Ian Evans’ NFL Week 7 Love/Hate Weekend Recap
Co-Founder, Contributor, ISM
Week 7 provided the NFL world with once again another entertaining week of professional football. From a sloppy-riddled Thursday Night Football game to a defensive-heavy Monday Night game, Week 7 had just a little bit of everything. There was Daniel Jones tripping on his rather hilarious near-touchdown run from his own 8-yard line, Sunday Night Football potentially being game of the year, and John Hekker punting the ball so well that he could be named the player of the game. Again, interesting, yet entertaining week. Anyway, here is what I loved and hated from Week 7 of the NFL regular season. There will also be honorable and dishonorable mentions for the first time at the end of the article.
Love: Tyler Lockett and Devante Adams
Photo Courtesy: Norm Hall/Getty Images
In a week where some of the games were defensive, some wide receivers simply had career games against opposing receivers. Tyler Lockett, despite the loss, had a monster performance against the Arizona Cardinals, exposing the secondary on multiple occasions. Lockett caught 15 passes for 200 yards on the dot and 3 touchdowns. Lockett was sensational to watch as he made diving catches and even secured a touchdown in the back of the end zone that look incomplete until the slow motion replay showed that Lockett just barely brought his back foot down.
Photo Courtesy: Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press
Staying in the NFC, Devante Adams, destroyed the Houston Texans secondary this past Sunday afternoon. Adams caught 13 passes for 196 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Rodgers to Adams connection thrived all game long. Adams has one of the best releases from the line of scrimmage in the league and it showed. One of Adams’ touchdown went for 45-yards as he used his athleticism and speed to burn the defensive back opposite of him, basically running right by him, and used his acceleration off the catch to coast into the end zone.
It was nearly impossible to stop these two receivers as Lockett and Adams made fantasy owners (I have Lockett) satisfied with their outstanding efforts on Sunday.
Hate: Jon Bostic’s hit on Andy Dalton (and the Cowboys players response)
Photo Courtesy: Patrick Semansky/Associated Press
There’s no room for unsportsmanlike conduct, bad sportsmanship, and dirty plays. However and unfortunately, we saw a dirt play on Sunday in which Jon Bostic lowered his helmet into Andy Dalton’s while Dalton was sliding and defenseless. It was a rather scary moment after the Cowboys already lost their starting quarterback Dak Prescott for the remainder of the season. Dalton was taken out of the game, went through concussion protocol, and was replace by Ben DiNucci, after the hit. Bostic was ejected from the game and rightfully so as there is no place for that kind of play in football. What also irked me was how no player on the Cowboys offense stood up for Dalton or even confronted Bostic after the hit. If I was a linemen I would either confront Bostic or start scrapping. From the hit to the players’ response, this was just a tough play to watch all around.
Love: Steelers-Titans Game
Photo Courtesy: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
The battle of the undefeated lived up to the hype. The Steelers and Titans played a game that had fans intrigued and invested. At halftime, the Titans found themselves down big 24-7 to the Steelers as 4 of the 5 Steelers offensive drives went for a score. However, the Titans roared back in a major way. After Pittsburgh went up 27-7 to start the second half, The Titans proceeded to score 17 unanswered. Later, a crucial interception by Ben Roethlisberger set up the Titans to make a final drive to potentially send the game into overtime as they were down 27-24. Tannehill and the Titans offense found a way to get within field goal range and set up a 45-yard field goal attempt. However, Gostowski, after being perfect on the day so far, missed just right, as the Steelers defeated the Titans 27-24. The Steelers are now the only remaining undefeated team in the league at 6-0.
Hate: Buffalo Bills
Photo Courtesy: John Minchillo/Associated Press
I genuinely believed that the Buffalo Bills would route a deplorable New York Jets team. This game was low-scoring, sloppy, and just difficult to watch as the game had more field goals than touchdowns. The Jets have given up 24 or more points each of their games this season. How many did the Bills score? 18. That’s their lowest scoring total this year. Buffalo failed to put a point on the board in the first quarter and won off the kicking of Tyler Bass, who scored all of their points. Although they did end up winning the game 18-10, nobody should be beating the Bills by only single digits. Nobody.
