NFL Week 7: Recap & Power Rankings

It wasn’t the prettiest of weeks for me, but I managed to sneak in a couple of good value underdog picks in the Colts and Titans. Hopefully, those worked out for you. I was able to salvage an above .500 week in straight picks but lost some ground against the spread and that pesky over/under. Christen had a slightly better week, but every bit counts towards the end of the season. Here’s a look at the updated numbers:

Spread WSpread LSpread PushO/U
Christen WChristen LChristen T
Alvin Kamara breaking tackles on his way to 179-yards from scrimmage and a TD

The Monday game between the Saints and the Seahawks was a clunker in comparison to what we’ve seen so far, but New Orleans got the job done with a 13-10 victory. It was a hard-fought game, but I’m kinda glad I missed most of it. Both teams came into the game far less than 100% but the Saints had their best player. I know Seattle’s defense has been bad this year, but it looked like they didn’t plan for or adjust to the one guy that should have been at the top of their watch list, Alvin Kamara. He didn’t dominate on the ground at all (20-carries, 51-yards) but he was wide open on his TD reception, and his 10-catches for 128-yards and a touchdown were the difference. Seattle’s defense hasn’t lived up to the standards of the organization and has only gotten worse since showing some improvement down the stretch last season. It’s time for the Hawks to replace Ken Norton Jr. as defensive coordinator because this season is all but lost already.

Elsewhere in the NFC West, another playoff-hopeful is watching their season slip away as the 49ers lost at home to the Colts, 30-18. It was a wet and sloppy game, but the Niners opened with a TD drive where Elijah Mitchell carved up the Colts’ defense and it looked very similar to the Cleveland/Denver game on Thursday. Indy has clearly started to figure something out as they’ve gotten Jonathan Taylor much more involved over the last month and Carson Wentz is playing better as a result. He made one of those typical bonehead plays and coughed up the football, but it was Jimmy G’s interceptions that would end up being the difference. Both squads still have losing records but the Colts are the team trending upward.

Ja’Maar Chase is living up to his name, getting behind defenses all season

The biggest game of the week and the biggest surprise came in the form of the Bengals blowing out the Ravens 41-17. I knew Cincy was no slouch and picked them to cover 6-pts but once Baltimore scored to go up 17-13 to start the second half, the Bengals went into another gear. Cincy would score 28-unanswered points to close out the game, in Baltimore no less. While the offense certainly struck with big plays, it was the Bengals’ defense that locked up the Ravens and turned them over on downs three times in the second half. Both teams are now 5-2 but the win puts Cincy at the top of the AFC North for the first time in a while but also ties them for the best record in the conference. The Bengals are definitely for real.

To nobody’s surprise, the biggest favorites of the week all won. Tampa Bay dominated Chicago 35-3. Arizona did the same to Houston 31-5. Green Bay bested Washington 24-10. The Rams won too, 28-19, but they didn’t cover against a Lions team that’s inching closer to victory and was trying desperately to get Jared Goff the win against his old team. So, ultimately nothing changed at the top of the NFC power structure, but the Rams were the least dominant of the top teams.

Ryan Tannehill taking advantage of the play action to Derrick Henry

Across the mountain top to the AFC side of the equation, the Titans made their case as the best team in the conference as they demolished the Chiefs. I knew this was going to be an ass-kicking and gladly took the Titans at +175, but I figured KC would at least score some. The Chiefs can’t win the point of attack and seeing them favored heading into that game was a joke. Patrick Mahomes took a bad hit while trying to make a play in the grasp and was clearly concussed late in the game. Their O-line can’t protect well enough, their defense isn’t good, and the results speak for themselves. There is still a long way to go but, unless they figure out something very quickly, they are going to miss the playoffs.

If you picked the Patriots as the highest-scoring team of the week you were correct but, let’s be honest, nobody picked that. I’m pretty sure 99.9% of people had the Pats winning easily as they did in the first matchup but 54-13 was a statement. At 3-4, New England might not be a playoff team this season but they are going to compete. The Jets are the Jets. And, with Zach Wilson getting injured, they are even more the Jets than ever as they bring Joe Flacco back into the fold in a trade with the Eagles.

The bottom of the AFC East is a pretty barren wasteland, but the Dolphins almost got one back against the Falcons. Atlanta was in the middle of blowing the lead in the 4th quarter, as is customary for them, and Miami scored 14-unanswered to go up 28-27. However, the Falcons managed to get their shit together one last time and Younghoe Koo hit the field goal to win it 30-28. Rest assured, if the Falcons are playing, there’s going to be late drama.

Daniel Jones got absolutely laid out after making this incredible catch.

I figured I’d close out this week’s recap with a pleasant surprise. The New York Giants, as injured as any team in football, overcame an early deficit vs the Panthers and proceeded to rain down 25-unanswered points on them for the 25-3 victory. The Sam Darnold of old has shown up again and thrown 7-INTs over the course of the Panthers’ four-game skid. Their defense isn’t helping either, giving up 29-points-per-game over that stretch. Carolina has been so bad over the last month, they are in the DeShaun Watson sweepstakes.

So, it turns out that some bye weeks threw me for a loop and I had incorrect records listed for the Saints, Bengals, and Lions in last week’s power rankings but that’s been corrected. The Cardinals stay atop the mountain once again while the other top NFC teams populate the Top-5.

1. Cardinals 7-0 (=)
2. Rams 6-1 (⬆4)
3. Buccaneers 6-1 (⬆5)
4. Cowboys 5-1 (⬆6)
5. Packers 6-1 (⬆6)
6. Titans 5-2 (⬆7)
7. Bengals 5-2 (⬆12)
8. Ravens 5-2 (⬇5)
9. Bills 4-2 (⬇8)
10. Chargers 4-2 (⬇9)
11. Raiders 5-2 (⬇10)
12. Saints 4-2 (⬇11)
13. Browns 4-3 (⬆14)
14. Vikings 3-3 (⬆15)
15. Chiefs 3-4 (⬇13)
16. Steelers 3-3 (⬆18)
17. Colts 3-4 (⬆22)
18. Patriots 3-4 (⬆23)
19. Bears 3-4 (⬇16)
20. Falcons 3-3 (⬆26)
21. Panthers 3-4 (⬇17)
22. Broncos 3-4 (⬇20)
23. Seahawks 2-5 (⬇21)
24. 49ers 2-4 (⬇19)
25. Washington 2-5 (=)
26. Eagles 2-5 (⬇24)
27. Giants 2-5(⬆30)
28. Jets 1-5 (⬇27)
29. Jaguars 1-5 (⬇28)
30. Dolphins 1-6 (⬇29)
31. Texans 1-6 (=)
32. Lions 0-7 (=)

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