touchdowns and five interceptions. He's averaging only 210 yards per game, which got a boost from his career-best 355 yards against the Patriots. In three of the four wins, he essentially was a game manager, relying on the running game and defense.

Saleh might have unwittingly sparked a potential controversy by elevating Mike White to the No. 2 job before Sunday's game, demoting Joe Flacco to No. 3. The move is permanent, Saleh said, explaining that "we need to know what we have in Mike."

White will get more practice reps as the second-stringer, meaning a chance to develop his game. He's also a fan favorite, which means the home crowd could be chanting for him if Wilson struggles Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

"Yeah, it's true, those (interceptions) can't happen," tight end C.J. Uzomah said. "He knows it, we know it as a team. At the same time, he did make good decisions. He did have really good balls. He did the right things. We, as an offense, didn't protect correctly, didn't run the right routes properly.

"Everything always comes back on the quarterback and he has to bear that burden, but it's our job to make sure he knows he's not a one-man team."

Things won't get any easier for Wilson this week.

The Jets are back home to take on the first-place Buffalo Bills before having a week off. A victory would again reset the narrative that New York could be a legitimate playoff contender. A loss, however, would give the Jets a lot to think about during the bye. ...

Meanwhile, the Jets knew the running game would suffer a bit after the loss of rookie Breece Hall for the season. But offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur will have to try to draw more out of Michael Carter and recently acquired James Robinson to help strike some balance on offense.

The Jets ran just 15 times for 51 yards against the Patriots, while Wilson threw 41 passes. ...

Tight end Tyler Conklin got off to a good start after being signed as a free agent in the offseason, but had caught just four passes during a three-game stretch. He bounced back with four catches last week at Denver and followed with six receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns against New England.

Wide receiver Elijah Moore was back in the Jets lineup on Sunday, but he doesn't seem to be any happier about his role in the offense.

Moore did not play in Week 7 after complaining about a lack of passes his way and requesting a trade away from the team. He returned to practice this week and played in Sunday's 22-17 loss to the Patriots, but was only targeted one time and was clearly frustrated by that when he spoke to reporters after the game.

Moore was asked about his chemistry with Wilson.

"I don't even know, I couldn't even tell you. I don't get the ball. I don't know," Moore said, via SNY.

Despite his complaints, the trade deadline passed on Tuesday afternoon and Moore remains a member of the Jets.

At a post-deadline press conference, general manager Joe Douglas said the team got "some calls" about Moore but that the wideout "was always going to be" staying put. Douglas also said that he still sees a bright future for Moore with the organization.

"We're a football family and any time there's an issue we like to handle that in-house. But I was able to have a really good one-on-one conversation with Elijah. We think he has a bright future as a New York Jet," Douglas said.

The Jets did make one trade on Tuesday. They sent edge rusher Jacob Martin and a 2024 fifth-round pick to the Broncos for a 2024 fourth-round pick. ...

On the injury front. ... Receiver Corey Davis (knee) is day to day after sitting out Sunday. ... Saleh said OTs George Fant (knee) and Max Mitchell (knee) will remain on injured reserve until after the bye week.

I'll have more on Davis, who did not practice Wednesday, via Late-Breaking Update as the week progresses. ...

You can access complete stats for the Jets Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Trevor Siemian, Tyrod Taylor, Aaron Rodgers
RBs: Breece Hall, Israel Abanikanda
WRs: Garrett Wilson, Xavier Gipson, Jason Brownlee, Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Mike Williams, Charles Irvin
TEs: Tyler Conklin, Jeremy Ruckert, C.J. Uzomah, Kenny Yeboah

Philadelphia Eagles

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

Wide receiver A.J. Brown had three rather dazzling touchdown catches to admire following Sunday's 35-13 romp of the Pittsburgh Steelers -- a win that elevated Philadelphia to 7-0 for just the second time in franchise history. But it was the one that got away that he was studying with fellow receiver Zach Pascal at his locker after the game.

According to's Tim McManus, Brown pulled up the video on his phone of his 43-yard catch-and-run early in the fourth quarter, where he cut inside for extra yards before being tripped up by safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. His teammates had been razzing him for getting caught from behind -- a first in his professional career, Brown contends -- and he was pleading his case as to why it happened.

"See what I'm saying? I would have went wide and to the left but I didn't know where he was!" Brown said.

Pascal wasn't buying it.

"They wanted you to come out that much. Nah, bro. Nah, bro," Pascal said as he walked away, both of them breaking into laughter.

McManus went on to suggest that there's room for improvement off a dominating six-catch, 156-yard, three-score performance speaks to the orbit he has rocketed to seven games deep into his tenure with the Eagles.

Brown is the first player with 100 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns in the first half of a game since Tampa Bay's Mike Evans in Week 3 of 2019, according to ESPN Stats and Information research. He became just the third receiver since 2006 -- when ESPN began tracking air yards -- to have three receiving touchdowns of 20-plus air yards in a single game.

Following his third score, a 29-yarder from quarterback Jalen Hurts in the right corner of the end zone with Fitzpatrick and corner Ahkello Witherspoon sandwiching him, Brown got flagged for taunting for pointing to each of them and saying, "One, two [defenders], that's not enough."

On this afternoon, he was right.

One slight concern about the undefeated Eagles entering their Week 7 bye was their lack of scoring in the second half. Asked how they were able to keep their foot on the gas against Pittsburgh, resulting in two more touchdowns, right tackle Lane Johnson said: "Just throw that motherf------ to No. 11. That guy had a special day."