Love: Tom Brady
Photo Courtesy: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
He’s called the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) for a reason. Tom Brady simply finds a way to win games and in convincing fashion. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played the Las Vegas Raiders in Las Vegas. Although the stadium is nicknamed “The Death Star” after the critically-acclaimed movie series Star Wars, Brady and the Bucs were neither phased nor threatened whatsoever. Brady threw for 369 yards and 4 touchdowns, while Scotty Miller of all receivers had himself a day catching 6 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. It seemed as if the Buccaneers could do no wrong as well as the defense hounded Derek Carr and even came away with an interception. The Buccaneers improved to 5-2 after defeating the Raiders 45-20 and sit in first place in the NFC South. And this is all happening before newly signed Buccaneer Antonio Brown takes the field too. Halloween is right around the corner, and Tampa Bay is a scary sight.
Hate: The Dallas Cowboys
Photo Courtesy: Patrick Semansky/Associated Press
It’s honestly disheartening and difficult to watch Dallas play football. They were projected by some experts to go as far as the Super Bowl and at least win the NFC East. However, both of those scenarios are most likely not going to come intro fruition. The Cowboys suffered their second straight loss as the Washington Football Team ran away with a 25-3 victory. This team’s chemistry is non-existent, their start players are not contributing, and their defense is still horrific. For example, Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin and cornerback Trevon Diggs got into an altercation after one play, in which both player were in each other’s’ faces exchanging trash talk. But on the next play, McLaurin LITERALLY runs straight by Diggs on a go route and catches a touchdown pass. McLaurin let him have it too, gesturing that he was too small and pretending to cradle a baby. That’s the definition of all bark and no bite. It is clear to see why Green Bay let go of Mike McCarthy because at this rate his hiring is not paying off in the slightest for Dallas. It looks as if this team doesn’t want to play for him at all.
Love: Baker Mayfield (really? Yes.)
Photo Courtesy: Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Usually I’m super critical and hard on Baker Mayfield. However, he played a tremendous game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Is it the Bengals? Yes, but his performance cannot be denied and I have to give credit where it’s due. Baker only missed 6 passes on the day and threw for 297 yards and 5 touchdowns in a comeback win against Cincinnati. He also flaunted a QBR of 97.3. Baker had a tale of two halves as he couldn’t find a target in the first half, but turned it around by shredding a porous Bengals secondary in the second half. The Browns also put up 20 in the 4th quarter alone. But the play I enjoyed the most was his game-winning touchdown pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones on a pretty bread basket throw. If Baker can keep up this type of play, he can finally start to change the inconsistency narrative that’s attached to his name.
Hate: The Atlanta Falcons…….once again.
Photo Courtesy: AP Photo/John Bazemore
It must be rough being an Atlanta sports fan. Earlier in the month of October, the Atlanta Braves blew a 3-1 NLCS series lead to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Falcons also blew leads to the Cowboys and Bears earlier this season. And they proceeded to lose in Atlanta-esque fashion. Let’s fast-forward to the 4th quarter. The Falcons are down 22-14 with roughly 2 minutes left in the game. The Falcons proceeded to drive the ball rather quickly and get into Lions territory and later found themselves on Detroit’s 10-yard line with a minute left. At this rate their priority would be to run the ball, which they did. However, on 1st and 10 from Detroit’s 10, Todd Gurley rushed for a touchdown. The funny part of it all was that Gurley tried to stop on the 1-yard line, but his momentum carried him in for 6. Even after the game he admitted he should have stopped earlier. On the final drive of the game, after Atlanta’s two-point conversion succeeds, Stafford throws the game winning touchdown to T.J. Hockenson to defeat the Falcons 23-22. The Falcons will somehow find a way to lose a game, even in a near-perfect situation. And they did just that Sunday afternoon, falling to 1-6.
Love: The Kansas City Chiefs Defense
Photo Courtesy: The Kansas City Star
Defense wins championships and the Kansas City defense showed no mercy against their division rivals the Denver Broncos. The Chiefs annihilated the Broncos 43-16 in a snow game in Denver. The Chiefs defense picked off Drew Lock 2 times, one which was returned by Daniel Sorenson for a pick-6, forced 2 fumbles, and recorded 3 sacks on the day. For Lock, matching up against this defense was a nightmare as he could not find the endzone for the entirety of the afternoon. One of the main questions for this team going into the season was if the defense could keep up with the offense. I believe it is safe to say that this defense can cause just as much problems for any offense, as Mahomes and the Chiefs offense can caused problems for opposing defense. This team is looking lethal through 7 games as they improved to 6-1 on the season. Next up? The Jets at home. That’s hilarious.
