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Breaking Down the Pivotal Moments of NFL Week 8

Trevor MedeirosCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2017

Breaking Down the Pivotal Moments of NFL Week 8

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    In almost every NFL game, there’s one big play that swings the pendulum in the favor of one team.

    It’s called the turning point, and it often propels the team who hits that big play to victory. Nearly every NFL game in Week 8 had that big turning point. However, these moments in particular really stood out in regards to giving certain teams momentum they didn't relinquish.

    These were the biggest turning points of Week 8 in the NFL. 

Big Screen Springs Doug Martin to Glory

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    Despite heading into the locker room with over 100 rushing yards at halftime, Buccaneers rookie running back Doug Martin wasn’t content.

    Martin had an even more impressive second half (two touchdowns) in Tampa’s 36-17 win over the Vikings on Thursday Night Football. One particular play that sparked Martin’s monstrous second half was his impressive 64-yard screen pass he took to the house on the Bucs’ first drive out of halftime.

    That score gave Greg Schiano’s surging team a commanding 27-10 lead that Minnesota would never recover from.

Big Punt Block Gets Ball Rolling for Dolphins

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    Big special teams' plays can always catapult a squad to bigger and better things and that’s exactly what happened for the Miami Dolphins against the New York Jets.

    With the Dolphins up 3-0 with just over 3:00 remaining in the first quarter, New York was deep in its own end of the field lining up for a punt. Suddenly, Dolphins safety Jimmy Wilson came barreling up the middle to block Robert Malone’s punt.

    Wilson’s block fell right into the big mitts of Miami’s Olivier Vernon, who waltzed into the end zone to give the Fins a 10-0 lead. The blocked punt was the first of many big plays for Miami on the afternoon.

    The Dolphins went on to crush their bitter rivals, 30-9.

Felix Jones Coughs It Up

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    The Dallas Cowboys committed enough turnovers against the New York Giants (six) to open their own little bakery in Cowboys Stadium.

    However, one turnover in particular proved too much to overcome. With Dallas down 26-24 in the fourth quarter and with possession of the ball, Tony Romo made a handoff to Felix Jones.

    But Jones coughed up the ball on the carry. The Giants defense recovered and another Lawrence Tynes field goal gave Big Blue a five-point lead they would not relinquish.

    Although Dez Bryant did all he could to try and save Dallas from the crushing NFC East loss.

Tim Jennings Picks off a Win for Chicago

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    Up 19-14 midway through the fourth quarter, the Carolina Panthers were trying to ice an upset victory over the Chicago Bears.

    But Tim Jennings had other ideas.

    Jennings stepped in front of a Cam Newton pass for an interception he returned 25 yards for a touchdown. The pick six gave the Bears a 20-19 lead.

    Eventually, kicker Robbie Gould’s last-second field goal gave the Bears a one-point win. But they wouldn’t have been in that position without Jennings’ heroics.

Andrew Luck to Reggie Wayne in Overtime

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    The newly potent connection of Andrew Luck to Reggie Wayne came up big again for the Colts.

    This time, the two worked their magic in overtime. On the opening drive of overtime against the Titans, the Colts faced a key 3-and-8 at the Tennessee 16.

    Right as he was about to get walloped by a Titans defender, Luck delivered a 20-yard strike to Wayne over the middle. That big play kept the Colts’ drive alive and led to Vick Ballard’s acrobatic touchdown catch and run that gave Indy the overtime win.

    Had Luck not hit Wayne two plays prior, the Colts would’ve been forced to settle for an Adam Vinateri field-goal attempt. And at that point, who knows if the Colts would’ve won?

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