The same can be said for Hurts, who set a career-high with four touchdown tosses. His budding chemistry with Brown is apparent. His last two touchdown strikes to Brown couldn't have synced up better. The first wasn't even supposed to go to Brown, who was running a clearing route for DeVonta Smith, but Hurts saw Fitzpatrick playing a little low in coverage, went off-script, and banked on Brown to turn on the jets and make a play.

"I have a lot of trust in A.J. I think that's a lot of the reason why he's here," Hurts said. "We've always had a great relationship. It's been beautiful to see how it's unfolded throughout the year, personally for him and I, and us on the field. I always had a lot of admiration for his mentality. He's been doing great things for us, I'm proud of him as a friend and as a quarterback."

Brown, 25, set career-highs in both touchdowns and yards Sunday. He became the first Eagle to record 650-plus receiving yards (659) and 5-plus touchdowns (5) in the first seven games of a season since Terrell Owens in 2005 (763 yards, 6 TDs).

He's playing as well as he ever has, and as his teammates reminded him in the locker room afterward with some playful ribbing, he has room yet to grow. Given that he's less than a half-season into his time with Hurts and in this offense, there's reason to believe he and the Eagles haven't yet shown everything they're capable of -- a scary prospect for the rest of the NFC.

"This team is hungry and most importantly, humble. We know there is a lot of work to be done. We still have not played a complete game, and I promise you, everybody in this room is going to know when we play a complete game," Brown said. "Once we do that, the whole world will know that."

Of course, it's not all Brown all the time.

Tight end Dallas Goedert caught six passes for 64 yards and is on pace for more than 1,000 yards receiving. He has yet to have a breakout game like the Eagles' wide receivers but it's hard not to feel like his time is coming.

Hurts has been thrilled that the Eagles are loaded with talented receivers that he can hit just about any time for a game-busting play.

"When I'm playing with them in the game I'm like, I got my popcorn ready after I throw them the ball," he said. "I want to make sure I do my job to get them the ball and then I can be a fan and watch them go to work. I think that's just a testament to them.

"I think for us, it looks differently by the day but we always prepare together and we always go onto the field and go into a game and try and be on the same page and I think that's allowed us to be productive."

There are few knocks on the Eagles -- did you hear they are undefeated? -- but special teams continues to be a sore point.

The Steelers picked up a first down on a fake punt and Philly's return game has been a nonfactor.

But there are no major concerns heading into Week 9.

All that's missing in Houston is the Rocky statue to make all the fans that flocked to the city feel like they're home. The Eagles play Thursday at Houston and the Phillies, their sports complex neighbors, could return Friday and Saturday for Games 6 and 7 of the World Series. ...

One last note on Brown. ... On Monday morning, the NFL asked him to do a drug test -- which are supposedly assigned at random.

Brown didn't seem too sure about the randomness of the test, and mentioned NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a tweet about the situation.

"I would have a drug test this morning huh lol Rogerrrrr this is not random @NFL," he wrote on Monday. ...

By the way. ... Hurts has won 10 straight regular-season starts, the longest such streak in franchise history and the longest active streak in the NFL.

Their next three games are against the Texans, Washington Commanders and Indianapolis Colts, none of whom entered Week 8 with a winning record. ...

And finally. ... The Eagles not only ruled defensive tackle Jordan Davis out for Thursday's game against the Texans, they put him on injuured reserve..

Davis was wearing a walking boot and using crutches after hurting his ankle in last Sunday's win over the Steelers. He'll miss at least four weeks.

Cornerback Josiah Scott has been ruled out for Thursday night due to an ankle injury.

The Eagles listed 10 other players as limited participants on Monday, but all of them were listed as resting. None of the 10 players was listed on Tuesday's injury report or drew an injury designation on Wednesday.

You can access complete stats for the Eagles Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Jalen Hurts, Marcus Mariota, Kenny Pickett, Tanner McKee
RBs: Saquon Barkley, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott, Rashaad Penny
WRs: A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Julio Jones, Olamide Zaccheaus, Quez Watkins
TEs: Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra, Albert Okwuegbunam

Pittsburgh Steelers

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

First-year Steelers' GM Omar Khan had a busy first NFL trade deadline, shipping out one player and adding another.

The Steelers acquired veteran cornerback William Jackson III from the Washington Commanders and traded wide receiver Chase Claypool to the Chicago Bears. The Steelers acquired the Bears' original 2023 second-round pick for Claypool. They acquired Jackson and a conditional 2025 seventh-round pick from the Commanders for a conditional 2025 sixth-round pick.

In Jackson, the Steelers acquired a veteran cornerback with whom they're quite familiar. Jackson was a first-round pick of the Bengals in 2016.

Jackson, who just turned 30 last week, has appeared in 75 career games, 64 of them starts. He has 205 career tackles with five interceptions, 51 pass defenses and one sack.

Jackson has appeared in just four games for the Commanders this season, sitting out since Week 5 because of a back issue.

In eight career games against the Steelers, Jackson has 25 tackles and six pass defenses.

Jackson joins a Steelers secondary that has been banged up this season. Cam Sutton, Ahkello Witherspoon and Levi Wallace all have missed at least one game this season because of injury.

The Steelers have given up an NFL-high 17 touchdown passes this season, though they also have picked off eight passes, which is tied for fourth.

In 39 career games with the Steelers, Claypool, 24, caught 153 passes for 2,044 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also had 32 rushes for 167 yards and two scores, while also throwing one touchdown pass, that coming in last week's 35-13 loss at Philadelphia.

Claypool had 32 receptions for 311 yards and a touchdown on the season.

