Around the NFL

Eight plays that explain Week 8

Remember when the Patriots' passing game was stagnant and Rob Gronkowski was running like a late-career Dallas Clark? That feels like a long time ago. Sunday's nine-catch, 149-yard, three score day against Chicago was vintage Gronk. He made a leaping catch in the red zone. He boxed out defenders. And he threw a stiff arm on the catch and run score below while dragging another player into the end zone. He's all the way back. * -- Gregg Rosenthal*

The Jets have very little to play for these days and very little help in a miserable secondary. That's what makes Saalim Hakim's tackle on Sammy Watkins even more impressive. Did Watkins slow up? Absolutely. But did Hakim, a converted wide receiver, also make one of the best hustle plays of the season? Watching the chase at its height was impressive. * -- Conor Orr*

The Bengals completed a season sweep of the Ravens with an imperfect but gritty win that boiled down to one big play: With 47 seconds left and the Ravens down 27-24, Joe Flacco appeared to fling an 80-yard touchdown strike to Steve Smith. The veteran wideout, though, was flagged for offensive pass interference, putting the would-be comeback on ice. Plenty of Ravens fans didn't like the call. You decide. -- Marc Sessler

The Raiders played the Browns close for much of Sunday, but three Oakland turnovers proved to be the difference. Especially this fortuitous ball that popped free and spun into the hands of Joe Haden in the final seconds of the third quarter. The Browns punched in a touchdown four plays later and never looked back. -- Marc Sessler

All sorts of sweet madness happened at the end of Detroit's win over the Falcons. Wembley was amused. -- Marc Sessler

Larry Fitzgerald might not be putting up monster numbers this season, but the Cardinals' wide receiver showed Sunday he still has magic in those 31-year-old legs. Fitzgerald caught a 3-yard slant pass from Carson Palmer, sliced through two defenders and outran the rest of the Eagles' defense for a career-long 80-yard touchdown. Fitzgerald is a certified Philly menace -- he has 11 touchdowns in seven career games against the Eagles. -- Dan Hanzus

Bruce Arians isn't afraid to take chances. Facing a third-and-long and in need of a field goal to pull even with the Eagles late in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals went for the win instead. Wide receiver John Brown toasted two Eagles defenders and Carson Palmer dropped a perfect ball over his rookie's shoulder for a 75-yard touchdown with 1:21 to play. Onions. -- Dan Hanzus

Ben Roethlisberger escapes pressure, keeps the play alive and hits the NFL's leading receiver for a 47-yard touchdown. This was one of at least a dozen magnificent plays from the two quarterbacks in the most entertaining game of the season. -- Chris Wesseling

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Week 8 game. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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