NFL Week 7 Review
My apologies for missing last week, it was midterms and, as an esteemed professor I needed to help my students the best way I know how; by discussing Milton with them over beers at Rennie’s. Here’s the week in review for Week 7, and boy was it eventful.
Seahawks (2-4) vs Browns (3-3): 6-3 Browns
When you think of the NFL what do you think of? Highly paid freaks of nature beating the crap out of each other? Well…yes, that too. But I was thinking of fast-paced offense and QB’s slinging the ball everywhere. Not in this game, buddy! This score sure wasn’t because these defenses are overpowering. Instead, Colt McCoy outperformed (and I use the term in jest) Charlie Whitehurst by throwing for a whopping 178 yards, 1 interception, and a whole 0 touchdowns to lead the Browns to victory. The Seahawks as a whole managed just 137 yards of offense on the day. Seattle could’ve won too, but an 81-yard punt return TD by Leon Washington was called back for a block in the back. Pete Carroll was upset with the officials, but let’s be real if your team can’t manage to move the ball more than 150 yards, against the Browns no less, you don’t deserve to place the blame anywhere but on yourself.
Falcons (4-3) vs Lions (5-2): 23-16 Falcons
The entire city of Detroit is collectively going crazy right now. After starting the season 5-0, the Lions have now lost two in a row at home and, to make matters worse, the oft-injured Matthew Stafford hurt his right ankle on one of the final plays of the game. Thankfully for Detroit fans, an MRI performed on Stafford’s ankle came back negative and he is “day-to-day” with an ankle sprain. Atlanta, on the other hand, looked to finally find their groove on Sunday, winning back to back games for the first time this season. Matt Ryan looked good, as his running and throwing TD’s gave the Falcons a double-digit lead in the first half and after that the Falcons were able to hold on for the win. Also, Tony Gonzalez caught five passes on the day, moving into second place behind the great Jerry Rice on the all-time receptions list.
Texans (4-3) vs Titans (3-3): 41-7 Texans
Moral of the story, despite his slow start to the season, Arian Foster is still a monster. The Houston running back had 115 yards rushing, 119 yards receiving, and 3 total TD’s on the day to lead the Texans in a drubbing of Tennessee. The win gave Houston the lead in the AFC South once again and showed their dominance over a team that they should beat. The Texans were on a two-game losing streak before their win Sunday and this one should give them plenty of confidence heading into next week’s matchup against Jacksonville, who will be playing off of short rest after facing the Ravens on Monday. Tennessee has lost three straight after a strong start to the season and look to be fading fast. I feel bad for everyone who picked Chris Johnson in their fantasy leagues because he’s done a whole lot of nothing this season after holding out for more money. He had a total of 18 yards rushing against the Texans and now has only 268 yards on the season with an average of 2.9 yards per carry…suffice to say those are not stats worthy of an eleventy bajillion dollar contract.
Broncos (2-4) vs Dolphins (0-6): 18-15 Broncos
Yayyy Tim Tebow!!! Everyone is going to be jocking Tebow for leading the last minute drive to push the game to overtime that would eventually end up in a win for the Broncos. True, Denver did score 15 in the last 2:44 to force the game to OT and there’s something to be said for that resilience. But Tebow looked awful for the vast majority of this game. And he looked awful against a team that’s currently tied with the Colts for the lead in the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes! Before he led the Broncos on those last two drives, he was 4 of 14 for 40 yards. 40! He missed wide open receivers, fell short multiple times on third downs, and looked uncomfortable under pressure from the vaunted Dolphins defense. In the end however, the Dolphins were determined to lose, and lose they did. Tony Sparano is definitely going to take some heat for this one.
Chargers (4-2) vs Jets (4-3): 27-21 Jets
Where on earth did you come from Plaxico Burress? The former great big man wide receiver looked unstoppable once again on Sunday, catching three TD’s to fuel the Jets second consecutive win after losing three straight earlier in the season. The Jets will head into their bye week riding high after this win. One thing looks to be sure though, this Jets team is one that’s going to be up and down all season. With play that has been anything but marginal from Mark Sanchez, the offense has sputtered at times this season and this is a league where quarterback play wins you games. Against the Chargers however, the good Jets came to play. Burress’ third TD was set up by yet another interception by Darrelle Revis (one which he did not interfere on) which prompted everyone to ask why you even throw near this guy anymore. After that, Nick Folk hit a field goal to make it 27-21 Jets and the Chargers couldn’t do anything against the New York defense on their last drive.
Bears (4-3) vs Buccaneers (4-3): 24-18 Bears
Why ‘ello poppit! The NFL decided to once again host a game in London this year and the Bears and Bucs “gladly” made the transatlantic flight to entertain our English brothers at Wembley and get some of that wonderful English cuisine. Matt Forte headlined the day, rushing for 145 yards and a touchdown but it was the Bears’ defense that really won the game for Chicago. Josh Freeman, who has struggled to reach his 2010 form, was forced into throwing 4 interceptions which repeatedly killed any momentum that the Buccaneers had. To his credit, Freeman did throw 2 TD’s in the fourth quarter to pull the Bucs within 3 points, but then he got picked off again and that was that. Forte has been a quiet monster this season, leading the league in combined rushing and receiving yards with 1,089. The Bucs’ owners couldn’t have been happy with their Sunday, after watching Manchester United (who they also own) get merked by Manchester City 6-1, they saw Tampa Bay play some really bad football and lose to the 4-3 Bears. How’s the return on investment working out for you guys?
