NFL Week 8 preview: Several matchups have early playoff implications

NFL Week 8 preview: Several matchups have early playoff implications

The NFL is nearing the halfway point of the season and the games from here on out are going to have a deeper impact in terms of playoff seeding than ever before.

The NFC West and the AFC North are among the best divisions in football and during Week 8 of the 2020 season there are two matchups that will stick out. The Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Baltimore Ravens and the Seattle Seahawks play the San Francisco 49ers.

Both games will determine who wins the division and gets to host a playoff game. And while the NFC East is one of the worst divisions in football, the Dallas Cowboys’ game against the Philadelphia Eagles will also have playoff implications.

The Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington Football Team are all on bye weeks.

Here’s a brief look at the games around the NFL.

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PANTHERS (3-4) VS. FALCONS (1-6)

Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley (21) scores a touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley (21) scores a touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The Falcons lost last week on a fluky touchdown from Todd Gurley and now have a big NFC South matchup against the Panthers. To stay in the division race, both teams need a win on this Thursday night matchup.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 32-19 Falcons

DATE: Oct. 29

TIME (ET): 8:20 p.m.

WHERE: Bank of America Stadium

WATCH: FOX/NFL Network/Amazon

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RAVENS (5-1) VS. STEELERS (6-0)

Baltimore Ravens defenders Pernell McPhee (90) Calais Campbell (93) prepare for the next play during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)

Baltimore Ravens defenders Pernell McPhee (90) Calais Campbell (93) prepare for the next play during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)

The Steelers and Ravens’ rivalry continues Sunday as the NFL season starts November. The undefeated Steelers team will be mostly healthy when it takes on the Ravens and Lamar Jackson. This will be one of the better matchups of the afternoon.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 25-23 Steelers

DATE: Nov. 1

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: M&T Bank Stadium

WATCH: CBS

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BILLS (5-2) VS. PATRIOTS (2-4)

Buffalo Bills kicker Tyler Bass (2), center left, celebrates after his fourth field goal during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Buffalo Bills kicker Tyler Bass (2), center left, celebrates after his fourth field goal during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Bills have a real chance to bury the Patriots on Sunday. A Buffalo win would put New England at 2-6 and really out of contention in the AFC East. New England desperately needs a win after a bad loss to San Francisco last week.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 75-43-1 Patriots

DATE: Nov. 1

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: Bills Stadium

WATCH: CBS

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BENGALS (1-5-1) VS. TITANS (5-1)

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) follows the blocking of offensive guard Rodger Saffold (76) as Henry scores a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) follows the blocking of offensive guard Rodger Saffold (76) as Henry scores a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

The Titans will look to bounce back from their first loss of the season. They hit the road to face the Bengals. Joe Burrow has played well but the team has not been able to play a complete game and he will have a big test against Tennessee.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 40-33-1 Titans

DATE: Nov. 1

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: Paul Brown Stadium

WATCH: CBS

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BROWNS (5-2) VS. RAIDERS (3-3)

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throws before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throws before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The Browns lost Odell Beckham Jr. for the remainder of the season, but hope to get past that and pick up a win against the Raiders. Las Vegas was blown out against Tampa Bay last week. Cleveland won by three points on a last-second touchdown.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 13-10 Raiders

DATE: Nov. 1

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: FirstEnergy Stadium

WATCH: CBS

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LIONS (3-3) VS. COLTS (4-2)

Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson (88) celebrates his touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Atlanta. The Detroit Lions won 23-22. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson (88) celebrates his touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Atlanta. The Detroit Lions won 23-22. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Lions and Colts have a big matchup that could have wild card implications in both of the teams’ conferences. Detroit won last week against Atlanta and Indianapolis is coming off a bye week after a comeback victory over the Bengals in Week 6.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 21-19-2 Colts

DATE: Nov. 1

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: Ford Field

WATCH: CBS

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PACKERS (5-1) VS. VIKINGS (1-5)

Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams (30) warms up before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams (30) warms up before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

The Packers have their second matchup of the season against the Vikings. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers hope to put the Vikings away for the rest of the season. Minnesota is in desperate need of a ‘W’ in this one.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 62-53-3 Packers

