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Eagles attempt to stay undefeated | NFL Week 8: Keys to the week

Week eight of the NFL season is upon us and there are already a ton of things that we should be paying attention too during the games. Here are a few key things to be paying attention to throughout the slate of games this Sunday. 

The first of which is the Philadelphia Eagles record. They are undefeated coming into this home matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Philly has been the surprising team this year, and not in the fact that they’re talented. We all knew they could be a strong team, but the unbeaten start is something nobody thought possible a few months ago. This is going to be a test against an inconsistent Steelers squad that has come away with an upset already this season when their backs were against the wall. 

The next thing to keep an eye on is the San Francisco 49ers. With another full week of practice and game planning, newly added Christian McCaffrey is likely to get implemented further into the offense. San Francisco just got blown out to the Kansas City Chiefs due to their badly injured secondary that Patrick Mahomes just torn apart. Now, they get to play the Los Angeles Rams, division rivals. McCaffrey will get more opportunities to make this offense more explosive against a Rams team that is already having trouble this year.

Then, we have to take a look at the Washington Commanders taking on the Indianapolis Colts. On the Commanders side, we have Taylor Heinicke taking over the offense. He just led them to a huge upset win over the Green Bay Packers to everybody’s surprise and involved Terry McLaurin more than he seemingly has been all year long. They get a different challenge in the Colts this week, as Matt Ryan was benched for the youngster Sam Ehlinger. Ehlinger will have a serious opportunity to open the offense up. An offense that consistently turns the football over, doesn’t run the ball effectively and refuses to stick to a single game plan. It’s been horrible watching this offense work, with Jonathan Taylor really not getting that much help in the offense. Ehlinger and Heinicke are going to have an interesting duel.

Finally, we have to be taking a look at the New England Patriots. On Monday Night Football, Mac Jones was implemented back into the line-up after missing a few games. This was already an interesting move considering that the backup Bailey Zappe just had two stellar games before hand with Jones out of commission. Jones came into the night and went three and out twice to start the game, then threw an interception on a short field on the third possession. Head coach Bill Belichick decided that the team needed a spark and benched him for the hot hand, Zappe. Zappe led them to two very fast touchdown drives before getting shut out the rest of the way in a double-digit loss to the Chicago Bears. Who knows what quarterback the Patriots will roll with entering their matchup with the New York Jets. Could it be Jones, or will Zappe keep getting opportunities?

Photo: Yong Kim / The Philadelphia Inquirer