NFL Week 8 preview

Matt Ryan and the Falcons enter Week 8 as the NFL’s only unbeaten team.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Matt Ryan and the Falcons enter Week 8 as the NFL’s only unbeaten team.

Miami at New York Jets

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Jets by 2.

Records: Dolphins 3-3 (3-3 vs. spread), Jets 3-4 (5-2 vs. spread).


Comments: Jets topped Dolphins, 23-20, in OT Sept. 23 . . . New York leads the series, 49-43-1, but Miami has won three of the last four at the Meadowlands . . . Jets QB Mark Sanchez is coming off his seventh career 300-yard passing game (duh, he played the Patriots) . . . Dolphins rookie Ryan Tannehill has thrown for 654 yards in his last two road games . . . Miami’s Brian Hartline is 102 receiving yards shy of passing his career season high (514) . . . Player to watch: Jets’ Shonn Greene has 4 rushing TDs in last two. Jets are 5-0 when he reaches 100 yards.

Injuries: DOLPHINS: OUT: CB Richard Marshall (back). PROBABLE: S Reshad Jones (heel), LB Koa Misi (hamstring), RB Daniel Thomas (concussion), DE Cameron Wake (neck), S Jimmy Wilson (ankle). JETS: DOUBTFUL: DT Kenrick Ellis (knee), RB Bilal Powell (shoulder), LB Bart Scott (toe). QUESTIONABLE: TE Jeff Cumberland (wrist), C Nick Mangold (ankle), RB Joe McKnight (ankle), DT Sione Po’uha (low back), S Eric Smith (knee). PROBABLE: G Vladimir Ducasse (knee), WR Clyde Gates (shoulder), WR Jeremy Kerley (finger), S LaRon Landry (heel), G Brandon Moore (hip), LB Calvin Pace (shin), QB Mark Sanchez (low back), G Matt Slauson (knee), T Jason Smith (not injury-related).

Atlanta at Philadelphia

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Time: 1 p.m. Line: Eagles by 3.

Records: Falcons 6-0 (4-2 vs. spread), Eagles 3-3 (1-4-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Eagles QB Michael Vick (the Falcons’ No. 1 pick in 2001) has accounted for 13 of his club’s 17 turnovers (8 INTs, 5 fumbles) . . . Philadelphia is 10-1 when LeSean McCoy rushes for 100-plus yards — he has 696 in his last eight home games . . . Michael Turner’s Atlanta teams are 21-1 when he gets at least 23 totes . . . Atlanta QB Matty “Ice’’ Ryan (he’s from Pennsylvania) has thrown for 1,612 yards and 13 TDs in his last five road games . . . Player to watch: Falcons WR Roddy White has 26 catches for 323 yards and 4 TDs in last four vs. Eagles.


Injuries: FALCONS: OUT: WR Harry Douglas (knee, ankle). QUESTIONABLE: G Garrett Reynolds (back). PROBABLE: DT Jonathan Babineaux (groin), TE Michael Palmer (shoulder), RB Antone Smith (hamstring). EAGLES: DOUBTFUL: G Danny Watkins (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: DE Phillip Hunt (calf). PROBABLE: S Nate Allen (hamstring), S Colt Anderson (knee), S Kurt Coleman (shoulder), C Jon Dorenbos (ankle), DT Cedric Thornton (hand).

New York Giants at Dallas

Time: 4:25 p.m., Fox. Line: Giants by 2.

Records: Giants 5-2 (3-3-1 vs. spread), Cowboys 3-3 (3-3 vs. spread).

Comments: OK, what’s the deal with Justin Tuck’s facemask? Does that thing double as a waffle iron? . . . Expect some good QB play in this one: Giants’ Eli Manning has won 5 of last 7 vs. Cowboys with 2,209 yards and 16 TDs . . . Cowboys’ Tony Romo has posted a 100-plus passer rating in five straight in series . . . Cowboys beat Giants, 24-17, in Week 1 . . . Jints’ RB Ahmad Bradshaw has rushed for 359 yards and 3 TDs in his last three games . . . Player to watch: Dallas’s Jason Witten. Since 2007, he leads NFL TEs with 477 receptions.

