NFL Bad Beats, Week 8: Adam Thielen’s First-Half Fumble Sets Up Saints TD, Burns Vikings Backers

NFL Bad Beats, Week 8: Adam Thielen’s First-Half Fumble Sets Up Saints TD, Burns Vikings Backers article feature image

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Adam Thielen

  • We're rounding up all the bad beats from NFL Week 8.
  • Adam Thielen's red-zone fumble set up a Saints' touchdown, spoiling the Vikings' chances to cover in the first half.
  • Earlier in the day, the Bengals held off Ryan Fitzpatrick's comeback attempt to win straight up, but failed to cover.

It wouldn’t be an NFL Sunday without a few bad beats. We’re compiling some of the worst ones from the Week 8 slate here.

Got a bad beat we haven’t seen? Let us know on Twitter @ActionNetworkHQ.

Minnesota Vikings First-Half Spread

  • The Line: +0.5
  • The Score: 13-10 Vikings
  • Time Left: 1:20 in 2Q

After falling behind early, the Vikings stormed back from down 7-0 to score two unanswered touchdowns, giving them the 13-7 lead. (Dan Bailey missed the extra point following the second touchdown — only his third career miss.)

The Saints tacked on a field goal to open the second quarter, but with only a minute and a half left in the half, the Vikings had the ball with a 13-10 lead in Saints’ territory. It looked like Minnesota would cover the first-half spread.

Then on first-and-10 from the Saints’ 18-yard line, Kirk Cousins hit Adam Thielen, who fumbled following a 4-yard gain. Marcus Lattimore recovered and returned the ball 54 yards. An unsportsmanlike conduct on the Vikings on the play put the ball on the Minnesota 18 with a minute to go in the half for the Saints.

A 17-yard pass from Drew Brees to Alvin Kamara followed by a 1-yard touchdown rush by the running back gave the Saints a 17-13 halftime lead. Evan Abrams

Cincinnati Bengals Spread

  • The Line: -3.5 to -6
  • The Score: 27-9 & 34-16 Bengals
  • Time Left: 10:00 in 3Q & 13:00 in 4Q

FitzMagic strikes again!

The Bengals were dominating this game until Jameis Winston was benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick with the Bucs down 34-16 with less than three minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Fitzpatrick immediately led Tampa Bay on two drives for 10 points (a field goal and a 72-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans).

Trailing 34-26 with three minutes to play, Fitzpatrick led the Bucs on a 10-play, 88-yard drive that culminated in an 18-yard touchdown pass to O.J. Howard and a successful two-point conversion to Chris Godwin. It tied the game and put Tampa Bay inside the number for the first time since the first quarter.

The only issue for Tampa Bay moneyline backers? The Bucs left 1:05 on the clock.

Andy Dalton led the Bengals down the field and kicked a field goal to win it, ruining any opportunity for Cincinnati backers to cover in overtime. Abrams

San Francisco 49ers Spread

  • The Line: Pick ’em to -3
  • The Score: 15-3 49ers
  • Time Left: 12:00 in 4Q

The Cardinals’ first eight drives resulted in three points and five punts. Not much more needs to be said about how the game started for Arizona.

Then Josh Rosen remembered Larry Fitzgerald was on the roster.

The Cardinals drove down the field and scored a touchdown to cut the Niners’ lead to 15-10 behind two big plays from Fitz, including the 13-yard score.

After a series of punts and a fumble, Rosen executed his game-winning drive: 12 plays and 73 yards for a touchdown capped by a two-point conversion (to Fitzgerald), giving Arizona the three-point win and ruining the day for Niners backers. Abrams

Cleveland Browns-Pittsburgh Steelers Under

  • The Line: 47.5 to 51
  • The Score: 33-12 & 26-12 Steelers
  • Time Left: 5:00 in 4Q & 0:20 in 4Q

The final few possessions of both halves really came back to bite under bettors in Browns-Steelers. Particularly in the second half.

Pittsburgh led 26-12 after Cleveland punted with less than eight minutes left in the game. The Steelers then went on a 10-play drive that looked like it would run out the clock.

But on third-and-3 at the Browns’ 22-yard line, James Conner broke through for a rushing touchdown to give the Steelers a 33-12 lead at the two-minute warning.

Baker Mayfield then led the Browns down to the Steelers’ 24-yard line with only six seconds left — and faced fourth-and-6.  He proceeded to toss this rocket right into under bettors’ hearts:


Cleveland Browns First-Half Spread

  • The Line: +4.5 to +6
  • The Score: 6-0 Browns & 7-6 Steelers
  • Time Left: 13:30 in 2Q & 0:15 in 2Q

Now onto that first half. What a bad beat for first-half Browns backers.

Here were the Steelers’ first three possessions:

  • Punt
  • Interception
  • Punt

Cleveland led 6-0 and was setting up for a 41-yard field goal with a little more than 13 minutes left in the half when Greg Joseph missed wide right. Then, in six plays, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown led Pittsburgh down the field to take the 7-6 lead.

Mayfield then drained six minutes off the clock before throwing a pick. (And of course it was to former Browns DB Joe Haden.)

Then it was time for water torture.

The Steelers launched a 16-play, seven-plus-minute drive that featured three third downs and a fourth down with 15 seconds left on which Mike Tomlin kept Big Ben on the field in shotgun. Roethlisberger converted the fourth down, then hit Brown for the Steelers’ first-half cover with eight seconds left. Abrams

Denver Broncos-Kansas City Chiefs First-Half Under

  • The Line: 27
  • The Score: 10-7 Chiefs
  • Time Left: 2:00 in 2Q

The Chiefs had the ball on the Broncos’ 34-yard line at the two-minute warning. Four plays later, Sammy Watkins found the end zone to take the 16-7 lead with 56 seconds remaining. And first-half under bettors officially started to sweat.

It took the Broncos only six plays to answer with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Case Keenum to rookie Tim Patrick.

The 13 points scored in the final minute of the first half brought the total to 30, which was bad news for anyone who bet on a slow start to the game in K.C. Scott Miller

Jacksonville Jaguars First-Half Spread

  • The Line: +3
  • The Score: 6-3 Jaguars
  • Time Left: 0:45 in 2Q

The Jaguars defense started the game in London against the Eagles with something to prove. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz fumbled and threw an interception in Philly’s first two possessions, and the Eagles had just three points on the board with less than two minutes left in the half.

Up 6-3 and at midfield with 1:40 left in the half, Jaguars QB Blake Bortles hit Keelan Cole on the deep right side of the field to get Jacksonville into Eagles’ territory. Then everything hit the fan …

Cole fumbled the ball before getting down and Philly recovered. After a Wentz 13-yard scramble on third-and-11 gave the Eagles a first down, Philadelphia called a timeout with 38 seconds left in the half.

Out of the timeout, Wentz broke Jags first-half bettors’ hearts with a 32-yard strike to Dallas Goedert to give the Eagles a 10-6 halftime lead. Abrams