Week 7 was a wild and crazy one in the NFL! With Jacksonville’s once dominant defence continuing to spiral into insignificance, the Eagles losing a step in a come-from-behind loss to the Panthers, them most efficient kicker in recent league history coming up short and the NFC East seemingly belonging to Washington, this isn’t the NFL we’re used to. Oh, and the Chiefs?
Well, the Chiefs are the Chiefs.
Let’s get started!
Houston 20-7 Jacksonville
Not many would have predicted this game to have as heavy implications on the AFC South as it did. The Jags have not shown the same defence that we’re accustomed to seeing so far in 2018. Both teams came into this game at 3-3 at the top of the division with the Titans. With Houston winning two in a row they looked to keep that momentum rolling against a struggling Texans defence.
In fact, it was the Texans defence that would dominate in this one, with them shutting down Blake Bortles and the Jags throughout the first half. It’s clear Jacksonville is missing Leonard Fournette with his team showing next to no run game.
Houston would jump out to an early lead with two field goals in the first quarter. They then went on a 10-play drive in the second, moving 60 yards to the end zone. They capped the drive off with a 5-yard TD run by Lamar Miller for the 13-0 halftime lead. DeAndre Hopkins would make an amazing one-handed grab over Jalen Ramsay in the first half, with Ramsay and his defence looking shell-shocked for the third straight week.
A Texans’ second-quarter punt pinned the Jags down at their own 1-yard line. After two straight TJ Yeldon runs, Bortles would take off for one of his own. On the run, he fumbled the ball giving Houston possession at the Jacksonville 12-yard line. Two plays later DeShaun Watson found Hopkins for the 10-yard TD and the 20-0 lead.
Jacksonville would then pull Bortles in favour of Cody Kessler. Kessler would get things going on his second drive of the game. Passing for 45 yards on the drive Kessler moved the chains until he found TJ Yeldon, who made an amazing one-handed grab for the 6-yard TD pass trimming the lead down to 20-7.
The Jaguars tried to force a comeback in the fourth quarter with Kessler finding some success moving the ball. He would, however, be picked off by Tyrann Mathieu allowing Houston to kill some clock.
Jacksonville would turn the ball over on downs on the last drive of the game sealing the 20-7 win for the Texans. Houston dominated early with the offence outrushing the Jags 141-70.
The Texans defence made life difficult for Jacksonville, and more specifically Blake Bortles. The Jags threw for 191 yards but 156 of those came from Cody Kessler. The Texans totalled 4 sacks and forced three turnovers, two of which were Bortles fumbles.
The Jacksonville defence looks like it has lost its step at being as dominant as it once was. Questions are raising of what is wrong with this team as they drop to 3-4 with the Texans taking the division lead at 4-3. Is it time to push the panic button in Jacksonville?
HOU: D.Watson: 12/24 139YDs 1TD L.Miller: 22CAR 100YDs 1TD D.Hopkins: 3CAT 50YDs 1TD
JAX: B.Bortles: 6/12 61YDs C.Kessler: 21/30 156YDs 1TD 1INT D.Moncrief: 7CAT 76YDs
Carolina 20-17 Philadelphia
This may not be the same heavy-weight showdown that it would have been last year, but it was still poised to have some fireworks given the quarterbacks on each side. The defending Champion Eagles struggled through the first few weeks of the season but have had Carson Wentz back under centre and are starting to find their way. The Panthers were sitting in second place of the NFC South at 3-2 and needed a win to keep pace with the Saints.
With the first quarter of both teams trading drives back and forth leading to no points, the Eagles would strike first in the second. Wentz took the offence on a 7-play 74-yard drive, finding Zach Ertz on two passes for 37 yards and Alshon Jeffery for a 20-yard gain before again finding Jeffery in the end zone for the 11-yard TD and the 7-0 lead.
After the Eagles added three points, Carolina went on a promising drive taking them 65 yards in just over four minutes. They set themselves up on the Eagles 21-yard line after a 33-yard run by Christian McCaffrey and a 12-yard run by Cam Newton. They had to settle for the field goal attempt, but two straight penalties took them out of range pushing them to punt.
