Baker Mayfield threw five touchdown passes to inspire the Cleveland Browns to victory, Todd Gurley imitated Penn State’s Devyn Ford for the Atlanta Falcons, Jeff Wilson ran riot in Foxborough and the Dallas Cowboys collapse continued; here’s a look at what we learned in Week Seven…
Cleveland Browns 37-34 Cincinnati Bengals
It was a wild battle for Ohio on Sunday. The Browns took the lead for the third and final time with just 11 seconds to go on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield to Donovan Peoples-Jones. It was the fifth straight lead change on a touchdown pass as the two teams struggled to take control of the game.
It was an impressive showing from Mayfield, who was benched against the Steelers last week after suffering a beating from the Pittsburgh defense. It was exactly what he and the Browns needed to help wash the taste out of their mouth of two disappointing losses to their other AFC North rivals.
Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow also deserves a shoutout. Once again he stood out in a loss for the Bengals, completing 35 of his 47 passing attempts for 406 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. Sonny Cohen
Up Next – Browns v Raiders (Sunday, 6pm); Bengals v Titans (Sunday, 6pm)
Detroit Lions 23-22 Atlanta Falcons
College football fans out there will have seen Penn State’s Devyn Ford run untouched to the end zone to put his team ahead against Indiana on Saturday, forgetting to stop short of the goalline in order to chew down the clock with under two minutes to play. Indiana, whose coach Tom Allen admitted post-game they had wanted Ford to score, took full advantage as they mounted a 75-yard drive before scoring with 22 seconds remaining and converting the game-tying two-point attempt, later winning the game in overtime.
Well, Todd Gurley did his best impression a day later. With a minute to play and the Falcons down by two, the running back bundled his way through two tackles before realising his mistake too late to stop his momentum from taking him into the end zone.
As a result, the Lions got the ball back as Matthew Stafford launched a game-winning touchdown drive in the final 64 seconds, capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Hockenson. Yet again, it goes to show that every second, every intricacy counts in the NFL. Cameron Hogwood
Up Next – Lions v Colts (Sunday, 6pm), Falcons @ Panthers (Friday, 12.20am)
Jacksonville Jaguars 29-39 Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert broke a franchise record as he helped the Chargers overcome the Jags to tick off his first NFL win.
The sixth overall pick in last year’s Draft may have been thrown into the line-up by a freak set of circumstances that cost Tyrod Taylor his starting spot, but his performances have shown he is ready.
Sixty-six rushing yards was this week’s franchise-setting record but 347 yards, three TDs and the absolute fizz on his passes were yet again enough to show he is the face of the franchise LA wanted, and needed. Paul Prenderville
Up Next – Jaguars BYE WEEK, Chargers @ Broncos (Sunday, 9.05pm)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45-20 Las Vegas Raiders
Tom Brady and this Tampa team really are cooking! It was not always convincing through the first few weeks of the season, particularly when slipping to 3-2 with defeat in Chicago.
But, since then, the defense first dominated Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay last week and now it was Brady and the offense’s turn to shine. The 43-year-old (yes, 43!) threw four touchdown passes, sharing the love around to Rob Gronkowski, Chris Godwin, Scott Miller and Tyler Johnson.
Oh, and All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown is about to be added into the mix. It’s almost unfair. David Currie
Up Next – Buccaneers @ Giants (Tuesday, 1.15am), Raiders @ Browns (Sunday, 6pm)
Dallas Cowboys 3-25 Washington Football Team
Is it too soon to talk about Mike McCarthy as a potential one-and-out in Dallas? As it stands, probably not. The Cowboys are in disarray. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is likely to be the first casualty of this team’s monumental collapse from soaring offseason optimism, his unit having given up 25 points to one of the worst offenses in the NFL.
Injuries have decimated the offensive line and the production on offense has plummeted since Dak Prescott’s injury, but we already knew that. Sunday’s defeat shed further light on the concerning lack of fight across the team. Coach McCarthy had a point in calling out his players for not approaching Jon Bostic after his horror hit that knocked Andy Dalton out of the game.
The Cowboys are also learning they may have paid the wrong man. Ezekiel Elliott leads all running backs with five fumbles, has a joint-most four drops for running backs, and has allowed more quarterback hits than any other running back with seven. He’s having a nightmare behind that backup o-line. Cameron Hogwood
Up Next – Cowboys @ Eagles (Monday, 1.20am), Washington BYE WEEK
Carolina Panthers 24-27 New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints got it done once again without superstar wide receiver Michael Thomas. Their offense was spearheaded by quarterback Drew Brees who threw for 287 yard and two touchdowns. He also punched in a short touchdown run as they squeezed past their division rivals to move to 4-2 on the season.
Brees’ big day was made more impressive by the absence of Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list just two days prior to their game. Alvin Kamara had an impact in both the running and passing game as he had 14 carries for 83 yards and eight receptions for 65 yards.
