The story of this past week in the NFL was what happened in the aftermath of Sunday’s slate of games.
Late Monday morning, the Cleveland Browns finally fired Head Coach Hue Jackson as well as Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley. In his two-and-a-half years in charge, Jackson was a remarkable 3-36-1 since 2016, giving him the lowest winning percentage ever by a head coach who was at the helm for at least 40 games. It was unbelievable Jackson still even had the job after going a combined 1-31 in the past in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Jackson’s firing long seemed to be an inevitability after Cleveland changed its front office group in the offseason after firing General Manager Sashi Brown and bringing in John Dorsey as his replacement. Dorsey’s job now will be to find a replacement for Jackson to pair with franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield while Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams fills in in the interim role. Some of the names the Browns are expected to consider are University of Oklahoma’s Head Coach Lincoln Riley – Mayfield’s college head coach – and the Vikings’ Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo, among others. Aside from the drama Monday morning, most of the weekend’s games went as expected and there were not too many surprising results to report on. With that being said, here’s a recap of what you may have missed in week eight of the NFL.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Eagles and Jaguars faced off for a game early in the morning on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London. Both teams were expected to be among the league’s elite this season, but both entered this game under .500, reeling and in dire need of a win. The Jaguars came in having lost their last three games after a 3-1 start and the Eagles had lost three of their last four. The Eagles, however, seemed to turn things around in this home-away-from-home game for the Jags, and handed the Jaguars their first-ever London loss. Carson Wentz threw for 286 yards and three touchdowns and the Eagles defense held the Jaguars offense in check all afternoon, allowing just 70 yards rushing. After giving up a 17-point lead at home against the Panthers a week ago, the Eagles defense rebounded well and closed this one out in the final minutes by stopping the Jags on fourth down with 3:41 remaining to help seal a massive 24-18 win. At 4-4, the Eagles are still in the thick of the NFC East race even with the Redskins playing surprisingly well at 5-2.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
After this game, it appears the Jameis Winston experience is officially over in Tampa. After throwing four interceptions before being replaced by backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. Winston dug the Bucs into a 36-14 third quarter hole before Tampa opted for Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick, however, led the Bucs on the most improbable comeback, playing almost perfect football, going 11/15 passing for 194 yards and two touchdowns in just over a quarter of play, and tied the game at 34 with just over a minute remaining. The “Fitzmagic” of early in the season when Fitzpatrick filled in for Winston during his suspension certainly seemed back. Andy Dalton and the Bengals, however, marched right back down the field on Tampa’s shaky defense to set up Randy Bullock’s game winning 44-yard field goal. Tampa has already announced Fitzpatrick will start next weekend over Winston, who leads the league in interceptions despite missing the first four weeks due to suspension. The question for Tampa now is what’s next after Winston flopped so mightily in his four years as the Bucs quarterback?
Green Bay Packers vs. Los Angeles Rams
This game was dubbed the game of the week entering Sunday, and deservedly so. For the most part, it lived up to its big hype, too. The Packers seemed in control the entire first half, entering halftime up 10-8 with their defense keeping the vaunted Rams offense in check. The second half was a different story though as Jared Goff and Todd Gurley picked it up, scoring 19 second half points thanks in large part to Gurley’s 114 and 81 receiving yards. Los Angeles took a 29-27 lead on a Greg Zuerlein field goal with two minutes left, and the fans in LA seemed primed for a vintage Aaron Rodgers last-minute comeback. Rodgers never got an opportunity though as Ty Montgomery for some reason opted to take the kickoff out of the end zone and fumbled when he was hit around the 20-yard line, which all but ended the game. After getting a first down, the Rams were able to just kneel the rest of the game away. The Rams are now 8-0 while the Packers are looking up at the Vikings and Bears in the NFC North.