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10 things we learned during week 8 of the NFL season

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One final look back at last week’s action.

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Redskins Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Tonight, two AFC East rivals will kick off the NFL's ninth regular season week with a primetime matchup: The New York Jets are trying to stay in the playoff hunt while the Buffalo Bills could take over the division lead with a win. Before getting too far ahead of ourselves, though, let's take one final look back at last week's happenings.

1. Trevor Siemian does not look like the Broncos' future at quarterback: Denver has a stout defense but fails to rake advantage; time and again the team has struggled to move the football on offense this season - and it all starts with the quarterback. In week eight, Trevor Siemian again failed to help his team while throwing three more interceptions to bring his season total to 10. Coming off his worst game of the season, a quarterback change was inevitable.

2. Atlanta has to work on its snaps: Matt Ryan and Alex Mack have played a lot if football together and are among the NFL's best quarterback-center duos. It is therefore even more surprising to see them have big-time problems with the snap last week: Ryan and Mack botched three exchanges, with two of which resulting in turnovers.

3. Atlanta has one of the weirdest schedules in recent memory: Speaking of the Falcons, they also have a rather interesting schedule. After all, the reigning NFC champions have not yet played a game against their NFC South rivals. They did, however, already play the entire AFC East - in back-to-back-to-back-to-back weeks.

4. The Raiders are not living up to the preseason hype...: Before the season, Oakland was a popular prediction to challenge New England for the AFC crown. And while the 6-2 Patriots are looking solid once again, the Raiders have failed to live up to the hype. Their blowout loss in Buffalo was the team's fifth of the season already - one more than Oakland's total in 2016.

5. ...and so are the Buccaneers: Of course Hard Knocks helped put an irrational amount of fuel in the hype machine, but the 2-5 Buccaneers look nowhere near as good as initially promised. The team again had major offensive issues on Sunday - three turnovers by Jameis Winston, for example - and failed to score a touchdown versus the Panthers; a team that has had its fair share of problems as well.

6. The Saints have a legitimate defense: New Orleans in the last few years has had a potent offense but regularly struggled to slow down opposing offenses. This year appears to be different, though: On Sunday against the Bears, the team held another opponent to fewer than 20 points - the fourth in so far seven games. Even on a day on which the offense was far from its usual productive self, the Saints were therefore able to win rather decisively.

7. JuJu Smith-Schuster is an "offensive rookie of the year" dark horse candidate: So far, the award looks like it is Kareem Hunt's to lose (especially now that Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has suffered a torn ACL). However, Steelers rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster is stating a solid case, especially on Sunday when he had seven catches for 193 yards and a score. If he continues to progress, he might give Hunt a run for his money.

8. Miami is headed towards crisis mode: The starting quarterback is injured, the top running back has been traded away, two of the best defensive players have been flirting with ejection during last week's game, which was lost 40-0. In short: The Dolphins appear to be on the edge of a meltdown and head coach Adam Gase better hope he can turn the ship around because it looks like it is headed for disaster.

9. The Cowboys' offense lives through Ezekiel Elliott: On Sunday against Washington, Elliott did something that is a rarity in today's NFL: He ran for more yards than his quarterback gained through the air. It worked, yes, but with Elliott on the verge of a six-game suspension, Dallas' offense might be in trouble. The team better hope quarterback Dak Prescott is ready to carry the unit.

10. Philadelphia has a well-balanced team but pass protection is an issue: It is hard to argue against the 7-1 Eagles being the NFL's best team right now. However, Philadelphia is not unstoppable and its pass blocking is a reason for that. On Sunday against the 49ers, the unit allowed three sacks for the third straight game - bringing the season total to a whooping 22.