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NFL Week 8 recap

Published: November 4, 2005
Section: Sports


Less than a year after suffering a stroke during the off season, linebacker Tedi Bruschi had 7 tackles in his triumphant return to the New England Patriots starting lineup. Bruschi not only helped by clogging up the middle at inside linebacker, but more importantly bolstered the spirits of teammates with his intensity and passion for the game.

Whether or not Bruschi was the main factor in the Patriots 21-16 win over the Bills is debatable, but he certainly helped as the defense looked improved over their previous performances. Although none of the Patriots had exceptional days, the defense played well, taking the ball from Buffalo twice (for the first time this season), and more importantly preparing themselves for next weeks home game against the daunting undefeated Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots currently lead the AFC East division with a record of 4-3.
Another team that maintained their division lead this past week was the New York Giants, who humiliated the Washington Redskins 36-0 in the Meadowlands. The star of the game was Giants running back Tiki Barber, who allotted more than 200 yards, averaging over 8 yards a carry. Barbers outing combined with the Redskins 3 lost fumbles led to an embarrassing loss for the Skins, who are still trying to decide whether Mark Brunell or Pat Ramsey is their starting quarterback.

Meanwhile, Denver, who fell to the Giants two weeks ago, managed to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 49-21 with the help of Broncos quarterback Jake the Snake Plummer throwing for 4 touchdowns and over 300 yards. The Broncos win broke the Eagles streak of winning every game in which Terrell Owens caught a touchdown pass. T.O. averaged over 50 yards a touch on his three catches, one for a TD, but that wasnt enough to keep the Eagles from dropping to last place in the NFC East.

Week 8 was a week for the underdogs, as the Houston Texans squeaked out their first win of the season, which many NFL fans and analysts doubted would ever come. The Texans, with four field goals from kicker Kris Brown, managed to beat the Cleveland Browns 19-16 on Sunday, making them the last team to get their first win this season.

Another team that got a much-needed win this Sunday was the San Francisco 49ers, who beat the then 5-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, knocking the Bucs into a three-way tie for the lead in their division with the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers.

The 2-5 Minnesota Vikings lost once again this week, this time by a score of 38-13 to the Carolina Panthers. Perhaps more importantly, they also lost quarterback Daunte Culpepper to a season-ending knee injury. Culpepper was essentially the only offensive weapon that the Vikings had, and they should be hard pressed to replace his consistent 200 plus yards per game.

The biggest game of next week is undoubtedly the Monday Night Face off between the only undefeated team in the league and last years Super Bowl champs. Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts once again head to Foxboro, a place where they have had much trouble and frustration in the last few seasons and where two-time NFL MVP Manning has gone 0-7. The Patriots are an improved team, but it is next week where we will see how much they have improved.