Redskins (3-3) vs Panthers (2-5): 33-20 Panthers
Sunday started the John Beck era in Washington. And I’m pretty sure he’s not the franchise quarterback that the team is looking for. Beck did alright, throwing for 279 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but the ‘Skins still lost to the Panthers. And he went to BYU and that can only count against him in my book. Cam Newton threw for a touchdown and ran for one more as the Panthers finally won another game, equaling their total for all of the 2010 season. Newton’s rushing TD gives him seven on the season, tying a record for the most rushing TD’s by a rookie QB since the NFL-AFL merger. In Oregon news, Jonathan Stewart, owner of the biggest thighs on the planet, ran for 68 yards and a touchdown that pushed Carolina’s lead to 17. The Redskins were also hit by the injury bug, as Santana Moss broke his hand in the first half and Tim Hightower hurt his knee in the third quarter.
Chiefs (3-3) vs Raiders (4-3): 28-0 Chiefs
Turnovers, turnovers, and more turnovers. The Raiders proved that the NFL is a quarterback’s league. As Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer combined for 6 interceptions with 3 each to “lead” the Raiders as they got taken out behind the woodshed by the Chiefs. The Raiders couldn’t rely on their rushing attack, one of the best in the league so far this season, after Darren McFadden left the game in the first quarter with an injured foot and that spelled doom for Oakland. The Chiefs, after starting 0-3, have now won three straight (albeit with two of those wins coming against the Vikings and the Colts) to jump back into contention in their division. The good news for Oakland is that they have a bye week for Carson Palmer to learn the playbook and get a little more comfortable with his teammates so hopefully his 3 interception performance isn’t repeated against the Broncos on Nov. 6th.
Steelers (5-2) vs Cardinals (1-5): 32-30 Steelers
Weren’t the Cardinals supposed to be good this year? Or at least decent? The Kevin Kolb era has gotten off to a struggling start, as he was hounded by the Steelers’ D all day. Kolb threw an interception and got called for intentional grounding in his own endzone while trying to avoid the rush from LaMarr Woodley which resulted in a safety. Even worse, Arizona’s defense actually made Ben ROFLsberger look good as he threw for 361 yards and 3 touchdowns on 26 completions. The biggest play of the day came when ROFLsberger threw it up to Mike Wallace who beat his man deep for a 95 yard score, the longest reception in Steelers history. Things are looking up for the Steelers after this game, and they can only hope their play will be as good against New England next week. On the other hand, the Cardinals’ season is looking like it’s going to be a wash, as they go on the road for four of its next five games and play Baltimore, Philadelphia, and San Fransico during that time.
Rams (0-6) vs Cowboys (3-3): 34-7 Cowboys
With Felix Jones out, many were wondering how the Cowboys would fare rushing the ball this week. Fear not, Dallas faithful, for DeMarco Murray has come to save you. Murray ran for 253 yards on 25 carries, including a 91-yard touchdown early to start Dallas off right. Not only that, but his 91-yard TD was the first of his career. Not bad kid, you get a helmet sticker (which teams in the NFL should totally use.) Granted, Murray’s performance came against the league’s worst run defense in the Rams, but it’s still impressive for a backup. Even with Sam Bradford, I doubt the Rams could’ve won this one but starting A.J. Feeley certainly didn’t help their chances.
Packers (7-0) vs Vikings (1-6): 33-27 Packers
For a second I actually thought the Vikings might have a chance in this one. Christian Ponder’s first snap resulted in a 71-yard completion but that momentum couldn’t be sustained as Aaron Rogers once again led the Pack to victory. With 335 yards on the day and 3 TD’s and only 6 incompletions, Rogers is making a strong case for league MVP. Out of those incompletions, 2 were thrown away, 2 dropped, 1 was spiked, and only 1 was off-target…not bad Mr. Rogers. To their credit, the Vikings hung around. Charles Woodson picked off Christian Ponder twice in the third quarter to really swing the momentum in the Packers’ favor but even after that, the Vikings still fought back and Green Bay needed two big first downs from James Starks to finish off Minnesotta.
Colts (0-7) vs Saints (5-2): 62-7 Saints
Drew Brees is very, very good.
Ravens (4-2) vs Jaguars (2-5): 12-7 Jaguars
Wow, the Jags can play defense? Apparently so. Jacksonville’s D held the Ravens to just 146 yards on the night, and only 16 of them came in the first half. Joe Flacco only had one yard passing in the first half! Where did this come from? Josh Scobee kicked a bunch of field goals to give the Jags some points and Flacco and co. couldn’t come up with a last minute drive as Drew Coleman stepped in front of a pass headed for former-Duck Ed Dickson to seal the deal. I’m officially shocked.