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McCaffrey a triple threat; Dolphins WRs unstoppable: NFL notes and analysis

The NFL is the most effective weekly cleaning soap opera on tv. Watching our favourite groups expertise the ups and downs of an 18-week common season takes us on an emotional curler coaster that we hope ends in a title run. Although it’s nonetheless too early to find out which groups are constructed for the lengthy haul, Week 8 offered us with one other alternative to see among the elite squads separate from the pack. 

Given a while to observe a little tape and evaluate the field scores from Sunday’s motion, listed below are my ideas and observations from Week 8.

Three issues I preferred

1. CMC is a triple menace 

Credit John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan for making the deal to pry away Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers. The addition of the dynamic offensive weapon not solely upgraded the 49ers‘ working sport, however it gave the offensive wizard a versatile toy that might assist the crew re-emerge because the front-runner within the NFC. 

As a runner-receiver with explosive playmaking abilities, McCaffrey can produce large performs all around the area from a number of alignments. The sixth-year professional runs the ball like a sledgehammer whereas additionally catching the ball in house like a ballerina maneuvering throughout the stage. 

Shanahan tapped into the veteran’s versatility by placing the ball in his fingers as a runner, receiver, and passer in opposition to the Los Angeles Rams. McCaffery turned the eleventh participant in NFL historical past to have a speeding landing, passing landing and receiving landing in a sport. 

Christian McCaffrey goes for a hat-trick vs. Rams, leads 49ers to a 31-14 win

FOX Sports NFL Analyst Sean Payton joins Colin Cowherd to recap Week 8 within the NFL. Sean begins with the San Francisco 49ers win over the Los Angeles Rams led by Christian McCaffrey’s 3TDs efficiency.

With McCaffery totaling 149 scrimmage yards on 27 touches, the 49ers have been capable of tease and torment the Rams’ protection by deploying the versatile playmaker in a number of roles. Although most of his harm was executed as a runner and receiver, the choice to make the most of the veteran on a double cross will pressure opponents to organize for numerous devices and trick performs when crafting a sport plan to defend the 49ers’ new-look offense. 

Considering the offense’s success with out Deebo Samuel on the sector in Week 8, the 49ers’ offense is downright scary with McCaffrey becoming a member of the lineup as a triple-threat playmaker. 

2. Geno Smith is the true deal

It has taken a whereas for Geno Smith to seek out his stride as a beginning quarterback, however the veteran’s 2022 marketing campaign means that the soccer world may need slept on his expertise. 

The ninth-year professional leads the league in completion proportion (72.7%) and ranks third in passer score (107.2) by means of eight video games because the Seahawks‘ starter. Although an eight-game run remains to be thought of a small pattern measurement, the crew’s success with Smith on the helm is a reflection of his regular play as a sport supervisor with plus expertise. 

The Seahawks have vaulted to the highest of the NFC West with the veteran throwing pinpoint strikes to Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf on the perimeter. From the quick-rhythm throws to the duo on slants and fast outs to the high-arcing bombs on go-routes alongside the boundary, Smith has turn out to be an environment friendly thrower and playmaker for an offense that’s surprisingly explosive this season. 

In addition, the Seahawks’ QB1 has displayed distinctive management and poise because the designated coach on the sector for Pete Carroll. Although Smith’s evolution has surprised the naysayers who anticipated the Seahawks to stumble within the post-Russell Wilson period, the veteran has been precisely what this crew has wanted whereas orchestrating a rebuild on the fly in 2022. 

3. Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill are unstoppable 

The Miami Dolphins have turn out to be one of the crucial explosive offenses within the league behind the spectacular play of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle on the perimeter. The co-WR1s have mixed for nearly 1,700 receiving yards (1,698) and seven touchdowns on 111 catches. Moreover, the duo has produced 27 large performs (20-plus yard receptions) whereas averaging 15-plus yards per catch. 

Studying the Dolphins’ sport tape, it’s the tandem’s mixture of velocity, quickness and burst that scares opponents tasked with defending the football-playing speedsters. Hill, specifically, forces defenders to again up out of respect for his explosiveness and big-play potential on vertical throws. In addition, the electrical working abilities that Hill shows with the ball in his fingers make opponents nervous after they line up reverse him on essential downs. 

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Waddle is simply as imposing as a big-play menace with excellent stop-start quickness and shake-and-bake. The second-year professional has began to return into his personal as a spectacular playmaker in house. Waddle has the capability to blow previous defenders on vertical routes and catch-and-run performs on the perimeter. With defenders unable to stick with him down the sector or deliver him down within the open area, the Dolphins have given Tua Tagovailoa a couple of dynamic weapons to focus on in an offense that lights up scoreboards across the league. 

Given the problem of defending a number of big-play threats on the perimeter, the Dolphins’ pass-catching tandem is just about inconceivable to defend. 