Hate: Cam Newton and the New England Patriots
Photo Courtesy: USA TODAY Sports
As a fan of the New England Patriots, a team that is used to winning, I was displeased and furious watching Cam Newton play against the 49ers. This offense only garnered 6 points in a 33-6 loss AT HOME. This was one of the worst performances in the Belichick era. Newton threw for just 98 yards, yet somehow threw 3 interceptions as everyone on the New England sideline looked frustrated and embarrassed. He also put up a QBR of, ready for this? 3.5. Wow. Not great. Because of Newton’s play, he was later benched for Jarrett Stidham. The defense also allowed 467 yards, 270 of them from San Francisco’s rushing attack. This defense also allowed 10.4 yards per pass and 5.3 yards per rush as New England was nowhere near close to establishing anything on both sides of the ball. To make matters worse, former Patriots Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are having fun in Tampa Bay at 5-2, while the Patriots have lost three straight games for the first time since 2002. Cam during the postgame press conference told reporters that while he was pondering his performance, he told himself that if he kept playing games like this that benching would be a permanent change. And rightfully so. Hopefully he can pick it up, shake off the rust, and prove why he was the NFL MVP in 2015.
Love: Sunday Night Football
Photo Courtesy: AP Photo/Rick Scuteri
The game Sunday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals is my pick for Game of the Year so far. On Sunday night, MVP-favorite Russell Wilson and the 4-1 Seahawks faced off against Kyler Murray and the 4-2 Arizona Cardinals. This game was a highly-anticipated NFC West rivalry game and lived up to the hype and some. Let’s start with the 1st quarter. The Seahawks defense forces a fumble and the offense drives down to the Cardinals 3-yard line. Wilson on the next play lofts a pass to what looks like a Chris Carson touchdown, however, Budda Baker intercepts the pass. As Baker is returning what looks like a pick-6, DK Metcalf proceeds to run 108.8 yards and nearly reached a top-speed of 23 miles per hour to hawk Baker and stop him short of the goal line. That was the most-discussed play of the game. However, more exciting entertainment would follow.
At the end of the 1st half, the Cardinals found themselves down 27-17. After 4 drives of back-to-back interceptions and 2 touchdowns followed by an Arizona field goal, as the game became 34-34. The Cardinals had a chance in the 4th quarter to win it in regulation with 2:47 left, after a crucial personal foul call was called on Seattle’s defense which would give them a fresh set of downs. However, Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury calls timeout before the kick and essentially ices his kicker as Zane Gonzalez proceeded to miss from 41 yards out. The game would go into overtime with Seattle winning the coin toss. Surprisingly, Russell Wilson would throw his 3rd, yes 3rd, interception of the game which would be returned to Seattle’s 49. This would end in a Zane Gonzalez 48-yard field goal to upset the Seahawks by a score of 37-34.
This game had everything. From jaw-dropping surprises, to “how did he do that moments”, and to top it all off? Sprinkle in a storybook ending. Wow. Just wow. It was a chef’s kiss type of game. A game in which if you though it was over and switched to another channel, you were solely mistaken. If there is a game that can top this one later in the year, I would LOVE to see it.
Hate: Odell Beckham Jr.’s Season is Done
Photo Courtesy: Michael Conroy|Associated Press
Injuries are one thing in sport no fan wants to see. On another note, if you’re one of those fans or individuals who wishes an injury on another player because you don’t like him or her, you definitely have to check your morals. There’s no place for that. Anyway, on this past Sunday, Odell Beckham Jr. tore his ACL after trying to stop Darius Phillips during an interception return and his season is over. The pass from Baker Mayfield was targeted for Beckham Jr. as well. This season was going to be a major comeback season for him as broke his ankle the year before. It was heartbreaking to watch, especially for an athlete like Beckham who has been criticized his entire career. As soon as he was starting to revitalize his career, another setback occurs. His offseason will be something to watch closely as from time to time he has been frustrated with Cleveland. Two things could potentially change next year: where he ends up playing and if he will still be considered a No. 1 wide receiver for an NFL team. Get well soon OBJ.
-Daniel Jones’ Tripping on his insane Run (he’s pretty fast to be honest)
-John Hekker’s Insane Punting
-The Chicago Bears
Well. That's it! See you next week....