New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Highlights NFL Week 8
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Week 8 offers the usual mixture of NFL games.
Another potential Saints blowout as they travel up the Mississippi to St. Louis.
There may be none bigger though, than a possible playoff preview in Pittsburgh.
Arizona at Baltimore
Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense had a miserable night in Jacksonville.
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There have been concerns regarding the accuracy of Joe Flacco this season. Among the current NFL starting quarterbacks with more than one start, only rookie Blaine Gabbert of Jacksonville has a lower completion percentage than Flacco's 52.1 percent.
It was a problem Monday night in Jacksonville. Flacco was 21-of-38 (55 percent) for 137 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The Ravens totaled 146 net yards for the night.
Playing the Jaguars, who hadn't won since opening day, was a trap game.
The Cardinals, who also haven't won since opening day, present another trap game.
With the Steelers now leading the division, the Ravens need to take care of business against a team that doesn't usually play well in the Eastern Time Zone.
New Orleans at St. Louis
Drew Brees has completed over 70 percent of his passes in 2011.
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This could be as big a blowout as last week's win over the Colts; there is no reason to think that New Orleans could possibly lose this game.
So, why even talk about it?
Even though they lost Week 1 at Green Bay, and hit a speed bump in Tampa, the Saints are one of the few NFC teams—maybe the only—that can possibly go into Green Bay and win in January.
Stat of the week: The Saints scored 62 points against Indianapolis, the most by an NFL team in a regular season game since 1989. The Rams have scored 56—all season.
Washington at Buffalo in Toronto
The Bills need to rebound this week.
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The Bills had a bye last week following a tough 27-24 loss to the New York Giants.
Now they find themselves a game behind New England in the AFC East and cannot afford to lose this one.
The Redskins are trying to stop a two-game losing streak and John Beck will start at QB for the second consecutive week after posting decent numbers in a loss at Carolina.
Both of these teams have been in first place this season, and both have slipped down.
Despite the fact that this is an inter-conference game, it is almost a "must-win" for each team.
Detroit at Denver
Tim Tebow gets his first home start of 2011.
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Two weeks ago the Detroit Lions were 5-0 for the first time since 1956 and tied with Green Bay atop the NFC North.
Now they have lost two in a row, both at home, and must go to Denver to face Tim Tebow in his first home start of 2011.
On paper this looks like an easy win for Detroit. On the field it could be a different story.
For Detroit the two-game losing streak has exposed their 28th-ranked run defense. The Broncos don't overwhelm with either the run or pass, but with Tebow running as often as he does, the Broncos might have the advantage running the ball.
Detroit should also be concerned about a few more things. After averaging 31 points per game during the 5-0 start, they have scored 35 combined in the last two. Teams are also keeping Calvin Johnson out of the end zone. After scoring eight touchdowns in the first four games, he has only two in the last three.
Lastly, they should be concerned with the health of quarterback Matthew Stafford, as he limped off the field in the loss last week.
Detroit has had late-game heroics this year, but if the game is close in the fourth quarter, you can't rule out more Tebow magic.
Dallas at Philadelphia
The Cowboys and Eagles renew their rivalry Sunday night.
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If the NFL used flex scheduling this early in the year, both teams might ask out of the prime time game; Sunday night games haven't been kind to either this year.
In Week 1 the Cowboys led 24-10 in the fourth quarter before losing 27-24 to the Jets. The next week the Eagles led in Atlanta by 10 entering the fourth and the Falcons scored 14 unanswered for the win.
Actually for these teams it's not just a night thing.
Dallas has had a fourth quarter lead in every loss this year, and Philadelphia gave up a 20-point lead to the 49ers.
No matter the result, both might still be in the NFC East race when they play again on Christmas Eve.
San Diego at Kansas City
The Chiefs have turned things around.
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A month ago, the Chiefs were 0-3 after losing in San Diego 20-17. The coach and quarterback were arguing on the sidelines, and there were reports that head coach Todd Haley was on the verge of being fired by general manager Scott Pioli.
The Chargers also haven't beaten anyone of note. Their four wins have come against teams with a combined record of 6-19. On the road they are 1-2, having lost to New England and the Jets, and barely escaping Denver with a win.
With the quarterback situation in Oakland, the winner will be in the driver's seat in the AFC West.
New England at Pittsburgh
Can the Steelers make a Super Bowl run?
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Could this be a playoff preview? Maybe even an AFC Championship Game preview?
Over the last decade these are the two teams that have won five of 10 Super Bowls, and both have appeared in five AFC Championship Games. In fact, in the last 10 years, there have only been two AFC Championship Games without one of these teams—in '02 and '09.
Twice they have played for the AFC title, with the Patriots winning both times.
The Patriots will let Tom Brady throw to Welker and Co. all day long. On defense, they hope to contain Big Ben and stop the run. Is their defense up to the task?
The Steelers are like the Saints—good enough to beat anyone, yet no one seems to be talking about them. With Baltimore's loss last Monday, Pittsburgh now leads the AFC North.
If the season ended now they would be the No. 2 AFC seed.
That would be fine with them. The last two times there were the second seed, they won the AFC Championship.