Week 8 is in the books. While the matchups looked more appealing at the start, we certainly got plenty of surprises and more than a few surprise lineup holes. That all might have you looking for a Monday Night Miracle. And with the Chiefs and a surprisingly spry Giants’ offense, that just might be possible. But more on tonight’s game in a minute. First, let’s look at what we learned about the rest of the NFL during Week 8.
The Saints are Tom Brady’s Kryptonite
Yes, yes, I know he beat them in the playoffs on the way to the Super Bowl. That’s probably the most important game he’s played against the Saints as a member of the Buccaneers. BUT, it’s worth noting that Brady is 0-3 in the regular season as the Bucs’ starter against their chief divisional rival. The Saints have been up-and-down this season, but they got it done when it counted and picked off Brady in the clutch to seal a 36-27 victory on Sunday. It was impressive, as is the Saints’ record against Brady since he joined the division.
Mike White Might Be the Quarterback Jets’ Fans Have Waited For
Look, I know it was just a game. But what a game. White, the journeyman backup, probably didn’t set many hearts aflutter when he got the starting gig for the Jets after No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson got hurt. But all he did was roll out and throw for 405 yards and three touchdowns as the Jets upset the Cincinnati Bengals—the team that entered Sunday as the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC. White gave Jets fans something to get excited about and might be the spark to make them a bit more competitive.
The Patriots Are in the Playoff Mix
You can’t keep Bill Belichick down for long. The Patriots fell off hard in 2020, slipping to 7-9 and missing the playoffs. With rookie Mac Jones, the team got off to a slow start. A surprise 17-16 loss to Miami in Week 1 looks a lot different now. The Patriots have played the Saints, Buccaneers and Cowboys tough in close losses as the defense gets going and Jones keeps developing in the offense. But wins over the Jets (twice) and Texans didn’t have anyone confident about the Patriots. A signature 27-24 win over the Chargers on Sunday pushed the Patriots to 4-4. While they aren’t top of the heap, the Patriots are looking frisky and are in the middle of a huge pack in the AFC that will be competing for the playoffs. While not a lock by any means, it’s hard to keep a good Belichick down.
With that, it’s on to the Monday night game.
Monday Night Preview
The Chiefs have been to the last two Super Bowls and last three AFC Championship Games. They entered the season appearing to be part of a dynasty in the making. But the 2021 season has been a rude awakening. Instead, the Chiefs enter tonight’s game at 3-4, in last place in the competitive AFC West. Now, the West is still winnable with the Broncos (4-4), Chargers (4-3) and Raiders (5-2) tightly packed, but the Chiefs have work to do.
The Giants, meanwhile, were a surprising second-place finisher in the NFC East in 2020. This season, with lofty expectations, the Giants haven’t been great. At 2-5, things haven’t gone as planned for the Giants. The Cowboys are out in front in the East, but there’s still time for New York to make a run. Now in his third season, Daniel Jones would like to establish himself as the guy for the Giants. It would help if his weapons could stay healthy…
For fantasy, there are plenty of interesting options tonight. For the Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes is a must start at quarterback, so too is wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. The only other Chief I’m considering is Darrel Williams, who profiles as a low-end RB2/Flex option. For the Giants, I like Jones this week. He’s been running well and making the most of his weapons. I had him as a low-end QB1 heading into the week and I’m still hoping he delivers. In the backfield, Devontae Booker is a flex-worthy option, while I like Sterling Shepherd and Kadarius Toney in the WR3 range.
I suspect the Chiefs get the win tonight to move back to .500.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.