Well, if you could say something positive about the 2017 NFL season it’s that it’s been a surprise in how games and events transpire week to week. Nothing is as it seems, including a game where a quarterback completes 4 of 7 passes and the team wins by 14. Welcome to the 2017 NFL season.
From Thursday Night Football’s rejuvenation to Carson Wentz the magician to the Bears dominating defense to the disjointed Falcons to injuries galore, we’re breaking down the good and the bad from this week in the NFL.
Let’s take a look at the winners and losers in Week 7 of the 2017 NFL season:
Thursday Night Football
As a whole, Thursday Night Football has been not only lackluster but disappointing this season. But perhaps it’s games like last Thursday’s Oakland Raiders/Kansas City Chiefs shootout that make it worth it if we’re treated to games like that. The game featured two of the league’s most intriguing teams this season, and the final drive went down as one of the best in recent history. The excitement was palpable — and not just as a fan of the teams playing. Casual football fans, with nothing at stake, were on the edges of their seats watching the outcome. And what a final drive by Derek Carr and the Raiders. Well deserved.
The Chicago Bears defense single-handedly defeated the Carolina Panthers 17-3, and managed to outscored the Panthers offense and Bears offense (14-6, combined.) Well, Bears rookie safety Eddie Jackson gets his hands in that as he scored the Bears’ two defensive scores bringing the Bears’ defense to a total of three defensive touchdowns in the past two games. The Bears defense also hasn’t given up a touchdown in the past nine quarters. Oh, and the Bears defense sacked Cam Newton five times — and this was the guy that beat the New England Patriots just a couple weeks back.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz continues to solidify the current notion that he’s the best quarterback to come out of the 2016 NFL Draft. Wentz continued his impressive sophomore campaign completing 17 of 25 passes for 268 yards, four touchdowns, and a pick. But perhaps his most impressive play came when he seemed to be swallowed up by several Redskins for a sack only for him to launch himself straight out of the pile and run for over 20 yards and a first down. The dude is a magician. And he keeps proving that week after week.
Los Angeles Rams
Is Sean McVay the quarterback whisperer? Or a football savior? Perhaps it’s too soon to declare him the next Bill Belichick of the NFL, but you have to admire how McVay has come in and changed the culture of the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams have been thriving as a full unit, from offense to defense to special teams. Their latest victory comes in a 33-0 rout of the Arizona Cardinals, who were coming off an impressive victory from the week prior. Todd Gurley racked up 156 yards from scrimmage on 26 touches, and Jared Goff threw for 235 yards and a score on an afternoon where he didn’t need to be overly flashy. The Rams are now 5-2 leading the NFC West.
Just when you think the Super Bowl Hangover Curse isn’t a real thing for the previous Super Bowl losers… The Atlanta Falcons were the latest Super Bowl loser to appear to suffer from the curse, which has them at 3-3. The Falcons dropped their “revenge game” against the New England Patriots, 23-7, in a Super Bowl rematch that was lopsided from the start. The Falcons were held scoreless into the fourth quarter before the Patriots sealed the win and the Falcons’ fate was left up in the air. I mean, the Falcons could easily be 3-4, considering how narrowly they beat the Chicago Bears in Week 1. But the Falcons need a savior. Or an exorcism.
Injuries Strike Again
I was joking when I assumed we’d get big-name injuries every week in the NFL. But every week, it never fails. The injury bug struck again in Week 7, with two notable quarterbacks going down, along with a player that had never missed a game in his career. So that pretty much sums up this mess of a season with injuries. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer broke his left arm, Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler broke several ribs, and Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas tore his biceps as NFL fans continue to watch week after week and wonder who the hell will survive the NFL Hunger Games 2017.
It’s hard to imagine that the Carolina Panthers team that beat the New England Patriots a couple weeks ago was the same team that was beaten up by the Chicago Bears this week. The Bears defense pounded on Cam Newton and the Panthers offense, racking up five sacks and holding the Panthers’ offense without a touchdown. There just seemed to be a lack of effort or energy from Newton and the offense, which as a Bears fan I was loving. But there’s something going down there in Carolina. And it’s not good.
As if being one of the last winless teams in the league at 0-7 wasn’t bad enough, the Cleveland Browns continue their spiral into embarrassment at the quarterback position. The Browns, once again, benched rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, as their lack of awareness and smarts continues to be in question. Worse than that, the Browns are watching quarterbacks like Carson Wentz and Jared Goff, two quarterbacks they passed up last draft, maturing into solid NFL quarterbacks in their second season. It’s just never a good time to be a Browns fan.
So much for last week’s 23-10 loss to the then-winless New York Giants being the thing to light a fire under the asses of the Denver Broncos. The Broncos dropped their second straight game, this one where they were shutout by their division rivals Los Angeles Chargers, 21-0. The Broncos offense was held scoreless , including being held to just 69 rushing yards. Trevor Siemian completed 25 of 35 passes for 207 yards but an interception. The Broncos need to wake up in a season that gets more confusing by the week.
Who were your winners and losers for Week 7 of the NFL season?