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Thoughts On The NFL: Week 7

What stood out around the NFL after Week 7

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Kansas City vs. Oakland

Amari Cooper and Derek Carr aren't dead they are very much alive and a win over a division rival is what Oakland needed to renew their hopes that they can get their season back on track. This was a pretty entertaining game if you like passing offense. Both Carr and Smith were on their A game and there were plenty of deep shots to go around. Some of the most impressive throws downfield were touchdowns from Smith to Tyreek Hill and Albert Wilson. It wasn’t enough for Kansas City. On the craziest final series I can recall in some time Oakland marched down the field and had not 1 or 2 or 3 but 4 chances to score and win the game which they finally did on a rollout throw to Crabtree. The Chiefs have lost two in a row and what once looks like an impenetrable defense is now showing leakage. The Chiefs have issues to fix with their run defense (remember what le’Veon Bell did to them last week) and pass defense as evidenced by the 417 yards and 3 touchdowns Carr was able to hang on them. Hold on it doesn’t look like Kansas City has the AFC wrapped up yet.

Baltimore vs. Minnesota

I started off Sunday a bit late and tuned into this game just before Mike Wallace got walloped by Andrew Sendejo. The hit looked bad and Wallace was kept out the rest of the game as he suffered a concussion. Joe Flacco hasn’t been good all season and that didn't change during this game but he also didn't have much help with his top receiver out. Flacco relied on Chris Moore and Michael Campanaro for most of the game which didn’t produce great results save for a garbage time TD. The Vikings got off to a hot start on special teams and their offense was clicking. Ironically since Dalvin Cook got injured the Vikings have been running the ball more effectively with Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon. The Viking defense showed up as well and sacked Flacco 5 times. With the situation in Green Bay and with how well the Vikings are playing with arguably their 3rd string QB I can’t see why they aren't the heavy favorites to win the NFC North.

New Orleans vs. Green Bay

We knew the Packer passing game was going to suffer without Aaron Rodgers. I didn't think it would suffer as bad as it did on Sunday. At the start, the Packers tried to rely on the run game with Aaron Jones and they had great success. However, when your secondary is not that good and you are going up against the Saint offense with Drew Brees under center you are going to have to throw the ball with success to keep up. It didn't happen. Hundley didn't look decisive or comfortable under center and chose to use his legs during his most effective plays instead of his arm. It will be interesting to see how much he improves this season. Brees, on the other hand, looked like his normal self as he lit up the Packer defense. His primary target this game was Ted Ginn Jr. and he definitely still has some juice left. NOLA’s backs aren't too shabby either. It turns out Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are quite the 1-2 punch. Whouda thunk it? The Saints are leading the NFC South.

Carolina vs. Chicago

Can you figure out the Panthers? Because I cant. They flew to Chicago then went to lunch it seems. In a game where all they needed was decent offensive output and not turn the ball over, they couldn’t do either. Curtis Samuel was responsible for carelessly dropping a pitch in the backfield which was scooped up and run back for a score by Eddie Jackson. Cam Newton later lofted one up which was deflected and picked up and run back by Eddie Jackson. Newton and the Carolina offense have been so hot and cold this season that it's doubly painful when they are cold considering how their defense does a good job of limiting points. Chicago’s defense was stout and didn't allow much production out of the Panthers. I noticed Mitch Trubisky looked a bit more comfortable in his second start and managed to push the ball downfield on several plays. He still has a long way to go to be a legit starter and a franchise player. He needs to start getting the ball in the end zone.

Tampa Bay vs. Buffalo

The Bucs couldn’t overcome a bad start to get the win but this was a good back and forth game. Jamies Winston continues to make mistakes related to pocket awareness you think he should have learned from by now. The Bucs tried to get things back on track through the air and had success but Adam Humphries fumbled the ball at a crucial time. The Bucs beat themselves. The Bills had a good game offensively particular on the ground with LeSean McCoy. Close wins and losses define teams and currently, the Bucs are at the bottom of their division while Buffalo is in second place in theirs.

Los Angeles (Rams) vs. Arizona

It was a massacre. Todd Gurley went off and the Ram defense feasted. Unfortunately, Carson Palmer went down for the year with a broken arm and I fear it's the last we’ll see of him in the NFL.

