Three Things I Know About the NFL After Week 8

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The New England Patriots Haven’t Lost the Faith

Even though I have.

All those years that we were sure the Patriots would win it all and they never did were seasons of watching Brady become Sisyphus and try to push the Pats up a hill that was just too high and too steep. But that New England offense is different now. The running backs aren’t free agents brought in to give Brady’s arms a rest, they’re youthful strength to help the Patriots push that boulder up the mountain.

If New England can get past their old nemesis Peyton Manning and his Broncos next week, there’s a better than even chance the Pats could reel off 8 straight leading up to an epic fight with the Houston Texans in December. I don’t know if I’m on the record at 8 wins in a row, but it’s bad news for the AFC when New England talks themselves into being an elite team.

I wrote that after Week 4, along with a bunch of other New England gushing – and I shouldn’t have let a one point loss to Seattle and ugly win against the Jets change my mind about the Patriots. Sure, that Seattle game takes away the aggressive 8 game winning streak I was touting, but there’s no reason to think that New England shouldn’t contend seriously for a title. Well, there is one reason; me overreacting cross country road game and the disappointment that comes from not blowing out a Jets team that I really just can’t stand.

I’m not running through the streets screaming about the Patriots winning the Super Bowl (I’m using “Super Bowl” without express written consent from the NFL because I’m just a blogger and THE BIG GAME sounds stupid), but I am saying that you shouldn’t lose faith in the Patriots as fast as I did. New England’s offense is ranked in the top five in rushing and passing, Tom Brady is on pace for almost 5,000 yards passing, and New England’s top two receivers are on pace for 120 and 90 catches. Sure, the Patriots defense isn’t going to suddenly start throwing up shutouts, but they really only have to be decent for this team to get on track.

The Patriots will win the AFC East by at least two games and either make a deep run or scare the Hell out of Houston in the AFC Championship game.

The New York Jets Don’t Have a Quarterback

You know that old football axiom that goes “If you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have one”? Well, the Jets are this year’s proof of that.

Rex Ryan, his team reeling after an embarrassing 30-9 home loss to the Miami Dolphins, admitted Monday he will use this week — a bye — to examine ways in which the Jets can expand Tebow’s role within the offense. That discussion will include Tebow’s potential as a quarterback even though Ryan reiterated his confidence in the embattled Sanchez.

“I think Mark gives us the best chance to win, that’s how I feel,” Ryan said. “Can Tim be successful? Yeah, absolutely, and we need to take a look at that as well. But in my opinion, Mark as the starting quarterback gives my football team the best chance to win.” ~ From ESPN.com

Uh-oh. It looks like Gang Green is about to be amputated. (I just hope it’s not a foot. You know, for Rex’s sake.)

The Jets turn to Tebow to turn a holey offense into a Holy offense.

Jets coach Rex Ryan has a big quarterback change afoot.

New York will need a miracle from Tim Tebow to win the division.

Brandon Weeden is Good

Most of us Cleveland Browns faithful are always stuck on the negative since the Browns returned to Cleveland in 1999. There’s no need to go all long-form with a Browns history lesson here, but I fear with that attitude that many Cleveland fans are missing out on something happening with their beloved Brownies; rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden is outperforming expectations.

Weeden’s completion percentage is a subpar 55%, and that QB Rating stat everyone throws around is a result of that terrible season opening performance against the Eagles. I get all that, and if you want to argue about how important that first game is, or whether improving throughout the season can actually happen, we’ve got a great comments section for that. But no matter how negative you want to be, Weeden is 12th in the league in passing yards and on pace for 18 TDs and 20 INTS. If you would have shown me a chart that could depict Weeden’s growth before the Browns drafted him, I would have been all-in. The rookie hasn’t thrown in interception in the last two games and is turning learning with the young, historically underachieving Browns receiver corps more effectively than I ever could have imagined.

After 16 games, we’ll eliminate Weeden’s best and worst games and be able to more accurately figure out his rookie season. Until then, I’ll take every bit of what he’s giving the Browns through the halfway point of the season. (Even if I do have a little crush on Robert Griffin III)

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About Author

Josh was born in Cleveland, lives in Medina, and talks too much. Publisher of the More Than a Fan Digital Network and Host of the More Than a Fan Podcast, he's basically lucky to still be married.

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