It’s not the end of the world for the Vikings. They’re 5-1 now, a lot of teams can’t even sniff that, and there are some four-win teams that have no business being there. But, we did some some cracks in Minnesota’s previously perfect facade, namely their offensive line.
Both starting tackles are out for the season. They brought in Jake Long and his knees made of paper, and it worked out about as well as you would have imagined. Sam Bradford was pressured constantly. All three of his first-half turnovers were the result of pressure.
The offensive line was already struggling with its run blocking. If they can’t do better than this at quarterback, Bradford isn’t going to last a full season.
“We didn’t block anybody,” Mike Zimmer said. “We were soft. We got overpowered.”
Given Zimmer’s track record, I’d bet on the line getting better in the weeks ahead.
The Vikings had one turnover prior to this week’s game, and that was a defensive fumble. The Eagles only had two over the first six weeks of the season. They were both due and WOOOOO WEEEEEE did they get it.
They combined for five fumbles in a series of unfortunate events. Five fumbles in the first 10 minutes of the game, becoming the first two teams to do that since 1986.
The Rams are sticking with Case Keenum
Good thing the Rams traded away a bazillion draft picks to move up to No. 1 and take Jared Goff this year. He was holding the clipboard again this week, as he’s done all season. And despite Case Keenum throwing FOUR interceptions, including a pick-six and a back breaker on a last-minute, potentially game-winning drive, the Rams will not consider making the change.
Fisher: I'll make changes at receiver before I make a change at QB.— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) October 23, 2016
It’s a huge indictment of the Rams coaching staff that they still don’t have Goff ready to play. Not that he’d help much anyway. The Rams receivers are terrible and the offensive line is trash.
How you enjoying your new football team, Los Angeles?
Why does the universe hate the Browns?
Just as Cody Kessler was finally getting his feet under him and playing decent football, he gets hurt, forced out of the game with a concussion. The Browns were down to their fourth-stringer, Kevin Hogan.
But they still managed to score and get a 10-7 lead in the second quarter. It looked like they were going to take that into the locker room at the half.
The Bengals scored on the next drive for a 14-10 lead. Then, to really rub some salt in it, A.J. Green made an incredible one-handed catch on a Hail Mary at the very end of the half to give the Bengals a 21-10 lead. That was it, too. Cincinnati ran away with it.
Miami’s new offense is Jay Ajayi
For years the plan for the Dolphins has revolved around “fixing” Ryan Tannehill, that and signing a bunch of free agents with huge contracts and changing coaches regularly. That’s why they hired Adam Gase, and that’s why they struggled to start the season. It also didn’t help that Gase kept trying to make his awful running back committee work.
Ajayi was the bell cow for the second week in a row, and it worked. He ran for 214 yards and a touchdown this week, his second 200-yard game in a row. Only four other players have ever done that.
The Dolphins are back in the AFC Wild Card race now. They could stay there if they keep riding their best back.
The Lions are good because they have a guy named Jim Bob Cooter
I guess we have to pay attention to the Lions now. That’s three wins in a row now, and a fairly convincing one at that.
OK, so “convincing” is kind of subjective here. I think what was impressive was Matthew Stafford’s 12th game-winning drive since 2014 and his 20th career fourth-quarter comeback. And it’s not like he has Calvin Johnson anymore either.
The other hero here is Jim Bob Cooter. Detroit is averaging more than 24 points per game since promoting him last year, but the real winner is Stafford. He’s thrown 35 touchdowns and just eight interceptions since Cooter took over as OC, he’s completing nearly 70 percent of his passes since then, compared to 60 percent before that.
If the Lions keep winning, Stafford deserves to be in the conversation for MVP. But the real MVP is a guy named Cooter.
We don’t appreciate Julio Jones and A.J. Green enough
The 2011 draft is renowned for its pass rushers, but believe it or not, I don’t think the receiving duo of Julio Jones and A.J. Green gets enough credit.
Green, the fourth overall pick, and Jones, the sixth, combined for 343 yards on Sunday, Green for 169 and Jones for 174. For their careers, they’ve got nearly 14,000 combined. Jones has the edge in yardage with 7,031 compared to Green’s 6,946, but Green gets the edge in touchdowns, 48 to 38.