The Eagles took the 10-0 lead into the half. Philly’s defence continued to dominate early in the second half with the Panthers’ opening drive resulting in yet another punt. Unlike the Panthers, the Eagles capitalized on their first drive of the half. They went 98 yards in nine minutes with Wentz mastering the scoring drive. He would cap it all off with a 1-yard TD pass to Dallas Goedert and the 17-0 lead.
The Panthers would finally get on the board with the third quarter winding down and the fourth quarter beginning. They went on an 11-play drive from their own 20-yard line to the end zone lead by DJ Moore. Moore took a handoff for 18 yards, then totalled 25 yards through the air before Curtis Samuel ran the ball in for the 14-yard TD. Graham Gano missed the PAT resulting in the 17-6 score.
Newton continued to move the ball after his defence came up with a big stop. He took his team 87 yards in 2:40, finding Torrey Smith for 14 yards, Jarius Wright for 28 and capped it all off with an 18-yard TD pass to Devin Funchess. The converted two-point convert put Carolina within three points at 17-14.
Carolina’s defence continued to make plays shutting down the Eagles again with their first three-and-out since the first drive of the game. Cam Newton took the ball with 2:17 left in the game and just needing a field goal to tie.
They would face a 4th and 10 from their own 31-yard line. Newton found ex-Eagle Torrey Smith for a 35-yard gain setting them up at the Philly 34-yard line with two minutes left. Christian McCaffrey then ran for eight yards and took a pass 22 yards to the Eagles 4. Newton found tight end Greg Olsen for the TD taking the 21-17 lead.
Philly took possession with over a minute left in the game. Wentz threw a bomb to Alshon Jeffrey who had his man beat, but James Bradberry would tackle the receiver to prevent the TD, taking the PI penalty setting the Eagles up at the Carolina 22-yard line. A play that turned out to be very smart. The Panthers D stood tall, stopping the Eagles on four plays ending the game and sealing the comeback win.
The Panthers scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to complete the comeback the unexpected win over the defending champs. The Eagles imploded in the second half, specifically the fourth quarter. They had opportunities to close this one out but could not convert on third downs. Their run game was non-existent totalling 58 yards on the ground. They almost pulled it out at the end, but the Carolina defence did their job and shut the door.
This was a huge statement win for the Panthers is now in a dogfight with the Saints for the division.
CAR: C.Newton: 25/39 269YDs 2TDs 7CAR 49YDs D.Funchess: 6CAT 62YDs 1TD
PHI: C.Wentz: 30/37 310YDs 2TDs Z.Ertz: 9CAT 138YDs A.Jeffery: 7CAT 88YDs 1TD
New Orleans 24-23 Baltimore
With Drew Brees becoming the NFL’s all-time leading passer in Week 5 his focus now has returned to winning the NFC South and eventually the Super Bowl. The Saints sat atop the division at 4-1 and took that into M&T Bank Stadium to take on a Ravens team that has been surprisingly good this season. Baltimore held a 4-2 record while battling the Bengals for the top seed in the AFC North.
It was a quiet first half with neither team getting on the board until there was just over six minutes left in the half. The Ravens drove down the field but had their drive stall forcing them to settle for a 31-yard Justin Tucker field goal and the 3-0 lead.
Drew Brees had an answer for that drive with one of his own, the only difference he was able to get into the end zone. Brees found Michael Thomas for a 33-yard gain down the sideline before Alvin Kamara went on two straight runs for a total of 17 yards. Brees then found Benjamin Watson for the 1-yard TD pass and a 7-3 lead. The TD pass was Brees’ 500th of his career.
It didn’t last long with Joe Flacco hitting John Brown on a 15-yard dig route, with Brown taking it another 41 yards to the 2-yard line with just over 20 seconds left in the half. A few plays later Lamar Jackson would come in at QB and run it in from two yards out for the TD and 10-7 lead.
The Ravens came out on their second drive of the second half with a 10-play 62-yard drive. Flacco found Michael Crabtree for an 18-yard gain and Chris Moore for 14 yards before he eventually found Mark Andrews for the 8-yard TD and the 17-7 lead.
Drew Brees and the Saints answered back with a drive of their own led by a few big gains from Brees to Tre’Quan Smith. A few plays later Alvin Kamara took it in from a yard out, cutting the Ravens lead down to 17-14.
