NFL 2020: Week 8

The biggest news this week in the NFL is the rapidly approaching trade deadline, which is November 3rd. (Although election fatigue has me convinced the 3rd will never, ever get here). So far, Everson Griffin has gone from Dallas to the Detroit Lions for a conditional 6th round pick and Carlos Dunlap left the Bengals (after trying to sell his house via Twitter) to the Seahawks for a 7th round pick and a backup offensive lineman. Pretty good prices for proven pass rushers, although both are getting a bit old by NFL standards. Some other names rumored to be on the trade block include Zach Ertz, Will Fuller, Xavien Howard, and Alshon Jeffrey (why anyone would trade for him is beyond me). Should be an interesting 6 days as the deadline draws closer and closer.

Other tidbits: Tua gets the start for the Dolphins (I’m a bit surprised they’re giving up so early), Cam Newton looks to recover from an awful outing, and another week, another facility closing due to positive tests for Covid. This time it’s the Texans, but, luckily for them, this is their bye week.

Here’s your games this week:

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (-2.5, 49)

Sunday, November 1, 2020


Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions (+2.5, 50)
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-6.5, 54.5)
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (-3.5, 44)
Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals (+5.5, 54.5)
Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns (-2.5, 54)
New York Jets at Kansas City Chefs (-19.5, 48)
Los Angeles Rams at Miami Dolphins (+3.5)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5, 46.5)


Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (+3, 45)
New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears (+2.5)
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-3, 54)


Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (off the board)

Monday, November 2, 2020

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants (+10.5, 47)

The Thursday night game will be worth a watch if you have no interest in teams playing defense or if you play fantasy football. Of the early games on Sunday, the Steelers/Ravens is the game of the week. Two AFC contenders that hate each other very much and both play some defense to go with pretty good offenses? Yes, please. I hopeful I’ll get to watch the end of it, because my local game is Chiefs/Jets, and that game will likely be all but over by mid second quarter. And, of course, the Packers, who bounced back very well last week get to face the Vikings. Ms. Hamlet is a Viking fan, so it should be a fun day, but only if the Packers win. Otherwise it may be insufferable.

The Niners/Seahawks is another stellar matchup, but I’ll be stuck with the Bears/Saints, which could be good, but only if Nick Foles starts to hit on those deep passes. I like the Niners to win, but damn, if Russell Wilson isn’t really, really good at football.

If I’m feeling in a “I want to see a team I dislike lose” mood, I’ll check out Sunday night’s game as the Cowboys go from contenders to absolutely awful. Maybe this horrific defensive roster will finally convince Jerry Jones that he actually sucks as a GM, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. And Monday night should be another blowout of little relevance beyond fantasy and people who still think Daniel Jones is a thing.

So, two amazing matchups this week, neither of which I’ll be able to watch live. C’est la vie.

Jump on in, the waters’ fine. Let me know what games you look forward to, what trades you want to see, and we can figure out which GM’s have their heads up their butts. NFL football!

I assume Dallas draws too much of an audience, winning or losing, for NBC to have wanted to flex the game out of Sunday night. It does suck that the Sunday and Monday games are both stinkers so no real election distraction.

Although, if any other cities go to stricter lockdowns this week, they may get an audience regardless.

The Bills are only favored by 3.5 over the Pats? Seems like the Belichick mystique isn’t quite dead yet. But another crap showing like last week should finally put it to rest.

Bellicheck “mystique”? Do you really think his reputation is just “mystique” rather than well-deserved and hard earned over a couple decades of excellence? And that his reputation as one of the greatest coaches of all times will be “put to rest” because of one bad run of football during a pandemic with a QB who has thrown 2 tds and 7 ints?

So I phrased that badly. There’s a vast difference between the absolute truth that he’s one of the greatest coaches of all time, and the unquestioning worship from some fans which makes him out to be some ineffable, mystical being. It’s the second that I’m referring to. I live right outside Boston, and there are innumerable callers to sports talk radio who think the 4 losses are all part of his master plan.

