Ladies and gentleman, welcome to week 7 in the NFL. This week some of the best teams in the league were on bye (Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals) but don’t fret, it doesn’t mean we were short on good games. Although, there were a few games that were short on good football, looking at you Buffalo and Jacksonville. This week featured another game across the pond in London, which meant a quadruple header on Sunday for anyone that decided to tune in to the NFL’s first ever streamed broadcast. If only the teams were worth watching. Anyways, let’s get down to it:
Seattle Seahawks 20, San Francisco 49ers 3
Another Thursday night, another sloppy game of football. At least only half of this one was sloppy. Seattle came out and dominated this one end to end in what looked like a resurgence of the Legion of Boom. San Francisco looked absolutely lost as Carlos Hyde could find no room to run and Colin Kaepernick was running for his life on every other play. Seahawks rode Marshawn Lynch to victory for an easy W.
Jacksonville Jaguars 34, Buffalo Bills 31
Alright, mate? In the second of three NFL games in London’s Wembley Stadium this year, the NFL delivered another weak performance. The finish to this game ended up being great, but this was just a poor display of what the NFL has to offer overall. Both teams struggled fundamentally and E.J. Manuel looked like he would struggle against high school teams in some moments. The Bills stormed back, only to fail with their overpaid defense choking with the lead in the final four minutes.
Minnesota Vikings 28, Detroit Lions 19
A classic NFC North matchup that features two teams unlikely to make the playoffs. Just like old times. The Lions opened up by hitting Calvin Megatron Johnson on 2 passes for 47 yards and a score. Then they proceeded to leave him out of the game plan as he had just 3 catches for 39 yards the rest of the game. A new star is emerging in Minnesota though as Stefon Diggs put on a clinic that included a spectacular diving grab in the endzone. Vikings move to 4-2 on the year with this solid win.
New Orleans Saints 27, Indianapolis Colts 21
Andrew Luck does not look right. He’s playing okay, but he just doesn’t look like himself. On top of that, the Colts really gave this one away with turnovers that the Saints capitalized on. Brees threw for 255 and led the Saints to a 27-0 lead before Indy even got on the board. The Colts made it look respectable with a few scores in the second half but ultimately lost their second game in a row. Can these guys beat anyone outside the AFC South?
Kansas City Chiefs 23, Pittsburgh Steelers 13
Just when you think you’ve got it figure out, you don’t. Landry Jones looked as bad this week as he looked good last week when he came in for Mike Vick. The Steelers struggled to move the ball against KC on Sunday and Jones couldn’t take advantage of the Chiefs’ pitiful secondary. On the other side, Charcandrick West delivered with over 100 yards on the ground, leading the lowly Chiefs to victory.
Miami Dolphins 44, Houston Texans 26
Wow. Just, wow. The Dolphins are a completely new team these days. Miami came out of the gate and just blasted the Texans, running the score up to 41-0 at the half. That’s not a typo, forty-one to zero. Lamar Miller, Jarvis Landry and Rishard Matthews tore up the Houston defense – if you can call it that. The Dolphins coasted in the second half, allowing Houston to make it look respectable, but in classic Houston fashion, they lost their marquee player, Arian Foster, to a torn achilles tendon late in the fourth quarter of the blowout. The real question here is how well Miami will contend with New England on Thursday night.
New England Patriots 30, New York Jets 23
Speaking of New England, here we are. The new and improved, “all business” Jets held their own in this one and even had a shot to win it unitl Brandon Marshall dropped a touchdown. The Jets looked good here and gave the Patriots their best test of the year so far. Neither team found success running and athlete-extraordinaire Tom Brady ended up leading the Patriots in rushing. That’s how bad it was. Lucky for the Pats, their 50+ passes were able to get the job done and they escaped with a win.
St. Louis Rams 24, Cleveland Browns 6
This was another game that was dominated coast to coast. STL forced two turnovers to start the game that they turned into 10 points and never looked back. The Browns could never get going against the the gritty Rams defense and eventually lost starting QB Josh McCown to a shoulder injury. For the Rams, rookie sensation Todd Gurley was sensational yet again. He racked up over 100 yards on the ground again easily as St. Louis collected an easy win in this one.
Atlanta Falcons 10, Tennessee Titans 7
This wasn’t quite what we were expecting. Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcon offense struggled yet again while on the road and playing outdoors. This really doesn’t bode well for Atlanta as it’s highly unlikely they draw home field advantage throughout the playoffs when they play like this. On the plus side for the Falcons, Devonta Freeman looked strong again racking up another 100 yards on the ground and Julio Jones had nearly 100 yards receiving and found the endzone. The Titans offense was atrocious and they are really missing Marcus Mariota. They need him back as soon as possible.
Washington Redskins 31, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30
You like that?! You like that?! Yes, Kirk, we like it. Captain Kirk Cousins led a rousing fourth quarter comeback as the Redskins stole one from Tampa Bay on Sunday. Cousins was fired up afterward and let the media know it – well worth the YouTube search. Alfred Morris looks like his days are numbered in Washington as Matt Jones usurps the role of number one back. Jameis Winston had his best game as a pro thus far for the Bucs and looked good connecting with Mike Evans down the field. Perhaps a preview of things to come in Tampa.
Oakland Raiders 37, San Diego Chargers 29
Good lord this one was ugly. You wouldn’t know it by the final score, but Oakland dominated this one from the coin toss. San Diego could not contain Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree and looked abysmal on offense as the Raiders took a 30-6 lead into halftime. A week after giving the undefeated Green Bay Packers a run for their money at Lambeau Field, the Chargers returned home and looked like a broken team. Rivers and Woodhead were able to make it look close in garbage time, but that’s as good as it got for SD.
New York Giants 27, Dallas Cowboys 20
These two are fighting to stay competitive in the ugly NFC East, but it appears Dallas is fighting a losing battle. They have been winless ever since losing Tony Romo to a broken collarbone and show no signs of being able to win any time soon. Darren McFadden had his best game in years, rushing for over 150 yards and a score. But the Giants sealed their victory with a Dwayne Harris (former Cowboy) kick return touchdown about 10 seconds after Dallas had tied the game. The score was close, but it never really felt close.
Carolina Panthers 27, Philadelphia Eagles 16
Boy, oh boy, that Philly offense just isn’t coming around. Not only has Sam Bradford been less than stellar this year (and that’s putting it nicely), but they had to contend with the studly Panther defense. Naturally, Cam Newton and the Panthers were in control the majority of the game even though the Eagles’ defense looked solid again, forcing Newton into throwing 3 interceptions. It didn’t matter though as the Panthers ran for over 200 yards on the night and notched another one in the win column to stay unbeaten.
Arizona Cardinals 26, Baltimore Ravens 18
This was supposed to be either a shootout in the desert or simply an Arizona blowout, but it was neither of those things. Don’t get me wrong, the Cardinals were in complete control most of this one, but it was the high-scoring affair we anticipated. It got interesting late in the fourth when the Cardinals got sloppy and let Baltimore back in the game. The Ravens blocked a punt deep in Cardinal territory and quickly turned into eight points with a touchdown and conversion. They were then able to get the ball back and drive to within four yards of the endzone before Joe Flacco threw it away with an interception. It wasn’t supposed to be this close, but Arizona got the win nonetheless.
There you have it everyone, another week in the books as we close in on the halfway point of the season. We’re on the back side of bye weeks now as the few remaining teams will have theirs over the next few weeks as the playoff push begins. With so many teams still in contention, it’s going to be a great second half of the year, so make sure to stay tuned and come back here next week to stay on top of your game. See ya next week!