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There was a ‘Punt Party’ at the ‘Snoopy Bowl’ and the Chiefs are stunned: Everything to know about Week 8’s Sunday NFL games

<i>Grant Halverson/Getty Images</i><br/>Pineiro celebrates after scoring the game-winning field goal against the Texans.
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Pineiro celebrates after scoring the game-winning field goal against the Texans.

By Ben Morse, CNN

(CNN) — After last week’s “Super Bye,” it’s been a full-throttle, rip-roaring few days of NFL action this time around.

There was a full slate of games for Week 8 and a pulsating Sunday saw plenty of games come down to the wire.

There were superpowers showing signs of vulnerability, local rivalries being settled and some teams picked up their first victories of the 2023 season.

Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday’s games.

Jets win ‘Snoopy Bowl’ after dramatic overtime finish

Clashes between the NFL’s two New York franchises – the Jets and the Giants – have become known as the ‘Snoopy Bowl,’ a nod to the mascot of the sponsor of the teams’ shared venue, MetLife Stadium.

They typically face one another in the final game of the preseason and only meet once every four years during the regular season.

The New York rivalry was renewed once more on Sunday and, while it wasn’t high on quality, it didn’t lack for excitement.

Designated as the away team, the Jets looked to be making the short journey home with a defeat as they trailed 10-7 with 25 seconds remaining and Giants kicker Graham Gano lining up for a 35-yard field goal to clinch the win.

But in a wild sequence of events, Gano missed his attempt and Jets quarterback Zach Wilson, who has frequently been a disappointment during his time with the team, used two big plays to lead his team 58 yards down field in 24 seconds to set up his own kicker, Greg Zuerlein, to convert the game-tying field goal and send the contest to overtime.

After the Giants couldn’t do anything with their first possession in overtime, Zuerlein was again the difference-maker as he kicked a game-winning field goal, clinching a narrow 13-10 victory for the Jets.

While it was a frenetic, memorable finish, it was a largely forgettable encounter for all those watching, with both teams struggling in inclement weather.

Both teams entered without their starting quarterbacks – the Jets missing Aaron Rodgers and Daniel Jones absent for the Giants. The home team were further hampered when backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor exited in the second quarter with a rib injury leaving undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito to step in.

While he struggled passing the ball, DeVito did run in a go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter as both defenses dominated proceedings.

The NFL website dubbed the game in New Jersey a ‘Punt Party,’ with the Jets even releasing a highlight reel after the game of their punter, Thomas Morstead.

According to the NFL website, the combined 15 punts between the two teams in the first half are the most since the NFL started collecting that data in 1991 and the 24 total punts in the game were more than the total points scored.

“In situations like that, with what we went through, all it takes is a play, actually all it took was two plays,” said Wilson after the Jets won the 16th regular season meeting between the two teams.

“I had no doubt we were going to win the game in OT. That’s why there’s no quit. You have to have a short-term memory, come off the field, go back out and keep going.”

The Jets improve to 4-3 while the Giants’ miserable season continues as they fall to 2-6.

Reigning champion Chiefs stunned in Colorado

The Kansas City Chiefs were just heating up. The Denver Broncos, who had lost their last 16 games against Kansas City, looked listless.

Everything was pointing towards a comfortable Kansas City victory. Then the Denver D stepped up against Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, putting a clamp on the two-time NFL MVP and his potent offense to secure a 24-9 victory.

Mahomes, who appeared on the Chiefs’ injury report earlier in the week with an illness, turned the ball over three times, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble after a strip-sack from Baron Browning.

The superstar was held to a passer rating of just 59.2 and was kept out of the endzone all game, while the Denver offense provided enough to claim the team’s first win against the Chiefs since Week 2 of the 2015 season.

Russell Wilson threw for three touchdowns – one apiece to Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and Javonte Williams – as they capitalized on the opportunities given to them by their defense.

The memorable win means the Broncos have recorded their first back-to-back victories this season as they head into their bye week.

“It changes a lot, a lot is up for grabs,” cornerback Pat Surtain II said. “We still have a lot of ball games left. … [We’ve] got a good spot right now, and we’re just going to be looking to improve.”

The Broncos’ win, which moved them to 3-5 on the year, has added historical significance for the team’s playoff hopes. According to Pro Football Reference, just three teams since the NFL merger in 1970 have made the postseason after starting 2-6 — and no team has earned a wild-card berth. By comparison, three teams in the last five years have earned a wild-card berth after starting 3-5.

A win for the Panthers

After Sunday’s action, all 32 NFL teams now have a win to their name after the Carolina Panthers beat the Houston Texans, 15-13.

In what was a battle between the top two picks from this season’s draft – No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young with the Panthers and CJ Stroud with the Texans – it was Carolina which came through with an important victory.

Young threw a touchdown to Tommy Tremble and kicker Eddy Pineiro converted three field goals, including the game-winner as time expired as Carolina tallied its first win of the season.

There had been little to cheer so far this season for Carolina, but there were more signs of promise on Sunday, with the team revving in most facets of the game.

Young looked the most composed he has yet in his short career, connecting with his skill position players throughout with poise and precision.

Veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen, who had eight receptions and 72 receiving yards in the victory over the Texans, has become his favorite target. It was his sixth consecutive game with seven or more receptions which is the longest streak by a wide receiver in the organization’s history.

The team’s running game did struggle, but the defense picked up the slack to limit Stroud – who has been excellent in his rookie campaign – to just 140 passing yards and no touchdowns.

Although Young was hit 10 times by a disruptive Texans defense, he was able to help his team move the ball enough to claim a first career victory.

Young was given the game ball in the locker room afterwards to commemorate the achievement and expressed his “excitement” at the opportunity to close out the affair with the ball in his hands.

“You love opportunities like that,” the 22-year-old said when asked about the game-winning drive to close out his first victory. “You go in, you have a chance to end the game on your terms and to try to go out and take the game, down one, what else would you would you hope for? It’s why we play the game.

“So that was all of our response. All of our attitudes were being able to see the opportunity and really embrace it and make sure we’re listening to coaches trust in our training, but embrace the opportunity, and again, I’m super proud of this team for stepping up. Super grateful to be playing with the guys I’m playing with.”

Carolina improves to 1-6 and Houston slips to 3-4.

Full Week 8 Sunday scores

Away vs. home

Houston Texans 13-15 Carolina Panthers

Los Angeles Rams 20-43 Dallas Cowboys

Minnesota Vikings 24-10 Green Bay Packers

New Orleans Saints 38-27 Indianapolis Colts

New England Patriots 17-31 Miami Dolphins

New York Jets 13-10 New York Giants

Jacksonville Jaguars 20-10 Pittsburgh Steelers

Atlanta Falcons 23-28 Tennessee Titans

Philadelphia Eagles 38-31 Washington Commanders

Cleveland Browns 20-24 Seattle Seahawks

Baltimore Ravens 31-24 Arizona Cardinals

Kansas City Chiefs 9-24 Denver Broncos

Cincinnati Bengals 31-17 San Francisco 49ers

Chicago Bears 13-30 Los Angeles Chargers

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