Every spring when the draft rolls around we talk about how receivers, as important as they are, can only make a limited impact for their teams. Try telling that to the Bengals and Falcons.
If you still aren’t convinced, just imagine the Browns with Jones. They could’ve had him, you know.
The Chargers didn’t implode
I guess we can’t write off the Chargers after all. This week was the first game that they didn’t have a lead at halftime, which also meant they didn’t have a lead to blow. Take away the weight of expectations and big things happen. San Diego went on to beat the Falcons, scoring 23 of the last 26 points for a win in overtime instead of another late, soul-crushing collapse.
Sure, they got a little help from ANOTHER missed pass interference call on Julio Jones late in the game, but the Chargers did plenty to be impressed with in their 33-30 win.
Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin, and rookie tight end Hunter Henry have been more than enough for weirdo Philip Rivers to make the passing game work. And Melvin Gordon is becoming the best Wisconsin running back since Ron Dayne, and it’s not even close.
But don’t overlook the defense, which has been a real revelation since Joey Bosa got on the field. He had another mutli-sack game, two sacks this week, the second time he’s done that in three games he’s played so far.
The worst or the best game of the week
How you felt about the 6-6 tie between the Seahawks and Cardinals says a lot about how you like your football. For some, it was a tightly played defensive battle, the kind of stuff you see in the playoffs. For others, it was a snoozer, a tedious affair with no scoring, lots of penalties, and not much action.
Wherever you fall on the issue, I think we can agree that the end of it was a shit show. Two missed field goals, both chip shots, that would have made either team a winner.
That pretty well sums up everyone’s reaction to both missed field goals.
Also worth noting, it was the lowest-scoring tie since overtime was instituted.
Week 7 scores and schedule
Detroit Lions 20, Washington 17
Philadelphia Eagles 21, Minnesota Vikings 10
New England Patriots 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 16
Seattle Seahawks 6, Arizona Cardinals 6 (OT)
Landon Collins broke all the tackles on this pick-six for the Giants.
Titans OL Taylor Lewan scored
a FAT GUY TOUCHDOWN an EXOTIC SMASHMOUTH TD.
The Vikings and Eagles are competing to see who can turn the ball over more.
The game between the Vikings and Eagles was getting so heated that even the refs were throwing elbows.
Golden Tate caught an unlikely pass that bounced off a defender's back.
43-year-old Adam Vinatieri has now made an NFL-record 43 straight field goals.
Washington's doink missed field goal should have counted on the style points alone.
A.J. Green somehow caught a one-handed Hail Mary touchdown right before halftime. A.J. Green is a cheat code.
Michael Crabtree was penalized for a throat slash celebration he didn't even do.
Kirk Cousins fumbled the ball into his own running back's crotch. Balls!
Sometimes turning the ball over is good -- if you're the Browns and Jets, at least.
Marquette King's conversion on fourth-and-24 is just one of many reasons to love the Raiders punter.
Jay Ajayi became just the fourth player ever to rush for 200 yards in back-to-back weeks. The Dolphins' new all-Ajayi offense is totally working.
The refs DIDN'T flag Gronk's touchdown dance. Finally, a celebration that's legal!
The Steelers made the worst fourth-down decision of the week.
The Seahawks weren't called for a leaping penalty when they blocked a field goal. Here's why.
Geno Smith's first start since 2014 was short-lived after he headed to the locker room with a knee injury. Ryan Fitzpatrick was back under center for the rest of the game.
The Jets were also without Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold after he left with an ankle injury.
Cody Kessler was ruled out after being evaluated for a concussion, leaving the Browns with yet another rookie quarterback. Kevin Hogan became the sixth player to take snaps for the Browns this season.
Bills safety Aaron Williams suffered a neck injury and was ruled out for the rest of the game after a cheap shot from the Dolphins.
LeSean McCoy played despite dealing all week with a hamstring injury ... and then left the game with a hamstring injury.
Tevin Coleman did not return against the Chargers with a hamstring injury.