Tennessee vs. Cleveland

Hue Jackson is what my girlfriend would call a “basic [insert euphemism for female dog here]”. I have nothing against Hue personally but one can not deny his tenure in Cleveland has been horrid and he has done himself no favors with the management of the QB position. He reinstated Kizer only to yank him again - the Browns still lost - so this week Kizer will start again until Hue gets bored - then yank him again and it will be a never-ending cycle. None of the Browns QBs are being given an opportunity to prove themselves much less get in a rhythm or develop. Its detrimental to the team - I wonder if you can get fired for that as a coach? We’ll see.

Joe Thomas going down with an injured tricep definitely won't improve the chances of any of the Browns QBs.

Tennessee is trash for even letting this go to OT. I was sad to see Delanie Walker go down at the end of the game with a leg injury.

Dallas vs. San Francisco

I was hoping San Fran was better than I thought they were. Dallas put a whooping on them that the Skins should have.

Miami vs. New York (Jets)

Jay Cutler is going to be out a while. On the bright side, the Dolphins didn’t look half bad with Matt Moore under center. Having to go with plan B at the beginning of the season and doing well with Cutler I wonder how long the Dolphins luck can last with Moore? I’m slightly impressed at how the Jets have been keeping pace. Again, they aren't nearly as bad as people were making them out to be even though they are at the bottom of the AFC East. They have a long way to go but I think Todd Bowles might have a plan brewing there.

Jacksonville vs. Indianapolis

A shutout happened in Indiana. Do you guys think the Colts consider a QB with their top 5 pick? I think its a possibility. Indy also lost their first-round pick Malik Hooker to a torn ACL. Jacksonville’s defense is good for at least 6 wins if they continue to rely on their running game on offense and limit turnovers I think they compete and possibly win the AFC South.

Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh

The Steelers are in clear control now after an iffy start to the season. Pittsburgh offense is much more balanced as of late as well and Le’Veon Bell has returned to his Pro Bowl level form. Pittsburgh’s defense got after Andy Dalton and made him do Andy Dalton things by picking him off twice. They were also able to keep A.J. Green blanketed. The Bengals have no legit plan B on offense and their defense is a shell of itself. I think Marvin Lewis may finally be on borrowed time.

Denver vs. Los Angeles (Chargers)

I hear Denver might give Paxton Lynch a shot going forward. Could he really be worse than Siemien? The Broncos desperately need a shake-up to their offense at the QB position specifically to light a spark. Their defense cannot carry them with no points being put up. The Chargers have won 3 in a row. Its a good change of course for them can they make it 4 against the Pats? I think its possible.

Seattle vs. New York (Giants)

The Giants are dead and Jerry Reese is in the mess with fans and the rest of the Giant brass. I can’t see how that franchise dodges a major shake-up at season’s end. Russell Wilson had his best game of the season by far and lit up a struggling Giant defense. I think this was the first time I’ve seen Wilson use all three of his main targets and certainly, it must be the first time they’ve all scored (Baldwin, Richardson, Graham). There has been some speculation about the Redskins future opponents this season. This isn't the Seahawk team from 2012 but its still formidable opposition.

Atlanta vs. New England

The Falcons continue to disappoint. They simply can’t finish on either side of the ball. They were 14 in red zone efficiency, 2/9 in third-down conversion, 0-2 for field goals. On defense, they allowed 403 yards of total offense. That is not a winning formula against Brady and Co. Who is the top contender in the NFC besides the Eagles?

Washington vs. Philadelphia

Something is not quite right with the Skins according to my eye test. Everyone wants to point to stats but the offense off. At this point, chemistry should be developed with the receivers but it clearly isn’t. The Terrelle Pryor experiment is a bust and I’m tempted to call it one of the worst free agent signings by the team in the past few years. I thought given the circumstances the defense played well but when the offense doesn't run the clock and extend drives your already depleted depth is only going to go so far. In any case, the Eagles have their franchise player and a solidly built team around him while questions still linger around the Skins. I’m very optimistic about our matchup with Dallas.