Three issues I didn’t like

1. Zach Wilson must develop up 

If the Jets are going to make a run at a playoff berth, they need to get higher play from their younger quarterback. Although Zach Wilson has made strides as a chief and playmaker, the second-year professional lacks the maturity to information a crew into the postseason as a beginning quarterback. The former No. 2 general choose within the 2021 draft continues to make essential errors attributable to his lack of endurance and self-discipline. Wilson repeatedly compelled throws into protection and refused to take the verify down or throw the ball away when the protection wins the down. 

Against the New England Patriots, the teenager’s errors price the Jets a sport that was inside their grasp. Wilson’s turnovers (three interceptions) and poor choices undermined a strong defensive effort by which the Jets held the Patriots to 5 area objectives and a landing whereas tallying six sacks and a pair of turnovers. 

If Wilson’s erratic play (21 of 40 passes for 355 cross yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions) didn’t increase considerations about his capacity to steer a crew into the playoffs, his postgame commentary ought to sound the alarms across the Jets’ facility.  

“Every time I get out of the pocket, it simply will get irritating to throw the ball away,” Wilson stated, “and that is what I’ve executed the final 4 weeks to place us in a good place to not flip the ball over and for us to win, and so I want to simply have the ability to maintain doing that when one thing’s not there. It will get outdated getting out and not seeing something there.”

Huh? If a quarterback is dedicated to profitable, he should be ready to withstand the temptation to make a “hero” throw in favor of constructing profitable performs. Check-downs and throwaways are sensible performs for a crew who values the ball as a part of a conservative technique designed to maintain the sport shut till the fourth quarter. Wilson’s refusal to play sensible soccer is a main concern for a crew that appears like a playoff contender. 

2. The Rams’ offense lacks stability and range

Whether the Los Angeles Rams are struggling a Super Bowl hangover or just struggling by means of a robust a part of their season, it’s onerous to view the defending champs as a title contender at this stage of the season. 

Sean McVay’s squad can’t compete with the elites within the league, and the pinnacle coach doesn’t seem to have a solution to the crew’s woes. From the inconsistent working sport to the leaky cross safety, the Rams’ offense lacks a basis that may allow them to win in opposition to good groups. The sagging working sport, specifically, is a main concern with the crew averaging simply 68.4 rush yards per sport on the heels of averaging simply 99.4 rush yards in 2021. 

As Cam Akers sits at residence ready for a commerce, the Rams have tried to run the ball with a solid of unheralded gamers with out success. Ronnie Rivers paced the crew with 21 speeding yards on eight makes an attempt as a a part of the crew’s 56-yard efficiency on the bottom. 

Without a strong working sport to enhance Matthew Stafford and the Rams’ dropback passing sport, the offense is unable to impose its will on the opponent. Moreover, the offense is unable to carry onto the ball to guard a protection that wears down with vital snaps. 

As McVay makes an attempt to repair the Rams’ greatest issues on the follow area, the pinnacle coach might want to stability the offense with a stronger dedication to the run whereas discovering a method to generate explosive passing performs on play-action throws. Although it’s actually simpler stated than executed, the Rams should get again to a extra balanced offensive strategy to have any probability of closing the hole on their opponents. 

3. DJ Moore’s selfishness proves pricey

If I’m Steve Wilks, I’m sick to my abdomen once I have a look at the standings at the moment. The Panthers’ head coach missed out on chalking up his second win because the crew’s interim coach partially attributable to his star wideout’s celebration penalty following a spectacular catch on a Hail Mary. 

Atlanta pulls off a wild victory in extra time versus the Panthers

Carolina tied the sport with 12 seconds left within the sport however due to an unsportsman-like conduct penalty after the Panthers’ landing they have been pushed again and missed the PAT.

Considering Moore is a fifth-year professional has sufficient expertise within the NFL to know the foundations, the egregious error is without doubt one of the most egocentric on-field acts that now we have seen from a veteran. Sure, Eddy Pineiro ought to have made the additional level and the chip-shot area purpose in extra time, however the Panthers’ WR1 price his crew a win along with his bone-head play. 

Although Wilks prompt that Moore will study from his mistake, the pricey error not solely saved his crew from profitable however it may need price him a probability to completely safe the pinnacle coach place on the finish of the season.

My prime 10

After Week 8, here is my tackle the league’s prime 10 groups.

1. Philadelphia Eagles (7-0) 

The most full crew in soccer dominates their opponents in each part. Whether it’s Jalen Hurts and Co. lighting up the scoreboard with a mixture of runs and explosive passes or the protection creating turnovers attributable to a ferocious cross rush or sticky protection, the Eagles can knock off opponents in a number of methods. 