DATE: Nov. 1

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: Lambeau Field

WATCH: FOX

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CHIEFS (6-1) VS. JETS (0-7)

This Sept. 22, 2020, file photo shows former New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell watching from the sideline near the end of the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

This Sept. 22, 2020, file photo shows former New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell watching from the sideline near the end of the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

It’s the Le’Veon Bell revenge game. The Chiefs host the Jets in what could be the most lopsided game of the season. The Jets cut Bell earlier in the season and he was picked up by the Chiefs. He is expected to get significant playing time.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 18-18-1 tied

DATE: Nov. 1

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: Arrowhead Stadium

WATCH: CBS

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DOLPHINS (3-3) VS. RAMS (5-2)

Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson, right, tries to get around Chicago Bears defensive back Eddie Jackson (39) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson, right, tries to get around Chicago Bears defensive back Eddie Jackson (39) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

Los Angeles is turning into title town and the Rams know that. Their march back to the Super Bowl begins Sunday when they head to Miami to face the Dolphins. Tua Tagovailoa will get his first start of his NFL career. He will be welcomed by Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and Leonard Floyd.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 11-2 Dolphins

DATE: Nov. 1

TIME (ET): 1 p,m.

WHERE: Hard Rock Stadium

WATCH: FOX

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BRONCOS (2-4) VS. CHARGERS (2-4)

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert pitches the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert pitches the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

The AFC West will have a big matchup featuring the Chargers and Broncos. Justin Herbert will hope to get another win as Drew Lock and the team tries to bounce back. Both teams need a win to keep pace for the wild card.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 67-52-1 Broncos

DATE: Nov. 1

TIME (ET): 4:05 p.m.

WHERE: Empower Field at Mile High

WATCH: CBS

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BEARS (5-2) VS. SAINTS (4-2)

Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles (9) passes against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles (9) passes against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

The Bears did not look great against the Rams on Monday night in Week 7. The Saints are hoping to be healthy for this matchup. A win would help either team’s playoff chances significantly.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 16-13 Saints

DATE:  Nov. 1

TIME (ET): 4:25 p.m.

WHERE: Soldier Field

WATCH: FOX

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SEAHAWKS (5-1) VS. 49ERS (4-3)

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) pulls in a touchdown pass as Arizona Cardinals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (20) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) pulls in a touchdown pass as Arizona Cardinals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (20) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

It’s matchups like these that will wean out the division winners from the wild card teams and the playoff pretenders. The Seahawks are coming off a tough loss to the Cardinals while the 49ers are hoping to continue their streak of good luck. It’s a pivotal division matchup on Sunday afternoon and a must-watch game.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 25-17 Seahawks

DATE:  Nov. 1

TIME (ET): 4:25 p.m.

WHERE: CenturyLink Field

WATCH: FOX

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EAGLES (2-4-1) VS. COWBOYS (2-5)

Philadelphia Eagles' Boston Scott, left, catches a touchdown pass against New York Giants' Jabrill Peppers during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

Philadelphia Eagles’ Boston Scott, left, catches a touchdown pass against New York Giants’ Jabrill Peppers during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

The NFC East is bad but someone has to win the division. The Cowboys and Eagles are the two top teams right now and will battle it out Sunday night. Philly is coming off a close win against the Giants and the Cowboys are coming off a bad loss to Washington. Something has to give.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 66-52 Cowboys

DATE: Nov. 1

TIME (ET): 8:20 p.m.

WHERE: Lincoln Financial Field

WATCH: NBC

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GIANTS (1-6) VS. BUCCANEERS (5-2)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

The Buccaneers shouldn’t have any issues against the Giants on Monday night. Tampa Bay looked to be in form against Las Vegas last week while the Giants can’t seem to close out games. Daniel Jones made his debut against Tampa Bay last year and won the game for New York. But both teams are a bit different a year later.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 15-7 Giants

DATE: Nov. 2

TIME (ET): 8:15 p.m.

WHERE: MetLife Stadium

WATCH: ESPN

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