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One thing we learned about each NFL team in Week 7: Patriots don’t have a QB, Colts botch another QB trade

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The NFL continues to be a mystery for seven weeks unless that team plays in the NFC East. The only football teams with six wins are in this division (Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants) as the NFC East is 20-7 so far. The 0.741 win percentage is the division’s best Week 7 record since the 1970 merger.

While the NFC East is good, the NFC South doesn’t have a team over .500 and the amazing Seattle Seahawks lead the NFC West and the Minnesota Vikings control the NFC North. While the NFC is upside down, the AFC has the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs at the top, and then everyone else.

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Week 7 has come to an end, and here’s what we’ve learned about each team that played this week.

Arizona Cardinals

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DeAndre Hopkins is what Kyler Murray needs: Hopkins returned to the Cardinals in a big way, catching 10 passes for 103 yards in his rookie season (serving a six-game suspension) as Arizona scored a season-high 28 points on offense.

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Hopkins played an important role not only on the field, but also on the touchline. He was the player who calmed down Kyler Murray when he yelled at Cliff Kingsbury. There’s a reason the Cardinals have 17-10 games that Hopkins has been playing since he came to Arizona.

The Cardinals attack could sync with Hopkins’ return. They showed progress in their debut season.

Atlanta Falcons

The passage of the game is a serious problem: The Falcons finished with just 107 net passing yards, 75 of which came for Marcus Mariota’s touchdown to Damier Byrd (who hadn’t caught a pass all year prior to that touchdown).

Kyle Pitts and Drake London combined four catches for 18 yards. Both were players the Falcons have spent top 10 picks on over the past two years. Atlanta can’t get the ball to those two players as Pitts and London only have 493 yards and three touchdowns in seven games.

The Falcons are 31st in passing offense and have playmakers in the skill positions. The problem may lie with the quarterback or the coach in charge of the game.

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore may actually shut down the game: It probably wasn’t the way the Ravens wanted to finish off the Browns, but fumbling Justice Hill from 3:20 to go 23-20 robbed him of a great drive that cut the time by 5:48. Baltimore had to rely on their defense to secure the win.

The Browns had seven plays for 57 yards, leading to Cade Yorke’s 60-yard field goal for a tie, but Malik Harrison blocked the shot to prevent another collapse in the fourth quarter. It was also helped by a questionable offensive pass interference penalty and Cleveland’s false start penalty that sent them 20 yards back.

The Ravens are the only team in NFL history to have a double-digit lead in each of their first seven games without starting 7-0—and they’ve managed to lose three times. Baltimore was unable to save late leads. Perhaps this is the beginning of the path to rectification of the situation.

Carolina Panthers

Who needs Christian McCaffrey?: In the Carolinas’ first game without McCaffrey, the Panthers rushed for 173 yards and scored a touchdown in Sunday’s stunning win over the Buccaneers, who were 13-point favorites. D’onta Foreman finished with 15 carries for 118 yards and Chuba Hubbard had nine carries for 63 yards and 1 point as Carolina set a season high in rushing yards.

Hubbard and Foreman averaged 7.5 yards per carry against the Buccaneers defensive team, which is known to stop opposing attacks. As Karolina finds out, that reputation may no longer be a reality.

Chicago Bears

Luke Getsy can get the most out of Justin Fields: Give the Bears offensive coordinator extra time to prepare for the opposition, and fans will see the best quarterback in their franchise. Getsy caused Fields to roll out, allowing Fields to find receivers outside of his pocket or take off on his own.

The setup worked as Fields went 13 of 21 for 179 yards with a touchdown and an interception (85.2 rating) and also rushed for 82 yards and scored 14 times. The Bears also rushed 45 times for 243 yards (5.4 carry yards) and scored two points, taking the pressure off Fields and allowing him to play with his hands and feet.

Getsy has shown that his chemistry with Fields is growing. More time and game representatives benefited both.

Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow continues to be hot: Burrow was arguably the best quarterback in football in the last five games, throwing 71.3% of his passes for 1,560 yards with 12 touchdowns per interception (117.2 rating). Not surprisingly, the Bengals are leading the score 4:1 in this stretch and have turned the starting score of 0:2 into a score of 4:3.

