One thing is for certain this year in the NFL: nothing is certain. Teams that should win easy games, don’t. Teams that should win the division, won’t. Players that should dominate, aren’t. Players that usually disappoint, haven’t. This is what makes the NFL so incredible, just when you think you know something, you’re wrong. Every week football becomes even more exciting and even more unpredictable. Week 7 was no different. Here are the highlights of what you may have missed:
The New Orleans Saints lost to the Cleveland Browns. The same Browns team that is down to its third string QB and doesn’t have a very good defense. The Browns were able to intercept Drew Brees four times, returning two of them for touchdowns in the 30-17 win. This game also had one of the best fake punts that I have ever seen:
Run, Reggie, Run!
It took overtime for the Ravens to barely beat the winless Bills. The Bills jumped up early in the game and then seemingly lost it getting down by ten, but Ryan Fitzpatrick fought back to force overtime. The former Harvard quarterback has been tremendous for the Bills since taking over for Trent Edwards.
The 2009 Jay Cutler returned to the NFL this week. He threw four interceptions all to DeAngelo Hall. Hall tied the NFL record for most INTs in a single game. The Bears were very sloppy in the 17- 14 loss.
The 49ers were looking to build on their first win heading into Carolina to play the winless Panthers. Alex Smith went down with an injury and David Carr proved he is not the answer. Carr threw a costly interception that set-up a game winning field goal by John Kasay (23-20). The 49ers now have a long flight to face Denver in London this Sunday.
Denver might have an even longer flight to London after getting obliterated by the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders won by a score of 59-14. They scored all 59 points in the first three quarters, in fact they scored 21 points in the first six minutes of the game.
The Eagles were coming off a huge win over the Falcons, but they certainly laid an egg against the Titans. The Titans fought back from an early deficit to win easily, 37-19. Kevin Kolb didn’t play spectacular and it was announced that Michael Vick will return to the starting position after the team’s bye week.
The Cowboys are the best bad team in the NFL. That’s not a compliment. The team looks amazing on paper, and in a video game they would probably be 5-1 right now. The Cowboys lost to the Giants 41-35, but the game wasn’t that close. Dem Cowboys jumped out to an early 20-7 lead, but then forgot to play defense and Eli Manning shreaded the Cowboys secondary. They weren’t getting any pressure on Manning and the Giants were pounding the Cowboys offensive line. In fact, for the the third straight week, the Giants took out the starting quarterback. Tony Romo looks to be out 6-8 weeks after breaking his clavicle. Jon Kitna, who hasn’t played since 2008, was rusty at first, but the loss was by no means completely on him.
Brett Favre lost to the Packers for the first time as a Minnesota Viking. After sweeping the Packers last season, the Vikings lost 28-24. Favre almost had some leftover Lambeau magic, he threw a pass to Percy Harvin that was ruled a touchdown, but overturned by the replay assistant. Then he almost connected with Randy Moss on the last play for the win. Favre’s consecutive game streak may end after this one. He was diagnosed with two fractures in his surgically repaired ankle, but they won’t require surgery. He is listed as day-to-day.
The last unexplainable event of this weekend occurred in the Steelers – Dolphins game. With 2:37 left in the game, the Steelers trailed 22-20. Roethlisberger took a QB sneak for what was ruled a touchdown. He actually lost the football prior to breaking the plane, but the head umpire ran out and made the call way too quickly so that there was no definitive proof of who recovered the loose ball (a Dolphin player did emerge from the pile and hand the ball to a referee). The Dolphins challenged and it was ruled a fumble and the ball was given to the Steelers since their was no proof of who recovered. The Steelers kicked the field goal and won the game 23-22. Here’s the play and the ruling:
Now, the NFL was wrong for ending the play way too quickly. They should have finished the play, since it was an obvious loose ball, and then made the call. But, the Dolphins did have enough time to comeback and win the game so it can’t all be blamed on that play. On the other-hand, you can’t assume that the STEALers would have gotten the ball back and scored either.
The Falcons beat the Bengals, 39-32. Carson Palmer might be the most overrated quarterback in the NFL (depends on how you look at it, Alex Smith and Jay Cutler can be in that argument).
The Chiefs neutered the Jaguars, 42-20. Things aren’t looking too good for the Jaguars, but they do play Dallas next week.
The Bucs barely pulled off the win against the Rams, 18-17. The Rams and Bucs should be pretty good in the near future. Both Josh Freeman and Sam Bradford are maturing rather quickly.
The Seahawks handled the Cards in Seattle, 22-10. The NFC West winner might actually be Pete Carroll and the Seahawks. If they learn to play consistently on the road, they could be a dark horse come playoff time.
The Patriots edged a great comeback by the Chargers, 23-20. I’m still not ready to write off the Chargers. Their offense continues to play well and I realistically think they can win their final five games (OAK, KC, SF, @CIN, @DEN). If they win those five and split the other four (TEN, @HOU, @IND, DEN) they will finish 9-7 which could win the AFC West.
The Lions, Texans, Colts and Jets had their BYE week.
The NFL is certainly unexplainable this year. There are no teams with a perfect record and it seems that on any given week any team can beat any team. This makes for some exciting football!
What did you think of this week in the NFL? Comment below
[Photo Credit: NYDailyNews.com]