Injuries: GIANTS: OUT: LB Jacquian Williams (knee). DOUBTFUL: DT Rocky Bernard (quadriceps), S Kenny Phillips (knee). QUESTIONABLE: RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot). PROBABLE: C David Baas (ankle), WR Hakeem Nicks (knee, foot). COWBOYS: OUT: C Phil Costa (ankle), S Matt Johnson (hamstring), DE Sean Lissemore (ankle), RB DeMarco Murray (foot). QUESTIONABLE: RB Felix Jones (knee). PROBABLE: C Ryan Cook (hamstring), LB Anthony Spencer (shoulder), LB DeMarcus Ware (illness).

San Francisco at Arizona

Time: Monday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN. Line: 49ers by 7.

Records: 49ers 5-2 (4-3 vs. spread), Cardinals 4-3 (3-3-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Bet a lot of people were unaware that Arizona QB John Skelton is 6-0 as a home starter . . . San Fran QB Alex Smith is 8-1 in his last nine starts vs. division foes . . . Underrated Niners LB Aldon Smith has 21½ sacks in his last 22 games . . . Cardinals RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (that’d be a great name for a mystery writer, no?) is coming off a career-high 100-yard performance (he was a third-stringer three weeks ago) . . . Player to watch: San Francisco WR/return man Ted Ginn Jr. collected 207 all-purpose yards in last tilt vs. Arizona.

Injuries: 49ERS: no data reported CARDINALS: DNP: QB Kevin Kolb (ribs), CB Greg Toler (hamstring). LIMITED: DT Darnell Dockett (hamstring), TE Jim Dray (knee), CB Jamell Fleming (back), TE Todd Heap (knee), S Kerry Rhodes (back), RB Anthony Sherman (knee), G Adam Snyder (quadriceps). FULL: CB Michael Adams (hamstring), DE Calais Campbell (quadriceps), LB Quentin Groves (hamstring), LB Paris Lenon (ankle), S James Sanders (knee), LB O’Brien Schofield (knee), QB John Skelton (ankle), LB Reggie Walker (head).

San Diego at Cleveland

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Chargers by 3.

Records: Chargers 3-3 (3-3 vs. spread), Browns 1-6 (3-3-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Chargers are riding a four-game winning streak against the Browns (isn’t everyone?) . . . Cleveland rookie Brandon Weeden has thrown two TD passes in three straight games . . . Since 2006, Chargers QB Philip Rivers is second in NFL with 26,629 passing yards (Drew Brees — 30,491) . . . Player to watch: Browns’ Trent Richardson leads AFC rookies with 348 rushing yards.

Injuries: CHARGERS: QUESTIONABLE: LB Jonas Mouton (hip), WR Eddie Royal (hamstring). PROBABLE: T Jared Gaither (groin), C Nick Hardwick (abdomen), DE Vaughn Martin (neck), CB Shareece Wright (foot). BROWNS: OUT: LB Scott Fujita (shoulder, neck), CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle), DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf). QUESTIONABLE: S Tashaun Gipson (knee), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), RB Trent Richardson (chest, rib). PROBABLE: CB Johnson Bademosi (hip), WR Travis Benjamin (hamstring), LB Tank Carder (foot), G John Greco (ankle), RB Montario Hardesty (knee), DT John Hughes (knee), T Ryan Miller (illness), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (chest, ribs), DE Juqua Parker (shoulder, illness), DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder), G Jarrod Shaw (illness), CB Buster Skrine (hand), S Ray Ventrone (hand, calf), S T.J. Ward (hand, shoulder), S Usama Young (hamstring), LB Christian Yount (shoulder).

Indianapolis at Tennessee

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Titans by 3½.

Records: Colts 3-3 (3-3 vs. spread), Titans 3-4 (3-4 vs. spread).

Comments: Colts have dominated this series lately, winning 14 of last 18. Of course, Peyton Manning was around for most of those . . . Indy’s Andrew Luck is first rookie in NFL annals with 1,500 passing yards and three wins in team’s first six games . . . Player to watch: Tennessee RB Chris Johnson has 30 career 100-yard rushing games. Titans are 22-8 in those games.