Claypool was at practice Tuesday afternoon and briefly spoke with the media at his locker afterward about his bye week approach and discussions in the wide receiver room.

He left the locker room shortly after the interview. With a few minutes left in the open locker room period, news broke that the wide receiver was heading to Chicago. The room was emptying out, but players who were still around got noticeably quieter, including a group of receivers huddled around a phone.

He later addressed the trade on social media, tweeting: "I will always have an unbelievable amount of love for Steelers Nation and the organization that drafted me out of Notre Dame. I am beyond grateful for the amazing people in Pittsburgh for embracing me and the lifelong memories made. Now... Back to business in the Midwest."

Claypool's departure leaves the Steelers with Diontae Johnson, rookie George Pickens, Miles Boykin, Gunner Olszewski and Steven Sims in their wide receiver group -- with Boykin and Sims likely get more targets going forward.

In particular, we should expect Sims to have more reps on the interior.

"He's been making plays when called upon, and I think based on what we've seen, it's reasonable to expect that to continue," head coach Mike Tomlin said of Sims on Wednesday.

Johnson also confirmed that Sims did a lot of work in the slot.

"He's a four-year vet," Johnson added. "He's been here a long time for you, so he knows the game of football."

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of their loss to the Eagles, rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett offered a blunt assessment of his team's offensive performance.

"Not detailed," Pickett said. "Guys need to know what they're doing. We need to study more. I don't think we study enough as a group. There's way too many penalties and stuff like that which we can control. It's all mental. So for that to happen, there's really no excuse for that. We have to figure that out and get it right."

As's Brooke Pryor noted, the Steelers (2-6) were whistled for nine penalties totaling 60 yards against the Eagles, and three of them were offensive pre-snap penalties. Both left tackle Dan Moore Jr. and right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor were called for illegal formation.

Pickett, who turned the ball over twice and threw for 191 yards, was flagged for a delay of game. And, early in the first quarter, left guard Kevin Dotson was identified as an ineligible man downfield.

The penalties on Dotson, Okorafor and Pickett occurred just plays apart on the same drive, one that eventually ended in the Steelers' lone touchdown: The aforementioned pass by Claypool to fullback Derek Watt on fourth-and-goal from the 1.

Moore's penalty was called on the first play of the Steelers' third drive, immediately putting the Steelers behind the sticks. The group ended up gaining just 1 yard on the drive after Pickett connected with running back Jaylen Warren for a 10-yard gain on third-and-19.

"We got to stop beating ourselves up before we start, before we even do anything," running back Najee Harris said. "We beat ourselves up. We help the other team by doing the s--- that we do."

On the season, the Steelers have 12 pre-snap offensive penalties, ninth most in the NFL. Including defense and special teams, they've been called for 18, 11th most in the league.

"I thought we were too penalized," Tomlin said, adding he plans to have officials at practice. "I look at those penalties. Some of them I thought were questionable, but that's life. Neither here nor there. I just thought the penalty component of it and our inability to keep a lid on it were Steelers versus Steelers.

"When you're playing good people like this group, you're not going to put yourself in a position to do the things you need to do."

Entering the bye week, the Steelers, who currently sit in last place in the AFC North, have myriad issues to address, but chief among them, Pickett and Tomlin said, is reducing the mental mistakes that are leading to the penalties.

"We got to know what we're doing," Pickett said. "Not getting in the right spot, not having procedural penalties, personnel in and out of the huddle, all things we can control.

"There's no talent issues. ... Anyone in here could go do that, as long as they know what they're doing. We got to get right there. It starts with me. I got to be more on my stuff getting these guys right. And I'll take ownership of it."

While it will take far more than a week to fix the wide variety of issues the Steelers are facing, the break at least provides a chance for Tomlin and the coaching staff to hit the reset button.

After the bye. ... A second-half schedule that looks -- on paper anyway -- not as daunting as the first half, beginning with a visit by New Orleans on Nov. 13. ...

Finally. ... T.J. Watt is close to a return after missing the past seven games with a torn left pectoral. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year should give a pass rush that's been largely ineffectual in his absence a boost. ... DT Larry Ogunjobi will get a week off to get healthy. ... Same for K Chris Boswell, though last-second replacement Nick Sciba made all three kicks he attempted in his NFL debut.

You can access complete stats for the Steelers Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Justin Fields, Russell Wilson, Mason Rudolph, Mitchell Trubisky
RBs: Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren, Anthony McFarland Jr.
WRs: George Pickens, Allen Robinson, Calvin Austin III, Miles Boykin
TEs: Pat Freiermuth, Darnell Washington

San Francisco 49ers

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

According to's Nick Wagoner, the 49ers were putting together their red-zone plan on Thursday night when the yell came from coach Kyle Shanahan's office.

To nobody in particular, Shanahan posed a simple question: Can Christian McCaffrey, the team's recently acquired star running back, throw the football at all?

The question was initially met with silence, but a few moments later Shanahan received a text from tight ends coach Brian Fleury.

The text was a video from Dec. 17, 2018, with McCaffrey tossing a 50-yard touchdown pass against the New Orleans Saints. Satisfied with Fleury's answer, Shanahan went about adding a McCaffrey pass to the game plan for Sunday's 31-14 victory against the Los Angeles Rams.

Little did Shanahan know that it would become the signature play on a historic day for McCaffrey.

Without do-it-all receiver Deebo Samuel, McCaffrey offered the Niners the ultimate in versatile performances, as he threw for, ran for and caught a touchdown as the Niners moved to 4-4 heading into their bye week.