As the fourth quarter wound down, the Saints continued to roll while stopping the Ravens. After a sack of Flacco resulted in a punt, New Orleans went on a 12-play drive moving 56 yards from their own 44-yard line. The Saints marched down the field with Brees connecting with Michael Thomas for the 5-yard TD and taking a 21-17 lead with five minutes left in the game.
The New Orleans defence came up with a big fourth down stop forcing Baltimore to turn the ball over on downs. The Saints then ran a minute off the clock and added three points on the Wil Lutz field goal for the 24-17 lead.
The Ravens took the ball with two minutes left in the game. Flacco hit Crabtree on two passes for a total of 28 yards then found Javorius Allen for 17. Two plays later Flacco threw a beauty of a pass to John Brown for the 14-yard TD setting up Justin Tucker to tie the game. Tucker hadn’t missed a PAT in his entire career…..until now. He pulled the kick to the right keeping the score at 24-23 for the Saints and with 24 seconds left, the New Orleans win.
This game was a weird one from start to finish with early challenges, weird kicks and a missed PAT. A kicker who hadn’t missed an extra point his entire career missed one at the most important moment and a future Hall-of-Fame QB became one of four to throw 500 touchdowns and has officially beaten every team in the NFL.
The Saints were able to battle back to win a game that looked like the Ravens may control it early. It was evenly matched through almost every category, however the Saints out-rushed Baltimore 134 yards to 77. A few mental mistakes like drops, penalties and a missed PAT cost Baltimore in this one as they fall to 4-3 and the Saints stay atop the NFC South at 5-1.
NO: D.Brees: 22/30 212YDs 2TDs A.Kamara: 17CAR 64YDs 1TD M.Thomas: 7CAT 69YDs 1TD
BAL: J.Flacco: 23/39 279YDs 2TDs J.Brown: 7CAT 134YDs 1TD
Dallas 17-20 Washington
MORE DIVISIONAL MATCH-UPS! The NFC East is wide open with three teams holding three wins on the year. Washington, the Cowboys and Eagles found themselves in a three-way tie for first place with Washington holding the edge with one less loss. Both Washington and Dallas looked to create separation with this NFC East battle.
Washington would score first from a short 33-yard punt from the Cowboys after their opening drive was snuffed out on three plays. Washington ran just six plays from their own 48-yard line with four runs from Adrian Peterson for a total of 12 yards before Alex Smith found Kapri Bibbs for the 23-yard TD and 7-0 lead.
Before the end of the half, Dallas went on a 6-play drive eating up 83 yards on their way to a score. Dak Prescott found Allen Hurns for a 20-yard gain before hitting rookie receiver Michael Gallup wide-open for a 49-yard TD bomb tying the game at 7-7 at the half.
Washington would add a field goal in the third quarter retaking the lead at 10-7. Both teams added field goals with Washington taking a 13-10 lead into the fourth quarter. The Cowboys found themselves pinned at their own 1-yard line after an offensive holding penalty.
Prescott tried to spin away from the pressure but fumbled the ball on a Ryan Kerrigan sack, with the ball being recovered by Preston Smith in the end zone for the touchdown. Washington took a 20-10 lead with five minutes left in the game.
Dak Prescott took the ball and moved the offence 79 yards down the field in just over three minutes. He would hit Geoff Swaim on a 17-yard pass then found Blake Jarwin for 16 yards before taking off on a 14-yard run of his own. Prescott would run another 10 yards before eventually setting up camp at the Washington 1-yard line.
Dak took it the rest of the way diving into the end zone and taking a big hit for the TD and the 20-17 score. After the Cowboy defence stopped Washington on a three-and-out, Prescott had a minute left in the game to try and complete the comeback.
Dallas moved the ball 36 yards in seven plays with big catches by Cole Beasley setting up a 47-yard field goal attempt by Brett Maher. However, long snapper L.P. Ladouceur was called for a false start for moving the ball before the snap, moving the kick back five yards. Maher tried from 52 yards away but banked it off the upright giving Washington the 20-17 win.
