NFL Recap: Week 7
Written by: Shawn Banish
The NFL was full of great games and record breaking moments this week. Demarco Murray became the first running back to rush for 100 yards in seven straight games to start the season, while Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre’s career passing touchdown record.
The first game of the week featured a fierce AFC East division rivalry between the Jets and Patriots. Tom Brady was able to bounce back this week and throw for three touchdowns—two of which were caught by Shane Vereen who filled in for the injured Stevan Ridley. The Pats were able to barely sneak past the one-win Jets with a 27-25 victory. However, the Jets were able to acquire the struggling Percy Harvin from Seattle for a sixth round draft pick in hopes of giving their offense a spark for the remaining weeks and beyond.
The Ravens had a lot of hype coming into this game after routing the Buccaneers last week. They were able to cruise past the Falcons 29-7 without any trouble, led by a ferocious defense which sacked Matt Ryan five times.
In a battle of two struggling teams, the Washington Football team kicked a game winning last second field goal over the Titans to win 19-17. Kirk Cousins was benched at halftime, and former Browns quarterback Colt McCoy stepped up and led his team to victory. There are many unanswered questions surrounding the Washington Football team’s quarterback situation: RGIII, Cousins, or McCoy? As of now, it is (former) 3rd stringer Colt McCoy who is slated to get the start next week against Dallas, unless Robert Griffin III is activated for the game.
An unlikely upset happened when the Rams beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks 28-26 on what may be the greatest trick play in the past decade. Two punt returners lined up for the Rams, one pretended to catch the ball on the far left side of the field, while the other (Stedman Bailey) actually caught it on the other side of the field and returned it for the touchdown. It should be noted however that Wilson had three total touchdowns, threw for 300 yards and rushed for over 100.
The Browns managed to provide the Jaguars their first win of the season with a 24-6 victory. Former Michigan quarterback (Dennard Robinson) rewarded Jacksonville with the first start of his career by running for over 120 yards and a touchdown. The Jaguars defense was able to defend the red zone very well. Hoyer had a 39% completion, leaving many Browns fans asking if it is now time to start Johnny Manziel at quarterback.
The most dominating victory of the week goes to the Colts, who shut out Cincinnati 27-0. The Bengals punted the ball 11 times, as Luck was able to carry his team throwing for over 340 yards.
Kyle Orton was able to connect with Sammy Watkins twice (one being in the final second of the game) in the Bills’ 17-16 win over the Vikings. Unfortunately for the Bills, two of their key running backs (Spiller and Jackson) got injured in the victory. The Bills now sit in second place in the AFC East behind the Patriots.
Ryan Tannehill looked very impressive as the Dolphins beat the struggling Bears at home 27-14. The Bears are now winless at home on the season. Forte was able to record the two touchdowns for the Bears, and Ratliff had 4 sacks in the game. Drama centered around the Bears as Brandon Marshall called out quarterback Jay Cutler and kicker Robbie Gould for their loss.
The Saints were leading late into the fourth quarter until Stafford threw a 73 yard TD pass to Golden Tate. Shortly after, Drew Brees was intercepted by the tenacious Lions defense which led to a game winning Stafford to Fuller touchdown pass with the final score being 24-23.
The Packers absolutely dominated the Panthers in a 38-17 victory which featured Aaron Rodgers throwing three touchdown passes, leaving only one total interception for him on the year. The Packers surely looked like they were one of the best teams in football after their victory, as they are currently undefeated at home.
The Chiefs were able to snap the Chargers five-game winning streak as Cairo Santos kicked a 48-yard field goal with just 21 seconds left. Rivers was absolutely on fire coming into this week, but he was held to 200 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Arizona had no problem rolling past the Raiders 24-13 who have now lost 12 straight games. Carson Palmer threw for over 250 yards and Andre Ellington totaled over 150 yards. Sebastian Janikowski was able to hit a 53-yard field goal and McFadden looked like the McFadden of old as he was able to run in for an Oakland touchdown.
The Cowboys obtained their sixth win over the season in their 31-21 victory over the Giants. DeMarco Murray had 128 rushing yards (becoming the first ever running back to rush for over 100 yards in their first seven games to start a year) as well as a touchdown. Dez Bryant had 151 yards on 11 targets, and tight end Gavin Escobar had two touchdown receptions. Larry Donnell had two crucial fumbles that inevitably cost the Giants.
Peyton Manning set the NFL record for most career passing touchdowns as he threw for four over 49ers in a 42-17 victory. Demaryius Thomas caught 8 passes and two touchdown grabs for a total of 171 yards. Ronnie Hillman also had 74 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were able to get a win on Monday night 30-23 over the Texans. The Steelers have yet to lose on Monday since 1991. Ben Roethlisberger threw for two touchdowns, and Antonio Brown was able to throw for a touchdown pass on a beautifully developed reverse-pass trick play. The Steelers also had luck in their favor upon Brett Keisel intercepting a pass that was deflected. The Steelers’ lead came late in the second quarter where they scored 24 straight points in just under 3 minutes.
It was certainly a historical and exciting week in the NFL. It will be interesting to see how week eight turns out, and if some of these big name players will continue to prove their value.