"I think everyone knows how good of a player he is, but I just like how consistent he is and under control in what he does," Shanahan said. "He's a very smart player, and he makes a lot of plays and stuff, but it's the consistency of how he plays his game. I feel like he was a great guy to add for us."

After tossing for a score and catching one, his 1-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter made McCaffrey the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005 to throw for, run for and catch a touchdown in the same game. He's the fourth player -- along with Tomlinson, receiver David Patten and running back Walter Payton -- since the 1970 merger to complete the trifecta.

It's the eighth straight regular-season win for the Niners against the Rams but McCaffrey's first taste of the rivalry. He fit right in, having a hand in 183 yards from scrimmage, including 94 rushing and 55 receiving on 27 touches.

After the game, the soft-spoken McCaffrey wasn't so concerned with his individual performance as he was his first victory with the 49ers.

"That's awesome," McCaffrey said. "Obviously, those things are really cool. I think the biggest thing is coming out with a win and playing a second half like that, too ... But I'm just proud to be a 49er and it felt good to get a win today."

McCaffrey got the Niners' scoring started with his second career touchdown pass. On second-and-8 from the Rams' 34 with 12:10 left in the second quarter, Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw to McCaffrey in the right flat. McCaffrey caught it behind the line of scrimmage and rolled to his right before looking deep down the right side for wideout Brandon Aiyuk.

McCaffrey lofted a pass with enough air under it for Aiyuk to turn multiple times and haul it in for a touchdown that, paired with Robbie Gould's extra point, tied it at 7.

"That was a dot," tight end George Kittle said. "Perfect. The pass was awesome. The catch was awesome."

Indeed, as Wagoner saw it, McCaffrey's touchdown catch might have been his most impressive play of the day. With 1:51 left in the third quarter, Garoppolo dropped back to pass from the Rams' 9. As Garoppolo scanned the field, nobody was open, so he moved up in the pocket as the Niners commenced the scramble drill.

McCaffrey, who was the fifth option in the passing progression, shook loose down the right sideline. Garoppolo lofted it up and McCaffrey leaped high in the air to snag it for the touchdown grab to give the Niners a 17-14 lead they would not relinquish.

The touchdown was the first one McCaffrey scored as a Niner and put him in some rare company in franchise history. McCaffrey and Emmanuel Sanders (Week 14 of 2019) are the only Niners to have a passing touchdown and a receiving touchdown in the same game in the past 70 years.

"I went through the whole read left to right," Garoppolo said. "He turned it upfield. That's just being a football player. ... That wasn't really how it was scripted. He just made a play."

McCaffrey's big day came in his second game as a Niner and his first following a full week of practice. San Francisco dealt second-, third- and fourth-round picks in 2023 and a fifth-round selection in 2024 to the Panthers for McCaffrey in an Oct. 20 trade.

To get up to speed quickly, McCaffrey has been spending long hours at the Niners' facility working with assistant coaches Bobby Turner and Anthony Lynn and stealing additional time with Garoppolo whenever possible.

In addition to his touchdown trifecta, McCaffrey, who on Wednesday was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month, also became the only player in the Super Bowl era to have at least one of each kind of offensive touchdown and 30 or more yards passing, rushing and receiving in a game.

McCaffrey's performance also left the Niners imagining what could be when key players like Samuel and fellow wideout Jauan Jennings return from hamstring injuries.

"With all those skill position [talent], there isn't a ceiling, really," Kittle said. "We should go out there, we should be getting a lot of points."

Going forward, it would appear McCaffrey's workload won't be that far off what we've become accustomed to so far in his career.

Against the Rams, McCaffrey was back to a bell-cow role after a week to prepare for a game with the 49ers.

Per Pro Football Focus data (via's Dwain McFarland), McCaffrey took 81 percent of the offensive snaps; garnered 79 percent of the carries; 72 percent route participation; 35 percent target share (ranking first on the team); he was on the field for 86 percent of the long-down-distance opportunities, 100 percent of the short yardage plays and 100 percent of the plays inside the 10-yard line.

Will that change when Samuel returns?

Maybe. ... But McCaffrey's presence was sufficient for the team to feel comfortable dealing running back Jeff Wilson Jr. to the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday. ...

Other notes of interest. ... Garoppolo had perhaps his best performance of the season. He completed 21 of 25 passes for 235 yards and two TDs for a 132.5 passer rating. It was his fourth-highest passer rating in a game when he threw at least 20 passes and the fifth-highest completion percentage in franchise history with at least 20 passes.

Garoppolo's four-game streak with at least two TD passes is his longest ever and tied for the longest for any 49ers QB since Jeff Garcia did it in eight straight games in 2001.

The 49ers didn't have any in-game injuries of note against the Rams, a nice change of pace for a team that was missing several players during that game.

Samuel, Jennings, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, defensive lineman Arik Armstead, and linebacker Dre Greenlaw all missed the game, but they will have an extended period to heal before the 49ers are back in action.

The 49ers could also get running back Elijah Mitchell back on the practice field after the bye, so the roster should be closer to full strength by the time the 49ers are hosting the Chargers in Week 10.

It probably goes without saying, but the addition of McCaffrey and anticipated return of Mitchell, were behind the decision to deal Wilson.

“At some point, you can only keep so many, just from a roster approach,” general manager John Lynch said on Tuesday. “Like we knew when we made the Christian move, someone was going to have to go, and, ultimately, Jeff’s the one.

“He was loving being an integral part of a football team. … Once we did the Christian deal, and seeing Elijah close to returning, man, he wanted the opportunity to be able to do that. We assured him how much we valued him.”

