■ Stay here for N.F.L. Week 8 scores, highlights and analysis. Here are the top story lines heading into Sunday’s games:
Credit Tim Ireland/Associated Press
N.F.L. Week 8 top story lines:
■ The New England Patriots are on top of the A.F.C. East, but they have a leaky secondary. After allowing several 300-yard passing games this season, the Patriots put the clamps on Matt Ryan and the struggling Falcons last week. Can they do the same against Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ receivers today?
■ Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will try to reverse a disturbingly downward trend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Panthers, and especially Newton, looked terrible the past two weeks. Can they turn things around?
■ The Philadelphia Eagles are 6-1 and rolling through the N.F.C., so of course they’ll crush the winless 49ers today, right? The Niners actually have a decent defense and could bring the Eagles back down to Earth.
Will the Texans send their owner a message?
One game to watch in terms of how players reaction to the national anthem is the afternoon matchup between the Houston Texans and the Seattle Seahawks. Many are expecting the Texans to engage in some sort of team-wide demonstration after it came out that the team’s owner, Bob McNair, compared players kneeling during the anthem to “inmates running the prison” during the owners meeting in New York this month.