NFL week 7 had a slew of close games. There were seven games that were within 8 points, which constitutes a single possession. That makes for some very entertaining football.
New York Jets 30 New England 27 OT – Welcome back, Gronk. After missing the entire season to this point, Rob Gronkowski made his return to the Patriot lineup. It was expected that he would be Tom Brady’s favorite target. The problem was that he focused more on him than his wide receivers, throwing 17 passes his way and no more than 7 to any other receiver. Gronk did catch 8 for 114 yards, but Brady failed to find the end zone. Both he and Geno Smith threw interceptions that were returned for touchdowns and while scored a late field goal to force overtime, kicker Nick Folk was able to seal the deal for the Jets.
Cincinnati 27 Detroit 24 – In a battle of two good quarterbacks and two outstanding wide receivers, you would expect an even matchup, which is what we ended up with. Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford each threw for over 350 yards and 3 touchdowns. A.J. Green and Calvin Johnson each had 155 receiving yards with Green having 1 score and Johnson having 2. Both running games were not very effective, so the fate of the game fell to the kickers. Each kicker missed one try, but Mike Nugent had an additional attempt from 54 yards go through the uprights to win the game.
Washington 45 Chicago 41 – On many occasions, when the starting quarterback goes down, bad things happen. Chicago’s Jay Cutler went down to an injury early and Josh McCown ended up running the show. He did a decent job throwing for 204 yards and a score while causing no turnovers. Washington did not have the same problems and was able to outgain the Bears in total offense 507 to 372. Roy Helu had 3 rushing touchdowns, including the game winner with under a minute to go to close a wild 4th quarter.
Kansas City 17 Houston 16 – Who would have thought that the Chiefs would be the last of the undefeated? Who also thought that the Texans would be 2-5 after 7 games? An efficient, but unspectacular day from Alex Smith and hard running from Jamal Charles lead the Chiefs over a beat up and free falling Texans squad. Case Keenum had his first pro start and did pretty well by throwing for 271 yards and a score. He had the better day than Smith, but with Arian Foster getting hurt early and Ben Tate not having a good day, it was up to Keenum to make it happen. Unfortunately, they were just a bit short. This is the second 17-16 game Kansas City has won this year.
Pittsburgh 19 Baltimore 16 – As time expired, Pittsburgh found a way to win again and continue to claw their way back into the divisional chase. Neither team wow’d on offense with the Steelers outgaining the Ravens 301 to 297. Flacco outpassed Roethlisberger 215 to 160 and Ray Rice was held to 45 yards on 15 carries. Le’Veon Bell was the leading rusher at 93 yards on 19 carries. This season has not gone right for either team, as Pittsburgh started 0-4 and Baltimore continuing to underachieve as Super Bowl champions.
Buffalo 23 Miami 21 – After being viewed as a gritty backup, Thad Lewis is now a game winner. Despite not throwing any touchdowns, Buffalo was opportunistic and Dan Carpenter was a perfect 3 for 3 on field goals as he kicked the game winner late in the 4th to preserve the win. Ryan Tannehill made it easier for Lewis by throwing a pick 6 early in the game. Tannehill ended up with 3 touchdown passes, but had 3 total turnovers and barely completed 50% of his passes. Surprisingly, CJ Spiller was downright forgettable, having 6 carries for 11 yards and 3 catches for -4 yards.
Dallas 17 Philadelphia 3 – An ugly win is still a win. In a battle for 1st place in the NFC East, Dallas was able beat Philadelphia despite only putting 17 points on the board. Tony Romo threw for over 300 yards, but that did not convert to points. The Eagles had Nick Foles playing for the injured Michael Vick, but he too got injured. Rookie Matt Barkley had to step in for the first time and he toss 3 interceptions to help the Eagles lose.
Indianapolis 39 Denver 33 – Another of the undefeated is lossless no more. Denver had many opportunities to win this game, but made mistakes at inopportune times. Peyton Manning was sacked for a safety and threw an interception late in the game when the Broncos were only down 6. Neither Knowshon Moreno or Tent Richardson had good games. The game relied on the quarterbacks and while Manning had more yards, Luck made fewer mistakes. If only the Broncos didn’t spot the Colts a 19 point lead in the 4th quarter.
Host of the OT with Andrew G and lead NCAA writer for the Sports Chronicles Radio Network
Host of The College Cram on the National Gridiron Network
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