Wilson has rushed for 468 yards with a pair of touchdowns so far in 2022, also grabbing 10 receptions for 91 yards. Now he’ll head to Miami to play for a familiar face in Mike McDaniel, who was a 49ers offensive assistant for all of Wilson’s career until this season.

“At first Jeff was excited,” Lynch said of Wilson’s reaction to the trade. “He felt like Miami was a great spot because he knows Mike and the crew. And then the emotions hit him, and I was able to share with him that, ‘Look, you’re not only one of my favorite players that I’ve ever had the opportunity to be around, you’re one of my favorite people.’ And I think Jeff feels the same way. ...”

Finally. ... The 49ers announced Monday that they released receiver Willie Snead IV. San Francisco likely will seek to re-sign Snead to the practice squad.

He signed to the active roster from the practice squad Saturday.

Snead played 21 snaps on offense and seven on special teams Sunday against the Rams. He has played two games this season.

The 49ers waived offensive lineman Blake Hance on Saturday to make room for Snead on the 53-player roster. The Jaguars claimed Hance off waivers.

San Francisco also worked out four receivers and three defensive backs Monday.

Receivers Adam Humphries, Austin Mack, Mohamed Sanu and Tajae Sharpe joined defensive backs Benjie Franklin, Iman Marshall and Troy Pride in Santa Clara for a workout.

You can access complete stats for the 49ers Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Brock Purdy, Josh Dobbs, Brandon Allen
RBs: Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell, Jordan Mason, Kyle Juszczyk
WRs: Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Jauan Jennings, Ray-Ray McCloud, Ronnie Bell, Danny Gray
TEs: George Kittle, Charlie Woerner, Brayden Willis, Ross Dwelley, Cameron Latu

Seattle Seahawks

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

As Associated Press sports writer Tim Booth asked: "At what point does the conversation start to get serious about what's happening with the Seattle Seahawks?"

At first, it seemed a novelty that the team many considered before the season to be among the worst in the NFC was finding some success in the post-Russell Wilson era. Starting off 2-2 for a team pegged by oddsmakers not to win six games this season was kind of quaint.

But it seems past time for the tone about the Seahawks to change, especially after their thorough 27-13 win over the New York Giants on Sunday.

Seattle is 5-3, winners of three straight and leading the NFC West. They're playing a complementary style during this win streak that other teams should be envying, especially those that were supposed to be the elite of the NFC and are currently scuffling.

There's no guarantee this is going to continue for Seattle. But maybe, just maybe, Pete Carroll knew what he was doing all along.

"I hate that we were crappy early in the year and we weren't doing stuff right, but we held on to it and we knew -- we felt like we knew where we could go, and we're getting going," Carroll said after Sunday's win. "All the people that doubt -- we run the ball too much, you don't understand football and he can't stay up with the new game and all that kind of stuff -- that's a bunch of crap, I'm telling you.
"We're doing fine.

"We're all right. I don't mind proving it day in and day out."

Geno Smith has been more than all right. He's definitely been proving it game in and game out.

Smith threw two more touchdown passes in the win over the Giants, then passed up an opportunity to throw it back in the face of his former team.

Smith was asked whether he feels any vindication or any sense of revenge in beating the Giants considering how he was treated during his lone season with them in 2017, when he took over for Eli Manning late in the year only for the team to reverse course one week later and reinsert Manning as their starter.

Smith said "not at all" and instead took the opportunity to show his gratitude to Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese, at the time the Giants head coach and general manager, respectively.

"I'm happy to be here in Seattle," Smith said. "I spent one year with the Giants. That year to me was like a blur and my life has moved on from them. I don't have any remorse towards anyone there. In fact, to me, this game was for Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese. They believed in me. So as far as any other thing, I don't really care for it. I'm happy to be here in Seattle. It's like a family here. It feels like home. And so I'm just enjoying my time here and continuing to work hard with these guys and just trying to be the best we can be."

As's Brady Henderson noted, Smith similarly has taken the high road responding to what have become regular questions about how he's disproving everyone who doubted he could play as well as he has this season after spending most of the previous seven as a backup.

He entered Sunday with the NFL's fourth-best Total QBR and turned in another strong performance in the Seahawks' third consecutive win.

Smith completed 23 of 34 passes for 212 yards and no turnovers. He could have had a third touchdown pass had Tyler Lockett not dropped a would-be score on a perfectly thrown deep ball in the third quarter. That was despite being pressured 19 times by the Giants' blitz-heavy defense. That's a career high for Smith and the most pressures a quarterback has faced in a regulation win this season.

With the game tied at 13 early in the fourth quarter, Smith went 5-for-5 on a 75-yard drive that he capped with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Lockett. It was Smith's third touchdown pass of 30-plus air yards this season, matching his combined total of such TD passes over his first nine seasons.

Smith's other touchdown pass was to DK Metcalf, who was questionable heading into the game with a knee injury. Lockett (hamstring, oblique) was also questionable.

Smith also rushed for 26 yards on five attempts.

Carroll said Smith was "solid as a rock" again Sunday and noted how well he operated Seattle's offense even with center Austin Blythe going in and out of the game in favor of backup Kyle Fuller after suffering a knee sprain in the first quarter.

With 13 touchdown passes (to three interceptions) this season, Smith already has tied his career high from 2014 and still has nine games remaining.

Smith wasn't even considered the favorite to beat out Drew Lock in Seattle's quarterback competition after the Wilson trade.

Now he's got the Seahawks in first place and, in Carroll's words, in position to "make some noise."

Indeed, Seattle's next two games are on the road at Arizona and against Tampa Bay in Germany before the bye week. But both games seem winnable and 7-3 can't be out of the question for Seattle. ...

