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#pounditThursday, July 29, 2021

5 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 8

Lamar Jackson

Week 8 is finished, meaning we’re just about halfway through the NFL season. Some teams are beginning to realize that their championship dreams aren’t going to be coming true this year. Others can look forward to the second half of the season with optimism if their teams are sitting well-positioned for a possible playoff run.

Amid all that, some players and units just aren’t performing the way they need to. Here are five big ones that disappointed in Week 8.

Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens

Jackson wanted to step up and do better in big games this year. This was not a performance to back up the rhetoric. Jackson completed just half of his passes, throwing two poor interceptions as the Steelers held the star quarterback in check for most of the afternoon and won 28-24. As gifted as Jackson is, the fact that the Ravens seemed to actively avoid the pass in the second half is an indictment of where they’re at right now.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns

Every time the Browns appear to turn a corner, something like Sunday’s game seems to happen. The Browns were held to six points against a lackluster Raiders team, with Mayfield again looking like his worst self again. He completed just 12 passes for only 122 yards, lacking weapons and accuracy. He had five touchdowns last week and none this week. Mayfield needs to be more consistent if the Browns are going to get where they want to be. Odell Beckham’s absence didn’t help, but this was ugly.

Los Angeles Chargers

Serious questions must be asked of any team that holds a lead of at least two touchdowns in four straight games and fails to win any of them. That’s where the Chargers are at, challenging the Falcons for the title of who can blow more big leads in a season. This week, the Chargers gave up 31 points to the Broncos, who aren’t known for having one of the league’s best offenses. The Chargers have to be wondering what on earth is going on here, but the fact of the matter is, their season is going down the drain quickly.

Cam Newton, QB, Patriots

Even when Newton plays fairly well these days, something seems to go brutally wrong for him. His passing numbers were still underwhelming — he threw for just 174 yards — but he did add 54 rushing yards and a touchdown. Ultimately, though, this performance will be remembered for this backbreaking fumble in the final minutes that cost the Patriots a shot at a game-tying field goal. It was an absolutely brutal play that won’t have helped his chances of hanging onto the starting job.

Green Bay Packers’ run defense

Dalvin Cook is a quality back, but the Packers were absolutely gashed here. Cook ran for 163 yards and four touchdowns as the Vikings repeatedly got what they wanted on the ground. That was just about Minnesota’s entire offense, with 11 of their 20 first downs coming on the ground. The Packers played fine otherwise — the offense was effective, and the Minnesota passing game was limited. That should have been enough, but it wasn’t.

Bonus: Cowboys-Eagles game

Yes, fans went into “Sunday Night Football” expecting a bad game between Philly and Dallas. That’s exactly what we got. The Cowboys and Eagles took us back about 30 years in terms of passing offenses. Ben DiNucci made his first career start and passed for 180 yards, lost two fumbles, and led no touchdown drives. Carson Wentz wasn’t a whole lot better on the other side, as he turned the ball over four times and is trying to do too much. That was nowhere near the quality of play fans have come to expect from an Eagles-Cowboys clash.

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