What to watch: NFL Week 8 preview, schedule, live streams

·8 min read
Aaron Rodgers leads the Green Bay Packers into Arizona to try and hand the undefeated Cardinals their first loss of the year in Week 8. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Aaron Rodgers leads the Green Bay Packers into Arizona to try and hand the undefeated Cardinals their first loss of the year in Week 8. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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The first eight weeks of the NFL season could be defined as the tale of two conferences.

In the AFC, it seems like there has been a new top dog every week.

Coming into the season it was the Kansas City Chiefs, then it was the Buffalo Bills. Last week it was the Baltimore Ravens, and now this week it's the... Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans? It really is anyone's guess at this point.

No team has less than two losses and every single division is still up for grabs.

Meanwhile, over in the NFC, the complete opposite is occurring.

There are a clear top-five teams, none of which have more than one loss. There is still a lot of football to go, but there is a high chance those five do battle for the top seeds, while the remaining NFC squads battle it out for the final two spots.

Thankfully, NFL fans will be treated to two of the NFC's heavyweights going head-to-head to kick off the Week 8 slate.

Here is everything you need to know about this week's most intriguing games:

Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Thursday, Oct. 28 at 8:20PM ET | Live Stream

Spread: Cardinals -3.5

Over/Under Total: 53.0

Moneyline: Packers (+215), Cardinals (-260)

Let's be honest, last week's NFL lineup was pretty weak. The schedule makers owe us one, and luckily, Week 8 starts with a bang on Thursday Night Football.

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers head to Arizona to try to be the first to knock off Kyler Murray and the Cardinals.

And if there was a team to do it, it might be the Packers. Ever since getting blown out by the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, the Packers have gone on to win six straight. This contest will be just the third time in NFL history two teams on winning streaks of six games or longer will meet in primetime.

 The only issue for Rodgers is that he may be without his number one target, as All-Pro receiver Davante Adams was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday. Adams will have to test negative two days in a row if he hopes to be out there with his team on Thursday.

Plus, if you look at the stats, Green Bay doesn't really blow you away. They rank 16th in points scored per game, 18th in passing yards per game and 19th in rushing yards per game. Not quite what you would expect from a team on a six-game win streak.

But Rodgers has done what he's been known for his entire career: finding ways to win football games no matter what.

Adding a seventh-straight win will be a tough test, however, as no team has yet to figure out how to crack the code that is the Arizona Cardinals.

Kliff Kingsbury has his team running like a well-oiled machine and for the first time since 1974, the Cardinals are 7-0. In fact, of the seven wins, only one was ever really in jeopardy. Outside of their Week 2 win over the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona has been in control for the majority of their games, and it's not like they're playing slouches, either. In Week 1 they embarrassed the Tennessee Titans on their home field, before thoroughly outplaying the then-undefeated Los Angeles Rams in Week 4.

If there were still any Cardinals doubters out there, a win against the Packers in primetime would surely be enough to finally make them a believer.

Packers fans will be cheering for the opposite and hoping the 1972 Miami Dolphins can finally pop that champagne once again.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints

Sunday, Oct. 31 at 4:25PM ET | Live Stream

Spread: Buccaneers -5.0

Over/Under Total: 50.5

Moneyline: Buccaneers (-230), Saints (+190)

Every week, it gets harder and harder to fathom just how impressive Tom Brady's season has been so far. The man is the oldest player in the league by four-plus years but looks better than he ever has.

Through seven games, the seven-time Super Bowl champion leads the league in both total passing yards (2275) and passing touchdowns (21). He also threw touchdown pass No. 600 last week, becoming the first player in NFL history to reach that mark. He did have to work to get the ball back though...

 

As sure of a thing that Brady is, the quarterback lining up across from him this coming Sunday is as inconsistent as they come.

Jameis Winston has had his ups and downs, both in his career as a whole as well as this season. In some games, he can look flawless like he did against the Packers in Week 1 when he threw for five touchdowns. While others he can leave fans scratching their heads.

But Winston has the Saints sitting firmly in the NFC playoff race after a big win Monday night over the Seattle Seahawks, and it has to be mentioned that he has done it with minimal help around him.

Outside of Alvin Kamara, the Saints' playmakers leave a lot to be desired, as star receiver Michael Thomas is dealing with an ankle injury and is still weeks away from returning.

The Buccaneers present the stiffest test yet for Winston and the Saints, and in this divisional rivalry, Saints fans will be hoping "good Jameis" can lead them to an upset victory.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings 

Sunday, Oct. 31 at 8:20PM ET | Live Stream

Spread: Cowboys -3.0

Over/Under Total: 53.0

Moneyline: Cowboys (-150), Vikings (+130)

As annoying as it may be for some NFL fans, the Dallas Cowboys are legit. The most valuable franchise in the entire league has all the tools to make some noise come February. It starts on the offensive side of the ball, where quarterback Dak Prescott is playing the best football of his career and is almost a shoo-in to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Prescott has arguably the most talented supporting cast of skill players in the entire league around him, which is only going to get better in the coming weeks when Michael Gallup returns from injury.

But the Cowboys' offence has been good before. What really separates this year's team is the defence, and it all starts with Trevon Diggs.

In one of the best stories of the NFL season thus far, the second-year defensive back is doing things that are unheard of from a defensive back. Through his first 18 games, Diggs has 10 interceptions, the most in NFL history, and it's not particularly close.

He also has six in seven games this season and has a real shot at breaking the NFL record for interceptions in a campaign.

With Dallas's high-flying offence, they never needed a defence that was elite, just one that was serviceable. But Diggs, along with the rest of the Cowboys' defence, has made them a nightmare to play on both sides of the ball.

The team that gets to face this nightmare this week are the Minnesota Vikings, who are an enigma themselves.

Minnesota is currently 3-3, and if the postseason began today, would be the seventh and final team to make the playoffs in the NFC.

What Vikings fans would tell you though, is that their team is just inches away from being undefeated — and they would have a pretty compelling case.

In all three of their losses, the Vikings have been within one point. They were even a 37-yard Greg Joseph field goal away from handing the Cardinals their first loss of the season in Week 2.

But that is in the past and after a bye week, the Vikings are rested and ready to show the league they do belong in the conversation of best NFL teams.

If the Vikings want to have any chance this Sunday, Kirk Cousins better keep the ball far away from Diggs, which apparently is easier said than done.

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