NFL Week 8 Blitz Read: Rain wreaks havoc on multiple games

A large storm brought heavy rain to the Northeastern region of the United States and the five NFL games in the area were most definitely affected.

From Washington, D.C., to western New York, there were a combined 18 fumbles, including eight lost, and 17 total turnovers.

The game most affected by the rain was at MetLife Stadium, where the Falcons overcame a pair of lost fumbles for a 25-20 win over the Jets. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan mishandled a trio of snaps, losing two, as the two teams combined for seven total fumbles. 

Chargers receiver Travis Benjamin and quarterback Philip Rivers also fumbled at rainy New England, though they each recovered their own fumble. But the fumbles stalled drives, and Rivers also threw an interception in a 21-13 loss. Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski was also affected, missing two field goal tries for the first time since 2012. 

Even the Eagles, who improved to an NFL-best 7-1 with a dominant 33-10 victory over the winless 49ers, weren’t immune from turnovers. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz completed only 18 of his 32 pass attempts for 211 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. It was still good enough to beat the Niners, who couldn’t overcome a dismal day from C.J. Beathard. The rookie quarterback from Iowa was 17 of 36 for 167 yards with a touchdown and two picks. 

Like the Chargers and 49ers, the Raiders were another California team to have a hard time in the rain. The Raiders turned the ball over four times in a 34-14 loss in Buffalo. Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was picked twice and the Raiders fumbled four times, losing a pair, in the lopsided loss. 

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott then fumbled on his first carry in Washington, where steady rain fell at FedEx Field. He bounced back with a 13-yard touchdown run on the next series and finished with 150 yards on 33 carries in a 33-19 win that saw four total turnovers. The wet conditions in Washington also resulted in a poor hold on a Redskins field-goal attempt that was blocked and led to Elliott’s second touchdown. 

Injury report

Veteran 49ers tackle Joe Staley, the subject of trade talks, was cut beneath his right eye during an interception return for a touchdown by the Eagles. Staley was slow to get up after he was hit by Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. Staley was later diagnosed with a broken orbital bone. 

The 49ers also ruled out defensive linemen D.J. Jones and Solomon Thomas and offensive lineman Garry Gilliam with knee injuries, safety Jimmie Ward with a broken forearm, and receiver Pierre Garcon to a neck injury. 

Bears tight end Zach Miller was lost in the third quarter of Sunday’s 20-12 loss to the Saints with a dislocated left knee. 

Washington tight end Niles Paul was evaluated for a concussion following a helmet-to-helmet collision with Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee on a 1-yard Rob Kelley touchdown plunge. The Redskins lost another tight end when Jordan Reed exited with a hamstring injury.

Panthers guard Trai Turner suffered a knee injury in Carolina’s 17-3 win over the Buccaneers.

By the numbers

Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed 23 of his 28 pass attempts in the 20-12 win over the Bears to join Brett Favre (6,300) and Peyton Manning (6,125) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 6,000 completions. Brees now has 6,011 career completions and has completed at least 300 passes in all but two of his 17 years. He’s finished with more than 400 completions in nine straight seasons. Brees reached the milestone in his 240th career game and is the fastest ever to accomplish the feat (Manning, 259 games; Favre, 286).

Second-year Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, the 2016 Defensive Rookie of the Year, sacked Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Sunday to give him 19 for his career. Bosa has the more sacks through the first 20 games of his career than any other NFL player since sacks became an official stat in 1982. 

Texans receiver Will Fuller has seven touchdowns this season on just 13 receptions, adding five catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s 41-38 shootout loss in Seattle. Fuller has the fewest receptions to get to seven touchdowns since 1991. His 59-yard score on Sunday gave him an NFL-best four touchdowns of 20 yards or more. 

Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 402 yards with four touchdowns and 67 rushing yards to become the first player in NFL history to throw for over 400 yards with four touchdown passes and 50 or more rushing yards in a single game. Coupled with Russell Wilson’s 452 passing yards and four scores, it was just the sixth time in NFL history opposing QBs had over 400 passing yards and four or more touchdowns in the same game. 

Highlights

Chargers running back Melvin Gordon ripped off an 87-yard run for the longest touchdown run of his three-year career to open the scoring in Sunday’s 21-13 loss to the Patriots. 

A slick ball might have been a factor when Bills cornerback Leonard Johnson forced a fumble of Raiders running back DeAndre Washington. Johnson popped the ball from Washington’s grasp and Bills linebacker Matt Milano returned it 40 yards for a touchdown. 

Bengals rookie Joe Mixon caught a short pass from Andy Dalton and bolted 67 yards to set up a short touchdown pass to A.J. Green in the second quarter of Cincinnati’s 24-23 win over the Colts. 

Eagles receiver Alshon Jeffery caught two passes for 62 yards in the 33-10 win over the 49ers, including a 53-yard touchdown as he ripped the ball away from Niners cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, who had an interception earlier in the game. 

Fuller got the Texans off to a quick start with a 59-yard touchdown on the opening series of the 41-38 loss to the Seahawks.  

Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick returned a blocked field-goal attempt 86 yards to set up a short Elliott touchdown.

This 97-yard pass from Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Schuster is the longest pass play in Steelers history. 

Quotables

Eagles tackle Lane Johnson on the sloppy win over the 49ers: “Anytime the offense doesn’t play the way we’re capable of, it feels like a loss for us. But we found a way to win, just kind of disappointed with how we played.”

Brees on reaching 6,000 completions: “You play long enough, and they let you throw enough passes, and hopefully, you complete more than you incomplete.”

Week 8 NFL scores

Thursday’s game

Ravens 40, Dolphins 0

Sunday’s games

Panthers 17, Buccaneers 3
Eagles 33, 49ers 10
Falcons 25, Jets 20
Saints 20, Bears 12
Patriots 21, Chargers 13
Bengals 24, Colts 23
Bills 34, Raiders 14
Vikings 33, Browns 16
Seahawks 41, Texans 38
Cowboys 33, Redskins 19
Steelers 20, Lions 15

Monday’s game

Broncos at Chiefs, 8:30 p.m. ET

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