Injuries: COLTS: OUT: CB Darius Butler (shoulder), DE Fili Moala (knee). QUESTIONABLE: LB Pat Angerer (foot), RB Donald Brown (knee), LB Robert Mathis (knee), NT Martin Tevaseu (ankle). PROBABLE: LB Dwight Freeney (ankle), NT Antonio Johnson (illness), T Winston Justice (ankle), QB Andrew Luck (knee), DE Cory Redding (knee), G Joe Reitz (knee). TITANS: OUT: LB Patrick Bailey (hand, ribs), QB Jake Locker (left shoulder), RB Javon Ringer (knee), T Michael Roos (abdomen). QUESTIONABLE: CB Tommie Campbell (ankle), LB Colin McCarthy (ankle), LB Will Witherspoon (hamstring). PROBABLE: S Jordan Babineaux (wrist), WR Kenny Britt (knee), RB Chris Johnson (knee), TE Craig Stevens (concussion).

Jacksonville at Green Bay

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Packers by 15.

Records: Jaguars 1-5 (3-3 vs. spread), Packers 4-3 (3-4 vs. spread).

Comments: Jacksonville is 1-0 at Lambeau Field . . . Packers WR Jordy Nelson has 5 TD receptions in his last four games . . . Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny has a team-high 51 tackles . . . Jacksonville corner Rashean Mathis is the franchise’s all-time leader with 30 INTs . . . Player to watch: Green Bay rookie corner Casey Hayward has four picks in his last three games.

Injuries: JAGUARS: OUT: RB Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), S Dwight Lowery (ankle). DOUBTFUL: RB Montell Owens (shoulder). QUESTIONABLE: CB Derek Cox (back), RB Greg Jones (hip), CB Rashean Mathis (groin), WR Laurent Robinson (concussion). PROBABLE: QB Blaine Gabbert (left shoulder). PACKERS: OUT: WR Greg Jennings (groin), RB John Kuhn (hamstring), LB Nick Perry (knee), CB Sam Shields (ankle), S Charles Woodson (collarbone). QUESTIONABLE: WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring). PROBABLE: WR Donald Driver (neck), TE Jermichael Finley (shoulder), G T.J. Lang (elbow, wrist), DT B.J. Raji (ankle), QB Aaron Rodgers (calf), C Jeff Saturday (neck), RB James Starks (illness).

Washington at Pittsburgh

Time: 1 p.m., CBS. Line: Steelers by 4½.

Records: Redskins 3-4 (4-3 vs. spread), Steelers 3-3 (2-4 vs. spread).

Comments: Banged-up Steelers have won nine straight home games vs. NFC opponents and are 15-6 vs. the other conference under Mike Tomlin . . . Redskins rookie QB Robert Griffin III (the man makes everything look easy) leads the NFL with a 70.4 completion percentage . . . Player to watch: Steelers’ Heath Miller has 5 TD receptions, tied for tops among NFL tight ends.

Injuries: REDSKINS: OUT: WR Pierre Garcon (foot), S Brandon Meriweather (knee). QUESTIONABLE: LB London Fletcher (head, hamstring). PROBABLE: CB Cedric Griffin (hamstring), CB David Jones (Achilles’), P Sav Rocca (right knee), CB Josh Wilson (shoulder), DE Doug Worthington (calf), RB Darrel Young (hamstring). STEELERS: OUT: T Marcus Gilbert (ankle), LB Brandon Johnson (hamstring), RB Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles’), S Troy Polamalu (calf). QUESTIONABLE: RB Isaac Redman (ankle). PROBABLE: S Will Allen (ankle), LB Chris Carter (hamstring), RB Jonathan Dwyer (not injury-related), C Maurkice Pouncey (knee), LB Adrian Robinson (concussion), K Shaun Suisham (ankle), LB Jason Worilds (illness).

Seattle at Detroit

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Lions by 2.

Records: Seahawks 4-3 (5-2 vs. spread), Lions 2-4 (2-4 vs. spread).

