Favre beats Pack in Lambeau showdown; Giants continue to suck; Colts survive and a history-making day for two running backs.
By Jim Buzinski
How I saw Week 8 of the NFL:
I tried to resist writing about Brett Favre's return to Green Bay (a 38-26 Vikings win if you missed it), but it was the game of the of the day in the NFL, so I would be remiss in ignoring it. The odd thing is that I had afternoon plans and missed most of the game.
What I know is that Minnesota is 7-1 and the win over the Packers (4-3) pretty much killed Green Bay's hopes of winning the division since the Vikes won both meetings this season. For Favre, his first game at Lambeau as the enemy had to be satisfying. As much as I can't stand the guy, he is playing very well and (along with rookie Percy Harvin) gives the Vikings the kind of explosive offense they have missed for years. The question will be whether he can keep playing at his level for 16 games and the playoffs.
In free fall: Three weeks ago, the New York Giants were 5-0 and looked like a playoff lock. Now, after being battered 40-17 by Philadelphia, the Giants have lost three in a row and look befuddled and incapable of stopping anyone.
The Eagles jumped all over the Giants and their exposed defense for an easy win, which gives Philly a 5-2 record and division tie with Dallas. The Giants might have been overrated, since four of their wins are over Washington, Kansas City, Oakland and Tampa (a combined 5-23).
The Eagles, meanwhile, put together their most impressive game of the season. It's hard to believe this team couldn't score a touchdown two weeks ago in a loss at Oakland.
Casting call: I saw a promo for a movie called "The Blind Side," which is based on the football book about offensive lineman Michael Oher, now with the Ravens. All the promo highlighted, though, was "starring Sandra Bullock." Did she put on 200 pounds to play the Oher role?
A safe win: Vince Young didn't dazzle in his return as the Tennessee Titans quarterback. He was 15 for 18 for only 125 yards, but the Titans got their first win of the season by beating Jacksonville, 30-13.
The game's stars were running backs Chris Johnson of the Titans and Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jaguars. Johnson had touchdown runs of 52 and 89 yards and Jones-Drew of 80 and 79 yards. It was the first game in NFL history with four rushing TDs of 50+ yards and made fantasy football owners of these two players ecstatic.
A struggle: The Colts are 7-0 but not until after a fight with the 49ers, who defensed Peyton Manning better than any team I've seen this season. The Colts won, 18-14, on the strength of their defense. While Manning threw for 347 yards, he was sacked three times after only two sacks total in the first six games. The Colts' only touchdown came on a halfback pass from Joseph Addai to Reggie Wayne.
The 49ers play a 3-4 defense, the type that has most confused Manning and he had that frustrated expression on his face most of the day. The Colts had played consecutive games against winless teams (Tennessee and St. Louis), but the 49ers were a step up in class. I liked the way Alex Smith played quarterback for San Francisco, and Michael Crabtree looks like a good receiver, so the 49ers have something to build on.
No longer unbeaten: It was not a surprise that Denver (6-1) lost its first game of the season at Baltimore, but the 30-7 score was. The Ravens (4-3) had lost three in a row and badly needed a win to stay close to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh (each 5-2) in the AFC North.
Historic: For the first time in their eight-year history, the Houston Texans are 5-3. Up next, a big division showdown at the Colts.
The Craptastic Bowl: I have the NFL Sunday Ticket, but I am proud to say that I watched zero plays in the Rams' 17-10 win at Detroit. One can only watch so much lousy football. It was fitting, though, that the Lions got a safety when Rams safety James Butler intercepted a pass, ran past the goal line, then back into the end zone where he was tackled.