Week 7 is just about in the books and this week had it’s on unique story lines and drama that is sure to have all the pundits talking through the week. The number 1 topic is going to have to be how serious the Indianapolis Colts are. They appear to be the “giant killers” in the NFL this season.
Unbeaten no more are the juggernaut Denver Broncos! Peyton Manning’s homecoming to Lucas Oil Stadium was upstaged by the new kid on the block Andrew Luck. Luck threw for 228 yards on 21/38 passing with 3 TD’s and 0 INT’s. He made key plays when needed and added a rushing TD in the 3rd Quarter. For most of the night the Colts Defense brought the Bronco high octane offense to a complete stand still. Denver was stuck on 14 points for quite awhile and the Colts jumped out to a 33-14 lead late in the 3rd. Watching the game I knew Peyton would mount an aggressive ariel assault to try to come back BUT I noticed Denver’s defense was not doing a good job at being able to get stops– something that I noticed in the Dallas game 2 weeks ago.
This win did come with a price though for Indy– Reggie Wayne went down in pain on a 3rd down play in the 4th. He was down for a while and went to the locker room early. He has a 189 game streak for consecutive starts. We will see if he is able to return after the Colts bye week next week.
After this win the Indianapolis Colts HAVE to be in the top 5 of the NFL Power Rankings. This team destroyed the 49ers at home, handed the Seahawks their first loss and have now beat the Broncos who looked indestructible at a few points this season. The Colts dressed and played 10 defensive backs in the contest. It was a pure team effort to win and they answered the bell and came to play. Manning was 29/49 passing on the day and he was kept out of rhythm for most of the game. The Indy pass rush was in his face all night and was able to sack him 4 times. Congratulations to the Colts for showing the football world that they are for real.
The New York Jets and Geno Smith found a way to beat the New England Patriots and this was the biggest surprise of week 7 to me. I penciled this one in as a easy win for the Patriots. I expected them to win by at least 14 points and I was wrong! The Jets Defense kept Brady to 0 TD passes which is really impressive. Brady was only 22/46 passing for 228 yards with a interception. Gronkowski returned and had a good game although he was targeted by Brady 17 times– he finished with 8 catches for 114 yards. Brady appeared to be throwing it to him a little too much which may have helped the Jets defense key in on him even more. They kept the pressure on him and were able to get hits on Brady ALL game to keep him from getting comfortable.
New York was able to get the 3 point win in OT when a defense man was called for a personal foul of pushing a teammate in the back during a missed 54 yard field goal attempt. The penalty have the Jets another try from only 42 yards– which was made and the Jets came away with the unlikely win. They are now only 1 game behind the Patriots in the AFC East with a 4-3 record. New England fell to 5-2. Now some complain about the obscure call that caused the Patriots to lose– but how many times have we seen New England come out on the winning end of some nonsense or BS call or rule (INSERT “TUCK RULE” right here) So with that in mind I don’t want to hear Patriot fans complain or say a word.
With all of the injuries that have decimated the New England defense they question has to be whether or not they can compete with the better teams in the AFC. After all the Jets aren’t exactly an “Offensive Powerhouse” and they put up 30 points on this defense.
In what was a match up of two teams that are on the rise and looking to come away with division crowns this year. The Cincinnati Bengals went in Detroit to face the Lions. This one was a good back and forth shoot out with two star quarterbacks. Dalton actually got the better of Stafford. He hit his number 1 receiver AJ Green for an 82 yard score in the first quarter. Dalton finished with 372 and 3TD’s. Dalton was sharp all afternoon and he was able to connect with multiple receivers. AJ Green caught 6 balls for 155 yards with a TD, Calvin Johnson had 9 catches for 155 yards and 2 TD’s himself. Stafford had the stats that looked good on the surface but he missed a lot of passes and was only 28/51.
The Bengals are in 1st place of the AFC North and look to be in control of their own destiny as far as the playoffs go. The Ravens look inept and the Steelers look old, so it looks like Marvin Lewis and his team should seize the moment now. The Bengals are one of these teams that has been so bad for so long that you almost expect them to find a way to “eff it up” but this years team has been building on success instead of failure so I think they will make a deep playoff run this year.
