The NFL's Biggest Surprises Of Week 8: AFC North Back In Business
The AFC North Impressed In A Week Of Redemption
The Browns put up one of the worst performances of 2014 against the Jaguars last week, but they rebounded against the Raiders. Ben Tate struggled once again, but Brian Hoyer and Andrew Hawkins stepped up in his place, connecting on a four-yard touchdown pass that gave them a lead that they would never lose. The Steelers, on the other hand, are on a winning streak for the first time in this season. After three abysmal showings, the Steelers convincingly won against the 4-4 Texans and the 5-3 Colts. The Bengals were considered the best team in football throughout the first few weeks of the year, but they then failed to win a game three weeks in a row. Going up against the consistently competitive Ravens in Baltimore, and without A.J. Green, the Bengals proved that they are still contenders. While the Ravens lost this week, they are still one of the more complete teams in football. Once seen as a regressing division, the AFC North made a statement in Week 8 and proved that it is one of the best in the league.
The Seahawks And Panthers Combined For Just 22 Points
While both teams are known for their defensive play, the Seahawks had scored 21+ points in all of their games prior, while the Panthers had put up 68 points from Weeks 5 to 6. The game's lone touchdown was a fourth-quarter pass from Russell Wilson to Luke Willson. Wilson and Marshawn Lynch have proven to be a dominant duo before, but they have failed to produce at high levels recently. The rookie Kelvin Benjamin had a productive day, recording four catches for 94 yards, but nothing else positive can be said about the two teams' offenses.
Kyle Orton Scored Four Touchdowns As The Bills Topped The Jets 43-23
Geno Smith's interceptions may have made it easier, but Orton still threw four touchdowns off of just ten completions. No receiver topped three receptions, while Orton threw just 17 total passing attempts. The Jets were expected to build off of a strong outing against the Patriots, but they may have played their worst game of 2014.
The Cowboys Lost To The Redskins In Overtime
DeMarco Murray had another great day, recording 221 yards from scrimmage, but the Cowboys' offense scored just 17 points. Murray fumbled the ball in Redskins territory, while fellow running back Joseph Randle fumbled as well. While the Redskins were unable to take advantage of those turnovers, they were able to move the ball outside of regulation. The main reason that the Cowboys lost was because of their inability to sustain drives. The Redskins' banged up defense did a nice job containing the Cowboys on crucial third downs.