Burrow threw 34 of 42 passes for 481 yards with three touchdowns with no interceptions (138.2 rating), including an NFL-record nine passes for 20-plus yards in Sunday’s win over the Falcons. When Burrow is enabled, Bengals are very difficult to defeat.

Cleveland Browns

The defense stopped Mark Andrews: Give Cleveland credit for doing what no other team has done since 2018 – removing Andrews from the stats. Andrews was hit twice and had no catch for Baltimore as Cleveland linebackers made sure Lamar Jackson couldn’t find his safety blanket.

Jackson was just 9-of-16 for 120 yards that day, looking mortal without Andrews leading the game. The Browns are mediocre in tight end yards (322, 18th in the NFL), but made a big difference by cutting Andrews out nonetheless.

Of course, this makes the Browns’ defeat all the more painful because of the wasted defensive play.

Dallas Cowboys

The offense hasn’t changed with the return of Dak Prescott: Give Dallas credit for softening up Prescott and doing what he does best, football. Dallas dribbled 32 times and only threw 25, using Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard to control the play.

Pollard had 12 carries for 83 yards and Elliot hit two touchdowns for 53 yards. Prescott was rusty early in the game but went 10 of 11 for 103 yards and a touchdown in the second half as he became more comfortable in his comeback.

Will Dallas continue to use the running game to set the tone for offense? Time will tell.

Denver Broncos

The Broncos would be winless were it not for the defense: Sunday was another game where the Denver defense played incredibly well and had nothing to show. The Broncos were only 16 points behind the Jets, the sixth time in seven games Denver had under 20 points.

Denver is second in the NFL in points per game (16.4) and third in yards per game (286). The offense ranks last in scoring (14.3) as a result of bad play and quarterback play. If not for the defense, Denver would not have won – two Broncos wins with a score of 16-9 and 11-10.

Detroit Lions

Jared Goff’s days in Detroit are numbered: Detroit could have a top five, and the offense would be the shell of a division that led the NFL in scoring after four games. Goff has been tough in the last two games, especially during Sunday’s loss.

Goff threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball twice, while being sacked five times. That’s six losses in the last two games in which the Lions have amassed six points against two very good defensemen.

Detroit is likely to have a high selection in the busy quarterback class, and Goff is not the long-term answer. Success at the beginning of the season looks like a mirage.

Green Bay Packers

There were several dubious moves in the offensive line: The Packers made some interesting decisions by releasing David Bakhtiari, starting with Zach Thom from the left tackle, John Runyan from the right guard and Yosh Nijman from the right tackle. None of these players have played an NFL snap in these positions.

Naturally, Green Bay only had 38 yards and only threw the ball 12 times. The attack is fragmented, but the combination of attacking lines did not help to control the rally line. This division needs healthy players and significant work.

Houston Texans

Dameon Pierce – Rookie of the Year Leader: As Breece Hall falls due to a torn ACL, Pierce becomes a top contender for Rookie of the Year. The rookie running back had 20 carries for 92 yards against the Raiders’ aggressive defense, which is in the top 10 in stoppage.

Pierce has 106 carries for 504 yards and three touchdowns in six games for the Texans’ poor offense, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. He has 322 yards in his last three games with two touchdowns. Pierce is on track for a 1,400-yard season – very impressive in a first year.

Indianapolis Colts

Matt Ryan’s trade was unsuccessful: The Colts continue to play quarterback roulette and hope one of them works. Seven games were enough for Indianapolis to get past Ryan after he led the league with nine steals and 11 fumbles. The Colts rank 30th in the league in points per game (16.1) and 31st in turnover difference (minus-7).

The offense couldn’t be worse with Sam Elinger at quarterback, so Indianapolis is giving him a shot. The Ryan trade was still a bad move in a series of bad moves by that franchise’s quarterback. Indianapolis can’t seem to play the quarterback right, and it could cost Frank Reich his job.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Penalties cost Jacksonville the win: The Jaguars defense made three big fourth-quarter touchdown misses for the Giants, all in a row. Defensive interference brought the Jaguars to the 1-yard line, followed by too many men on the field, and…


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