The Kansas City Chiefs got all they could handle from a sputtering Texans team that has now lost 4 in a row. It was a much tighter game than many thought it would be but on any given Sunday anything can and usually does happen. Both defenses were very good in this one– the Texans only gave up 17 points to the undefeated Chiefs– unfortunately Keenum and the offense only scored 16 points. Keenum looked decent in this game he was able to throw for 271 yards vs the leagues top defense. He finished 15/25 passing. Arian Foster was lost in this one with a hamstring injury. The Chiefs continue to play stellar defense and keep winning games. Keenum had a chance to lead a game winning drive at the end but he was sacked and fumbled and Kansas City recovered.
With the Bronco loss the Kansas City Chiefs have to be #1 in ALL the NFL Power Rankings.
Tennessee welcomed the 49ers on Sunday but it was anything but a warm welcome because the Niners showed up and showed out. At one point San Fran was crushing them 24-3. They have gotten away from the Colin Kaepernick “love fest” with trying to throw the ball too much. Coach Harbaugh has them back to being a hard-nosed run first type of team with hardcore defense. This is how they made it to the Superbowl and this is what has them on a roll right now. The 49ers came away from Tennessee with the 31-17 victory. They have won 4 in a row.
The Packers hosted the once hot Cleveland Browns and with Weeden playing QB the Browns have looked like what I expected them to be earlier this season. They tried but looked sloppy and came up short in every aspect of the game. Aaron Rodgers 25/36 for 260 and 3 TD’s. It was an ugly with ugly uniforms but the Pack was able to walk away with the win. Starting tight end Jermichael Finley was carted off with a neck injury which could prove to be costly for the offense going forward.
The Browns are still in the mix for the AFC North because the Ravens and Steelers have been any but spectacular this season. Speaking of those two teams…
The Ravens traveled to the Steel City to play the Steelers. This rivalry game is usually for the lead in the division but this year both teams are looking up to Cincinnati who is the top dog at this point. Pittsburgh was able to get back to back wins for the first time this season they came away with the “W” winning 19-16. Neither quarter did a whole lot– Big Ben threw for only 160 yards on 23 attempts. Flacco was 24/34 for only 215 and a TD.
The defending Superbowl Champions are under .500 after the first 7 weeks of the season. Neither one of these teams is doing much this year they had both better prepared to have the 9th and 12th picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Dallas went into Philly for what many thought would be a wild shootout type of contest but it turned out to be the exact opposite. No Vick equaled no scoring for the Eagles offense. They had only 110 total yards in the first half with QB Foles under center. Foles was knocked out of the game on a sack where his head in the turf pretty hard. Matt Barkely came in and threw 3 INT’s so it looks like Michael Vick’s starting job is safe with the Eagles. Romo got his interceptions out of the way early and lead his team to an ugly 17-3 win.
In what turned out to be a significant game in this early season in the AFC East the Buffalo Bills went down to Miami and were able to get a win. Thad Lewis was able to lead the offense for a late score to take the lead for good. The Bills ended a 6 game slide in losing road games. Buffalo’s Defense leads the NFL with interceptions as they were able to pick Tannehill off twice in the game. The scrappy Bills won the game 23-21 on a late field goal and make it to 3-4 on the season.
In other games on Sunday..
Washington got their 2nd win of the season outlasting the Bears 45-41. Cutler was knocked out of the game which could spell doom for the Chicago season if he stay out an extended amount of time. RG 3 looked better but I’m still NOT sold on this Washington team because they beat a Cutlerless Bears team and still were not able to stop them from scoring 41 points. They won’t get far in the NFC with a defense that couldn’t stop a leaky faucet.
The Panthers dominated the Rams knocking starting QB Bradford out of the game and ending his 2013 season with a torn ACL. They were already floundering and this right here is the nail in the coffin. I suspect Tim Tebow or Vince Young will end up signing with this team.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Jacksonville Jaguars continued their duel to see which team gets the first pick in the NFL Draft next year. Both teams continued their “perfect” records that only have LOSSES. Tampa went down in Atlanta 31-23 and the Jags were dumped at home 24-6 against the Chargers.
As always I’ll be here every Monday Morning to give you my 2 cents on the current week in the NFL Monday Morning Quarterback style.
Monday Night Football… I pick Minnesota to win over the New York Giants. Adrian Peterson has a HUGE game. 212 yard and 3 TD’s.
Vikings 37…..Giants 28.
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