Other notes of interest. ... According to Booth, it's nit-picking coming off such a complete performance, but Seattle's run game was fairly mundane until Kenneth Walker III broke free for a 16-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.

Take away that run, and Walker averaged 2.1 yards per carry on his other 17 attempts, and Seattle had just 87 yards total on the ground as a team.

Seattle came out of the game mostly healthy, although versatile safety Ryan Neal left in the fourth quarter with cramps in both hamstrings. Center Austin Blythe also suffered a minor knee sprain, but Carroll said he could have returned in the second half if he was needed.

You can access complete stats for the Seahawks Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Sam Howell, Geno Smith
RBs: Kenneth Walker III, Zach Charbonnet, DeeJay Dallas, Kenny McIntosh
WRs: DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jake Bobo, Cody Thompson, Dareke Young
TEs: Noah Fant, Will Dissly

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

By all accounts, Tom Brady sat in front of his locker in full uniform for several minutes, his head buried at times in his hands.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost five of six games following a 2-0 start, their 45-year-old quarterback has lost three straight starts for the first time in two decades, and no one professes to have a quick or easy fix.

"I don't think anyone feels good. ... But we haven't earned it," Brady said from a podium later Thursday night, reflecting on a 27-22 loss to the Ravens. "We've got to go earn it. ... You've got to fight hard and figure out how to win games."

The Bucs (3-5), held to a touchdown and five field goals the previous two weekends during surprising losses to the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers, played better in spurts against the Ravens, though not well enough to come close to pulling out of their tailspin.

As Associated Press sports writer Fred Goodall suggested, the final score didn't reflect Baltimore's dominance, particularly in the second half when Lamar Jackson was perfect passing (8 of 8 for 94 yards and two touchdowns), and the Ravens ran for most of their 231 yards rushing.

The Bucs offense scored a touchdown in the opening quarter for the first time, but costly mistakes and an inability to sustain drives prevented the unit from building on the 10-3 lead Tampa Bay held into the second half.

Once the Ravens began to run the ball consistently, the defense had no answers for stopping Jackson, Gus Edwards, Kenyan Drake and Devin Duvernay.

Brady, who is two games under .500 for the first time in a 23-year career, became visibly frustrated as the game gradually slipped away.

"I think we struggled pretty much at everything," the seven-time Super Bowl champion said.

"Nobody is pointing a finger at Tom Brady. It's the whole team," receiver Mike Evans said. "It's a team game -- the ultimate team game -- not just one player. It never has been."

Head coach Todd Bowles on Thursday night seemed to suggest he might consider some staffs changes before the Bucs play again a week from Sunday, concluding: "When you are not playing well, everything is on the table."

The coach's tone shifted Friday, when Bowles said he and his staff will meet over the weekend to discuss whether changes are needed schematically.

"We own our record at 3-5. We lost (Thursday night). We understand we lost. We played hard. (There's) no consolation in playing hard. We've got to get better. We can only fix it," Bowles said.

"We're still in a dark place right now. We can only grind and get better," the coach added. "We can be better at it as coaches. They can be better at it as players."

Players had two days off before reconvening to begin preparations for hosting the defending Super Bowl champion Rams on Sunday. ...

Other notes of interest. ... In March, the Buccaneers signed running back Leonard Fournette to a three-year, $21 million contract, thinking that by investing in the running game, they were setting themselves up for another deep postseason run. It hasn't worked out that way.

After another terrible performance in Thursday night's loss to the Ravens, the Buccaneers' running game is as bad as it gets. The Bucs ran the ball 15 times for just 44 yards against Baltimore. Fournette, their leading rusher, had nine carries for 24 yards, an average of 2.7 yards per carry.

So far this season, the Buccaneers have 163 carries for 495 yards, an average of 61.9 yards per game and 3.0 yards per carry. They're last in the NFL in both rushing yards per game and yards per carry.

As noted, if the Bucs' offense is going to turn things around, it may be necessary for Brady to do it himself. The Bucs' running attack looks to be beyond hope. ...

With the offense continuing to struggle to sustain drives and score touchdowns, and the defense seemingly stuck in reverse, too, kicker Ryan Succop and rookie punter Jake Camarda arguably have been the team's most consistent players.

Succop booted three more field goals Thursday night and is 19 of 20 this season, including 9 of 9 beyond 40 yards.

Camarda, a fourth-round draft choice, has a 41.3 net average on 38 punts and forced opposing offenses to begin possessions inside their own 20-yard line 12 times.

On the injury front. ... Linebacker Shaquil Barrett tore an Achilles tendon during the second half Thursday night and will miss the remainder of the season. ... Receiver Julio Jones (knee) played for the first time in four weeks, finishing with two receptions for 21 yards and his first TD of the season.

"After the game he was OK. Again, I've got to wait and see today and (Saturday) how it really holds up," Bowles said.

Russell Gage (hamstring) and Cameron Brate (neck) also missed this game. I'll have more on all involved via Late-Breaking Update as the week progresses. ...

You can access complete stats for the Buccaneers Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Baker Mayfield, Kyle Trask
RBs: Rachaad White, Chase Edmonds, Sean Tucker, Ke'Shawn Vaughn
WRs: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Trey Palmer, Kaylon Geiger, Deven Thompkins, Rakim Jarrett, Russell Gage
TEs: Cade Otton, Ko Kieft, Payne Durham

Tennessee Titans

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

Malik Willis made his first career start for the Titans on Sunday.

But as the team's official website put it, "This was a day made for a King. ..."