Comments: Lions terrors Ndamukong Suh (17½ sacks since 2010) and Cliff Avril (14½ sacks since 2011) play with what we’ll call “an attitude’’ . . . Seattle’s Golden Tate has 3 TD catches in his last five games (Packers fans might disagree) . . . Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson has won 4 of 6 career starts (Again, Packers fans might disagree) . . . Player to watch: Seattle’s Chris Clemons has 13 sacks in his last 14 games.

Injuries: SEAHAWKS: OUT: WR Doug Baldwin (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring). DOUBTFUL: DE Jason Jones (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: G John Moffitt (knee). LIONS: OUT: CB Jacob Lacey (concussion), S Amari Spievey (concussion). DOUBTFUL: LB DeAndre Levy (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: DE Cliff Avril (back), CB Bill Bentley (shoulder), S Louis Delmas (knee), WR Titus Young (knee).

Carolina at Chicago

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Bears by 7½.

Records: Panthers 1-5 (2-4 vs. spread), Bears 5-1 (4-2 vs. spread).

Comments: Bears LB Brian Urlacher gets a lot of ink and he still might be underrated. That is doubly true for fellow LB Lance Briggs. They leave welts . . . Carolina QB Cam Newton has 11 rushing TDs in 10 career games on the road . . . Player to watch: Bears safety Major Wright has 3 picks in his last four games.

Injuries: PANTHERS: OUT: DE Antwan Applewhite (thigh). DOUBTFUL: DE Thomas Keiser (elbow). PROBABLE: DT Dwan Edwards (hand), TE Ben Hartsock (calf), DE Charles Johnson (hip), CB Captain Munnerlyn (leg). BEARS: OUT: WR Alshon Jeffery (hand). PROBABLE: QB Jay Cutler (ribs), TE Brody Eldridge (illness).

Oakland at Kansas City

Time: 4:05 p.m. Line: Chiefs by 1½.

Records: Raiders 2-4 (2-4 vs. spread), Chiefs 1-5 (2-4 vs. spread).

Comments: Chiefs lead this ancient rivalry, 53-48-2, but Raiders have won 6 of 9, including four straight at Arrowhead Stadium . . . Brady Quinn gets his second straight start at QB for Chiefs . . . Raiders DT Tommy Kelly has 6 career sacks vs. Chiefs . . . Oakland is 8-2 when Darren McFadden rushes for 100-plus yards . . . Player to watch: KC’s Dwayne Bowe has 48 catches for 698 yards vs. Oakland.

Injuries: RAIDERS: OUT: T Khalif Barnes (groin), CB Shawntae Spencer (foot). QUESTIONABLE: DT Desmond Bryant (elbow), LB Keenan Clayton (shoulder), LB Travis Goethel (back), TE Richard Gordon (hamstring), RB Taiwan Jones (knee), DE Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder), DE David Tollefson (shoulder). CHIEFS: QUESTIONABLE: CB Jalil Brown (groin), DE Glenn Dorsey (calf), TE Steve Maneri (ankle). PROBABLE: QB Matt Cassel (concussion), RB Peyton Hillis (ankle), WR Devon Wylie (hamstring).

New Orleans at Denver

Time: 8:20 p.m., NBC. Line: Broncos by 6

Records: Saints 2-4 (3-3 vs. spread), Broncos 3-3 (3-3 vs. spread).

Comments: Saints QB Drew Brees is 1 TD pass shy of tying Broncos legend John Elway (300) for sixth all time . . . Denver is 17-6 after byes and has won four straight vs. New Orleans . . . ’Nawlins TE Jimmy Graham has 7 TD catches in his last seven games vs. AFC opponents . . . Saints’ Marques Colston has 5 TD catches in his last three games . . . Player to watch: Denver’s Peyton Manning has 11 career TD passes and a 116.3 rating vs. his hometown Saints.

Injuries: SAINTS: OUT: TE Daniel Graham (knee), WR Joseph Morgan (chest). QUESTIONABLE: TE Jimmy Graham (ankle), LB David Hawthorne (hamstring). BRONCOS: QUESTIONABLE: CB Tracy Porter (illness).

Jim McBride can be reached at
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