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Heading into Week 8 of the 2013 NFL season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are beginning to show glimpses of days gone by when the fans in Tampa were rarely treated to a victory.  Hard times have fallen on the Bay again and Cam Newton made sure they had no thoughts of getting their first win as Carolina pounded Tampa Bay 31 – 13 in the Thursday night game.  The loss drops Tampa to 0 – 7 while Carolina is now 4 – 3 and above the .500 mark for the first time in five years.

The Washington Redskins received two pieces of bad news this week when safety Brandon Merriweather was suspended for Sunday’s game at Denver, then they discovered that Peyton Manning was okay and will play this weekend.  Perhaps the latter is the worst news considering the Redskins defense is giving up over 30 points per game.  Washington believes the team has turned the corner with last week’s win over Chicago, but their one game win streak is in serious jeopardy against the Broncos, who do not take their foot off the gas at any time.

When you think of the Motor City and automobiles, “road test” comes to mind, and that’s what the Dallas Cowboys have facing them this Sunday at Detroit, where the Lions not only roar, but they can bite if you’re not on your game.  Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, and Reggie Bush will give the Boyz plenty to think about as Dallas comes in having won two straight and sit atop the NFC East division.  A win would be a feather in the Cowboys cap with their Bye week coming up, but they will have to do it without their star RB Demarco Murray and Defensive End DeMarcus Ware, both of whom will miss the Detroit game.  The big question: Can Brandon Carr single-handedly cover Megatron?  That will be the key.

Other big games this weekend around the league have the surprising New York Jets visit the Bengals in Cincinnati, and the Miami Dolphins, who started strong, have begun to fizzle, and with the Patriots desperate for a win, Miami must bring their A-game to New England on Sunday.  With Cleveland starting ex-Redskins QB Jason Campbell at undefeated Kansas City, the Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping to get a win at Oakland which would get them out of the AFC North cellar.  The defending world champion Baltimore Ravens have this weekend off.

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