By the top of Sunday evening’s sport there have been seven quarterbacks tied for the NFL lead in interceptions and three had one thing in frequent: They had been preseason favorites for MVP.
Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts all have eight interceptions. Not one of the three have been all that nice this season. Mahomes has the bottom passer ranking of his profession. Hurts has a decrease ranking than Mahomes. Allen is main a Buffalo Payments workforce that has been reasonably disappointing with some dangerous losses. None of them have been dangerous, however it could be exhausting to argue any of them is having an MVP season.
Different quarterbacks like Tua Tagovailoa and Brock Purdy have hung out main the MVP debate, nevertheless it’s half-hearted. We all know voters’ tendencies and, merely put, they’ve eyes for quarterbacks and solely quarterbacks. We’ll desperately match any reasonably deserving quarterback into the MVP dialogue.
However as we attain the unofficial midway level of the NFL season, one participant has had an even bigger influence, with extra consistency, than every other: Miami Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill is the MVP of the primary half.
On Sunday, Hill turned the primary participant within the Tremendous Bowl period to succeed in 1,000 yards in his workforce’s first eight video games. He leads the NFL in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He is on tempo for two,155 receiving yards (which might shatter the all-time document), 130 catches and 17 touchdowns. In each Dolphins sport, Hill is the participant who defenses account for first, and it usually makes no distinction. Hill has an NFL-best seven 40-yard catches and just one different participant has greater than three (Rashid Shaheed of the Saints has six). Hill’s great pace makes him unguardable, and the Dolphins don’t have any downside passing it to Hill each time they’ll. That sounds fairly priceless.
It was most likely a mistake to provide Aaron Rodgers the 2021 NFL MVP on the finish of an unmemorable season over Cooper Kupp. It was positively a mistake to not give Jerry Rice an MVP award in 1987 when he had 22 receiving touchdowns in 12 video games. A receiver has by no means received MVP. Not even Rice, who has a powerful case as the best NFL participant ever. Which means Hill most likely will not win both. Nonetheless, Rice says Hill has a shot.
“I believe he is excited in regards to the alternative of being essentially the most priceless participant. That would occur. That would occur,” Rice advised Yahoo Sports activities’ Matt Harmon. “It would not occur that always as a large receiver, however I believe he has a respectable likelihood of creating it occur.”
If there was a season when a non-quarterback ought to get a glance, it is this one. Not one of the elite quarterbacks have been nice. No quarterback is having a transcendent season.
In a good world, Hill’s foremost competitors on the midway level would not even be a quarterback. It may very well be Christian McCaffrey, who has scored in each sport this season and has tied the NFL document for many consecutive video games with a landing. It is also A.J. Brown, who on Sunday set an NFL document for many consecutive 125-yard video games. Edge defenders like Myles Garrett and T.J. Watt have a greater argument than simply about any quarterback on the halfway level.
This is the way it will go, in actuality: Hill might have the NFL’s first 2,000-yard receiving season and perhaps he’ll get a token vote or two for MVP. If no quarterback has an MVP-level season — and no one has but, besides perhaps Tagovailoa — voters will simply discover the perfect quarterback and provides it to him anyway. Hill must accept Offensive Participant of the 12 months, even when he is the perfect participant within the league. And that is precisely what he has been by way of the primary half of the season.
Listed here are the ability rankings after Week 8 of the NFL season:
The Cardinals wanted a rally within the fourth quarter to keep away from their fifth double-digit loss in a row. The fallout was that Joshua Dobbs misplaced his job because the workforce’s beginning quarterback. In Week 9 it’s going to be both rookie Clayton Tune making his first begin or Kyler Murray in his return. Bringing Murray again from a torn ACL to begin at a troublesome Cleveland protection, maybe in dangerous climate, looks like one thing Arizona want to keep away from.
The Panthers obtained a win, and that has to take a weight off everybody within the group. The one factor Carolina has to do higher is run the ball. Its operating backs had 33 yards on 20 carries Sunday. Miles Sanders has been successfully benched for Chuba Hubbard, nevertheless it’s not like Hubbard is taking off with the job.
If you lose, all the things is beneath scrutiny. Head coach Brian Daboll’s clarification for attempting a area objective as an alternative of going for it on fourth-and-1 late within the fourth quarter made sense. He did not assume his protection would permit the Jets to attain a landing within the closing 25 seconds and he was most likely proper. However the kick missed, the Jets one way or the other obtained in field-goal place, hit that kick to tie it after which received in extra time. When your season goes dangerous, that sort of loss would not get simply forgotten.
