NFL: What We Learned Week 7


Week 7 has come and gone, but this week is one to remember in the minds of all football fans. Several teams proved their worth, and some became completely separated from contention.

The Good

The Carolina Panthers are legit. If it wasn’t enough that they went on the road to beat the 12th man and the Seattle Seahawks, the Panthers on Sunday Night Football pulled out a win against the Eagles. The defense was the story of this game. Stop after stop after clutch stop limited the Chip Kelly offense of the Eagles to only 16 points. Along with their defense playing like a championship defense, they have a Quarterback playing like a MVP. Cam Newton is having a monster year, leading the charge to a 6-0 record.

The Raiders have a 3-2 record, good enough for 2nd place in the AFC West. The Raiders are a very young team, but they are also very talented. Derek Carr has been a pleasant surprise out of Fresno State. The one two punch of Derek Carr and Amari Cooper, rookie out of Alabama, has resulted in an offense capable of scoring 21+ points a game. The defense, led by Khalil Mack and Charles Woodson, has been a force to be reckoned with. When the season nears an end, look for them down the stretch to steal a wildcard berth.

After losing their first 2 games, the Giants have won 4 out of their last 5 games. After their week 7 win over the Cowboys, the Giants have sole possession of 1st place in the NFC East. While it seems like the NFC East doesn’t have a team that wants to win it, the Giants have a couple games they can easily have a chance to win in the next two weeks. If they can pull road wins against New Orleans and the Bucs, their week 10 matchup with the Patriots doesn’t seem as daunting as it does now. Look for Odell Beckham Jr and Eli Manning to lead the charge and lead the New York Football Giants to victory.

The Bad

Wow. That’s what you call a blowout. The Dolphins had a 41-0 lead at halftime. Ryan Tannehill broke Donovan McNabb’s record of number of completions in a row without an incompletion. Their offense couldn’t move the ball down the field. The defense couldn’t stop them from moving the ball down the field. The Texans just looked like a bad football team week 7 against the Fins. Houston played like a 0-6 team, not even good enough to be thought of as 2-4. JJ Watt and DeAndre Hopkins can not carry this team by themselves. For them to win some more games, perhaps even string some together, they will need more players to make some plays.

This team is in a very bad situation. Luckily for them, they are in a lackluster at best division. At 3-4 they are still winning their division, but they face two straight weeks of teams that are currently undefeated. Next week’s Monday Night Football game has Indianapolis travel to Carolina to face the very hot, and undefeated, Panthers. Then after the Panthers, The Colts come back home to face the Denver Broncos and their stout defense. Andrew Luck has not been playing to his potential this year. Maybe it’s because of his shoulder injury that kept him out for a couple weeks that has slowed his play. But no matter the situation, Luck will need to play better in order for the Colts to win these next couple games.

I’m not going to pull any punches here, the Seahawks vs 49ers game this past Thursday might have been the most boring game i’ve ever witnessed. The 49ers gained a whopping 142 yards. Seattle won 20-3, but there was not one exciting play the entire game. First downs were hard to come by, Kaepernick played like Kaepernick again. It just wasn’t an entertaining game, which brings back the debate of whether TNF should even be played. Richard Sherman weighed in on TNF before his game against the 49ers: “I mean, it’s rough. It’s rough on the body. Any time you play a football game and play another one a few days later, it’s going to be tough on the body. But it’s just another one of those things. Another one of those simple contradictions of the league, because they care about us.” Sherman touches on what many players and fans alike have been thinking about TNF and how the league has been handled.

Week 7 concludes tonight on Monday Night Football as the Ravens travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals. Kick off @ 8:30 ET.

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