Washington’s defence dominated Dallas especially early. They held them to just 10 points in the first half allowing the offence to get things going. They held the Cowboys to just 40 yards on the ground while their offence was able to put up 119 and control the clock. The defence forced the fumble in the end zone, scoring the game-winning TD while taking a two-game lead in the NFC East at 4-2.
Adrian Peterson especially had a great game for Washington rushing for 99 yards while averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Clock control was a big part of this victory for Washington and ultimately Adrian Peterson was at the forefront of that.
WSH: A.Smith: 14/25 178YDs 1TD A.Peterson: 24CAR 99YDs K.Bibbs: 4CAT 43YDs 1TD
DAL: D.Prescott: 22/35 272YDs 1TD M.Gallup: 3CAT 81YDs 1TD A.Hurns: 5CAT 74YDs
Cincinnati 10-45 Kansas City
The Sunday Night Football match-up came with two high-powered offences coming together. The Kansas City Chiefs have been one of the hottest teams this year jumping out to a 5-0 start before losing to the Patriots in Week 6.
Patrick Mahomes has been an absolute beast lighting up opposing defences all year, but his defence has been picked apart giving up the most yards on the year and the 12th most points.
The Bengals have been able to hold court so far this year, jumping out to a 4-2 record and sitting atop the AFC North. They needed to keep things rolling in a tight division and coming out victorious against one of the league’s best would be a huge statement.
Safe to say they would fall short of that.
The Chiefs jumped out to a fast start controlling the first half with the Bengals defence unable to contain Kareem Hunt in any capacity. After forcing a Cincinnati three-and-out, Kansas City went on a 10-play drive chewing up 95 yards. Hunt ate up 42 yards on the drive before Mahomes threw him a dart at the cone for the score and 7-0 lead.
Kansas City would miss a field goal, but they got the ball back on a weird fake punt by the Bengals with a direct snap to Clayton Fejedelem in the punt formation. The snap, however, was rocketed to the back-up safety, with the ball bouncing off him only to be recovered by the Chiefs at the Cincinnati 32-yard line.
Four plays later Mahomes dumped a pass off to Hunt again, and again Hunt took it 15 yards to the end zone while breaking tackles for the 14-0 second quarter lead. The Bengals bounced back halfway through the second quarter. Driving down the field from their own 23-yard line, they found the end zone lead by AJ Green. Green came up with 51 of the 77 yards on the drive before Andy Dalton hit CJ Uzomah for the 4-yard TD pass and a 14-7 score.
But with seven minutes left the Chiefs were almost sure to get back into the end zone. Mahomes took his own offence 77 yards down the field while eating up over five minutes off the clock. The drive ended with a Mahomes TD pass to Demetrius Harris for the 21-7 lead.
The Chiefs added a field goal to end the half taking a 24-7 lead into the break. But where the Chiefs left off in the first half they picked up again in the second. Mahomes threw a 50-yard bomb to Sammy Watkins setting up the 2-yard TD run by Kareem Hunt for the 31-7 lead.
The snowball continued to grow as on the very next play Dalton would stare down his receiver making it easy for Ron Parker to come up with the interception. Parker returned it 33 yards for the pick-six putting the game out of reach at 38-7 Chiefs. Things kept getting out of hand with Mahomes throwing another TD pass, this time to Tyreek Hill for 3 yards and the 45-10 score and eventual victory.
The Chiefs dominated from start to finish with Patrick Mahomes lighting it up throwing for almost 400 yards and another 4 touchdowns. The biggest takeaway was the performance of the Kansas City defence.
One of the leagues worst defences held the Bengals to 239 yards of total offence. Cincinnati has had a great offence this year and the Chiefs D kept them out of the end zone after the first quarter. The AFC West leading Chiefs are now 6-1 as they continue to roll over teams while the Bengals drop to 4-3 in a tight race in the AFC North.
