Sometimes the NFL can be both sensational and gruesome at the same time. That was certainly the case in Week 8 of the 2017 NFL season, as we witnessed the Game of the Year between Russell Wilson’s Seattle Seahawks and Deshaun Watson’s Houston Texans. But we also witnessed a horrendous overturned call on Bears tight end Zach Miller’s touchdown catch, which was actually less horrendous than the injury sustained. This season is nuts.
From Wilson & Watson to the impressive Buffalo Bills and Bob McNair’s egregious comments to Zach Miller’s gruesome injury and called back touchdown, we’re breaking down the good and the bad from this week in the NFL.
Let’s take a look at the winners and losers in Week 8 of the 2017 NFL season:
How dare you doubt Russell Wilson. When you do, he’ll make you pay. The Seahawks quarterback won the shootout battle against rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson previewing what could be an exciting future for the NFL in a 41-38 win for the Seahawks over the Texans. Wilson completed 26 of 41 passes for 452 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also led a final minute comeback drive in the fourth quarter, which was capped off by a touchdown to tight end Jimmy Graham, his second of the game. Wilson showed the poise that reminds us that he’s one of the league’s most potent passers.
Even though he tossed three interceptions in a losing effort, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was definitely a winner this week. The rookie quarterback completed 19 of 30 passes for 402 yards and four touchdowns. Watson also has thrown 17 touchdown passes in his first 8 games, tying Kurt Warner’s record. He also is tied for most touchdowns in the league right now. But perhaps most impressive was how he held tough in a hostile Seattle environment. Watson led the revived Texans offense in a shootout that came down to the final minute as Russell Wilson led his Seahawks to victory. But it was Watson’s poise as a rookie that continues to impress this season.
It’s alright, we can all admit it. We were wrong about the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are the real deal. Buffalo continues to post impressive wins with a balanced attack, winning the turnover battle, playing dominant defense, and making plays with Tyrod Taylor. The Bills lead the NFL with a +14 turnover margin, which is impressive for both offense and defense. The Bills are sitting at 5-2, including 4-0 at home, and are poised to make a run for the AFC East title. Watch out, Patriots.
No, JuJu doesn’t make this list because of his missing bike (which is now thankfully back in his possession.) The Steelers rookie receiver continued to impress in a 20-15 victory over the Lions. Smith-Schuster had his breakout game on Sunday Night Football with 7 receptions for 193 yards and a touchdown. This kid is so good that it irritated Martavis Bryant to the point where he wants out — and likely is headed — of town. But perhaps the most impressive play of the night was Smith-Schuster’s 97-yard catch and run score in the third quarter. The future is bright for the 21-year old in Pittsburgh. Strap in, folks.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers kicked off the trading deadline in a huge trade for New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. While there were reports last season that the Patriots were shopping Garoppolo for a first round pick, the 49ers got the guy they believe will be their future for a second round pick. Garoppolo has spent four years sitting behind future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, and when he had to step in for Brady during his suspension, Garoppolo was 2-0 completing 43 of 63 passes for 502 yards, four touchdowns, zero picks, and a 113.3 rating. But that was with the Patriots. Now, we’ll see how the 49ers grow this team around their potential franchise quarterback.
Texans Owner Bob McNair
During a time where anything and everything said is under a microscope, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair started a wildfire of controversy with his remarks about NFL players, saying, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.” McNair’s comments ignited a firestorm within the Texans locker room, nearly prompting a walkout midweek and had all but 6 Texans players kneeling before Sunday’s game. McNair’s comments were out of line — and his apology insincere — during a time where he’s gotta be smarter than to run his mouth like that.
Official Alberto Riveron & Referee Carl Cheffers
There’s already credence that referees have too much control in the NFL. But one call — an overrule of a touchdown — is one of the worst in recent history came Sunday during the Bears-Saints game. In the fourth quarter, Mitch Trubisky tossed a beautiful touchdown to tight end Zach Miller. But Miller dislocated his knee in the catch, a gruesome leg injury that could be career-threatening. The catch was ruled a touchdown, but the Alberto Riveron in New York said that the ball hit the ground. When it clearly didn’t. It was, clear as day, a touchdown. So shoutout to Riveron — and even Carl Cheffers — aka the asshole that overturned the touchdown that was CLEARLY a touchdown. Even former VP of Officiating Dean Blandino said that he thought the call was wrong. For crying out loud, Miller gave his left leg for that touchdown and the league took it away from him. You should be ashamed. And also ridiculed until the end of time.
Talk about adding insult to a really, serious injury. Not only did Zach Miller suffer a gruesome injury to his left knee, but the beautiful touchdown pass and catch, that was clearly a catch, was taken away from him in what was one of the worst calls by refs in years. But the important issue here is Zach Miller the person. And the gruesome injury that cost him his season and potentially his career, nearly cost him his leg. Luckily, Bears medical staff were able to recognize it was a vascular issue immediately so that it was treated immediately. Miller is doing well, according to doctors, but he’s not out of the woods just yet. Continue to keep him in your prayers.
Miami, you had one job. All you had to do was play decent. All you had to do was play decent and you should’ve beaten the Baltimore Ravens. But 40-0. FORTY TO NOTHING? God, you didn’t just lose. You were blown the hell out of there. All of a sudden, all those Jay Cutler haters aren’t clamoring so much for Matt Moore, huh? Sure, it’s one thing to come in at the middle of a game and light it up. But when another team is game planning for you, that’s another story. And Dolphins fans saw exactly why Matt Moore has always been a backup quarterback.
Well, Trevor Siemian just signed his ticket out of Denver with his Monday Night Football performance. Siemian completed 19 of 36 passes for 198 yards, a lone touchdown, and three interceptions, all three picks coming in the first half. It was ugly. It was brutal. And the fact that rumors are the Broncos defense is livid — and rightfully so — just confirms my belief. Siemian looked lost out there. He looked confused. And the Chiefs defense was benefiting immensely. Well, it was nice knowing you, Siemian.
Talk about the worst punt return in recent memory. Just when the Los Angeles Chargers looked like they’d left the BS behind, Travis Benjamin reminded us what the Chargers looked like earlier this season when they were 0-4. Benjamin fumbled the punt and just ran backwards. He ran backwards so much that he ended up in the endzone, where he was tackled for a Patriots safety. God, that was embarrassing.
Let’s just make a permanent spot on this losers list for the Browns. They’re always going to be on this list. If you’ve never believed in curses, then this Browns team will make a believer out of you. Even London can’t break this curse.
Who were your winners and losers for Week 8 of the NFL season?