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One key thing to know about every NFL Week 8 game

The drama of his offseason holdout behind him, Lamar Jackson is looking like the 2019 NFL MVP version of Lamar Jackson again.

Seven games into his partnership with new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Jackson won his 50th game in 68 starts, with only Ken Stabler, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and Roger Staubach getting to 50 in fewer starts. He’s third in the league in passer rating (101.9) and fifth in yards per game (281.9).

In a 23-minute fusillade over Detroit, he led touchdown drives of 75, 68, 92 and 80 yards. He became only the third player (along with Michael Vick in 2000 and Shaun Hill in 2014) in the past 20 seasons to pass for 150 or more yards and a touchdown and run for a score in the first quarter of a game.

After this week’s game at Arizona, the schedule gets a little weird for him and his team, with Baltimore playing home games against Seattle, Cleveland and Cincinnati in 12 days, followed by a 30-day stretch in which it plays only twice (Nov. 26 at the Chargers and Dec. 10 at home against the Rams).

Here’s a look at some other interesting facts entering Week 8.

Buccaneers (3-3) at Bills (4-3), 8:15 p.m., Amazon Prime: Over the past three weeks, Buffalo has gone 1-2 and has been outscored 63-59. To quote quarterback Josh Allen: “Feels pretty bleak right now.” The team has had its highs (a 28-point victory over Miami) and dismal lows (losses to the Jets and a one-win Patriots team).

Texans (3-3) at Panthers (0-6), 1 p.m., Fox: It isn’t quite Tua Tagovailoa vs. Jalen Hurts, but the top two 2023 draft picks face off, with Houston’s No. 2 pick (C.J. Stroud) having a better rookie season than Carolina’s No. 1 pick (Bryce Young).

Rams (3-4) at Cowboys (4-2), 1 p.m., Fox: And now a few words about Dak Prescott: The often-criticized Dallas quarterback is 8-0 with 16 touchdowns (15 passing) and a 104.7 rating in his past eight home starts. His 19 career games with both a passing and rushing touchdown are the second most among quarterbacks since 2016.

Vikings (3-4) at Packers (2-4), 1 p.m., Fox: With questions swirling around Jordan Love, Green Bay faces a Minnesota team that has won three of four. Love has been intercepted in each of the past four games (seven overall) and has been intercepted three times on passes of at least 20 air yards, with zero touchdowns. The Packers’ 2-4 start is the franchise’s worst since the Brett Favre era.

Saints (3-4) at Colts (3-4), 1 p.m., Fox: New Orleans has beaten only Tennessee, Carolina and New England, and Derek Carr is looking like a bad fit. He’s 27th in the NFL in yards per attempt (6.3) and 20th in passer rating (82.8).

Patriots (2-5) at Dolphins (5-2), 1 p.m., CBS: As exciting as the Dolphins are, they have lost to Buffalo and Philadelphia while being outscored by 42 points and are 5-0 against teams with a combined record of 8-25.

Jets (3-3) at Giants (2-5), 1 p.m., CBS: The world waits with bated breath to see whether Aaron Rodgers will be “manifesting,” as his coach put it, a miraculously fast recovery from his Achilles’ tendon tear. If he can and if the Jets can continue to tread water, starting with a game against a team that beat Washington in Week 7, there might be a playoff berth on the line to speed up his recovery.

Jaguars (5-2) at Steelers (4-2), 1 p.m., CBS: Offensive coordinator Matt Canada remains under fire from Steelers fans. But for the first time since Week 3, Pittsburgh scored more than one offensive touchdown when it notched two rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s victory over the Rams.

Barely anyone is returning NFL kickoffs. An overhaul could be coming.

Falcons (4-3) at Titans (2-4), 1 p.m., CBS: Atlanta still seems to be the favorite to win the NFC South, such as it is. The latest evidence? The offense managed to rush for 156 yards with Bijan Robinson (one carry for three yards) extremely limited as it beat Tampa Bay.

Eagles (6-1) at Commanders (3-4), 1 p.m., Fox: In a loss to the Giants, Washington converted 1 of 15 third-down attempts and that’s saying something — something pretty awful — because the Giants had been allowing opponents to convert at a 43.7 percent clip (seventh worst in the NFL). In related news, QB Sam Howell is on pace to be sacked an NFL record 97 times.

Browns (4-2) at Seahawks (4-2), 4:05 p.m., Fox: An oddly compelling matchup, particularly with quarterback PJ Walker having won two games with Deshaun Watson out with a shoulder injury. Maybe all Cleveland needs is Myles Garrett (with a nod to defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz), who seems capable of carrying the team at defensive end. Last week, he had two sacks and nine tackles, forced two fumbles and blocked a field goal.

Ravens (5-2) at Cardinals (1-6), 4:25 p.m., CBS: Quarterback Kyler Murray, who tore his ACL and meniscus in December, is getting closer to returning, but Arizona officials say they have no timetable for the return of the 2019 No. 1 pick. When he resumed practice last week, a 21-day practice window opened for his participation. The Cardinals can activate him at any time but must do so by Nov. 8.

Chiefs (6-1) at Broncos (2-5), 4:25 p.m., CBS: Over the past three games, Patrick Mahomes has completed 31 of 33 passes to Travis Kelce for 370 yards, two touchdowns and 18 first downs. Kansas City has won 46 of its past 52 games against AFC West opponents, but enough about the offense. Let’s check in with the defense, which has allowed an opponent to score more than 20 points just once — when the Lions won by a pick-six in their season-opening upset.

Bengals (3-3) at 49ers (5-2), 4:25 p.m., CBS: This matchup is Cincinnati’s fourth against an NFC West team. The Bengals rang up 51 points against Arizona and Seattle, but Joe Burrow’s team is averaging an NFL-worst 4.9 yards per pass play, something that is not likely to have escaped the attention of San Francisco defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. After a 5-0 start, the 49ers have lost their past two games by a total of seven points and have sorely missed Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams.

Bears (2-5) at Chargers (2-4), 8:20 p.m., NBC: Chicago quarterback Tyson Bagent, who last week said his backup plan had been to become a “ripped and jacked” teacher, instead in Week 6 became the first undrafted rookie from Division II to win an NFL game since 1950 and now arrives in, gulp, a prime-time game. A product of West Virginia’s Shepherd University, Bagent completed 21 of 29 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown at Soldier Field, where the Bears hadn’t won since September 2022.

Raiders (3-4) at Lions (5-2), 8:15 p.m., ABC, ESPN: Before Sunday’s loss to the Ravens, no team had rushed for 100 or more yards against the Lions, who came into the game with the NFL’s top defense against the run. Las Vegas had 35 rushing yards in its loss to the Bears.


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