The Check-down Check-up (2020): Week Eight

NFC North

Green Bay Packers

The Vikings broke my lock against the Packers this week. Much to my chagrin, Green Bay’s offense looked downright awful against a Vikings squad that hasn’t been able to stop a running faucet all year long. I still have confidence in the Packers, but I don’t feel as great about them beating the 49ers as I once did. Fortunately for them, both Garoppolo and Kittle will be out for this one, which should make it easier on Green Bay’s defense.

Verdict: 7/10, Check Up

Chicago Bears

The Bears might be the weirdest, hardest to decipher team in the league this year. They beat the teams they’re supposed to, and sometimes even win against teams they shouldn’t beat, but every once in a while they just get stomped. I’m not sure if the Titans will do that to them this week, but after two straight losses to playoff teams, I’m not super confident in Chicago.

Verdict: 4.5/10, Check Back Next Week

Detroit Lions

This was a bad loss for the Lions. While they weren’t expected to win, losing by 20 is never very good for my confidence. The Lions are not a good team, despite rattling off a couple of wins over the past month to slightly cool down Matt Patricia’s coaching seat. This week’s battle of the NFC North’s bottom-dwellers promises to either be a snooze-fest or the best game of the week, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

Verdict: 3/10, Check Down

Minnesota Vikings

Alright, Minnesota. You broke my lock. Respect. But now onto long-term matters at hand. I don’t foresee the Jaguars winning another game, and Minnesota may have very well just played themselves out of competition for a prime draft spot. Enjoy this week’s battle with the Lions, where Kirk Cousins is sure to ball out, just to make sure you keep sliding down the draft order.

Verdict: 4/10, Check Down

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Ben DiNucci is not very good, and the more time that goes by, the more I begin to think that Dak Prescott has played his last snap as a Dallas Cowboy. Perhaps a team like the San Francisco 49ers would fit him better. They would certainly treat him better. The Cowboys continue to slide down the NFC East rankings, and things will likely only get worse as they face the undefeated Steelers this week.

Verdict: 1.5/10, Check Down

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are going to win the NFC East, right? At this point, they have to. They have a clear path, and even if Dallas somehow gets back on track, they have the tiebreaker. That being said, winning this division doesn’t make you a good team, but rather the least bad one. The Eagles now have a bye week to contemplate how bad the NFC East is before facing the Giants in week ten.

Verdict: 5/10, Check Back Next Week

Washington Football Team

Before the Eagles play them in week ten, Washington has a chance to beat up on the Giants next week. That being said, Daniel Jones has a track record of beating Washington, even going back to earlier this year. If the Football Team succumbs to Danny Dimes again, he might just have their number. Time to see if Washington is cursed by Daniel Jones for all eternity, or if it’s just a funny little stat.

Verdict: 3.75/10, Check Down

New York Giants

Last week, I said that Daniel Jones never ceases to entertain, but this week I really mean it. This was a fantastic Monday Night Football matchup, and for long stretches of the game, I thought the Giants might actually have it in them to pull it off. But a missed two point conversion sealed their fate and New York now falls to 1-7. Not great for Dave Gettleman, if you ask me.

Verdict: 1/10, Check Down

NFC South

New Orleans Saints

New Orleans escapes the Windy City with a win, and keep pace with Tampa Bay in the divisional race. The Saints needed this one to make sure Tampa wouldn’t pull ahead, and on the leg of Wil Lutz, they got exactly what they needed. And now, here’s the one for all the marbles. New Orleans can take the division lead here with a win over the Bucs, and they would have the tiebreaker too. This game is huge.

Verdict: 8.75/10, Check Up

Atlanta Falcons

Oh my god, the Atlanta Falcons held onto a lead. And just for that, they get a special treat this week. Against Denver, I’m locking it in. The Falcons are going to go for two in a row here. This is probably, definitely, absolutely a kiss of death, but I’m confident.

Verdict: 10/10, Check Up (LOCK)

Carolina Panthers

Well, the Panthers have come back to the pack of “meh” teams. Unfortunately, Matt Rhule couldn’t keep the ship going long enough. It’s a shame, really. I would’ve liked to see this Carolina team sneak into the playoffs. That’s not to say they’re dead, but I don’t see them recovering here, especially not against the Chiefs.

Verdict: 3.5/10, Check Down

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady can beat the Giants, but only by the skin of his teeth it seems. Even so, Tampa Bay keeps on rolling, and they have a massive divisional game against the Saints this week. That being said, I’m not sure they can pull it off. I think I might take New Orleans in this one, even if it basically is a game to decide the NFC South.

Verdict: 9.25/10, Check Up

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks needed this one, after getting just barely edged out by Arizona in overtime last week. This was a correctional game, and the ‘Hawks played it perfectly. Even if they did let San Francisco hang around for a bit too long. A matchup against the Bills could be a scary one for Seattle fans, but I’m definitely trusting Russell Wilson in this one.

Verdict: 9/10, Check Up

Los Angeles Rams

Los Angeles, meet Tua Tagovailoa. Aaron Donald welcomed the rookie quarterback to the NFL with a strip sack on the second play of the game for the Dolphins, but Tua came back with a vengeance. He may not have had the prettiest set of numbers, but the Dolphins rallied around their rookie to the tune of a two-score win against a solid Rams team. LA needs this bye week before facing the Seahawks in week ten for a huge divisional matchup.

Verdict: 7/10, Check Up

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers can hang, but ultimately, I’m not sure they’re a playoff team with the pieces they have injured right now. Garoppolo, Kittle, and countless others may have sealed San Francisco’s fate due to the injury bug, and I don’t see them coming back from this. Then again, Kyle Shanahan might have a little bit of midseason magic left in his bag.

Verdict: 5.25/10, Check Back Next Week

Arizona Cardinals

A bye week allowed for the Cardinals to reset themselves after a highly emotional division win over the Seahawks, and it might be just what they needed. The Cards will now meet the Dolphins for Tua’s second start, and a battle of young quarterbacks of the future. I like the Cardinals here, but I don’t think Miami goes down as easy as they might think.

Verdict: 9/10, Check Up

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