Sunday wasn’t nice for the Bears. They misplaced on the Chargers, the kind of blowout loss that permit everybody know Chicago nonetheless has loads of work to do. Even worse, Carolina received. Arizona now would maintain the primary decide of the 2024 NFL Draft if the season ended at this time. For the remainder of the season, the outcomes of the Panthers’ video games is likely to be extra vital to the Bears than what occurs in their very own video games.
The Packers have gone 5 straight video games with no first-half landing. Whereas it is honest to say Jordan Love deserves greater than seven video games to show if he generally is a beginning NFL quarterback, it is certain wanting just like the Packers’ 2024 beginning QB is not on the roster now.
Receiver Kendrick Bourne had some good moments this season, together with touchdowns in every of the Patriots’ previous two video games. He tore his ACL on Sunday and is finished for the season. It is one other step again for a Patriots offense that does not have loads of expertise.
In case you did not watch Monday evening’s sport and noticed that the Raiders misplaced 26-14 to the Lions, you would not assume it was that dangerous. It was dangerous. The Raiders had been outgained 486-157 and certainly one of their two touchdowns got here on Marcus Peters’ decide 6 of Detroit. It was a debacle. The Raiders higher play quite a bit higher going ahead, or head coach Josh McDaniels may not final the season.
It got here in a loss, however Sam Howell had the kind of sport that may get Washington excited for his future. He threw for 397 yards towards a great Eagles protection. He has been taking method too many sacks this season however took just one towards a powerful Philly move rush. Howell threw a nasty interception that led to the loss, however in any other case it was an excellent efficiency for a younger quarterback.
We now have to evaluate the Vikings for what they’re now, and with out Kirk Cousins the remainder of the season they’re most likely going to battle. Subsequent up might be fifth-round rookie Jaren Corridor. They might signal somebody like Carson Wentz. However the reality is that no one obtainable initially of November goes to show the Vikings right into a contender. It is a brutal break for a workforce that was beginning to ascend.
The Colts’ lack of expertise at cornerback goes to be their downfall. They’ve overcome it in some weeks however could not Sunday because the Saints went up and down the sphere on them. Being unable to cease an opponents’ receivers is a nasty deficiency in 2023.
Matthew Stafford has a sprained UCL in his proper thumb. He is day-to-day and is a troublesome participant who has performed by way of ache and accidents earlier than, however the Rams have a bye after this week. It might make loads of sense to take a seat Stafford on Sunday towards the Packers.
The Broncos’ defensive turnaround has been beautiful. A number of weeks in the past, Denver appeared just like the worst protection not solely this season however perhaps in lots of seasons. Then over two video games in three weeks, Denver held Kansas Metropolis to twenty-eight factors. Patrick Mahomes did not lead his workforce to 1 landing on Sunday, a number of weeks after Miami scored 70 on Denver. Everybody was prepared to fireside defensive coordinator Vance Joseph a month in the past, and now he deserves credit score for overseeing an enormous turnaround.
Will Levis will get one other begin Thursday if Ryan Tannehill is out, which is not any shock after Levis threw for 4 touchdowns in his NFL debut. Until Levis is horrible in his subsequent couple begins, he ought to get the remainder of the season. It is not like Tannehill was enjoying properly anyway, and he is virtually actually going to be passed by 2024.
The Buccaneers might be “listeners” on the commerce deadline, head coach Todd Bowles mentioned. Tampa Bay is like many groups, not dangerous sufficient to tear all of it down but additionally not ok to really feel like contenders. So many groups being close to the center within the NFL will most likely restrict what number of trades occur Tuesday.
Every part was off in regards to the Texans’ offense on Sunday. C.J. Stroud had his quietest sport as a professional. The operating sport, now break up between Dameon Pierce and Devin Singletary, was ineffective. Not one of the Texans’ move catchers confirmed up. All towards a nasty Panthers protection. It is a reminder that the Texans have a protracted solution to go, regardless of promising indicators this season.
Head coach Arthur Smith mentioned the Falcons are going to be aware of Desmond Ridder’s well being when figuring out if he can play this weekend. He left Sunday’s sport to be checked for a concussion, then by no means got here again. Smith, to no shock, is being vague about what precisely is occurring. It results in hypothesis that the Falcons are getting a take a look at Taylor Heinicke resulting from Ridder’s efficiency as a lot as his well being.
Kenny Pickett has a rib harm and his standing for Thursday evening’s sport is up within the air. Security Minkah Fitzpatrick has already been dominated out with a hamstring harm. It is unlucky for the Steelers that they’ve a brief week. At the least they’re at house, and maybe the protection can fluster Titans rookie QB Will Levis in his second profession begin.
