It’s common knowledge in sports that if you take care of your own business, you don’t have to worry about anybody else as far as the standings are concerned.
While this is entirely true, getting some help along the way is never a bad thing. This column will be completely dedicated to the results of the other three NFC South teams throughout the season; hopefully we’ll be able to bask in their failures together.
Carolina Panthers 30, Tennessee Titans 20
The Tennessee Titans missed a field goal on their first possession, and then it continued to go downhill from there. The Panthers took control of this game in the second quarter with back to back touchdowns, and gave themselves the opportunity to enjoy a comfortable afternoon.
Down 17-0 at the half, the Titans tried to pull themselves back into the game behind a Derrick Henry touchdown to start the third quarter, but that momentum was immediately undone after the Panthers answered with an immediate TD of their own.
This had the makings of a blowout, but Ryan Tannehill led a garbage time TD drive to make the score look respectable. Christian McCaffrey was his usual dominant self, the Panthers defense continued to clamp down, and Kyle Allen game managed his way to another win.
Allen recorded 232 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and one interception. McCaffrey tallied 146 rushing yards and three total touchdowns. D.J. Moore was the leading receiver with 101 yards, but Curtis Samuel was the one who had the receiving touchdown.
Tannehill had 331 passing yards, one passing touchdown, and two interceptions. Henry had 63 rushing yards and one touchdown. A.J. Brown was the leading receiver with 81 yards.
Seattle Seahawks 40, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34
Jason Myers did his very best to try and hand Tampa Bay this victory — missing three kicks, including the potential game-winner at the end of regulation — but MVP frontrunner Russell Wilson dragged his team kicking and screaming to an overtime victory.
The Bucs took a 21-7 second quarter lead in a barn burner. Wilson found Jacob Hollister in the end zone before the half to make it 21-13, and each team went back and forth in the second half, matching each other score for score.
After the Bucs scored a TD on their final drive in regulation to answer Seattle’s go-ahead 3-play, 75-yard drive, the Seahawks drove down the field and watched Myers miss a 40-yard field goal attempt to send the game into overtime. In the period, Wilson orchestrated a 10-play, 70-yard drive which culminated in a TD pass to Hollister for the win.
Russell Wilson was magnificent — registering 378 passing yards, five passing touchdowns, and no turnovers. Chris Carson was the leading rusher with 105 yards, but he did have a fourth lost fumble on the season. Tyler Lockett also had himself a game — going for 152 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.
Jameis Winston recorded 335 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and had no interceptions; however, he had a costly fumble late which put the Seahawks into the red zone and set them up to take their first lead with a field goal. Ronald Jones dominated the carries with 18, and turned them into 67 yards and a touchdown. Mike Evans had 180 receiving yards and a touchdown. He became the first player since Julio Jones in 2014 to record back to back games of at least 175 receiving yards.
NFC South Standings after Week 8
1. New Orleans Saints (7-1 overall record; 1-0 division record) - Next vs. Falcons
2. Carolina Panthers (5-3 overall record; 1-1 division record) - Next at Packers
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6 overall record; 1-2 divisional record) - Next vs. Cardinals
4. Atlanta Falcons (1-7 overall record; 0-0 divisional record) - Next at Saints