2. Buffalo Bills (6-1)

The Bills are knockout specialists behind a high-powered offense that has the capability to place up 40-plus on any opponent. With Josh Allen dropping dimes all around the area to a gifted solid of cross catchers, the Bills compelled opponents to chase factors in opposition to an opportunistic protection that makes a speciality of sacking the quarterback and choosing off passes. In a league constructed across the passing sport, the Bills have assembled the proper squad to compete on the highest stage. 

3. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)

Andy Reid’s group is laying within the minimize as an ascending squad with arguably probably the most gifted quarterback within the sport. Despite evolving into a extra ball management unit, the Chiefs’ offensive effectivity and defensive disruption make them a title contender within the AFC. 

4. Minnesota Vikings (6-1)

The wins maintain piling up for the Vikings attributable to a rock-solid roster that options few weaknesses on both aspect of the ball. With Kevin O’Connell having labored wonders with Kirk Cousins on offense, the Vikings are quietly shifting up the charts as a potential contender. 

5. Dallas Cowboys (6-2)

Credit Mike McCarthy for leaning into a blue-collar strategy with America’s Team. The Cowboys’ choice to embrace an old-school method of counting on the working sport and a stingy protection to win video games has helped this crew emerge as one of many elite squads within the league.  

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6. Tennessee Titans (5-2)

It is rarely about model factors when watching the Titans stack wins behind a simplistic strategy, however it’s onerous to argue with the crew’s success beneath Mike Vrabel. The Titans routinely beat up their opponents with a run-heavy assault that dares opponents to cease Derrick Henry from working between the tackles on an assortment of energy runs that allow the crew to bludgeon opponents for 60 minutes. 

7. New York Giants (6-2)

Despite a loss that uncovered the Giants’ flaws, the NFC sleepers are all the time a menace to win attributable to their no-nonsense strategy. With a ball management offense and a stingy protection, the Giants win attributable to their opponents imploding in key moments. 

8. Seattle Seahawks (5-3)

Maybe Pete Carroll is aware of one thing about profitable video games based mostly on this crew’s success with out a celebrity on the roster. The Seahawks have a “crew” that performs complementary soccer with a slept-on quarterback making strong choices. 

9. Miami Dolphins (5-3)

The Dolphins’ high-octane offense is just about unstoppable with Tua Tagovailoa dropping dimes to Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill all around the area. With the offense rolling and the protection creating turnovers and splash performs, the Dolphins are climbing the ladder as a potential contender. 

10. Baltimore Ravens (5-3)

The run-heavy Ravens have the potential the management sport behind Lamar Jackson and Co. pummeling opponents with an assortment of energy runs and choice performs that take a look at the self-discipline of the protection. As the protection continues to enhance, the Ravens will proceed to maneuver up this record as an rising heavyweight within the AFC.

MVP of the Week

Christian McCaffrey’s uncommon trifecta earns him the MVP honor of the week. The artful playmaker turned the eleventh participant in NFL historical past with a speeding landing, passing landing and receiving landing in a single sport. With 149 scrimmage yards to go together with his three scores, CMC gave the soccer world a glimpse on the potential explosiveness of the 49ers offense when the five-star playmaker settles in because the crew’s RB1. 

Offensive Player of the Week

The Derrick Henry Show is must-see TV every week with the two-time speeding champion piling up yardage regardless of going through eight- and nine-man fronts. Against the Houston Texans, the seventh-year professional joined OJ Simpson and Adrian Peterson as the one runners in NFL his along with his sixth 200-yard sport. Henry totaled 219 yards on 32 speeding makes an attempt whereas additionally scoring the seventy fifth landing (72 rush; three receiving) of his profession. 

Defensive Player of the Week

Za’Darius Smith utterly tore aside the inside of the Arizona Cardinals offensive line on a number of stunts and video games that created favorable one-on-one matchups for the veteran. The Vikings‘ key offseason acquisition made his mark as a disruptive defender within the defensive sub-packages with seven tackles and three sacks. As the Vikings begin cranking up their cross rush in opposition to opponents compelled to cross the ball to remain in video games, Smith might emerge as a viable contender for the sack title this season. 

Vikings defeat Cardinals 34-26 after two clutch sacks by Minnesota protection on final two performs of the sport

The Minnesota Vikings’ protection proved to be the heroes of their 34-26 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Za’Darius Smith and Harrison Phillips got here up with the sacks.

Unsung Hero of the Week

Alvin Kamara referred to as his shot and delivered with a robust efficiency in opposition to the Raiders. The ultra-versatile offensive weapon scored three touchdowns and tallied 158 scrimmage yards on 27 touches regardless of providing up bulletin board materials for his opponents. The Raiders couldn’t cease or comprise the Saints‘ most explosive offensive weapon as a runner or receiver in a surprisingly lopsided affair.

Bucky Brooks is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He usually seems on “Speak For Yourself” and additionally breaks down the sport for NFL Network and as a cohost of the “Moving the Sticks” podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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