It was a hard-fought win for the Saints that was sealed when the Panthers’ kicker, Joey Slye, missed a 65-yard field goal with two minutes left on the clock. Sonny Cohen
Up Next – Panthers v Falcons (Friday, 12.20am), Saints @ Bears (Sunday, 9.25pm)
Kansas City Chiefs 43-16 Denver Broncos
It was another dominant performance for the Chiefs against the Broncos. It was their 10th straight win against their division rivals, going all the way back to 2015. They became the first team since 2003 to score an offensive, defensive and special teams touchdown as they proved they can get it done in a variety of ways.
It was a game of strange stats. Patrick Mahomes played just one minute in the second quarter and at one point the Chiefs offense had just one first down over a 20-minute period. But the gap between the two teams continued to grow as the Broncos made a multitude of errors that allowed their opponents to take control of the game.
The Broncos mistakes were punctuated by an attempted flea flicker that saw running back Melvin Gordon pitch the ball over the head of quarterback Drew Lock. Lock also threw an interception to Daniel Sorensen that was returned for a touchdown. Byron Pringle also took a kick-off return 102 yards for the touchdown. Sonny Cohen
Up Next – Chiefs v Jets (Sunday, 6pm), Broncos v Chargers (Sunday, 9.05pm)
Green Bay Packers 35-20 Houston Texans
45 yards from @AaronRodgers12 to @tae15adams!
TOUCHDOWN! #GBvsHOU | #GoPackGo
📱 https://t.co/2UxGSiVlvn pic.twitter.com/I27Q421zNl
After being thoroughly outplayed from start to finish against Tampa Bay last week (and they are unlikely to be the last on that front), the Packers and Aaron Rodgers stormed back like a team with a point to prove.
That’s usually when we get the best Rodgers, and 234 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions was exactly that.
It was especially impressive as they were without Aaron Jones, one of the best rushers in the game, and that allowed Rodgers to link up with the brilliant Davante Adams (13 catches, 196 yards, two TDs).
What of Houston? Well, they are wasting a very special talent in Deshaun Watson, and do not have a first-round pick next year. Paul Prenderville
Up Next – Packers v Vikings (Sunday, 6pm), Texans BYE WEEK
Buffalo Bills 18-10 New York Jets
First career interception!
We see you, @djack11_. 👀
📺 #BUFvsNYJ on CBS pic.twitter.com/XoSHpuxOym
The Jets have lost their first seven games for only the second time in franchise history (1996) and remain the only winless team in football.
There is not much we did not already know here, but the Bills needed a win, any type of win after a couple of consecutive defeats – they got that but with a few questions.
Zero touchdowns will annoy Josh Allen and Sean McDermott and the penalty count (11 for 106 yards) could be costly against better teams.
However, the defense excelled and rookie kicker Tyler Bass booted them to victory with all 18 points and he even managed to miss twice. Paul Prenderville
Up Next – Bills v Patriots (Sunday, 6pm), Jets @ Chiefs (Sunday, 6pm)
Seattle Seahawks 34-37 Arizona Cardinals (OT)
If Tyler Lockett was not such a nice guy, he would be giving his team-mates some dirty looks in the locker room. The Seahawks receiver went off with 15 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns in Seattle’s overtime loss, once again making the jaw-dropping look remarkably easy. I still do not think he gets the credit he deserves.
It was Isaiah Simmons who came up with the game’s defining play, intercepting Russell Wilson in overtime to set up the game-winning field goal.
So much was expected of the rookie coming out of college. His reputation as a modern hybrid linebacker capable of playing at safety and cornerback left defensive coordinators drooling, but he’s yet to really take off in Arizona. Through his first six games, he had just 11 total tackles and had just one on Sunday before coming up with the crucial pick. He’s also played a higher percentage of special teams snaps (25.79) than he has defensive snaps (18.22). He’s a fascinating case study. Cameron Hogwood
Up Next – Seahawks v 49ers (Sunday, 9.25pm), Cardinals BYE WEEK
San Francisco 49ers 33-6 New England Patriots
What a day for Jeff Wilson! The third-year running back had only four career rushing touchdowns coming into this contest and he nearly doubled that output with three in this absolute shellacking of the Patriots! His 112 yards, on 17 carries, was also seven more than he managed in the entire 2019 season.
The bad news: Wilson was injured when scoring his third TD of the night, with Kyle Shanahan later confirming his running back had suffered a high ankle sprain.
The good news for 49ers fans: it seems Shanahan can win with anyone in the backfield! There is simply no stopping his creative run scheme it seems, or certainly the Patriots had no answer. New England are 2-4, people, having dropped three straight. David Currie
Up Next – 49ers @ Seahawks (Sunday, 9.25pm), Patriots @ Bills (Sunday, 6pm)
Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 Tennessee Titans
We will have some more of this one, please. Playoffs? Perhaps even in the AFC Championship game.
The game had briefly threatened to be a blowout as the Steelers raced out to a 24-7 lead at the half but, as proven on numerous occasions this season, this Titans team simply do not know when they are beaten.
Well, they do not know they are beaten until Stephen Gostkowski misses a game-tying field goal with 19 seconds left, that is. Tennessee’s unbeaten record falls, leaving Pittsburgh as the last remaining at 6-0. David Currie
Up Next – Steelers @ Ravens (Sunday, 6pm), Titans @ Bengals (Sunday, 6pm)
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