Week 8 of the NFL season is upon us. Some teams enter this week trying to maintain their position in the playoff race.
Certain teams need to take advantage of their opportunities to strengthen their position this week.
Which teams fall into this category? Here are three NFL teams that need to win.
1. Cincinnati Bengals
Perhaps the team that needs to win more than anybody this week is the Cincinnati Bengals. Despite sitting with a 3-3 record, they are in last place in what is turning into a very competitive AFC North decision.
The good news for the Bengals is that things seem to be trending in the right direction for them. They have won their last two games.
On top of this, Cincinnati may have caught a break this week with the San Francisco 49ers. QB Brock Purdy is currently questionable for Sunday’s game due to a possible concussion. He is still waiting to be cleared from concussion protocol.
If he can’t go, it will be Sam Darnold making his 49ers debut.
Whether Darnold gets the nod or not, Cincinnati is still going up against a talented 49ers team. If they can get a road victory here, it can give them the momentum and confidence they need to get back to the playoffs.
2. Houston Texans
The Houston Texans are off to a surprising start so far in this 2023 season. Right now, they sit with a 3-3 record after having the second-worst record in the NFL last season.
Houston is starting to rebuild quickly thanks to the performance of rookie QB C.J. Stroud thus far. Right now, he is arguably the favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.
What is remarkable is that it took six games into Stroud’s NFL career to throw his first interception. He has nine touchdown passes and 1,660 passing yards through six games.
Why do they need to win this game? It is because of who they are facing.
Houston goes on the road to face the winless Carolina Panthers on Sunday. This game is extra meaningful because the #1 overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft is on that team in QB Bryce Young. Stroud was drafted second overall.
This can be a chance to show Carolina what they missed out on by drafting Young over Stroud. More importantly, it can make the Texans a real contender to make the playoffs if they can secure a road win here.
3. New York Jets
Finally, the New York Jets are under immense pressure to win Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. This Week 8 clash should decide New York bragging rights and it can put the Jets in a good position to make the playoffs.
Right now, the Jets sit with a 3-3 record. Before their bye last week, they had a huge home win against the Philadelphia Eagles to give them their first loss of the season.
The Jets also need to win this game for morale and momentum purposes. While the Jets won their last clash with the Giants, they have not won their big games against the Giants.
In 2011, both New York teams had the chance to make the playoffs. However, it was the Giants that came out on top. They made the playoffs and went on to win the Super Bowl.
It is no secret that the Jets had high expectations going into this season. They have five games left against teams who are currently under .500 including this one. Winning this could get both fans and players to start believing that this team can make the playoffs.