Week 8 of the 2023 NFL season promises to be exciting, as several teams and players have the opportunity to set historic marks and reach significant career milestones. Let’s dive into the notable storylines for this week:
Carolina and Houston: Top Three Picks Clash
When the Houston Texans (3-3) face off against the Carolina Panthers (0-6) on Sunday, it will be a showdown between the top three selections in the 2023 NFL Draft. The game could mark the first time in the common-draft era that the top three picks from the most recent NFL Draft share the same field. Carolina quarterback Bryce Young (No. 1 overall), Houston quarterback C.J. Stroud (No. 2), and Houston defensive end Will Anderson (No. 3) will all be in action. It’s only the fifth instance in NFL history where the top two draft selections meet as starting quarterbacks in their rookie season.
Puka Nacua: A Rookie Making Waves
Los Angeles Rams rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua is taking the league by storm. He currently leads the NFL with 58 receptions and ranks third with 752 receiving yards. Last week, Nacua joined Ja’Marr Chase as the only players in NFL history with at least 700 receiving yards in their first seven career games. In Week 8, against Dallas, Nacua can break records by surpassing Saquon Barkley’s mark for the most receptions by a player in their first eight games and Harlon Hill’s record for the most receiving yards in their first eight career games.
Nacua has already recorded four games with at least 100 receiving yards this season, and he could become the first player in the Super Bowl era and the third player in NFL history to achieve at least 100 receiving yards in five of his first eight career games.
Jordan Addison and Kirk Cousins Shine in Minnesota
Minnesota’s rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison has been a standout this season, ranking tied for second in the NFL with six touchdown receptions. If he catches a touchdown pass against Green Bay in Week 8, Addison will join a select group of players who have recorded at least seven receiving touchdowns in their first eight career games.
On the other side of the ball, Minnesota’s veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins has a chance to make his history. With 101 passing yards in Week 8, Cousins will surpass Drew Brees for the third-most passing yards in a player’s first 150 career games in NFL history.
A.J. Brown and Tyreek Hill: Dominating Receivers
Philadelphia’s A.J. Brown has been on a tear, becoming only the third player in NFL history to achieve 125 receiving yards in five consecutive games. In Week 8, he aims to extend that streak to six games, a feat no one has accomplished.
Miami’s Tyreek Hill leads the NFL in receiving yards (902) and touchdown receptions (7) this season. He has a chance to become the first player in the Super Bowl era and the fourth player in NFL history to reach 1,000 receiving yards in his team’s first eight games.
Hill could also make history by recording 150 receiving yards and a touchdown reception in five games within a season, a feat achieved by only a few players.
Brown and Hill were acquired by their current teams before the 2022 season, and they continue to rewrite the record books.
Travis Etienne and Evan Engram: Touchdown Streak and Milestone Achievements
Jacksonville’s running back Travis Etienne ranks third in the league with seven rushing touchdowns this season. With two rushing touchdowns in Week 8, he can match a record set by Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006—scoring at least two rushing touchdowns in four consecutive games.
Tight end Evan Engram, with 41 catches and 346 receiving yards, is poised to join Jeremy Shockey as the only tight ends with at least 40 receptions and 400 receiving yards in each of their first seven seasons in NFL history.
Jalen Hurts: Dual-Threat Quarterback
Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts has been a dual-threat sensation this season, leading all quarterbacks with six rushing touchdowns and ranking second among quarterbacks with 274 rushing yards. He has recorded five consecutive games with at least 300 combined passing and rushing yards and two combined passing and rushing touchdowns. In Week 8, against Washington, he can become only the sixth player in NFL history to achieve this feat in six consecutive games.
Hurts also has the opportunity to surpass Cam Newton for the most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in their first four seasons in NFL history.
Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce: A Record-Breaking Duo
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is lighting up the league again, with 15 touchdown passes and over 2,000 passing yards this season. He recently set records for the most games with at least four touchdown passes and the most games with at least 400 passing yards in his first seven seasons.
Mahomes has been particularly dominant against division opponents, boasting a 29-3 record. With a win in Week 8, he can tie Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning for the second-most consecutive wins by a starting quarterback against their division since 1970.
Mahomes and his tight end, Travis Kelce, have connected for 50 regular-season touchdowns. They are on the verge of surpassing Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham for the third-most regular-season touchdowns by a quarterback-tight end combination in NFL history.
Christian McCaffrey’s Touchdown Streak Continues
San Francisco running back Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL with 598 rushing yards this season and has scored at least one scrimmage touchdown in the first seven weeks. If he finds the end zone again in Week 8, he will become the second player in NFL history to score a touchdown in 17 consecutive games, including the postseason.
McCaffrey also has the opportunity to join the elite group of players who have recorded a touchdown in at least 14 consecutive regular-season games.