What a doozy Week 7 was. There were a lot of playoff-caliber matchups, a lot of big performances, and unfortunately a few injuries to star players as well (more on that soon).
With such an action-packed week comes many notes to gather and file away, but I think I did a good job picking the top five most important factoids from this past week of football. And guess what… (whispers) most of them involve quarterbacks. Surprising, huh?
1. A SUNDAY NIGHT STAMPEDE IN JERRY WORLD
As much as it pains me to say as a noted Cowboy hater, I really like Dak. I don’t think he’ll ever be considered one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the sport, but he is good enough to win playoff games for this team with the pieces around him. With that being said, I think it’s time for him to get his contract.
The Cowboys decimated the Eagles Sunday Night, winning 37-10 thanks in part to a fourteen-point lead they took in the first six minutes of the game after the Eagles did this and then this. It’s hard to think of a worse start against your divisional rivals in a game for first place on the road. Dak’s stat line was nothing extraordinary, but when he needed to make a throw he did against this ghastly secondary. He was assisted by Zeke rushing for 111 yards, Amari Cooper making the most out of his five receptions, and a defense holding Carson Wentz and the Eagles to ten points. After three weeks of misery, Big D came through and played like a Super Bowl contender.
Dallas heads to the bye week with massive momentum, and the now 3-4 Philadelphia Eagles will try and bounce back against a sizzling Bills team in Week 8. A loss there could essentially mean waving the white flag, especially in the NFC.
2. AVOIDED DISASTER IN CHIEFS WIN
That title may seem like an exaggeration, but it frankly could’ve been an understatement.
Patrick Mahomes dislocated his kneecap Thursday Night against Denver after already playing on a bum ankle. Thankfully, MRI results came back and it looks like Kansas City avoided complete disaster as the 2018 NFL MVP is only expected to miss three weeks. For the time being, Matt Moore is the man in Kansas City, and he wasn’t bad on Thursday! Another part of this is how somehow the Broncos played worse after Mahomes exited, and wound up getting obliterated 30-6. Maybe they were just as depressed as the rest of us.
The next three games for the Chiefs are home versus Green Bay and Minnesota, then on the road in Tennessee. Not exactly a cakewalk, but they should be able to stay competitive during Patrick Mahomes’ absence.
3. VINTAGE RODGERS ON FULL DISPLAY
Patrick Mahomes? Hurt. Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson? Mediocre performance in the loss. Christian McCaffrey? Bye. It’s a perfect scenario laid out for a new name in the 2019 NFL MVP race, and it’s quite the familiar face.
After a good but not fantastic start to the year, Aaron Rodgers went full-blown stupid on Oakland, responsible for all six touchdowns (5 pass, 1 run) in Green Bay’s 42-24 win. He only had six incompletions, he threw for 429 yards, and made the world know he was still a baaaaaad man. People will point to a weak Oakland secondary, but the Raiders just beat Indy and Chicago and just came off their bye. Give the man the credit he deserves.
The Packers have a good chance to improve to 7-1 Sunday Night when they face a Chiefs team sans Mahomes. While Mahomes’ injury sadly takes away an epic quarterback battle, Rodgers should put on another show against a lowly Chiefs defense.
4. LAMAR JACKSON IS THE NEW MICHAEL VICK
This title is no exaggeration whatsoever, it’s a plain fact. Baltimore came into Seattle and played arguably it’s best game against the season (the Week 1 drubbing of the Dolphins doesn’t count, I’m sorry) winning 30-16 behind 116 RUSHING yards from Lamar Jackson. He wasn’t very stellar throwing the ball, but who needs to when you have Tyreek Hill-level speed at the quarterback position. Seattle’s front seven is very good, but they could not catch up to the speed that Jackson presented to them. Outside of LJ, the defense was able to neutralize Russell Wilson, holding him to less than 50% completion on passes and getting pick-sixed by new Raven Marcus Peters. Just a stifling performance from Baltimore, who now has a sizable lead in the AFC North.
Speaking of Baltimore, they head into their bye with great momentum, and Seattle will most likely bounce back against a Falcons team that will most likely be without Matt Ryan.
5. YOU LIKE THAT!?
Remember just a few weeks ago how everybody was trying to analyze Minnesota’s cap space situation to see when they can get rid of Kirk Cousins? Well, 21 days is a long time.
Cousins was sensational once more this week, beating divisional foe Detroit on the road 42-30. He threw for 337 yards, passed for four touchdowns, and has had the Vikes’ offense humming like a bird. I mean, these numbers the last three weeks are absurd. When Cousins plays like this, and you have an elite running back in Dalvin Cook, plus an elite defense, that’s quite the recipe for a Super Bowl run.
A rough couple of weeks for the Lions eases up in Week 8, as they’ll be hosting the New York Giants. Minnesota, on the other hand, will face Washington, which will be covered…
TNF PICK: WASHINGTON REDSKINS (1-6) vs. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-2) [-16.0]
Not only is Minnesota heavily favored to kick the snot out of Washington (as they should), but don’t forget the REVENGE GAME FACTOR! Kirk Cousins has absolutely zero reasons not to continue his torrid pace against this disgrace of a football team, and Case Keenum will try and not look embarrassing I guess facing off with his former employer who replaced him with Cousins after leading them to the NFC Championship game. Alright, I’m wasting time, you all know who I’m going with. Can Thursday games get a little wonky here and there? Sure, but no way am I taking the Redskins and the points.
THE PICK: Vikings (-16.0)