Week 7 of the NFL saw some big stories unfold. Minnesota lost the final unbeaten streak of the 2016 season, while Brock Owseiler’s return to Denver is one he will want to forget quickly. There was also the first ever NFL game played at Twickenham Stadium, and once again, another defeat for the Browns.
Here are the five major talking points, and they are in detail here:
- Matt Stafford for MVP? – The Lions QB is breaking records
- Smith in.. Then out.. – Smith starts for Jets but gets injured with Fitz coming back in
- Vikings lose final unbeaten record in Philadelphia
- Seven games in, six QBs, no wins for Cleveland – Kevin Hogan comes in as QB #6
- Giants cut Josh Brown after more information about domestic violence case
Thursday Night Football
Chicago Bears 10 – 26 Green Bay Packers
The Packers easily overcame the Bears at Lambeau on Thursday night, as Aaron Rodgers threw three TDs. Davante Adams caught two of those, with Randall Cobb catching the other. On the other side of the ball, Brian Hoyer suffered a broken left arm which, effectively, ended Chicago’s chance of winning the game. Adams, Cobb and Ty Montgomery all had 10+ receptions on an evening where the Packers put some pressure on the Vikings atop the NFC North.
International Series at Twickenham Stadium, London
New York Giants 17 – 10 Los Angeles Rams
The Rams “hosted” the first ever NFL game at Twickenham Stadium in London on Sunday afternoon. However, they would go on to lose a tight game to the stuttering Giants. LA went 10-0 in front in the first quarter, thanks to a Tavon Austin receiving TD, but from there it was all the Giants. They picked Case Keenum off four times, with Landon Collins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie both getting two. Collins’ returned his first INT of the day for a Pick6. Rashad Jennings then rushed in for a TD score before Keenum lobbed two end zone INTs to DR-C. The Giants move to 4-3 in the competitive NFC East, while the Rams drop to 3-4.
Cleveland Browns 17 – 31 Cincinnati Bengals
The Browns lost another QB, and another game, as they extended their worst start to a season since they came into the league in 1999. Cody Kessler went out of the game with an injury, leaving just Kevin Hogan as the only fit QB left. He rushed in for a score, but it was not enough as the Bengals had too much power. Both Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard rushed in for TDs, while Andy Dalton found both AJ Green and Brandon LaFell for receiving scores. The Browns are now 0-7, while the Bengals move to 3-4.
Washington Redskins 17 – 20 Detroit Lions
The Lions overcame the Redskins in a tight clash at Ford Field to move above the .500 mark for the season. They did so thanks, once again, to Matt Stafford in his 100th game. He led the Lions to their fourth straight win, with his fourth straight game-winning drive. In the process, Stafford overtook Dan Marino’s record of most passing yards through the first 100 games of a career. His pass to Anquan Boldin with 16 seconds left killed the game, after the Redskins had taken the lead with just over a minute to go. Kirk Cousins had earlier thrown a TD to Rob Kelley before rushing in for a score to make it 17-13. Zach Zenner had rushed in for the Lions for their first TD of the day. The Lions move to 4-3 with that fourth straight win, while Washington’s run of four wins came to an end, also ending the day on a 4-3 record.
Oakland Raiders 33 – 16 Jacksonville Jaguars
After missing the last two games, Latavius Murray came back with a bang for the Raiders as they beat the Jags. The RB scored twice on the ground as Oakland won their fourth straight game on the road. Derek Carr threw a single TD, once again to Michael Crabtree, with Stephen Janikowski kicking four FGs to add to the lead. Blake Bortles had another shocker as the Jags QB, with two INTs. They fall to 2-4, while the Raiders are now 5-2 in their best start to a season since 2001.
New Orleans Saints 21 – 27 Kansas City Chiefs
Drew Brees became the first man to throw for 300+ passing yards in 100 NFL games on Sunday, but it was not enough as the Saints lost in a tight game with in Kansas City. Bree’s threw three TDs on the day as well, with Brandin Cooks, Mark Ingram and Brandon Coleman the recipients. However, two Alex Smith TDs, to Spencer Ware and Tyreek Hill, plus a Pick6 from Daniel Sorensen, was enough to take victory. KC move to 4-2, while the Saints drop to 2-4.
Buffalo Bills 25 – 28 Miami Dolphins
The JayTrain kept rolling in Miami this week, as the British-born RB became only the 4th man to rush for 200 yards in consecutive games (OJ Simpson, Ricky Williams and Earl Campbell being the others). Damien Williams also ran in for a score for Miami, before Ryan Tannehill found Kenny Stills for a 66yd score to give them a 28-17 lead. Tyrod Taylor had earlier thrown a TD to Marquise Goodwin, and also ran in for a scored on the ground. A late Reggie Bush TD was not enough for the Bills, who drop to 4-3. The Dolphins move to 3-4 in what is quite a competitive AFC East.
Baltimore Ravens 16 – 24 New York Jets
Another team looking to improve their AFC East positioning was the Jets, and they did so at home to Baltimore. The Jets started Geno Smith for the first time this season, but he went down with a torn ACL, bringing Ryan Fitzpatrick into the game. For once, Fitz found his own men, firing a TD to Matt Forte, who also rushed for a score. Smith is out for the foreseeable, so Fitz will be starting again this week for the Jets, but will the INTs come back. For now, they have snapped a four-game losing streak and sit at 2-5. The Ravens have now lost their last four after going 3-0, and currently sit at 3-4.