KC: P.Mahomes: 28/39 358YDs 4TDs 1INT K.Hunt: 15CAR 86YDs 1TD 5CAT 55YDs 2TDs T.Kelce: 5CAT 95YDs S.Watkins: 4CAT 74YDs T.Hill: 7CAT 68YDs 1TD
CIN: A.Dalton: 15/29 148YDs 1TD 1INT J.Mixon: 13CAR 50YDs A.Green: 7CAT 117YDs
**P.Mahomes with six consecutive games of 300+ passing yards
Denver 45-10 Arizona
C.Keenum: 14/21 161YDs 1TD 1INT P.Lindsay: 14CAR 90YDs 1TD E.Sanders: 6CAT 102YDs 1TD/J.Rosen: 21/39 194YDs 1TD 3INTs C.Kirk: 3CAT 57YDs
Tennessee 19-20 LA Chargers
P.Rivers: 19/26 306YDs 1TD 2TDs A.Ekeler: 12CAR 42YDs T.Williams: 4CAT 118YDs 1TD K.Allen: 5CAT 72YDs/M.Mariota: 24/32 237YDs 1TD 1INT D.Lewis: 13CAR 91YDs T.Sharpe: 7CAT 101YDs
**Game from London
New England 38-31 Chicago
T.Brady: 25/36 277YDs 3TDs 1INT J.Gordon: 4CAT 100YDs/M.Trubisky: 26/50 333YDs 2TDs 2INTs 6CAR 81YDs T.Burton: 9CAT 126YDs 1TD
**Trubisky Hail Mary caught at goal line, Pats D stops Kevin White from entering end zone with zeros on clock
Buffalo 5-37 Indianapolis
A.Luck: 17/23 156YDs 4TDs M.Mack: 19CAR 126YDs 1TD/D.Anderson: 20/31 175YDs 3INTs C.Ivory: 16CAR 81YDs K.Benjamin: 4CAT 71YDs
**L.McCoy leaves with head injury
Detroit 32-21 Miami
M.Stafford: 18/22 217YDs 2TDs K.Johnson: 19CAR 158YDs L.Blount: 10CAR 50YDs 1TD/B.Osweiler: 22/31 239YDs 2TDs K.Drake: 6CAR 72YDs 1TD D.Amendola: 6CAT 84YDs 1TD
Minnesota 37-17 NY Jets
K.Cousins: 25/40 241YDs 2TDs L.Murray: 15CAR 69YDS 2TDS A.Thielen: 9CAT 110YDs 1TD/S.Darnold: 17/42 206YDs 1TD 3INTs T.Cannon: 4CAT 69YDs
Cleveland 23-26-OT Tampa Bay
J.Winston: 32/52 365YDs 2INTs 10CAR 55YDs 1TD M.Evans: 7CAT 107YDs/B.Mayfield: 23/34 215YDs 2TDs N.Chubb: 18CAR 80YDs 1TD J.Landry: 10CAT 97YDs 1TD
LA Rams 39-10 San Francisco
J.Goff: 18/24 202YDs 2TDs A.Donald: 9TCK 4SCKs 1FR T.Gurley: 15CAR 63YDs 2TDs R.Woods: 5CAT 78YDs/C.Beathard: 15/27 170YDs 1TD 2INTs R.Mostert: 7CAR 59YDs G.Kittle: 5CAT 98YDs 1TD
NY Giants 20-23 Atlanta
M.Ryan: 31/39 379YDs 1TD J.Jones: 9CAT 104YDs M.Hall: 3CAT 63YDs 1TD/E.Manning: 27/38 399YDs 1TD S.Shepard: 5CAT 167YDs O.Beckham Jr.: 8CAT 143YDs 1TD
BYE: Green Bay, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Seattle
1.Chiefs (6-1) 2.Chargers (5-2) 3.Broncos (3-4) 4.Raiders (1-5)
1.Patriots (5-2) 2. Dolphins (4-3) 3.Jets (3-4) 4.Bills (2-5)
1. Texans (4-3) 2.Titans (3-4) 3.Jaguars (3-4) 4.Colts (2-5)
1.Steelers (3-2-1) 2.Bengals (4-3) 3.Ravens (4-3) 4.Browns (2-4-1)
1.Rams (7-0) 2.Seahawks (3-3) 3.Cardinals (1-6) 4.49ers (1-6)
1.Washington (4-2) 2.Eagles (3-4) 3.Cowboys (3-4) 4.Giants (1-6)
1.Saints (5-1) 2.Panthers (4-2) 3.Buccaners (3-3) 4.Falcons (3-4)
1.Vikings (4-2-1) 2.Packers (3-2-1) 3.Lions (3-3) 4.Bears (3-3)