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NFL Week 8 preview: Eagles have chance to tie best record to start year, Vikings face real test

Week 8 of the 2022 NFL season could show some separation between the teams likely to make the playoffs in January and those preparing for the draft.

The week started with a decisive game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Baltimore Ravens and will end with an AFC North showdown between the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals. On Sunday, there are a lot of interesting matches to note.

The Philadelphia Eagles sit atop the power rankings and remain the only undefeated team in the NFL. But the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs aren’t far behind.

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after his performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Joe Burrow was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his dominating game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Read some matches to watch on Sunday below.

Vikings (5-1) vs. Cardinals (3-4) – 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​(8) passes hands to Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, October 16, 2022 , in Miami Gardens, Florida.
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The Minnesota Vikings will take a real test to see what they are. Kirk Cousins ​​and Justin Jefferson have the opportunity to prove why they are the best team in the NFC North with their other rivals just a few games behind them in the standings. Dalvin Cook and the rushing attack will also be a big factor in the game.

“We know what the ground game is. It’s a 3-yard, 4-yard festival and then it all comes out,” Cook told reporters this week. “But when those big plays hit, we try to take advantage of that.”

The Vikings defense is giving up 19.7 points per game, but with DeAndre Hopkins back in the Arizona Cardinals roster, things could get a little tougher. Against the New Orleans Saints, Kyler Murray completed a touchdown pass to Greg Dorich in the 42-34 win. Hopkins led the way with 10 catches for 103 yards.

The Cardinals defense will have to do their best to try to contain Minnesota. The team is giving up 25.1 points per game.

Jets (5-2) vs. Patriots (3-4) — 1 p.m. ET, CBS

NFL Week 8 preview: Eagles have chance to tie best record to start year, Vikings face real test

Sauce Gardner #1 of the New York Jets attends an NFL football game between the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets at Empower Field At Mile High on October 23, 2022 in Denver, Colorado.
(Michael Owens/Getty Images)

The New York Jets are another team trying to prove they are real. They had one of their best starts in recent memory and a win over their division rivals, the New England Patriots, would be huge and keep them on pace with the Buffalo Bills.

Sauce Gardner continued to be a threat on the defensive side of football. He led the team with a season-high 10 tackles and three passes defended last week. He is the only player in the league with at least one pass defended in each of the first seven games of the season.

The Patriots reportedly started Mac Jones after switching him midgame to Bailey Zappe last week. In his last game against the Jets, Jones had 307 yards and two touchdowns. The team has allowed 20 points per game this season and Matthew Judon and company will have to step up a lot.

Eagles (6-0) vs. Steelers (2-5) – 1 p.m. ET, CBS

NFL Week 8 preview: Eagles have chance to tie best record to start year, Vikings face real test

Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles looks for a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday Oct. 16, 2022 in Philadelphia.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Philadelphia Eagles are the last undefeated team in the NFL and a tough battle of rivals in the state awaits them on Sunday. The Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers have been playing each other since the 1930s. The Steelers beat the Eagles 38-29 in 2020. But the two teams are in two entirely different spaces.

Jalen Hurts, along with Miles Sanders, Devonta Smith, AJ Brown and others, are soaring. A win could equal their best start in team history which came in 2004 when they started 7-0. The offense is in the top five in points scored and yards gained and the defense is fourth in points and yards allowed. The team also acquired Robert Quinn during the week to bolster the line.

The Steelers will go with Kenny Pickett again. Pittsburgh has spat over the past few weeks and a big win over Philly could build momentum. Coach Mike Tomlin said he hasn’t yet seen a reason to change the offense as passionate fans point to offensive coordinator Matt Canada as the problem.

“I don’t feel like I’m there,” Tomlin said via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Rams (3-3) vs. 49ers (3-4) – 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX

NFL Week 8 preview: Eagles have chance to tie best record to start year, Vikings face real test

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, left, is sacked by San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., on Monday, October 3, 2022.
(AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

The NFC West is tighter than expected and the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams have a tough road ahead. The Rams will have to try to keep the San Francisco 49ers at bay, Los Angeles has lost seven straight regular season games to the 49ers, including in Week 4.

Both teams look a bit different now. Los Angeles took care of the Carolina Panthers two weeks ago before they left and appear to be mostly healthy while the 49ers have had a bad string of injuries to their defense including Nick Bosa, Emmanuel Moseley and Jimmy Ward. San Francisco acquired Christian McCaffrey from Carolina, which will add a different difficulty for the Rams to manage.

Los Angeles is allowed 21 points per game this season and is scoring just 17.3 points. If there’s anyone who needs a great escape game, it’s the Rams. Stafford has thrown for more than 300 yards only once this year. If the team wants to stay relevant in the NFC West, a win would help tremendously.

Bills (5-1) vs. Packers (3-4) – 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

NFL Week 8 preview: Eagles have chance to tie best record to start year, Vikings face real test

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) passes against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022 in Baltimore.
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Sunday night’s game between the Buffalo Bills and the Green Bay Packers tells the story of two stories – a team that’s on the high of highs and another on a low stretch.

Josh Allen has 17 touchdown passes and 1,980 passing yards this season. His arsenal of wide receivers seems to do it all, and the defense has done its part in keeping teams grounded. Their only loss came to the Miami Dolphins earlier this season as they managed to beat the Kansas City Chiefs two weeks ago before sitting out their day off.

Aaron Rodgers was openly frustrated with his teammates as he was slower than usual to get everyone acclimated and on the same page when it came to attacking. As the two-time reigning MVP, Rodgers has a 66.8% completion rate and has been sacked 15 times in seven games, half of last year’s total. Going up against the Bills defense is not the medicine Green Bay would like to have right now.

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9:30 a.m. ET: Jaguars (2-5) vs. Broncos (2-5)

1 p.m. ET: Falcons (3-4) vs. Panthers (2-5)

1 p.m. ET: Cowboys (5-2) vs. Bears (3-4)

1 p.m. ET: Lions (1-5) vs. Dolphins (4-3)

1 p.m. ET: Saints (2-5) vs. Raiders (2-4)

4:05 p.m. ET: Texans (1-4-1) vs. Titans (4-2)

4:25 p.m. ET: Colts (3-3-1) vs. Commanders (3-4)

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