NFL Recap: Week 7

Story posted October 23, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Matthew McClure

Week seven of the NFL season is in the books and it was a pleasure to watch. Many games were very
close with multiple fourth quarter comebacks and wild finishes. On any given Sunday, a team can
go out and win and we saw prime examples of that this weekend. Let’s take a look at the
takeaways from this week in the NFL.

The week started on Thursday night with the Arizona Cardinals vs. the Denver Broncos. The
Broncos beat up the Cardinals in all three phases of the game. The Broncos led 35-3 at the half
and went onto win 45-10.

Defensively, the Broncos scored two touchdowns on interception returns and never looked back.
The best offensive player on the field was wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Not only did he
catch a touchdown, he threw a touchdown too. The Broncos snapped their four-game losing streak
and moved to 3-4 on the season. This result cost Cardinals offensive coordinator Mike McCoy
his job, as he was fired the next day. This is the second straight year where McCoy was fired
midseason from his offensive coordinator post.

Before the early slate of games, there was a game in England on Sunday morning between the
Los Angeles Chargers and the Tennessee Titans. The Chargers barely held on 20-19 in this one.
Being down a touchdown with under five minutes to play, quarterback Marcus Mariota led the
Titans on an 89-yard touchdown drive. The Titans were an extra point away from tying the
game, but head coach Mike Vrabel decided to gamble and go for the win. The Chargers defense
held on the conversion and won the game. The Chargers are 5-2 now on the season headed into
their bye week and are right in the mix for AFC West title.

In the early games on Sunday afternoon there were some wild finishes. The Chicago Bears and
the New England Patriots had a crazy game. The Patriots scored two special teams’ touchdowns
and held onto win 38-31. The Bears had a Hail Mary chance on the last play of the game, but
wide receiver Kevin White was stopped at the 1-yard line by the Patriots defense.

The defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles hosted the Carolina Panthers last
Sunday in another wild finish. The Eagles looked like they were going to run away with this one, as they extended their lead to 17-0 late in the third quarter after a 17-play 94-yard drive, but not so fast. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton led his team to a remarkable comeback in the fourth quarter. The Panthers scored 21 unanswered points and beat the Eagles 21-17. The Eagles had
four chances deep in Panthers territory to win the game, but Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was hit on
fourth down and fumbled which gave Carolina the improbable win. This game could turn out to
be a key result later in the season when division races and wild card spots are determined.

Whatever can go wrong, does go wrong for the Cleveland Browns. The Browns went into
Raymond James stadium to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Quarterback Jameis Winston led
the Bucs to two 14-point leads in this game. The Browns, however, fought back and overcame
those leads due to the stellar play of Baker Mayfield in the fourth quarter. The Browns tied the
game 23-23 and played their fourth overtime game this season. However, the Browns lost
another game in heartbreaking fashion. Buccaneers kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed a potential go-ahead 40-yard
field goal in regulation, but in overtime he cashed in on a 59-yard field goal and walked off vs. Cleveland. It was a big win for the Buccaneers, and another frustrating loss for the Browns who were given opportunities in overtime with great field position to win the game but did nothing with it.

Another early afternoon Sunday game consisted of the Minnesota Vikings beating the New York
Jets 37-17 at MetLife Stadium. Wide receiver Adam Thielen continues his dominance with his seventh straight game with over 100 yards receiving. With running back Dalvin Cook having injury problems, Latavius Murray has filled in very nicely. Murray rushed for 69 yards and two touchdowns in the win against the Jets. Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold continues to struggle with turnovers, throwing three interceptions in the loss.

In Miami, the Dolphins hosted the Detroit Lions. The Lions pretty much had control of this game
start to finish and won 32-21. Rookie running back Kerryon Johnson had his best game as a Lion
this season by rushing for 158 yards on 19 carries. The Lions finished the game with 248 yards
rushing in total with Johnson and veteran LeGarrette Blount leading the way. The 248 yards on
the ground was their best day since 1997, when they beat the Indianapolis Colts. 

Other early afternoon finals saw the Colts crush the Bills 37-5 behind four touchdown passes from
Andrew Luck, two of which were to T.Y. Hilton, while the Texans handed the Jaguars their third straight loss
20-7 in Jacksonville in a game where Jaguars QB Blake Bortles was benched for Cody Kessler.
It will be interesting to see who Coach Doug Marrone names as the starter for this week’s
matchup in London vs. the Eagles.

In the three games in the late afternoon, two of them were marquee matchups. The New Orleans
Saints came to M&T Bank Stadium to play the Baltimore Ravens, and the Dallas Cowboys
traveled to FedEx Field to play their division rival Washington Redskins. The third matchup was
between the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers, where the Rams won easy 39-10
behind Aaron Donald’s four sack performance, and Todd Gurley’s two touchdowns.

The NFL’s top offense vs. the top defense certainly lived up to the hype; the Ravens defense
didn’t allow a touchdown in the second half all season, and the Saints offense has been
unbelievable all year. The Ravens defense played well in the first half leading 10-7, despite
Drew Brees throwing his 500th career touchdown pass.

Late in the third quarter, quarterback Joe Flacco connected to tight end Mark Andrews for an 8-
yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 17-7. In the final quarter, Brees led two scoring drives
and scored 17 unanswered points to give the Saints a 24-17 lead with under two minutes to play.
Flacco and the Ravens offense moved the ball down the field and scored a touchdown when wide
receiver John Brown broke free in the corner of the end zone and hauled in a pass from Flacco to
make it 24-23. However, Justin Tucker, who made 222 straight extra points prior, missed to give
the Saints the win.

There was controversy in Washington D.C. when the Cowboys and Redskins met for the 117th
time. The Redskins took control late in the final quarter after a sack fumble for a touchdown by
linebacker Ryan Kerrigan gave the Redskins a 20-10 lead with under five minutes to play.

However, quarterback Dak Prescott led the Cowboys on a short touchdown drive to cut the lead
to 20-17. The Cowboys defense held the Redskins to a three-and-out the and got the ball back
with about 90 seconds to play. Prescott marched the offense down the field and got the Cowboys
in range for a potential game-tying field goal. On the first attempt the Cowboys long snapper
L.P. Ladoceur got called for a “snap infraction” and it moved the Cowboys five yards back. On
the second attempt, kicker Brett Maher clanked the 52-yard field goal off the post and the
Redskins held on to win. With that win, the redskins lead the NFC East with the Cowboys and Eagles
right behind.

The Sunday Night game proved to be a mismatch, as the Kansas City Chiefs smashed the
Cincinnati Bengals 45-10. Patrick Mahomes had another dominant performance with four more touchdown
passes, totaling 22 on the year in seven games for the Chiefs.

On Monday Night, the Atlanta Falcons hosted the New York Giants. The Falcons pretty much
controlled the game, despite a little drama late in the fourth quarter by the Giants. Newly
acquired kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, who replaced the injured Matt Bryant, was huge for the
Falcons, as he hit two field goals from 50-plus yards. The Falcons held on to win the game 23-20.

 

 

Matt McClure is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism to contact him, email mcm5964@psu.edu.