Around the NFC
Eagles get boost. Through eight games, Philadelphia’s leading receiver is tight end Zach Ertz, whose 61 catches are 20 more than any teammate. That’s why the Eagles traded a third-round pick to Detroit for 30-year old/impending free agent Golden Tate. “The message to everyone in this organization is our foot is always going to be on the gas,” general manager Howie Roseman said. “We’re always trying to win. That’s what we’re going to do and that’s our responsibility.”
Thielen’s production. Minnesota receiver Adam Thielen has 74 catches, most in NFL history by a player in his team’s first eight games, shattering the record of 70 set by Atlanta’s Julio Jones in 2015. Even more impressive is that Thielen has eclipsed 100 yards receiving in each game, tying the mark set in 2012 by Detroit’s Calvin Johnson. With one catch and 75 yards against Detroit, Thielen can become the second player in league history with at least 75 catches and 1,000 yards in his team’s first nine games.
No playoffs. Teams in the NFC we’ve crossed out from playoff consideration because of their record, division and quality of play: The Giants (1-7), San Francisco (2-7), Arizona (2-6) and Tampa Bay (3-4). This conference is wide open after the top two teams (the 8-0 Rams and 6-1 Saints, who play each other Sunday).
Newton nears record. Carolina’s Cam Newton has 58 career rushing touchdowns, most by a quarterback in league history. He needs one more touchdown to become the first quarterback and seventh player overall with at least five rushing touchdowns in eight consecutive years. He would join a list that includes Pro Football Hall of Famers Marshall Faulk, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jim Brown and Thurman Thomas.
Bucs swap QBs. Now what for 2015 first overall pick Jameis Winston? He was benched during last week’s loss at Cincinnati and Ryan Fitzpatrick will start at Carolina. He has a $20.9 million cap number (fifth-year option) in 2019. Maybe he needs a change of scenery.