NFL Schedule Week 8: Must-Watch Games You Don't Want to Miss

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 05:  Center David Baas #64 of the New York Giants lines up under center against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2012 NFL season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

It's separation week in the NFL—Week 8—and every game left on the schedule has become more important than they were before.

With some teams battling for the division and others looking to turn around their seasons, there's literally an intriguing storyline in every Week 8 contest.

But you're one person, and you can't possibly watch all the games at once. While the Red Zone Channel is awesome, it's just not the same as sitting down and watching a game.

If you are unsure as to where to point your remote control on Sunday afternoon, these are the games you want to tune into.


Atlanta Falcons (6-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-3), Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

It's a battle of undefeated records at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday afternoon when the Atlanta Falcons go head-to-head with the Philadelphia Eagles and head coach Andy Reid's own undefeated streak:

When all else fails, go with the Eagles after a bye: under Andy Reid.. 13-0

— trey wingo (@wingoz) October 26, 2012

While both teams entered their bye weeks with much to work on—the Falcons nearly lost to Oakland in Week 6 and QB Matt Ryan threw three interceptions while the Eagles blew a 10-point lead to the Detroit Lions and lost—only one team resorted to drastic measures.

The Eagles dismissed defensive coordinator Juan Castillo during their bye week, replacing him with secondary coach Todd Bowles, hoping to spark a defense that has only seven sacks and eight takeaways on the season (h/t ESPN).

Against a Falcons offense that averages nearly 30 points a game, a spark simply might not be enough to get the job done.

The Eagles held Falcons' QB Matt Ryan to only 195 yards passing the last time these two teams met in Week 2 of the 2011 season, but they also allowed him to throw four touchdown passes, something they cannot afford to do this time around.

Philadelphia has to worry about their own QB as well, with Michael Vick has already turned the ball over 13 times this year—eight interceptions and five fumbles—and the Falcons defense ranks fourth in the NFL with 17 takeaways (10 interceptions and seven fumbles).

With so much on the line—the Falcons' quest for perfection and the Eagles quest to turn their season around—you don't want to miss this game.


New York Giants (5-2) at Dallas Cowboys (3-3), Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX

It's one of the fiercest rivalries in the NFL and there's a ton on the line—with Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones' ego at the top of the list.

"Y'all should come to that (Cowboys) stadium and watch us beat the Giants' ass," Jones famously told Cowboys fans as the team opened training camp this past summer (h/t ESPN).

Between Jones' comments and the fact that the Cowboys beat the Giants at MetLife Stadium earlier this season, you can be sure that New York is looking for some serious retribution on Sunday afternoon in Dallas.

Dallas' defense has been one of the best defending against the pass while the Giants boast one of the more potent passing attacks in the league. 

A win would give the Giants some breathing room in the NFC East while derailing Dallas' aspirations of getting within a game of first place in the division.

These two teams simply don't like each other and emotions will be running high when they take to the field at the House That Jerry Built.


New Orleans Saints (2-4) at Denver Broncos (3-3), Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

It's a battle between two of the best quarterbacks the game has ever seen, and neither one figures to disappoint in what is sure to be a high-scoring shootout with the way they've each performed over their last three games.

Brees has completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,193 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Manning has completed nearly 76 percent of his throws for 984 yards and nine touchdowns.

New Orleans is looking to move back towards .500 and a shot at the playoffs, while the Broncos look to get some separation from the rest of the pack in the AFC West.

Twenty spots separate the teams when it comes to defending the pass—Denver ranks 10th in the NFL while New Orleans is 30th in the league, but ranks and stats, when it comes to defenses going up against Brees and Manning, can pretty much be tossed aside.

Both quarterbacks are going to put points on the board and this one likely comes down to which team has the ball last.