I’m saying the Pats are having a bad season due to many things, including mediocre personnel, and there’s no reason to think this season will get any better. But there are still plenty of NE fans who think he’ll turn it around take them on another Super Bowl run, when the truth is they’ll almost certainly be cleaning out their lockers after week 17.

And BTW, the current QB roster is Belichick’s fault and no one else’s. He knew his choices were to pay Brady what he wanted, or find a good replacement, he chose neither. That’s as much a part of his reputation as his 6 rings.

Too late to edit - Belichick’s history of letting talented players walk (or trading them) instead of paying them what they can make on the open market, confident he can replace them cheaply, is as much a part of his reputation as his 6 rings.

I’m surprised how well the defenses played tonight (although there was a lot of poor offensive line play). 2 4th down stops by the Falcons. An actual 4th quarter stop too. Good game.

Is Belichick responsible for things like trades and player salary? I thought such decisions were made by higher levels of management, like the team owner?

Anyway, it’s apparent that he can replace talented players that walk away, as evidenced by making it to the Super Bowl nine times (eleven if you include his time with the Giants as defensive coordinator)

Yes, he is. There’s no official GM, but Belichick handles all draft, trade & signing duties duties himself. Cite. Another cite.

ok thanks I did not know that.

I think that for most other teams, the GM or someone higher up handles personnel issues like that.

Yes, if there were ever a game to challenge “Any Given Sunday” this would be it.

For pretty much all other teams, yes, they’ll have a separate GM, and probably also a Director of Player Personnel (or something similar). Decades ago, it wasn’t uncommon for a coach to also serve as general manager, but as the GM role has become more complex, most teams now feel that handling both roles is just too much for one person to be able to do well.

A lot of coaches still do want to be able to have that level of control over player decisions and the like; 20+ years ago, Mike Holmgren walked away from the Packers’ coaching job because they wouldn’t let him also be GM – he went to Seattle, where they gave him the dual role. After a few mediocre years, the Seahawks split up the role again, named a new GM, and kept Holmgren as coach – and they started winning more games.

In this era, Belichick seems to be the exception to the rule.

I think Fox and CBS have a number of games they can protect from being flexed to Sunday night every year. Otherwise I can’t possibly understand why BAL-PIT wouldn’t have been flexed.

It’s really stupid that it wasn’t a prime time game in the first place. Stupid constant massive NFCE bias. The BAL-PIT are consistently the best games of the year.

Super windy in Cleveland, the field goal attempt suddenly curved like 30 degrees. Would be a perfect day for the Cleveland running game to run down the Raiders’ throat, but missing all new superstar guard Wyatt Teller (as well as Nick Chubb) is hurting the run game. Still pretty good, but not the same one that was just demolishing people early in the season.

Packers once again showing their massive weakness against the run game costs them games

Let’s hope the Bills and Ravens don’t choke here.

I have a new entry in my “the Chargers could be undefeated” list :slight_smile:.

More seriously though, the Chargers had 4th & 8 from the 15, up 3 with 2:30 left, and they kicked the FG to go up 6. I may be wrong, but it feels like that backfires a lot of the time. Going up 6 just forces the opposition to get a TD to beat you, rather than considering OT. If Denver had only been down 3, they likely would’ve taken a FG when they had that 4th down late.

I remember looking at this years ago on the old Advanced NFL Stats site. For roughly Denver’s scenario (2 minutes left, 1st & 10 on your own 20), the win probability was higher for being down 6 than down 3.

I am shocked the Giants are playing so well against the Bucs. Great first half. Now to just sit back and wait for their inevitable collapse. :smiley:

Heh. Great call. Jones throws a pick on the opening drive.

And he throws another. 2 plays after overthrowing a wide open Darius Slayton. Danny Dimes indeed.