Running back Derrick Henry ran for 219 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries in the team's 17-10 win over the Texans in a record-setting performance.

"Am I tired?" Henry said after the game. "I'm winded, but I'm all right."

Henry was more than just all right on the field.

With the two touchdown runs, Henry set the franchise record for career touchdowns (75), breaking the mark previously held by former Titans running back Eddie George.

Henry racked up 124 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries in the first half, and he kept pounding in the second half as the Titans established their dominance.

Henry, who on Wednesday was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week, has now gone over the 200-yard mark, with two TDs, four times against the Texans.

Henry now has six 200-rushing yard performances over seven seasons -- tying him with Adrian Peterson and O.J. Simpson for the most in a career.

"Credit to those guys up front, and all the guys blocking -- o-line, receivers, tight ends, fullback," Henry said. "Just making the sacrifice to go out there and block and allow us to have success. I give all the credit to them, and I just have to go out there and do my job … and we were able to win as a team."

Dontrell Hilliard chipped in with eight carries for 83 yards. The Titans rushed for 314 yards after entering the game averaging 108.7 yards per game.

Willis, playing in place of starter Ryan Tannehill, completed 6-of-10 passes for 55 yards with an interception on Sunday, and he threw just one pass in the second half.

The Titans completed only two passes to a wide receiver. Veteran Robert Woods led the Titans with 26 yards receiving on his two catches.

The Titans currently have three wide receivers on injured reserve in Racey McMath, Treylon Burks and Kyle Philips. Burks, the first-round pick at No. 18 overall, isn't eligible to return at the earliest until after Tennessee's trip to Kansas City.

"It was good -- we got a W," Willis said. "That's all you want to go out there and do. Yeah, there's things you want back, but it was my first start, so I can't be too critical of myself. … But I'm definitely appreciative, and Derrick, congrats to him. He got a new record, so that's cool. It's just cool to see our team fight back from setbacks."

The Titans were also suffocating on defense in this one, as the Texans managed just 161 yards and 10 first downs.

With the win, the Titans improved to 5-2. It was the team's fifth straight win after starting the season 0-2. The Titans have now beaten the Texans in five of their last six meetings.

"Just trying to separate ourselves right now with the opportunities that we have, playing division opponents," head coach Mike Vrabel said. "It's not going to get easier, but I am proud of the fact we have been able (to win). I told the guys: We won one game in a row five times. It's going to be a bigger challenge next week."

Vrabel made clear his team will do whatever it takes week to week.

Right now, Henry is the key to the Tennessee offense with four straight 100-yard games. Only the Giants' Saquon Barkley has 24 more yards rushing having played eight games already.

Tennessee takes this winning streak to Kansas City (5-2) for a prime-time game Sunday night with the Chiefs. ...

Both Tannehill's ankle and the illness that kept him in Nashville over the weekend should be feeling better. But on Monday, Vrabel didn't offer much of an update about Tannehill's condition. He was asked about where things stand with the quarterback as the Titans turn their attention toward their Sunday night game against the Chiefs and said only that the team will have a better idea about that after Wednesday's practice.

Vrabel noted Tannehill would "do some things" in practice Wednesday.

I'll have more on Tannehill via Late-Breaking Update in coming days. ...

You can access complete stats for the Titans Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

QBs: Will Levis, Malik Willis
RBs: Tony Pollard, Tyjae Spears, Julius Chestnut
WRs: Calvin Ridley, DeAndre Hopkins, Treylon Burks, Nick Westbrook_Ikhine, Tyler Boyd, Kyle Philips, Colton Dowell, Chris Moore
TEs: Chigoziem Okonkwo, Josh Whyle, Trevon Wesco

Washington Commanders

Compiled by FootballDiehards Editor Bob Harris | Updated 1 November 2022

According to's John Keim, as the ball floated to Terry McLaurin, there were 70 family members and friends in the stands who knew what would happen. They'd seen it before -- in this stadium. There were 52 Washington Commanders teammates and a number of others on their sideline who also knew what would happen. They too had seen it before -- in practice, in games and even the previous week.

So McLaurin did what he has done since he was a kid in Lucas Oil Stadium: He made the big catch that helped his team win the game.

McLaurin outjumped retreating corner Stephon Gilmore for a 33-yard catch, twirling and tucking the ball away as he fell just off the goal line with 26 seconds remaining, setting up a Taylor Heinicke sneak for a touchdown and a 17-16 comeback victory.

"Terry wasn't going to be denied," head coach Ron Rivera said.

Keim went on to note that's why Washington signed McLaurin to a three-year contract extension worth up to $68.2 million over the summer.

"He did those plays before he got paid," Rivera said. "He's making those plays now that he's been paid. He's still the same guy. The one thing I do like is he constantly tells me now, 'I want the ball.' That's a big deal."

Washington (4-4) won for the third consecutive game; it has won those contests by a combined eight points.

McLaurin, an Indianapolis native, once again played a key role.

The previous week versus the Green Bay Packers, he aggressively came back for the ball on a pivotal third-and-9 play for 12 yards with 2:13 left, allowing the Commanders to run off nearly another two minutes.

On Sunday, he caught six passes for 113 yards, but none was bigger than the last one. Heinicke bought time by sliding around the pocket then backpedaling before throwing to McLaurin, who raced behind Gilmore as his quarterback bought time.

"It was just like slow motion," McLaurin said. "He saw me, I saw him and that ball was up in the air -- and my eyes were on the ball the whole time."

Or, as teammate and fellow wideout Curtis Samuel said, "He dunked on him. ... We've seen this over and over and over again. Every time you give him a chance, he makes a play."