Minnesota Vikings 10 – 21 Philadelphia Eagles
The final unbeaten record fell in Week 7, as the Vikings finally lost their first game of 2016, at the hands of the Eagles. There were five straight turnovers in the first quarter, before Josh Huff returned a kickoff 98 yards for the first Philly TD of the game. Carson Wentz then threw a TD pass to Dorial Green-Beckham to make it 18-3 late in the third quarter. Only a late Sam Bradford TD throw to Cordarelle Patterson made the score look better for the Vikings, who drop to 5-1 and fall from the #1 spot in the NFL. The Eagles move up to 4-2 and closer to the top of the NFC East.
Indianapolis Colts 34 – 26 Tennessee Titans
San Diego Chargers 33 – 30 Atlanta Falcons
This one was the first of two games to go to OT, and by far the more exciting one. The Chargers took it with a Josh Lambo FG after Matt Bryant had missed a 58yd attempt on the final play of regulation. The ground game worked for both teams, as Melvin Gordon and Tevin Coleman had good days. Coleman ran in for the Falcons, while Gordon has three total TDs (two rush, one rec) for the Chargers. The Falcons stayed in it with an Adrian Clayborn fumble recovery TD just before the half. The Chargers could be 6-1 had it not been for 4th quarter defeats, but they sit 3-4. The Falcons are now 4-3 but still remain top of the NFC South.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34 – 17 San Francisco 49ers
The Bucs scored 27 unanswered points to come from behind and take victory at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Sunday night. Jameis Winston threw three TDs, including two to Mike Evans as the Bucs came from 14-0 behind in the second quarter. Jacquizz Rodgers ran for more than 150 yards, and Peyton Barber ran in for a 44yd TD to consolidate Tampa Bay’s lead late on. Colin Kaepernick threw just the one TD, and turning the ball over twice in his second start of the year. The 49ers have now lost six straight after shutting the Rams out in Week 1. It is their longest losing streak since 2008 and they sit at 1-6. The Bucs are up to 3-3 after this win.
New England Patriots 27 – 16 Pittsburgh Steelers
#1 in the league through Week 7. The Pats are always there or thereabouts and this year is no different. Three games with TB12 back, three big wins. Brady threw for two TDs, finding his main man, Rob Gronkowski, once again this week. He also found James White in the end zone, with LaGarrette Blount rushing in for two scores. Big Ben’s absence showed for the Steelers, with Landry Jones struggling to fill in for the injured QB. The Steelers faltered, and they fall to 3-4, while the Pats go top of the NFL with a 6-1 record.
Sunday Night Football
Seattle Seahawks 6 – 6 Arizona Cardinals
This one was a history-maker on Sunday night. It became the lowest-scoring OT game in NFL history, as both kickers missed chip-shot FGs to seal the win. Both defences owned the game, restricting the score to just 3-3 over the regulation sixty minutes. Mayhem then ensued in OT, with Chandler Catanzaro and Steven Hauschka both kicking FGs to make it 6-6. Both kickers then shanked chances to win the game, meaning it finished a tie after 75 minutes. The first tie in the NFL since 2014 leaves the Seahawks at 4-1-1, while the Cardinals are 3-3-1.
Monday Night Football
Houston Texans 9 – 27 Denver Broncos
The final game of the weekend saw the return of Brock Osweiler to Denver. And it was not a good one for the Texans QB. Neither he, nor his offence could find a way into the end zone, while Denver certainly did. CJ Anderson and Devontae Booker both rushed in for a TD for the Broncos, while Trevor Siemian, who surprisingly, took over from Peyton Manning in the offseason, threw a TD to Demaryius Thomas. The Broncos stop their two game losing streak to go to 5-2, while the Texans drop to 4-3.
Byes: CAR, DAL
Standings (bold indicates playoffs)
AFC East: Patriots (6-1), Bills (4-3), Dolphins (3-4), Jets (2-5)
AFC North: Steelers (4-3), Ravens (3-4), Bengals (3-4), Browns (0-7)
AFC South: Texans (4-3), Colts (3-4), Titans (3-4), Jaguars (2-4)
AFC West: Raiders (5-2), Broncos (5-2), Chiefs (4-2), Chargers (3-4)
NFC East: Cowboys (5-1), Eagles (4-2), Redskins (4-3), Giants (4-3)
NFC North: Vikings (5-1), Packers (4-2), Lions (4-3), Bears (1-6)
NFC South: Falcons (4-3), Buccaneers (3-3), Saints (2-4), Panthers (1-5)
NFC West: Seahawks (4-1-1), Cardinals (3-3-1), Rams (3-4), 49ers (1-6)
After losing in Week 7, the Vikings will be looking to bounce back next Monday night in Chicago in a big NFC North clash. There are three other big divisional games in Week 8, firstly with the Patriots travelling to Buffalo and the Broncos hosting the Chargers on Sunday evening. Then the Cowboys host the Eagles on Sunday Night Football. Elsewhere, the Browns will aim to get off the mark this year as they host the stuttering Jets.
There are also six teams on byes next week: BAL, LA, MIA, NYG, PIT, SF