The Saints put up 511 yards and 38 factors and whereas that claims quite a bit in regards to the Colts’ protection, it is a reflection of the expertise New Orleans has on offense. Possibly it is beginning to come collectively. One factor that is clear: Massive-play receiver Rashid Shaheed must be extra concerned. He is an influence playmaker.
Austin Ekeler appeared wholesome for the primary time since he suffered an ankle harm early this season. He had 123 complete yards. He can add a component to the Chargers’ offense that has been lacking.
The Jets obtained very, very fortunate to beat a Giants workforce that needed to flip to its third-string quarterback and ended up with minus-9 internet passing yards. All wins depend however that is who the Jets are. They must be unimaginable on protection and particular groups, and hope the offense does simply sufficient to get them wins.
Kevin Stefanski was criticized for passing on third-and-3 proper earlier than the two-minute warning towards the Seahawks. P.J. Walker’s move went off Jamal Adams’ helmet and was picked off, and that led to a game-winning Seahawks drive. A run in that spot would have at very least given the Browns an opportunity to punt and make Seattle begin a drive from deep in its territory. With the Ravens beginning to widen their lead within the AFC North, that might be a loss the Browns remorse.
Rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba is approaching. He has scored touchdowns in two straight video games, together with the game-winner on Sunday. He is not an enormous a part of the Seahawks’ offense but as a result of Seattle has many choices, however he would not must be as a rookie. If he is a secondary menace for Geno Smith to throw to, that opens up Seattle’s offense. Not many groups have a 3rd receiver higher than JSN.
Possibly the Bengals are again. These points that appeared exhausting to repair a number of weeks in the past all had been high-quality once they had been dominating the 49ers’ protection on Sunday. We are able to just about go ahead assuming Cincinnati has returned to being a prime workforce, although a Week 9 sport towards the Payments might be telling.
The Payments appeared good towards the Buccaneers, although the way in which they let up within the fourth quarter virtually value them a win. A Week 9 sport at Cincinnati ought to tell us if the Payments can nonetheless be a Tremendous Bowl contender this season.
Amongst all the highest groups within the AFC playoff image (except you depend Cleveland), the Jaguars have the simplest remaining schedule based on Tankathon. The Jaguars aren’t the perfect workforce within the AFC, however they’re tied for the perfect document with the simplest remaining schedule of anybody who has a sensible shot on the No. 1 seed. Maintain that in thoughts.
In hindsight, it was the incorrect determination to let Brock Purdy play six days after struggling a concussion, with a bye developing. Purdy did not look proper, he banged his head again, and the one factor his poor day did was improve the doubts about his long-term viability.
The Cowboys’ offense hasn’t at all times been efficient this season, nevertheless it was good on Sunday towards the Rams. If the Cowboys can hold that momentum going into this weekend’s sport towards the Eagles, they’ve a shot to get a win that will change the complete NFC East race.
Jahmyr Gibbs went off for 189 complete yards. Each week, it appears the Lions’ ceiling will get increased. And in case you check out the Lions’ simple remaining schedule, very similar to the Jaguars within the AFC, they’re positioned very properly to make a run at a No. 1 seed.
Jalen Ramsey had an influence immediately in his return. He had an enormous interception and the Patriots virtually refused to throw to his facet.
Mac Jones was 4 of seven for five yards and an interception concentrating on the left facet of the sphere, and 15 of 21 for 156 yards & 2 TDs concentrating on the center and proper thirds.
— Subsequent Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 29, 2023
It will likely be very fascinating to see how good the Dolphins will be in the event that they ever get near full well being.
Gus Edwards picked a great time to have a three-touchdown sport, proper earlier than the commerce deadline. The Ravens ought to nonetheless discover operating backs as a result of Edwards might be finest suited as a part of a committee slightly than a lead again, however he is an efficient participant and can do if the Ravens cannot add anybody.
The Chiefs might be high-quality. That streak towards the Broncos was sure to finish ultimately, and a five-turnover day was the trail for it to occur. If there is a concern it is that the offense has not been nice but. The excellent news is the protection has improved quite a bit, which might be actually vital if the offense catches up.
Giving up 472 yards to the Commanders is not what the Eagles wished with the Cowboys coming to city for an enormous NFC East sport on Sunday. The Eagles’ protection hadn’t allowed greater than 250 yards in a sport for 3 straight earlier than that, so let’s assume letting the Commanders go up and down the sphere was the outlier.