But it capped an emotional day -- and week -- for McLaurin. He grew up a Colts fan, sitting with his dad in section 540 and watching his idol, former Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison, play. McLaurin even wore Harrison's No. 88 jersey for consecutive Halloweens as a kid. Before Sunday's game, Harrison asked to take a picture with McLaurin.

"I'm like, 'Me?" McLaurin said.

Washington selected McLaurin in the third round of the 2018 draft, anticipating he would become a special teams standout and a helpful receiver. He instantly turned into a big threat, with 125 receiving yards in his first game. He became one of the highest-paid receivers this past summer. He now has 33 catches for 558 yards this season.

McLaurin made the last catch on Sunday in part because he worked on learning how to make contested catches, something he felt he didn't do well earlier in his career.

"Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe I'm actually standing here," said McLaurin, who received the game ball in the locker room. "To be trusted in those situations is extremely humbling."

The chemistry between Heinicke and McLaurin is top notch. They've connected for 11 completions for 186 yards and a touchdown -- plus the play to the 1-yard line in the final minute Sunday -- since Heinicke replaced Carson Wentz as the starting quarterback.

"Maybe sometimes I force him the ball," Heinicke said. "But I do know when the opportunity is there and the coverage is right for him to get the ball and to give him a chance, I give him the chance because he continues to make the plays."

While Heinicke and McLaurin are justifiably getting the lion's share of the attention this week, the Commanders' three-game winning streak would not be possible without the defense, which forced two fumbles Sunday and has risen to 13th in the NFL entering Monday after ranking 23rd after the first four games of the season.

The unit has forced three turnovers during this run that has helped Washington get back to .500 with the Minnesota Vikings up next at home.

Rivera praised defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio's plan, using five-man fronts and making adjustments to stay balanced.

"Changing some things up and making it look different and doing some of the things that we were doing in the past, I think, really helped," Rivera said.

Next up, the Commanders prep for old friend Kirk Cousins and the Vikings, who opened as 3½-point favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Cousins played his first 62 NFL games for Washington from 2012, when he was the team's fourth-round pick the same year Robert Griffin III went second, to 2017. Only Allen, punter Tress Way and injured center Chase Roullier remain from Cousins' tenure with Washington.

Other notes of interest. ... As Associated Press sports writer Stephen Whyno noted, the Commanders' winning recipe includes running the ball early and often. Taking out the contributions from Heinicke and wide receiver Curtis Samuel, Washington running backs got just 45 yards rushing at Indianapolis.

That was enough to get a win, but it likely won't work against Minnesota, which ranks in the top 10 in the league in rushing defense.

Thanks to the emergence of rookie running back Brian Robinson Jr., who missed the start of the season after being shot twice in an armed robbery Aug. 29, Antonio Gibson has been able to do more in the passing game. Gibson, who played receiver in college but was seen as a running back in the pros, led Washington with seven catches and had 58 yards against the Colts.

"It is giving him an opportunity to be even more dynamic," Rivera said Monday. "There's a threat that if he gets out into space and catches the ball, he can immediately impact the offense."

On the injury front. ... Rivera said pass rusher Chase Young was expected to take part in practice Wednesday. The Commanders officially put the designation on Young prior to the sessiony and the team has 21 days to either add him to the active roster or shut him down for the season. It's not clear when Young will be available to play, though he is starting with positional drills before ramping up to team activities.

Young, doctors and the team are taking a methodical approach to his return after the 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year tore the ACL in his right knee last November and underwent surgery that involved grafting part of his left patellar tendon to fix the tear.

Linebacker Cole Holcomb (foot) and wide receivers Jahan Dotson (hamstring) and Dyami Brown (groin) missed the Colts game. ...

Dotson and running back J.D. McKissic (neck) did not practice Wednesday. Tight ends Logan Thomas (calf) and Cole Turner (concussion) were limited.

I'll follow up via Late-Breaking Update as needed in coming days. ...

A couple of off-field issues. ... Commanders owners Dan and Tanya Snyder said in a statement on Wednesday that they have hired Bank of America Securities to "consider potential transactions," including the potential sale of the franchise.

"The Snyders remain committed to the team, all of its employees and its countless fans to putting the best product on the field and continuing the work to set the gold standard for workplaces in the NFL," the statement said.

Asked if Dan Snyder is considering a sale of the entire franchise or just a piece, a Commanders spokesperson told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport that "we are exploring all options. ..."

Finally. ... Rivera was out of the office for two days last week for personal reasons.

He flew to California to spend time with his mother, Delores, the team announced Tuesday, and she died Monday night.

"We are saddened to announce that coach Rivera's mother, Delores, passed away peacefully yesterday evening with her husband and family members by her side," the team said in a statement. "Coach Rivera is grateful he was able to spend two days with her last week. The Snyders and the entire Commanders family extend their heartfelt condolences to coach Rivera and his family.

"The Rivera family would like to say thank you for the many kind thoughts and prayers they have received. Arrangements are pending, and we would ask everyone to please respect the family's privacy during this difficult time."

The Commanders did not announce whether Rivera would miss time away from the team this week.

Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio ran practice last Wednesday in Rivera's absence before he returned Wednesday night.

You can access complete stats for the Commanders Week 8 game via our exclusive Fantasy BoxScore.

RBs: Brian Robinson Jr., Austin Ekeler, Chris Rodriguez
WRs: Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Dyami Brown, Jamison Crowder, Byron Pringle, Mitchell Tinsley
TEs: Logan Thomas, Cole Turner, John Bates