There was an 11-3 halftime game, a 6-6 tie, and a couple moments that are now in the NFL history books. Another snoozer for the prime-time games, which better change during the second half of the season. Teams that haven’t had byes yet will round out their first half of the season Sunday, yes we’re that far in. So let’s strap in as we head towards the colder weather and we take a look back, then forward, at another week in the NFL.
Biggest Takeaway: Hauschka & Catanzaro
Before we get into the missed kicks, let’s focus on the offense. Seattle and Arizona have bad offenses. Outside of David Johnson for the Cardinals, there’s not much there. In their defense, pun intended, both of these teams can shut down most offenses. But a 6-6 tie, the lowest in NFL history… there has to be some type of offensive change. I mean, Rex Ryan fired his offensive coordinator after scoring 31 points.
Maybe one of these teams should hire Greg Roman. Either way, this game should not have ended in a tie. Hauschka & Catanzaro are solid kickers. The Cardinals had the first opportunity to win this game in overtime. Up steps Catanzaro and he hits the upright on a lengthy 24 yard field goal. At this time I’m thinking, well Seattle is destined to win. Here comes Hauschka for a much tougher 27 yard attempt and he completely missed it left, like not even close. A tie is better than a loss, but this was an ugly game by a team that will win the NFC West. Both teams need to figure out the offensive side of the ball.
Best Week 7 Win: Detroit Lions
This was a great game to watch from the 3rd quarter on. The first half was uneventful, but the end was great. This is a big win for the streaking Lions as they start to find themselves in the NFC North conversation. Credit must be given to Cousins on his last TD drive. He led the Redskins down the field, faked a hand off to the RB, and scampered into the end zone to take the lead with 1:05 remaining in the game.
I thought the game was over at this point, but I was wrong. Without Megatron, Stafford has been nothing short of a leader for this Lions team that most counted out this year, myself included. He made incredible throws on that final drive. His signature side arm sling, using his legs to move the chains, and finally throwing a missile to Boldin to give the Lions the lead with :16 ticks on the clock. An impressive drive to give this 4-3 bunch their third straight win. If this team can win some games against the Vikings and Packers down the stretch, watch out, they could “Roar” into the playoff picture.
Worst Week 7 Loss: Buffalo Bills
I wanted Buffalo to win this game. That would’ve made my intriguing week 8 match-up the Patriots vs. the Bills for the division lead. However, this is not the case. I’m not sure if the Bills overlooked the Dolphins, or someone in the Miami organization has been reading my bashing articles on them, but Miami outplayed Buffalo. Jay Ajayi joined some royal company after totaling his second consecutive 200+ yard rushing game as well. But Buffalo, if you want to catch the Patriots, you can’t lose to the Jets and Dolphins. McCoy was banged up, the defense couldn’t stop the run, and the team blew an 11 point lead in the second half. Without McCoy, the Bills rushing attack was pretty much Tyrod Taylor.
Now, they get Tom Brady in Buffalo in an almost must win mid-season match-up based on the way New England has played since Brady’s return. Tom and the Patriots will be jacked up coming off the shutout loss to the Bills early in the year, hope the Ryan brothers are ready.
Week 8 Predictions:
Can’t Miss Win: Cincinnati Bengals
Another 9:30am London kickoff to start your Monday morning off right. The spread isn’t too big and this is a pretty good match-up, but the Bengals are just a better football team even though the record may not show it. Josh Norman looks like he will play Sunday but AJ Green will still have a field day on the pitch. If you look at both sides of the ball, the majority of the time, the Bengals are better in every position. I like Dalton over Cousins, the Cincinnati RB core over the Skins, and their WR core lead by Mr. Green out duels the Washington WRs. The same can be said for the defense.
The only way the Bengals lose is if their defense – *cough cough* Vontaze Burfict – make a few bone headed personal foul penalties. Honestly though, this is one of the better London match-ups I’ve seen. Usually a dud team plays some average Joe, but the Bengals and Redskins are playoff contenders and 2015 division champions. A London game worth watching, but I have the Bengals by 9.
Intriguing Matchup: Philadelphia at Dallas
The 110th matchbox between these two franchises and this will be the first time both teams are starting rookie QBs. Dallas… Philly… man this is a great rivalry. This mid-season match-up is for first place, Sunday night in Dallas, the day before Halloween. The stars are aligning for a showdown in Dallas. There are two key match-ups that I will be watching.
You have to start with the rookie QBs. Carson and Dak, like every other QB who got drafted together, they will be forever linked because of the 2016 NFL Draft. More now that they play in the same division. If you’re Wentz, the pressure you face is being out dueled by a fourth round draft pick and handling the crowd noise in a hostile environment. Dak needs to keep his head in the game and not look over his shoulder at Tony Romo. There’s a good chance Romo would be playing if the Cowboys were struggling. This will add pressure to the rookie QB.
The Eagles defensive front seven vs. the Cowboys offensive line/Elliot. This is where the game will be won. If the Eagles shut down Elliot and get pressure on Dak, they will win. If the Cowboys dominate the offensive line and are able to run all over the Eagles, they will win. Both QBs will do their part, but this is the biggest match-up to watch. This is biased but I don’t care: Eagles by a touchdown.
Biggest Upset: Detroit Lions
In all honesty, Philadelphia is my biggest upset pick this week but they’re in my intriguing match-up category. Let’s take another. I hope there’s one Detroit Lions fan that reads this, honestly if one person reads any of these articles I’m pumped, but they’re a popular team for me this week. I love the way Stafford is playing and I hate what I saw from Brock last week. The Lions have strung together a nice win streak and seem to be clicking.
Sly will be a huge loss if he’s not ready by Sunday, but this game comes down to the QBs. It’ll be a shootout in Houston and I’m taking Matt. The Texans are a much better home football team. I just haven’t seen much from the $72 million man to invest in his team winning, especially without Watt. The 4-3 Lions are on a three game winning streak and all three of their losses have been by one possession. The defenses are decent at best, so expect this to be high scoring. I like Stafford to get to four straight wins with a 10 point win over the Texans.
Now, let’s enjoy looking forward, and hope we were right when we take a look back. Enjoy week 8 everyone.